Are you thinking of trying CBD, but concerned about it causing trouble for you at work?
Cannabidiol (CBD) has gained huge popularity in recent years due to its reputation as a natural remedy for various conditions. The 2018 Farm Bill passed by congress legalized hemp cultivation and transport of hemp products (including CBD) for the purposes of commercial and personal use. Because of its proximity to marijuana and THC, however, many are still hesitant to accept CBD or are confused about its legality.
In this post, we’ll discuss some of the potential ramifications of using CBD and whether it can get you fired.
Is CBD Legal?
Short answer, yes. CBD is federally legal in the United States under certain strict conditions.
Prior to the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018, federal law did not differentiate between hemp and other cannabis plants like marijuana, which became illegal in 1937. The 2018 legislation redefined hemp as those plants containing less than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component in cannabis plants that delivers a “high.” Any plants with more than 0.3% are considered marijuana and subject to prevailing federal or state enforcement laws as an illegal controlled substance.
So, to be considered legal in the U.S., your CBD must be extracted from compliant hemp plants grown in licensed domestic farms.
What Types of CBD Can Consumers Use?
A lot of the questions over whether or not CBD products are accepted by your employer can be answered by figuring out the type of CBD you’re using and its concentration of THC, since most employers are only concerned with testing for the byproducts of THC.
There are three different types of CBD that are available to consumers and they are all legally sourced from the hemp plant. Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate.
Full spectrum CBD contains CBD, terpenes and other cannabinoids (CBG, CBN and THC) extracted from the hemp plant in their natural ratios without further processing.
Broad Spectrum CBD contains an array of cannabinoids and terpenes. These products have gone through additional processing to try to remove as much THC as possible while maintaining other cannabinoids and terpenes or they are CBD isolates with additional cannabinoids and terpenes mixed in.
CBD isolate is the isolated form of cannabidiol extracted from the hemp plant; the finished product is a pure, crystalline powder that generally contains 99+ percent CBD and is least likely to give a positive drug test for THC.
How To Shop For Quality CBD
Since CBD hasn’t been defined by the FDA as either a drug or a supplement yet, regulation of the compound in consumer products is relatively minimal. Some products could contain greater than 0.3% THC, higher or lower amounts of CBD than is stated, or even some toxins (pesticides, heavy metals, etc.). Hence, pressure for the FDA to do more has been mounting.
For this reason, it’s important to know what to look for when buying, and how to verify reputable sources for your CBD.
How Employees Could Be Fired For CBD
There are plenty of examples of employees who used CBD products and were fired for drug screen testing that came back positive for THC, even though they did not use marijuana or THC. It is very possible that the CBD products they used contained enough THC to show a positive test result. This is why it’s important to trust your CBD source.
Furthermore, even in states where CBD and even THC are legal, employees have been fired for positive drug screenings. A positive THC test may matter to your employer depending on what position you hold and the company’s views. Certain jobs may be more restrictive. For example, jobs in transportation, those federally funded, or Defense Department jobs may completely prohibit employees from taking CBD and certainly THC, regardless of state or federal law.
If this is the case with your employer, it is likely they have written company policies regarding the use of CBD or marijuana-related products and their tolerance (or lack thereof) of them. The National Law Review states that:
“Whether an employer must accommodate the use of CBD for medicinal purposes will vary by jurisdiction and will depend greatly on whether the CBD is derived from hemp or marijuana.”
The law publication concludes that employers may want to review their state’s marijuana/CBD laws before taking any action against potential or current employees who use CBD.
For employees, the same considerations and concerns must be addressed before using CBD and know your state and local laws regarding CBD and THC. Make sure you know your employer's policy for using CBD and/or THC.
Certain CBD or CBD-infused products could result in positive THC test screens causing trouble with your employer, but you can mitigate this outcome by being an informed, diligent consumer. Shop for CBD isolate products for the lowest risk of detectable THC levels, always check the certificate of analysis of your product, and make sure your CBD retailer sources their CBD from legitimate, licensed hemp farms.