"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.
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.