CBD is not going to impair your driving ability, even at high doses – Innovita Research

CBD is not going to impair your driving ability, even at high doses

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in cannabis, which has no psychoactive properties. It doesn’t get people high, but has multiple medical benefits. For example, people who take CBD oil as a food supplement say that it improves their sleep, boosts energy and reduces inflammation.

But can you really take CBD oil if you’re driving? No worries – a new study from the University of Sydney found that even high doses of CBD do not impact people’s driving or cognitive abilities.

People use CBD oil as a food supplement, which helps reduce inflammation, boosts energy and improves sleep. Image credit: elsaolofsson via Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)

Because CBD is a non-psychoactive material, most countries do not care if you take CBD and drive. However, it is a product from cannabis, which makes some people worried. Millions of people use CBD oil due to health or wellness reasons and a lot of them are worried about driving after taking CBD.

The highest daily medicinal dose of cannabidiol at least in Australia is 1500 mg. And that’s a lot – most people use less. Scientists invited 17 people to partake in this study. They performed simulated driving tasks (such as maintaining a distance to a car ahead, driving in rural roads) after consuming either a placebo or 15, 300 or 1500 mg of CBD in oil.

The task was performed  between 45-75 minutes after taking CBD or placebo. Researchers looked at how participants are able to control the simulated car, whether they are weaving or exhibiting any other kind of unsafe driving behaviour. And found nothing – no dose of CBD induced feelings of intoxication or appeared to impair either driving or cognitive performance.

Dr Danielle McCartney, lead author of the study, said: “Though CBD is generally considered ‘non-intoxicating’, its effects on safety-sensitive tasks are still being established. Our study is the first to confirm that, when consumed on its own, CBD is driver-safe.”

Why do scientists need to emphasise “on its own”? Well, his study looked at CBD in isolation only. Many people who take CBD probably use other supplements or medicine – scientists didn’t look into potential reactions. But this is still good news – previously in 2020 scientists found that vaped CBD is driver-safe and now oil was confirmed as well.

People are only concerned about CBD because it comes from cannabis, which is often used as a recreational drug. However, the cannabis component that can induce sedation, euphoria and impairment is THC – CBD doesn’t do that. You shouldn’t drive while high on any kind of drugs, but CBD is a different compound.

CBD is becoming more popular now. This is why it is important to draw accurate, data-based safety guidelines and bring some knowledge to drivers who regularly use CBD.


Source: University of Sydney