Written By: Armela Escalona
With all the madness surrounding COVID-19, truck drivers have stepped up in a big way for us. These heroic men and women have been driving around-the-clock to help us hold on to some normalcy during these uncertain times.
So in light of their perseverance and dedication, we wanted to take a moment to share our gratitude and answer questions that we’ve been getting from these patriotic road warriors, as well as expand on some additional topics.
To start, the use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes is now legal in 11 U.S states. Cannabis-derived products, such as cannabidiol (CBD) oils, are now federally legal.
Surely you’ve seen several advertisements that market the product as add-ins for your favorite drinks (coffee or smoothie) or a great addition to your natural skincare routine.
And despite all its popularity, many people are still unsure about CBD and are concerned about its effects, including our 18-Wheelin’ friends. So, Can truck drivers use CBD oil? Is it safe to drive after using CBD oil? Is CBD legal?
Can Truck Drivers Use CBD Oil?
CBD oil is federally legal in the United States, so yes truck drivers, just like anyone else, can use CBD products. Keep in mind that the laws regarding CBD’s status have varying degrees of restrictions. Some states allow the full use of the product while others restrict it altogether. Not confusing at all, right?
If you are driving through multiple states, it’s a good idea to take a look at the restrictions for each one. Here’s a map to help you safely navigate cannabis law.
There are a few states highlighted in purple which either restrict cannabis products or do not regulate them at all. The three states where it is not legal in any form are South Dakota, Idaho, and Iowa. Avoid these states if possible if you’re using CBD or low THC products.
In teal states like California and Colorado, all cannabis products are both medicinally and recreationally legal, so no issues there.
The states highlighted in yellow, like Florida and Arizona, have legalized medicinal cannabis and allow for over-the-counter CBD and low THC products.
And the states highlighted in orange, like Georgia and Tennessee, only allow CBD and low THC products.
So if you’re driving cross-country with CBD, the only three states you have to worry about are South Dakota, Idaho, and Iowa.
Can I use CBD while driving?
Generally speaking, CBD oil is safe to use throughout the day. Even if you purchase a full-spectrum CBD product that contains trace amounts of THC, it’s not going to have an intoxicating effect on you.
Some customers have reported a drowsy or sleepy side-effect from taking CBD, so if you have a similar experience, we do not recommend you operate a motorized vehicle. It’s always a good idea to speak with a physician to find a dose that works best for you before integrating it into your day-to-day.
What if I get pulled over with CBD?
You got pulled over and you have CBD? Don’t panic, remember, CBD is federally legal. Again, it’s a good idea to keep local and state regulations in mind when purchasing and consuming any product, but if you did your homework beforehand and it's permissible where you’re driving, then you’re in the clear.
Regardless, any quality CBD brand will make their lab tests accessible on their website, and depending on the state, the product must be properly labeled and include a QR code linked to the lab tests for that specific batch. This is important because those 3rd party lab tests confirm that the product contains the legal amount of 0.3% or less in THC.
So if you’re ever in doubt, simply scan the QR code with your phone and keep the lab tests handy while.
What’s in CBD Oil? — Why is there an ongoing debate about its legality?
Cannabidiol or CBD is a secondary compound found in the cannabis sativa plant. The primary compound—which is also the more famous one— is tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC”. This is the active ingredient that induces the psychoactive or euphoric effect of cannabis.
THC and CBD are just two of the more than 80 organic cannabinoids present in the plant. According to researchers, cannabinoids are the chemicals that protect the plant from UV rays. Cannabinoid levels also change with sun exposure. This is why the flowers from the female plant often have more cannabinoids than the rest of the plant.
THC and CBD only have slight differences when you look at their chemical structure. Despite this, they’re very different when it comes to their effects. While THC’s psychoactive effect helps with ailments like nausea, CBD is shown to aid in relieving inflammation, joint pain and aches, as well as mood and overall mental health. Experts are also studying CBD and its effects on children and teens with drug-resistant epilepsy.
What Are The Benefits of CBD Oil?
With excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, CBD has been shown to offer some health benefits, both physical and mental. The most promising include studies that point to early clinical trial data showing CBD’s efficacy with regard to epilepsy and varying forms of seizures.
Marijuana users often claim they use the drug for its calming effects. This effect is also seen in CBD users and may include relief from neuropathic pain and anxiety, as well as cognitive symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
CBD oil is also known for its benefits on the skin. Findings show that the fatty acids present in the oil can protect the skin from breakouts and inflammation whilst keeping the skin nourished and moisturized. It can also aid with various skin conditions such as dermatitis, lichen planus, acne rosacea, and eczema.
There are still no clear findings on the mental health benefits of CBD and THC. Early trials show some encouraging data but it’s still too early to tell if CBD and THC are effective in treating psychiatric disorders.
Some studies showed promise in CBD’s ability to aid those who suffer from social anxiety, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. But as always, we recommend you speak with your primary care physician before taking any products.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
CBD oil is generally safe but there are side effects and risks that you should consider. Side effects of cannabidiol can include irritability, fatigue, and nausea. Other rare side effects include gastrointestinal problems, appetite loss, and altered liver enzymes.
The product is advised against women who are trying to conceive, or are pregnant or currently breastfeeding because ingredients in the cannabidiol products may be harmful to infants or fetuses.
CBD is also not recommended for people who are immune-compromised as well as people with liver disease and people with Parkinson’s disease. Studies found that cannabidiol actually worsens tremors and muscle movements in people with this disease.
What You Need To Know
As of 2020, the general rule of thumb for CBD consumers is this: CBD products are illegal in South Dakota, Iowa, and Idaho, but legal in every other state.
If you’re a truck driver and currently working, it is safe to take CBD products but make sure to avoid the states listed above. Also, don’t drive and take CBD products if they make you drowsy.
Remember, if you get pulled over by a police officer, kindly show him the lab tests for the product and the receipt for the purchase. Again, it’s perfectly legal in most states to have CBD products with you.
And lastly, speak to a physician when deciding what product and dose is best for you and your specific needs. Stay safe out there!
- “Cannabidiol for Drug Resistant Pediatric Epilepsy” - Clinicaltrials.gov
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5741114/ | NCBI: Cannabis, Cannabinoids, & Health
- https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03676049 | ClinicalTrials.gov: Cannabidiol for drug-resistant pediatric epilepsy
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6514832/ | NCBI: Use of Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Epilepsy
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6970569/ | NCBI: A review on studies of Marijuana on Alzheimer's disease
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6429381/ | NCBI: Cannabinoid signaling in the skin
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6966847/ | NCBI: Medical Cannabis for Psychiatric disorders
- “List of 2020 United States cannabis reform proposals” - Wikipedia.com
- “CANNABIDIOL (CBD)”- WebMD.com
- "Is CBD legal? Here’s what you need to know, according to science” - PBS.org