Australia Drug Testing


By Australia Drug Testing / November 10, 2023

By Australia Drug Testing / November 10, 2023

Clear Your Haze: CBD vs. THC in the Workplace

Clear Your Haze: CBD vs. THC in the Workplace

In the modern workplace, understanding the nuances between CBD vs THC is becoming increasingly important. With the rise of cannabis-based products and their varying effects, distinguishing between these two compounds can significantly impact workplace policies and safety. 

This article will discuss the differences between CBD vs THC, their effects, and how they relate to workplace drug testing, providing you with a clear understanding to make informed decisions.

Distinguishing Between CBD vs THC

Both compounds, CBD vs THC come from the cannabis plant but have very different effects on the body and mind, which can influence workplace policies and employee behaviour.

CBD (cannabidiol) is predominantly found in hemp, while THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is more abundant in marijuana. The primary difference lies in their effects: 

  • CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t get you high.
  • Whereas THC is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis use.

CBD Oil Side Effects

While CBD is often praised for its therapeutic benefits, it’s essential to understand its side effects, especially in a workplace setting. Common CBD oil side effects include dry mouth, diarrhoea, reduced appetite, and drowsiness. It’s also worth noting that CBD can interact with other medications, which might be relevant for employees taking prescribed drugs. 

However, despite these side effects, CBD is generally considered safe and non-intoxicating, making it a less risky option for use during work hours compared to THC.

Side Effects

THC, on the other hand, has a range of side effects that can significantly impact workplace performance. THC side effects include impaired memory and concentration, altered judgement, motor skills impairment, dry mouth, red eyes, paranoia, and fatigue

Due to its psychoactive nature, THC can lead to decreased productivity and increased risk of accidents, which is why many workplaces have strict policies against its use.

Workplace Drug Testing: CBD vs THC

Workplace Drug Testing: CBD vs THC

One of the most significant concerns for employers is how CBD vs THC can affect workplace drug testing. Understanding how these compounds interact with drug tests is essential for maintaining a safe and compliant workplace.

How Drug Tests Work

Workplace drug testing typically screens for THC and its metabolites, not CBD. Standard drug tests are designed to detect the presence of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. Since CBD is non-psychoactive and doesn’t produce a high effect, it is not usually the focus of workplace drug tests.

Potential for Cross-Reactivity

Although CBD itself isn’t typically tested for, there’s a potential for cross-reactivity. Some CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC, especially if they’re derived from full-spectrum hemp extracts. Even though these amounts are often below the legal limit of 0.3% THC, they could still trigger a positive result on a drug test. 

Employees who use CBD products should be aware of this risk and may need to disclose their usage to their employer or choose products that are guaranteed THC-free.

Legal Considerations

The legality of CBD and THC varies widely depending on the region. While CBD derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC is federally legal in the United States, THC remains illegal under federal law but is legal for medical or recreational use in some states. 

Employers must stay informed about local laws and regulations regarding cannabis use and implement clear policies that reflect their stance on CBD and THC use in the workplace.

Balancing Safety and Wellness: Implementing Policies

Balancing Safety and Wellness: Implementing Policies

Creating a balanced approach to cannabis use in the workplace involves understanding the benefits and risks associated with CBD vs THC, as well as implementing fair and clear policies.

  1. Educating Employees

Education is key to ensuring that employees understand the differences between CBD and THC and how each can affect their work performance and safety. Providing resources and training sessions can help demystify these compounds and promote responsible use.

  1. Developing Clear Policies

Employers should develop clear policies that outline the acceptable use of CBD and THC. These policies should address:

  • The legal status of CBD and THC in the relevant jurisdiction
  • The potential side effects and risks of using these compounds
  • Guidelines for disclosing CBD use, especially if it may impact drug testing results
  • Disciplinary actions for THC use or intoxication at work

Encouraging the use of THC-free CBD products and alternative therapies can also be a part of this policy.


Contrasting CBD vs THC in the workplace requires a thorough understanding of their differences, effects, and legal considerations. By staying informed and implementing clear policies, employers can ensure a safe and productive work environment while respecting employees’ wellness choices. 

Remember, while CBD oil side effects are generally mild and non-intoxicating, THC side effects can significantly impair performance and safety. Balancing these factors is key to maintaining a clear and effective workplace policy.