CBD has been hailed by many as a wonder drug, capable of potentially healing an array of illnesses from depression to pain. To be sure, there is evidence that shows that CBD can be helpful in addressing many illnesses, although more RESEARCH is absolutely needed.
However, as with any new drug, CBD is causing a variety of problems. One such example? CBD use in the workplace has resulted in numerous problems for employees and a variety of positive drug tests.
What are your legal obligations as an employer, and what are your obligations as an employee? Can CBD get you high or cause a positive drug test? Read on for these answers and more.
Can CBD Cause Positive Drug Tests?
While it is not common, yes. CBD can result in a positive drug test, and this can result in major professional problems.
Let’s start by taking a broader look at the composition of CBD oil. It is comprised of numerous compounds, including various terpenes, flavonoids and different types of cannabinoids. CBD is one example of a cannabinoid found in CBD oil. So is THC, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the specific type of cannabinoid found in marijuana that is responsible for intoxication. For these reasons, it is probably the most well-known cannabinoid.
As per the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD is legal to sell at the federal level in the United States. However, it must adhere to all relevant laws, and in order to be manufactured, processed and sold, the CBD must contain no more than .3% THC. This level is not enough to result in intoxication, but in certain circumstances, it can result in a positive drug test.
Marijuana drug tests work by testing for THC levels in your blood. If you test over a certain threshold (as determined by the specific test), it will result in a positive drug test. Some drug tests are more sensitive than others. Furthermore, a variety of other factors can impact a drug test. These include:
- Height & weight
- Previous history with cannabis or CBD
- How recently you consumed the CBD or cannabis product
- The total amount of CBD consumed
It remains unlikely to get a positive drug test from CBD use, but it is possible.
However, in this instance, the type of CBD you consume matters. Full Spectrum CBD contains THC. However, Broad Spectrum CBD does not. As such, if a positive drug test is truly a potential problem for you, it is much safer to stick to Broad Spectrum CBD.
CBD and Positive Drug Tests in the News
As a variety of recent news headlines have indicated, positive drug tests caused by alleged CBD use can have major employment problems for certain individuals. It could, potentially, also result in a DUI charge.
For example, in Alburquerque, New Mexico, a variety of police officers have tested positive for THC, and their union says those test results come from CBD use. The same has happened to employees in a variety of other workplaces, including other first responders. According to the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, members of the FBA, ICE, DEA and Secret Service have all faced disciplinary action for positive drug tests that came as a result of CBD use. Members of the military are also not supposed to use any hemp-related product and may face punishment if they are caught doing so.
Employee Law & CBD
Yes, CBD may be legal now, but that doesn’t mean that someone can be protected from being fired if they use CBD or medical marijuana and test positive for THC.
It’s important to keep in mind that we’re still dealing with a very new area of the law. CBD has only been legal at the federal level since 2018, though it was being sold in some states prior to then. As a result, employee law simply hasn’t had a chance to catch up to the new drug legalization.
Indeed, broadly speaking, there are still many challenges when it comes to marijuana use and drug testing. Marijuana is currently legal in 11 states (and Washington D.C.) and medical marijuana in another 33 (and Washington D.C.), but employees who test positive for THC – even if they consume the marijuana in accordance with local or state law – may still face legal jeopardy or risk their jobs.
However, that’s not to say that the law will always be this way. An interesting example of evolving policies is actually taking place in the sports world. For example, at the moment, National Football League players can be suspended if they test positive for marijuana. However, under a proposed deal, NFL players could only be punished if they test positive for a much higher threshold of THC. While this doesn’t end the confusion of using a legal drug in certain states, it would make it harder for CBD use – which is legal – to result in career punishment.
Other sports leagues are making similar changes, with Major League Baseball saying that they would remove marijuana from its list of prohibited substances. However, in April 2019, the Professional Golfers Association warned its players not to use CBD, saying that they are “assuming the risk” of a positive drug test in doing so.
Other employers have clarified their marijuana policies, but still told employers that the risk of CBD use and drug testing is on them. For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation, which employes thousands of drivers, has told workers that they do not test specifically for CBD. However, if an employee does test positive for THC, CBD use will not be a valid excuse, as CBD has no approved medical purpose. While this is not exactly true – there is one CBD-based prescription drug on the market, though it is targetted towards young children – this means that DOT employes fully assume the risk of a positive drug test if they use CBD.
How Some States Are Handling This Issue
In many states, the law is silent on CBD and THC. This means that a positive drug test could result in DUI charges or losing your job – even if it comes from legal CBD use. However, some states are looking to address this issue. For example, in Tennessee, a proposed bill that would raise the threshold for what is considered a positive drug test from 50 to 150 nanograms per milliliter of THC. This would, in theory, protect CBD users from a positive drug test. The bill would also make it legal for parents to give CBD to their kids.
What If I Want To Use CBD?
Simply put, if you want to use CBD and are concerned about a positive drug test, you must be extremely cautious of your CBD use.
There are a few things you can do. Once you check with your doctor to confirm that you can safely use CBD without fear of negative drug interactions, make sure that you only purchase Broad Spectrum CBD. As long as it is manufactured properly, Broad Spectrum will contain no THC.
However, it’s not enough to just trust that the CBD you purchase contains no THC. You absolutely must check the CBD’s Certificate of Analysis. That Certificate is a third-party analysis that reviews the various components of a CBD batch for various chemicals. The full analysis will demonstrate what chemicals are in the drug, including THC. Unfortunately, this is necessary: A 2017 University of Pennsylvania study once tested 81 different CBD products and found that nearly 70% of those products were mislabeled. In some cases, products that were labeled as Broad Spectrum actually contained CBD. This, of course, could result in someone testing positive for THC despite taking the necessary precautions to purchase the appropriate type of CBD.
If you are purchasing Broad Spectrum CBD, make sure to check the compound’s Certificate of Analysis and confirm that its THC levels are either “0” or “N/D,” which stands for none detected. This way, you can confirm that you are consuming the right type of CBD.
FAQs About CBD and Problems in the Workplace
Question: Can CBD cause problems at work?
Answer: Yes, but only if you are not using it properly. Positive drug tests caused by alleged CBD use can have major employment problems for certain individuals.
Question: Can CBD Cause Positive Drug Tests?
Answer: Yes. While it is not common, yes. CBD can result in a positive drug test. You should always be mindful of your dosage of CBD.
Question: Can you use CBD as a valid excuse when you are found to be positive in THC?
Answer: If a person tests positive for THC, CBD will not be a valid excuse.
Question: Is there a way to use CBD oil without being caught positive to THC?
Answer: There are a few things you can do. Once you check with your doctor to confirm that you can safely use CBD without fear of negative drug interactions, make sure that you only purchase Broad Spectrum CBD. As long as it is manufactured properly, Broad Spectrum will contain no THC.
Question: How to verify that your CBD oil has no THC compound?
Answer: Make sure to check the compound’s Certificate of Analysis and confirm that its THC levels are either “0” or “N/D,” which stands for none detected.