CBD Oil Use in the Transit Industry

Published on: November 24, 2020

What is it? Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound from the marijuana plant containing the chemical known as “CBD.” It comes in many forms, such as CBD Oil (most popular), beauty and health products, vapors, and CBD-infused edibles.

Like THC, the well-known psychoactive element of marijuana that produces the typical “high,” CBD is one of more than 400 other chemicals which can also be found in cannabis. However, unlike THC, CBD is often touted as a “non-intoxicating/psychoactive” or “less-intoxicating/psychoactive” marijuana extract and is claimed to help treat a variety of medical conditions. Despite often being referred to as the “non-intoxicating” marijuana extract, side effects from CBD may include fatigue/drowsiness, dizziness, sedation, lethargy, diarrhea, rash, weakness, insomnia, and others.

Medical Uses? While CBD is being heavily studied for its potential role in treating a wide variety of health issues, including anxiety, inflammation, cancer, and more, the medical condition with the most significant and reliable evidence showing it can be helped by the use of CBD is epilepsy. In fact, in 2018, an FDA advisory panel unanimously recommended approval of a CBD medication to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Beyond its use for epilepsy, much of the scientific community asserts there is still much to be learned to either prove or disprove the efficacy and safety of CBD for use in other health conditions. While there is promising preliminary data, overall there is still too little evidence to start making firm conclusions on other medical conditions.

Workplace Risks. Employees subject to USDOT drug testing are tested for THC. Many people are wondering, “If I use a CBD product, will I test positive for THC?” The answer is… maybe. The USDOT drug test looks for the THC metabolite in urine, not CBD. If someone used 100% pure CBD, it would not be found on a USDOT drug test. However, nearly all CBD products on the market today contain some level of THC. In some medical marijuana states, CBD products can have up to 5% of THC, while other states limit the level of THC to 0.3% in any CBD product. Depending on usage patterns and concentration of THC within the CBD product, it is possible to test positive.

Bottom line for all safety-sensitive employees and employers: if THC is found on a USDOT drug test, the use of CBD or other “medical marijuana” product will not be accepted as a medical explanation by the Medical Review Officer (MRO). A USDOT drug test, which is positive for THC will remain positive regardless of any state medical marijuana laws.

This article was published in the RTAP February 2020 newsletter, published by RLS & Associates.

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