Transitioning Back to the Office? Here’s How to Keep Using Cannabis
Standards for workplace conduct are changing quickly as an increasing number of companies are requiring employees to return to the office. With this return to a physical workplace come all the familiar concerns over using cannabis at work — or do they?
How has cannabis workplace policy changed since the pandemic? Is it OK to smoke weed at work now? Are some cannabis products better than others for the workplace?
These are the types of questions we’ll be covering in this guide. Dive in to discover the right approach to using cannabis now that you’ve been called back into the office.
The work-from-home revolution ends for some
The response to COVID-19 in 2020 involved most large companies allowing, encouraging, or even demanding that employees leave the office and begin working from home. This massive lifestyle change was met with resistance at first with depression and divorce rates skyrocketing.
Over time, though, workers began to get used to their new, more-comfortable situations. It came as a shock, therefore, in 2022 when many companies began asking their employees to begin working in the office once more. Negotiations are ongoing with many employees and their representative unions refusing to return until better working conditions are established.
Workplace requirements both old and new
Physical workplaces have always imposed certain requirements, such as being clothed at almost all times during working hours — a requirement not imposed in the home office. Most workplaces used to actively prohibit the use of cannabis on the part of their employees, but that might be changing at certain companies.
Businesses operating in Washington state, for instance, will soon be prohibited by law from discriminating against workers for their cannabis use while not working. This could be a step toward a more widespread workplace policy of cannabis allowance. In other areas of the country, however, drug policies may have tightened as the opioid epidemic rages on.
Understanding workplace cannabis policies
Make sure to be fully apprised of how cannabis policies at your workplace may have changed while you’ve been away. In almost every case, a simple conversation now can prevent any annoying confusion at a later date.
Don’t be afraid to discuss your cannabis use with your employer — as long as using cannabis at home wasn’t a problem during the pandemic, the worst that can happen is being asked to stop before returning to the office. In that case, you’ll need to do some serious thinking about your life priorities going forward, but at least you won’t be blindsided by an unexpected drug test.
Best ways to use cannabis at work
Coming up with new ways to use cannabis now that you’ll be back in the office more frequently? Here are the top three tips we can offer for keeping your cannabis use discreet and in compliance with company policies:
Give vapes a shot - Many employers don’t want weed in the office just for the smell. Vapes are considerably less aromatic than flower, and they often come with silicone caps you can use to reseal the mouthpiece, eliminating any lingering aroma.
Try edibles - Edibles don’t smell like cannabis at all, and they’re so discreet that no one will know you’re eating them. The only thing to watch out for is eating so many cannabis edibles that you can’t focus on your job.
Consider CBD - CBD is cannabis that doesn’t get you high. It offers the same relaxation you’ve come to appreciate with THC, but it won’t make you lose focus. CBD flower also is much less likely to make you fail a drug test than the THC equivalent, but the potential is still there.
The bottom line: Can I smoke weed at my workplace?
Across the country, policies regarding cannabis in the workplace are gradually becoming more relaxed. You shouldn’t simply assume the company you work for has adopted a more pro-cannabis policy while you’re away. It might be uncomfortable, but clear communication is the only way to go forward without the potential of crossing a line you didn’t even know was there.
If you choose to use cannabis at work without telling your employer, just keep your use discreet. Don’t smoke out of a three-foot bong in the parking lot. Hit a vape around the corner during your break, or simply bring some edibles in a ZipLoc stashed away in your bag or car.
The potential of drug testing is the main reason you need to be up-front with your employer about your cannabis use before returning to the office. It’s better that you have a calm discussion now than an intense one later.
Using cannabis in the office: FAQ
Brush up on your knowledge of how to use cannabis at work in this informative FAQ section:
Why is cannabis good for the workplace?
Cannabis can be a benefit to the workplace when it encourages employee cohesion and helps contribute to a relaxed atmosphere. This can only go wrong if employees overdo it and stop focusing on their tasks. In today’s breakneck business climate, cannabis can be exactly the source of soothing energy a modern workplace needs to stay current and keep growing.
What does it mean for a company to be a “drug-free workplace?”
If a workplace is described as “drug-free,” it usually means that employees cannot use illicit drugs of any kind. With the status of cannabis hanging in the balance between licit and illicit, however, many companies are no longer including cannabis under their definition of “drug” when determining what a drug-free workplace should look like. Find a polite way to ask your employer which drugs are prohibited and which are not if you have any further questions.
How often do federal employees get drug tested?
Federal employees are drug tested at different rates depending on the government organization for which they work. Based on information provided by individuals claiming to be federal employees online, however, the average rate of drug testing ranges from every year or so to never.
Some federal employees have never been drug tested even once, but others are asked to submit drug tests every 1-3 years. Only very rarely do federal employees need to submit drug tests more than once per year.
Can federal employees use CBD gummies?
It’s generally fine for federal employees to take CBD gummies as long as they do not contain any THC. To that end, you might want to choose gummies that contain broad-spectrum or isolate CBD since these are guaranteed to not contain any detectable traces of THC.
Can you take CBD gummies while working?
CBD gummies should not interfere with your productivity on the job since they are non-intoxicating. Keep in mind, though, that CBD can make you feel highly relaxed to the point of being sleepy, so it might not be an ideal choice to take CBD at the very beginning of a workday.
Is it OK to smoke CBD at work?
Smoking CBD flower at work might be okay with your employer, but you shouldn’t assume so without asking first. At least make sure that your employer knows you are smoking flower that contains CBD, not THC.
Can you lose your job for taking CBD?
It is very unlikely that you will lose your job for taking CBD. Using CBD is not an offense most employers care about, and your chances of failing a drug test after taking CBD are low even if you choose full-spectrum CBD products, which can contain up to 0.3% THC.