Can Truck Drivers Use CBD Oil?
CBD can ease many health concerns that truck drivers are dealing with, including pain, sleep problems, and anxiety.
Since CBD is legal on a federal level, many drivers are wondering if they can include it in their daily supplementation plan without having to worry about potential road controls.
Since CBD is non-intoxicating, the simple answer is: yes, they can. But since not all CBD is created equal, let’s elaborate on what kind of CBD oil is appropriate for truck drivers.
Why do Truck Drivers need CBD?
Truck driving is a typical yet demanding job. It requires a lot of focus, and if there is ever a chance to make a driver feel a little better than usual, it’s only logical for them to grab hold of the opportunity.
CBD oil seems to be able to help with numerous negative impacts of truck driving. Here’s why drivers use cannabidiol:
Combating Sleep Disorders
Sleep deprivation is one of the common issues for truck drivers. It happens as a result of their irregular sleeping pattern.
Some days, they drive for long hours without sleep. Sometimes, drivers can only take short sleep breaks for a few consecutive days.
So, when they finally get their days off, they may find it difficult to adjust back to sleeping at night. According to a study, 20.6% of truck drivers suffer from a chronic sleep disorder. When left unattended, this sleep disorder may eventually lead to other physiological issues or affect their mental health.
A 2007 study showed that CBD can help people fall asleep faster and spend more time in the deep sleep stage. Using CBD while you are off work as a truck driver can provide you with immediate relaxation, thereby ensuring longer resting hours before returning to work for your next shift.
Driving long distances for hours may cause pain, tension, muscle strains, and other types of discomfort. This rigorous driving is what most truck drivers do every other day, and as such, they are more prone to body aches and soreness. A study has found CBD to offer benefits for pain reduction due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Using CBD may help truck drivers relax their muscles and reduce inflammation, therefore making them as comfortable as they can be while they go about doing their job.
Inducing a State Of Calmness
Most truck drivers suffer from depression and anxiety, and there is proof of this in a 2012 research. The research states that 26.9% of truck drivers are depressed, while 14.5% suffer from anxiety. These mental health issues are not a good state of mind for someone who’s behind wheels, traveling major roads. Truck drivers that aren’t in full control of their emotions can pose a threat to other drivers on the road.
That is another reason why truck users should use CBD oil. A 2014 study claims CBD helps to induce a state of calmness because of its ability to increase serotonin levels, serving as an antidepressant.
Reducing Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (HBP) is another major health problem associated with truck drivers. They are susceptible to HBP because of the unhealthy nature of their job. These factors range from sitting in the same position for a long time to eating more fast food as they’re on the road most of the time and don’t have the luxury of eating proper meals.
Research on CBD has discovered that it has a lot of cardiovascular benefits, including the ability to reduce blood pressure. CBD helps regulate blood pressure by protecting the arteries from inflammation. It also reduces fluid retention and relaxes the blood vessels.
Is it Safe to Use CBD and Drive?
CBD is a non-intoxicating compound, so unlike THC, it won’t get you high and impair your ability to drive a vehicle. The only type of CBD oil that contains trace amounts of THC is the full-spectrum extract. However, it only contains 0.3% of THC, which isn’t enough to induce intoxication.
That being said, you shouldn’t take large doses of CBD right before entering the truck because large doses can make you feel dizzy and sedated. If you’re tested for THC at work, make sure to choose broad-spectrum or isolate-based products. These types of CBD are completely THC-free.
CBD Dosage: How Much CBD Should Truck Drivers Take?
There is no standard dose for CBD. The ideal CBD dosage depends on factors such as body weight, body chemistry, and the concentration of the product you want to use.
If you are using CBD as a truck driver, you should consider your schedule before deciding on the dose. If your shift is on or close, you should use a little to moderate amount to avoid the risk of drowsiness while driving. If it falls on off days, you can go ahead and use adequate quantities to help maximize the benefits.
Will CBD Make You Fail a Drug Test?
Truck drivers, due to the nature of their job, are frequently tested for drugs, and as such, questions may arise as to whether it is okay for them to use CBD.
Generally speaking, CBD alone won’t make you fail a drug test. If you don’t take extremely large amounts of full-spectrum CBD, such as 2000 mg daily, it shouldn’t result in a false positive score for THC.
Nevertheless, the CBD market is still unregulated by the FDA, so no official body supervises the production and labeling of CBD products. There are many mislabeled CBD oils on the market; some of them contain less CBD than advertised, while others have THC levels exceeding legal limits.
Buying from an unverified source may cause you to take more THC than you think — and thus lead to a failed drug test.
Always make sure that you know exactly how much CBD and THC is in your product. You can do it by reading the product’s certificate of analysis. This document should be available on your vendor’s website.
In conclusion, we can not simply answer yes or no when asked if truck drivers can use CBD oil because it’s a bit complicated. The answer can be no, in the sense that truck drivers are to stay entirely away from anything that may have tetrahydrocannabinol in it. Such may include marijuana-derived CBD or a full-spectrum hemp-derived CBD oil.
In the same vein, the answer can be yes as long as the truck driver is careful enough to use only the right kind of CBD — broad-spectrum or isolate CBD products, or a little dose of full-spectrum CBD.
The timing and dose are the other essential factors. High doses of CBD may promote dizziness and sedation, so it’s better to use CBD oil when you’re off your shift if your situation requires taking large amounts of this cannabinoid.
Last but not least, always make sure that your CBD oil comes from a trusted source that provides batch-specific lab reports for its products. Only then can you rest assured that your product doesn’t contain more THC than approved by the federal government.
- Mona, S., Yorghos, A., Chad, C., Sevil, S., Caitlin, F. Trucking organization and mental health disorders of truck driving. 2012. 
- Kimberly, A, Babson., James, S., Danielle, M. Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and sleep: a Review of the literature. 2017.
- Ethan, B, R., Geoffrey, W, G., Phillip, J, R. Cannabis, pain, and sleep: Lessons from therapeutic clinical trials of sativex, a cannabis-based medicine. 2007. 
- Hammell, D, C., Zhang, L, P., Ma, F., Abshire, S, M., Mcllrath, S, L., Stinchcomb, A, L., Westlund, K, N. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviors in a rat model of arthritis. 2015. 
- Khalid, A, J., Garry, D, T., Saoirse, E, O. A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study. 2017. 
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
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Can truck drivers use CBD oil?
CBD products became highly sought after in the U.S. by so many people since the Farm Bill was signed into law in 2018. Truckers are no exception; most truck drivers use CBD to remedy pains from occupational hazards.
CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a compound found in Cannabis Sativa like marijuana and hemp. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive (it won’t get you high or make you feel euphoric). That, plus its numerous claimed health benefits, has made CBD products the go-to drug among most people in America to relieve stress, treat anxiety and depression, etc.
The cannabis plant, although being recognized at the federal level and legal in most U.S. states (apart from South Dakota, Iowa, and Idaho.), and medical practitioners recommending the use of hemp oil or CBD oil as a natural and better alternative to pain meds, antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, sleeping pills, etc. Many truck drivers are still uncertain if they should indulge in using CBD oil to alleviate certain health issues developed from work.
I would downright say, “yea use CBD oil, only if a physician recommends.” As a licensed truck driver in the U.S., the use of any cannabis product might pose a risk to your job, even if lab test results confirm a legal 0.3% amount of THC. CBD oil also has its cons.
Is CBD Oil legal for CDL drivers?
Yes! It is legal for CDL drivers or anyone really, to use CBD oil. Provided the producer is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The purchased product contains less THC than the legal 0.3% count set by the FDA, or exactly 0.3% THC amount. Anything higher is a red flag. Do not purchase or use.
However, The Department of Transportation (DOT), in a compliance notice released last year on its website, warned truck drivers and other safety-sensitive drivers of the potential risk they put themselves in by using hemp-derived products. This is due to mislabeling on some CBD products. These products tend to contain a higher concentration of CBD and THC than labeled. And can have a different effect on the body than intended. An extreme side effect could also occur in some people.
The Department of Transportation drug-and-alcohol test is a major concern for all CDL drivers that wish to indulge in CBD oil. The testing regulation does not authorize the use of Schedule 1 drugs, including marijuana, for any purpose, and CBD use is not a valid medical explanation for a laboratory-confirmed marijuana positive result.
“Therefore, medical review officers will verify a drug test confirmed at the appropriate cutoffs as positive, even if an employee claims they only used a CBD product,” DOT said.
Is it legal for CDL drivers to use CBD oil? Yes. Is it advisable for CDL drivers to use CBD oil? No! The DOT test can’t detect CBD because a hemp-derived product still contains little traces of marijuana in it. Even the legal THC count of 0.3% contained in CBD oil will still test marijuana positive in a DOT drug-and-alcohol test, which will cause the driver in question to lose his job.
There also is the issue of claims that some CBD products contain a higher amount of THC than labeled on the product. CBD oils that contain THC higher than 0.3% might defeat the medicinal and recreational purpose, which may cause psychoactive effects and side effects.
Bottom line, CDL drivers can use all CBD products that contain less than 0.3 amounts of THC or exactly 0.3 THC and not feel like a criminal, unless in Iowa, Idaho, and South Dakota.
Truck drivers in medical prescription possession may not face any penalty for drug administration, using CBD products. The mandated drug tests won’t result in THC free due to DOT drug test unavailability to detect cannabidiol CBD. This may result in a driver’s suspension.
Can Truck drivers use CBD oil in Canada?
Cannabis plants are highly legal in Canada since the Canadian government passed the Cannabis Act bill in 2018. Cannabis plants are cultivated for medicinal and recreational purposes, alongside hemp plants, from which CBD is extracted. Although the Canadian government strictly regulates Marijuana production and Marijuana use, same with hemp plants. Drug policy in Canada is different from the United States.
Canadian workers are generally protected from random drug tests under the Human Rights Code violation/infringement of privacy rights . Drug testing may be allowed in some limited circumstances. Should a truck driver be mandated to drive in the U.S. as part of a job requirement? The motor carrier may drug test the driver in compliance with U.S. regulations.
Some events may require a truck driver to drug test using the Oral Fluid Testing (a test used to trace amounts of THC, Cocaine, and Meth in the body), though this test is not mandatory for truck drivers.
A Police officer can conduct a drug evaluation with approved drug screening equipment on a truck driver based on reasonable suspicions that a driver may be impaired and unfit to drive. A positive drug test can lead to immediate driving license suspension and impaired criminal charges.
Whether truck drivers in Canada may or may not indulge in using CBD oil has no straight answer. The hemp and Marijuana plant, although regulated by the Federal government, is legal. This makes most CBD products legal product in Canada; hence truck drivers have nothing to fear legally while using CBD oil to treat certain health issues they incurred for long hours of work. As long the CBD oil is purchased from authorized dispensaries.
No random drug testing by the government hints at truck drivers being able to use CBD oil for medicinal purposes only. Truckers that operate within the U.S. may not be able to use CBD oil, as truck drivers will be required to undergo drug tests according to U.S. regulations.
An employer may not accommodate recreational use of Cannabis products or hemp products. Safety-sensitive workers are not permitted to engage in marijuana use. Hemp product is allowed, and for medicinal purposes only.
Zero-tolerance drug policy in Ontario may hinder most truck drivers from CBD use. The policy, however, doesn’t affect truck drivers with legal permission to indulge in medical cannabis. Provided there was no CBD use on the road or impaired driving, or there shall be legal consequences if caught. One thing to note about Ontario’s policy, your privacy rights may be overridden. You may be pulled over and tested by Police officers with suspicions of impaired. A truck driver’s career might be hanging on a cliff should a drug screen.
Bottom line, truck drivers in Canada can indulge in hemp oil or CBD oil for medicinal purposes and not recreational. Consuming CBD products that don’t contain less than 0.3 THC may leave you impaired while driving and endanger the road.
Most trucker drivers use CBD oils already in Canada, some before and after taking the wheel, in some cases the latter. Canadian truck drivers rarely encounter strict drug policy, a result of the Cannabis Act. Unlike truckers being heavily monitored in the U.S., the opposite is the case in Canada. Truck drivers use CBD products at their convenience. Thanks to the Human Rights Code, truckers are not subject to random drug tests.
Although it’s a zero-tolerance drug policy, Ontario cannot prosecute a trucker for possession of legally prescribed CBD products or it’s usage, provided no issue of impairment occurs. The U.S. regulates drugs differently for all truckers operating within its states. One policy is high sobriety demand. All truckers are required to be THC free. Trace amounts of THC will appear on a drug screen instead of cannabidiol CBD contained in CBD oil.
Health issues plague truckers all over the U.S. and Canada due to a very physical, mental, and emotionally demanding job. Truckers often develop health issues like Smoking addiction, body pains, Hypertension, Depression, Lung Cancer, etc. It’s no surprise an alarming number of truckers indulge in CBD products to treat numerous health challenges.
In search of a natural and better alternative to industrial drugs, CBD oil has become a trend among people of different occupations (truckers inclusive). It’s claimed health benefits like pain and stress relief, treatment of disorders, fixing heart issues and tobacco addiction, regulating insulin, curing depression and anxiety. All other benefits are reasons why drivers use CBD oil.
Can Truck Drivers Use CBD Oil? Can They Lose Their CDL?
With the federal government legalizing hemp cultivation and the use of Cannabidiol (CBD) products across the US, the use of this non-psychoactive cannabinoid has become quite popular. People use it for a variety of therapeutic purposes at any time of the day they deem fit.
But is ANY time of the day suitable for using CBD oil? What if you’re driving or working heavy machinery? What if you’re driving a heavy vehicle – like a truck?
If you’re a truck driver or the owner of a fleet, you’ve reached the right page.
Before we get started, make sure the carrier company you work for allows CBD use.
Is CBD good for truck drivers?
Across the nation, reports keep pouring in of carrier companies letting go of truck drivers, who failed their drug tests, even though they had used CBD products.
Mind you, drug tests DO NOT look for CBD. The only cannabis-based substance they test for is THC, the psychedelic component that alters one’s judgment, especially if he’s a truck driver.
CBD, the non-psychoactive chemical compound derived from cannabis plants, has gained much popularity among truck drivers, owing to its immense therapeutic value, including chronic pain and inflammation caused by sitting on his seat for hours at stretch, anxiety, and depression, caused by being on the road for days, nerve pain, alertness while driving, insomnia in old age due to staying awake most nights. Truckers also fall prey to substance abuse that CBD has been known to help with too.
CBD won’t make you feel “high” or experience any of the other weed-related side-effects, like anxiety, drowsiness, dizziness, or dry mouth. Legal CBD oils contain very little THC – as little as 0.3% by dry weight.
Staying on the Safe Side…
CBD oils are readily available at pharmacies, gas stations, and even truck stops. Since the CBD industry is largely unregulated, not all over-the-counter CBD oils are safe to ensure you pass a drug test, which is essential if you hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
To be eligible for employment by carriers, all CDL drivers have been put under the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse scanner that came into effect in January 2020, bringing with it a battery of regulations, relating to substance and alcohol abuse that you must steer away from to ensure continued employment.
Mind you, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any CBD products, except Epidiolex, a form of oral CBD spray used to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome, or Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC). It has warned against the use of unverified CBD products, owing to the lack of sufficient information regarding their safety.
Safety Guidelines for Truck Drivers Using CBD
While CBD oil has a better safety profile than most other drugs and medications, it still has a few side-effects, like fatigue, drowsiness, irritability, nausea, diarrhea, lowering of blood pressure, or loss of appetite.
These effects, adverse as they might be, aren’t as severe or common as those caused by other drugs or medications. Only when taken in massively high doses can CBD pose such threats.
Nevertheless, the effects of any cannabinoid (especially since it’s largely unregulated) aren’t exact. People experience CBD’s effects differently, depending on their body type, weight, age, gender, medical conditions, among other variables. Besides, CBD tends to interact with other drugs during its breakdown.
It’s generally advisable for people to consult a doctor, preferably one who is acquainted with cannabis medicine, before trying it for the first time.
If you do overdose on CBD, which is highly unlikely, and experience any of the above-mentioned side-effects, it would be best for you to not turn up for work. Stay put for the night and sleep it off.
Research puts the recommended dosage at 100-800 milligrams per day. Some studies also allow doses up to 1200 mg a day to 1500 mg a day. For an average-sized human being, weighing around 75 kg (
165 lbs), you need roughly 18,750 mg (18.75 g) of CBD taken within a very short span to produce a lethal dose.
The laws around cannabis sale and use vary from state to state.
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has recently warned drivers of severe repercussions if they failed their drug tests.
While clarifying that the tests DO NOT LOOK FOR CBD, it has added: “The labeling of many CBD products may be misleading because the products could contain higher levels of THC than what the product label states.”
It also made it amply clear that the department’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations doesn’t “authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason.”
On failing a drug test, truckers will not be excused ‘for using CBD oil’. DOT’s recent Drug and Alcohol Policy & Compliance Notice states: “CBD use is not a legitimate medical explanation for a laboratory-confirmed marijuana positive result. Therefore, Medical Review Officers will verify a drug test confirmed at the appropriate cutoffs as positive, even if an employee claims they only used a CBD product.”
As a CDL holder, you’ll be required to take numerous drug tests throughout your life. So, here are a couple of scenarios that you may encounter regarding CBD oils:
Scenario 1: You are a truck driver undergoing treatment using medical marijuana (with THC levels above 0.3%) and you have a Medical Marijuana Card. You are legally within your rights to use it, but you WILL fail your drug test nonetheless. You’re not legally permitted to drive a heavy vehicle while on medical marijuana, anyway!
Scenario 2: You’re a truck driver who consumes CBD oil that has less than 0.3% THC. You could:
- Test negative on your drug test, which is great for you as you can walk away with your job and CDL intact.
- Test positive on the drug test, in which case you could potentially lose your job and your license to drive a commercial vehicle – possibly even forever.
Now, even if you pass your drug test, and you get caught carrying any CBD product on your person while at work, you could still jeopardize your job, i.e. if you’re in a state, where carrying or consuming CBD products is illegal.
On the other hand, if you fail the drug test, despite using a CBD product (with <0.3% THC), you must be wondering how it happened?
There could be 3 possible scenarios:
- You consumed a very high dose of CBD oil right before the test, thus increasing the overall THC content in your system.
- Your CBD product may contain THC levels that’s higher than what’s declared.
- Some people do end up getting a false-negative on their test results after using CBD products.
What Happens When A Trucker Tests Positive?
- You could be taken out of your job and sent for evaluation by a substance abuse professional (SAP). On successful completion of the evaluation, you could return to your job, if you’re found medically fit to drive a heavy vehicle.
- You could end up on the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse database, in which case, you’ll have a harder time getting employed as a trucker again.
- You may be forced to shell out hefty fines if you’re caught with a CBD product in certain states/by certain carrier companies.
Here are a few things, truckers should do to ensure they don’t get caught or fail a drug test: