How to Handle CBD Use in the Workplace and Drug Testing

CBD OilThe 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the federal list of controlled substances, effectively legalizing hemp-derived CBD products in all 50 states. Since then, CBD is EVERYWHERE and it’s being met with mixed feelings.

On the one hand, people seem to love this mystical oil and they sing it’s praises for physical and mental uses alike. But, on the other hand, employers are on the fence about the drug-adjacent chemical for fear of a potential HR nightmare down the road.

So, what’s the deal with CBD and how should you handle it in the workplace? Here’s our two cents—

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is one of 100+ chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD is extracted from hemp—or marijuana—plants, then infused into and sold as just about any product you can imagine: oils, gummies, lotions, food & drinks, and even bath-bombs.

Often touted as being non-psychoactive, CBD is said not cause a “high” like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and has become a trendy remedy for pain relief, anxiety, and a number of other maladies. Though not the “miracle drug” it’s often marketed as, CBD comes with a host of potential side effects including tiredness, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

And while an ill or overly-tired employee can certainly disrupt the workplace, the bigger cause for concern is that CBD production standards and product labeling are not currently regulated by the FDA. This puts users at-risk for overdosing or even inadvertent ingestion of THC (which can—and will—cause a positive result in a drug test).

4 Ways to Combat CBD in the Workplace

Because CBD comes with so many unknowns, it is best to advise against it all together. Here’s how you can protect your company from the potentially devastating effects of a drug-using employee:

  1. Revise your workplace drug policy to address CBD use. As of today, there is no means to tell whether or not someone is impaired due to CBD use like we have with alcohol. Because of this, consider implementing a zero tolerance policy for all CBD.
  2. Educate your employees. Now that CBD is so widely available and growing in popularity, it is critical that you inform your employees of the risks that come along with CBD use and explain why it will not be tolerated in the workplace.
  3. Conduct random—but regular—drug tests. Random drug testing can be powerful deterrent to employee drug use. However, keep in mind that if you don’t drug test often enough, your employees will start to believe that you never actually will.
  4. Train your managers. Beyond conducting signs and symptoms training to help supervisors recognize impairment, be sure to coach them on how to handle defensive employees in the case of a failed drug test.

Easier said than done? ARCpoint’s experts can review your current drug testing policies and update them if neededhelp you implement and manage a random drug testing programconduct drug screenings, and even train your supervisors to recognize the specific, observable behaviors of an impaired employee. Give us a call at 864.271.3210, or contact us online to start creating a safer work environment today.

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