Australian Research Shows CBD In Cannabis Does Not Impact Your Driving Skills

    Research shows CBD is safe for driving and the THC effects fade in hours.

    Share Scientists from the Lambert Initiative have demonstrated that the CBD compound of Cannabis does not impact driving ability and moderate THC intoxication lasts a few hours.

    If you’re a consumer of Marijuana you already know it most certainly does not impair your driving skills. In fact we most likely become more careful as some have told me. And CBD definitely does not have any effect on our driving or impair our skills to function.

    Disclaimer: I do not recommend driving under the influence of Cannabis or any other drugs, especially if you do not feel confident – nor will I be sued or responsible for your decision to get behind the wheel and potentially endanger not only your life but the lives of others – don’t do it, simple.

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    Driving & Smoking Cannabis in Australia

    This is a small but big win for the Australian Marijuana Community due to the stigma that’s been associated with the plant for decades despite the number of companies cultivating locally, Cannabis Clinics launching all around Australia and the immense popularity of the plant in Australia among consumers.

    As Medicinal Cannabis becomes more known, spoken about and accepted by the Australian Medical Community and Federal & State Governments as well as the educational resources available to these Medical Marijuana prescribing Doctors.

    Photo by gya den on

    It would be nice to see drivers being drug tested for the level of THC detected not just providing a positive reading of THC. As for the not so regular user they could’ve smoked a joint at a party weeks ago. and potentially lose their license because of a plant.

    In Australia drivers are faced with harsh penalties from expensive fines, suspension of your drivers license and even imprisonment.

    The study was led by the Lambert Initiative For Cannabinoid Therapeutics, located at the University Of Sydney and conducted at the Maastricht University

    Dr Thomas Arkell.

    “These findings indicate for the first time that CBD, when given without THC, does not affect a subject’s ability to drive. That’s great news for those using or considering treatment using CBD-based products.”

    Dr Thomas Arkell | Lead author

    There has been a substantial growth in medical treatment using cannabis-related products in Australia especially over the past 12 months. Between December 2019 and November 2020 the TGA has approved 80,000 applications. This includes increasing use of CBD-containing products for conditions such as the following:

    • Epilepsy
    • Anxiety
    • Chronic Pain & Addictions

    Majority of the available products currently on the market that are available to patients also contain a mixture of THC and CBD.

    Australian CBD & THC Research

    The research involved people consuming Cannabis via a vaporizer containing different mixes of THC and CBD strains and then driving a vehicle on public highways in controlled conditions.

    Keep reading below for further details on this study.

    “The research involved people inhaling vaporized cannabis containing different mixes of THC and CBD, then going for a 100-kilometre drive under controlled conditions on public highways both 40 minutes and four hours later. Cannabis containing mainly CBD did not impair driving while cannabis containing THC, or a THC/CBD mixture, caused mild impairment measured at 40 minutes later but not after four hours.”

    From the University Of Sydney

    Dr Arkell also went onto say “With cannabis laws changing globally, jurisdictions are grappling with the issue of cannabis-impaired driving. These results provide much needed insights into the magnitude and duration of impairment caused by different types of cannabis and can help to guide road-safety policy not just in Australia but around the world”.

    “Road safety is a primary concern,” Dr Arkell said. “These results should allow for evidence-based laws and regulation for people receiving medical cannabis.”

    The Academic Director of the Lambert Initiative, Professor Iain McGregor, said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with Professor Jan Ramaekers and his team on this study. Studying the effects of cannabis on driving with such precision in a real-world context is incredibly important.

    “The results should reassure people using CBD-only products that they are most likely safe to drive, while helping patients using THC-dominant products to understand the duration of impairment.”

    The Study

    The study involved giving 26 healthy participants four different types of cannabis in a random order to vaporise on four separate occasions. Each participant’s driving performance was then assessed on the road in real-world conditions along a 100-kilometre stretch of public highway in a dual control car with a driving instructor present.

    The tests were done at Maastricht University in the Netherlands using a well-established scientific test that measures standard deviation of vehicle position (SDLP), an index of lane weaving, swerving and overcorrecting. SDLP increases under the influence of alcohol and drugs such as Valium and Stilnox.

    Image showing how a test car weaves across a road and how lateral position is measured.
    Example of standard deviation of lateral position. Image from Verster and Roth (2011) International Journal of General Medicine.

    Participants used a vape to consume Cannabis containing mainly THC & CBD, THC and CBD in combination, or placebo Cannabis (No Active Components). The amount of THC vaporised by participants was enough to cause strong feelings of intoxication.

    To test how the different types of cannabis affect driving, participants completed two one-hour, on-road highway driving tests commencing at 40 minutes and at four hours after inhaling vaporised cannabis.

    Professor McGregor said: “With rapidly changing attitudes towards medical and non-medical use of cannabis, driving under the influence of cannabis is emerging as an important and somewhat controversial public health issue.

    “While some previous studies have looked at the effects of cannabis on driving, most have focused on smoked cannabis containing only THC (not CBD) and have not precisely quantified the duration of impairment.

    “This is the first study to illustrate the lack of CBD effects on driving and to also provide a clear indication of the duration of THC impairment.”

    For more on this study and research, feel free visit the below references.