Hempseed foods cause false-positives in THC urine tests. How will the urine testers respond?
Imagine for a moment that you’ve never smoked marijuana, but you’ve been buying hemp seed oil from a health food store, because you care about your health and know about all those essential fatty acids. One day you’re called into your employer’s office: you’ve failed the latest pee test, and you’re going to be fired. What happened?
A recent study by Dr Jace Callaway, printed in the July 1997 Journal of Analytical Toxicology, confirms that eating hemp seeds and hemp seed oil can cause positive results in urine tests for THC.
In 1996, a urine-testing lab in Tennessee found that eating hempseed snacks was causing positive results for THC among non-marijuana users. The more recent research reveals that taking the recommended dose of 8 grams (2 tsp) per day also causes positive results to pot pee tests. The same effect even occurs for about 18 hours after consuming a single dose of 24 grams of seed oil.
This is a major blow to the urine testing industry, since anyone who fails a pee test can now point to Callaway?s study and claim that they had just been using a legal and nutritious food product.
The dominant theory is that small amounts of plant matter remain clinging to the seed hulls, and are transferred to the oil during pressing. However, it?s also possible that some of the compounds within the seed itself are similar enough to cannabinoid molecules that they trigger positives on chemical reagent urine tests, which react with anything that has a remote resemblance to THC.
Since poppy seeds also trigger positives on pee tests for heroin and other opiates, a hemp and food store called Hungry Bear in Eugene, Oregon, has created a tasty and subversive hempseed and poppyseed snack bar, aptly named “IP Freedom”.