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Am I Allowed to Drive After Taking CBD?
Definition & DUI Law Explained

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in marijuana, is now widely used in a homeopathic manner to treat a range of ailments such as anxiety, migraines, and epilepsy.

It is legal and easily purchased at grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations.

As a personal injury lawyer who specializes in automobile accidents, I am frequently asked about the safety and legality of driving while using CBD.

The following article will explain the current CBD laws and the driving implications outlined by state DUI laws.

Quick Summary

  • You are allowed to drive after consuming CBD.
  • They found that no dose of CBD-induced feelings caused any intoxication and did not seem to affect driving or cognitive abilities in any way.
  • Drivers taking CBD with other drugs should do so with care.

Am I Allowed To Drive After Taking CBD?

A picture of a man smoking marijuana inside the carYes, you are allowed to drive after taking CBD.

While the amount of THC in CBD products varies by state, it is typically below the legal limit of 0.3%, which is legally considered non-intoxicating and thus does not affect one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

A recent study involving a simulated driving test discovered that even at higher doses, cannabidiol (CBD) did not significantly affect people’s driving or cognitive function [1]. 

Related Article: Is It Illegal To Eat While Driving?

What Is CBD?

CBD is cannabidiol, a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant [2].A photo shows rolling a marijuana

Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound in cannabis that causes a “high,”

CBD is non-psychoactive and does not produce the same intoxicating effects as other drugs.

CBD oil is often used for its potential therapeutic benefits, such as reducing pain and inflammation, alleviating anxiety and depression, and improving sleep.

It can be consumed in various forms, including oils, capsules, gummies, and topical creams.

Although some states have legalized recreational marijuana use, it is illegal in all states to drive under the influence of psychoactive drugs like marijuana.

CBD oil, on the other hand, does not contain enough THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis that causes a high, to be considered as such.

CBD oil is not considered a mind-altering substance like marijuana.

Therefore, it is not categorized as drug driving.

However, CBD users who are driving may feel calmer or less anxious.

However, your perception, cognitive function, and driving performance will remain unchanged.

Related Article: Teen Driving Safety Tips

DUI Laws And CBD Use

Driving under the influence of drugs or controlled substances is prohibited in all states.

Some state base drug-related DUIs on actual impairment, while others use the number of banned substances in the system as a criterion. 

Since CBD is no longer an illegal controlled substance and is unlikely to cause impairment, CBD use is probably not a risk for receiving a DUI.

However, examining how CBD usage could be subject to DUI laws is important.

Certain states have “per se” DUI laws which mean it is against the law to drive with a specific amount of THC concentration in your system.

For example, operating a vehicle with a THC concentration of five nanograms or more in your blood is illegal in Washington.

As CBD products can contain small amounts of THC, it is feasible that THC may appear on a blood test while conducting a DUI investigation [3].

Related Article: How Do I Look up a Dui Arrest Record?

CBD Impact On The Brain

A picture of a person holding a marijuanaAlthough research and clinical trials on the effectiveness and therapeutic uses of CBD are limited, consumers continue to use CBD products for various reasons:

  • Pain management
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Improved mood
  • Better focus
  • Stress relief and relaxation
  • Sleep disorders

CBD can impact driving performance by causing drowsiness or slower reaction times, even though it has a calming effect on the brain.

CBD interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system, affecting serotonin levels that control stress and anxiety levels.

This calmness could reduce driving stress but, equally, decrease alertness. Studies have shown the different effects of CBD on people.

Related Article: How Many Points is a Speeding Ticket

“Although CBD is generally considered ‘non-intoxicating,’ its effects on safety-sensitive tasks are still being established. Our study is the first to confirm that CBD is driver-safe when consumed on its own.”
Danielle McCartney, Ph.D., Researcher at the University of Sydney’s Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics.

Can CBD Impact Your Driving Ability? 

Yes, CBD can impact your driving ability because it could help reduce a person’s anxiety while driving, making them more relaxed and calm.

In this state, they would be better equipped to deal with any stressors that may arise on the road. 

Additionally, CBD doesn’t appear to impair reaction time or cognitive performance when used in moderation.

Related Article: Using Headphones While Driving

How Long After Smoking Weed Can I Drive?

You can drive 2-4 hours after smoking weed.A picture of a person driving

This time frame assumes that the drug’s effects have worn off and your cognitive abilities are not impaired.

In addition, it is important to consider how much marijuana was consumed and its potency, as this can also affect how long it takes for the drug to wear off alcohol. 

Drugs affect the individual’s body differently.

It is challenging to predict how long it takes to drive after using cannabis, as it depends on the individual’s unique traits.

It’s crucial to consider that taking marijuana comes with different consumption choices than alcoholic drinks.

You must analyze each situation separately to determine the duration it takes to operate a car after taking CBD oil.

According to some experts, waiting at least 4 hours after using cannabis before driving is a minimum requirement.

However, for some drivers, this may not be enough time for the drug to leave their system completely. 

If you consume marijuana and alcohol together, it will take longer for you to become sober.

The same applies to both experienced and first-time cannabis users who are driving.

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FAQs

Can You Drive Around With CBD?

Yes, you can drive around with CBD. However, it is important to ensure that your CBD product contains less than 0.3% THC, a psychoactive compound in cannabis that can impair driving ability.

How Much CBD Can You Take And Drive?

The amount of CBD you can take and drive safely may vary depending on several factors, including your tolerance and the potency of the product you are using.

Is CBD A Drug?

CBD is not a drug. It is a compound found in the cannabis plant, and it is not psychoactive and does not produce the same intoxicating effects as THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis.

While CBD is generally considered safe and legal to use while driving, it is important to exercise caution and be aware of the potential risks and side effects.

If you have been involved in a car accident and need legal assistance, our law firm, Schmidt & Clark, LLP can help. With our expertise and experience in personal injury cases, we can provide the guidance and support you need to navigate the legal process and seek the compensation you deserve.


References:

  1. https://www.singlecare.com/blog/cbd-survey/
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/featured-topics/CBD.html
  3. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/handbook/california-driver-handbook/alcohol-and-drugs/

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