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).
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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