For Immediate Release
Monday, August 25, 2008
CONTACT: Tom Murphy 207-542-4998
Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671
Hemp Foods Do Not Interfere with Drug Testing
HIA Clarifies Journal of Analytical Toxicology Report
San Francisco, CA — The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) is pleased that the authors of a new report in the July/August 2008 issue of the Journal of Analytical Toxicology (JAT), titled "Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Content of Commercially Available Hemp Products" (2008, Vol. 32, pages 428-432), found that "the amount of THC present in commercially available [hemp] products is significantly less in products available today" and that eating hemp foods "should not be considered as a realistic cause for a positive urine analysis result." The HIA does believe, however, that using August 1, 2001 would have been a better cut-off date for the test results than using April 21, 2003 when assessing progress made by the industry.
The earlier date would have been better, as it represents the official start of the HIA's TestPledge program. TestPledge is a hemp food industry self-regulation program that implemented trace THC standards which are lower (and thus more stringent) than the Health Canada protocol for THC. The earlier date is also prior to the DEA's publication of the "Exemption from Control of Certain Industrial Products and Materials Derived from the Cannabis Plant" (Federal Register, Vol. 66, No. 195) on Tuesday, October 9, 2001.
The TestPledge program alleviates concerns by consumers that eating hemp nut or hemp oil products may cause confirmed positive drug tests. TestPledge also dispels concerns regarding hemp oil body care products topically applied to the skin. TestPledge companies commit to implementing quality control measures which limit the amount of trace residual THC in hemp nut and oil, thus eliminating the risk of confirmed positive drug tests and any interference with workplace drug testing.
The TestPledge program is based on a study of trace THC in hemp food products that was conducted by Leson Environmental Consulting of Berkeley, California. A study summary was published in July 2000 and is available on the TestPledge Web site at http://www.testpledge.com/answers.htm. The final study, titled "Evaluating the Impact of Hemp Food Consumption on Workplace Drug Tests," was published in 2001 in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology (2001, Vol. 25, pages 691-698).
Hemp foods are made from low-THC oilseed varieties of industrial hemp, most of which are grown in Canada and are on the Health Canada List of Approved Cultivars. Cannabis-flavored candies are made with Cannabis flower essential oil (CFEO), also known as hemp essential oil, which is obtained from steam distillation of the flowers and upper leaves of the Cannabis plant. CFEO should not be confused with hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, which is a vegetable oil that is derived from the seeds of low-THC varieties of industrial hemp.
Members of the HIA pledge to conduct their business in the hemp industry within the HIA guidelines for ethical business practices, including accuracy in labeling. These business practices preclude the use of drug slang and other marketing gimmicks that may give the "impression of illegality for a rebellious younger generation." To that end, the HIA issued a Legal Advisory re: Hemp Essential Fragrance on February 24, 2004 and also formally advised its members on February 1, 2007 not to stock products made with CFEO. Such sales and marketing may result in public confusion concerning bona fide hemp seed and oil used in safe, healthy foods that are intentionally marketed so as to avoid having anything to do with drugs.
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The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp's many uses and hemp legislation may be found at www.HempIndustries.org and www.VoteHemp.com. DVD Video News Releases featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries are available upon request by contacting Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671.