The National Basketball Association (NBA) recently released a memo stating that it won’t be testing its athletes for cannabis for the entirety of the upcoming season.
The NBA Spokesman Mike Bass announced on October 6 that cannabis testing athletes will not occur for the rest of the association’s 75th season, which begins on October 19 and runs through May 2022.
“We have agreed with the NBPA to extend the suspension of random testing for marijuana for the 2021-22 season and focus our random testing program on performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse,” Bass stated.
NBA players were given a memo about the news, but ESPN was the first to obtain the memo and report the information, as of a statement from ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Players won’t be subject to random tests for marijuana this season,” according to @NBPA memo shared with players and obtained by ESPN. That’s been adjusted policy through Orlando restart and 2020-‘21 season. Testing continues for “drugs of abuse and performance enhancing substances,” he shared on Twitter.
The NBA first announced that it would suspend random drug tests for cannabis in March 2020, back when the pandemic was ramping up. According to the Associated Press, testing resumed later in summer 2020 at the Orlando Bubble to check for performance-enhancing substances—but cannabis wasn’t among the substances athletes were tested for, mainly in an effort to reduce unnecessary contact for players.
Reporter Ben Dowsett was among the first to confirm this change through league sources later last year, which he shared in a Twitter post in December 2020.
“Sources say this decision is largely based on COVID safety–just another way of limiting unnecessary contacts. However, there’s also significant expectation from many in the league that the entire marijuana testing program is on the way out in the near future.”
It is still a possibility that the NBA could eventually decide to end testing for cannabis permanently, although no official announcement has been made. Cannabis wasn’t included on the list of testable substances in the last NBA season, and now it is confirmed that cannabis will again not be tested for by athletes in this current season as well.
There are many factors that can be attributed to the NBA agreeing to halt cannabis testing for athletes, but one of the reasons is because of athletes speaking out in favor of cannabis and its efficacy as a medicine. Countless athletes have spoken up, and many of them have started their own cannabis businesses, such as former NBA athlete Chris Webber. His company, Players Only Holdings, recently broke ground on a $50 million production and training facility in Detroit Michigan. Another former NBA player, Kevin Durant, used his company Thirty Five Ventures to partner with Weedmaps in an effort to fight the stigma against cannabis.
Tennessee Congressman Steven Cohen joked that cannabis is a performance-enhancing substance in only one case. “Marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug unless you’re entered in the Coney Island hot dog eating contest on the Fourth of July,” Cohen said in July.
Other sports organizations have also begun to loosen restrictions on cannabis consumption. In April, the National Football League announced that it would no longer test for cannabis during the offseason. In December 2019, the Major League Baseball association announced that it would remove cannabis from its list of abused drugs and would only continue to test athletes for opioids and cocaine.
After 14 seasons and nine different teams, professional basketball player Matt Barnes won his first-ever championship with the 2017 Golden State Warriors. Months later, he announced his retirement. The following 4/20, a Washington Post article with the headline “‘All my best games I was medicated’: Matt Barnes on his game-day use of marijuana” is published. In it, Barnes speaks candidly about his cannabis use while in the NBA – one of the first instances of him openly sharing his story with the goal of normalizing cannabis in professional sports.
Barnes has since become one of the leading voices of professional athletes calling for the end of penalties for cannabis use while being an active player. Over the past few years, he’s planted roots in the cannabis industry by investing in his hometown of Sacramento through a dispensary called Seven Leaves. He also serves as a senior advisor to Eaze’s minority-focused cannabis business incubator, Momentum.
As we closed in on 2020, Matt joined us from his home in Los Angeles for a Zoom call where he shared his journey as a professional athlete and cannabis advocate, along with his hope for reform under new government leadership.
Cannabis Now: How have you and your family been holding up during the pandemic?
Matt Barnes: Since I was 18, this is the first time I’ve gotten to sit down. I went to UCLA in 1998, and ever since, I’ve been traveling the world to play basketball. Fortunately, I was able to play 15 years, but then I retired and went right into media. I’m working for ESPN and Showtime, traveling all around the country. Though it’s unfortunate circumstances, the pandemic has allowed me to finally sit my ass home. I do my podcast from home, I do ESPN from home, and I get to spend more time with my kids. I’m a single father of three; my twins just turned twelve, my youngest guy [turned] two on December 7. I’m getting to stay home and do the day-to-day things that I retired to do, that I hadn’t been able to do before. We’ve been blessed.
CN: You have an incredible podcast, All the Smoke, where you and fellow retired NBA player Stephen Jackson interview professional athletes and coaches. Given the name of the podcast, how often would you say cannabis comes up? Are there any memorable guests who stand out when it comes to their cannabis use?
We’ve interviewed guys who are still playing that were a little hesitant talking about it, but you know, we do stuff off the camera. One person who comes to mind is The Godfather for my generation: Snoop. It’s been great to talk to him about the plant and seeing his evolution. He came in as someone that was focusing on just getting high, and I’ve been talking to him more about explaining to the world why [he] uses [cannabis]. That’s been my goal when I talk to my colleagues or former athletes about cannabis – I always encourage people to tell their stories.
Just like the next person, I enjoy getting high, but there’s a lot of benefits from it, and I think that’s important when pushing forward a message of nationwide legalization – to erase the old stigmas of the high component and explain the beneficial uses of cannabis. It’s been a fun journey post-career, kind of being a shield for the guys in the league. I’m one of a handful of people that current [NBA] players look to for questions when it comes to using cannabis or not.
CN: What was your path to becoming this cannabis guru for professional athletes?
I was a product of the ’80s. My parents were functioning drug addicts. I saw a lot of different stuff when I was younger, and I remember one of the things I enjoyed smelling at a young age was cannabis. My parents also smoked cigarettes, and I used to hate the smell of those, but there was a different smell when my dad would light that weed up at the end of the day.
At the age of 14, I tried it. My first experience was terrible; I got a headache and passed out. But I wasn’t a quitter – I jumped right back on the horse and have been using it religiously for the past 26 years. Through high school, UCLA, my entire professional career, it’s been there for me…It’s always mellowed me out, made me more levelheaded, helped with sleep, stress, and the anti-inflammatory components help a lot as well. I played 15 years, I won a championship, and I think my story will help erase that stigma of people thinking it’s a gateway drug.
CN: Can you talk a little bit about the drug testing in the NBA and what that was like for you when you were in the league?
In the NBA, they give you three strikes for drugs in general. I don’t think cannabis should be called a drug anymore, but it’s still called a drug in the NBA. I had 2.75 strikes in about 15 years. I got caught twice. If you think you’re going to fail, you are allowed to call the drug program and admit yourself willingly. I did that twice even though they are supposed to allow it once. The third strike is suspension for five days, which is a lot of money missed, and it becomes public record. Luckily, I avoided that in my career.
Something interesting in going through the drug program a few times was talking to the guys who run it about how many players were in for cannabis alone. There are over 400 players in the NBA, and at the time I was in [the program], there were over 200 players in just for weed. It’s ridiculous ‘cause the league says they want what’s best for the players, but they’re pumping us full of opioids that are gonna mask one problem and cause another. Then they want to suspend us, fine us and maybe cost us our jobs over consuming cannabis. That’s why myself, Al Harrington and some other athletes are pushing the needle on the NBA. We understand how beneficial this plant is.
If [the league] would do their research, which they are doing now, they’ll find they can use [cannabis] to prolong athlete’s careers. Normally the NBA is at the forefront of all issues, but we’re actually last right now when it comes to the use of cannabis or CBD. Hockey, major league baseball and even the NFL are kind of rewriting their policies when it comes to this, but I think we’ll be catching up shortly.
CN: You have said that you used cannabis while playing in the NBA. Did you use it for stress relief, for physical ailments or both?
At the beginning, it was psychological. I started [using cannabis] at 14 or 15 years old, and I had a really tough childhood – a lot of violence, drugs and abuse. Cannabis allowed me to escape, to focus, to sleep at night peacefully. So, in the beginning, it was more psychological. As I got older, my body was getting beat up with playing in the NBA, so I needed the relief component as well.
I risked a lot smoking it throughout my career, but there was no other outlet for me. People often don’t understand how mental this game is. If you’re fortunate enough to make it in the NBA, you’re a one percenter. Then the mental approach of the game kicks in – it’s really a mental space and a mental game. Cannabis always helped me control the mental side, and this is why I’m a huge advocate.
CN: Kind of like your NBA career, it’s hard to keep track of all the things you’ve accomplished while working in the cannabis industry – there have been so many! Can you give us a run-down of some favorite projects/ventures?
MB: My first thing is advocacy. The second I retired, I started speaking [about cannabis]. I was able to executive produce a piece for Bleacher Report called B/R x 4/20, and it was the first time you ever saw retired NBA and NFL players smoking cannabis on television, telling the world why [they] used it. I was kind of worried about how the world was gonna take to professional athletes on TV smoking weed, but it was nothing but positivity. That paved the way for me to freely speak for it.
I teamed up with UCLA for a little bit to work on their cannabis research program. I’m a part owner of Seven Leaves, which is a cannabis company in my hometown of Sacramento. We’re growing under 3,000 lights right now and really making a splash in the space. I teamed up with Eaze and have an advisory role on their Momentum Program, helping get into the social equity space and allowing people of color to have an equal opportunity. If you look at the numbers, there are only about 3 percent people of color in the cannabis space, which is terrible in my opinion. I’m proud to say I’m really helping push this movement forward.
CN: How do you feel about the equity programs that are in place now. Do you think that they’re effective at all, or do they still have a long way to go?
MB: It’s a lot to handle. Starting them was the right thing to do, but starting and actually finishing are two different things. I think there’s plenty that needs to be learned in the process. You are giving people who have never run or owned a business the opportunity to compete in a very competitive market. That’s why I think a lot of the minority [business owners] don’t last – because our people don’t have expertise in running businesses overall. I think there should be programs that allow [people of color] to be part of [the industry] but also educate them, which I think is a huge part of anyone’s success. The Momentum Program through Eaze is educating [people], and there’s a handful of other programs out there that are teaching people the ropes, so when they get in a position to secure licensing and try to go vertical in their business, they’re fully equipped.
CN: If you could pick one thing to change about the cannabis industry right now, what would it be?
MB: Just equal footing for minorities. That’s it. Like I’ve said, I think we were affected most by [the War on Drugs] but are still last in line. We missed prohibition, we missed the Gold Rush, and we can’t miss this Green Rush. That is my goal coming into this space – to continue to educate people, create opportunities and jobs and situations for people of color to excel in. We’ve been directly affected by this the most – losing our dads, our brothers, our sisters, our aunts, uncles, grandparents either to death or jail because of this plant. We need our reparations for this.
CN: This past year, with the Black Lives Matter movement breaking through to the mainstream, we saw many companies worldwide making statements in support of Black lives like never before. Were you observing the cannabis industry’s response, and do you think they handled it well compared to other industries?
MB: I think it’s important for all industries to do something. Now we’ve pulled back the blanket of how nasty this country has been at times and still can be. I think businesses want to align themselves with our people and in our communities, but I think what is important – and a lot of businesses miss the boat with this – is they’re trying to fix stuff in our communities with nobody from our communities guiding them. That’s why I think it’s important for myself to be a part of this movement.
For example, if you have no idea what my community is like, or what Compton is like, or the Chicago ghettos, how can you effectively help? Sometimes money is thrown at the biggest name or the biggest corporation, and they may not actually be doing the best work for those communities. It takes a little bit of due diligence; these companies need to be doing their homework.
CN: We saw a video of you bringing that sentiment to the national stage when you were pushing Biden about the controversial 1994 crime bill*. What was that moment like, and how did you feel about his response?
MB: The moment was surreal. I wasn’t gung-ho about Biden and Harris because with both of their track records, they’ve done a lot of damage in our communities. But I got the opportunity to go out there and talk to him and meet him, speak for him at a rally and go to some voting polls. He wanted minorities to vote for him, and the first thing that people are going to bring up is the crime bill. Hearing him break down the crime bill, describing the parts that he was against while understanding that he couldn’t get everything that he wanted, he went with what was presented after there was pushback – because we needed something at that time. I’m not saying the crime bill was the answer, but we needed something. The government put guns and drugs in the hood in the early ‘80s. I was just excited at the opportunity to get to talk to [Biden], and I really felt like we helped him get in office. Now our job is to hold him and Kamala Harris accountable.
*The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, now known as the 1994 crime bill, gave billions in funding to state prisons and police while disenfranchising people of color.
CN: Do you think decriminalization and adult-legalization will continue to be led by the states, or will the Biden-Harris administration bring about federal cannabis laws?
MB: I’m hoping state-by-state [cannabis legislation] continues, but it would be great to get a federal overhaul and just legalize it. Once we figure out a sweet point for taxation, this is going to be a huge revenue maker for all these states. Cannabis is the one thing that brings everyone together. I feel like if everyone smoked weed, the world would be a better place overall, and that’s no bullsh*t. Hopefully this plant can not only bring financial stability to states across the country, but also bring people together.
CN: Since you are a father and family man, as well as a cannabis advocate, have you had any talks about the plant with your kids?
MB: You know, we had that conversation when [my twins] were…about nine maybe? I never smoke in front of my kids, but one night I put them to sleep and went out to smoke a joint by the pool. I guess one of the boys had looked through their window and saw me smoking because they came down the next morning and said, “Dad, if you smoke cigarettes, your lungs are gonna turn black!” So, I kept it real and said, “You know how Daddy plays basketball and his back, knees and ankles hurt? When they give me medicine [for the pain], it gives me an upset stomach. And when I smoke a joint, it makes all my pain go away and helps me sleep.” One of the twins was like, “Oh, okay. Well, Dad my ankle hurts. When can I smoke?” I was like, “Oh sh*t.” [Laughs]
CN: This is for the weed nerds out there. Can you tell us what strains you’ve been into lately?
MB: I’ve been really into our homegrown strains. We have a Blue Slush at Seven Leaves that I’m really enjoying. Vovo and Bon Bons [are strains] from our facility that I’m also really enjoying. If you are in California and get a chance, check those out. Hopefully with our expansion, we can start getting them all over the country.
I don’t smoke as much anymore because I’m really busy, and I’m a father of three, but I still do have my two or three joints a day. I wake and bake; I’ll get a mid-day joint; and I’ll have one to put me to sleep, so I’m across the board as far as hybrids, sativas and indicas. It’s just kind of a way of life. Smoking has always been there for me, and it’ll always be there for me. I will continue to advocate for it, and hopefully help change some regulations in professional sports and even some laws.
The NBA halted their cannabis testing program when the 2019-2020 season resumed in order to avoid unnecessary contact due to COVID-19 concerns. This policy has continued throughout the 2020-2021 season. The NBA has not made a formal statement or confirmed if they will discontinue testing or penalize players for cannabis use.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
For many potential cannabis consumers, drug testing at their place of employment or in some other important area of their lives is the determining factor in whether they use cannabis products or not.
I have quite a few friends myself who would smoke cannabis regularly if they weren’t getting drug tested at work. The new HHC trend has many people wondering if they can get away with smoking this chemically similar version of THC and still keep their jobs. Will a drug test detect HHC the same way it detects Delta-9 THC? Let’s investigate.
Cannabis is full of fun and interesting compounds including HHC, all the Delta THCs, CBD, and so much more. If you would like to learn more about these cannabinoids, or try out different products make sure to subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter, your source for information and exclusive deals on flowers and other products.
What is HHC?
Honestly, the available information on HHC (hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol) is extremely limited at this point. Let’s start with whether it’s natural or synthetic – technically, it can be both. There is a biologically active naturally occurring (−)-hexahydrocannabinol, as well as its synthetic enantiomer (+)-hexahydrocannabinol. The synthetic HHC, which can be found in spice, has the chemical formula: 9-Nor-9β-hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol, and the natural variety, found in trace amounts in cannabis pollen, goes by the formula: 6aR,9R,10aR-Hexahydrocannabinol.
Simply put, HHC is a simplified version of Delta 9 THC without any double bonds. With HHC, all the double bonds have been broken and replaced with hydrogen (AKA hydrogenation). Both HHC and D9 have very similar molecular structures and comparable effects. It was discovered during research in the 1960s and 70s which aimed to find the most basic cannabinoid-like substances that could still bind to CB receptors.
Kyle Ray, Chief Operating Officer at Colorado Chromatography Labs, says his company recently filed a process patent for the development of Hemp derived Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC). According to Ray, “Cannabis indica was collected from five different localities of Pakistan and analyzed for medicinally active compounds by GC-MS. The biologically active chemical compounds amongst the naturally occurring cannabinoids are delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) which were present in all samples in high percentage. The highest percentage of THC present was 23.84% and that of CBD was 54.48%.”
He added that, “Other cannabinoids quantified were: delta 9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabivarin (CBV), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabipinol (CBP), cannabigerol (CBG), hexahydrocannabinol (HHCBN), cannabinol (CBN). The main objective of the study was to investigate biologically active compounds of Cannabis sp. from various localities.”
When it comes to cannabis, standard urine tests are used to detect use ranging from roughly 1 to 45 days. Occasional users will typically be clean after 1-5 days, regular light users will take about 1-3 weeks, and for heavy daily users, expect 4 to 6 weeks to get clean.
Contrary to popular belief, standard urine tests don’t screen for the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in cannabis, but rather, they detect the metabolites created by the human body when we are exposed to THC. This class of metabolites is known as THC-COOH. These metabolites are nonactive, so drug tests are only measuring exposure, NOT impairment. Marijuana impairment cannot be detected through any kind of test thus far.
THC-COOH, or “carboxy THC” is the most common name for this metabolite. It’s the second THC-metabolite formed in our bodies, following hydroxy-THC, immediately after exposure. THC-COOH is lipid-soluble, meaning it’s stored in our fat cells making it detectable in our systems for much longer than other substances, those that are water soluble for example.
According to the minimal existing research in animal models, HHC metabolizes into compounds similar to THC-COOH, but the metabolites but the HHC versions of them: 8alpha-hydroxy-HHC and 8beta-hydroxy-HHC. The question now, is could these HHC version of metabolites give a “false positive” for THC metabolites on a standard drug test?
As per the study: “The results from HHC were very similar to those from THC, namely hydroxylation at C-11 in most species, and the production of high concentrations of 8alpha-hydroxy-HHC in the mouse and 8beta-hydroxy-HHC in the hamster. As this molecule lacks the double bond of the THCs and, hence, the allylic nature of C-11 and C-8, the results suggest that it is the orientation of the molecule to the active site of the cytochrome P-450 mixed-function oxidase rather than the reactivity of the C-H bond that governs the position of hydroxylation”
“Hexahydrocannabinol Metabolites produced from five of the species are listed in Table 9. The profiles were again very different from each other, but show the same general trends to those observed for the other cannabinoids. Thus, 11-hydroxylation dominated the profile from rat, rabbit and guinea pig and 8alpha-hydroxylation was very abundant in the mouse. Once again the hamster produced the 8beta-hydroxy metabolite as the major compound and the guinea pig produced substantial concentrations of side-chain hydroxylated metabolites.”
While this information is certainly valuable, it does present a slight issue. If HHC metabolizes into 8alpha-hydroxy-HHC in the mouse, and 8beta-hydroxy-HHC, it’s likely this compound will become a slightly different metabolite in humans.
HHC & Drug Test: What is the Final Verdict?
So far, I gave you a bunch of information about HHC and drug testing but didn’t answer the main question of the article: Does HHC show up on a drug test or not? Short answer, we don’t know yet. Anecdotal evidence as well as numerous first-hand accounts I found online claim that it does NOT trigger a positive. However, I have not tested this myself, nor have I been able to find any official research or documentation on the matter.
That being said, there is also a strong possibility that even if HHC doesn’t make you pop on a test, your product could contain traces of other compounds that will, such as Delta 8 or Delta 9 THC. If you have anything important riding on your drug test, it’s best to abstain from all cannabis products to be on the safe side.
Thank you for stopping by CBD TESTERS, your hub for all things cannabis-related. Do you have experience with HHC and whether it will show up on a drug test or not? If so, drop us a line in the comment section below! To learn more, and for exclusive deals on Delta 8, Delta 10 THC, THC-O, HHC, THCV, THCP and other products, make sure to subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter.
Cannabis consumers who are aspiring to receive a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive trucks and other commercial vehicles should seriously consider the pros and cons of their career outlook. Data shows that commercial drivers are consuming cannabis more than any other drug, even if it can ruin their career.
Commercial drivers test positive for cannabis more often these days than any other drug, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
As you can imagine—federal restrictions on drugs for CDL holders are quite strict. With this in mind, drivers can face heavy punishments if they fail a drug test.
The DOT mandates drug tests use urine samples only for typical pre-employment tests—so if you’re drunk one day, you can pass it the next. Cannabis on the other hand, lingers in fatty tissues and can trigger a positive result for much longer.
Over half, or 52 percent of the 40,433 tests came up positive for cannabis, which is currently legal in one form or another in most states.
But the FMCSA doesn’t care about state laws. “The bottom line for CDL holders is you can’t use marijuana, even though you have states that allow people to use marijuana on a recreational basis,” said Larry Minor, the associate administrator for policy at the FMCSA.
If a CDL holder tests positive for cannabis on the first drug screen, they usually don’t lose their license, but repeat offenses are another story, or when an injury is involved. But failing a drug test for cannabis automatically ignites a long return-to-work process that is still considered to be a “career nightmare.” There are stories of drivers who still have their CDL but cannot find work over a brownie and a stain on their record.
Around half of the failed drug tests took place during the pre-employment drug screen. An additional 13,340 failed drug tests were randoms, and only about 1,700 failed drug screens were found following an accident.
The data matches existing data on drivers in general. Non-commercial drivers are also consuming cannabis at a faster pace.
Even CBD Is an Issue for Commercial Drivers
The FMCSA issued a Clearinghouse Update on May 27, reminding commercial motor vehicle drivers—who are regulated by the FMCSA—that they should exert caution when considering whether to consume even hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) products.
JD Supra reports on the critical updates that CDL drivers should know:
The U.S. DOT requires testing for marijuana and not CBD.
CBD product labeling is often misleading because the products could contain higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than what’s stated on the product label.
The U.S. DOT’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation, 49 CFR Part 40, does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason.
CBD use is not a legitimate medical explanation for a laboratory-confirmed cannabis positive result. Therefore, Medical Review Officers will verify a drug test confirmed at the appropriate cutoffs as positive, even if an employee claims they only used a CBD product.
Since the use of CBD products could lead to a positive drug test result, U.S. DOT-regulated CDL drivers should exercise caution when considering whether to use CBD products.
Knowledge is power, especially when weighing the risks of consuming cannabis when a career is at stake.
Betty Aldworth and Heather Sullivan join first-time host Brian Adams to talk about the evolution of marijuana use by workers, the push to drive social equity through delivery licensing, and possible revisions to medical marijuana laws in states like Colorado. Produced by Shea Gunther.
Founding regulars Betty Aldworth and Taylor West join host Kris Krane to talk about the recent unjust snubbing of 21-year-old sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson from the U.S. Olympic team after she failed a drug test for cannabis, as well diving into the past seven years that Marijuana Today has now been publishing. Produced by Shea Gunther.
In addition to some other internal changes, Amazon CEO announced that they will be dropping their policy of using marijuana as a disqualifying factor for potential employees.
The move, Amazon said, is aimed at reiterating the “company’s commitment to being an attractive employer.”
In a blog post, Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer division, said changing state laws on marijuana meant Amazon (AMZN) will no longer include the substance in the company’s pre-employment drug tests and that the drug will now be treated the same as alcohol for existing employees.
For more relevant news, to learn more about cannabis, and for access to exclusive deals on flowers and other products, make sure to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter, your hub for all things cannabis-related!If you’re interested in Delta 8 and other THC products, check out our other subscription, The Delta 8 Weekly!
“In the past, like many employers, we’ve disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use,” stated the blog post. “However, given where state laws are moving across the U.S., we’ve changed course. We will no longer include marijuana in our comprehensive drug screening program for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation…”
The post went on to mention that the company “will instead treat it [marijuana use] the same as alcohol use. We will continue to do impairment checks on the job and will test for all drugs and alcohol after any incident.”
Keep in mind that marijuana stays in your system for much longer than alcohol. Nanotechnology breathaizlyer tests do exists, but they are not yet in widespread use. However, the sensors on these devices can detect THC levels on molecules 100,000 times smaller than the average human hair, so they are highly efficient.
Currently, no legal threshold has been established when it comes cannabis impairment while driving (think 0.8% BAC), but employers are free to set their own limits. So, although cannabis use won’t bar you from employment, initially, it can still get you fired should an accident occur later on.
Thank you for stopping by CBD TESTERS, where you can find everything you need relating to the cannabis industry, all in one place. Remember to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one and access to exclusive deals on flowers and other products. If you’re interested in Delta 8 and other THC products, check out our other subscription, The Delta 8 Weekly!
Have you ever wondered how long weed stays in the system? Ask An Expert! Dr. Markus Roggen will tell you all about it and more! This week is all about plant genetics and making sure you are getting the good stuff… into your system and out of it. Welcome to Season 2, Episode 5 of […]
Even with more and more locations in the world opening up for both recreational and medicinal cannabis use, there are still plenty of times when a person might be subjected to a drug test. There are plenty of ‘quick fix’ products that promise to help quickly rid your system of THC, but how well do they work, and what’s the best way to detox cannabis out of your system?
The holiday season is upon us, and it’s the best time for Delta-8 THC deals. Shop well this year!
Before I get into what the rest of the world has to say about it, I’ll start with my own experience. Way back in about 2004 I was slated to start working for an in-patient facility for people with special needs. This was in 2004, before any state had a recreational policy, and in the state of Pennsylvania, 14 years before a medical program was signed into place. Plus, as a job that required working with highly developmentally disabled children and adults, drug testing was taken seriously. Along with criminal history checks, and child abuse clearances.
From about the age of 21, I’ve taken smoking weed pretty seriously. Up until that point I never had a job that required such clearances, and I certainly didn’t have time to clean my system out in any kind of natural way. I remember there being a lot of products out at that time specifically for the purpose of passing drug tests when cannabis was surely present. Some made claims about somehow keeping the body from releasing cannabinoids (though I wasn’t familiar with that term back then), while others claimed they could mask these cannabinoids, and still others claimed they could force them out of your body.
All of them came with the same simple instructions of drinking down some kind of Gatorade-like liquid along with multiple bottles full of water, and they usually stated that the test had to be taken within a certain number of hours after ingestion. I can’t remember which kind I used, but I did pass my drug test, although I wouldn’t necessarily put the credit for that on the detox drink, or stand by it as the best way to detox cannabis.
Some basic THC detox theories
The first thing to know is that there isn’t really any regulation for this market, so there is very little medical verification of claims. There is, however, a lot of interest in such products, leaving the door open for many snake oil salesmen to come in hocking worthless solutions. Most products are also sold as body detox products, or cleanses. As mentioned before, THC detox products claim to work in different ways.
Detox within a few days to two weeks: these products generally use herbal supplements to do a full body cleanse, taking the THC with other toxins, or so the claims say.
Quick fix 1: These promise the ability to pass a test within 24 hours by temporarily flushing metabolites from the urinary tract which lasts for just a short period.
Quick fix 2: Using different supplements to mask the cannabinoids with other compounds, also just leaving a short window for use.
As these products are not regulated, the claims made on the packaging generally give no more information than what I just stated. Explaining how different herbal supplements work, or modes of action, is not information generally given to consumers of these products.
Keeping it natural
Of course, it doesn’t stop there. There are also plenty of natural remedies listed for helping to detox cannabis cannabinoids out of the system. Things like herbal teas, lemons juice, and mint are often cited for their ability to help cleanse a system, as is water in general. In fact, water is generally noted as the main reason some of these products work, meaning the main factor would simply be diluting urine, making for less cannabinoids present.
This issue of dilution can often backfire, though, and cause a test to be invalid because of the lack of other compounds in the correct amounts. When using large amounts of water to flush the system (and let’s remember, THC is not water soluble, so drinking lots of water will never rid the body of it, just dilute how much is currently being expelled), it means all the other things that belong in healthy, undiluted urine won’t be there in the necessary amounts. Therefore, those who want to use this method, or are using a method that requires a lot of water, should consider adding in some vitamin B for that nice urine color, and creatine, so that labs don’t become suspicious.
One of the more interesting methods that I saw for the best way to detox cannabis included the use of bentonite clay. Bentonite clay, as the name implies, is a form of clay. And much like carbon, clays tend to be absorbent, meaning they can absorb all kinds of things – like cannabinoids – and get them out of the system. This doesn’t mean that a clay can get into fat cells and remove THC stored there, but it means if the THC is released back into the system, say through exercise, the clay can absorb it to keep it from reabsorbing in the body, and get it out faster. Many detox kits claim to have a toxin absorber, along with some kind of component to stimulate organs and bowels to get the THC moving. Many of these kits say straight out that it can take up to 14 days, which is getting to the time that it would naturally take THC to be removed from the system anyway.
For the most dire of circumstances, there is even fake urine, but this often comes with very specific instructions that aren’t always easy to follow, like mixing something together, and making sure it stays the right temperature. Fake urine is often spotted in testing, so beware. If you are going to go the fake way, best to use someone else’s real urine, but keep in mind it still has to be the right temperature, and not too old when handed over, or you’re sure to get some uncomfortable questions.
How long to naturally clear THC
As with any drug, this is highly dependent on different factors. The age and weight of the person trying to detox, how much they smoke and how frequently, and what they smoke and the THC content within. It can also be affected by levels of exercise, a person’s diet, and other aspects of general lifestyle. When half-life ranges are given (the amount of time for half of a substance to be eliminated from the system – or broken down into a different metabolite), they’re often rather wide, highlighting this massive variation.
In fact, most sources that give information for the length of time THC can be detected in urine (the standard form of drug test), claim all but chronic, heavy users typically no longer show detectable amounts within 10 days. This implies, of course, that even very heavy users have the capacity to eliminate far faster than the far limit of 30 days. And this means that a lot of those detox methods promising a clean body within 7-14 days, aren’t actually promising anything special at all.
So, what’s the best way to detox cannabis?
When it comes down to it, unless someone is trying to sell you something, not many sources are going to back up the majority of detox methods, even the ones more based on herbal supplements. Though many herbal supplements are known for their detoxification properties, the idea that they could save a person from failing a drug test is a very different thing.
The publication Weedmaps asked its resident expert, Dr. Adie Poe, who is also assistant scientist at the Legacy Research Institute in Portland, Oregon, about the topic. Dr. Poe explained a few concepts to help understand the options for the best way to detox cannabis out of the system. She explained that while exercise sometimes can take a day or two off the total amount of time for detoxification, that it won’t help a person pass a drug test in the short term. She also went on to explain how detox drinks like cranberry juice and green tea do nothing to eliminate THC from the system, but instead work to trick the test by loading up on other nutrients to essentially mask the THC.
According to Dr. Poe, and most sites not trying to make a sale, the best way to detox cannabis is to wait it out, while many publications add in that it helps to have a healthy diet and exercise regimen as well.
Some of the better advice given for how to use cannabis and still pass a drug test, was to smoke low-THC cannabis, or use CBD products, though this obviously is not the best answer for someone looking specifically for high-THC marijuana.
Something to understand about drug testing
The reason I probably passed the drug test back in 2004 wasn’t because of the detox drink or loads of water drank with it. It was probably that it was never tested at all. In some situations of random drug testing, or drug testing for a job, only a percentage of the samples taken are tested. Employers have to pay out for this, and in companies with a lot of applicants and turnover – constant testing can start to add up. It’s quite possible that the practice was even more expensive back in 2004 when I was tested.
Though it’s not mentioned much on the internet these days, it was this thing we all knew back then. That not all the samples would be tested. In the last 16 years the process may have become more streamlined, and cheaper, allowing for more honest testing, but when employers want to cut costs, something like drug testing is likely to be one of the things to go. Again, while not much is mentioned about it these days, it was not only known as a ‘fact’ (with no backing) 16 years ago, but the only explanation for many passed drug tests that should have uniformly failed.
If you know you’ve got a drug test coming up, be smart about it, and if you can, practice some self-control. Take yourself a break and ensure a negative result. If you’re not lucky enough to have time, feel free to try any of the methods out there offering short-term help. But do so knowing that the products are unregulated, and that they might not work. Choose for yourself which one offers the best way to detox cannabis, and decide for yourself if it’s best to go through the whole process if you can’t ensure the result. If all else fails, go for dilution, just understand that it too might not get you the right outcome. Of course, if you’re really lucky, your sample may never be tested at all – but best not to bet on that one.
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