Were you aware that truckers can technically drive while under the influence of marijuana, legally? But before you go lighting up cannabis and driving in your big rig while hauling thousands of pounds, it is important to know what we mean by “technically”.
Not knowing the rules and limitations can get you in trouble with the Department of Transportation, including having your CDL revoked, going to jail, being reported to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and all of those other fears you might have had before reading the first sentence of this article.
CBD and THC
Marijuana has two primary mind-altering chemicals in it, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). They both have the same chemical formula, but are arranged differently on the atomic level.
CBD is legal to use while driving a heavy-duty truck, while THC is not.
THC is known for creating the mind altering effects of marijuana, which can impact sight, judgement, reflexes, and other aspects that are crucial to driving safely. CBD, to contrast, creates the calming and pain killing effects of marijuana.
This means that you cannot smoke marijuana or take edibles while on the job. The only way to safely use marijuana by DOT standards is to take CBD, not THC.
Knowing Your CBD Supplements
Getting CBD alone for calming purposes can be done in a variety of ways. There are CBD oils, sprays, rubs, and gummies that you can use, with many more options available.
It is imperative, however, that whatever you take has less than a 0.3% THC content. The Department of Transportation released a statement on February 18th, 2020. To summarize:
- CBD levels are not what is tested in the body for a marijuana drug test.
- The Food and Drug Administration does not currently measure or enforce THC levels in CBD products, meaning a spray or gummy that is labeled “THC free” can be lying.
- CBD products cannot be used as a defense against being tested positive for THC.
As a result of these three statements, the user of any CBD products must exercise caution when doing so. If they feel any psychedelic effects from taking a CBD product, it is very well possible that it had trace amounts of THC in it and the driver should pull over and wait for the drugs to wear off before he continues driving.
While you technically can get away with taking substances derived from marijuana in the form of CBD, the lack of enforcement for THC coupled with placing responsibility square on the shoulders of drivers makes taking CBD as a way to treat anxiety or forms of pain a very risky venture.
Since its launch in the early days of 2020, the FMCSA Clearinghouse already has 8,000 recorded cases of failed or refused drug tests. Drivers are advised to be careful about what they put into their bodies, especially when on duty or about to go on duty. Driving under the effect of THC is not a matter to be taken lightly, especially behind the wheel of a large commercial vehicle.
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