If you’re reading this article, you’re probably already pretty well versed on CBD and its properties and effects. For those of you who may have stumbled across this, or are here out of sheer curiosity, here’s a short explanation of CBD and CBD oil.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. Cannabis is an overarching family of plants, which includes marijuana (weed) and also hemp. Marijuana contains a chemical called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the psychoactive component which provides the ‘high’ effect of smoking weed.
This psychoactive effect is a consequence of the reaction of THC and the CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, this includes feelings of euphoria, creativity, relaxation - but also, drowsiness, panic, paranoia and anxiety. Obviously the latter effects would leave the user in an unfit state to drive.
CBD is much higher in hemp, which is why CBD based products (including oils) tend to be extracted from hemp, this plant also has little to no THC content, which can then be removed in the extraction process.
So if your CBD oil has no THC content, and you are not under any ‘psychoactive effect’, is it safe to drive?
Although CBD has been scientifically documented as non-psychoactive, there are secondary effects which one should take into consideration before driving under its influence. Similar to THC, CBD takes effect by interacting with receptors in the brain. This affects the serotonin receptors and the levels of adenosine which are both partly responsible for anti-anxiety effects. The ingestion of CBD also alters the levels of GABA (due to interaction with the GABA-A receptor), which ultimately affect the nervous system and can induce states of calmness and relaxation.
Overall these effects, anti-anxiety and a general state of calm, are the desired positive that you wish to receive after having ingested CBD. However, whilst they are certainly not intoxicating, they are mood altering. This state of being could lead to slower reaction times and a general lowered alertness. If someone has ingested more than their recommended amount of CBD they may be drowsy which is unsafe if in charge of a vehicle.
So although your CBD oil may have an untraceable amount of THC, or may even claim to be completely free from it, there are factors to take into consideration before getting behind the wheel while it is in your system. Additionally, most countries have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to driving with THC in the system. Consequently, any trace of THC that may be detected could land you in trouble.
Please find out your correct dosage when you are at home so you know how your own body reacts, do not try this behind the wheel. If you are feeling an overwhelming sense of drowsiness or other undesired side effects please talk to your doctor about why this might be happening.