As more “Cannabidiol” or CBD products come onto the market, a growing number of truckers are looking into whether using CBD could put their commercial driver’s license (CDL) at risk.

Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of CBD products that promise to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and reduce every day aches and pains.

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued guidance about CBD use for safety-sensitive employees in the transportation industry, including pilots, train engineers, and truck drivers.

In the notice, DOT reminds workers that it is never acceptable for safety-sensitive employees who are subject to drug testing regulations to consume marijuana.

Workers are also warned to use caution if they do decide to consume CBD:

“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 notice outlines three major points about the use of CBD by safety-sensitive workers:

  • The Department of Transportation requires testing for marijuana and not CBD. 
  • The labeling of many CBD products may be misleading because the products could contain higher levels of THC than what the product label states. 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 FDA has cautioned the public that: “Consumers should beware purchasing and using any [CBD] products.”  The FDA has stated: “It is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.”*  Also, the FDA has issued several warning letters to companies because their products contained more CBD than indicated on the product label.
  • The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation, Part 40, does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason. Furthermore, CBD use is not a legitimate medical explanation for a laboratory-confirmed marijuana positive result. Therefore, 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. 

It’s also important to note that CBD laws vary from state to state.

You can view the DOT notice here.





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