A federal law enforcement officer chose to retire after he reportedly failed a drug test after using a cannabidiol (CBD) product to relieve severe lower back pain.
According to NBC News, CBD products such as balms and liquids are derived from the cannabis plant but do not make users "high" despite the fact that federal law allows hemp-derived CBD to contain trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana.
The officer—who asked NBC News to remain anonymous—said that his is a cautionary tale for others in positions which could be compromised by testing positive for THC.
"It just makes you feel like you're a bad person—you wasted your career," he said. "They can't prove that I smoked marijuana, and I can't prove that I didn't."
The federal division that oversees drug testing for federal employees sent a memo this summer directing agencies "to inform applicants and employees of the risk that using such products may result in a positive marijuana test." The memo reminded employers "there is no legitimate medical explanation for a marijuana-positive test result other than a verified prescription" for a few FDA-approved drugs.