How Companies Can Benefit from Allowing CBD in the Workplace, Including During Work Hours
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a well-known compound found within the cannabis plant, and it is now available in all 50 states. This is good news for consumers, as researchers are learning that CBD could support wellness in a number of ways. Many consumers report it helping to deal with pain, improving sleep and easing the symptoms of depression and anxiety. But employers may be curious about how CBD works, about the legal situation of CBD, its potential to improve the wellness of employees who consume CBD both in the workplace and at home.
CBD vs THC in the Body
Cannabis has always been a prominent feature of our cultural discourse, but in past decades, when most people thought of cannabis they would think of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. This compound is produced by the decarboxylation of the tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCa, found in certain strains of cannabis, through smoking, toasting, or extraction into an oil or tincture.
Research indicates that THC interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors found in many organs of the human body to produce a characteristic euphoria, or high, that is prized by recreational users.
CBD is created when cannabidiolic acid, or CBDa, is exposed to heat. Studies are showing that, like THC, CBD can interact with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors—but unlike THC, CBD does not produce a high, making it very useful for consumers who want to explore potential health benefits without experiencing intoxication.
CBD is widely available as softgels, oils and tinctures, including those from Zen Garden Organics.
The Legal Landscape for CBD
In 2018, the US Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill, which, alongside the usual legislated support for farmers, included a measure that defined hemp as an ordinary agricultural commodity. This means that hemp farmers can enjoy the same agricultural subsidies, incentives and protections that farmers of, for example, cereals or vegetables benefit from, and—at least from the point of view of the federal government—it’s legal to create and sell goods made from hemp, from clothing to CBD products.
There are several important points to consider when thinking about the 2018 Farm Bill. It refers to a very specific form of cannabis: hemp, with an amount of THC lower than 0.3 percent. The United States is a federalist form of government, meaning that each of the 50 states has its own rules about growing hemp and for the manufacture and sale of hemp products including CBD.
The Bill also does not mean that CBD products gain the benefit of oversight and regulation from the Food and Drug Administration, meaning the onus is on the consumer to ensure their product of choice is rigorously tested for purity and consistency.
Additionally, employers and consumers alike should be aware that even if THC is present at or below the legal level of 0.3 percent, studies suggest that THC may persist for days or weeks in our cells. This means that for people who consume CBD products containing trace amounts of THC regularly, there is a chance the metabolites of THC could appear in drug tests.
As drug testing is frequently used in employment, medical, insurance, drug recovery and legal contexts, employers should be aware of this risk. Employers may wish to encourage staff who want to use CBD to choose CBD products that are processed to remove all THC and are tested THC-free by rigorous laboratory assays, like those offered by Zen Garden Organics.
CBD in the Workplace
With the advent of the Farm Bill, consumers and politicians alike are able to step past the historical stigma associated with hemp products, including exploring the possible benefits of CBD. Given that many public conversations around cannabis still conflate CBD and THC, there are a few important points that employers may find helpful to remember when they’re considering how to educate their teams about CBD—and what policies to adopt regarding CBD use on-the-job.
- Remember that scientific understanding indicates (PDF) that CBD has no intoxicating effect. It’s important for workplaces to have strong, clear policies on intoxicating substances, in order to ensure safety and performance for colleagues and customers. But while these may apply to ingesting THC, they shouldn’t be applied to CBD. CBD in the form of softgels, oil or tincture can be safely taken at the workplace, just like any other dietary supplement.
- Many CBD consumers use CBD to support wellbeing. This means that employers can feel confident that those who use it are committing to their health, which can support good work performance. While it’s important that a Human Resources department doesn’t supplant the advice of an employee’s doctor, an employer can include a mention of CBD as part of overall wellbeing education offered to staff, allowing staff members to use CBD in the workplace.
- Because CBD is not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, it is up to consumers to educate themselves about CBD products. Employers can offer their teams reliable education about CBD, particularly about the implications of trace amounts of THC in some CBD products affecting the results of drug tests. Employers might consider strongly encouraging employees to make sure the CBD products they buy tested as THC-free.
Purity, Reliability and Consistent Dosing
FDA-approved medications undergo a federally mandated process of safety, quality and purity testing, verified by independent laboratories. As CBD is classed as an unregulated dietary supplement, it doesn’t undergo mandated testing by law.
With Zen Garden Organics, consumers can choose to buy CBD products with confidence—our suppliers use rigorous growing and processing techniques that ensure purity and consistent dosing, remove THC and comply with strict safety standards for pesticides, bacteria and heavy metals. Each batch of our products is sent to an independent laboratory for testing, and test results are published on our website. Our products are completely THC-free, meaning that they won’t increase your risk of testing positive for THC in an employer-manifested drug test.
Take Your First CBD Steps with Zen Garden Organics
At Zen Garden Organics, we pride ourselves on our high level of customer support. Our experienced, friendly team is happy to help you learn more about CBD so you can enjoy all of its potential benefits with confidence. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out using our contact form. And when you’re ready to get started with CBD, browse our shop.
By: Lior Shapiro