There are many misconceptions surrounding CBD and its uses. One of the misconceptions is that you cannot drive or operate machinery when using CBD oil. Thankfully, this is false. You can absolutely drive while using CBD, and we’ll explain why.
Yes, it is generally considered to be safe to drive while using CBD oil. But it should be noted that when we’re talking about CBD oil, we’re talking about hemp-derived CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).
THC is the cannabinoid associated with the intoxicating effects of cannabis. The effects of significant consumption of THC can impair your motor coordination, reaction time, and depth perception. Material levels of THC can most certainly affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
While full spectrum hemp-derived CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC, there is not nearly enough to cause intoxicating effects. In fact, CBD is considered by many to be the “anti-THC” of the cannabinoids. It has the ability to neutralize some of the effects of THC and is often used to help reverse a bad “high.”
The reason for this is believed to be because CBD may bind to CB1 receptors in the brain, reducing the activation of the CB1 receptor. This can make it difficult for the THC to bind because it changes the general shape of the receptor. If THC can no longer bind to the receptor, the intoxicating potential is reduced.
Since the vast majority of hemp CBD products contain significant CBD-to-THC ratios upwards of 25:1, the CBD essentially negates the possibility of intoxicating effects. Even in ratios closer to 1:1, some users still do not feel significant intoxicating effects because of the equal presence of CBD.
Things to Consider
With all of this said, it is still important to first gauge your reaction to using any new substance before attempting to operate a motor vehicle.
While CBD is generally considered safe to use while driving, some users experience drowsiness or find some CBD products sedating or very relaxing. This can vary by dosage and product, as we are all slightly different. If this is you, it might be a good idea to reserve the CBD for nighttime use only, or to seek out an alternate product for daytime use.
Additionally, CBD interactions with pharmaceutical drugs can have unintended results, such as increased side effects. If your medication can cause drowsiness or poor coordination, combining it with CBD may accentuate the effect. Interactions are often of particular concern if the drug you are taking has a grapefruit warning or uses the P450 group of enzymes to metabolize in the liver. If it does, we highly recommend that you speak with your healthcare professional before using any CBD product.