Sadly, over 46,000 people die in road accidents in the United States each year, with over 4 million injured seriously enough to require medical attention. It is estimated that over 10,000 of these deaths involve an alcohol-impaired driver. As you’re aware, alcohol is a legal and widely available drug.
In contrast, CBD is not technically legal even though it is widely available in virtually every state. An estimated one-third of American adults have used CBD at least once, which equates to approximately 64 million people. It is marketed as a non-intoxicating cannabinoid but could it impair your ability to drive safely? Should you drive after consuming CBD gummies, for example? This article investigates the available evidence.
Is It Dangerous to Use CBD Before Driving?
There is evidence that marijuana can impair a person’s driving skills. This is a logical conclusion, even without scientific data, because the substance contains THC, an intoxicating cannabinoid. However, as cannabidiol doesn’t cause a high, surely it is okay to buy CBD gummies and consume one before you drive?
According to the available research, the answer to this query is ‘yes.’ A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2022 looked into the effect of CBD and THC on driving performance.
The study’s participants completed simulated driving tasks after consuming either a placebo or 1500mg, 300mg, or 15mg of CBD oil. They were asked to keep a safe distance between their vehicle and a car directly in front of them. The test involved driving along rural roads and highways. The test subjects completed the task between 45 and 75 minutes after using the substance.
They completed the simulated test again between 3.5 and 4 hours after using CBD. Overall, the researchers found no evidence that any dose of cannabidiol led to feelings of intoxication, nor did it impair driving or thinking. Remember that the highest dose was 1500mg, far above what most people would use daily.
This Means I Can Use CBD Gummies Before Driving, Right?
Yes, but there is a big caveat. You need to ensure that you buy CBD gummies from a reputable source. Unfortunately, it is a poorly regulated industry, so low-grade products continue to pollute the marketplace. If you don’t purchase products with updated certificates of analysis (COA) from a reputable lab, there is a danger that what you buy contains too much THC.
Indeed, previous research has found that a disturbingly high percentage of CBD products on the market contain far more THC than the label claims. Indeed, many of these items contain a level of THC that could cause intoxication. Remember, CBD gummies and other cannabidiol products should only contain a maximum of 0.3% THC by dry weight.
While CBD doesn’t cause intoxication and won’t impair driving performance, the same can’t be said for THC.
A study published in JAMA in 2022 investigated driving performance and marijuana users’ perception of safety. One group of volunteers consumed a placebo, while other volunteers smoked a cannabis cigarette with either 5.9% THC or 13.4% THC. The marijuana users displayed significantly diminished driving ability according to a Composite Drive Score (CDS).
This test assessed various simulated driving variables, such as following a lead car and swerving in the lane. According to the researchers, around 50% of marijuana users displayed impaired driving skills. The biggest decline in cognitive ability occurred between 30 and 90 minutes after using marijuana. Interestingly, there was no discernible difference between weed and placebo users after 4.5 hours.
Also, the driving score didn’t differ regardless of whether the user consumed the 5.9% or 13.4% THC marijuana cigarette.
Final Thoughts on Whether CBD Impairs Your Driving Ability
Although more research is needed, the available evidence suggests that CBD will not negatively impact your driving ability. This conclusion makes sense since it is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid.
However, if you intend to buy CBD gummies, please ensure they come from a reputable brand that offers full and updated third-party lab reports. Unfortunately, mislabeling is rampant in the industry, with some products containing far more THC than the brand claims. Since THC causes intoxication and impairs your driving ability, consuming it will increase your likelihood of getting involved in a road accident.
This article was provided by Andreas Mayo