CBD’s close relationship with THC and marijuana creates a genuine cause for concern for users unfamiliar with how CBD works. While we have known that CBD doesn’t get users high like THC does, the answer to ‘can you drive after taking CBD oil?’ is complicated and requires more context than a yes or no answer.
There are three main factors involved in determining if taking CBD and driving is a good idea:
While there aren’t any laws specifically banning CBD while operating machinery, it’s still theoretically possible to get a DUI after using CBD, according to DUI.DrivingLaws.org.
Does CBD Get You High?
CBD alone doesn’t lead to the notorious marijuana high. However, many CBD products contain low amounts of THC. In addition, some people report feeling drowsy or sedated after using CBD.
Both instances can create problems if you are about to get behind the wheel. A regular dose of full-spectrum CBD can have up to about 2mg of THC per dose. If 2mg of THC is taken regularly multiple times per day, it could very well show up in a drug test. Therefore, in the worst situation possible, the user takes their full-spectrum CBD every day and ends up getting in a car wreck; if the officer believes marijuana is involved, they could trigger a positive test for THC after the accident.
Even though CBD isn’t a controlled substance and doesn’t get you high, if CBD makes you sleepy, it isn’t a good idea to take it before driving.
Does CBD Inhibit THC?
A common dangerous misconception gaining popularity in the online cannabis community is that CBD cancels out THC. The idea comes from CBD acting as an agonist on cannabinoid receptor (CB) 1, lowing the psychoactive effects of THC. Depending on the ratio of CBD to THC, this concept has proven to be accurate; however, CBD doesn’t cancel out the effects of THC.
Taking CBD after consuming potent marijuana isn’t going to sober you up enough to drive and definitely won’t stand up in court.
CBD and Other Drugs
The final component that causes concern driving after taking CBD oil is the cannabinoid’s ability to alter the concentration of other drugs. Harvard Health warns that ‘taking CBD at the same time with OTC or prescription medications and substances that cause sleepiness, such as opioids, benzodiazepines (such as Xanax or Ativan), antipsychotics, antidepressants, antihistamines (such as Benadryl), or alcohol may lead to increased sleepiness, fatigue, and possibly accidental falls and accidents when driving.’ The health experts at Harvard also believe that taking CBD with certain herbal supplements such as melatonin, kava, and St. John’s wort can increase sedation and tiredness when taken together.
The FDA Suggests to Use Caution When Taking CBD Before Driving
CBD isolate and even full-spectrum CBD doesn’t cause users to be impaired, and that is why CBD was federally legalized. No legislation has been passed to ban driving while on CBD, but the FDA did say in a press release that ‘taking cannabidiol (CBD) products and driving can be dangerous. CBD can cause sleepiness, sedation, and lethargy. Because of these side effects, consumers should use caution if planning on operating a motor vehicle after consuming any CBD products.’
We don’t recommend using CBD for the first time and getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, but if you are accustomed to the effects, you should be fine. Please consider the type of CBD you are using (you could have THC in your system) and if you are taking any other drugs.