Can Truck Drivers Use CBD Topicals?

by | Jun 30, 2023 | Latest News | 0 comments

Truck drivers and other transportation providers suffer from health problems related to prolonged sedentary positioning. Whether you are a coach driver with passengers or have your CDL license for carrying drayage or goods, there are many common health risks.

From joint and back pain to muscle stiffness and limited range of motion, cannabidiol (CBD) may help. But when drivers use CBD, they can risk losing their license if they do not pass mandatory drug tests. But that does not mean all cannabidiol products for medicinal use are off the table.

Topical CBD creams and ointments work differently than oral caplets, tinctures, or vapes. If you are a truck driver and struggling with symptoms of pain and inflammation, CBD products may still be an option for you. Many drivers use CBD, but not as an intake method that is virtually THC-free.

Most truck drivers may not have considered topicals as a safe, legal option to help with symptoms of pain, anxiety, and more. At the same time, other types of CBD products are viewed as controlled substances if a truck driver tests positive for THC.

Health Conditions and Symptoms Related to Commercial Drivers

Due to the nature of their profession, truck drivers face many different health problems and increased risk factors for chronic diseases. The sedentary nature of the job for a commercial truck driver can cause problems with obesity and cardiovascular diseases. As well as muscle and joint pain.

Disrupted sleep is a frequent problem for truck drivers. Not only do they spend long hours driving behind the wheel, but they may also schedule themselves for evening or overnight routes when they can avoid traffic and improve delivery times. Despite DOT regulations about mandatory rest breaks for safety, many truckers suffer from chronic insomnia.

Mental health disorders are also another challenge that truck drivers face. It is stressful driving full-time for long hours every week. Long-haul truck drivers must also cope with being away from home, which means sleeping and preparing meals in their vehicles. The solitary nature of the job can cause long periods of isolation from family and friends, which can cause symptoms of depression.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 14% of CDL truck drivers were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. That is just over 500,000 drivers in the United States. With diabetes, truckers may be coping with other associated problems such as hypertension (high blood pressure), edema (swelling of the feet and legs due to low activity), fatigue, and diabetic neuropathy (pain associated with nerve damage). Clinical studies have also suggested that cannabidiol reduces blood pressure.

Many of the health problems faced by truck drivers and symptoms are a direct result of the sedentary nature of their work. Unfortunately, while CBD can assist with inflammatory diseases and symptoms, it is not an option for truck drivers.

CBD for truckers

Random Drug Tests and Drug Screening for Professional Drivers

Driving heavy equipment requires alertness to promote safety. The average semi truck can weigh over 35,000 pounds. And some commercial truck drivers manage loads that average closer to 50,000 pounds or more, depending on the number of axles on their rig.

You can understand why randomized drug testing is critical to promoting road safety. Some argue that truckers should be allowed to use medical cannabis, for example, when they are not driving. Unfortunately, traces of THC can persist in the body for up to 30 days after a single intake.

Drug tests cannot determine when you last ingested THC. The only thing a positive drug test reveals is that you have THC in your system. And that is enough to face some serious penalties if you are a CDL professional.

What Happens if a Truck Driver Tests Positive for THC?

Testing positive for THC or any other controlled substance results in an immediate suspension. Commercial truck drivers are not allowed to operate a vehicle and must submit to a rehabilitation program. After that, in order to get their CDL license back, truckers must take a new operational safety exam. And submit to drug testing to ensure that they are no longer using illegal substances.

Department of Transportation (DOT drug test) can happen during events scheduled throughout the year. A safety blitz is conducted regularly to randomly pull over CDL drivers, who are then drug tested. Maintaining a CDL license in transportation requires testing. Some companies also require in-house randomized drug tests in addition to federal drug testing regulations.

Another crippling penalty that professional truck drivers can face if they test positive for THC or another controlled substance is being rated up on commercial insurance. If any truck drivers fail a drug test, they can see their cost of liability and other insurance required climb significantly.

More than one failed drug test can make it impossible for a truck driver to remain licensed and insured. And the drug and alcohol policy for truck drivers does not differentiate between therapeutic CBD oil use and the use of marijuana products. The federal government and DOT drug tests are clear. Any amount of THC that is detected results in the immediate suspension of any safety-sensitive DOT functions.

Heavy Lifting

Can You Fail a Drug Test if You Use CBD?

When truck drivers use CBD, they run the risk of failing a drug test. This is something that every truck driver may not know since CBD (unlike cannabis) is not psychoactive. You do not feel ‘high” when you take CBD on a daily basis.

For some people, CBD may help by lowering inflammation in the body. There are many clinical studies that suggest the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are significant. It may not work for everyone, but many people find taking a daily CBD oil product, or other types of CBD products can help with sore muscles and more.

There is a small amount of THC in every quality cannabidiol (CBD) product. That is because CBD wellness products are processed from industrial hemp plants. The hemp plants have a much lower level of THC content compared to marijuana plants. However, it is present, and it can show up, resulting in a failed drug test whether you are using CBD oil or another type of cannabidiol product.

Another consideration is that while CBD is not psychoactive, it can still cause symptoms of fatigue or drowsiness. That is because of the cannabinoids that work to help relieve anxiety and stress. Truck drivers need to remain alert when they are on the road. And CBD supplements can compromise reaction time and other skills truck drivers need to operate their vehicles safely.

Trucker Back Pain

What are CBD Topicals, and How Are They Different?

Cannabidiol is extracted from agricultural hemp plants and condensed into CBD oil. That oil is full of cannabinoids that work together and can provide wellness benefits. Clinical studies have shown that CBD oil can help reduce inflammation and also provide some relief from anxiety.

Topical CBD creams have cannabidiol content. But they work differently than CBD oil, which is ingested orally or inhaled through vape or smokable hemp. Topicals are formulated with CBD and also other extracts that promote absorption into the skin to help fight inflammation.

Many people find that CBD topical creams help. The medicinal ingredients and extracts are absorbed into the skin, so that means you can apply them locally where you need them most. Typically CBD oil-based topical creams are also formulated to absorb rapidly through the skin to help provide relief.

Unlike oral supplements, however, the cannabinoids from the topical cream do not absorb into the bloodstream. Human skin has many layers, and the top layer is called the epidermis. It acts as a protective layer to prevent bacteria and other foreign substances from entering the body. Topical creams made from CBD oil absorb gradually and interact with local tissue cannabinoid receptors in the area where they are applied.

Cannabidiol topical creams may help reduce pain and inflammation by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Topical CBD may also help with surface skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, according to therapeutic clinical trials.

Drug Tests for Truck Drivers USA

Can You Test Positive for THC After Using CBD Topical Creams?

Truckers or other professional drivers who experience muscle or joint pain may use CBD topical creams. If you choose a high-quality cannabidiol topical, you may find it helps with localized pain and inflammation. And you won’t have to worry about a positive drug test result if you use CBD topicals.

The reason is that full-spectrum CBD products formulated as creams or ointments do have less than 0.30% THC by volume, which makes them safe to use according to federal law, no matter what state you travel to. They were legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill as long as they are hemp-derived products.

But the most important thing is that cannabidiol applied directly to the skin does not pass the blood barrier. It will not be absorbed into your bloodstream even if you are using broad-spectrum CBD creams.

That means truck drivers can safely use CBD topicals to help with joint pain and inflammation as a natural medicinal; CBD oils that are applied as a topical cream or ointment will not contribute to problems with drug testing for truck drivers or professionals with a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

What Kind of CBD Topical Cream Should You Buy?

While federally legal, there are many cannabidiol (CBD) products on the market that may not meet safety requirements. Or have the potency of CBD and complimenting minor cannabinoids to offer the best results. It is easy to find CBD oil-based topical creams, but how do you know you are buying a quality product?

The topical CBD product should have a certificate of analysis or COA. That means the products have been tested by a third-party independent laboratory. The certificate outlines the exact content inside the CBC topical. And any other natural extracts that have been added which can provide wellness benefits.

After you have checked the certificate of analysis (COA) for the cannabidiol topical cream you want to buy, make sure it contains full spectrum CBD oils. Broad-spectrum CBD means that there are many minor cannabinoids blended in the cream.

There is a small amount of THC in all CBD products. But as cannabidiol topicals are not absorbed into the bloodstream, they are federally legal. From truck drivers to transit vehicle operators, virtually anyone with a CDL can safely use CBD creams and oils. And many people find CBD creams provide health benefits, as studies have shown transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation.

Taking CBD supplements for a commercial driver may not be an option, but that is not the only CBD product that may help. Find out by researching a high-quality full-spectrum CBD product for topical use. And see if CBD oil-based creams or ointments work for you.

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