Skip to main content

CBD oils and workplace drug testing

CBD oils and workplace drug testing

CBD (cannabidiol) oil is getting a lot of attention these days. There are a myriad of companies promoting it as a natural remedy for pain relief, anxiety and stress reduction, even improved sleep. Most of these companies claim that their products are free of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, so they shouldn’t lead to a positive workplace drug test. Nevertheless, stories are popping up all over about CBD oil users who claim to have tested positive for THC on a workplace drug screen. How can this be?

CBD products are made from the cannabis plant. CBD is one of the many active chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants, the main difference being that hemp contains very little or no THC, the active chemical in marijuana that is associated with “getting high.” Cannabis strains must have less than .3% THC in order to be classified as hemp. Most CBD products are made from hemp, not marijuana. 

There are also different types of CBD oils, some are referred to as isolates and others as full spectrum, a differentiation that has to do with how the CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD isolate products typically claim not to have any THC in them while full-spectrum oils do contain THC. Why would someone want to take a full-spectrum oil if they know it contains THC? At one time it was believed that the purest form of CBD, isolates, provided the most positive results for treating inflammation and pain. However, a follow-up study conducted by researchers later found that full-spectrum products may actually be more effective. This is one of the main reasons why full-spectrum products which contain THC are so popular. 

When it comes to workplace drug testing, the distinction between isolates and full-spectrum oils is very important because it is possible for someone to have a positive drug screen if they are using a full-spectrum product that contains THC. Complicating matters further is that CBD products are currently unregulated by the FDA, which means that there are no standards for which these products must be classified or sold. Some products that claim to be THC-free, may actually have a small amount of THC in them and some that claim to be below the .3% level may have more THC in them than they advertise. This lack of consistency and regulation makes it difficult for consumers to be able to know exactly what is in any one product, even when the label claims it is pure or THC-free.

Employees who work for companies who conduct workplace drug testing, could feasibly test positive for THC on a workplace drug screen if they use CBD oil. For employees who work in safety-sensitive fields that are regulated by the Department of Transportation, testing positive for THC is a violation and will result in the need for an SAP (Substance Abuse Professional) process. 

Companies that conduct workplace drug testing should continue to follow their drug testing procedures and policies for how they handle positive test results. Employers should not concern themselves with the reasons or excuses employees may provide for having a positive drug screen. A drug test doesn’t indicate whether the THC came from taking an oil or smoking or ingesting marijuana. This dilemma is best sorted out by trained counselors and evaluators.

Our Customers Say it Best

  • Hexagon Lincoln
    Hexagon Lincoln

    “Hexagon views Continuum EAP as a key business partner and a valued resource for our employee populace. Continuum provides high-quality — and confidential — educational and counseling services for “Team Hexagon.” The professional staff is always available and willing to help at a moment’s notice.”
    - Matt Becker, Human Resources Manager, Hexagon Lincoln

  • NebraskaLand National Bank
    NebraskaLand National Bank

    “Continuum has been such a great benefit for NebraskaLand National Bank. Once a month we offer employees a “Lunch ‘N Learn” where we feature a Continuum HelpNet webinar and provide lunch. We have received great feedback from employees and attendance continues to increase each month.”
    - Stacey Dawkins, Human Resources, NebraskaLand National Bank

  • Lincoln Electric System
    Lincoln Electric System

    “Continuum is a great resource for LES. They proactively provide workshops to address issues in today's work environment and customized on-site training. Their staff has been helpful and effective.”
    - Julie Panko Haberman, supervisor, Learning & Development, Lincoln Electric System

  • Duncan Aviation

    "We look to Continuum as a strategic partner, in helping our employees cope with stress at work and at home, which leads to improved work performance, decreased absenteeism, and greater workforce retention."
    - Leon Holloway, Team Member Services Manager, Duncan Aviation

  • Assurity Life Insurance
    Assurity Life Insurance

    "Continuum is part of Assurity's high performance culture. Trust has been created for associates who use their services for personal life issues but also for work issues whether they refer themselves or a supervisor refers them. Continuum's expertise demonstrated by all staff aligns to our mission and values and helps associates understand there are resources available for them and their families. The value the Assurity Team receives from Continuum is a measure of performance and risk management. I have worked with them for over 20 years and would choose them over the other two employee assistance programs that I have worked with."
    - Jan Zoucha, Assurity Life Insurance

  • NE State College System
    NE State College System

    "The Nebraska State College System has been very pleased with the services we've received from Continuum. Continuum's experience and expertise have served our employees and College administrators very well. Continuum is extremely responsive and skilled at coaching, consulting, and providing a variety of employee assistance services. In addition, our employee feedback from training sessions has been very positive."
    - Kristen Petersen, General Counsel & Vice Chancellor, NE State College System

Powered by Firespring