New research finds that CBD does not affect driving

Key points

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) comes directly from the cannabis plant, which is a cousin of the cannabis plant.
  • Although CBD is a component of hemp, pure CBD does not cause “high”.
  • A recent study found that CBD does not affect driving.

As cannabis is legalized in various forms around the world, public interest in information about this psychoactive plant is increasing.Laws across the United States are changing rapidly, but at the time of publication, marijuana is completely legal in 15 states and Washington, DCPeople want to know how cannabis (also known as marijuana, and many other names) affects every aspect of life.

Previous studies have found that people who use marijuana that contains high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are slightly impaired in their driving ability. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a chemical that causes the drug to produce high sensations.But cannabis is made up of many different compounds, and another of them, cannabidiol (CBD), has a different effect on driving.

This is based on a new study led by the Lambert Cannabinoid Treatment Program at the University of Sydney and conducted at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, which was recently published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

What is the difference between THC and CBD?

This is a key point. Both of these compounds interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, but their effects are quite different. “The most important difference is that THC is intoxicating (that is, it makes you’drunk’), while CBD is not intoxicating,” explained Dr. Thomas Arkell, the lead author of the study. American Medical Association learn.

The pharmacological effects of THC and CBD are also slightly different and can have different medical uses. “For example, CBD exhibits anticonvulsant effects, which makes it potentially useful in the treatment of epilepsy, while THC actually has a proconvulsant effect,” Arkell said. “In other cases, THC or a combination of THC and CBD may be more useful than CBD alone.”

Professor Ian McGregor

With the rapid changes in attitudes towards the medical and non-medical uses of marijuana, driving under the influence of marijuana is becoming an important and controversial public health issue.

—Professor Ian McGregor

What happened during the study?

The researchers conducted a “real life” study by testing participants (26 healthy men and women, 22 of whom completed the study) who were driving on highways instead of driving simulators. The participants had an average age of 23 and reported that they used marijuana less than twice a week in the past year, but used it more than 10 times in their lives, and did not take any drugs known to affect driving.

At the beginning of each meeting, participants will receive one of four preparations: 13.75 mg THC, 13.75 mg THC and CBD combination (in a 1:1 ratio), 13.75 mg CBD and placebo. After smoking the e-cigarette, the participants conducted a two-hour driving test on the highway near Maastricht: the first time was between 40 and 100 minutes after the e-cigarette, and the second time was between 240 and 300. Between minutes of benchmark testing. Every driver has a camera on the roof to monitor their performance, including lane weaving. Participants completed four of them and took a total of eight driving tests.

Participants self-evaluate the effectiveness of the preparations after each meeting, including their confidence in driving. The researchers also evaluated a number of indicators, including memory, decision-making, thinking ability, average speed, and speed range. They also took blood samples from each participant to determine the level of cannabinoids.

Research result

The combination of THC preparation and THC/CBD preparation caused short-term damage to driving, measured 40 to 100 minutes after the start of the session. This damage is similar to a driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.05%. (To put this in context, with the exception of Utah, a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% while driving is a crime, and the upper limit in Utah is 0.05%.)

However, compared with placebo, CBD preparations did not affect thinking or driving skills.

Dr Thomas Aker

These results provide the first real evidence that CBD does not cause driving or cognitive impairment. This is indeed important information for patients using CBD products and regulatory agencies that are working to solve medical marijuana use and driving issues.

— Thomas Aker, PhD

“These results provide the first real evidence that CBD does not cause driving or cognitive impairment,” Arkell said. “This is indeed important information for patients using CBD products and regulatory agencies that are working to solve medical marijuana use and driving problems.”

Arkell pointed out that it is important to recognize the limitations of this research. “We only studied one CBD dose that was administered via vaporization,” he said. “Although we hope to see similar results in higher doses of oral CBD, this still requires further exploration.”

“With the rapid changes in attitudes towards the medical and non-medical use of marijuana, driving under the influence of marijuana is becoming an important and controversial public health issue,” Ian Professor of Psychopharmacology and Academic Director of the Lambert Cannabis Initiative McGregor said Therapeutics, co-author of the study.

Need more research

Professor McGregor also pointed out that this study was conducted on people who occasionally use marijuana. “We expect that due to tolerance, the damage to ordinary users (such as medical marijuana users) may actually be much less,” he said. “Therefore, we plan to repeat the driving study on medical marijuana users and determine whether their driving is affected within a short period of time after use (as we have seen with occasional users).”

When it comes to THC, things get complicated. Although more research is needed around the effects of marijuana in general, the intoxicating effects of THC should keep users away from the road while it remains in their systems. In addition, because they are not regulated, some CBD products may actually contain THC and other unknown ingredients, which may cause accidental damage or other effects.

What this means to you

According to comprehensive studies of animals and humans, CBD products may have a beneficial effect on your mental health and well-being by reducing anxiety, improving sleep or alleviating depression. CBD can also effectively treat a variety of health conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, and pain.

However, please do your research to ensure that you get a quality product. As always, before you take CBD, if you experience any unnecessary side effects, please consult your doctor first.

It is important to understand the driving laws in your state. If you feel intoxicated after smoking e-cigarettes or have any other reason to believe that your driving may be affected, please do not drive.

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New research finds that CBD does not affect driving
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