Studies show Cannabidiol (CBD) has a wide range of health benefits that suit truck drivers perfectly but is it legal for them to use? DOT is warning truck drivers about the potential mislabeling of hemp-derived products that could contain illegal levels of marijuana. Can truck drivers use CBD? This guide details the legal, medical, and professional implications of CBD use for commercial vehicle drivers.
Can Truck Drivers Use CBD Oil? Everything to Know
Truck drivers have difficult jobs and they should all consider using CBD oil. While there’s something to be said about the freedom of the open road. Long hours spent alone on the highways can take a toll on a driver. Don’t turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol or THC drugs. You could lose your job. Smart truck drivers use medical CBD products instead of THC related ones.
What is CBD Oil?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD oil is an herbal supplement derived from cannabis plants. Unlike marijuana use, the use of CBD won’t create any risks on the road because it contains less than .03 percent THC. It’s considered a therapeutic agent and is legal in many states. CBD is derived from hemp instead of marijuana. It contains concentrations of less than .03 THC; therefore, truckers don’t have to worry about getting high.
While some people do consider it appropriate for recreational use, CBD is better known for its impressive benefits to health and wellness. CBD acts on your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help you maintain a state of balance, physically and even mentally.
What it Helps
CBD oils can help you manage the symptoms of many complex medical problems, including:
- Chronic pain
- Muscle spasms
- And even the side effects of cancer treatment
The best part is, CBD does all this without producing unwanted side effects. Using CBD products is federally legal since they contain only small amounts of THC. Additionally, these products won’t impact your performance while driving through various states.
Can a Truck Driver Use CBD While Driving?
Since CBD does not have intoxicating effects, truck drivers can use it whenever they want. If you want to use CBD while driving, it may be a good time to try it before taking a drive. Some users report drowsiness as a side effect when taken in large doses. All things considered, that’s the last thing you want when you’re behind the wheel. Staying safe would always be your first priority, especially when your CDL is at risk.
It’s also important to note, while CBD is legal on a federal level and even recommended for some medical conditions, one can’t use it on every DOT level in every state. If you drive through Nebraska, South Dakota, or Idaho, you could run into trouble with local police. Even hemp-based products that contain less than .03 THC are banned in these states.
What if I Get Pulled Over?
If you get pulled over in a state where it’s legal to use CBD oil, you should have no problem. Just make sure the CBD product you use is hemp-based, and not marijuana-based as well as being properly-labeled to be considered safe. Some forms of CBD, such as smokable CBD flower, look and smell a lot like marijuana. Still, they won’t get you high, but they might get you in trouble with the law.
The right CBD oil product won’t create any problems with drug testing. Unlike marijuana, CBD oil is federally legal, and it’s also legal in most states. Whether you have a medical problem or just want to use it for wellness, you’ll be fine if you choose the right product.
Truck drivers who use CBD oil extracted from hemp plants should find a company that tests all its products. Find the lab results online and print them out to show the police or DOT officers involved. The results of comprehensive lab testing will show that the product does not contain more than the legal amount of THC.
Can I Fail a Drug Test Using CBD Oil?
The answer to this question is complicated. While even full-spectrum hemp-based CBD oil contains very little THC, it may still cause a false positive on, particularly sensitive drug tests. This can get a truck driver in a lot of trouble. If you know you could be subjected to a random drug test at any time, choose your CBD products carefully.
While full-spectrum CBD oils contain trace amounts of THC, broad-spectrum products and isolates do not. If truckers buy these CBD products from reputable vendors that lab tests their oil, CBD should be the only cannabinoid that shows up on an employer drug screen or DOT drug test.
This is what a Broad-Spectrum CBD product lab report will look like. As you can see there are no traces of THC found in the extract.
If you’ve used CBD oil recently, make sure you mention the fact that you use these products before the test. That way, if the drug tests show small amounts of THC in your body, the substance abuse professional won’t think you’ve been using marijuana. It’s also best to play it safe and avoid using CBD oil if you plan to travel through states where all cannabis products are banned.
CBD Oil Benefits for Truck Drivers
Since the federal government made it legal in 2018, many people have used CBD oil, and the majority of them like it enough to continue. If you’re still on the fence about whether it would be worth the money, consider the many positive effects of CBD. Many of them are uniquely beneficial to truck drivers and answer the question, can truck drivers use CBD oil as well as the following:
Aches & Soreness
If you’re like most truck drivers, you’ve dealt with your share of aches and soreness. The average truck driver has a busy schedule and can’t afford to get out and stretch. Still, the use of CBD oil among other people dealing with pain is on the rise. This begs the question, can truck drivers use CBD oil to help with aches and soreness?
Several of the cannabinoids found in cannabis plants can help with aches and soreness. While the plants themselves also contain THC, CBD oil can provide truck drivers with similar pain-relieving benefits. You should still be careful about dosing with your favorite cannabidiol product. Stick to low doses for aches and soreness if you plan to use CBD oil while you’re driving.
Many people find CBD oil useful in combatting insomnia and other sleep disorders. That’s great news for truckers. Insomnia-related problems like difficulty focusing can make driving dangerous for a truck driver. You can take CBD oil in large doses at night to induce sleepiness.
CBD products can also produce positive results when it comes to regulating your sleep-wake cycle if you take it every day. It won’t make you sleepy unless you take large doses, so it doesn’t really matter what time you take your CBD supplement. Most people stick to smaller doses of cannabidiol in the morning and larger ones at night.
Stay Relaxed and Calm While Driving
Driving a commercial truck can be stressful. Most drivers are behind the wheel for a good part of the day, and it can be hard getting used to this stressful schedule. To make matters worse, the average person isn’t always the best driver. Using CBD products may make it easier for you to stay calm while driving.
Using CBD oils is different from marijuana use in that it doesn’t create any psychoactive effects. However, this form of low-THC hemp-based cannabis product can induce a state of calm. Even if you’re having a hard day, one dose of cannabidiol CBD can make you feel more positive.
CBD Oil for Truck Drivers
Whether you’ve been driving for years or you’re new to the industry, you deserve to feel your best. Try a THC-free CBD oil to get the best result with any Colorado Botanicals product. If truckers use CBD products properly, there are many benefits to continue making a living and driving on the open roads of America.
DOT Issues Compliance Notice Cautioning Truck Drivers About CBD Products
The Department of Transportation has issued a compliance notice warning truck drivers and other safety-sensitive transportation workers about the potential mislabeling of hemp-derived products that could contain illegal levels of marijuana that might test positive in a DOT drug test.
“We have had inquiries about whether the Department of Transportation-regulated safety-sensitive employees can use CBD products,” the Feb. 18 notice said. Safety-sensitive employees who are subject to drug testing include: “pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, transit vehicle operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, fire-armed transit security personnel, ship captains and pipeline emergency response personnel, among others.”
Industrial hemp and CBD, or cannabidiol, products are legal provided they contain a concentration of up to 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the intoxicating substance in marijuana. Higher concentrations of marijuana remain an illegal Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, DOT said.
The notice said it is important for employees to know that DOT requires testing for marijuana but not CBD.
However, DOT officials said the Food and Drug Administration does not currently certify the levels of THC in CBD products, so there is no federal oversight to ensure that the labels are accurate.
For truck drivers, the DOT drug-and-alcohol testing regulation does not authorize the use of Schedule 1 drugs, including marijuana, for any reason, and CBD use is not a legitimate medical explanation for a laboratory-confirmed marijuana positive result.
“Therefore, medical review officers will verify a drug test confirmed at the appropriate cutoffs as positive, even if an employee claims they only used a CBD product,” DOT said.
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FDA has cautioned the public that consumers should be aware when purchasing and using any CBD products, DOT said.
“The FDA has stated, ‘It is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement,’ ” the notice said. “Also, the FDA has issued several warning letters to companies because their products contained more CBD than indicated on the product label.”
CBD is a substance some believe effectively treats maladies such as anxiety, cognition problems, movement disorders and pain.
Trucking regulators have been interested in the topic of CBD oil use among truck drivers for some time.
At a recent meeting of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s drug testing advisory board, Cathy Gautreaux, senior adviser on drug matters to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, said she had planned to meet with Food and Drug Administration officials to discuss challenges associated with CBD, a product made from hemp, and other drug issues.
“This is probably one of the issues that concerns me most,” Gautreaux told the drug advisory board. “It’s amazing how society has embraced CBD. It’s amazing how prevalent it is.”
Gautreaux also said that some federal employees who have used CBD have lost their jobs when their drug tests came back positive for marijuana. Although some people using CBD have claimed it has medicinal qualities, research has yet to verify many of those claims, and some CBD products have been found to be mislabeled.
Last summer, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Medical Review Board discussed the proliferation of marijuana decriminalization in a number of states, but decided that it should not burden medical examiners with the job of enforcing the outright ban of marijuana use by truck drivers.
However, board members did caution truck drivers about the use of CBD oils derived from legal hemp.
The problem with CBD oils, according to Larry Minor, FMCSA’s associate administrator for policy, is that mislabeling of the THC content in hemp could cause a driver to fail a drug test. “You use CBD products at your own risk,” Minor said at the medical board meeting.
Can Truck Drivers Use CBD?
Can truck drivers use CBD? This guide details the legal, medical, and professional implications of CBD use for commercial vehicle drivers.
For commercial vehicle drivers, the legality of cannabidiol (CBD) use on the job can seem muddy.
The short answer is that CBD is legal for truck drivers — but be careful what products you’re using.
In this article, we’ll answer a few questions you’re probably wondering as a commercial driver’s license holder. Between drug tests, differing laws among states, and the effects of CBD, there can be legal and professional implications to using CBD on the job.
Will CBD show up on a drug test? Does it matter if you’re crossing state lines with your products? Most importantly, is it safe?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Table of Contents
Can Truck Drivers Legally Use CBD?
Yes, it’s legal for truck drivers to use CBD in general — but it’s not as clear-cut when it comes to using CBD while on the job.
There are issues with the legalities of traveling with CBD across the border (despite being legal federally and on both sides of a particular state) and the potential for high doses of CBD to impair driving.
Ultimately, CBD is technically legal for truck drivers to use at work, but you should avoid bringing your CBD with you while crossing into states like North Dakota or Idaho.
Additionally, the company you work for may have a policy banning all cannabis products — including CBD, regardless of state or federal laws.
Is CBD Oil Legal in the United States?
The legality of CBD is stipulated by one important requirement — the products must contain a concentration of 0.3% or less THC.
Most CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC because they’re extracted from the cannabis plant. If that concentration stays below the 0.3% threshold, it’s considered a CBD product. Otherwise, the product may be classified as THC and may be illegal in some states.
Delta 9 THC or marijuana products are illegal to use both at work and at home while driving any motor vehicle.
Traveling Between States with CBD
Because CBD is legal in all 50 states, it is perfectly legal to carry it across state lines.
However, it’s important to make sure you’re purchasing actual CBD — with a THC concentration below 0.3% — so you don’t inadvertently carry THC into a state where it’s illegal.
There are also some reports of people getting hassled for carrying CBD across the border. While it’s not illegal, border officials may want to test the product using analysis machines to make sure it’s legal. This can take a long time to complete and is a real annoyance to truckers trying to stick to a tight schedule.
Why Would Truck Drivers Want to Use CBD?
There are numerous reasons that truck drivers would gravitate toward CBD. The benefits of CBD range from anxiety reduction to better sleep and so much more — all evidenced by scientific studies .
With the irregular and demanding lifestyle of driving commercial vehicles, CBD may help workers reduce some of the intense negative impacts of the job:
1. Irregular Sleep Cycles
Between long-haul drives and overnight shifts, truck drivers experience irregular sleep schedules when they’re on the job. Especially for drivers who work for several days a week and then have several days off, establishing a restful sleep cycle can be challenging, if not impossible. According to the National Institute of Health, more than 20% of truck drivers report chronic sleep disturbances .
CBD has been shown to help people fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and get a better rest . When you only have so many hours to rest before your next shift, a dose of CBD can help you fall asleep on demand and get a better night’s sleep overall.
The increased sleep time after taking CBD has also been shown to help improve sleep patterns . When you rest longer, your body goes into the REM state for a more efficient, better rest that will keep you alert and awake for your next shift.
2. Anxiety and Depression
Whether your stress and anxiety come from the job itself, being away from family and friends, or the irregular schedule, commercial vehicle driving is a demanding and important profession. A study from the NIH reports that over 26% of truck drivers experience depression, and over 14% have anxiety .
CBD is known to reduce anxiety and help users feel calmer and more relaxed. It also helps you get a better night’s sleep — a lack of which is one major cause for anxiety . CBD has also been instrumental in treating depression as it can act as an antidepressant, increasing serotonin levels .
3. Pain or Discomfort from Driving
When you’re sitting in the same position for long periods of time, you’re likely to experience pain from skin irritation, muscle aches, and joint discomfort. This pain can come from inflammation, lack of circulation, or irritants like an itchy seatbelt.
CBD can help reduce pain by reducing inflammation and relaxing the muscles. Especially when used as a salve or topical cream, CBD has been shown to decrease inflammation and pain in the muscles and joints .
4. Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
More than one-third of drivers worldwide experience hypertension — also known as high blood pressure .
This can occur because of genetics or diet, but it can rapidly escalate if you spend all day sitting in one place. Truck drivers are often relegated to fast food diets as well, which can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes.
Studies show that there are many cardiovascular benefits to using CBD, not the least of which is reduced blood pressure .
CBD relaxes your blood vessels and promotes better blood flow throughout the body. It can also help reduce pancreatic inflammation, which can result from diabetes caused by sustained high blood pressure .
CBD & Drug Testing
CBD is not a drug that is tested for on the typical employment drug test. However, because it contains trace amounts of THC, it’s theoretically possible to test positive for marijuana while consuming CBD products.
To avoid this, make sure to always check that your CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC concentration. Opt for broad-spectrum CBD oils or CBD isolate oils only and avoid full-spectrum products that contain trace amounts of THC.
At the end of the day, there is some risk in using CBD if your employer regularly drug tests (which most truck driving operations do). If CBD did cause a positive drug test result, it would not stipulate that the result was due to CBD use rather than marijuana.
As such, consider the risk before choosing to use CBD as a commercial truck driver.
Does CBD Affect Driving?
However, if you mix CBD with THC, the THC may impact your driving. It’s also possible that CBD can interact with medications you’re taking, so be sure to check for interactions before you take it.
CBD is known for its ability to promote relaxation as well. In some cases, this can improve driving by helping you remain calm and focused — but it could also make driving worse.
Listen to your body and avoid taking CBD if you’re already feeling tired. CBD is a very useful supplement for alleviating pain and anxiety, but it’s not so useful if you’re trying to stay awake.
What’s the Dose of CBD?
The dose of CBD that will work best for you depends on your weight, desired strength, and CBD product. Depending on the strength and form factor of the product you choose, you may take anywhere from one CBD gummy to five drops of a CBD Oil tincture or any other dosage.
Our CBD dosage calculator makes it easy to understand the right amount to take based on your weight. As truck drivers, we recommend taking a mild or moderate strength dose to reduce the risk of sleepiness.
Final Thoughts: Can Truck Drivers Take CBD?
Put simply, yes, truck drivers can take CBD. The only real risk to a truck driver is the very small potential of testing positive for THC on a drug test.
The health benefits for truck drivers’ sedentary lifestyle, irregular schedules, and mental health concerns include reduced hypertension, better sleep, and elevated moods.
For truck drivers, we recommend CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD. The main reason for this is that full-spectrum CBD products have a higher likelihood of containing THC, which could lead to a positive drug test.
Be sure to find the right dose for your use — like a dose for during your driving shift versus during your sleep shift — to make sure you get the most out of CBD.