If you are traveling with your CBD oil, you might be concerned that drug dogs could sniff out your product. Is this concern warranted? We take a look. Change in state law brings an uncertain future for Ohio’s drug dogs, who can’t be retrained to stop reacting to marijuana and hemp, which smell identical. The smelling power of dogs is so great that they can sniff just about everything. It’s also why they make the perfect companions for police searching for many
Do Drug Dogs Smell CBD? [ANSWERED]
The world we live in today is extremely confusing when it comes to cannabis and its derivatives, like CBD. Each state has different laws and regulations, and many still use drug dogs to detect weed. So what happens if you are carrying CBD oil on you? Are drug dogs able to smell CBD?
Dogs provide some of the most reliable and useful tools in the war against drugs and terror in the United States. They form an integral part of law enforcement and protection services. Drug dogs are often put to work at airports, traffic stops, and public events. They are trained to detect specific scents related to guns, machinery, people, and drugs. Now that CBD is becoming extremely popular, many consumers are left wondering if dogs can smell CBD.
If you’re traveling to another state and are thinking about taking your CBD with you, you need to exercise caution. As you probably already know, the legality surrounding CBD is very complex, and there’s no clear answer regarding whether you are allowed to travel with CBD.
Technically, it depends on where the CBD is derived from. If it’s hemp-derived, it should be legal. However, even then, your semi-legal bottle of CBD oil may be confiscated. In some cases, arrests have been made.
How Are Drug Dogs Trained?
Before looking at the issue of whether drug dogs can smell CBD, it’s good to understand how drug dogs work. Many dogs are highly intelligent animals that can follow commands with proper training and do a variety of tricks. Typical drug-sniffing dogs include German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Belgian Malinois, and Weimaraners.
Similar to people, drug dogs have a job that requires consistent work. Once enrolled, they are constantly training with their human partners. The path to reaching the top level can be a very long one. Drug-sniffing dog breeders can begin training and testing puppies as young as six weeks old.
After selection, the puppy will spend the next few months going through daily training routines with officers until it’s ready for service in the field. The service life of dogs in this line of work is typically eight or nine years.
Dogs that are trained to detect drugs are highly specialized. They spend several years training to smell very specific terpenes in cannabis. These terpenes include caryophyllene, beta-caryophyllene, and pinene.
CBD products that are free of THC don’t contain high levels of these terpenes – unless they are somehow injected into the product. But, keep in mind that levels of terpenes may vary between hemp-extracted CBD brands.
Can Drug Dogs Smell CBD?
Technically, yes, drug dogs could be trained to detect CBD. But don’t freak out just yet. Take note of the phrase “can be trained to detect CBD.” This means that handlers would have to dedicate a lot of their time towards training them to smell CBD – which isn’t likely.
It’s even less likely considering that reports from last year stated that many drug dogs would be going into retirement due to the legal status of marijuana. Basically, K9 unit dogs that can detect marijuana are being retired because they are unable to tell the difference between medical and recreational substances. For both of these reasons, it’s highly unlikely that a drug-sniffing dog will detect CBD.
However, you do need to worry when you are traveling or flying to a place where CBD is illegal. The 2018 Farm Bill now allows for each state to manage CBD as they see fit, which means that you need to check your state’s law, as well as the laws of the state you are traveling to.
Drug dogs are able to smell 10,000 to 100,000 times better than humans. This means they can pretty much smell anything given the proper training. However, recent reports suggest that drug dogs these days are typically trained to primarily detect hard drugs or dangerous bombs, and not necessarily marijuana.
Furthermore, as we’ve already touched on, drug dogs are trained to smell caryophyllene oxide and beta-caryophyllene, which is found in most cannabis strains. However, in CBD-heavy hemp tinctures, it’s present in miniscule amounts – amounts that most dogs would likely glance over. Unless, of course, you happen to be carrying a whole bag full of something. With just one or two bottles of CBD oil, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about.
How Accurate Are Drug Dogs?
Drug dogs are not always as accurate as you might think. One study reports this by testing various dog breeds against illegal substances with their handlers to determine how quickly (if at all) they can detect the substances.
They used 68 Labrador Retrievers, 61 German Shepherds, 25 Terriers, and 10 English Cocker Spaniels to determine their results. Most of the drug dogs were able to detect the substances quickly and efficiently. However, 5.3% were false accusations.
When it comes to the war on drugs, thousands of innocent people have been wrongfully convicted. As you can imagine, several of these arrests are bound to be the result of a K9 falsely detecting drugs and the officer going along with it.
But fortunately, drug dogs are starting to retire for marijuana purposes – as we’ve already mentioned. And since CBD is non-psychoactive, law enforcement is not spending time and money on training dogs to look for it.
Final Thoughts on Whether Drug Dogs Can Detect CBD
Drug dogs are highly trained, powerful tools used by law enforcement and police officers. They are often used but don’t typically react to hemp-extracted CBD products because the levels of terpenes in these products are usually so small that the dogs are not interested.
However, there is still always the possibility that a drug dog will detect the presence of CBD. For this reason, it’s crucial to check the laws and regulations surrounding CBD before you travel.
Is it hemp or is it pot? Drug dogs can’t say
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? And is it worth it to try?
Those are questions police departments across the state will be forced to ask themselves, now that Ohio’s new hemp-legalization law has cast a cloud over drug-sniffing dogs’ ability to provide “probable cause” to conduct drug searches.
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Because marijuana and hemp are both from the cannabis plant and smell identical, dogs can’t tell the difference, so both the Ohio Highway Patrol and the Columbus Division of Police are suspending marijuana-detection training for new police dogs to uncomplicate probable cause issues in court.
“The decision to stop imprinting narcotic detection canines with the odor of marijuana was based on several factors,” including that the “odor of marijuana and the odor of hemp are the same,” said Highway Patrol spokesman Staff Lt. Craig Cvetan.
Once a dog has been trained to detect a certain narcotic, they can’t be retrained to stop reacting to that odor, Cvetan said. As for the 31 narcotic-detection canines currently deployed by the patrol, “we are evaluating what impact the hemp legislation may have.”
Most dogs are trained to hit on more than one drug — including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. But they react the same way no matter which drug they smell, Cvetan said.
That means officers have no idea if the dog is hitting on legal hemp or heroin, said Dan Sabol, a Columbus criminal-defense lawyer.
“It’s very problematic for probable cause,” Sabol said.
Sabol compared the situation to a dog trained to detect both illegal drugs and fast food, with police using any dog hits on either as the probable cause to search someone on suspicion of illegal drugs.
“Do you think that would be sufficient to conduct a search?” Sabol said. “Of course not.”
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution establishes the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” requiring probable cause, or sufficient knowledge to believe that someone is committing a crime, before police can conduct a search.
“From a practical standpoint, (marijuana) is the vast majority of hits,” Sabol said. “That’s the most commonly used drug of abuse — or maybe not of ‘abuse,’ depending on the circumstances now.”
Those new circumstances include that about 45,000 people in Ohio have received a recommendation from a doctor to use medical marijuana.
In a memo sent Wednesday to his officers, interim Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said the department’s “K-9 units will be releasing new policies and procedures so we limit hits on cars that might be THC based. I had already directed the next 2 K-9s we train will not be certified to alert on THC.”
Quinlan’s memo was in response to Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein announcing Wednesday that he will no longer prosecute misdemeanor marijuana possession citations, citing an inability of crime labs to distinguish hemp from marijuana. All pending cases were dismissed.
Klein’s office laid down new rules on searches in a memo sent to police on Wednesday, including that “a vehicle may not be searched solely because a K-9 trained to alert to marijuana, alerted to the vehicle.”
If a police officer smells “suspected burning marijuana,” this is still probable cause for a search, because “it is exceedingly unlikely anyone is smoking hemp,” the memo said. But “if the person claims they are smoking hemp,” the officer should assess the totality of the circumstances.
And when police officers smell what they think is raw pot, “this is far more legally problematic because there is no way for an officer to discern between the odor of raw marijuana and the odor of raw hemp.” Therefore, an officer smelling raw cannabis alone is no longer probable cause for a search, Klein’s office advised, noting that these are all “legal guesses,” as “there is no relevant case law in Ohio.”
Rebecca Gilbert, search teams coordinator with the K9 Global Training Academy in Somerset, Texas, said retraining police dogs to stop giving hits on cannabis, while possible, wouldn’t be cheap or easy — and depending on the dog, might not work at all.
Basically, trainers would have to stop using positive prompts as rewards for finding pot — after a dog has already been raised to believe that is a very positive thing to find, she said.
“A dog that’s been trained on marijuana for a couple years, it’s going to be very hard,” Gilbert said. “That initial odor that they’ve been trained to use, that’s embedded.”
During a recent training session where dogs searched lockers at a Texas high school, one of Gilbert’s pot-sniffing dogs hit on CBD oil, she said. The hemp law made CBD legal in Ohio and it is being sold at gas stations and other retailers in Columbus.
Police dogs are going to be detecting these legal products because if a dog can pick out 2 grams of marijuana in a car, “imagine 45 bales of (hemp) in an 18-wheeler,” Gilbert said.
Quinlan’s memo went into other problems with Ohio’s hemp law in addition to the dog-training issue.
Under the new state law, cannabis that is less than 0.3% THC, the intoxicating ingredient, is now considered legal hemp, which until 1937 was routinely used to make rope, clothing and other products. Columbus police do not currently have equipment to test the level of THC, so they can’t currently say what is hemp and what isn’t.
“The equipment needed to conduct this test costs $250,000,” Quinlan wrote in his memo. “Doesn’t make sense for a $10 citation,” the new Columbus fine for less than 3.5 ounces of pot.
Can Dogs Smell CBD Oil? (All You Need to Know)
The smelling power of dogs is so great that they can sniff just about everything. It’s also why they make the perfect companions for police searching for many things. However, it begs the question of to what extent they can smell. Can they even smell something such as CBD Oil? Thus, it begs the question:
Can dogs smell CBD oil? The short answer is yes. Dogs can smell CBD oil, and they can sense it through a few sniffs. Since they have a great sense of smell than us, they can detect such items even at a distance. It makes them perfect companions for police in search of similar items.
CBD means Cannabidiol, and it’s a product derived from cannabis. CBD is one of the chemicals naturally found in marijuana plants. Unlike THC, CBD oil doesn’t create a ‘high’ effect. For this reason, it’s famous oil used for health purposes.
In this article, we’ll tackle everything you need to know about CBD and how dogs can sense it.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Do drug dogs smell CBD oil?
Like other dogs, drug dogs can smell CBD oil, and it’s something they can get trained on as a task. Since police trains drug dogs to detect drugs, it’s no surprise that they can accomplish the task with ease.
CBD oil in all forms is easy to detect by drug dogs. The oil has a concentrated scent, just like all other typical oil. It would be possible to do so with a dog’s smelling power.
The Transport Security Administration (TSA) has drug dogs sniffing around to check similar items.
CBD Oil is a standard tool to relieve some health complications. Thus, you won’t have to worry about dogs detecting such. Still, it would be best to determine your state’s regulation to be sure.
Can police dogs smell CBD oil in your system?
Unlike drug dogs, police dogs usually get trained to smell bombs and not drugs. Thus, it’s not likely that they’ll detect CBD oil in you.
According to police dog handlers and customs officials, drug dogs get trained to detect two to five different substances.
If police or customs dog gets trained to smell cannabis or CBD, they can smell it in all containers. Thus, it’s also likely that the dogs would detect CBD oil in your system.
Still, CBD Oil is more relief for complications than a restricted drug. For this reason, you don’t have to worry if a dog finds such a thing.
Another thing to note is that CBD in liquid form and mixed with vape juice is still detectable. Drug dogs can sniff different odors.
For instance, we smell mixed substance as a new substance. For dogs, they can smell the individual components combined into it.
How far away can a drug dog smell CBD oil?
Dogs have more smell receptors than humans. Thus, their smelling power is so much more than ours.
In general, a dog can smell 10,000 to 100,000 times better than us. Since dogs have that strong smell, they can smell as scents as far as we can. Moreover, they can detect certain odors through intense training methods.
Now, how far they can smell depends on many factors. Among these factors are their breed, training, and even the conditions they smell.
For instance, Bloodhounds have at least 300 million scent receptors in their noses. German Shepherds or Beagles have about 225 million. Still, despite the breed, most dogs can recognize illicit compounds.
Since CBD oil has a strong scent, dogs can likely pick it up even from a few sniffs.
In general, they have more chances to pick up smells if more air passes through their nose. Under perfect conditions, they can smell objects or people as far as 20km away.
What do dogs do when they smell CBD oil?
Dogs can smell things tens or hundreds of thousands of times better than us. Thus, they can smell things from afar.
Since this capacity often gets used by the authorities, they trained them to create some signals to inform officers.
While the drug-detecting abilities can depend on the dog breed, any dog reacts quite the same.
Among the things dogs do when they smell things are the following. Thus, if dogs smell CBD oil, they may also do the same things.
- Jumping up
- Paw raised
- Ears up
- Pawing at the object or location
- Standing in front of the object
- Touching their nose to the location
Dogs have a great sense of smell, and it can be thousands of times better than ours. For this reason, they are great companions to officers seeking drugs and even bombs.
On the other hand, CBD oil, whatever the purpose, has a strong scent that is easy to detect by drug dogs. Even if mixed with different scents, dogs can still sense it.
While CBD oil is legal for states, it’s still better to ensure your state’s regulations regarding the use of such. This way, you can be confident that you won’t have any problems dealing with such.