How Does CBD Oil Affect Your Ability To Drive?
Does CBD affect driving? The answer to this question is complex because so many factors can influence the CBD effects you experience. They include the CBD potency, spectrum, product type, and physical characteristics like metabolic rate and weight. CBD’s form also impacts, i.e., CBD oil versus vaping. There is limited research on this topic, but it has been found that CBD alone does not impair driving. CBD combined with THC may have an effect if too much THC is consumed.
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Effects of CBD On the Body
Numerous studies have found that CBD may have positive effects on the body. CBD acts on cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. According to the studies, CBD has antioxidant properties and is in a group of compounds with antidepressant, anxiolytic and antipsychotic properties. These are just a few of the biological effects of CBD that promote well-being.
CBD studies of people taking less than 400 mg daily found that the few adverse effects were mild drowsiness and dizziness. If CBD causes you to become drowsy, fatigued or dizzy, you should not drive. One point to remember is that the method of CBD consumption impacts how quickly the CBD takes effect and how long the effects last.
For example, vaping and CBD tinctures taken sublingually are absorbed quickly so that they will wear off sooner than CBD gummies or other edibles. Edibles must go through the digestive system before being absorbed into the bloodstream. A tincture may last 2-6 hours, while a CBD gummy may last eight hours. So much depends on CBD potency, dosage amount and frequency, age, weight and general health.
Edibles have a longer onset time because they must be digested first. It is important to remember that if you plan on consuming CBD gummies and driving afterward, consider that it could take 30 minutes to two hours to feel the effects of the gummies. Each person has a different metabolism. This applies to CBD capsules and driving also.
Research on CBD And Driving
The research on CBD and driving is limited.
The University of Sydney Studies
A 2020 University of Sydney study found that CBD did not increase weaving, overcorrecting or drifting while participants drove in a driving simulator. The study used vaporized CBD in products that were CBD-dominant cannabis, THC-dominant cannabis or THC/CBD equivalent cannabis.
A 2022 University of Sydney study gave participants different doses of 15, 300 or 1500 mg of CBD oil and assessed their simulated driving performance. None of the CBD doses made the drivers feel intoxicated or experience impaired cognition.
The University of Florida and the University of Georgia Studies
In 2023, researchers from the University of Florida and the University of Georgia assessed past studies on CBD and driving. They concluded that people using products containing THC should be aware of the risk of impairment for up to five hours after consumption. CBD may mitigate some THC effects, but a CBD-THC product may still make a driver drowsy.
All researchers make it clear that more research is needed concerning CBD and driving, the amount of CBD that might cause driving impairment, CBD spectrums and their effects on driving and whether certain forms of CBD product are more likely to cause impairment.
Driving After Using CBD In Any Form
One of the critical issues concerning CBD driving laws is that all states prohibit driving after taking any substance that may impact driving ability. The state laws are pretty complex and have a lot of grey areas. Some states require a DUI charge when any substance causes impairment without regard for the type of substance, while others are based on the amount of an expressly prohibited substance in the bloodstream.
For example, California made the consumption of CBD products legal, and there is no legal limit on the amount of CBD you can have in your bloodstream while driving. However, the CBD driving laws in California say that anything a person consumes that impairs driving ability is subject to DUI laws. If you take a CBD product, drive carelessly, and are stopped, you could be charged with a DUI. Also, Assembly Bill 45 says you cannot consume or smoke CBD while driving.
Washington State law says you cannot have more than five nanograms of THC per each liter of blood in your blood system within two hours of operating a vehicle. Exceeding this amount can lead to a DUI charge.
These are two examples of CBD driving laws and how they can significantly differ. Knowing the driving laws and the effects of CBD consumed before driving is important.
Since full spectrum CBD products contain THC and broad spectrum CBD may have a trace of THC, there is a risk of exceeding the legal limit if you do not know how much THC is in the product. Also, THC may show up on a drug test. Suppose you take full spectrum CBD oil and a driving drug test. In that case, THC is always possible in testing results, especially if you have been taking CBD full spectrum for weeks or months, because cannabinoids may build up in tissues.
One of the reasons it is so important to buy CBD products from a brand with a good reputation is because labeling is correct. You know you are getting products that meet federal laws concerning THC concentration, which should always be less than 0.3%.
Be An Informed CBD Consumer
A vital point to remember is that CBD oil may interact with some medications and amplify or change the effects experienced. Always consult your physician before taking CBD and driving if you take prescription medications or have a health issue.
Most people will have no issues with taking CBD and driving safely. However, you should be familiar with your state laws on CBD, including its potential inclusion as a substance that can lead to a DUI. Also, always review the Certificate of Analysis (COA) for each CBD oil product you purchase to verify the ingredients, including the amount of THC. The most conservative strategy is to take CBD broad spectrum that is THC-free or CBD isolate and determine the effects before driving.