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Can I Use CBD While Driving? What You Should Know

Can I Use CBD While Driving? What You Should Know

It’s Sunday morning. You sip on your tea infused with regular or medicinal CBD oil and begin crossing off items on your to-do list. Organize the pantry? Check. Vacuum the living room? Check. Pick up the dry cleaning? Shoot. 

You may be wondering, can I use CBD while driving?

Several studies conducted so far found that using CBD oil didn’t affect the driving ability of the participants. 

Fortunately, current research suggests that CBD oil has little effect on one’s driving performance and abilities. But before you buckle up with your CBD tea in hand, let’s take a closer look at what we know about CBD oil, its effects on your body and its legality.

How Does CBD Oil Affect the Body? 

CBD oil is a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana and hemp plants. So far, science appears to confirm that it may have many health benefits, including positive effects on brain function, mood and sleep.

But the potential benefits of CBD oil extend beyond brain function to full-body wellness. CBD oil may help support:

  • Muscle recovery
  • Digestive health
  • Physical aches

More specifically, when you ingest regular CBD oil or medicinal CBD oil, the cannabinoids interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for regulating your body’s internal functions to maintain homeostasis. More specifically, there are two key components that make up the endocannabinoid system:

  • Endocannabinoids – Endocannabinoids are compounds naturally produced by the body that are structurally similar to cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. 
  • Endocannabinoid receptors – Endocannabinoids bind to two types of endocannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, which are found throughout the body within the central and peripheral nervous system. This process can stimulate a variety of functions, depending on the location of the receptors. For example, when an endocannabinoid binds to a receptor in the spinal cord, it may help relieve feelings of physical discomfort felt in the body.

That said, it’s believed that cannabinoids can interact with endocannabinoid receptors in the same way as naturally occurring endocannabinoids. As a result, CBD oil may help to regulate a variety of body processes and functions.

When it comes to brain function, CBD oil may influence brain activity and functional networks to ease feelings of stress and moodiness. However, CBD oil does not alter brain functions in the same way that THC — another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant — does. That is, producing psychoactive effects that may slow your reaction time and inhibit coordination.

As such, CBD oil is unlikely to cause driving impairment. So whether the best time of day to take CBD oil for you is in the morning or at night, you can rest easy knowing that CBD oil won’t affect your abilities behind the wheel.

CBD and Driving: Is It Safe?

Can you drive on CBD? Yes! CBD oil and driving are likely to be a safe combination.

As discussed, CBD oil works by interacting with endocannabinoid receptors in the brain the same way the body’s own naturally produced endocannabinoids do. This alters the release of neurotransmitters, which can lead to changes in mood and behavior.

Several studies conducted so far found that using CBD oil didn’t affect the driving ability of the participants. 

More specifically, at least two studies have used driving simulators to test CBD users’ skills in areas such as:

  • Reaction time
  • Ability to follow other cars safely
  • Capacity to stay in the correct lane without weaving or drifting

These studies found that even at high doses, CBD didn’t cause intoxication or impair the driving performance and skills of the participants. 

Rather, you may experience feelings of relaxation and calmness after taking CBD oil. And because the ECS also affects cognitive brain functions, CBD oil may also help to improve focus and memory (meaning you likely won’t miss your exit).

That said, the FDA does warn that taking CBD while driving may be dangerous if you experience intense feelings of sleepiness or lethargy after taking CBD oil. As such, it’s advised to experiment with dosage and CBD oil’s effects on your body before hopping into the drivers’ seat.

Will I Get a DUI from Driving While Using CBD?

In 2018, the United States federal government passed a bill that differentiated hemp from cannabis, effectively making hemp-derived CBD oil federally legal. 

Still, each state has different laws pertaining to the legality of certain substances, including hemp-derived CBD oil, that may differ from the government’s ruling. Because of this, it’s advised to research state-specific laws pertaining to the legality of CBD before you get behind the wheel. 

While all 50 states agree that it’s illegal to drive under the influence of a controlled substance, CBD oil is no longer considered a controlled substance federally. That means you’re unlikely to get a DUI when driving on CBD.

That said, you’ll want to keep the following precautions in mind when driving with CBD oil:

  • THC content – Federally, hemp-derived CBD products can contain no more than 0.3% of THC. However, not all CBD products follow these guidelines. Because THC does have psychoactive effects that can cause driving impairment, it’s important to check the ingredients list and Certificate of Analysis of your CBD product before driving to ensure it has the federally legal limit of THC.
  • Reputability – Since hemp can contain traces of THC, it’s possible for small amounts of THC to slip into CBD products. Sometimes, these traces can be enough to show up on drug tests. This is why it’s important to choose CBD products made by manufacturers that guarantee the CBD and THC content of their products. Typically, companies will provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA) that verifies the ingredients of the product. 
  • Third-party testing – One study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found that up to 70% of CBD products have inaccurate labels. To be sure your CBD oil contains only what it should, COAs are administered by third-party laboratories that test the make-up of each product. At Zebra CBD our products are tested by two third-party labs to verify our label accuracy.    
  • Travel restrictions – If you’re crossing state lines by car, there are guidelines set by the FDA and federal and state governments that will affect your CBD usage while driving.

Are you wondering, “Can I fly with CBD oil?” In many cases, yes. However, you’ll want to check with the local and federal regulations in your state.

Side Effects of CBD

CBD oil is generally considered safe, but it can have some side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea and reduced appetite. Additionally, CBD oil may interact with other medications you are taking. Therefore, it's important to talk to your healthcare providers before using CBD products.

For most adults, any side effects that are experienced are often mild. If you do experience negative effects, it’s recommended to reduce your CBD oil dosage until symptoms dissipate. If you take CBD gummies, you may also want to monitor your CBD gummy dosage to help reduce any side effects.

Choose CBD You Can Trust With Zebra CBD

If you’re looking to supplement your errands with a soothing dose of CBD oil, it’s generally safe to do so. Using CBD oil while driving is unlikely to inhibit your coordination or reaction times which may impair your ability to drive safely. That said, it’s recommended to stay away from machinery if CBD makes you drowsy.

Next, make sure you choose a high-quality, trusted CBD product that contains just what it says on the label. While studies have found that CBD has no impact on driving abilities, that isn’t necessarily the case when using a product that contains more THC than the label claims.  

Fortunately, our CBD products at Zebra CBD contain the legal limit of THC and are free of the ingredients you don’t want, like pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals. And we’re the only CBD company with a Label Accuracy Guarantee™.

With Zebra CBD in your passenger seat, you can hit the road with confidence. 

Source: 

Brookings Institution. The Farm Bill, hemp legalization and the status of CBD: An explainer. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer

Forbes. Study Shows Most CBD Sleep Aids Are Mislabeled. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajherrington/2022/04/27/study-shows-most-cbd-sleep-aids-are-mislabeled/?sh=21e32fd135ef

Forbes. High Doses Of CBD Don’t Affect Driving, New Study Shows. https://www.forbes.com/sites/dariosabaghi/2022/06/04/high-doses-of-cbd-dont-affect-driving-new-study-shows/?sh=6cf7bcec3a62

Harvard Health Publishing. The Endocannabinoid System: Essential and Mysterious. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-endocannabinoid-system-essential-and-mysterious-202108112569

Harvard Health Publishing. CBD products are everywhere. But do they work? https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/cbd-products-are-everywhere-but-do-they-work

Healthline. Can CBD Impact Your Driving Ability? What We Know. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/can-cbd-impact-your-driving-ability-what-we-know

Journal of the American Medical Association. Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2661569

Journal of the American Medical Association. Effect of Cannabidiol and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on Driving Performance:

A Randomized Clinical Trial. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2773562

NOLO Law. Am I Allowed to Drive After Taking CBD? https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/am-i-allowed-to-drive-after-taking-cbd.html

Journal of Psychopharmacology. Effects of cannabidiol on simulated driving and cognitive performance: A dose-ranging randomised controlled trial. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/02698811221095356