CBD or cannabidiol is a chemical compound you extract from industrial hemp plants. While industrial hemp is a cousin of the marijuana plant, both cannabis plants contain many CBD compounds. CBD is used legally for medicinal purposes throughout the United States as it helps with many common ailments. So, can truck drivers use CBD oil? Read further to find out.
More about CBD, THC, and Marijuana
Unlike THC, the chemical composition of the marijuana plant responsible for psychoactive effects, CBD is non-psychoactive. Due to its non-psychoactive properties, the state has made it legal for medicinal use, and you can find many CBD supplements that are FDA-approved.
Users of CBD products have shared that CBD oil has helped them deal with chronic pain, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, unregulated moods, and other prevalent problems amongst truckers. You can extract CBD from marijuana plants as well. However, a marijuana plant has a high percentage of THC.
CBD is a prevalent substance, and users claim it can help with various health issues, from insomnia to diabetes. Besides consuming CBD as oil, you can also apply it to the skin or inhale it in the form of a vapor. CBD oil for truck drivers comes in different forms, providing a variety of other consumption methods.
CBD that manufacturers extract from industrial hemp does not have psychoactive properties. A prescription drug containing CBD has been highlighted in the medical papers for treating childhood epilepsy. It is important to note that most of the effects and impacts of CBD are anecdotal and subjective to each individual.
Scientists are yet to have an objective and comprehensive understanding of what CBD does to the brain. They also cannot pinpoint the correct dosage and delivery methods. For instance, researchers will have different opinions on the amount of CBD you should consume.
CBD and CDL License
While Marijuana is federally illegal, many states have made THC a decriminalized substance. Despite its newfound legality, the marijuana plant and its products are still a subject of conflict and ambiguity. Popular consumer products containing CBD are still a risky choice for commercial and high-risk drivers who must pass drug tests.
Marijuana, CBD oil, and drug tests are topics that many truckers think about when they are trying to maintain their licenses and pass drug tests. Not only that but there are many misconceptions regarding the usage of different products and whether you can drive legally after CDB consumption.
Marijuana and Commercial Truck Driving
So, can you consume Marijuana and carry a commercial load through an 18-wheeler? The most direct answer to this question is a “NO.” Truck drivers must adhere to the FMCSA restriction that considers marijuana usage as disqualifying factor. In other words, if you are a Marijuana user, you will not be medically certified as a commercial truck driver.
The medical examiner will use drug testing protocols to determine if you use Marijuana. Drug testing determines whether a particular driver has THC levels in their blood. However, you must understand the two types of commercial drivers before learning more about CBD oil and CDL license.
There are two categories of commercial truck drivers, the first need drug testing, and the second does not need drug testing. The differences between the two categories pertain to the jobs that they perform. The FMCSA drug tests are for commercial drivers who perform safety-sensitive jobs.
As far as commercial drivers are concerned, the ones who drive busses with over 16 passengers, those that transport hazardous material, and those who drive large rigs such as tractor-trailers fall into the sensitive-safety jobs. If a trucker operates this type of vehicle, they must adhere to drug testing as part of their licensing.
On the other hand, a commercial driver who operates for private companies in a low-risk job may not be subject to drug testing federally. However, the employer can still include drug testing as a requirement for the truck driver. Regardless, using Marijuana can still be a disqualifying factor for any commercial driver.
What About States in Which Recreational and Medical Marijuana is Legal?
In some states, recreational and Medical Marijuana is legal, and you could use CBD products for health reasons or as a part of a doctor’s prescription. Unfortunately, the FMCSA does not recognize any prescriptions regarding marijuana products. In other words, even if you use CBD oil derived from marijuana plants, medicinally or due to a drug, you will not be able to maintain your license.
Is it legal for truck drivers to use CBD oil?
According to the department of transportation, CBD oil derived from hemp products has been removed from the controlled substances thanks to the Farm Bill Act. Hemp-derived products with a concentration of THC below 0.3% are no longer on the list of controlled substances.
When authorizers are testing for Marijuana, they are looking for THC concentration in the body. THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical component responsible for psychoactive effects in the body. THC’s tendency to produce a “high” can cause impaired reflexes in truck drivers, leading to safety concerns.
CBD products with a THC concentration higher than 0.3% fall under the Marijuana classification. In other words, truck drivers can legally consume CBD oil with a THC concentration of 0.3% or lower.
Nonetheless, it is essential to realize that CBD products are not regulated well. This means that you can get a CBD oil product, but after you consume it, THC may still show up in your bloodstream or hair follicles after a drug test.
Furthermore, drug tests can still flag you as a THC consumer, even if you’ve never used a product with a THC concentration above 0.3%. The chemical structure of THC and CBD compounds are similar, which means that a drug test can mistakenly identify the CBD compound as THC.
For this reason, cannabis users, whether they only consume isolated CBD oil, can face many problems when trying to get a CDL license. Truck drivers who use CBD oil must be cautious with the CBD products they use before they undergo drug tests.
Does CBD Show Up On CDL Drug Test?
To answer this question, CBD can definitely appear on drug tests, and blaming the false results will not help when trying to attain the CDL license. Today, you can find a long list of CBD products at retail stores, gas stations, and truck stops. This makes it difficult for truck drivers to get a product that helps with some of their most common health issues.
For instance, some cannabis manufacturers have started selling Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC, a concentrated THC product derived from hemp plants. These products exploit the federal loopholes in the Farm Bill that allow hemp-derived products to be legal. While these products are legal in terms of the script, they can also appear in a drug screening for CDL.
Amidst all the confusion and chaos, many truckers have lost their chance of getting CDL licenses due to positive drug tests. From 2020 to 2021, there have been more than 80 thousand positive urine drug tests administered by the federal program for CDL drivers. Further inspection showed that more than half of the positive tests were screened positive for Marijuana.
Earlier, drug testing facilities used rudimentary techniques for conducting drug tests. These techniques involved observing unusual color changes produced on a testing strip when you poured it into the urine. The results of this drug testing were inaccurate, and false positive concerns were high. Today, drug testing is generally very accurate, thanks to the use of high-quality machinery and modern equipment.
Due to technologically advanced drug testing methods, drug screening is much more accurate. Even hair testing is highly accurate and unveils a much more comprehensive history of an individual’s drug use. Hair follicle testing can help authorities learn about an individual’s drug use history for the past three months. Until now, manufacturers have yet to introduce CBD oil for truck drivers that are guaranteed not to show up in a drug screening for a CDL license.
So when you ask the question such as, “can truck drivers use CBD oil?” the short answer is, “Yes” However, despite CBD oil is federally legal according to the script in the Farm Bill, unregulated products, along with its similarity to THC, means that there is a chance CBD will show up on CDL drug test. For this reason, truckers that want to use CBD oil as a treatment for their ailments must be very careful with the type of products they choose. It is best to pick a renowned product containing isolated CBD to minimize the risks of failing a drug test.
Disclaimer: “Nova Lines does not recommend the use of CBD or any other drug that impairs the ability to operate heavy machinery.”