Friday, December 9

What Every Business Owner Should Know About CBD oil

While there is a lot of hype, buzz, and goodwill around CBD oil and all that it does, not everything surrounding this 21st-century health booster. There are issues surrounding CBD oil and its use, most of which stem from misunderstanding exactly what CBD oil is, what it is used for, and most importantly, what it is not.

CBD oil in 2020 is something that is here to stay. So, if you are a business owner, chances are if you have not encountered issues with CBD use in your workplace, you will in the near future. To set the record straight and clear up some of the common misconceptions around CBD oil, here is what every business owner should know about CBD oil.

The problem with CBD in the workplace

Many employers do not understand exactly what CBD oil is and it can lead to bad situations in the workplace. A perfect example of this is explained in this Daily CBD Mag piece which tells the story of two workers in Utah, identified only as Elisa and Mandy, who lost their jobs because of a “zero tolerance” drug testing policy that came up positive because of CBD.

In this situation, Elisa, a long-term employee of a manufacturing company, lost her job after testing positive for THC during a drug test related to a workplace accident. For Mandy, who took CBD to help with anxiety and migraine headaches, a drug test disqualified her for a job after she had reached the final stages of the interview process. In both cases, these women had their professional and personal lives upended because of a workplace misunderstanding over CBD oil.

Are CBD and marijuana the same thing? 

The root cause of employees being fired due to the use of CBD oil comes down workers failing drug tests because they test positive for low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive chemical compound found in Cannabis Sativa plants and is found in heavy concentrations in the drug marijuana. It is what drug tests test for to help determine if people have recently smoked marijuana. 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is also a chemical compound that comes from Cannabis Sativa plants. Although it comes from the same basic source as THC it has none of the psychoactive properties that THC does so, in simple terms, it does not get you “high” like THC does. To understand more about CBD and the difference between it and THC, you can read this in-depth piece from CBDKyro, by Marina Turea, about the science of CBD. 

While marijuana has both THC and CBD in it, the idea behind CBD oil is to extract the CBD either from plants with little to no THC or from plants that do have both, but where it can be extracted alone, without the THC. The problem becomes that this may not be entirely possible, according to CFAH.

What are the legal limits of THC in CBD? 

Whether CBD oil contains trace amounts of THC depends on how pure the CBD oil is. If you get 100% pure CBD oil, it should contain no THC at all. However, in the U.S., CBD oil and other products are allowed to market themselves as such as long as they do not contain more than the legal limit of THC which is 0.3%. This means there is a good chance you will be taking in minute amounts of THC when using CBD oil but it is in no way enough to get you high. For comparison, marijuana contains about 40% THC so you can see how big that difference is. 

What employers should know about CBD oil 

Now that you know what is happening with CBD oil, employment, and drug tests, what else should employers know about CBD in 2020? Here are 3 things for employers to keep in mind. 

  1. Types of drug tests – Almost every common drug test will test for the presence of THC. This is understandable and even smart. There are many jobs where employees using or abusing marijuana can be a serious issue. There are different kinds of drug tests though that test for different things. A hair follicle test tests for chronic use so no amount of CBD use should make someone fail this type of test. For urine or oral fluid tests, the THC thresholds are much lower so CBD could give you a false positive. Make sure to use a test that tells you exactly how much it detects instead of just pass/fail. 
  2. CBD can make for better employees – If your employees are using CBD, good for you! CBD treats a wide range of physical and mental health issues to make people feel better and be healthier. People take CBD in order to experience any number of the many benefits CBD provides. These benefits can actually make employees better at their job and cause them to miss less time with health ailments.
  3. Use common sense – The biggest thing employers should know about CBD oil when hiring for a job or evaluating employees’ use of it is that they should use common sense. If someone is dealing with health issues by smoking copious amounts of marijuana, it is your right to not want to employ that person. If they come up in a drug test with trace amounts of THC in their system, no matter how it got there, it probably is not that big of a deal. A common-sense approach to CBD oil will go a long way for both your employees and your business. 


There is still a lot of misunderstanding about what CBD oil is, how it is used, and its effects on people. The good news is, as CBD gets more popular and mainstream it is getting more coverage so more people are starting to understand it and science is learning more about the benefits of it as well. Someday soon, it seems as though CBD will be widely available, used, and accepted. Until that day though, there will unfortunately still be stories similar to the ones above from Utah. As an employer though, the more you know about CBD, the more you will be prepared to deal with it when it inevitably comes to your place of business.

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