A new study says that high doses of CBD don’t impair driving. A lot of questions we’ve noticed appearing more frequently online are focussed on CBD oil and driving. Here’s everything you need to know.
High Doses Of CBD Don’t Affect Driving, New Study Shows
Researchers of the University of Sydney, Australia, found that high doses of CBD don’t impair driving.
Published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology on May 30, the study says that oral CBD treatment, even if taken at a high dosage, doesn’t “appear to induce feelings of intoxication and is unlikely to impair cognitive function or driving performance.”
Researchers analyzed the simulated driving performance of 17 participants who undertook driving tasks after consuming a placebo and three different dosages of CBD in oil: 15mg, 300mg, and 1,500 mg.
Participants had to take two tests. In the first one, they had to try to maintain a safe distance between themselves and a lead vehicle. The second implied driving along highways and rural roads.
Participants completed the task between 45-75 minutes after taking their assigned treatment. They repeated the same driving simulations with a time interval between 3.5 and four hours. This was necessary to cover the range of plasma CBD concentrations at different times. They repeated the tests four times, under placebo and each of the three different dosages of CBD treatments.
The researchers considered participants’ driving ability and measured how they controlled the simulated car, how much they weaved or drifted, as well as their cognitive function, subjective experiences, and the CBD concentrations in their plasma.
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They concluded that no dose of CBD induced feelings of intoxication or appeared to impair either driving or cognitive performance.
“The results of this study suggest that acute, oral CBD treatment at doses up to 1500 mg does not induce feelings of intoxication and is unlikely to impair cognitive function or driving performance. However, further research is required to confirm no effect of CBD on safety-sensitive tasks in the hours immediately post-treatment and with chronic administration,” the study says.
On the University of Sydney’s website, lead author Dr. Danielle McCartney said that although CBD is generally considered non-intoxicating, its effects on safety-sensitive tasks are still being established. “Our study is the first to confirm that, when consumed on its own, CBD is driver-safe.”
However, she added that the study looked at CBD in isolation only and that drivers taking CBD with other medications should do so with care.
Researchers confirmed the finding of another study published in 2020, which indicated that CBD when taken through the use of vaporizers, did not impair driving, while THC and THC/CBD-equivalent cannabis produced a short-term impairment during experimental on-road driving.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main compounds of the cannabis plant, but unlike THC, several studies have shown that it doesn’t provide intoxicating effects.
The 2018 Farm Bill on hemp legalization made CBD and other minor cannabis compounds legal if they don’t contain a THC level above 0.3 percent.
Its popularity has ramped up in recent years. It has shown medical benefits in treating several conditions due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects demonstrated in several studies over the years.
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has so far approved only one CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, which treats seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients one year of age and older.
Although the FDA recognizes the potential opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds may offer, its position is very restrictive towards those companies that market and sell CBD products as dietary supplements through false, deceptive, and misleading claims that may put the health and safety of consumers at risk.
Furthermore, FDA warns that taking CBD products and driving can be dangerous.
“CBD can cause sleepiness, sedation, and lethargy. Because of these side effects, consumers should use caution if planning on operating a motor vehicle after consuming any CBD products,” it reads on its website.
CBD doesn’t qualify as a controlled substance. Therefore, there is little probability of being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI) for CBD use in US states.
However, a positive THC reading due to CBD usage could result in DUI or DWI charges.
Such a risk is real, as a recent study showed that a majority of CBD sleep products are mislabeled and could contain significant amounts of THC.
Inaccurate concentrations on labels of CBD products may contain higher THC concentrations than it’s supposed to. Therefore, the amount of THC in the human body could be higher than expected.
CBD Oil And Driving: Is It Safe?
With the US CBD market expected to reach $24.4 billion by 2024, the number of CBD oil users is likely to continue to grow over the next few years.
With more people becoming aware of the potential benefits CBD oil might offer, there seems to be more and more questions being asked by potential users who are curious as to whether it might be beneficial for them.
One question we’ve noticed appearing more frequently online is whether or not you can drive after using CBD oil.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What Is CBD Oil?
Derived from cannabis, Cannabidiol, or CBD as it’s more commonly known, is one of over a hundred cannabinoid compounds found in the plant.
CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a recently discovered network of receptors and transmitters that are found in the brain and the body’s nervous systems, and help to regulate a number of the body’s functions.
As CBD doesn’t form a natural part of our diets, using CBD oil works in the same way as taking a multivitamin, making sure your body has all of the elements it needs to function at its optimum level.
Can You Drive After Taking CBD Oil?
Because CBD is a compound from the cannabis plant, there is still a large number of people who think that driving after taking CBD oil would be the same as driving while under the influence.
However, the high commonly associated with cannabis use is caused by Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant.
CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive, so provided your CBD oil meets the legal requirement of containing less than 1mg of THC then yes, it is safe to drive after taking CBD oil.
Will CBD Oil Impair My Driving?
One concern users might have about using CBD oil before getting behind the wheel is whether or not it will impair their ability to drive.
We’re probably all aware that driving under the influence of Cannabis is illegal, but the ingredient within Cannabis that causes impairment is THC.
Unlike THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning it should have no effect on the users cognitive functions, and will not, therefore, impair their ability to drive.
What Are The Side Effects Of CBD Oil?
While CBD is safe, and is generally well tolerated by people, there have been instances of side effects reported with CBD use.
While side effects are typically rare, and very mild if they do occur, it’s important that users are mindful of how their body reacts to taking CBD in the same way they would be with any other food supplement, and should stop taking if they believe it’s having an adverse effect.
One side effect that can be caused by taking a high dose of CBD oil, or by taking too much too quickly, is drowsiness. This could obviously be dangerous when driving a vehicle, so again it’s important to be aware of how you are personally reacting to the doses you’re taking, adjusting them accordingly if you do start to experience drowsiness.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
The short answer is yes – all of our CBD products are legal in the UK.
There are still, however, many companies who are more interested in profits than high quality products, so we urge users to be careful about where they’re buying CBD oil from.
Legal issues can arise if the product you’ve purchased isn’t high quality, and it contains an illegal quantity of THC.
Police can instruct drivers to perform a field impairment assessment if they believe a driver is under the influence of a controlled substance such as THC, so make sure that the product you’re using in line with the UK’s guidelines of containing less than 1mg of THC and it’s unlikely there will be any issues.
In general, if a company is making claims about their products that seem too good to be true, it probably is.
Companies making claims about medical or health benefits of their products should also set alarm bells ringing. There are no approved health claims for any CBD supplements in Europe, so anyone doing so is selling unlawfully.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to CBD oil and driving, the bottom line is that it’s perfectly legal, and safe, to drive after you’ve taken CBD oil, provided you’ve purchased from a reliable source.
As with any form of supplement, users should take note of how they react when they start supplementing their diet, and should be mindful of any potential side effects that start to emerge.
If you’re unsure about which product would be best for you, we’ve created the “CBD First Time Buyers Guide” to help answer your most pressing questions about CBD.