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High Doses Of CBD Don’t Affect Driving, New Study Shows

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a primary component of the cannabis plant that does not produce psychotropic effects like THC. According to the 2018 Farm Bill on hemp legalization, CBD and other minor cannabis chemicals are legal, with THC not more than 0.3 percent. Following these changes, public perception of CBD-based products changed dramatically. According to a Forbes report, CBD sales in the United States reached $4.6 billion in 2020 in just two years. This growth is likely to accelerate, with two prominent predictions forecasting a $15 billion to more than $20 billion markets in the United States by 2025 and 2024, respectively.

Over the past few years, CBD has been a hot topic in many clinical trials. Some studies illustrate its therapeutic potential for alleviating several ailments, while others suggest how to use it safely. Recently, Australian researchers found that high CBD doses do not impair driving. Published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology on May 30, 2022, their study overviews the effects of CBD taken orally.


About The New Study


CBD Oil And Driving
CBD Oil And Driving


Even though CBD is a non-intoxicating compound, its effects on safety-sensitive jobs are still under scrutiny. Researchers of the University of Sydney, Australia, aim to investigate CBD effects on driving performance. In their study, they analyzed the simulated driving performance of 17 participants. These participants undertook driving tasks after consuming either a placebo or 15, 300, or 1500 mg of CBD oil. These are the most commonly consumed dosages. For instance, up to 150mg/day is available over the counter. And up to 1500mg/day is available for conditions such as sleep disorders, epilepsy, anxiety, and pain.

For this study, participants undertook two tests. They had to keep a safe distance between themselves and the leading vehicle in the first test. The second entailed driving on highways and back roads in rural areas.

After taking their prescribed medicine, participants performed the task for between 45 and 75 minutes. They repeated the same driving scenarios with a time interval of 3.5 to four hours. It was essential to cover the range of plasma CBD concentrations at different periods. They took the tests four times, once with placebo and once with each of the three CBD dosages.

The researchers assessed participants’ control of the simulated car based on how much it weaved or drifted (a standardized measure of driving competence). They also noted cognitive function, subjective experiences, and CBD levels in plasma. They concluded that no dose of CBD caused intoxication and impaired driving or cognitive performance. Study-led author Dr. Danielle McCartney said, “We do, however, caution that this study looked at CBD in isolation only and that drivers taking CBD with other medications should do so with care”.

Also Read: CBD May Help Boost Cognitive Performance in Gamers

Research Observations


CBD Oil And Driving
 CBD Tincture


According to the findings of this study, acute, oral CBD treatment at doses up to 1500 mg does not cause feelings of intoxication. It is unlikely to impair your cognitive function or driving performance.

However, more research is necessary to show that CBD does not influence safety-sensitive tasks in the hours following treatment and with long-term use. Dr. McCartney (Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics) proudly says, “Our study is the first to confirm that, when consumed on its own, CBD is driver-safe.”

Also Read: Use of CBD May Be Associated With Reduced Alcohol Intake, New Study Shows

FDA Safety Concerns

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has so far approved only one CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, for epilepsy. Though the agency recognizes CBD potential, it restrains companies selling products through false, deceptive, and misleading claims. FDA highlights the potential side effects of CBD in a study report published in March 2020. It enlists changes in alertness and mood swings as a concern when users stop using CBD or lower the dose. In another study report, FDA warns that using CBD products while driving is risky. According to the report, “CBD can cause sleepiness, sedation, and lethargy. Because of these side effects, consumers should use caution if planning on operating a motor vehicle after consuming any CBD products”.

However, researchers of Sydney University confirmed the finding of another study published in 2020. They indicated that CBD did not impair driving when consumed via vaporizers.

Also Read: Therapeutic Effects of Cannabinoids

Conclusion On CBD Oil And Driving

CBD is no longer a controlled substance as the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp-derived CBD from schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Eventually, CBD consumption is less likely to get you charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI). According to recent Sydney-led research, the highest daily medicinal dose of CBD (1500mg) does not affect driving or cognitive abilities.

A positive THC reading because of CBD use, on the other hand, could result in DUI or DWI charges. This risk exists because most CBD sleep products are mislabeled and may contain significant amounts of THC. Incorrect concentrations on CBD product labels may contain higher THC concentrations than expected. As a result, the amount of THC in the human body may be higher than expected.

Interesting Reads:

CBD And Liver

A quick guide to CBD rosin

Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Patients with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder


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