Can truck drivers use CBD oil?

by Edward J. Ross

CBD products for truck driver

CBD products became highly sought after in the U.S. by so many people since the Farm Bill was signed into law in 2018. Truckers are no exception; most truck drivers use CBD to remedy pains from occupational hazards.

CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a compound found in Cannabis Sativa like marijuana and hemp. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive (it won't get you high or make you feel euphoric). That, plus its numerous claimed health benefits, has made CBD products the go-to drug among most people in America to relieve stress, treat anxiety and depression, etc.

The cannabis plant, although being recognized at the federal level and legal in most U.S. states (apart from South Dakota, Iowa, and Idaho.), and medical practitioners recommending the use of hemp oil or CBD oil as a natural and better alternative to pain meds, antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, sleeping pills, etc. Many truck drivers are still uncertain if they should indulge in using CBD oil to alleviate certain health issues developed from work.

I would downright say, "yea use CBD oil, only if a physician recommends." As a licensed truck driver in the U.S., the use of any cannabis product might pose a risk to your job, even if lab test results confirm a legal 0.3% amount of THC. CBD oil also has its cons.

Is CBD Oil legal for CDL drivers?

Yes! It is legal for CDL drivers or anyone really, to use CBD oil. Provided the producer is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The purchased product contains less THC than the legal 0.3% count set by the FDA, or exactly 0.3% THC amount. Anything higher is a red flag. Do not purchase or use.

However, The Department of Transportation (DOT), in a compliance notice released last year on its website, warned truck drivers and other safety-sensitive drivers of the potential risk they put themselves in by using hemp-derived products. This is due to mislabeling on some CBD products. These products tend to contain a higher concentration of CBD and THC than labeled. And can have a different effect on the body than intended. An extreme side effect could also occur in some people.

The Department of Transportation drug-and-alcohol test is a major concern for all CDL drivers that wish to indulge in CBD oil. The testing regulation does not authorize the use of Schedule 1 drugs, including marijuana, for any purpose, and CBD use is not a valid 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," DOT said.

Is it legal for CDL drivers to use CBD oil? Yes. Is it advisable for CDL drivers to use CBD oil? No! The DOT test can't detect CBD because a hemp-derived product still contains little traces of marijuana in it. Even the legal THC count of 0.3% contained in CBD oil will still test marijuana positive in a DOT drug-and-alcohol test, which will cause the driver in question to lose his job.

There also is the issue of claims that some CBD products contain a higher amount of THC than labeled on the product. CBD oils that contain THC higher than 0.3% might defeat the medicinal and recreational purpose, which may cause psychoactive effects and side effects.

Bottom line, CDL drivers can use all CBD products that contain less than 0.3 amounts of THC or exactly 0.3 THC and not feel like a criminal, unless in Iowa, Idaho, and South Dakota.

Truck drivers in medical prescription possession may not face any penalty for drug administration, using CBD products. The mandated drug tests won't result in THC free due to DOT drug test unavailability to detect cannabidiol CBD. This may result in a driver's suspension.

Can Truck drivers use CBD oil in Canada?

Cannabis plants are highly legal in Canada since the Canadian government passed the Cannabis Act bill in 2018. Cannabis plants are cultivated for medicinal and recreational purposes, alongside hemp plants, from which CBD is extracted. Although the Canadian government strictly regulates Marijuana production and Marijuana use, same with hemp plants. Drug policy in Canada is different from the United States.

Canadian workers are generally protected from random drug tests under the Human Rights Code violation/infringement of privacy rights. Drug testing may be allowed in some limited circumstances. Should a truck driver be mandated to drive in the U.S. as part of a job requirement? The motor carrier may drug test the driver in compliance with U.S. regulations.

Some events may require a truck driver to drug test using the Oral Fluid Testing (a test used to trace amounts of THC, Cocaine, and Meth in the body), though this test is not mandatory for truck drivers.

A Police officer can conduct a drug evaluation with approved drug screening equipment on a truck driver based on reasonable suspicions that a driver may be impaired and unfit to drive. A positive drug test can lead to immediate driving license suspension and impaired criminal charges.

Whether truck drivers in Canada may or may not indulge in using CBD oil has no straight answer. The hemp and Marijuana plant, although regulated by the Federal government, is legal. This makes most CBD products legal product in Canada; hence truck drivers have nothing to fear legally while using CBD oil to treat certain health issues they incurred for long hours of work. As long the CBD oil is purchased from authorized dispensaries.

No random drug testing by the government hints at truck drivers being able to use CBD oil for medicinal purposes only. Truckers that operate within the U.S. may not be able to use CBD oil, as truck drivers will be required to undergo drug tests according to U.S. regulations.

An employer may not accommodate recreational use of Cannabis products or hemp products. Safety-sensitive workers are not permitted to engage in marijuana use. Hemp product is allowed, and for medicinal purposes only.

Zero-tolerance drug policy in Ontario may hinder most truck drivers from CBD use. The policy, however, doesn't affect truck drivers with legal permission to indulge in medical cannabis. Provided there was no CBD use on the road or impaired driving, or there shall be legal consequences if caught. One thing to note about Ontario's policy, your privacy rights may be overridden. You may be pulled over and tested by Police officers with suspicions of impaired. A truck driver's career might be hanging on a cliff should a drug screen. 

Bottom line, truck drivers in Canada can indulge in hemp oil or CBD oil for medicinal purposes and not recreational. Consuming CBD products that don't contain less than 0.3 THC may leave you impaired while driving and endanger the road.

Most trucker drivers use CBD oils already in Canada, some before and after taking the wheel, in some cases the latter. Canadian truck drivers rarely encounter strict drug policy, a result of the Cannabis Act. Unlike truckers being heavily monitored in the U.S., the opposite is the case in Canada. Truck drivers use CBD products at their convenience. Thanks to the Human Rights Code, truckers are not subject to random drug tests.

Although it's a zero-tolerance drug policy, Ontario cannot prosecute a trucker for possession of legally prescribed CBD products or it's usage, provided no issue of impairment occurs. The U.S. regulates drugs differently for all truckers operating within its states. One policy is high sobriety demand. All truckers are required to be THC free. Trace amounts of THC will appear on a drug screen instead of cannabidiol CBD contained in CBD oil.


Health issues plague truckers all over the U.S. and Canada due to a very physical, mental, and emotionally demanding job. Truckers often develop health issues like Smoking addiction, body pains, Hypertension, Depression, Lung Cancer, etc. It's no surprise an alarming number of truckers indulge in CBD products to treat numerous health challenges.

In search of a natural and better alternative to industrial drugs, CBD oil has become a trend among people of different occupations (truckers inclusive). It's claimed health benefits like pain and stress relief, treatment of disorders, fixing heart issues and tobacco addiction, regulating insulin, curing depression and anxiety. All other benefits are reasons why drivers use CBD oil.

It's important to note that what determines the usage of CBD oil by truckers varies in the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. Department of Transportation has an absolute zero-tolerance policy towards drugs and alcohol. Should a trucker's lab tests indicate a positive test for marijuana, an immediate loss of job and license ensues, even though the trucker claims usage of cannabidiol CBD only?

U.S. truckers may have to decide on CBD oil usage by themselves after weighing risk and reward options.

Life for truckers in Canada is a lot easier than for those in the U.S. All Cannabis production in Canada is regulated on a federal level, which ensures only CBD products from vendors that lab tests their oil are being sold in authorized markets. Solving issues of mislabelled products. No mandated random drug screening in Canada allows truckers to freely consume CBD oil, but solely for medicinal purposes.

Truckers in Canada do not have a lot to concern themselves with regards to using CBD oils. Avoid driving impaired or under the influence, and have your legal prescription present while driving. That's all to note. Truckers that operate within the U.S will have to weigh risk and reward options like suggested to U.S. truckers.