The ABC's Of CBD

Author:Ms Susan Schorr
Profession:McLane Middleton, Professional Association

A majority of states now authorize the use of either medical or recreational marijuana, but it seems like CBD or cannabidiol is garnering as much attention as the stuff that actually causes the munchies. What is all the buzz about?

As a primer, CBD is derived from the marijuana plant and is one of hundreds of cannabis compounds. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the more famous probably because it is psychoactive; CBD is not, as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. CBD products come in many forms, including an oil that can be consumed orally or rubbed on the skin, gum drops and other edibles, capsules, and liquid vaping cartridges. CBD is not yet thoroughly vetted for use by the medical community, but some assert that it is helpful in relieving pain, inflammation, nausea, anxiety, depression, and many other ailments. The FDA recently approved a pharmaceutically manufactured version of CBD called Epidolex, which is for use to treat rare forms of epilepsy.

What is the challenge for schools and other employers when a student or employee requests to use or consume a CBD product and report to work or campus? Because CBD is a cannabis compound (and thus THC-adjacent) and is also not regulated, it is impossible to tell if any given edible or dropper of oil contains more than the permitted trace amount of THC. Thus, though unlikely, consumption of CBD could trigger a positive drug test, putting an employer in the difficult spot of responding to an employee who insists that they are just using CBD oil to aid with sleep. Depending on the employee's job description and whether the employer is a school, tolerance for a positive test could be quite low, putting continued employment in jeopardy.

For schools, even in states where recreational marijuana is legal or personal use...

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