Detection of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in oral fluid, blood and urine following oral consumption of low-content THC hemp oil

AuthorsHayley, A.C.
Downey, L.A.
Hansen, G.
Dowell, A.
Savins, D.
Buchta, R.
Catubig, R.
Houlden, R.
Stough, C.K.K.
TypeJournal Article (Original Research)
JournalForensic Science International
PubMed ID29408718
Year of Publication2018
AbstractHemp-derivative (Cannabis sativa L.) food products containing trace levels of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are proposed for consumption in Australia and New Zealand; however, it is unclear whether use of these products will negatively affect existing drug screening protocols. This double-blind, within-subjects, cross-over trial assessed 35 adults (17 male; 18 female), aged 22-52 years [Mean=30.7, Standard Deviation (S.D)+/-7.6]. Low dose THC oil [5mL bearer sesame oil containing 10mg/kg THC (0.046mg THC per 5mL dose)]; high dose THC oil [5mL bearer sesame oil containing 20mg/kg THC (0.092mg THC per 5mL dose)]; and a placebo oil (THC negative) was consumed during a three-week protocol. The Securetec Drugwipe((R)) II Twin device assessed THC presence (cut-off 20ng/mL) in oral fluid at baseline, at 5, 30, 60, 120 and 240min post-treatment. Blood was drawn at baseline, 30, 120 and 240min post-treatment, and urine at baseline and 240min post-treatment. No THC was detected in oral fluid, blood or urine samples at any time-point following consumption of the low or high THC dose. Trace concentrations of 11-nor-Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (THCa) were detected in blood 4-h after consumption of the high THC treatment (M=0.0001mg/L) and in urine at 4-h post consumption of both low and high THC treatments (M=0.0001mg/L and 0.0004mg/L, respectively). Consumption of low-content THC oil does not result in positive biological assessments. It is therefore highly unlikely that ingestion of products containing these levels of THC will negatively impact existing region-specific drug driving enforcement protocols.

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