CBD and driving

Does CBD Affect Driving Ability? Do science and laws agree?

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The use of CBD has become more widely accepted over the years. But does this beneficial product impair your driving skills? What do science and the law say? We answer these and more in the paragraphs below.
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Users of CBD have grown over the years. This is no surprise, as more research shows how CBD is very beneficial. People suffering from allergies are using CBD products to find relief from symptoms. CBD has been shown to even help people struggling with addiction.

As with other treatments, it is only natural to wonder if CBD affects driving. What do the laws say about the use of CBD while driving? Is there a limit to how much CBD a person can use if they intend to drive?

There are two ways to approach this question to get the best answer. One is by looking at how CBD actually affects a person when used. For example, if it has anxiety-reducing qualities, does this translate to a person feeling drowsy? Drowsiness is a serious problem when driving.

The other is by looking at the content of the CBD itself. While CBD itself is free from psychoactive properties, it might contain some THC. THC is a psychoactive substance that could be problematic depending on its concentration. So how much THC in CBD is dangerous, and can it be avoided?

CBD vs. THC (how do they affect us)

As we’ve already established, CBD (cannabidiol) is different from THC, although both are derived from cannabis. CBD is the second-largest chemical compound found in cannabis. It has found use in many natural treatments and can be gotten from both hemp and cannabis plants.

On the other hand, THC is the main psychoactive ingredient that you find in cannabis. This substance triggers a more than normal release of dopamine which is the feel-good hormone. It can also be sourced from both hemp and cannabis.

THC and CBD affect us in different ways. They both work on different receptors of the human brain. CBD is not psychoactive, which means taking it will not give you a high. Another difference is that most CBD is sourced from hemp while THC is mostly from marijuana.

As you’d have already deduced by now, THC could be problematic when it comes to driving. Driving while high is very dangerous as your brain is not functioning properly. For this reason, people wonder if CBD is safe since it also comes from cannabis, which is known to get people high.

From the above, we can clearly see that THC is the substance in cannabis that causes the high. So, taking CBD just by itself does not have the same effects. Especially when you choose the right form of CBD. CBD gotten from hemp has been found to naturally contain lower THC than one obtained from cannabis.

Legal Status of CBD and THC

Since they have Psychoactive properties, both THC and cannabis are in the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. This means that they are not considered legal under the federal law. So, it is important to consider how legal it is when choosing THC and CBD products.

However, as it stands, 33 states and Washington DC have laws that make THC and cannabis legal for medical use. This means that you can use products containing both when prescribed by a doctor. Some states also allow the use of products that contain THC and cannabis medicinally.

CBD in certain forms is considered legal in most states of the USA. It is mandated by law that the CBD consumed has less than 0.3% of THC, for example. That means you have to get your CBD from a trusted source with accurate representation like Hempika.

In Europe, CBD with a THC limit of 0.2% is completely legal in most countries. Countries like Austria and Luxemburg even allow CBD with THC content of up to 0.3%. France only allows CBD isolates with 0% THC. Some countries also have medical cannabis available like in the US.

When it comes to THC, CBD, and cannabis, the laws are rapidly changing and vary yearly. So, make sure to always check the laws of where you are in before you proceed. You want to make sure you are on the side of the law before purchasing and using any CBD and THC-containing products. Check out our blog post to find the answer about the legal status of CBD in your country.

DUI Laws and CBD Use

Driving while under the influence is prohibited everywhere. In many places, this law applies whether you are exhibiting impairment or have the prohibited substance in your system. Since CBD is not illegal, having it in your system shouldn’t cause impairment and is not a risk for a DUI.

There are, however, some DUI laws that could apply to the use of CBD and should be considered. There are some states that have laws prohibiting driving with more than five nanograms of THC in your system. One of these states is Washington.

This means that if the CBD used contains THC, it will show up on your blood test. Since there are many products out there that are incorrectly labeled, you could end up with a high percentage. This could be problematic if the CBD product has a higher amount than it’s supposed to.

To avoid this, as mentioned earlier, please know the laws that apply where you are. It is also important to buy your CBD products from a trusted brand. As a CBD user, you have to take precautions to ensure that your CBD use is safe and legal.

What do the studies say?

Many studies have been carried out on the use of CBD while driving. A recent Dutch study even put participants on an actual highway to measure their reactions after using CBD. It studied 22 participants using 13% CBD, 13% CBD and THC, 13% THC, and then a placebo.

The findings of this study showed that taking just CBD did not affect driving. Those who took CBD exhibited the same characteristics as when they took the placebo, which had no effect. This proves that taking just CBD does not impair your driving skills.

However, participants who took THC and the CBD and THC combination had their driving impaired. For some, the effects lasted for only 40 minutes. Others exhibited effects that lasted for up to 100 minutes. They operated at the level of someone with a blood alcohol content of 0.05%.

While this is lower than 0.08, which is considered a crime in all states, the state of Utah has a limit of 0.05%. This means that drivers exhibited impairment which is illegal. This study also put to rest the myth that suggests that CBD counteracts THCs psychoactive properties.

Another study that used the Vienna Test System TRAFFIC also arrived at the same conclusion. Participants who smoked cannabis that was CBD rich did not exhibit any impairment to their driving.

Which products to use while driving?

As a result of the studies and laws shared above, it is easy to know that CBD is the best product to use while driving. The use of THC is problematic and is considered a DUI in many states. There are, however, different types of CBD, some of which contain THC.

The best type of CBD products to use while driving are the Broad Spectrum and Isolate. With Broad-spectrum CBD, you get all of the other valuable compounds of the cannabis, including CBD. There is typically no THC, and if there are any, it is in trace amounts.

With CBD Isolate, you get a pure form of CBD that has no THC at all. There are no other cannabinoids or terpenes. This type of CBD also has no odor or taste. It is pure and could be considered the safest to use when it comes to driving.

Final thoughts

Studies have shown that using CBD while driving is safe as long as you use a CBD-only product. The products that fit into this category are the broad spectrum and isolate CBD. Best practice also suggests that you check the laws in the state where you stay.

Frequently asked questions about CBD and driving

Can you drive when taking CBD?

Yes, studies have shown that taking CBD does not impair your driving. However, best practices advise that you check the laws of the location where you stay. The best products to use are also those that contain only CBD.

How long after using CBD Oil Can I drive?

The kind of CBD oil that you use affects this answer. Broad-spectrum and isolate CBD oils do not impair your driving. For CBD products that are high in THC, you are advised to wait until four hours later before driving.

Will CBD show on drug test?

Drugs test check for THC and its metabolites because they can impair driving. As a result, using CBD that is low in or does not contain THC will not show up. You will not test positive for cannabis with these either.

Will CBD make me tired?

CBD is often well tolerated, although side effects like drowsiness and fatigue exist. The purity of the product could also be a factor. If you discover that you suffer from any of these, please refrain from the use of CBD while driving.

Does CBD oil help with driving anxiety?

Using CBD Oil for general anxiety has been proven helpful. CBD is, however, proven to not affect driver’s ability. Studies show that taking CBD that is low or has no THC does not impair driving abilities.

Author: S. O.

Source(s):

https://www.medicinalcannabis.nsw.gov.au/patients/driving
https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/news/20201202/study-cbd-from-marjiuana-doesnt-impair-driving
https://www.healthline.com/health-news/does-cbd-impair-your-driving-abilities-experts-researchers-disagree
https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilyearlenbaugh/2020/12/02/does-cbd-impair-driving-ability-study-finds-no-evidence-cannabis-derived-cbd-impairs-driving/
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/am-i-allowed-to-drive-after-taking-cbd.html
https://www.marijuanamoment.net/cbd-doesnt-impair-driving-landmark-study-finds-while-thcs-effects-fade-in-hours/
https://www.inverse.com/mind-body/how-does-cbd-affect-driving
https://www.insider.com/cbd-cannabis-doesnt-affect-driving-ability-study-2020-12
https://www.sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2020/12/02/Cannabidiol-CBD-in-cannabis-does-not-impair-driving-landmark-study-shows.html
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34868711/

Luka Osirnik
Luka Osirnik

Cannabis enthusiast who loves animals and good music. Enjoys nature, improv and riding a motorcycle.

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