New Virginia Field Test Distinguishes CBD-dominant Hemp from THC-dominant Marijuana

Virginia is one of the first states that is able to tell hemp from marijuana in the field. The Virginia Department of Forensic Science purchased 16,150 kits that accomplish this and is distributing them to law enforcement agencies in the state.  The officer in the field will first use the existing test, the “Duquenois-Levine field test”, to determine if suspect plant material is actually cannabis. (Hemp and marijuana are two different forms of cannabis.) The new test will then be used to determine whether the cannabis is hemp or marijuana.  The video below was produced to instruct local law enforcement agencies in the process.

Interestingly, North Carolina has taken a totally different approach to the problem of distinguishing hemp from marijuana.  They simply outlawed “smokable hemp.”  The new North Carolina law could go into effect in December of 2020.  Hemp was made federally legal with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.  Virginia and North Carolina have diverged politically in recent years, and this different approach to a Federally legal plant highlights these differences.

These new test kits are not perfect.  There is no way to tell what will happen if they test the new CBG hemp flower (which contains no CBD and a tiny amount of THC). There is no test for CBG “plant material.”  Hemp may be a moving target as new cannabinoids are targeted by seed companies, but the Virginia test kits are a step forward – especially compared to North Carolina’s approach. If prohibition is overturned this may be a moot point in the future.

Is it Safe to Travel with CBD?

Two grandmothers were arrested recently for carrying CBD oil in their luggage.  Drug possession charges were dropped in both cases, but only after the women were charged and taken to jail.  The 2018 Farm Bill was supposed to make hemp-derived products legal throughout the United States, but some states and localities are still treating CBD as a
controlled substance.  What should you do if you are traveling?  Here are some things to try:

Airport traveler

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

  • Take pills instead of CBD oil if you are flying.  Many CBD “liqui-gels” look just like vitamin E supplements.  Divide doses of medications and supplements into small bags or those AM/PM containers. It is unlikely that anyone will test everything in your luggage.  If you don’t take vitamins consider taking some just for the trip so that the CBD doesn’t stand out.
  • Consider gummies.  These also blend in nicely with vitamin gummies or they can be tucked into a small plastic bag in your luggage.   Since they are not liquid they don’t attract attention like a bottle of oil. Suck on the gummy before chewing it in order to get some sublingual absorption.
  • Look for small containers labeled “hemp oil” if you have some confidence that they contain CBD,   CBDistillery oils, for example, are labeled “Hemp Supplement” and “full spectrum hemp extract” even though “CBD” is in the brand. Avoid traveling with homemade oils and handwritten labels.
  • Consider taking a break from CBD.  Sometimes this is a good way to discover whether it is really helping as much as you think.  There are no withdrawal symptoms. CBD is not addictive.

Do you have tips to share?  Do you disagree with me?  Please comment below to share your ideas.