Can UK Police Officers Legally Use CBD Oil?

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Over the years, we’ve seen a huge increase in Police officers getting in touch to see whether CBD may be a tool to improve their quality of life and whether it is safe. Even a past commissioner of the Met has had trouble with using CBD products, so it is understandable that there may be some trepidation.

The biggest concern is that CBD is linked with Cannabis, which is a prohibited substance. The Police have a zero tolerance for drug use, so it pays to be extra careful!

If you’re reading this, we assume that you’re working with the Police and you’re looking for some questions to be answered. We’ve been answering these questions for quite a while, but now seems like a good point to answer them in a long-form post.

Can the Police use CBD legally?

Can UK Police Officers Legally Use CBD Oil?

Legally speaking, yes, a UK Police officer can use CBD legally.

As a police officer, however, you may need to do quite a bit more due diligence to ensure that the product you’re consuming does not contain more THC than is advertised, and you should understand the rules set out by your constabulary. You may also be required to declare the use of your CBD products to your medical officer or senior officer. It seems as though those rules vary from place to place.

These guidelines have changed quickly over the years, but the Met are usually a good rule of thumb to follow. They have said:

“CBD is legal if it contains less than 1mg of THC, THCV and CBN in the final preparation as per part C of regulation 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2010:
“[N]o one component part of the product or preparation contains more than one milligram of the controlled drug” [Source]

If we are to decode this: CBD is legal in the UK to consume, however, there are some CBD products that contain (even trace amounts) of controlled or banned substances, THC being the most obvious. So long as the CBD product complies with 1mg of THC (which all of our products do) then they are legal for a UK Police Officer, just as they are legal for a member of the public.

Unlike the public, Police are subject to regular testing for banned substances, and there is a zero-tolerance approach. Will CBD products cause a failure in a drugs test?

 

 

Can CBD Cause a Failure in a Drug Test?

This question comes in two parts:

Will CBD cause a failure? No, It won’t!

Will a CBD product containing a high percentage of THC (or another controlled cannabinoid) cause a failure? Very Likely.

Without going too far into the weed on this topic, there are three categories of CBD products: Full Spectrum (contains minor cannabinoids & trace of THC), Broad Spectrum contains minor cannabinoids & without THC) and Isolated CBD (CBD only).

The category that poses the greatest risk to a Police officer is the Full Spectrum oils, particularly if the oil is sourced from the USA who have a much higher tolerance to THC than the UK.

Previously, the allowable percentage was 0.2% THC in a product, however, this has been adjusted to a maximum of 1mg (much lower than 0.2% in most products available in the UK). Even at this low level, we cannot say for certain that THC will not be detected. A failure is very, very rare and usually caused by other factors, such as errors during production or unstable products (some cannabinoids convert to THC slowly over time).

To put this issue into perspective, we have been selling CBD products to Police officers for years (even back when products contained up to 0.2% THC) and we have never encountered anybody who has failed a test due to CBD products. To fail a cannabis drug screening, you will need to have over two micrograms of THC per millilitre of blood in your system. That is very unlikely with CBD products unless something has gone catastrophically wrong.

If you’re in doubt, Broad Spectrum and Isolated CBD products are designed specifically to remove controlled cannabinoids. It is the safest option, and you should request a lab report for the batch you’re consuming.

 

What if I fail the test?

Just for argument’s sake, what if you fail the drug test and it was the CBD products that caused it?

The guidance set out by the Met appears to refer more to medical cannabis, which contains a significantly higher percentage of THC than CBD products. If the use of medical cannabis has been declared and proof that it has been legally prescribed before the test takes place, then that could constitute a legal defence. [source]. Similar guidance also suggests that so long as the CBD product is declared, and there is a reasonable reason for an officer to test over the prescribed THC limit, there is no reason why it would result in an immediate disability action.

The examining medical officer would consider any use of supplements when assessing the case.

 

Can I Drive While Using CBD as A Police Officer?

 

The short answer is, yes, there are no laws which prevent drivers from using CBD.

Again, the Met Police guidance on this is vague but they suggest that CBD is acceptable for Police Officers who drive, so long as the driver is fit to be driving [source]. The guide doesn’t go into detail, but we can add some clarity onto what this could mean.

Side effects from CBD are rare, but not unusual. Common side effects are usually caused by a sensitivity to Cannabinoids, or the Cannabinoids disrupt the absorption of medications in the liver (making them stronger, or weaker). While 99% of people experience no negative side effects, it is possible for users to experience nausea or a sore tummy, brain fog or drowsiness. While these symptoms may not always affect your ability to drive, there is a chance that they might.

If you’ve never taken CBD before, then it is a good idea to try it out on a day off before getting behind the wheel of a car!

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