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DOT Issues Statement on Use of CBD Products
2 mins read
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a DOT Clearinghouse update last week to remind motor carriers and safety-sensitive drivers to use caution when using hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) products.

The FMCSA has issued these reminders in the past – the last time was prompted by the Farm Bill of 2018, which removed hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.  It also stated that as long as a hemp-derived product (such as CBD) has less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is not a controlled substance.

Related Article: The Rising Use of Marijuana

The confusion, is whether safety-sensitive employees such as truck drivers, bus drivers, transit vehicle operators or pilots can safely use CBD products while enrolled in a federal drug and alcohol testing program. The answer, is that while CBD products that fall under the THC threshold aren’t technically a controlled substance, it’s in the employee’s best interest to avoid them entirely as many contain higher levels of THC than the label indicates.

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“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently certify the levels of THC in CBD products, so there is no Federal oversight to ensure that the labels are accurate,” the DOT noted. “The FDA has cautioned the public that: ‘Consumers should beware purchasing and using any [CBD] products.’”

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The DOT went on to note that the FDA has already issued several warning letters to companies because the amount of CBD in their products was higher than indicated on the product label. If a safety-sensitive employee happened to use one of these products, for example, and then was called for a random drug test, they could end up with a positive drug test result. Because CBD is not a “legitimate medical explanation” for a confirmed positive marijuana result, it would result in the employee being pulled from safety-sensitive functions until the return-to-duty has been complete.

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