February 4, 2023

Not Even The Highest Daily Medical Dose Of CBD Affects People’s Driving Ability, An Australian Study Concluded

Can high doses of CBD impair ones driving ability?  

While the effects and benefits of the numerous compounds found in the cannabis plant have yet to be researched, a new study led by the University of Sydney discovered that even the highest (1500mg) daily medicinal dose of cannabidiol (CBD) does not impact people’s driving or cognitive abilitiesreported New Medical.

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

Even before this research, most countries, including Australia, have allowed people to drive after consuming CBD, as it is been already reported that CBD has more of a relaxing effect on consumers, unlike THC which causes a high or euphoria feeling and hence possible impairment. According to the study, CBD does not intoxicate people.

The highest levels of CBD found in a person’s blood plasma are usually achieved in three to four hours upon consuming a CBD product orally, although it depends from person to person. 

Since Australia approved medical CBD products in 2016, it has had approximately 55,000 requests to access it, most commonly to treat pain, sleep disorders and anxiety. 

Study Highlights 

The study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, involved 17 participants who were assigned simulated driving challenges after consuming 15, 300 or 1500mg of CBD oil or placebo. While amounts of 150mg per day come over the counter, doses of up to 1500mg per day are usually prescribed to help with epilepsy, pain, anxiety and sleep disorders.

Participants had to complete several tasks after 45-75 minutes of taking a certain amount of CBD and then again after 3.5 to 4 hours later, to cover the range of plasma concentrations at different times. They did this under each of the four different CBD treatments and placebo.

No Intoxication Detected

The research found that none of the doses of CBD made participants feel intoxicated nor did it impair their driving or cognitive abilities. 

“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,” Dr. McCartney said.

Photo: Courtesy of Jenny Ueberberg on Unsplash