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Is It OK To Drive if You’ve Taken CBD?
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Is using CBD and driving one of those situations?
Keep reading for a quick rundown of things to keep in mind regarding CBD usage and getting behind the wheel of a car (or, really, operating any kind of heavy machinery).
The CBD Experience & Driving
It’s plausible that you’d wonder about CBD’s properties in the context of driving. These are two common areas of concern that CBD-loving’ drivers ask about:
CBD Side Effects
In general, for most healthy adults, CBD is well tolerated and non-toxic. Side effects and other adverse reactions are relatively rare, minor, and short-lived.
However, side effects are possible. Among the most common are:
- Dry mouth
- Stomachache or diarrhea
- Appetite changes
- Drowsiness or fatigue
When taking CBD, you should be on watch for anything that’s going to interfere with your ability to physically maneuver or control your vehicle or impair your ability to pay attention to the world around you.
How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?
The active effects of CBD can stick around for roughly two to six hours. So, if you’re planning to keep the tires at the curb while you’re blissing on CBD — this is a realistic estimate of how long you’ll be parked.
Is It Safe To Drive After Taking CBD?
Current research indicates that — because CBD isn’t intoxicating — it shouldn’t present a driving risk.(1)
That said, it still ultimately depends on you. Everyone’s body processes CBD differently. And the type, amount, formulation, frequency, and timing of your CBD all factor in.
So, while it may be safe for one person to drive after taking CBD, it might not be safe for someone else to drive. Furthermore, it may be a different story each time CBD is consumed if different products are used or it’s taken in different ways.
You should also consider whether or not you:
- Have other supplements or medications, alcohol, etc. in your system at the same time as the CBD. Other substances can alter the effects of your CBD.
- Are dealing with a chronic health issue, sick, or sleepy. If you aren’t in peak condition, CBD could behave differently than your usual smooth ride.
- Are overstressed or distracted. This isn’t really about the CBD. You probably can’t drive safely if you’re not in a mental state in which you’re able to be aware of yourself, your car, the roads, traffic, pedestrians, etc.
Does CBD Slow Reaction Time?
Several studies have shown that CBD does not slow reaction time or success. And, if you’re taking CBD that has THC in it — the CBD may actually mitigate the effects of THC (which does impact reaction success).(2,3)
So, CBD won’t reduce the speed at which you can hit that break pedal. BUT, if you experience any of those side effects mentioned above — like fatigue — that could certainly turn your normal hare-like reactions to tortoise-like reactions. Moral of the story: Know thyself on CBD and act appropriately.
Does CBD Impair Your Driving Abilities?
Nope. Plenty of research has been done on this, too.(4) As long as you’re consuming a low-THC version of CBD, you should be good to go. A 2020 Dutch study found that CBD didn’t cause lane weaving or any other impairments on participants’ driving.
Is It Legal To Drive After Taking CBD?
In most cases, yes. Assuming you’re in a place where it’s legal for you to have consumed federally-legal CBD — you should be in the free and clear.
Keep in mind, though, that it’s still illegal to drive while intoxicated. In some states, DUI laws may still apply — even though CBD isn’t a controlled substance.
Am I Allowed To Drive After Taking CBD?
Again, the usual answer is gonna be a waffle-y yes. Even if you are lawfully permitted to drive after taking CBD, there are definitely circumstances when you would still not be allowed to. For example, many jobs that involve driving or operating equipment have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to substance use, even CBD. Certain military or governmental employees may also have restriction on CBD and driving.
If there’s even a shadow of a question about this in your scenario — check to make sure.
If You’re Gonna Drive — Tips For Safer CBD Use
We aren’t saying you should or can (or shouldn’t or can’t) drive while on CBD. But you’re going to do what you’re going to do. So here are some suggestions to create the safest possible sitch:
- Your best bet is to establish your personal CBD routine. At the beginning, take your CBD when you know you won’t have to go anywhere. See how you feel. If you don’t have any dizziness or drowsiness — and the CBD doesn’t have you feeling too sleepy or calm — you might feel comfortable driving.
- Be mindful of the type of CBD and kinds of products you’re using. The lower the THC content in your CBD, the safer it should be relative to driving. Ingested CBD products will have a slower but longer course through your system than vaped or sublingual CBD formulations.
- Always consult with your doctor before starting CBD if you take prescription drugs or have an ongoing medical concern. You may have health factors that — when paired with CBD — may affect your driving abilities.
- Always always always err on the side of caution. If you’re feeling even the tiniest inkling of iffiness — do not drive. Repeat that a few times. It’s that
Can You Drive While Taking CBD? Maybe….
Generally speaking, it’s both safe and legal to drive after using CBD. Certain jobs and other factors may, however, make it so that it’s not OK to operate a vehicle while using CBD.
Before you don your driving gloves and hit the autoroute — know what’s safe and permitted for you.
“Can I drive after consuming CBD?”
Navigating the world of CBD can be confusing. Not everyone knows their hemp from their cannabis, their Indica from their Sativa, and their CBD from their THC. Myths and misconceptions about the cannabis plant are rife, with many still believing that CBD can get them high.
CBD is still pretty new to the health and wellness scene. Understandably, people have questions. Is it really safe to drive after taking CBD? Buckle up, we’re here to squash any concerns.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is one of over 100 natural cannabinoids found in hemp, or the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gives the plant its intoxicating properties, CBD is non-psychoactive and cannot get you high. For this reason, CBD has become a go-to wellness supplement for those seeking some of the health benefits of cannabis, but without the buzz.
Just under half of CBD users do so to help them sleep, and about a third find that it allows them to unwind1 2. Even clinical research into CBD suggests that it could be used to alleviate anxiety, reduce pain and inflammation, as well as help manage countless other mental and physical health conditions.
With its ever-growing list of health benefits and the increasing variety of CBD products available, many are now choosing to switch their evening tipple for a CBD-infused sparkling drink. There’s even evidence that CBD could help to banish the booze altogether3. Whilst CBD may not get you tipsy, it can certainly help you to relax, without the dreaded hangover.
As driver safety becomes an increasing priority in the UK, motorists are seeking these alcohol-free alternatives in growing numbers. But since it’s illegal to get behind the wheel under the influence of cannabis, there are obvious concerns for those wishing to use a product made from that very plant. So, let’s clear up any unanswered questions.
CBD and driving: what’s the deal?
In the UK, CBD products are completely legal providing they contain less than 1mg of THC per container, which usually equates to less than 0.2% THC. As CBD is not considered a controlled substance under UK law, it is completely legal to drive after taking CBD.
So it’s legal, but is it safe? CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it is not intoxicating and does not make you drowsy. After taking CBD, you can safely drive, exercise or operate heavy machinery.
A rule of thumb for any medication, however, is to not drive after taking CBD for the first time. This allows you to suss out how your body reacts to CBD and observe whether any side effects could potentially affect your focus, concentration and, therefore, your ability to drive.
In 2020, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Associationfound that the effects of vaporised CBD on driving did not differ from the effects of a placebo drug4. These findings confirm that there is no evidence that CBD is not safe to take before driving. If anything, CBD could help you feel a little calmer when in the driver’s seat – so say goodbye to road rage, Goodrays is here.
Anything else to consider?
The CBD industry is growing at a rapid rate, with new brands popping up everywhere. For the consumer, however, this comes with the risk of purchasing unregulated CBD products. A 2019 report, published by the Centre of Medicinal Cannabis (CMC), even found that 45% of CBD products on the market contained measurable levels of THC5.
If a product contains THC levels above the legal threshold, this means that your ability to drive could be impaired. If THC is found in your system, you may fail a roadside drug screening and face strict penalties.
We, therefore, cannot overstate the importance of buying your CBD from brands that use trustworthy manufacturers. At Goodrays, each of our products is third-party tested and contains all-natural, Colorado-grown CBD – and they’re all THC-free. It’s CBD you can trust, whether or not you’re getting behind the wheel.
Feeling thirsty? Why not swap your alcohol for a CBD drink? For those seeking something a little stronger, perhaps try adding some high-strength CBD gummies or CBD oil to your supplement regime.
Goodrays CBD Drinks are available through our store, alongside our range of CBD Drinks and our delicious CBD Gummies. You can visit the shop through this link .
1. Moltke, J., Hindocha, C. (2021). Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. J Cannabis Res 3, 5.
2. Sumner, W. (2020). Identifying European Consumers’ Demand for CBD. New Frontier Data.
3. De Ternay, J., Naassila, M., Nourredine, M., Louvet, A., Bailly, F., Sescousse, G., Maurage, P., Cottencin, O., Carrieri, P. M., & Rolland, B. (2019). Therapeutic Prospects of Cannabidiol for Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcohol-Related Damages on the Liver and the Brain. Frontiers in pharmacology, 10, 627.
4. Arkell TR, Vinckenbosch F, Kevin RC, Theunissen EL, McGregor IS, Ramaekers JG. (2020). Effect of Cannabidiol and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on Driving Performance: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA 324(21):2177–2186.
5. Gibbs, B., Yates, A., Liebling, J., (2019). CBD IN THE UK, Executive Summary. Centre for Medical Cannabis.