DOT Issues Warning to Truckers About Using CBD Oil
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance has strongly cautioned truck drivers and other safety-sensitive employees subject to federal drug testing under 49 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) part 40 about the use of CBD oil and other “cannabidiol” products.
Even though a recently enacted law removed hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana itself remains a Schedule 1 drug and its use can trigger a positive drug test result, with disqualifying penalties to the user.
By the new law’s definition, hemp-derived products, such as CBD oil and associated products can legally contain a concentration of up to 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. The problem? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently certify the levels of THC in those products, despite what the product labels may claim. So, it is buyer beware! Above the 0.3% THC concentration, the product is legally marijuana, a Schedule I drug.
FDA has expressly stated “It is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.” In addition, under USDOT drug testing regulations, no use of marijuana is authorized. Therefore, if a drug test confirms the presence of marijuana at the appropriate cut-off level, a claim that only CBD was used, that it was legally obtained and was needed for medical reasons will not stand.
The issue is not whether CBD may relieve pain, help sleep or any dietary or medical purpose. It is the THC concentration present in the product and reflected in the drug test. Again, buyer beware.
The USDOT notice makes it clear that federal drug tests are not out there looking for CBD. The tests are looking for marijuana and other Schedule 1 drugs. But caution is needed when considering whether to use CBD products.
Now may be a good time to refresh your memory about drug testing. PrePass has written extensively on the issue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has just increased the random drug test rate, in part because of the spreading legalization of medical and recreational marijuana. So by random test rate, it is more likely a truck driver will be tested. The drug test procedures themselves may be expanded in the near future and as of January 6, 2020, all drug test results are reported to the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, where avoiding scrutiny becomes more difficult.
The bottom line is that the USDOT advises using CBD may be taking a chance with one’s livelihood. Is it a chance worth taking?
Can Truck Drivers Use CBD Oil? Everything to Know
Truck drivers have difficult jobs and they should all consider using CBD oil. While there’s something to be said about the freedom of the open road. Long hours spent alone on the highways can take a toll on a driver. Don’t turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol or THC drugs. You could lose your job. Smart truck drivers use medical CBD products instead of THC related ones.
What is CBD Oil?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD oil is an herbal supplement derived from cannabis plants. Unlike marijuana use, the use of CBD won’t create any risks on the road because it contains less than .03 percent THC. It’s considered a therapeutic agent and is legal in many states. CBD is derived from hemp instead of marijuana. It contains concentrations of less than .03 THC; therefore, truckers don’t have to worry about getting high.
While some people do consider it appropriate for recreational use, CBD is better known for its impressive benefits to health and wellness. CBD acts on your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help you maintain a state of balance, physically and even mentally.
What it Helps
CBD oils can help you manage the symptoms of many complex medical problems, including:
- Chronic pain
- Muscle spasms
- And even the side effects of cancer treatment
The best part is, CBD does all this without producing unwanted side effects. Using CBD products is federally legal since they contain only small amounts of THC. Additionally, these products won’t impact your performance while driving through various states.
Can a Truck Driver Use CBD While Driving?
Since CBD does not have intoxicating effects, truck drivers can use it whenever they want. If you want to use CBD while driving, it may be a good time to try it before taking a drive. Some users report drowsiness as a side effect when taken in large doses. All things considered, that’s the last thing you want when you’re behind the wheel. Staying safe would always be your first priority, especially when your CDL is at risk.
It’s also important to note, while CBD is legal on a federal level and even recommended for some medical conditions, one can’t use it on every DOT level in every state. If you drive through Nebraska, South Dakota, or Idaho, you could run into trouble with local police. Even hemp-based products that contain less than .03 THC are banned in these states.
What if I Get Pulled Over?
If you get pulled over in a state where it’s legal to use CBD oil, you should have no problem. Just make sure the CBD product you use is hemp-based, and not marijuana-based as well as being properly-labeled to be considered safe. Some forms of CBD, such as smokable CBD flower, look and smell a lot like marijuana. Still, they won’t get you high, but they might get you in trouble with the law.
The right CBD oil product won’t create any problems with drug testing. Unlike marijuana, CBD oil is federally legal, and it’s also legal in most states. Whether you have a medical problem or just want to use it for wellness, you’ll be fine if you choose the right product.
Truck drivers who use CBD oil extracted from hemp plants should find a company that tests all its products. Find the lab results online and print them out to show the police or DOT officers involved. The results of comprehensive lab testing will show that the product does not contain more than the legal amount of THC.
Can I Fail a Drug Test Using CBD Oil?
The answer to this question is complicated. While even full-spectrum hemp-based CBD oil contains very little THC, it may still cause a false positive on, particularly sensitive drug tests. This can get a truck driver in a lot of trouble. If you know you could be subjected to a random drug test at any time, choose your CBD products carefully.
While full-spectrum CBD oils contain trace amounts of THC, broad-spectrum products and isolates do not. If truckers buy these CBD products from reputable vendors that lab tests their oil, CBD should be the only cannabinoid that shows up on an employer drug screen or DOT drug test.
This is what a Broad-Spectrum CBD product lab report will look like. As you can see there are no traces of THC found in the extract.
If you’ve used CBD oil recently, make sure you mention the fact that you use these products before the test. That way, if the drug tests show small amounts of THC in your body, the substance abuse professional won’t think you’ve been using marijuana. It’s also best to play it safe and avoid using CBD oil if you plan to travel through states where all cannabis products are banned.
CBD Oil Benefits for Truck Drivers
Since the federal government made it legal in 2018, many people have used CBD oil, and the majority of them like it enough to continue. If you’re still on the fence about whether it would be worth the money, consider the many positive effects of CBD. Many of them are uniquely beneficial to truck drivers and answer the question, can truck drivers use CBD oil as well as the following:
Aches & Soreness
If you’re like most truck drivers, you’ve dealt with your share of aches and soreness. The average truck driver has a busy schedule and can’t afford to get out and stretch. Still, the use of CBD oil among other people dealing with pain is on the rise. This begs the question, can truck drivers use CBD oil to help with aches and soreness?
Several of the cannabinoids found in cannabis plants can help with aches and soreness. While the plants themselves also contain THC, CBD oil can provide truck drivers with similar pain-relieving benefits. You should still be careful about dosing with your favorite cannabidiol product. Stick to low doses for aches and soreness if you plan to use CBD oil while you’re driving.
Many people find CBD oil useful in combatting insomnia and other sleep disorders. That’s great news for truckers. Insomnia-related problems like difficulty focusing can make driving dangerous for a truck driver. You can take CBD oil in large doses at night to induce sleepiness.
CBD products can also produce positive results when it comes to regulating your sleep-wake cycle if you take it every day. It won’t make you sleepy unless you take large doses, so it doesn’t really matter what time you take your CBD supplement. Most people stick to smaller doses of cannabidiol in the morning and larger ones at night.
Stay Relaxed and Calm While Driving
Driving a commercial truck can be stressful. Most drivers are behind the wheel for a good part of the day, and it can be hard getting used to this stressful schedule. To make matters worse, the average person isn’t always the best driver. Using CBD products may make it easier for you to stay calm while driving.
Using CBD oils is different from marijuana use in that it doesn’t create any psychoactive effects. However, this form of low-THC hemp-based cannabis product can induce a state of calm. Even if you’re having a hard day, one dose of cannabidiol CBD can make you feel more positive.
CBD Oil for Truck Drivers
Whether you’ve been driving for years or you’re new to the industry, you deserve to feel your best. Try a THC-free CBD oil to get the best result with any Colorado Botanicals product. If truckers use CBD products properly, there are many benefits to continue making a living and driving on the open roads of America.