Cannabis Oil Complicates Drug Testing

As marijuana grows in popularity so does the amount of
positive tests for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the psychoactive part of
the drug.  There are currently 11 states
and Washington D.C. that allow the recreational use of marijuana, as well as 33
others that have decriminalized the use for medical purposes.  This is creating a stir in the workplace as
employers do not know how to react to positive drug tests.  There are many different way to consume the psychoactive
THC, but many have moved towards cannabis oil in recent years.  

What is cannabis oil though? Sara Jane Ward, Ph.D., a
professor of pharmacology with the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
has said that cannabis oil refers to concentrated extracts from cannabis.  This oil can found as pure THC, pure
cannabidiol (CBD), or a combination of the two.  Many who use this oil have disabilities in
which other medications just do not suffice.
Some of these include chronic pain, anxiety, symptoms of epilepsy, and
to help with sleep.  The difference between
THC oil and CBD oil however is major, as CBD oil will not come with a high like
the THC oil will.  In order for the CBD
oil to be legal under federal law it must contain less than 0.3% THC.  The downside to this in the workplace is that
an employer has no way of telling whether a positive test was caused by the use
of cannabis oil or the abuse of marijuana.
If an employee was to test positive the employer should have a
conversation with them about their use.
Although you will not be able to tell if it was from CBD or THC, this will
give them a chance to request a reasonable accommodation if deemed
necessary.  In some cases however such as
safety-sensitive positions, or drug-free workplaces a positive test might bring
more disciplinary action.  

Unfortunately regulations on the drug have come at a slow
pace.  As stated before CBD oils are
supposed to have less than 0.3% THC in them, but 43% of the CBD oils tested by
the American Medical Association contained more than that.  Even if an employee uses a product that
contains less than the allowed amount of THC there is still a possibility of
them testing positive for THC during a drug test.  Typically the recommended dose of CBD is 10
to 30 milligrams per day, but Epidiolex a CBD prescription company that is FDA
approved has treated childhood seizure disorders with 300 to 800 milligrams per
day.  Employers may make an exemption to
its drug policy if the employee has a disability where they use CBD on a daily
basis, especially if they are not impaired on the job.

With the fast changing marijuana laws companies have to stay
up to date on employee regulations involving the drug.  If an employee were to test positive it is
very important to have a conversation with them prior to taking any
action.  Check to see if they have a
medical marijuana card or are using CBD for any particular reason on a day to
day basis.  At Converge HR Solutions we
can help you look over your drug testing policies to make sure they are up to
date with the latest laws in your state.
Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have at (610)-296-8550 or

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