Individuals across the nation are discovering the benefits of CBD products. As of 2020, it was estimated that 33% of American adults had used CBD once or more!
However, when it comes to folks who work in particular job sectors, questions begin to arise about whether or not CBD is an appropriate way to find relief from issues like pain, anxiety and insomnia. This is especially true for those who spend much of their time on the road driving.
In this article, we will answer the question: Can truck drivers use CBD products, and if so, how?
What Sets Truck Drivers Apart
As truck drivers, it’s essential to know about the unique health risks you face. For example, did you know that truck driving is one of the most dangerous occupations in America?
If you’re reading this article, you are probably a truck driver or have someone in your family or friends circle that is. Much of what follows in this section won’t come as a surprise if that’s the case. But for those who might be less familiar, we’ll cover these points anyway.
Truck drivers often have many physical and mental health issues because of the nature of their jobs. For example, drivers work long periods, and they often have irregular sleep schedules. As a result, they are also at a higher risk for health issues such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and even suicide.
Drivers can become overweight due to weight gain from eating on the road in unhealthy ways. That’s because many drivers are forced to eat what is known as “truck stop food,” which typically consists of deep-fried foods like French fries and greasy burgers. This high-fat food adds more pounds to once-lean truckers’ frames,now heavy from hours spent on the road.
Also, many drivers develop back problems due to spending most of their days behind the wheel of a big rig. Driving long distances daily puts a lot of stress on the back and, as a result, can cause injuries.
Federal laws must be adhered to when driving commercially, which means drivers are not allowed to text while driving. Instead, a phone mount is often required so they can see their navigational app as they drive. Unfortunately, this extra distraction for truckers already tired from working long hours can contribute to fatigue-related accidents.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that more than half of all large truck crashes involve driver fatigue, resulting in 1,400 deaths each year.
Another significant health risk for truck drivers is suicide. It has been found that commercial transportation workers experience much higher rates of suicide compared to other professions.
These risks make it clear why there is an increased need for health care products in this occupation. CBD oil has become one such product, as its excellent benefits have been seen by many people worldwide who use it daily or use it as a supplement to their self-care routines.
What Is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid that comes from the hemp plant. It does not produce any psychoactive effects and cannot make you “high” like THC, another cannabinoid, can.
CBD is extracted from industrial hemp plants without altering the chemical composition of the hemp, and it has been used for centuries to heal everything from anxiety to chronic pain.
CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This vast network affects just about every aspect of human health and wellbeing.
It can do this thanks to special receptors that are a part of your ECS. There are two kinds, CB1 and CB2 receptors, and they are present throughout the central nervous system (mainly CB1) and in immune cells (mainly CB2). So when CBD enters your system, it can interact with these receptors and produce some pretty favorable effects.
This is what makes it such a great supplement option.
How to Use CBD Products
The best way to use CBD products is by looking for a high-quality product that contains pure, bioavailable ingredients. To ensure that you’re getting the best product, always check a company’s third-party lab tests and certificates of analysis (COAs). These COAs will show you how much CBD is in your final product and any other cannabinoids that might be in there. It will also prove that it’s free of potentially harmful contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals.
If you’re a new user of CBD, it’s essential to start slowly rather than take too much. Plan to take it for the first time when you don’t have any hauls scheduled. Then allow for at least two or three days to monitor yourself and see how CBD makes you feel.
Learning more from an excellent guide to CBD dosage like the one we have here is also a good idea. But we’ll cover some basics for you here as well.
The best way to begin taking CBD is with an oil or tincture. Start by taking just 10 to 15 milligrams (mg) twice each day for two days. Or, if you prefer, opt for 20 to 30 mg once a day. Then, if side effects aren’t an issue, you can go ahead and increase your dosage until you start to feel the desired effects.
CBD oil can be taken any time of day to start feeling the effects. As mentioned, some like it first thing in the morning while others take it later in the day.
Another popular way to use CBD is by popping a few CBD gummies. These are great because they’re a nice, sweet treat and also super convenient to store and take with you on the road.
For aches and pains, you can also use different CBD topical solutions. These can be applied directly to the area that hurts or is sore. Use them on your back, hands, shoulders or wherever. The best part is that they can be used as needed because the CBD stays local and doesn’t enter your system like CBD tinctures or CBD you ingest.
CBD products cannot get you high like THC does, which is why people prefer hemp-derived products to those made from cannabis. Still, it’s wise to avoid trying any new CBD products for the first time right before driving. Not because they’ll show up on a drug test but because you want to ensure they don’t impair your ability to drive.
Keep in mind that everyone has different tolerances when it comes to CBD. So, listen to your body and keep tabs on how CBD is making you feel.
How Will CBD Make You Feel?
The effects of CBD vary depending on the person who takes it, when they take it and why they’re taking it.
Americans who report taking CBD do so generally to find relief from various ailments. The top conditions and purposes that folks are taking CBD for include:
- General Pain
When it comes to what CBD feels like, most folks report introducing a certain level of calmness into their body. This can then manifest as everything from ease falling asleep to a more relaxed level of focus. That’s why some prefer to take CBD 30 minutes or so before bed while others like it with their first cup of coffee when starting their day.
Each person will be different, and you may need to make changes to when you take your CBD to adjust to how it works with your body.
Why Use CBD Versus Other Options for Pain Management?
Managing the issue can be challenging for most people with lingering pain — think back or joint pain, arthritis, pinched nerves, etc. These days, many do not want to rely on narcotic painkillers like Vicodin or Oxycontin to manage their discomfort. That’s because many of these medications come with two big problems:
- First, they are highly addictive. Many end up taking them for weeks (or months) to gain relief from symptoms. But, after this, it can be tough to stop.
- Second, long-term opioid use has been linked to kidney damage caused by these medications.
Hemp-based therapies have been used for millennia. About 2,000 years ago, the Chinese were writing about using Cannabis sativa as medicine. And, since then, we’ve come up with different ways to deliver cannabinoids into the human system, including capsules, topical gels/creams and tinctures.
That’s part of why CBD products have become so popular. Their ease of use makes their benefits accessible to people in various ways.
Still, because they’ve been around for such a short time, many folks are a little leery about them. Do they cause side effects? Let’s talk about that now.
Side Effects of Taking CBD
CBD has a very low risk of side effects and, even if you do experience some, they are usually minor. These include dry mouth, lightheadedness, drowsiness or irritability.
But not everyone experiences the same set of side effects when taking CBD!
Some people may be more sensitive to the natural compounds in this fantastic hemp extract than others. And if you’re already taking medication for another condition, it’s always best to check with your doctor before trying out new supplements just in case there could be a reaction between them.
As we mentioned, there are very few side effects associated with CBD, and nothing significant has been reported. Unless you count dry mouth as a substantial negative, which is generally associated with taking too much CBD at once.
Most people do not experience any major problems while taking CBD or using CBD products.
CBD products are generally considered safe to use and cleared by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to an investigation conducted by the WHO, “CBD was tolerated in all patients, with no signs of toxicity or serious side effects.”
Will Insurance Cover My CBD Products?
When it comes to the legality of CBD products, you can thank the 2018 Farm Bill for making them legal. This piece of legislation legalizes all hemp-derived cannabinoids, which means insurance companies could now cover CBD products.
Unfortunately, as of the time this article was published, no insurance companies are covering CBD remedies or CBD supplements just yet. This is probably due to a lack of FDA endorsement for CBD products.
That being said, researchers are working hard to publish more about CBD and other cannabinoids. Our fingers are crossed that insurance companies will, in the future, see the benefits that CBD products provide to millions of Americans and begin to offer coverage for them.
Will CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?
Drug tests may be a genuine concern for anyone spending lots of time behind the wheel of a big rig. So, will CBD show up on a drug test? No way!
For years, we’ve heard stories about athletes being banned from competition and people losing their jobs because they used marijuana or other THC products.
But it’s important to remember that CBD is not THC. And that CBD is not psychoactive, so it is not tested for!
The only issue might be if you are using full spectrum CBD products. While they are great and may produce synergistic benefits thanks to having all the beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds working together, they do contain THC. It will only be 0.3% or less, because that’s the law, but it may still affect the results of a drug test.
On the other hand, CBD isolate is pure CBD, and products made from this will be completely THC-free.
If you undergo regular drug tests, it’s worth learning more about full spectrum and CBD isolate products. This way, you can decide which is best for you.
How Do You Get CBD Products? Where Can You Buy Them?
Back in the day, you could only get CBD oil online. It’s still available online, of course, but you can also find it at many natural food stores.
With so many people using CBD for their health, it probably won’t be long until you start seeing it at your local pharmacies and, potentially, even grocery stores.
Always make sure that you’re purchasing your CBD products from a trusted company. A little homework will ensure you are getting a high-quality product.
We’re big fans of CBD products made from American-grown organic hemp. Nothing beats the quality of an American-made CBD product. We just do it so well!
Final Words of Wisdom
As a significant source of employment in the U.S., truck driving is a field that benefits millions of people. Without truck drivers, our nation wouldn’t operate as well as it does.
However, the industry does have its downsides: Long hours alone often lead to sleep disorders and issues with mental health. CBD is a naturally occurring hemp extract that may provide some solutions. CBD research is still increasing, with new studies coming out weekly about its uses and benefits. Here are some final words of wisdom on how CBD could potentially help truck drivers:
- Reduces stress levels
- Increases relaxation without fatigue
- Decreases anxiety and depression symptoms
Always make sure you consult your doctor first before adding new supplements like CBD to your routine. Unfortunately, not all doctors are up to date on the latest research, so it’s best to seek out one who has looked into it.
But, after you get the all-clear, we’re sure you’ll enjoy the benefits that CBD has to offer!
Afzal al faroby/Shutterstock.com