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July 12, 2021
 min read

Can truck drivers use CBD oil, and what are the main things to look out for?

can truck drivers use cbd oil
 Anthony Clement
Written by  
Anthony Clement
July 12, 2021

table of Contents

We are often asked can truck drivers use CBD oil. Given that the Department of Transport has strict drug policies, it is very important for drivers to use CBD products responsibly and to be aware of potential risks.

If you're in the transportation business, you need to know can truck drivers use CBD oil.

Commercial truck drivers are under a lot of stress. While it might not seem so, the job is very demanding. Staying in closed quarters all day long is hard by itself. On top of that, these people often suffer from chronic pain caused by static, unnatural body position, or muscle overuse.

Because of that, truckers often turn to dietary supplements and, in particular, CBD oil. Unfortunately, random drug tests are common within the trucking industry. Having a positive drug test result can cost the CDL holder his license.

In this article, we will answer can truck drivers use CBD oil and whether the substance can cause issues during random drug testing.

What does the government say?

Recently, the Department of Transport has created guidelines that focus on CBD products. These rules apply to school bus drivers, truck drivers, pilots, and other individuals who drive CMV (commercial motor vehicles). DOT regulations has 3 main points that employers and safety sensitive employee should follow:

  • A DOT drug test should detect the presence of marijuana plant, not CBD.
  • A truck driver has to understand there are some issues with medical hemp oil labeling. The FDA doesn't regulate these products and their THC concentration. Because of that, there are numerous mislabeled substances on the market. So, if you start using the wrong CBD tincture, this might result in a failed drug test.
  • According to DOT’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation, you cannot use schedule 1 drugs. This, of course, includes medical marijuana. If you test positive on THC, you cannot rely on CBD as a legitimate medical explanation. So, even if you've used medical hemp oil for a while, the medical review officer will consider the presence of THC as a breach.

Based on the Controlled Substances Act, hemp is no longer categorized as a controlled substance. So, this allows you to use medical cannabis plant products, as long as they're made from hemp. Given that this plant has low levels of THC, you shouldn't get into trouble during random drug test screening.

Unfortunately, trace amounts of THC can still cause issues. Even if you haven’t experienced a psychoactive effect, it is considered as if you used medical marijuana. This is why you need to be very careful and buy CBD from reputable sources.

Are truck drivers tested for CBD?

As mentioned previously, the use of CBD products is not an issue. The problem occurs if you administer medical marijuana or if you use a medical hemp substance with excessive THC content.

Safety sensitive employees cannot use alcohol or psychoactive substances. This would jeopardize everyone on the road. As such, there is a zero tolerance policy during drug screening. Whether you perform a urine test, hair test, or blood test, the same rules apply.

There is a chance that even legal, safe hemp products can cause issues.

In both Europe and the US, CBD products cannot have more than 0.3% THC concentration. This is regarded as a trace amount that doesn’t cause psychoactive effects. Furthermore, this is how much THC most hemp strains have. In other words, if you use almost any hemp strain (even if it’s a hybrid), you should be within the legal limits.

In theory, there is a chance you can test positive even if your CBD oil had this small THC concentration. For example, if you used a substance just before a drug screening, you might still fail. So, even if a product is legit and properly labeled, there is a chance it will cost you your job.

How long do CBD and THC stay in the body?

Generally speaking, we are not certain how long these substances will remain in your organism. Limited data tells us that the half life of CBD and THC is about 24 hours. But, there are some indications that these chemical compounds can be detected on a drug test for several days.

There are several factors that affect how long CBD and THC will remain in your organism. The main ones include:

  • Quantity of substance
  • Concentration of substance
  • Overall consumption in the previous period
  • Age, weight, and other metabolic factors
  • Other drugs that might prevent quick metabolizing of CBD
  • Tolerance

Among others, the type of drug test can affect whether a substance is detected or not. Some of them are really precise, while others are not that reliant.

Can you use CBD oil while driving?

Most of these products are regarded as safe. Even if you use cannabidiol in higher quantities, you are unlikely to experience side effects. But, that doesn't mean that you should exaggerate or stray away from your optimal dose. An excessive amount of medical hemp oil can still cause drowsiness.

Here are some of the main issues you might experience when using the products:

  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in blood pressure
  • Dry mouth

CBD has a lot of cannabinoids that interact with the endocannabinoid system. As such, they have the potential of regulating processes like sleep, stress, mood, etc.

Medical hemp also has sedative properties. This is why it might cause drowsiness or reduce blood pressure. While these side effects are usually minor, they can pose problems for truck drivers. Our suggestion is to avoid using CBD if you’re already sleepy.

CBD shouldn't get you into trouble with police officers. The substance is completely legal in most states, and the only thing you should worry about is the THC in blood.

How to avoid potential issues?

Obviously, even trace amounts of THC can cause issues. However, there are ways to use CBD products without getting into trouble.

First off, you should focus on CBD topicals. Products such as CBD lotions and CBD cream will not enter your bloodstream. As such, you cannot have a positive drug test when you use them. They are ideal for soreness and joints.

If you still want to use CBD oil, it is much better to use a CBD isolate. These products only have cannabidiol. In theory, you can use them in enormous quantities without suffering from any major side effects. CBD is non intoxicating even in higher quantities. Still, you should be careful of drowsiness.

Unfortunately, there is still a chance that the CBD product is mislabeled and that it has much more THC than the label says. So, our third recommendation is to always buy from reputable sources. Furthermore, make sure that they perform regular third lab testing that would confirm product authenticity.

Ideally, a truck driver should try CBD oil at home before administering it on the road. That way, you can see how it works and what kind of an effect it provides. For some people, cannabidiol won't even provide any benefits. If this is the case, you can either try another product or stop using it altogether.

Atakan, Z., (2012), Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals, Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, London, the United Kingdom