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Products made from cannabidiol, or CBD, or often thought of as a safe, natural way to relieve stress or provide relief from other ailments. But do your employees know that using these products can be risky?

CBD is one of the many chemicals found in marijuana and hemp. Pure CBD does not cause a “high;” that comes from a different chemical in the marijuana plant, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). That does not necessarily mean all CBD products are safe, however.

CBD not an excuse for a positive drug test

A CBD product made from marijuana could be contaminated with THC, and could contain enough THC to bring a positive on a workplace drug test.

It’s likely that an employer won’t accept CBD use as an excuse for that positive test. Depending on what state law allows, a positive test for THC could be reason for an employer to suspend or terminate an employee.

Additional risks of CBD use

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notes that CBD can also make a negative impact on your health. It can cause side effects, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Irritability
  • Agitation

Research has shown that CBD use can interact with other medications you may be taking and can cause liver damage that could go undetected if it’s not being monitored by your doctor.

The FDA also urges caution if you’re using CBD with any other herbs or dietary supplements. It’s unclear how they interact.

Over-the-counter products don’t have FDA approval

The FDA has approved one prescription CBD product. The oil, called Epidiolex, has been approved to treat epilepsy and is only available when prescribed by a doctor.

No over-the-counter CBD products have been approved by the FDA.

There are still many other questions the FDA is addressing when it comes to CBD:

  • How much CBD causes these side effects?
  • Does the form of the product matter?
  • What happens if you use CBD for long periods of time?

Because there are so many questions about the safety and quality of CBD products, it’s best to consult with a health care provider before using them.

After doing your research, you might find that CBD is beneficial for your situation. Before using it, however, understand the risks.