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You Ask, I Answer: Can Eating Hemp Cause A “False Positive” Drug Test Result?

Posted Aug 04 2010 5:17pm

Zoom-0471-Hemp-Seed-Nuts-Manitoba-Harvest-8oz-raw-shelledI’ve seen you use hemp protein and other hemp products in many recipes you publish.  Can consumption of hemp seeds, oil, or protein trigger a positive drug test?

From what I’ve read, it’s on the product’s maker to ensure THC levels remain below a certain level to not trigger a positive. But, does it also depend on amount, frequency, and accumulation?

I’ve long been tempted to include hemp products in my diet because of their positive attributes, but we test for substances very often in the military and I’m not looking to risk it. Thanks.

– Fernando Garcia
(Location Unknown)

Wonderful question.  Good news you can eat hemp with peace of mind!

First of all, in case anyone is wondering, claiming innocence for a positive drug test result via “I just munched on some hemp seeds, dude” will fall on deaf ears, as ruled by 2003’s  Gary B. Dejong vs. Dept. of Justice .

One bit of good news many hempseed companies are well-aware of this possible issue and have come up with solutions to allow consumers to eat hemp without fear of losing their jobs.

Many companies now pre-wash and/or shell their hemp seeds, which drastically lowers their THC content.  Don’t worry, shelled hemp seeds are still a nutritional powerhouse; they offer high amounts of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Multiple studies have revealed that it takes roughly a half pound of shelled hempseeds, consumed on a daily basis, to result in a “false positive” result.  In terms of hempseed oil, you would need to consume six tablespoons a day.

Adding two tablespoons of shelled hempseeds to a salad or smoothie (or even adding a scoop of hemp protein to your food) is no cause for concern.

By the way The Test Pledge is a good resource to check before you head out to buy any hemp product.  All the listed companies “commit themselves to keeping THC levels in hemp nut and oil below levels at which failing a workplace drug test is extremely unlikely, even when eating high amounts of these products on a daily basis.”

For what it’s worth, too, most of the false positive cases were the result of ingesting untreated, deshelled hemp seeds (and byproducts) from China.

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