Taking CBD and driving

Last Updated on January 21, 2021 by Maxwell Harris

You may have asked yourself that question at some point, and so in this article, we will try to answer everything you need to know about CBD and driving!

Can marijuana impair driving?

A Dutch study suggests, different strains of cannabis can affect your driving performance differently. If you want to enjoy your favorite cannabis strain, make sure you are familiar with its content. Some THC-rich strains are known to cause driving impairment up to 4 hours after consumption.

While we understand that medical cannabis consumption may be needed for medical reasons, this is not for a valid excuse if you decide to smoke cannabis and drive. The general public compares this behavior to drinking and driving and considers it as a public health risk.

The effects of CBD and THC on driving

The Dutch study used the help of 26 healthy people, around the age of 23, who were familiar with using cannabis, but not on daily basis (less than twice a week, but more than 10 times in their lives). For the purpose of the research, the researchers split the group in 4. The 4 groups were given substances containing either the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD, a mix of both or a placebo.

After consumption, the driving performance of the participants was measured.

The study found that the THC-dominant and the THC/CBD combination substances induced short-term driving impairment. The impairment was comparable to this of drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.05%. For reference, in the US, a blood alcohol content of .08% while driving is considered a crime.

On the other hand, participants who consumed only CBD of the placebo showed no signs of decreased driving performance.

These results indicated that CBD does not impair driving

Is it safe to drive after taking CBD oil ?

There is no evidence that CBD oil causes impaired driving. It is the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in the CBD products, such as CBD Oil, that determines whether it is safe to drive or not. There is a very small proportion of THC in CBD products. This percentage should be below 0.2% in CBD oils. You must therefore think about this when choosing between different CBD oils. As already mentioned, unlike CBD, THC is known for its psychoactive effects and is therefore not safe to use before driving.

How do the side effects of CBD relate to driving?

Unlike other substances, cannabidiol comes with a rather short list of side-effects. It has been declared safe to take by the World Health Organization. Most of the recognized side-effects, such as dry mouth or change in appetite, do not relate to driving. Nonetheless, some people have reported feeling dizzy or drowsy after taking CBD. Why is that?

It is very important to note that while cannabidiol will not make you high, but it may have different effects on different people. Some individuals simply have a stronger reaction or low tolerance to cannabis than others, and therefore may experience the above-mentioned side-effects. So when it comes to taking CBD before driving, we suggest the following:

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Cannabee’s advice

We believe that it is safe to drive after consuming cannabidiol. Nonetheless, we urge you to study your own reactions to CBD. Does it make you feel drowsy? If so, it might be better to avoid driving while using these products. Be proactive and don’t wait for legislators to frame CBD driving laws. Learn to protect yourself. Do not get behind the wheel if you have consumed any levels of THC – there is a high chance of decreased driving performance.

Detection of Cannabinoids in the blood

The most common method of detecting illegal substances in the system is by urine or blood test. Urine tests often give rise to all types of cannabinoids but do not specify which ones, while blood tests can detect specific cannabinoids. As a starting point, let’s get a couple of facts clear:

  • THC can be detected in your blood for up to 24 hours after ingestion
  • With a frequent intake of CBD oil, the THC value can be detected in the blood for up to 3 days after ingestion.
  • With regular use of CBD products, the THC value can be traced in the body for up to 1 week after ingestion.

Learn more about the difference between CBD and THC here.

If you use CBD products and take a drug test, there is always a risk of testing positive for cannabis use. Even THC-free CBD products can show a positive result, as some tests respond to all cannabinoids. Nonetheless, you always have the right to request a blood test instead, as these tests show the exact content and amount of the cannabinoids found in the blood. If the cannabidiol product you are using contains less than 0.2% THC, it is almost guaranteed that the illegal substance will not show on the test or will be marked as non-detectable.

If drug tests take place at your workplace, do not be afraid to tell your employer that you are taking a legal dietary supplement from industrial hemp and you can, therefore, test positive for cannabis use and ask to take a blood test instead.

So, how much CBD can I take before driving?

Before we provide you with information on the sanction system, it is important to know that if you buy a CBD certified oil, as they contain less than 0.002 mg. Tetrahydrocannabinol per bottle. Why is this important? To be penalized for consuming illegal cannabis substances, you would, hypothetically, have to take an entire bottle of CBD oil before driving, in order to supply your body with high enough dose of the illegal substance. An average dose of CBD per day consists of about 3 drops (if taking it in an oil form) which is nowhere near enough to get you in trouble.

CBD and Driving in Different Countries

Regarding CBD and driving, there’s something to keep in mind. If you consume CBD for medicinal purposes and you drive, it’s important to be up to date on the driving laws of the country or state in which you’re driving. There are no CBD driving laws in theory, but DUI driving laws carry harsh penalties in many countries. The testing methods used in many countries can cause problems for CBD users. Buy from reputable sellers to be sure of the quality of the products. Now let’s look at some countries and how their DUI laws relate to CBD.

CBD driving laws

  1. Denmark: Since July 2018, CBD is permitted in Denmark provided it contains no more than 0.2% THC levels.
  2. France: CBD oil is permitted in France with THC level 0.2 or less. Laws are strict for driving under the influence of drugs, so ensure low Tetrahydrocannabinol.
  3. Italy: Medicinal CBD is legal to use in Italy with THC level up to 0.6%. But with strict laws for driving under drug influence, aim to ensure low THC.
  4. Poland: CBD is not prohibited, put Poland levies harsh penalties for driving offences, so ensure low Tetrahydrocannabinol levels.
  5. Spain: CBD is permissible up to 0.2% THC. but driving under the influence of intoxicants is not.
  6. Austria: Not all forms of CBD are legal in Austria. It is better to refrain from driving after consuming CBD, just to be on the safe side.
  7. Sweden: This country has strict laws regarding the use of cannabis and even medicinal cannabis. Better leave your CBD at home, even it has low THC content.
  8. UK: In the UK, it’s illegal to drive if intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, whether they’re legal or illegal. CBD is not intoxicating, but the individual is responsible for how they present themselves to drive. In general CBD oil products here should have less than 0.2 THC.

Driving after consuming CBD in the US

Although the USA has some common federal laws regarding driving, there are laws particular to certain states. Some states have legalised the use of hemp-based cannabidiol for medical purposes but marijuana-based CBD for recreational purposes is actually illegal in some states. According to sources, CBD is allowed on a federal level in the USA provided it contains no more than a .3% Tetrahydrocannabinol level. This would mean that if you’re in the USA, your CBD consumption shouldn’t get you into trouble. But you should be aware of your source of CBD, to ensure Tetrahydrocannabinol levels don’t go too high. If your CBD is sourced from hemp, it should be safe.

Related article: Can you mix CBD and Alcohol?

Sources:

  1. Arkell, T.R., Lintzeris, N., Kevin, R.C. et al. Cannabidiol (CBD) content in vaporized cannabis does not prevent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-induced impairment of driving and cognitionPsychopharmacology 236, 2713–2724 (2019).
  2. Cannabis in Differen Countries– Laws, Use, History, and Other Info – Sensi Seeds. (2020). Retrieved 16 April 2020, from https://sensiseeds.com/en/blog/countries/cannabis-in-france-laws-use-history/
  3. Ottle, H. (2020). Retrieved 16 April 2020, from https://cbdoildepo.com/is-cbd-legal-in-austria/
  4. Marijuana in Sweden: Legal and Medicinal Status of Weed. (2020). Retrieved 16 April 2020, from https://www.tripsavvy.com/marijuana-in-sweden-1626765
  5. Shaw, T. (2020). CBD Oil and Driving in the UK. Retrieved 16 April 2020, from https://www.fortheageless.com/blogs/cbd-oil-uk-blog/cbd-oil-driving-uk
  6. Is CBD Oil Legal in the US? – The complete 2020 Guide – Hemppedia. (2020). Retrieved 16 April 2020, from https://hemppedia.org/cbd-oil-legal-us/

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