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CBD Oils / Healthy Living

Can An Employer Fire You For Using CBD Oil?

With a considerably large and growing percentage of the adult population using CBD for various reasons, the question on everybody’s mind is: Can an employer fire you for using CBD oil? The short answer is ‘yes.’ But you must understand where the UK stands concerning CBD and CBD products and the country’s laws regarding its use. Here’s a look at all this and more.

CBD has been a topic of interest for some years. While considered a miracle product in some circles, it’s thought to be an illegal drug in others. While some countries have legalised CBD oil, others have banned its use. Between 8% and 11% of adults in the UK alone use CBD, and the UK CBD industry continues to explode. (Source

Drug testing in the UK workplace

Many CBD products in the market contain THC levels exceeding the legal limit, making them fall under the ‘Class A’ specification in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Plus, the increasing use of CBD products, including CBD oil, among UK adults has forced employers to take steps to ensure safety at the workplace. (Source)

UK employers are increasingly making it necessary for employees to undergo drug testing – this is especially the case in industries in which the use of drugs could pose a significant hazard. Some of these industries include construction, transport, and energy. The drugs most commonly tested for at the workplace include cannabis (THC), cocaine, amphetamine, opiates, and benzodiazepines. Today, drug tests are designed to detect THC and its metabolites in the bloodstream.

The consequences of a failed drug test

Employees who have used cannabis oil before a drug test run the risk of failing the test. A failed drug test has many consequences, is often tied with the position’s requirements, and even risks job loss. Even trace amounts of THC in the bloodstream could appear in a drug test.

The consequences of refusing a drug test

Employees can refuse a drug test in the UK. However, if there is a prior contractual agreement regarding undergoing drug testing, and an employee refuses to undergo the test, they could face strict disciplinary action and even dismissal.

What should employees do?

To stay safe, employees should consider staying away from any product made from hemp or cannabis. If refrain is not an option, then only therapeutic-grade CBD oil, bought from a trusted source, must be used.

If using CBD oil for medicinal purposes, an employee must let their employer or manager know the medical reason for its use. By doing so, the employer and manager can devise a plan to ensure the employee’s safety at the workplace and avoid legal consequences.

What is CBD?

CBD or Cannabidiol is one of the two most crucial cannabinoid compounds, the other being tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, derived from plants belonging to the cannabis group of plants. These plants include hemp and marijuana. 

Although CBD (also known as cannabis) is found in both marijuana and hemp plants, its level in these plants varies greatly. And the CBD derived from both these plants varies. Unfortunately, because CBD is found in the same group of plants that marijuana is obtained from, it has received a lot of bad rep in the past. 

Thankfully, we know more about CBD’s benefits, properties and uses, and laws that once painted CBD and marijuana with the same brush have changed.

What CBD is and is not

CBD, unlike marijuana, THC is not addictive. Unlike marijuana, CBD does not contain psychoactive properties. Although the marijuana plant has a small amount of CBD, CBD is mainly derived from the hemp plant.

CBD oil derived from marijuana plants contains some THC, which gives people the same euphoria experienced by people who smoke/vape/eat marijuana, making CBD illegal in the UK.

The hemp plant has a significantly high CBD content and minimal THC content. CBD is used in various consumable products like edibles, tinctures, creams, vapour, and oils.

The CBD industry in the UK is steadily growing despite the stigma and misinformation surrounding its use and could become a billion-pound industry by 2025.

UK Laws regarding the use of CBD

In 2018, a UK law legalised using cannabinoids (including CBD, CBD, CBDa) and CBD-infused products, while others like THC remained illegal.

Regarding the production of CBD oil, UK law dictates that CBD must fulfil certain conditions to make it fit for human consumption:

· CBD oil must only be sourced from an approved industrial strain of hemp.

· Products containing 0.2% or more THC are banned in the UK under the Misuse of Drugs Act (MoDA) 1971.

· The oil must contain less than 1 mg of THC per component part of the CBD product. That amount of THC is too small to cause a “high.”

· CBD products are not medicinal cannabis products and must be sold as food supplements.

· To sell CBD, CBD-manufacturing companies must comply with various regulations and submit a Novel Foods Application to the Food Standards Agency.

· Cannabis oil is not CBD oil. It is an entirely different product, treated differently under the law, and is illegal throughout the UK.

The laws guarantee:

· High-quality control and safe use of CBD.

· Prevention of false and misleading claims about the benefits of CBD.

Unlike cannabis, a Class B controlled drug, Pure CBD is legal under UK law and not classified as a restricted or controlled substance. However, the production and sale of CBD – even in its purest form, is subject to tight regulation, and only registered companies can produce CBD products while following strict standards.

Regarding medicinal CBD, The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has not authorised medicinal cannabis for public consumption. A medical professional can only prescribe medicinal CBD for a few conditions.

Conclusion: Can an employer fire you for using CBD oil?

CBD oil is legal in the UK if it contains no or less than 0.2% THC. The law encourages organisations to have strict drug and alcohol policies and conduct drug tests when required. While employees can refuse a drug test, it could lead to job-threatening consequences. 

Can you use CBD while working?

Yes, many people find it beneficial to take CBD during their work day. CBD oil is known to help improve mood, increase energy, and promote a sense of well-being, all of which can be beneficial while working.

The key is to find the dosage that works best for you and to start with a lower dose until you find what’s right for you.

How long does CBD stay in your system?

It depends on how you take it. CBD can stay in your system for up to 5 days, but that depends on the dosage and how frequently you take it. Higher doses tend to stay in your system for a longer period of time.

If you take CBD every day, it will build up in your system and could potentially stay there for weeks or even months. Ultimately, though, it depends on each individual’s metabolism and how quickly they process CBD.

Some people metabolize it very quickly and some people metabolize it very slowly. But regardless of how quickly or slowly you metabolise CBD, it will eventually leave your system.

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