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J Anal Toxicol. 2019 Nov 4. pii: bkz080. doi: 10.1093/jat/bkz080. [Epub ahead of print]

Urinary Pharmacokinetic Profile of Cannabinoids Following Administration of Vaporized and Oral Cannabidiol and Vaporized CBD-Dominant Cannabis.

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Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 5510 Nathan Shock Dr., Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.
Clinical Reference Laboratory, 8433 Quivira Rd, Lenexa, KS 66214, USA.
RTI International, Research Triangle Park, 3040 East Cornwallis Rd., Durham, NC 27709, USA.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Division of Workplace Programs (DWP), 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, USA.


Cannabis products in which cannabidiol (CBD) is the primary chemical constituent (CBD-dominant) are increasingly popular and widely available. The impact of CBD exposure on urine drug testing has not been well studied. This study characterized the urinary pharmacokinetic profile of 100-mg oral and vaporized CBD, vaporized CBD-dominant cannabis (100-mg CBD; 3.7-mg ∆9-THC) and placebo in healthy adults (n = 6) using a within-subjects crossover design. Urine specimens were collected before and for 5 days after drug administration. Immunoassay (IA) screening (cutoffs of 20, 50 and 100 ng/mL) and LC-MS-MS confirmatory tests (cutoff of 15 ng/mL) for 11-nor-9-carboxy-∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THCCOOH) were performed; urine was also analyzed for CBD and other cannabinoids. Urinary concentrations of CBD were higher after oral (mean Cmax: 776 ng/mL) versus vaporized CBD (mean Cmax: 261 ng/mL). CBD concentrations peaked 5 h after oral CBD ingestion and within 1 h after inhalation of vaporized CBD. After pure CBD administration, only 1 out of 218 urine specimens screened positive for ∆9-THCCOOH (20-ng/mL IA cutoff) and no specimens exceeded the 15-ng/mL confirmatory cutoff. After inhalation of CBD-dominant cannabis vapor, nine samples screened positive at the 20-ng/mL IA cutoff, and two of those samples screened positive at the 50-ng/mL IA cutoff. Four samples that screened positive (two at 20 ng/mL and two at 50 ng/mL) confirmed positive with concentrations of ∆9-THCCOOH exceeding 15 ng/mL. These data indicate that acute dosing of pure CBD will not result in a positive urine drug test using current federal workplace drug testing guidelines (50-ng/mL IA cutoff with 15-ng/mL confirmatory cutoff). However, CBD products that also contain ∆9-THC may produce positive urine results for ∆9-THCCOOH. Accurate labeling and regulation of ∆9-THC content in CBD/hemp products are needed to prevent unexpected positive drug tests and unintended drug effects.


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