CBD and Driving

Does CBD impair driving? A new study explains the risks.

Cannabis, it has been claimed, can affect driving ability but solid proof to this claim isn’t readily available in the same way that we know all about alcohol’s effects on driving. Thus, as with many aspects of CBD, the phrase “more research is needed” can be liberally applied here. However, a recent study out of Sydney University in Australia, in conjunction with Maastricht University in the Netherlands, suggests that CBD may be safe for driving as its effects are not intoxicating like THC. Another interesting finding of this study was that the effects of THC on driving faded within four hours of consumption.

Recently published in the fêted Journal of the American Medical Association, the study involved 26 subjects who were given vaporized doses of cannabis made up of different combinations of THC and CBD. The subjects were required to drive a 100km (60mi) stretch of public highway 40 minutes after ingesting the vaporized cannabis and again, four hours after ingestion, to observe if THC and/or CBD impaired their driving. The study revealed that subjects under the influence of CBD-only showed no significant impairment in their driving abilities. However, subjects under the influence of a THC-CBD mixture showed mild impairment to their driving skills when tested after 40 minutes, but significantly less or none at all when tested four hours after ingestion.

In a prepared statement for the press, lead researcher Dr. Arkell provided insight into the thorny issue of whether CBD impairs driving, saying, “With cannabis laws changing globally, jurisdictions are grappling with the issue of cannabis-impaired driving. These results provide much-needed insights into the magnitude and the duration of impairment caused by different types of cannabis and can help to guide road-safety policy not just in Australia but around the world.” Of course, more research into this will be required to ascertain whether CBD impairs driving conclusively. Still, Dr. Arkell’s start, if not definitive, is undoubtedly headed in the right direction.

As one of the first studies into this area, it will be easy to criticize the low number of participants as not statistically significant enough for legislators to get behind. However, these sorts of studies are of critical importance as CBD and THC laws worldwide are changing, bringing new challenges to road safety laws and our understanding of driver and pedestrian safety.

Arkell had this to say regarding the limitations of the test and its implications for road safety rules; “With cannabis laws changing globally, jurisdictions are grappling with the issue of cannabis-impaired driving. These results provide much-needed insights into the magnitude and duration of impairment caused by different types of cannabis and can help to guide road-safety policy not just in Australia but around the world”. This bodes well for travelers considering a road trip, and whether or not to take their CBD along; and also legislators here in the US currently looking into how to effectively regulate CBD use, and understand whether CBD impairs driving ability.

The study itself shows promise for future work in this area and for medical CBD users who are also grappling with the current legality of their CBD use and getting behind the wheel. With many such gaps in our knowledge of CBD and its place in society, both from a medical/scientific standpoint and from a health and safety point of view, this study will go some way to moving the needle on this kind of research here in the US.

When it comes to using Soulesome’s cold-pressed CBD oil, it remains our strongest recommendation that you first consult with your healthcare practitioner to ensure that CBD oil is the right choice for you and what dose is appropriate for your situation or requirements. Following on from this, and in the interests of public safety and your own, we encourage Soulsome customers to appraise themselves of the local traffic and safety laws concerning CBD use and operating an automobile. Finally, please exercise caution, sound judgment, and always act in the interests of your safety and that of others when using Soulsome CBD oil.

Happy motoring.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner to make sure that CBD oil is the right choice for you.

Further reading

  1. Arkell TR, Vinckenbosch F, Kevin RC, Theunissen EL, McGregor IS, Ramaekers JG. Effect of Cannabidiol and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on Driving Performance: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2020;324(21):2177–2186. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.21218 retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2773562 on 07/20/2021
  2. Cannabidiol (CBD) in cannabis does not impair driving, landmark study shows.

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