Nurses Day and CBD The first time I did a presentation about cannabis was during my final year of nursing school. In policy class, I had to present a healthcare policy issue I was passionate Healthcare providers who want to avoid enrollment in IPN or PRN, or suspension, after testing positive for THC, will need evidentiary and scientific support for your defense, and a defense attorney who has experience with this new and evolving area of law.
Nurses Day and CBD
The first time I did a presentation about cannabis was during my final year of nursing school. In policy class, I had to present a healthcare policy issue I was passionate about. While this presentation feels like it happened eons ago, and cannabis was illegal at that time, I am proud to say I received an A+ and gave my most impassioned presentation ever!
Being a bedside nurse is physically and emotionally demanding. My back started hurting when I was 23 just one year into the profession. My existential crisis began at 25, and I have not stopped talking about how short life is ever since. When you hear statements such as “nurses don’t go to the bathroom or eat during their shifts”, it is not hyperbole—that is all true. Most hospitals are insufficiently staffed and nurses do not have reasonable time to meet their basic needs. Nurses give everything they have physically and emotionally to their patients, sometimes for 12 straight hours, to help them through their time at the hospital. One can only imagine what this does to our bodies over time. I know nurses that are in their 50’s and 60’s that can no longer feel their feet. They have chronic back pain, sleep issues, among a myriad of other ailments. Nurses work hard and worked even harder during COVID.
Nurses Week, Teacher Appreciation Week, and Mother’s Day all fall within the same timeframe in May. Society should just rename this week “underappreciated women’s occupations week” and give us all the week off! I have been saying this for years, noting that care workers and those in the “pink collar” sector are an underappreciated backbone of society and the economy. We all saw how true this is during 2020. Many of these “pink collar” professions were those who kept working through COVID as key essential workers and were often pulling second shifts acting as caregivers to our own families. The legalization of hemp and cannabis in some states could not have come at a better time.
CBD for nurses can be a useful tool for back pain, anxiety, and sleep issues. I publicly launched my cannabis nursing business in January of 2020. COVID hit in March, so I ran my business while simultaneously working full time as a critical care nurse navigating the pandemic. I worked nights and days sometimes working 16-hour days. I would come home and be unable to sleep. My brain would not turn off; this is quite normal after working 12 hours in a high-stress environment. I would continue to hear beeps and bells. I would think about my patients. I would stressfully review and replay everything that occurred throughout the day. I would also experience pain; my back hurt, my feet hurt, my face hurt from my N95 mask. This is when I started using Equilibria products. After consistently taking them every day, I started to feel a significant difference. I was able to fall asleep sooner with good quality sleep and my pain reduced. In addition, despite the feeling of the world crumbling around us, I was able to tackle each day with more optimism.
I got COVID in early April of 2020. While I had a moderate case, I experienced difficulty breathing, my oxygen would drop with movement, and I was exhausted. I did continue taking Equilibria’s CBD products through this time and I am glad that I did. More recently, researchers in Israel are demonstrating that there may be benefits in taking CBD to manage COVID symptoms, both during and after. I addressed much of this in a previous blog, “What Research Says About CBD and Covid Related Symptoms”. It is exciting that credible research is growing in this area.
As you can see from my journey, CBD is a useful tool for nurses. It is Nurses Week, so if you know a nurse they would not be upset if you gave them the gift of CBD! The only reason that nurses may shy away is if it is Full Spectrum CBD due to drug testing, which we desperately need changes to the policy for nurses working at the bedside. These, in my opinion, are archaic and ableist policies. Since Full Spectrum CBD has .3% THC in it, this can cause folks to test positive on drug tests. There are, however, other great Equilibria options that a specialist can advise on!
Nurses are responsible. The vast majority of us would never risk our careers or our patient’s health by being impaired during or any time before a shift. It is frustrating that in states where cannabis is legal, nurses can still lose their jobs in nearly every one of those states. (One of the benefits of owning my own consulting business is I can use all the CBD I want!) Drug testing for THC not only negatively affects nurses, but also has disproportionately negative effects on other “pink collar” occupations and service workers. Stopping this practice would help women workers enormously and allow them the freedom to safely use helpful supplements.
CBD can be a great supplement for nurses. We do not want to be altered; we just want pain and anxiety relief without side effects. Nurses know all too well the side effects of other prescriptions and over-the-counter medications and try to avoid them. Too much Ibuprofen can cause GI bleeds and harm kidneys. Opioids sedate, cause constipation and can cause respiratory depression (stop you from breathing). Anxiety medication can cause a decreased sex drive and sedation. CBD’s only potential side effect comes from using it with certain other medications, which makes it a very low-risk supplement.
Also, nurses do like cannabis and CBD—many are just nervous to use it. We worked hard to become nurses and nursing often feels like more than just an occupation, it becomes part of who we are; so we are careful not to jeopardize that. Now that I am a cannabis nurse now, I have had a growing number of nurses, current and former, reach out to me about using CBD in confidence. Many use it and feel relief.
Destigmatizing cannabis, reforming drug testing, organizing and lobbying the federal government to reschedule THC cannabis away from being a schedule 1 drug so that we can do more comprehensive research is something that will make CBD and cannabis safely available to nurses as well as our patients! Not only do we want this for our personal use, but we also hope that it becomes an option for patients in the hospital if there was ever a situation where someone might need help with stress, sleep disruption, and anxiety.
Nurses are regularly rated as one of the most trusted professions. It is also wonderful to see that nurses are often the leaders at the forefront of the emerging science behind cannabis and CBD. Since starting my business, I have been so thrilled to meet so many nurses who are passionate about this new, growing field and helping individuals figure out how to use CBD for their health and wellness. CBD is amazing and has the potential to be truly life-changing for many people – nurses included!
CBD Oil Consumption Can Result in THC-Positive Urine Screenings and Disciplinary Action in Florida
If You Test Positive for ‘Marijuana’ But Don’t Actually Use It, the Consequences Can Shatter Your Medical or Nursing Career. Here’s What You Need to Know About CBD Oil
Recently, Chapman Law Group retained several licensees who found themselves in trouble with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) for testing positive for THC in either pre-employment urine screenings or random tests at work.
The allegation is that they are unlawfully using marijuana in violation of state law, and therefore they might be impaired. What is curious, however, is that several of our clients do not make use of marijuana.
If you are a CBD oil user, you could find yourself in this predicament.
What You Should Do if You Are a Licensed Medical Professional, Consume CBD Oil, and Test Positive for THC?
If you tested THC-positive and you are also a consumer of CBD oil, it is likely that CBD oil is the reason for testing positive in your urine screening.
Medical professionals are frequently subject to urine screenings. Under the law, practitioners cannot make use of substances they are not legally permitted to use. In fact, testing positive for a substance without a prescription is a violation of the law, and the Department has the authority to impose discipline.
The worst thing that could happen is testing positive for “marijuana” when one does not actually make use of it.
What Are Consequences for a Positive Urine Screening?
The consequences of testing positive are serious. Employers are required to report those who test positive for unlawful substances. The DOH is required to investigate all complaints received, and it will open an investigation against the licensee.
At the base of the DOH’s inquiry will be whether the licensee suffers from substance abuse disorders, whether they are an impaired practitioner, and whether they are unsafe to practice and a risk to public safety.
Licensees could be required to go to IPN/PRN for evaluation and may be required to enter a monitoring contract.
Licensees can be fired from their job and find themselves having to pay for expensive evaluations or treatments without generating income. In addition, licensees could risk indefinite suspension of their license.
Often individuals refrain from hiring an attorney because they are concerned with costs. But consider the costs you might pay up front for legal defense and the costs you would end up incurring if you were forced into IPN or PRN. You should not be penalized based poor scientific understanding and unsupported allegations.
You will need an attorney who has a thorough understanding of CBD oil and its effects and a law firm who is able to produce scientific evidence in support of your defense. Chapman Law Group has both.
What is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid compound extracted from the flowers and buds of the hemp plant. Hemp is a close relative of marijuana; in fact, the two come from the same plant, Cannabis Sativa L.
While marijuana is classified by the DEA as a Schedule I substance and is illegal on the federal level, hemp is not. The main difference is found in the chemical properties of hemp and marijuana.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is the compound known to cause intoxication effects on the body. Both hemp and marijuana have THC, but marijuana contains significant levels of THC, while the THC levels within hemp are negligible and do not have psychoactive effects.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is rich with Cannabidiol, a chemical compound known as CBD, which is derived from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant .
CBD is considered an all-natural remedy for a long list of ailments. It is effective as an anti-inflammatory which can help with the treatment of pain, and is also known to have effects on the brain by alleviating symptoms of depression or anxiety, and insomnia. Perhaps even more significant, CBD was recently approved for treating serious medical conditions such as epilepsy.
Hemp CBD oil is easy to purchase, does not require a prescription from a physician and can be ordered over the internet. Particularly appealing is that this product does not cause any psychoactive effects on the body .
While the medical benefits of CBD are still not well understood, the CBD market is in full bloom. According to recent market research studies, the Hemp CBD market is expected to reach $22 billion by the year 2022. Because of ease of access, and reported medical benefits, Hemp CBD oil now is the hot new product in the homeopathic market.
What’s the Difference Between CBD Oil Derived from Marijuana and CBD Oil Derived from Hemp?
CBD oil can be extracted from both the marijuana or hemp plant. Its derivation will affect the legality of the product and whether you need a prescription.
CBD Oil from Marijuana
CBD oil derived from marijuana is considered illegal on a federal level. The DEA is unambiguous when it comes to marijuana and derivative products: they are addictive and have no known medical benefits. Because of this, they are considered a Schedule I substance — keen to LSD and ecstasy — and therefore illegal.
On the state level, the legality of Marijuana CBD oil depends where you live. For example, Florida legalized medical marijuana, making marijuana OK for medical treatment purposes.
In short, if you live in Florida, you will need a valid prescription in order to purchase Marijuana CBD oil or any product derived from the marijuana plant for that matter.
CBD Oil from Hemp
CBD oil derived from hemp is different because hemp is not considered a drug.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD derived from hemp at the federal level. The law amends the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 by including a definition of hemp as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant […] with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” The Farm Bill also makes changes to the Controlled Substances Act (21 USC 812) and specifically legalizes Tetrahydrocannabinol found in hemp .
This mean products derived from hemp are not classified as a drug, therefore not illegal.
How Does CBD Oil Consumption Affect Medical Professionals?
Perhaps unknown to the public is that CBD oil can cause THC-positive results in urine screenings. In fact, whether you consume CBD oil derived from marijuana or hemp, you are likely to test THC-positive.
If you are a medical professional who makes use of these homeopathic supplements, as mentioned above, you should be cautioned that while hemp is not illegal, marijuana consumption is. And it will result in disciplinary action by the DOH.
The main issue is that current urine screening methods used by employers are not sophisticated enough to distinguish between CBD and THC compounds. Urine screenings today are designed to detect the body’s reactions to certain compounds, and our bodies simply react the same way to both CBD and THC. In addition, urine screenings also cannot distinguish from CBD derived from marijuana as opposed to hemp.
There is no way to prove the CBD compound was derived from hemp, which is legal, as opposed to marijuana, which is illegal.
The unfortunate result: a licensee could be subject to a Department of Health investigation for consuming a perfectly legal, commercially sold product.
At Chapman Law Group, Our Florida Health Care License Attorneys Will Fight Your CBD Oil-Based THC Impairment Allegations and Defend Your Medical/Nursing Career
If you test positive for THC, the DOH has every right to open an investigation based on suspicions of impairment. And, unfortunately, simply claiming that you do not make use of marijuana is not enough to defend yourself against impairment allegations.
If you want to avoid disciplinary action — enrollment in IPN or PRN , or, worse, suspension — you will need evidentiary and scientific support for your defense, and a defense attorney who has experience with this new and evolving area of law.
Chapman Law Group has the experience, the resources, and reputable experts for your license defense. We represent healthcare providers throughout Florida, including Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Sarasota, Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, West Palm Beach, Orlando, and Lakeland.
Contact us today and let us put our 35 years of experience in healthcare defense to work for you.