Marijuana continues to be a really hot topic across the country. With its medical and recreational use now being considered legal in a number of states, you probably have the same questions as most people: Can you use CBD products when working? Will it show up in a random drug screen?
And with reports of companies charging truck drivers for using CBD products, there’s another question that needs to be addressed: Can truck drivers use CBD oil?
We’ll get to that later, but first, let’s talk about CBD oil.
What’s the Deal with CBD Oil?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of the compounds you can find in cannabis plants like marijuana and hemp. Compared with tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, another popular compound found in the plant, it’s considered as non-psychoactive.
In the last few years, CBD has been a subject of tons of research and most of them point to the compounds medical benefits. It’s considered a big help in the treatment of anxiety, chronic pain, depression, seizures, arthritis, and even sleeping problems.
Basically, CBD oil is not the same as taking edibles or smoking pot that’s loaded with THC. In fact, CBD oil only has a tiny amount of THC (less than 0.3 percent) that it can’t be a psychoactive substance.
In essence, it means that taking CBD oil won’t get you “high” or cause other symptoms like dry mouth, anxiety, and dizziness. For truck drivers, they mostly use CBD oil to deal with low back issues which is a common occupational hazard for them.
Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil: How Are They Different From Each Other?
Hemp oil and CBD oil are considered as wellness ingredients and they come from the same plant. However, if you take a really close look at these two, you’ll realize that they are actually completely different compounds with different makeups and benefits.
CBD oil is a compound that’s pulled or extracted from the cannabis plant’s stalk. Hemp seed oil, on the other hand, comes from the plant’s seed.
Hemp oil contains omegas 3 and 6. It’s considered to be really moisturizing but technically, it doesn’t possess CBD.
It won’t give you the health benefits CBD is known for. However, because of its moisturizing property, you may find it helpful in soothing atopic dermatitis and its annoying symptoms.
Differentiating the two is a bit tricky as brands try to increase sales by marketing their hemp oils in a way that makes people think that they have CBD. Their strategies may include packaging hemp oil in green bottles or using images that people are likely to associate with marijuana and CBD oils.
Now, because hemp oils don’t contain CBD or even THC, they aren’t likely to get truck drivers into trouble, particularly in routine drug tests.
However, this doesn’t mean that truck drivers using hemp oils are completely safe from failing drug testing.
You see, while it’s true that hemp oil doesn’t contain CBD, there are brands that are true to their claims of including the compound in their products. So, for the safety of truckers, it’s highly recommended that they read the labels of the products they use.
It’s also a big help if they can do further research.
So, Can Truckers Legally Use CBD Oil?
The answer is complicated.
You see, no matter what brand you buy, it will still be a risk. All brands have at least a trace amount of the compound THC.
Because of the extraction process, a lot of CBD oils will contain 0.02% THC or lower. This tiny amount shouldn’t show up on drug tests- unless you’re taking way more than you’re supposed to.
Now, here’s the worrying part.
There are people who failed their drug screen tests after taking CBD oil. These people have no history of marijuana use and the only thing remotely close to it that they used was CBD.
It turns out that with a trace amount of THC, there’s always the possibility of getting a positive.
How’s that possible?
The risks of getting a false positive are related to the inconsistencies that happen during the manufacturing of the CBD products. These inconsistencies make it hard for consumers to determine exactly what they are getting their hands on.
The CBD products you can buy over the counter are actually not approved or even regulated by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA. With that, it’s easy for a company to produce a pseudo cannabis product and put it out on the market.
Believe it or not, there are actually products sold that aren’t even CBD at all.
Another reason you can get a false positive is when you take more than 1,000 milligrams per day. An average CBD user is likely to consume between 120 to 160 milligrams per day. When you take more than the average daily dose, there’s a chance you could fail your test.
This is because THC happens to be fat-soluble. It’s not metabolized right away by the body.
Instead, it’s stored in your fat tissues. As time goes by, your body slowly releases THC and THC metabolites.
So even if you stopped taking it, there’s still a possibility for you to fail the test.
In some cases, the product isn’t the problem. There are simply people who process CBD differently.
Furthermore, drug tests can’t really differentiate if the THC they detected came from marijuana or your CBD oil. With that, truckers don’t have a way to prove that they aren’t using marijuana for recreational purposes.
After getting a positive test, you will need to be evaluated by a substance abuse professional. You will also need to complete the recommended treatment and have negative results on your follow-up tests.
What Should You Do?
If you are selected to undergo a random drug test, it would help if you disclose right away that you are using CBD oil. You should also tell the authorities what ailments you are using it for.
Also, since the quality of the product is a factor for getting a false positive, you should be very careful where you purchase your CBD products.
As much as possible, find a reputable dealer and company that you can trust. Don’t just rely on recommendations and reviews but read the hard facts, too.
Usually, you’ll find what a product contains in its label. Plus, reputable brands usually post the complete details of their products publicly.
As a truck driver, you have to determine for yourself if the risk of taking CBD oils is worth it. While there’s a possibility for you to get a false positive on drug testing, it’s still important to note that this CBD product does come with benefits you may not always get from prescription medications.
To prevent misunderstanding, drivers should attend proper training. It should cover the trace amounts of the compound THC that may show up in a drug test.
It should also be clear that a positive drug test won’t accept the use of CBD oil as a valid excuse.
As a driver, you should be careful about what you put inside your truck. You see, law enforcers may consider the presence of CBD oil in your vehicle as possession. The penalties for drug possession vary per state.
Things To Consider If You Get A False Positive Result
One of the first things you need to do is to talk to your employer. Take all the documents from your doctor that will prove that you’re just taking CBD oil to address a certain health issue.
If that doesn’t work, talk to your HR department. Ask them about what you should do. They should be able to help you out because CBD, unlike marijuana, is now considered legal on a federal level.
If it has been weeks since you stopped using CBD oil or if you don’t take it frequently and you still failed the test, you may ask for a retest.
Although CBD oil offers a handful of benefits to truck drivers, using it to obtain relief from specific health issues is risky. This is because of the possibility of getting a false positive in a random DOT drug test.
If you really need to use it, make sure that you know exactly what you are using. Read product labels but make sure that they aren’t the only factor you consider when determining the quality of your CBD product.
Do your research and find reputable brands to buy your oils from. Don’t hesitate to ask any question related to your product as it will greatly affect your career. Questions to ask may include THC level, source, and recommended daily dose for your ailment.