How CBD Products Can Lead to a False DWI Charge in Texas
Texas passed a law in 2019 that legalized the sale and use of hemp and its derivative products. The law, in turn, has grown the market for cannabidiol (CBD) products in the state. You may have noticed signs and advertisements for products infused with CBD, such as oils, edibles, and lotions. CBD should not be confused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active ingredient in marijuana, which is still illegal in Texas except for medical use in specific cases. It is legal to drive after having consumed CBD products because it should not impair your driving ability. However, some drug testing labs in Texas admit that their equipment is unable to tell the difference between CBD and THC, which could lead to someone being wrongly charged with driving while intoxicated by marijuana.
Difference Between CBD and THC
People sometimes confuse hemp with marijuana because they both come from the cannabis plant. As the legalization of hemp shows, federal and local governments now recognize that hemp does not pose the same dangers as marijuana. One of the primary differences between hemp and marijuana is the amount of CBD and THC it has. Hemp, by legal definition, has less than 0.03 percent THC, which is not enough to impair a normal person. CBD has the same molecular structure as THC but does not have the psychoactive component that would impair someone.
DWI by Marijuana
Because marijuana is illegal in Texas, the grounds for charging someone with a DWI by marijuana is different than with alcohol:
- A police officer arrests a person on suspicion of DWI because they appear to be legally impaired.
- The officer will attempt to obtain a blood sample in order to determine whether the suspect is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- If the test detects traces of THC, the suspect may be charged with DWI by marijuana.
Texas law does not specify how much THC is needed for a DWI charge, which means that any traces of THC could lead to a charge. This low threshold is a problem if the blood test cannot distinguish CBD from THC.
Contact a San Antonio DWI Defense Lawyer
CBD products have not been tested or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and there is skepticism about whether they are effective in treating chronic pain and other medical conditions. However, there is no debate that you cannot be charged with DWI for having CBD in your body. If you have been charged with a marijuana-based DWI, a San Antonio DWI defense attorney at the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock will investigate whether your drug test results are reliable. To learn more, schedule a free consultation by calling 888-726-5625.