Having worked as a first responder for 27 years, and now involved in the safety arena for large manufacturing corporations, safety is always priority number one. The overwhelming focus is performing your job duties safely and preventing accidents.

These are incredibly dangerous professions and one needs to account for any mechanical and human factor that can contribute to an injury or fatality. That aside, something that nobody considers is the “cumulative” factor that contributes to the overall health and wellbeing of these individuals that work these high-risk professions.

From sleep deprivation, insomnia due to shift work, high mental/physical stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, to physical health problems such as cancer and other disease. The list goes on, and, for some people, they may be facing multiple issues all at once. The over whelming answer for most entities that employ these individuals always seems to be… big pharma. Take this pill or this drug to make you feel better so you can get back to work. Never mind the fact that most of those big pharma drugs only end up causing other problems, fail to address the root issues, and in some cases contributes to workplace accidents or worse, deaths.

 So how does CBD fit into all this? That is now a question being asked by many employers, but due to their lack of knowledge and facts on CBD, most employers simply give a knee jerk reaction of not allowing CBD use. Some of the main excuses given are the false belief that CBD is “weed”, that employees will be coming to work high, that CBD is illegal, and that they do not want employees testing positive for marijuana. Out of the above four most common concerns, there is only one that should be of concern for employers and that concern can be mitigated with proper knowledge and policies based off facts. The concern about employees failing a drug test are legitimate due to CBD can have up to 3% THC which would possibly cause one to fail a drug test. But even that can be eliminated if one is to purchase CBD from a trusted and reputable manufacturer that ensures there are no detectable traces of THC. Other than that, CBD is a hemp-based product which will not induce any psycho-active effects “one can NOT get high” and is legal to purchase and consume in all 50 states. So now that all that is out of the way, let’s look at the benefits of allowing employees to take quality CBD.

How about starting with accident prevention? Many accidents are caused by lack of paying attention or bad judgement. When you look at contributors to poor attention and decision making there are various studies that confirm things like poor sleep habits and/or lack of sleep are major culprits. And when you look at the work habits of many, it makes sense. People are working longer hours, fewer days off, and are under more stress. When an individual goes for 24 hours of no sleep, their cognitive ability can drop to one of an individual that is legally drunk! So how can CBD help? Many people who take CBD confirm having positive results when it comes to a better, more restful night’s sleep. How about stress? All depends on the individual and how well they cope with stress and how much stress they currently have in their life. Stress is something that can be a constant in people’s lives or it can vary in severity depending on what is going on. Signs and symptoms of stress can manifest itself through anxiety, moodiness, depression, and the above, sleep issues. Again, individuals have confirmed improvement in the above when CBD is used on a regular/daily basis. That could equate to happier employees that provide a positive attitude which is contagious and benefit the overall productivity for all involved.

Let’s look at the physical aspects that CBD intake can potentially improve. We know that CBD can have a positive impact on reducing inflammation internally. Internal inflammation can have all kinds of negative impacts on employees and their overall health. Think of how many employees take sick days for things such as migraines, internal stomach/digestive issues, malaise, and other pain issues related to overall body inflammation. CBD has been recognized to reduce many of those medical issues with individuals. What does that mean for an employer? Potentially less time off or sick days used which results in more productivity and less in insurance costs due to healthier employees.

And then we get to injuries. Billions of dollars are spent on lost time from work when an injury occurs. Again, CBD has so many potential benefits when it comes to healing and dealing with pain. If employees were allowed to take CBD, then the possibility of them returning to work faster due to a potentially quicker recovery. That alone could save employers money in a multitude of ways such as reducing employee shortages while they are out, overtime, and insurance costs just to name a few. When it comes to looking at company costs, one needs to look at the totality of everything from lost time, insurance, rehiring and retraining of employees if one can not return to work, to simple employee moral knowing that their employer truly cares about their overall health and wellbeing.

Finally, let us look at the big “concern” that employers have pertaining to CBD and testing positive on a drug test. I get it, that is a huge liability for an employer if drug testing is required. Here is what I can tell you from traveling the United States to visit grow farms, labs, and extracting companies… WHERE YOU GET YOUR PRODUCT FROM MATTERS! With the big boom in CBD oil and products, there are a lot of fly by night companies making low quality CBD products. Where you buy your CBD products truly does matter. You want to look for a manufacturer that knows exactly where and how their hemp is grown, how is the CBD oil extracted (as there are several ways used), and you want to know that a reputable lab is doing an honest and accurate job with testing products. Look for products that include a batch and QR code on their labels which allows you to pull up verified lab results so you can see firsthand what your CBD levels are and if there is any “detectable traces” of THC. That is the key, look for “NON-DETECABLE traces of THC”. Since some products can have small amounts of THC (up to 3%), those products could result in a positive test. So, in short, finding a reputable manufacturer and quality product that does not have THC will ensure that a positive test is avoided.

So, what does all this mean for companies considering the use of CBD for their employees? Simply stated, it is my belief that it is a win-win for both employees and the employer. Employees can take a natural product that can make them healthier and more productive. For employers, it can build moral and save money in the long-term financial aspects for a company. The key to doing it right is for a company to do their homework and allow their employees to buy from a reputable source in order to reduce any positive test results.  If company policies are put in place that allows employees to make an informed decision that shows that the employer truly cares about their overall wellbeing, then everyone wins in the end.

About the Author

Lee Vernon
CEO/Owner, First Responder Fuel CBD Lee@firstresponderfuel.com

Lee Vernon is a 26+ year (retired) first responder who started First Responder Fuel CBD in order to provide medical grade quality THC free CBD products to first responders and the general public. Lee spent a year traveling the United States to find the highest quality hemp production and extraction processes in order to bring the highest quality medical grade CBD products to individuals that are looking for a natural option to improve their overall mental and physical health. First Responder Fuel CBD believes in offering the highest quality products with integrity, honesty, and compassion. Lee is also the founder and board member for the Brotherhood of Heroes Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 charity for first responders. A portion of every sale of First Responder Fuel CBD products is donated back to the Brotherhood of Heroes Foundation to continue helping those that sacrifice their lives daily.