A recent article in the New York Times brought home a very real issue that we here in Michigan are on the cusp of dealing with – the fact that drug tests often can’t tell the difference between CBD and THC. Not sure what the differences are yourself? Let’s take a quick look at what they are, and why it’s so important to be able to tell them apart.
The difference between CBD and THC:
Cannabis (the plant you probably know as marijuana, or weed), produces more than 100 chemical substances known as cannabinoids. The two most common of these chemical compounds are cannabidiol (commonly called CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as THC). They both have the same chemical formula (21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms) But because the atoms are arranged differently, they each have very different effects on the human body and brain. So what’s the difference?
THC: This is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. Because it’s the compound that binds with receptors, primarily in the brain, that control pain, mood, and other feelings, it’s what produces the sense of euphoria in people, and makes them feel “high.”
CBD: This compound doesn’t work in the same way as THC, and doesn’t produce that same “high” sensation. Instead, CBD is not psychoactive and instead binds with receptors in the brain and throughout the body to produce a feeling of well-being and relaxation, among other feelings.
How the two compounds are used differently
When a person smokes marijuana, or eats a cannabis-infused “medible” and gets high, it’s the THC they’re reacting and responding to. They could be using the marijuana medically for pain management, or simply for personal pleasure. Either way, if they’re getting high it’s the THC in the weed that makes them feel that way.
However, if someone uses CBD oil, which is the most common way it can be purchased, chances are they’re using it for medical reasons, even if it hasn’t been prescribed to them. Because CBD doesn’t get you high, the people who use it do so for things like overcoming anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and even seizures.
Why does it matter what the difference is between THC and CBD?
The reason it matters is because people using weed to get high have very different motivations that those who are using CBD oil to treat a condition. And while it won’t make much difference to someone who smokes pot to get high, it matters a lot to a person who doesn’t (or isn’t allowed to) get high, but who needs CBD oil to treat insomnia or anxiety or some other debilitating condition.
Which brings us to the issue of drug tests. Imagine that you use CBD oil to treat chronic insomnia, but never smoke weed or eat medibles, so you never get high. It may not seem like it matters, but to someone who is on probation or parole in Michigan, it can make a huge difference! Because if you’re on parole or probation, then chances are the court has ordered you to do regular drug tests as well. And if your drug test can’t tell the difference between the two… you get the picture!
Violating the terms of your probation is a big deal in Michigan!
Join us next time for a look at how it can mess up someone’s entire life when their drug test fails to differentiate between CBD and THC. Dirty drops or failed urine tests are a big deal! Because being on parole or probation means following the orders that the court hands down to you, which usually means steering clear of alcohol and drugs. Most people on probation and parole in Michigan have to do “drops”, which is the term for urine screening drug tests. And if you fail your drop (which is called a dirty drop”), you could end up back behind bars!
Violating your probation or parole in Michigan can have very serious consequences, which is why it’s so important to have a good attorney on your side! Because nothing is worse than losing what little freedom you have because of something you couldn’t control, like a drug test that can’t tell the difference between CBD and THC! And that’s where The Kronzek Firm comes in. Our cutting edge, experienced criminal defense attorneys are available 24/7 to help with any criminal arrest or pre-arrest allegations in the lower peninsula of Michigan. Just call 866 7NoJail to ensure that your defense team is one of the best in the state.