Can the use of CBD cause impairment and affect driving?

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2022 | DUI Checkpoints

Marijuana legalization has been a very slow process for the most part. However, cannabidiol or CBD is legally for sale in many businesses in all 50 states. Most businesses tout CBD as a non-psychoactive solution and may recommend it to people for everything from anxiety and difficulty sleeping to chronic pain.

If you have started using CBD products or may consider doing so to treat a medical issue and improve your quality of life, you might worry about running afoul of impaired driving laws. Will CBD affect your ability to safely drive a vehicle the way that other marijuana products might?

CBD is non-psychoactive

When taken in appropriate doses and without other mind-altering cannabinoids, CBD is not psychoactive. It will not create any of the cognitive effects noticed with other marijuana products, such as compromised decision-making and longer reaction times.

In theory, CBD will not affect your ability to drive legally or safely. However, there could be some risk if the CBD product is not well made and professionally tested. Contaminated CBD products can be a risk. The same plants that produce CBD produce psychoactive chemicals, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

If the CBD product you purchase has noteworthy levels of THC contamination, especially if the company heats its products to a temperature that will alter the carbon bonds of the THC when preparing the extract, then taking it before driving could lead to impaired driving ability in some cases. Even if it doesn’t directly affect you at the wheel, you could potentially fail a drug test and face criminal charges because of the presence of THC in your system while driving.

Those interested in using CBD products can minimize their risk by buying reputable brands that engage in proper chemical testing to ensure purity. Purchasing from pharmacies and health food stores may be a safer choice than purchasing a CBD product at a gas station or liquor store, depending on the brands carried.

You need to be proactive about protecting yourself, as you might otherwise be in a difficult position where you must convince the courts of your involuntary intoxication to avoid a criminal conviction. Making sense of the current drug laws can help you better protect yourself as a driver and as a possible medical CBD user.


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