If you are a user of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, the Federal Air Surgeon, Dr. Michael A. Berry, has a warning for you: “Use of CBD oil is not accepted as an affirmative defense against a positive drug test.”
Despite its legalization in some states, only one CBD product been approved for medicinal use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat rare forms of epilepsy, and it require a prescription. No commercially available CBD oil has been approved for use by the FDA; therefore, commercially available CBD oil is not subject to the same quality control standards as other FDA approved substances. Since it is not subject to FDA quality control, commercially available CBD oil may contain other substances inconsistent with its labeling, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the compound responsible for marijuana’s euphoric and mind-altering effects. Pilots should be aware that FAA required drug tests routinely test for the presence of THC. Therefore, pilots utilizing commercially available CBD oil are at risk of testing positive for THC (or other prohibited substances) and may be putting their medical and airmen certificates at risk.
As noted above, the Federal Air Surgeon clarified that the FAA will not consider the use of commercially available CBD oil as a defense against a positive drug test. If you have tested positive on an FAA drug test, call the AOPA Legal Services Plan at 1-800-872-2672.