Could you get an OVI for using CBD?

Although CBD products are advertised as being very low in THC, the compound in marijuana that gets you high, it’s the Wild West when it comes to regulation. That means the CBD oil you bought could contain more THC than you expected. It might be enough to be detectable in a blood or urine test — or even enough to impair you.

In Ohio, we have what’s called a “per se” drugged driving law. That means that you can be convicted of operating a vehicle impaired (OVI) for having any detectable amount of THC in your system. The state doesn’t have to prove that you were actually impaired by the drug — only that you had it in your system when you were driving a vehicle of any type.

That makes it very important to choose CBD products that actually contain very little THC. Unfortunately, that’s relatively difficult to achieve.

CBD products vary greatly in potency

A 2017 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that over two-thirds of CBD products tested were mislabeled1. Many contained more or less CBD than was listed on the label — or none at all. Eighteen of 84 samples tested had a great deal more THC than the 0.3% federal limit, sometimes enough to cause impairment. Still others contained contaminants ranging from synthetic marijuana to cough medicine, and some synthetics can be very dangerous.

The FDA has been sending warning letters to companies whose CBD products contain different levels than claimed. Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission has been citing companies for making unproven health claims about CBD. Other than that, there is little in the way of regulation.

Consumer reports spoke with the senior director of science and technology at Quest Diagnostics, the U.S.’s largest administrator of drug tests. He confirmed that most drug tests aren’t set up to catch CBD2 users. Instead, the tests are looking for a compound that the body produces when metabolizing THC.

However, he added that the problem of mislabeling might not be the only one. Even using CBD products with no more than 0.3% THC, the drug could gradually build up in your body until it became detectable by a drug test.

His advice was only to buy CBD products from manufacturers who can provide a certificate of analysis (COA) for their products that lists the results of a company test for THC, CBD and contaminants. These will give you the best available information and reduce the likelihood that you would unknowingly ingest THC.

What can you do if you are charged with an OVI?

If you’re arrested for OVI due merely to CBD use, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. At The Law Office of Brian Jones, LLC, our skilled defense lawyers fight to protect the rights of people who are facing OVI charges. Contact our Delaware office now to schedule your free consultation.

 

Sources

 

1 https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/cbd-may-be-legal-but-is-it-safe/

2 https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/can-you-take-cbd-and-pass-a-drug-test/