Driving with CBD: Is it safe?

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Driving With CBD: Is It Safe? (With Tips)

Driving with CBD in your system: Is it safe? What are the CBD driving laws and how can you determine if they affect you?

Not wanting to break the law or be unsafe, many people ask these questions. After all, there’s nothing worse than the feeling of being pulled over by the police and knowing that you might’ve accidentally committed an offense. Likewise, it is also a scary thought that you may harm yourself or someone else if you make a mistake on the road because your driving ability is impaired.

Is It Safe To Take CBD And Drive?

It’s important to get a clear answer to the question of driving with CBD in your system. Are all laws the same? Or are there different laws in different states and countries? How does CBD affect your ability to concentrate, react, and make decisions?

Before diving in to answer that question, we need to understand how CBD affects the brain.

CBD And The Brain: How Does It Work?

Unlike its close relation THC, CBD doesn’t have a direct psychoactive effect on the brain.

However, it can alter mood and can potentially affect alertness because of the way it metabolizes in the brain.

CBD is an allosteric modulator. An allosteric modulator is a substance that binds to receptor sites in the body. This can cause the receptor to change its response to a stimulus or another substance. A negative allosteric modulator means that the receptor is less likely to respond to a stimulus, whereas a positive allosteric modulator means that the receptor is more likely to respond.

CBD is a positive allosteric modulator for the GABA-A receptor. This means that it binds more easily with GABA, a neurotransmitter that inhibits activity in the nervous system, causing feelings of relaxation and calm.

Another way that CBD works in the brain is as a reuptake inhibitor, specifically for anandamide, a molecule that is similar in structure to THC. It is also a reuptake inhibitor for adenosine, another molecule associated with anti-anxiety effects. Large quantities of CBD in the system also affect serotonin levels.

All of these factors combine to produce a calming or relaxing effect in some people, meaning that concentration and alertness could be decreased.

Does CBD Oil Impair Your Driving?

Is CBD bad for your concentration? This is an important question; after all, you want to stay safe on the road.

As CBD sourced from a reputable supplier should contain less than 0.3% THC, it is unlikely to have a psychoactive effect. This means that it should not make you impaired while driving.

However, as noted above, it may induce a feeling of calmness or relaxation, meaning you are less alert than usual. If you’re new to taking CBD, the best way to know is to take it at a time when you don’t have to drive. Take note of the effect it has on your mood and levels of alertness before determining if it’s safe to drive. The same applies if you are thinking of increasing the dose you currently take.

Does CBD cause impairment? The short answer is no, it shouldn’t. However, you need to be aware of any changes it causes to your mood and alertness levels.

Can You Drive On CBD Gummies?

Can you drive after smoking CBD or consuming CBD gummies?

As with other products, the important thing to know is whether or not it meets the standards for your state or country. In many places, the threshold is 0.3% THC; as long as your product is below that, it should be safe to drive. The best way to know is to buy a product from a reputable supplier; some products come with certificates of guarantee.

But although driving with CBD is considered safe, it might not be legal. The best thing to do is to check the CBD driving laws of your state or country.

Is It Legal To Drive On CBD?

Driving with CBD is perfectly safe for most people, but the laws in many states and countries are complex and confusing. Some countries have a strict zero-tolerance policy for any amount of THC in a blood sample, while others have very low thresholds. Although the risk is small, you still could find yourself facing a fine or a license suspension, so it pays to find out about the laws that affect the country or state where you live.

CBD driving laws in the EU are still under development, as the EU classifies CBD as a novel food rather than a medicine. In the meantime, many countries allow the freedom to sell and use CBD without enforcing rigorous laws (it’s still wise to check because not all countries are the same). This includes the freedom to drive, as long as the product you are using has less than 0.2 % THC.

In the USA, CBD driving laws are far more complex. Thanks to the Farm Bill, CBD use is now allowed in all states for medical purposes.

However, in some states, it is still an offence to use hemp or marijuana products for recreational purposes, which means that a roadside drug test could return a positive result for THC. Workers in safety-sensitive jobs such as public transport must be especially careful not to test positive for THC. Using a pure form of CBD will help to eliminate this risk.

Tips For Driving With CBD

  1. When starting with CBD, take a low dose and note how it affects your mood, alertness and concentration
  2. When increasing the dose, do it at a time that you don’t need to drive for a few hours. Take note of the effects, if any.
  3. Become accustomed to a dosage level before increasing it
  4. Experiment with different forms of CBD to see which one gives the most relief vs the one that causes the greatest relaxation
  5. Check the laws where you live before driving with CBD
  6. Consider the risk vs the benefits. Is it worth the small risk of a fine to know that you’re carrying CBD for when you need anxiety relief? Or would you rather take no risks at all?
  7. If you’re traveling, consider purchasing a CBD product when you arrive rather than carrying it with you. In many places, CBD products are now readily available.

Driving With CBD: The Risks Vs The Benefits

Driving with CBD is a complex issue, but with a little digging, you should be able to find what you need to know about how it works where you live. Driving with CBD is generally safe, but the laws surrounding its use are complicated and often unclear.

In the end, it comes down to what you’re comfortable with. It is worth a small amount of risk to have peace of mind that anxiety will not ruin your travel plans? Or would you prefer to have no risk at all? The decision is ultimately up to you.

Azriel Adelberg
About Azriel Adelberg

MSc Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley An Israeli born organic chemist and PROUD University of California, Berkeley graduate.

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