Is it safe to consume CBD while driving a car? Generally, yes, though there are many variables to consider before jumping behind the wheel. Today, we’ll discuss everything you should know about using CBD while driving a car.
Does CBD Affect Driving?
It’s somewhat difficult to determine the safety of consuming CBD before driving. For example, early studies suggest that CBD itself does not affect one’s driving ability compared to placebo. However, consuming THC before driving certainly does. To be clear, CBD and THC both come from the cannabis plant – THC is more prominent in intoxicating “marijuana”-type cannabis, whereas CBD is more prominent in nonintoxicating “hemp” cannabis.
Notably, whereas hemp-based CBD products are legal throughout Europe, marijuana-type cannabis is only legal for those with a severe medical need. Those who consume marijuana-sourced CBD may ingest THC alongside CBD, which can alter its effects. Though CBD can help reduce some of the ill effects of THC (THC-induced anxiety, for example), it does not counteract all side effects. In fact, research suggests that those who take CBD and THC together have higher levels of THC in the blood compared to those who consume THC alone. As such, one cannot simply ingest CBD to wash away the intoxicating effects of THC before driving.
Another concern about using CBD while driving a car relates to CBD’s sedative qualities. Driving while drowsy is already a major hazard accounting for roughly 10-20 percent of road accidents throughout Europe according to the ESRA (PDF). As more consumers begin taking CBD, this number could start to rise. As such, it is crucial that those who consume CBD before driving ensure that they are not too sleepy to get behind the wheel.
What Are the Rules for Driving with CBD in Your System?
CBD is legal in the UK. As such, it is legal to drive with CBD in your system throughout most of Europe. However, police officers can still pull you over if they suspect impaired driving and may ask that you conduct a field impairment assessment. The assessment could include a series of tests like walking a straight line or employ a roadside test kit to screen for drugs like cocaine and cannabis. Notably, the kit screens for THC and its metabolites – CBD is usually off the radar.
Important Considerations for Using CBD While Driving a Car
As mentioned, CBD does not impair driving and is therefore legal to consume before driving in the UK. However, CBD may alter the effects of certain drugs including THC and other prescription narcotics. As such, it is crucial to consider the combination of elements in the body before heading out on the road. Always monitor your body to assess your condition and avoid driving while familiarizing yourself with its effects.
Also, be mindful of your sleep cycle, and avoid CBD while driving a car if you’re feeling sluggish or heavy-eyed. CBD may intensify this quality, so it’s best to avoid the risk of drowsy driving altogether.
Finally, always pay close attention to dosing instructions, modifying CBD levels only when you’re familiar with the effects. Recommended CBD doses should be listed on all product labels, with careful consideration for its method of ingestion. Note that sublingual doses are generally much smaller than pills or products that you swallow, so bear that in mind when consuming CBD while driving a car.
Final Thoughts About Driving After Consuming CBD
Despite its amazing therapeutic potential, CBD is a relatively benign substance to consume. Side effects of taking CBD are generally mild and include drowsiness, appetite loss, and gastrointestinal discomfort. Always familiarize yourself with its effects before using CBD while driving a car.
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