FMCSA reminds truckers of possible problems with use of CBD

Updated Jun 15, 2021
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Cannabidiol -- known as CBD -- is often touted as a remedy for many health-related issues, helping reduce pain, ease anxiety and depression, lower high blood pressure and reduce the ill effects of cancer treatments. And, while it is extracted from cannabis plants, CBD is not the compound that delivers the "high" associated with marijuana.

However, it still can cause problems for truckers, who must be tested for drug use. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued an update Thursday, May 27, urging truckers and their employers to be wary of CBD use. 

"Since the use of CBD products could lead to a positive drug test result, Department of Transportation-regulated safety-sensitive employees should exercise caution when considering whether to use CBD products," the FMCSA said in the "clearinghouse update" it issued.

The agency reminded truckers and others:

  • The DOT requires testing for marijuana and not CBD
  • Labeling of some CBD products may be misleading because the products could contain higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than what’s stated on the product label. THC is the compound that creates the "high" associated with marijuana.
  • CBD use is not considered a legitimate medical explanation for a positive drug test result. That means 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.
  • The U.S. DOT’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation, 49 CFR Part 40, does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason.