The Michigan State Police has made the decision to halt marijuana blood testing due to flaws in their method of testing. Last week, the MSP Forensic Science Division discovered a discrepancy in which the presence of CBD in a blood sample may have led to a positive result for THC.
It is commonly known that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive compound found in the marijuana plant which produces the “high” feeling. Cannabidiol (CBD) is also a chemical found in the marijuana plant, however, it does not produce the “high” feeling.
CBD, which can be derived from both hemp and marijuana plants, can contain trace amounts (0.3% or less) of THC depending on the extraction process that is used to make it. These trace amounts of THC in CBD products could cause a positive test result when analyzing blood samples for THC.
Nonetheless, prosecutors can still present evidence of THC in court despite the fact that Michigan has no legal limit set for THC in the bloodstream. In 2019, the Michigan Impaired Driving Safety Commission found that there was no scientifically supported threshold of THC within the body that would be indicative of impaired driving due to a poor correlation between driving impairment and blood concentrations of THC.
Testing will remain at a standstill until MSP is able to institute another validated method of testing.
Chelsea Lenard is an associate attorney at Grewal Law PLLC. Her practice focuses primarily on personal injury, cannabis law, family law, criminal law, and employment law.