May 11, 2022

Can You Use CBD At Work? A Quick-Reference Guide For Employees

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating cannabis compound. Since it doesn’t get you high, it might seem like you could use CBD products anytime, including during working hours. And thanks to benefits that help with focus, productivity, pain, and more — there are lots of reasons why you might want to dip into your CBD stash before or during your shift.

But the answer to the question “Can I take CBD oil at work?” isn’t black and white. While hemp-derived CBD is federally legal, your employer’s policies ultimately determine what’s permitted and what’s not while you’re on the clock — and sometimes even after-hours.

We want everyone to feel clear and comfortable about CBD usage, so we whipped up this guide to help employees understand the dos and don’ts of cannabidiol in the workplace.

CBD At Work: FAQs

You’ve probably got work to do, so let’s hop right into some frequently asked questions.

Can An Employer Fire You For Using CBD Oil?

Short answer: yes. Employers are free to fire employees for drug use. Despite the fact that CBD isn’t intoxicating, it is a drug in the eyes of many employers.

Of course, it’s impossible for your boss to know what you’re doing every minute of every day, so they’d have to know you’re using CBD before they could fire you for it. That means they’d have to either:

  1. See you using CBD.
  2. Find evidence of cannabis in your system through drug testing.

Unless you’re openly popping CBD gummies at your desk, number two is the most likely option.

Note that we said “evidence of cannabis” and not “evidence of CBD.” That’s because there is not a urine test for CBD (or any type of drug test for that matter). However, some CBD products contain trace amounts (or more) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is absolutely detectable through drug testing.

That’s why it’s extremely important to vet your products carefully to make sure they’re truly THC-free. You can find the THC contents listed on the certificate of analysis (COA). The COA should be provided by a third-party lab.

Promote yourself to chief COA inspector by reading How To Read A Certificate Of Analysis (COA) For Your CBD Products.

Can You Use CBD As A Federal Employee?

In most cases, the answer is no. Anyone with a security clearance and military service members is strictly prohibited from using any hemp- or cannabis-derived substance.

Civilian federal employees can technically use hemp-derived CBD with zero THC. There are quite a few cautionary tales of federal employees being fired after failing drug tests due to CBD usage, which are yet more reminders to read the COA for every product you buy.

I Use Medical Cannabis — Can I Take My CBD At Work?

Unfortunately, usually, the answer is no. Even in cannabis-friendly states, drug-free workplace policies supersede one’s right to use medical cannabis in any form, CBD included.

Since every state has different medical cannabis regulations, it’s best to ask your employer before assuming you can take prescribed or doctor-recommended CBD at work. Bringing your medical cannabis card or proof of your prescription to that conversation probably wouldn’t hurt.

Read CBD: Medical Vs. Recreational Use for more on using medicinal CBD.

Can I Use CBD While Operating A Vehicle Or Heavy Machinery?

If you drive or run heavy equipment at work, there’s a very good chance your employer has zero-tolerance for drug use. And as we learned above, it probably views CBD as a drug, and a drug test could theoretically reveal whether you’ve been using it.

Additionally, while most folks use CBD with no issues, some people experience drowsiness, dizziness, and fatigue. These potential side effects pose a safety risk when you’re driving or operating machinery.

Head to Is It Okay To Drive If You’ve Taken CBD for more clarification about getting behind the wheel after using CBD.

How Can I Find Out If I Can Use CBD While Working?

Great question! The first place to look is in your employee handbook. Your employer’s CBD policy might be wrapped into the company’s drug policy. Look for words like hemp-derived substances and cannabidiol.

If you don’t see anything there, see if there’s an amendment or waiver specific to CBD.

And if there’s no mention of CBD, or if you work in a laid-back workplace without a written drug policy, err on the side of caution — ask your employer before you make an assumption.

Clocking Out With CBD

If you have the green light to use CBD before or at work, lucky you! CBD can be a friend to a worker’s body and mind, and zero-THC CBD options mean you can use it without worry of a failed drug test.

But depending on your workplace policies, the best time to use CBD might be when you’re off the clock — which isn’t so bad! You can still enjoy CBD gummies on your days off, or take CBD oil with melatonin so you can get a good night’s sleep before your big presentation. And topical CBD cream doesn’t enter the bloodstream, so you can rub it on your achy spots anytime.

There really is a time and a place for every CBD product — so work it!


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