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Can Truckers Use CBD?

With cannabidiol (CBD) becoming increasingly popular in recent years, many people have begun using this product. However, there are still many questions and misconceptions surrounding CBD, including whether or not professional drivers can use it. This blog discusses how CBD can affect drug test results and what to consider before using these products as a trucker.

Drug Testing as a Truck Driver

Drivers must understand the legal implications before deciding to use (or not use) CBD. 

Truck drivers are considered safety-sensitive workers and must undergo a drug test before operating a commercial vehicle. Truck drivers are also subject to random drug tests and tests following certain circumstances, such as testing after an accident, returning to duty, or if the driver appears to be under the influence. Typically, these drug tests will screen for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and other substances. 

Will CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

CBD is not one of the substances drivers are tested for. However, while CBD products derived from hemp are legal in most states, they can still cause a positive drug test result. Some hemp-derived CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. This can cause a driver to test positive for marijuana, which federal regulations prohibit.

In most cases, CBD use is not a legitimate medical explanation for a confirmed positive marijuana result. A Medical Review Officer must verify the drug test, then report the positive test to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. This data will be available to all employers in the trucking industry and could affect future employment opportunities.

What Truckers Should Consider Before Using CBD

While truck drivers are not prohibited from using CBD products, there are a few aspects they must consider before using this substance.

Know The DOT’s Position

The Department of Transportation (DOT) released a statement about CBD use in 2020. They clarified that while they do not test for CBD use among safety-sensitive employees, CBD use is not an acceptable excuse for a positive THC result. The organization advises that drivers should exercise caution when deciding whether or not to use CBD products due to a lack of regulation in the CBD industry. 

Follow the Local Laws

One aspect to consider when deciding whether to use CBD products as a truck driver is that laws differ from state to state. While marijuana and its derived products are legal in many states, it is still illegal on the federal level. Before using CBD products, it is vital to research and follow the laws regarding CBD in your area.

Know How CBD Affects Your Condition

In addition, CBD affects different people and conditions in different ways. Some CBD users report experiencing side effects, including drowsiness, and truck drivers who have similar experiences should not operate their vehicles while using these products. If a trucker uses CBD and becomes inattentive while on the road, it may play a part in a motor vehicle accident, similar to driving under the influence, and could be evidence of negligence. 

Only Buy CBD From a Reputable Source

Finally, drivers who do choose to use CBD should only purchase products from reputable sources. The FDA does not regulate the CBD industry, and many products have disclaimers that state the company cannot make any claims on whether or not the product will show up on a drug test. For this reason, professional truck drivers should research and make sure the products they use are safe and effective.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line for anyone in the trucking industry using CBD is that while it is legal, there is no guarantee that these products will not appear on a drug test and affect the rest of your career. For many truck drivers, this is not a risk worth taking, but it is ultimately up to each driver to make the best choice for themselves.

If you are a safe truck driver ready to hit the road, DSW is hiring for regional and over-the-road (OTR) positions. We are a safety-conscious trucking company with a management team of former drivers who understand how to support your needs as a professional driver. 

Contact us today to learn more about our open positions.