is cbd oil legal for dot drivers

Can Truck Drivers Use CBD?

In some states its legal; in other states its not: Marijuana. But the baby brother, CBD, is pretty much available most everywhere.

Products containing CBD have become exceedingly popular and readily available at truck stops and convenience stores across the country.

CBD is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants. CBD may contain the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). That’s the main psychoactive component in marijuana that gives users a high.

CBD is frequently sold in oil, cream, lotion, gummy, or pill form. It’s said to help a number of medical maladies, such as epileptic seizures, anxiety, muscle and joint pain, depression, and migraines.

These products are legal under federal law in the U.S., so truck drivers can use them. However, CBD products can pose a risk to motor carriers and semi truck drivers who are subject to federal drug testing requirements.

Can Truck Drivers Use CBD Safely?

Yes, in most instances, and in most states (see Georgia’s requirements below). CBD oil is believed to be safe to use, and even if you buy a full-spectrum CBD product that contains trace amounts of THC, it shouldn’t have an intoxicating effect when you use it. (Remember, we are a Georgia personal injury law firm we are not doctors so don’t rely on us to make your CBD purchasing decisions!)

However, some CBD users say they experience side-effects like drowsiness or sleepiness. Truck drivers who have similar experiences shouldn’t operate a tractor-trailer while uses these products. If a trucker uses CBD and becomes drowsy or inattentive to the road, this may play a part in a motor vehicle accident—similar to driving under the influence. And it may be evidence of negligence.

Semi Drivers Must Comply with Federal Drug Testing Regulations

Semi drivers must comply with federal drug testing regulations. In fact, the Department of Transportation (DOT) states that any product, including “Cannabidiol” (CBD) products, with a concentration of more than 0.3 percent THC is classified as marijuana, a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

Motor carriers and big rig drivers should also note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate CBD products. As a result, a CBD product label may not accurately reflect the amount of THC that’s in the product. This means that even if a product says it’s 100% free of THC, it may still have THC in it. This puts truck drivers at risk of testing positive for marijuana if they knowingly or unknowingly use a mislabeled CBD product. They also may experience side effects that affect their driving ability. Having a good trustworthy Atlanta accident lawyer who knows the rules is so important in any truck accident case.

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Will CBD Result in a Positive for THC in a Drug Test?

DOT drug tests test for marijuana, not CBD. So if a semi driver uses a CBD product with more than 0.3 percent THC, he or she will test positive for marijuana, and the federal regulations prohibit the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason. In addition, CBD use is not a legitimate medical explanation for a laboratory-confirmed marijuana positive result.

Thus, even when a tractor-trailer driver says he or she has used only CBD, a Medical Review Officer will verify a drug test confirmed at the appropriate limits as positive. The driver’s positive result is then reported to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

How Does the State of Georgia Regulate CBD Products?

Georgia allows only CBD and low THC products, but there are some qualifications. In Georgia, an individual may legally possess cannabis-derived CBD oil containing not more than 5% THC. Plus, they must have been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition and have a registration card. This card shows that the person is registered in the state’s Low THC Oil Registry.

A truck driver or any other person in Georgia is required to consult with a doctor and be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition to use CBD. The diseases and conditions that qualify include cancer, seizures or epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, intractable pain, and others. So you can see that the state’s requirements severely limit the use of CBD and low THC products in Georgia.

Remember that truck drivers must pass a physical examination, and those with disqualifying conditions should not be on the road. Again, Georgia law significantly restricts the use of CBD and low THC products. If a trucking company fails to address a driver’s medical condition, doesn’t monitor the driver’s health, or allows the illegal use of CBD, the trucking company may be liable in a serious accident.

Contact Tobin Injury Law

If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi accident, you should work with an experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney Atlanta residents have come to for help. Our team understands state and federal commercial carrier laws and we have represented hundreds of auto drivers and motorcyclists who have been hurt because of the negligence of a truck driver. We will investigate the driver’s condition to determine if he or she had a serious health issue that contributed to your accident. This may include the use of CBD.

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Before you speak with a claims adjuster from an insurance company, contact an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer at Tobin Injury Law.

CBD Products May Not Be as Intoxicant-Free As Drivers Think, DOT Warns

The feds warn commercial drivers that it could show up on drug tests, saying many CBD products do contain some THC, the psychoactive part of marijuana, even if it’s not supposed to be there.

  • While CBD is legal, the U.S. Department of Transportation has warned commercial drivers that it can show up in a drug test.
  • CBD products are popular and only getting more so, but even though they are labeled as containing no THC, some may actually contain a little of the psychoactive ingredient.
  • “Innocent ingestion or false labeling is not a valid medical excuse for a [positive] urine drug test,” the DOT said.

Driving while intoxicated is obviously illegal and dangerous. We’re not here to debate that. But there are legal limits (different in different jurisdictions) for how much alcohol someone can have in their system and still be considered okay to drive. When it comes to THC, the main psychoactive part of marijuana, it’s a big new world out there if you’re a federal regulator.

Some drivers should be paying attention to what the Department of Transportation is doing to figure this all out. Spoiler alert: commercial drivers might want to lay off the CBD.

You’ve probably seen cannabidiol (CBD) oils, or other CBD products, being sold at gas stations and grocery stores, because they are pretty much everywhere these days. The claim is that these products can relieve pains and other issues, like anxiety. The Brightfield Group, a research firm focused on the CBD and cannabis industries, said last year that the CBD market is on track to grow to $23.7 billion through 2023. And that means more people are taking CBD products, and so more people are driving after they’ve done so.

Of course, CBD products are not supposed to get you high in any way, but that doesn’t mean that a drug test won’t pick up CBD artifacts. And, as of right now, the DOT is taking a zero-tolerance approach toward drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) who test positive. Actually, it’s more like a 0.3 percent tolerance. That’s because CBD products are required to use cannabis that contains less than 0.3 percent of THC on a dry-weight basis (in other words, the kind that will get you as high as smoking, say, oak leaves) based on the 2018 Farm Bill. That bill changed the definition of hemp so that it was not classified as marijuana, THC, and it also legalized cannabinoids (CBD) if they were non-psychotropic. That’s why, today, CBD companies highlight this low number as a way to make you feel safe about taking it.

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AnandaHemp, which sells CBD oils, warns that taking their CBD oils may make you sleepy, but claims that “you should be able to drive after taking CBD Oil or Hemp Oil. Our CBD Oils contain less than 0.3 percent of THC and will have no psychoactive effects on your body.”

But during a virtual meeting of the DOT’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee on July 13, Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance policy advisor Sue Lenhard updated the public on the agency’s rules, and they are full of warnings for commercial drivers. “Some CBD products are being marketed with unproven medical claims and are of unknown quality and CBD & THC quantity,” she wrote. The DOT also maintains that “innocent ingestion or false labeling is not a valid medical excuse for a urine drug test at THCA confirmatory levels of 15ng/mL.” The trade publication Transport Topics reported on the meeting in a story titled, “Truck Drivers Should Beware of CBD.”

The Food and Drug Administration does not currently certify the levels of THC in CBD products, so the labels on CBD products could be misleading. In fact, the government tested 84 CBD products from 31 companies in 2017 and found that 21 of them were mislabeled and that a higher-than-advertised THC content was found in 18 samples.

Testing positive for THC in this case does not mean that a driver would be considered intoxicated—rather that they have, at some point in the recent past, ingested enough THC for it to show up on the test. And, if you’re considered a “safety-sensitive employee,” which includes school bus drivers, truck drivers, and transit vehicle operators, then a positive result could harm your employment status, with the DOT warning that the information will be sent to the DOT’s Drug and Alcohol Clearninghouse and remain on file for five years and that an employee may have to go through a Substance Abuse Professional program, as well as other return-to-duty drug tests and observations. Just a heads up.