The use of CBD has become widespread since its legalization in 2018. But many employers are uncertain of the side effects, wondering if CBD has the potential of doing more harm than good.
Will it decrease productivity? Does it get employees high if they use it? Let’s take a closer look at how there are actually significant benefits of allowing employees to use CBD as directed to benefit their personal and professional lives.
What is CBD
It’s first important for any employer to have a proper understanding of what CBD is. Also known as cannabidiol, it is among the top active chemicals in the cannabis plant. It is derived from both the hemp and marijuana plant.
However, unlike marijuana which is high in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not have psychoactive effects which are commonly associated with marijuana. Because of this, CBD has skyrocketed as a trendy alternative for various ailments, both physical and mental.
Forms of CBD
CBD comes in a wide variety of ingestible forms. From tinctures to put in your morning coffee to CBD gummies, the range of products available on the market is vast and continues to grow. It’s an incredible alternative to options like smoking or vaping and can be incredibly discrete in the workplace if needed.
But now the question remains – should it be allowed in the workplace?
Allowing Use of CBD at Work
Depending on which state you or your company is in, the rules and regulations surrounding CBD can vary. But as it becomes more recognized as an acceptable alternative for other medications, there is much debate around the regular use for employees at work.
As of now, there is only one form of CBD that has been approved by the FDA as a prescription medication. Epidiolex is primarily used for people who experience seizures or certain illnesses that coincide with seizures. However, because there is only one form of FDA-approved CBD, does that also mean no other form of CBD should be allowed?
Many prescribed medications or even over-the-counter medications require multiple uses throughout the day. Because of this, some medications need to be taken at work. Supplements and vitamins are also permitted while a person is at work. And unlike prescribed medications, CBD can be purchased online as well, making others question the safety or regulation behind the products.
The argument is that, unlike Epidiolex, which has a backing of a significant amount of proven research, CBD still needs to have even more research to prove its claims in managing issues such as arthritis, depression, or anxiety. Because of this, there is no certified safety guarantee when using CBD regularly.
Current drug testing methods that many companies use when hiring their employees are unable to distinguish the difference between a hemp-derived CBD product or a marijuana-derived CBD product. The main difference is that one is federally legal while the other is not.
This means an employer does not have substantial evidence to back up someone’s claims that they are using CBD as opposed to marijuana when doing their initial background check. They only have their word.
Unfortunately, the debate as to whether or not CBD should be allowed when hiring an employee or allowed in the workplace is not simply black or white. There are several gray areas both in personal opinion as well as federal regulation.
To maintain transparency with your employees, it may be worth setting the expectations of the use of CBD upfront. This way, there is no misunderstanding or confusion if an employee brings it to work.