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Study: CBD consumption does not affect driving

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Photo: Why Kei - Unsplash

A pioneering study of University of Sydney, published on the 2nd of December in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reveals that consumption of cannabidiol (CBD) does not affect driving. The same study also found that moderate doses of THC result in a mild inability to drive, which can be compared to alcohol consumption, with the effects lasting up to four hours after use.

The investigation, carried out by the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics na Maastricht University, in the Netherlands, has shown that CBD, the most widely used cannabinoid for medicinal purposes, does not have a noticeable or measurable impact on the responsiveness of drivers.

This is the first study dedicated to the direct relationship between cannabis use and driving and is particularly important as it looks at the effects of taking CBD and THC separately. For Thomas Arkell, who led the study, the findings "indicate for the first time that CBD, when taken without THC, does not affect an individual's ability to drive, which is "good news for anyone using or considering treatments with based on CBD”, he concludes.

Taking into account the growing number of users of these substances at a global level for the treatment of diseases such as epilepsy, anxiety or chronic pain, this study turns out to be fundamental, and could become a very useful tool for authorities that, eventually, they will have to define permitted consumption thresholds, and even for consumers who need to know to what extent the use of these products can affect their daily lives.

Study is important for consumers to feel safer while driving

For Ian McGregor, Academic Director of the Lambert Initiative, “This result should be reassuring to people using CBD-only products, as it indicates that they are very likely to be able to drive safely, while also helping patients using THC-dominant products to understand how much its effect lasts for a long time.”

The methodology used involved 26 healthy participants, who were given four different types of cannabis (with more THC, with more CBD, both combined or a placebo) randomly to vape on four separate occasions. The performance of each participant was evaluated after 40 minutes and after 4 hours of taking, for about 1 hour at a time, along 100 kilometers, on a public highway. The amount of THC given was enough to cause intense intoxication.

All tests were carried out in driving school cars, with a professional instructor present. The standard deviation of the vehicle's position (which increases with the consumption of alcohol and some drugs such as Valium), the number of lane changes, deviations and gear corrections was also measured. 

 

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[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]

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