SF-85P and CBD Reportability

This is a question to investigators/security people.

For context, I am onboarding as a first time federal employee. I am expecting my final offer in the next few days, and I submitted my SF85P a bit over a week ago. I expect to put my final notice in with my current employer soon.

The SF85P asked about illegal drug use, and had some check boxes for drugs they wanted to know about, including THC (it listed some examples of drugs with THC, which didn’t include CBD). I disclosed the two instances I know of when I used THC. Double and triple checked the SF85P and then submitted it. Some time later, I was surfing some online communities such as this one and learned that CBD is legally iffy. I read about the farm bill, <.3%, yada yada.

Well, now I’m freaking out because I had no idea that CBD might be federally illegal (I used it one time 4 years ago, bought and consumed legally per my state). No idea about THC content, I assumed there was none). I did not disclose this because I didn’t think it was illegal. I still don’t know, though I’m leaning toward it being technically legal. There’s no solid info on the legality of CBD, only those who claim it’s legal and those who say it’s still off limits due to internal policy.

I understand that CBD is bad because it can trigger a positive result on urinalysis. However, I’m not a current user so I don’t care about that. I only care about whether it meets the criteria for “have you used any illegal drugs” per the SF85P, because I want to be honest.

My question is this: should I have listed it? If so, should I wait until my interview with the investigator (I’ve been told to expect this, but have not yet been contacted) to disclose, or should I email my agency’s security person and just blurt it out? I don’t want to lie, but I also don’t want to produce info if it’s uncalled for. I am considering consulting a clearance attorney regarding this because it is confusing for me, and it’s causing anxiety. Do you guys expect people to disclose this? Is this going to lose me the job?

Thank you

I don’t think the issue is that CBD is legally iffy; the issue is that current federal employees and those who have a security clearance are told not to use CBD products because there is no guarantee that they do not contain any THC and so the individual could possibly turn up ‘positive’ on a drug screen. I guess that is the “internal policy” you mention.

I suspect that part of the concern is that current drug testing technology cannot reliably distinguish THD from CBD and other cannabinoids but that is just my tin-foil-hat thinking. But as far as I know CBD products are legal these days.

Other investigators can chime in their thoughts and opinions as well but the way I understand it is this would not need to be listed but you should not use while cleared (I believe cleared positions have policies against usage).

Thanks for your take. Do you think it would hurt me to disclose it during the interview anyway?

My advice is to only report exactly what is asked. Do not overreport and do not underreport. Read all questions carefully and the coverage periods (10 years or ever) and only list what is asked. With that said, if you do have a gray area that you are conflicted about it is better to over report than to underreport to avoid an honesty issue. Hope that helps.