Ep 52 – Does CBD Oil Product Positive Drug Testing?

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Here are today’s HR and workplace news headlines from Workology Go Podcast. I’m Jessica Miller-Merrell. The Workology Go Podcast is sponsored by Workology.

Ep 52 – Does CBD Oil Product Positive Drug Testing

Here are today’s HR and workplace news headlines from Workology Go Podcast. I’m Jessica Miller-Merrell. This podcast is sponsored by Workology.

Can a candidate fail a drug screen if they have used CBD oil? The short answer is no, but the long one is more complicated. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis and – while still not regulated, is being marketed as having therapeutic benefits for everything from pain relief to anxiety to seizures to skin conditions.

In this Workology Go Podcast episode, I want to talk more in-depth about CBD. CBD seems to be everywhere right now and after attending a conference as MC, there was a great deal of discussion from attendees, I thought we should dive more in-depth.

CBD is closely related to another important medicinally active phytocannabinoid: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that causes the high that cannabis is famous for. These are the two components of cannabis that have been most studied by scientists. Other components of cannabis can be searched online by typing THC, CBG, CBN, and many more. You should pop one of these to compare which can be safer to use.

Today’s featured article comes from Workology: How CB Oil Affects Employment Drug Screenings.

According to Quest Diagnostics, CBD itself would not report positive for marijuana or marijuana metabolite. If the CBD product contains THC at a sufficiently high concentration, it is possible, depending on usage patterns, that the use of these products could cause a positive urine drug test result for marijuana metabolites. For example, in some states, CBD may contain up to 5% THC. In some medical marijuana states, CBD products are allowed to have residual levels of THC up to 5%, depending on the state. Because of these low to non-existent levels of THC, more companies have started carrying CBD products, even in states where marijuana is not permitted for either medicinal or recreational use. However, it is worth noting that CBD is not legal at the state level in all 50 states.

So what do you need to know as an employer? Your company should have a policy about drug use in the workplace, however, CBD and the legalization of medical marijuana in many states complicates what you can and cannot legally require of your employees. Banning medical marijuana use could be comparable to attempting to ban the use of legally prescribed pain and other medications. According to the Employer’s Council, generally, employers do not have to accommodate the use of marijuana since the substance is illegal under federal law. However, there are some courts, such as in Massachusetts, that have declared that employers are required to at least consider the accommodation of off-duty use of medical marijuana.

Given current law, it is unlikely that an employer would be penalized for refusing to allow CBD as a reasonable accommodation unless a federal court has ruled otherwise or state law specifically requires employers to consider the use of CBD and/or medical cannabis as a reasonable accommodation for a disability. BUT (and this is an important clarification), companies must keep in mind that future legal changes, such as the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, could affect this analysis. For example, if the Farm Bill legalizes hemp-derived CBD, companies must at least consider the use of CBD as a reasonable accommodation.

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Featured Story

How CB Oil Affects Employment Drug Screenings

More Great Resources

– CBD Oil: A Primer for Employers (Employer’s Council)

– Why using CBD might make you fail a drug test (CNET)

– How to Buy CBD Oil:5 Step Buying Guide


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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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