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Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance

1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington , DC 20590
United States

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 202-366-3784
Alt Phone: 800-225-3784
Fax: 202-366-3897

DOT “CBD” Notice


The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115-334, (Farm Bill) removed hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. Under the Farm Bill, hemp-derived products containing a concentration of up to 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are not controlled substances. THC is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. Any product, including “Cannabidiol” (CBD) products, with a concentration of more than 0.3% THC remains classified as marijuana, a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

We have had inquiries about whether the Department of Transportation-regulated safety-sensitive employees can use CBD products. Safety-sensitive employees who are subject to drug testing specified under 49 CFR part 40 (Part 40) include: pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, transit vehicle operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, fire-armed transit security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel, among others.

It is important for all employers and safety-sensitive employees to know:

  1. The Department of Transportation requires testing for marijuana and not CBD.
  2. The labeling of many CBD products may be misleading because the products could contain higher levels of THC than what the product label states. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently certify the levels of THC in CBD products, so there is no Federal oversight to ensure that the labels are accurate. The FDA has cautioned the public that: “Consumers should beware purchasing and using any [CBD] products.” The FDA has stated: “It is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.”* Also, the FDA has issued several warning letters to companies because their products contained more CBD than indicated on the product label. **[i]
  3. The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation, Part 40, does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason. Furthermore, CBD use is not a legitimate 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.

It remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to the Department of Transportation’s drug testing regulations to use marijuana. Since the use of CBD products could lead to a positive drug test result, Department of Transportation-regulated safety-sensitive employees should exercise caution when considering whether to use CBD products.

The contents of this document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies. This policy and compliance notice is not legally binding in its own right and will not be relied upon by the Department as a separate basis for affirmative enforcement action or other administrative penalty. Conformity with this policy and compliance notice is voluntary only and nonconformity will not affect rights and obligations under existing statutes and regulations. Safety-sensitive employees must continue to comply with the underlying regulatory requirements for drug testing, specified at 49 CFR part 40.


Can You Fight A Failed Drug Test Due To CBD Oils?

Topic 23842 | Page 1
  • Trucker’s Forum
  • General Category
  • Can you fight a failed drug test due to CBD Oils?

member avatar

I need help! I am currently in school to get my CDL. I was told I could not take a prescription for restless legs syndrome so stopped taking it and asked the local Health Food store if there was a natural alternative. They suggested a Hemp Based CBD Oil and assured me there was no THC and that it would not show up on a drug screen. Well it did, Drug Screen came back 28 nanograms THC and the cut off for DOT is 15. I took a home test to double check and passed but come to find out the cut off for that test is 55. Since I already have my permit I had to stop school for now. Called the DOT in Washington and they were no help. They and the lab said I have to do SAP program to get cleared. I requested a retest immediately but am told that since same sample will most likely come back with the same result and to follow procedure I start the SAP Process Monday which is costly. I paid for CDL school out of pocket and want to continue but am hitting brick walls with trucking companies. My husband and I were going to team, he is due to graduate next week while I am stuck dealing with this. My question is to everyone is, is there a way to fight this since CBD oils are sold over the counter and are not supposed to show up on test? DOT told me that Hemp Based CBD Oils are not a legitimate medical excuse. I am sick about this whole thing and can’t seem to get any real answers of how I can fight this.

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. “The truck police” you could call them.

I need help! I am currently in school to get my CDL. I was told I could not take a prescription for restless legs syndrome so stopped taking it and asked the lo – Page 1.