Are CBD Products An Issue For CMV Drivers?
For physical exam determinations, CBD products are not considered to be an illegal substance. The use of CBD oils and creams is not disqualifying. Generally speaking, a driver using CBD products can be certified to drive. However, the use of marijuana, prescribed or otherwise is always disqualifying.
CBD Products Are Generally Safe, But Caution Should Be Used
There is a chance that the use of a CBD product will cause a positive result for marijuana on a DOT drug test. It is up to the driver if they want to take the risk but they should be warned.
Can CBD Show Up As Marijuana On A Drug Test?
CBD products contain a minute amount of THC (Marijuana), so it shouldn’t show up as THC in a drug test. However, it is possible for a CBD user to get a positive drug test result. This is more likely to occur if the CBD product is taken orally. It is far less likely if used topically.
A Positive DOT Drug Test Result for THC Will Cause Temporary Downgrade of CDL License
The driver is required to be evaluated by a DOT-Accredited Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and successfully complete a recovery program (if deemed necessary by the SAP) before being medically qualified to drive.
The Best Way To Handle CBD Use Regarding DOT Physicals
Medical examiners should caution drivers about the risk of having a positive result on a drug test. Medical examiners may want to conduct a Non-DOT drug test to verify that the driver will not get a positive result when obtaining a DOT drug test. Drivers should know that although the test was negative, there is no guarantee a future test will produce the same result.
Work with a TeamCME Medical Examiner to provide a Driver Helpful® CDL Physical. They will help guide you through the process of keeping and obtaining your CDL medical card in the safest way possible.
How Indiana’s Legalization of CBD Oil Will Impact Workplace Drug Testing
On March 21, 2018, Senate Enrolled Act 52 was signed into law (Public Law 153), legalizing the sale and use of cannabis-derived CBD oil (with a THC level of 0.3 percent or lower) throughout Indiana. The Act’s passage raises new questions for both employers and employees, including on the interplay between the legalization of CBD oil and workplace drug testing.
The Basics on Drug Testing in Indiana
Many Indiana employers have drug testing policies in place. Benefits include the creation of a safe workplace, enhanced product quality, performance management and productivity, deterrence, and legal compliance, among others. Unlike other states, and with limited exception, Indiana does not regulate drug testing by private employers. As a result, employers have wide latitude in selecting appropriate testing protocol(s) for their workplace. A basic five-panel drug screen, for instance, tests for marijuana (THC), cocaine, opiates, PCP and amphetamines. While employers’ policies and practices vary, a positive drug test can ultimately result in action ranging from the rescission of a job offer to termination of employment.
Background on CBD Oil
CBD oil, extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant, has received much recent media attention for its use in treating a wide variety of medical conditions and ailments. Unlike other products derived from the marijuana plant, CBD oil is promoted as lacking psychoactive properties because of its low level of tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. In Indiana, CBD oil must have a total delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol level of 0.3 percent or lower to be legally bought or sold throughout the state. (More specific certification requirements for THC levels in CBD oil apply to CBD oil distributed or sold July 1, 2018 or after.)
Given CBD oil’s low level of THC — the substance which ordinarily triggers a positive drug test — at least one major drug testing service provider is publicly advising that average CBD oil users would not be expected to test positive on a drug test for marijuana or marijuana metabolite. (According to the service, if the user were to consume more than 2,000 mg/day of CBD oil, such usage could trigger a positive drug test.)
However, the jury remains “out” on exactly how CBD oil could impact a drug screen. There is some discussion that the consumption of CBD oil in tandem with marijuana usage may result in higher THC levels for a longer period of time — thus increasing the chances of a positive drug test — and, further, that CBD may be converted into THC in the stomach once taken orally. In other words, there is no guarantee that CBD oil usage will or will not impact a drug test. As a matter of federal law, CBD is a marijuana extract and therefore falls within the definition of marijuana (classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration). Because CBD oil is a marijuana derivative, its use would not be accepted as a legitimate medical explanation following a positive drug test.
What if an Employee Attributes a Failed Drug Test to CBD Oil Usage for Medical Reasons?
With the legalization of CBD oil in Indiana, drug testing employers will likely receive thorny questions about the interplay between CBD oil usage and drug testing. As a preliminary matter, employers should take care to ensure that any professionals handling drug testing questions are up to date and prepared with consistent talking points. Additionally:
Can using CBD cause me to fail a drug test?
Now that cannabidiol (CBD) has become as much of a household name as Coca-Cola, some of the patients who experiment with this alternative medicine have concerns about whether it will cause them to fail a drug test.
They are worried that their use of the non-intoxicating cannabis derivative will bring them trouble with their place of employment or disqualify them from any number of benefits in which the federal government must sign off. But is there any reason to believe that CBD could wreak such havoc?
Can using CBD cause me to fail a drug test? Back to video
Canada’s hidden cannabis gems: A cross-country tour of lesser-known landmarks
Looking for weed-growing supplies? This drug task force is asking for bids for surplus equipment
Did Canada legalize weed before doing its research?
As we have mentioned before, not all CBD products are created equal. There are high-CBD strains of marijuana being sold in legal states that have around 30 percent CBD and also contain sizeable amounts of the intoxicating THC – enough to ensure a failed drug screen.
But the hemp-based CBD oils and pills being sold in most states all across the nation do not come with the same risks. These products typically contain no more than 3.5 percent CBD and, more importantly, they have only trace amounts (0.3 percent) of the stoner compound known as THC.
The best way to explain the difference is by putting it in terms of beer. Most domestic brews contain between 4.2 and 5.5 percent ABV (Alcohol By Volume), while non-alcoholic versions, such as O’Doul’s, have only around 0.4 percent ABV. While these booze-free concoctions technically do have some alcohol, the consumption of these beverages cannot lead to intoxication. Just the same as CBD products with 0.3 percent THC cannot produce a high or put the user in jeopardy of failing a drug test.
Drug screens are only searching for one specific cannabinoid when trying to determine whether the subject has been using marijuana, and that is THC. So no matter how much CBD is coursing through a person’s veins at the time of the test, it will not bring about a failed result. The only way the small amount of THC buried in hemp-based CBD products might be able to shine through and trigger a false positive is if a patient was consuming upwards of 1,000 milligrams a day. To put this into perspective, most CBD users consume an average of 120-to-160 milligrams daily.
But a false positive does not mean a failed drug test. Lots of common, legal products can cause false positives. Some of the latest research shows that CBD can stay in a person’s system for more than 10 days. Because CBD is a fat-soluble compound, the same as THC, the length of time really depends on the frequency of use, a person’s body weight, and overall diet. But again, it is not necessary to worry about how CBD might affect a drug test. It is irrelevant.