CBD Oil is legal… or is it?
With all the confusion surrounding the Medical and Recreational Marijuana industries, it can be hard to keep track of what’s legal and what’s not and who can use it legally.
You’re obviously here because you found yourself asking “Can truck drivers use CBD oil?” and it’s a good thing you’re reading this, because the answer isn’t as cut and dry as you may be thinking.
What is CBD?
First things first, we need to break down what CBD actually is and how it differs from THC.
CBD stands for cannabidiol and it is a compound (known as a cannabinoid) found in cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. There are over 113 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants – the most widely talked about are CBD and THC. The oil is made by extracting the compound from either hemp or marijuana plants.
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound. “Non-psychoactive” means it does not make you feel high, anxious, make your eyes red or any of the well-known effects of THC.
CBD is increasingly being researched and used for a variety of medical applications and has been shown to help relieve anxiety, arthritis, migraines, sleeplessness, discomfort and pain, seizures, depression and has even been shown to help relieve the shakiness symptoms of Parkinson’s.
CBD may also promote a healthy heart and relieve the symptoms of cancer and it’s related treatments. There are many more applications and uses for CBD oil not listed here.
Two of the leading causes for truck drivers to quit their careers is due to the anxiety and stress that the job presents as well as dealing with the depression that is sometimes suffered due to being away from loved ones while on the road. I’ve written articles on both of these subjects to help suggest ways to cope with these struggles. Here’s a link my article on dealing with the anxiety that drivers face. The second article on handling the depression can be found here.
Does CBD oil contain THC?
While you will find many conflicting responses to this question scattered throughout the internet, the final answer is YES. But this answer needs some context.
In order for CBD oil to be legal, it has to contain less than 0.3% THC. This is such a small amount that it absolutely cannot make you feel high or give you any of the physical effects of ingesting marijuana.
You will find CBD oil sold from Hemp companies and also from Marijuana companies. The difference is that they are extracted from different plants: the hemp plant or the marijuana plant.
Each of these plants contain THC, but the levels are wildly different. Marijuana plants are bred for their buds and to contain as much THC as possible, whereas hemp plants are grown for their stalks and fibers and cannot legally be grown unless they possess less than .3% THC.
Marijuana plants also contain far more CBD, making CBD oils derived from marijuana plants higher in quality.
In order to create CBD oil strong enough to have medicinal effects from hemp plants, many more plants have to be used in the process.
Using more plants means it’s less sustainable for the environment and these types of CBD oils will contain higher levels of pesticides and toxins from the soil due to the sheer volume of plants required to make 1 potent extract.
Whether you are using CBD oil derived from marijuana plants or hemp plants, the amount of THC legally allowable is the same. Every brand differs in the amount of THC actually in their products, so be sure to do your research.
The big question everyone asks is “Will I pass a drug test while using CBD oil.” TheCBDistillery.com, who is one of the most popular CBD sellers online states this on their site:
“We cannot make any claims on whether or not any of our products will show up on a drug test. Our Isolate, Terpsolate, Isolate Softgels, Capsules and Vape Pens/Carts have no detectable THC. Our Tinctures (Pet and Human), Full Spectrum Softgels, Wax, and Topicals are made with a Full Spectrum CBD Oil and contain less than 0.3%. We are not legally able to make any recommendations or guarantees regarding drug tests on THC free or Full Spectrum products. If that is a concern, we would recommend not consuming any CBD products and/or doing some further research at ProjectCBD.org, before making the decision to consume any CBD.”
This just goes to show that even though you hear a brand has “0 THC”, there will always be trace amounts.
CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil
Hemp oil is another popular alternative to CBD oil. Many people confuse these two products, however there is significant differences between the two. Hemp oil is created by pressing hemp seeds or stalks in order to extract the oil contained within them. The oil that is extracted contains no CBD or THC.
Even though the product contains no CBD or THC, many people have had success using these products to help with pains and stress. If you are reading this article, odds are that you are just starting to learn about hemp, CBD and their benefits. I would recommend starting out by trying hemp oil to see if it helps you. I was surprised to see how cheap it was compared to CBD. You can buy it on Amazon, and this is one of the leading brands that they currently sell. It is worth noting that Amazon DOES NOT sell products that contain CBD at this time.
Can Truck Drivers Use CBD Oil?
The answer to this question is no. It is a risk no matter what brand you select, as all brands have at least a trace amount of THC.
It also depends on what state you live in, but CBD oil is technically illegal on a federal level.
Is CBD Oil Legal For Truckers?
The answer to this question is difficult: yes and no.
While CBD oil itself might be legal in most states – THC is not. No matter what form of CBD oil you purchase, you will have trace amounts of THC – there is currently no way to 100% separate the two.
In order for CBD oil to be legal, it has to contain 0.3% THC or less so it can be classified as a hemp product. CBD itself is still considered illegal on a federal level.
Due to the extraction process, many CBD oil products actually contain 0.02% of THC or less. THC amounts this tiny should not show on a drug test unless you are taking way more than the recommended dosage.
However, you will find stories online of people claiming to have tested positive when they’ve only ingested CBD oil. The problem is that drug tests cannot differentiate THC that came from CBD oil and THC that came from the marijuana plant.
It is incredibly unlikely that you would test positive on a drug test as a CBD oil user, especially if your CBD oil contains less than 0.02% THC… but it does occasionally happen.
In any instance, disclosure is necessary. If you are using CBD and are selected for a random drug test, you need to let your employer know before your test.
Does Legality of CBD Oil Vary By State?
There are currently 3 states where any form of marijuana, hemp or cannabis are totally illegal. You cannot obtain or use cannabis products in any form in these 3 states:
- South Dakota
CBD legality does vary by state, and of course so does medical marijuana.
At the Federal level, all types of marijuana are illegal… INCLUDING CBD.
Despite the fact that states everywhere are stocking it on store shelves, CBD remains classified as a Schedule 1 Drug by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency).
Under this classification, the DEA defines Schedule 1 Drugs as:“drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
It’s obvious that this classification needs updated with the huge amounts of research and application for both medical marijuana and CBD oil in the medical community, but this is how it currently stands.
Despite this, many companies are still cultivating and selling CBD oil and claiming legality under the 2014 Farm Bill. However, it is still federally illegal but the DEA isn’t placing a priority on prosecuting at this time.
Precautions for Truckers Using CBD Oil
First and foremost, understand that until marijuana and all cannabis related products are legalized on the Federal level, using CBD as a CDL licensed driver is going to be a risk.
While the chances of CBD showing up on a drug test as a positive THC result is low, the risk is still there. You will have to personally determine if this is a risk you are willing to take.
For many people, it is. CBD oil has changed countless lives with it’s pain and anxiety relieving effects, but it is a personal decision for everyone.
If you are selected for a random drug test by your employer, the first thing to do would be to disclose the fact that you use CBD oil to them immediately.
Inform them of the ailments you use CBD for, and, if necessary, educate them on what it is and what it is NOT – ie it is NOT psychoactive and can NOT make you high like THC. Most people these days are aware of the medicinal benefits of CBD oil, but some are not. It is important to convey the fact that you are not doing drugs.
Research and Selection
Prior to beginning any CBD oil treatments, it is of utmost importance that you thoroughly research any brand or product before you begin taking it.
You want to do this not only to ensure product quality, but also the amounts of ANYTHING in it, including THC.
With the popularity of CBD rising, new companies and MLM type CBD businesses are popping up every day.
Stick with a popular, reputable and well-known brand that publishes their lab analyses for their products. Read their reviews. Stay away from any brand that feels fishy. There are a lot of brands emerging out there that just want to get their slice of the pie that is CBD Oil profits.
Only Take The Recommended Amount
One of the reasons people test positive for THC on a drug test when they’ve only used CBD oil can be caused by using more than the recommended dosage.
The percentage of THC in any CBD oil is measured per bottle or dose, and if you take more than recommended, you are introducing more THC into your system.
It will not be enough to get you high or make you feel any adverse THC related effects, but it may be enough to show up on a drug screen. It’s not worth the risk.
If you are taking CBD oil and feel you need a stronger dose of CBD, there are likely higher concentrations available from your chosen supplier.
Can Truck Drivers Use CBD Oil?
Now you know the risks associated with using CBD Oil or any cannabis related product as a truck driver.
For some people with a CDL, using CBD Oil to relieve minor aches and pains isn’t worth the risk. For others using it to help with debilitating issues like migraines, epilepsy or arthritis, the improvement of their quality of life can be worth the risk.
It is up to you to decide what is best for your personal situation and how you will go about disclosing your CBD usage with your employer. Remember to research and check your sources and never take more than the recommended amount.
If you would like additional information on how to manage your anxiety while on the road, please check out my article here.