These days CBD oil is everywhere and being touted as the new “wonder drug” to reduce inflammation, chronic pain, anxiety, depression improve heart health and even acne. With all the benefits many people, including professional drivers, are drawn to the supplement to help with everyday ailments.
As we know, driving a truck for extended periods may lead to back pain or other joint and muscle pain. There are many recommended practices like stretching and engaging in active breaks to help relieve side effects of long hours of sitting, some truck drivers are looking towards medicinal aids, like CBD oils, to get relief.
So, what is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a compound found in cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. The most known cannabis compounds are THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, and CBD. THC is the psychoactive agent in marijuana, and it’s the agent that produces the sense of “high.”
Even though CDB is a compound found in Cannabis Sativa, the cannabis plants, it, by itself, is not a psychoactive compound; therefore, it does not make the individual feel high, anxious, or any other side effects.
Sounds great, right?
Professional drivers beware! The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not regulated CBD yet as they are still studying the science, safety, and quality of products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds, including CBD. Therefore, using CBD-derived products can be very dangerous for truck drivers since they may contain more than 0.3% THC, giving a positive result on standard drug and alcohol tests.
Many producers and Resalers of CBD Oil will market their products and state that they do not contain levels of THC, let alone enough of the metabolite to pop on a drug test. However, because these products are not regulated by the FDA there is no accountability or testing required to back these statements up.
So, what is the big deal, can a professional driver use CDB products?
Motor Carriers across the country are screaming “No, don’t do it!” We have now seen a huge influx of drivers removed from DOT regulated safety sensitive functions by the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse due to testing positive for marijuana. Unfortunately, many professional drivers are finding out the hard way these unregulated CBD products they are using for natural pain and inflammation relief have resulted in them testing positive on DOT drug tests.
What happens for a professional driver if they test positive?
A positive DOT drug or alcohol results will reflect on a class A CDL driver’s background through the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse for 3 years. They will show as Prohibited from performing safety sensitive functions. All compliant (let’s say legitimate) DOT Regulated motor carriers will not be able to employ a driver that is prohibited. To get the prohibited status removed and to be able to return to work as a professional driver in a safety sensitive function a Class A CDL driver will have to go through counseling from a Substance Abuse Professional, SAP, and go through their treatment, education, and a lengthy follow-up drug testing schedule. Even after completing an SAP program a professional driver may still find many motor carriers are unable to offer employment due to insurance restrictions.
Bottom line, Class A CDL holders should not use CBD products because the health benefits do not outweigh the risk to one’s driving career. It is our hope that these products will eventually be regulated by the FDA, and we can all enjoy the benefits of CBD without being subject to trace amounts of THC.