Failed employment drug test - CBD oil

Nurses General Nursing

Updated:   Published

Hey all,

I thought I would share my experience so someone can avoid this happening to them. I was taking 37.5 mg of Full-Spectrum CBD oil tincture for back pain as well as using a salve. I spoke with my neurologist about this and he actually offered me a medical marijuana card, which I turned down because marijuana and nursing is a very gray area to put it mildly, and I also had no interest in going in that direction. Full-spectrum supposedly has less than .3% concentrations of THC. I bought my product from a small farm in Vermont and the cost was significant.

I recently started the process of travel nursing and had a good job lined up at a hospital for their ortho floor. Everything was going well until last week when they called to say I failed my drug test because of marijuana. I don't smoke marijuana and wasn't around anyone who was. I don't eat it either. My test come up as 20ng/ml for a positive. Please use caution when using CBD. It's a great thing and did help with my pain but it cost me this job.

Specializes in orthopedic/trauma, Informatics, diabetes.

I go to a pain clinic and they suggested that I try hemp-derived CBD products, but I am too scared to try for the very reason you are posting about.


You should anticipate being reported to the BON as well.

Yes, absolutely staying away is your best bet until the laws catch up and it is better regulated. I should have looked in to them more and not believed the sales pitch. I was wondering if I would get reported to the board though since it was an agency and and I wasn’t currently working.

5 minutes ago, AKS said:

Yes, absolutely staying away is your best bet until the laws catch up and it is better regulated. I should have looked in to them more and not believed the sales pitch. I was wondering if I would get reported to the board though since it was an agency and and I wasn’t currently working.

Probably depends on the state. Where I live, an employer must report a failed drug test to the BON.

Specializes in ICU/Ortho/Med surg.

1) ALL CBD products will cause a positive drug test. PERIOD. however, the cutoff for cannabinoid detection used to be 50ng/deciliter. according to your test, your was 20ng/dl? This would indicate you actually WERE using CBD, not Marijuana as your test would have been much higher. I would Stop the CBD oil and take another drug test asap to show you are negative

2) Most states; if not all, have a mandatory reporting provision for positive drug screens of illicit substances. I would be prepared for that phone call from the BON by doing the following:

3) I would get an attorney who specializes in representing RN's in front of the BON.

4) Regardless of what the BON says, do NOT agree to, nor sign anything, DO NOT admit guilt to anything, do NOT speak to an investigator except to let them know you will be retaining an attorney.

As much as the BON's want to act like your friend, they ARE NOT. most investigators with the BON are high strung, looking to hang someone; regardless of any exculpatory evidence to the contrary.

Listen now, thank me later....or not

I appreciate the input. I was told by the agency that since I was not an employee they would not be reporting me. I was told by the MRO that he reports his finds only to to the agency. Nevertheless, I am still anticipating this could get reported and have looked into several attorneys. Obviously, I am hoping I won’t need them. I’ll let you know how that turns out This site was very helpful in preparing me for what may come. Very stressful, unfortunate situation because I didn’t look into it. Live and learn, I guess. Thanks again for your thoughts.

Specializes in ICU/Ortho/Med surg.

I'm glad it worked out for you. If I may add, at this point in your career you may want to consider an Nursing liability policy. There are several great companies out there and for less than 1.00 a day you can have piece of mind knowing that if you are ever reported to the board or for anything else, you are covered. I personally use F.E.D.S (Federal Employee defense Services) because I am a fed eral Employee. However, Mercer, Pro Liability and others has great policies. In fact, I carried Mercer for 20+ years before going into federal service. No nurse should ever be without some sort of .

Not so lRecent Scenario in my own personal experience:

I was a Private Nurse for a pediatric staffing agency. I was called to work a shift where the infant peds patients ventilator settings had not been changed for several months, causing the infant serious respiratory complications. I made a call to the RT on call, she came out and changed the ventilator settings on the spot. However, this was a weekend and the orders had not yet been carried over to the Agency Treatment sheets.

Short story: the regular LPN (who was negligent in my opinion) reported me to the board for changing the ventilator settings without a Dr's order; even AFTER I explained the situation to her early Monday morning when she relieved me from my shift.

I never thought anything about it. went home and 3 days later got a phone call from an investigator from the BON.

She was not nice nor in any way did she want to hear anything exculpatory regarding the complaint against me.

I made one phone call to my insurance and within 15 minutes they had me on the phone with a qualified, competent Attorney who took over.

I never heard anything else about it other than receiving a letter from the board stating the results of the initial complaint were found to be unfounded.

They investigated the LPN who reported me because she had made another erroneous report to the board on another nurse with our company whom assisted with this patient's care. It was determined that the LPN's sole reason for reporting was because she was losing shifts with this client and saw no other way to get rid of her "competition"

Sadly, that's how a lot of good nurses whom are ill informed get in trouble with the BON; they "assume" that because they are not guilty, that the BON will ultimately hear their plea and find no fault.

I would NEVER make that assumption.

Thank you for sharing this. I've read for a little while now the importance of my own . I casually looked into it. I too work PDN and your story really got my attention. 92.00 annually can't be beat. So, thanks to you I'm now covered.

Yes, thanks for sharing your experience. It amazing how little things can lead to potentially bad situations that we would never think twice about. I’m going to look in to it and get some coverage.Thanks again.

Specializes in Nurse Scientist-Research.

To the OP, sorry for this unfortunate experience. I know in my State they have recently decided to cite and release any charged with low level MJ possession since the state recently legalized hemp and the state's lab equipment is not sensitive enough to detect differences. With that, a lot of people made unfounded assumptions about CBD use in healthcare settings.

My employer sent out a letter to clarify that their policy had been modified to recognize CBD as a form of cannibis and that their policy forbids medical use of marijuana. One can dispute their terminology and rationale but this is an "at will" state and pretty conservative.

Personally I don't think there is any problem with use of CBD but I like my job and I'm not getting "into it" with them. I'll let someone else fight the inevitable court battle.

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