Using CBD in the workplace doesn’t seem like it should even be an issue. Cannabidiol, or CBD, has no psychoactive properties, it won’t get anyone high, and it’s legal. There’s nothing dangerous about operating heavy machinery after taking CBD and it won’t impair judgment.
Still, the issue does need to be addressed because some CBD products contain THC, even when labeled to the contrary.
All businesses would benefit from a CBD policy
Every business would benefit from having a CBD policy. However, not all policies need to prohibit or restrict the use of CBD. The details will depend on each organization. Generally speaking, when employees operate machinery, drive a car, or are responsible for other people’s safety, CBD use at work should be prohibited.
It sounds harsh to ban the use of CBD at work when it’s perfectly harmless, but there are four good reasons why a ban is crucial for some businesses.
1. Low-quality CBD products may contain THC
Most CBD products contain traces of THC. Since CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA, there’s no oversight regarding the actual THC content of CBD products. The manufacturer can claim a product contains less than 0.3%, but that claim could be false.
All CBD manufacturers are responsible for testing their own products. There is no third-party performing an objective test before a product goes to market. Some CBD companies, like Hemp Bombs, test every batch of CBD gummies and oil they produce and publish the lab results on their website. These tests include results for THC levels.
Unfortunately, some manufacturers only test product batches occasionally, and many don’t test their products at all. When your employees use untested brands, they risk consuming THC accidentally. This can trigger a positive result on a drug test and you won’t know whether the employee was using marijuana or just taking CBD.
Plenty of manufacturers claim their CBD products contain no THC, but technically, that’s not possible if it’s extracted from hemp. All CBD products will contain at least a small amount of THC. The only exception is synthetic CBD. However, synthetic CBD should be avoided because synthetic cannabinoids are known to make people sick.
2. You can’t risk other people’s lives
Since THC can be found in low-quality CBD products, you can’t risk other people’s lives if your employees perform certain types of work. For example, pilots, bus drivers, train operators, and construction workers all hold the lives of others in their hands while on the job. One mistake can send people to the hospital or the grave.
Having a policy that bans CBD use on the job ensures that your employees won’t accidentally harm others by taking a low-quality product that contains THC.
3. You might lose your business license
Depending on your industry, you could lose your business license if an employee hurts someone while under the influence of THC. Having a policy banning THC and CBD will cover you to an extent.
If you openly allow employees to consume CBD on the clock, you could be accidentally setting yourself up for liability after an accident. Maintaining a strict policy against CBD covers you in case an employee consumes CBD with too much THC, whether intentionally or accidentally.
4. Detectable THC levels are cumulative
Even though CBD is now legal to extract from industrial hemp, employees are failing drug tests after using CBD they thought was nearly THC-free. There is reason to believe that the small amounts of THC actually build up in a person’s system over time. When a person takes CBD every day for a month, they might never feel the THC, but a drug test can show a positive result.
When in doubt, err on the side of caution
You might want to let this one go, and not make a policy prohibiting CBD use at work. That’s understandable, especially if you find CBD beneficial in your own life. However, you need to do what’s best for the company.
If all of your workers sit at a desk all day and don’t interact with other people in a way that could put their lives at risk, you might feel comfortable skipping the issue. Not every company needs to restrict or prohibit the use of CBD.
However, if you choose to enact a ban, let your employees know they’re free to consume CBD on their own time and after work. Let them know you understand the benefits and explain that your decision is strictly business.