Australian researchers have found that even the highest doses of cannabido oil, otherwise known as “CBD”, have “no impact” on a person’s cognitive abilities while driving.
The results come as part of a study by researchers at the University of Sydney, which found that those who took 1,500 milligrams of CBD – the highest daily medicinal dose of the commonly prescribed cannabis component – were otherwise able to drive as normal. , agreeing with similar studies conducted around the world.
“Although CBD is generally considered ‘non-intoxicating,’ its effects on safety-sensitive tasks are still being established,” said lead author Dr. Danielle McCartney, of the Lambert Initiative of the University for cannabinoid therapeutics. “Our study is the first to confirm that, when consumed alone, CBD is safe for drivers.”
“Unlike THC, a component of cannabis that can induce sedation, euphoria (a high) and impairment, CBD does not seem to intoxicate people. Instead, it has been reported to have calming effects and relieving pain.
As part of the study, researchers put 17 participants through simulated driving tasks after taking either a placebo or 15, 300, or 1,500 milligrams of CBD oil, the three most commonly consumed doses prescribed. by doctors.
According to the study, participants were first asked to “maintain a safe distance” between themselves and the vehicle in front of them, then drive on simulated highways and rural roads, between 45 and 75 minutes after taking the treatment given to them.
Participants were then asked to repeat the run, approximately four hours later, to ensure that the range of plasma concentrations present at different times was fully covered. Each participant repeated this process under the influence of each of the four treatments, including the placebo and different doses of CBD.
Whether or not the participants suffered from some sort of cognitive impairment was then determined by the amount of drivers who weaved or “drifted” – a seemingly “standardized” measure of driving ability – as well as their cognitive function. overall and the concentrations of CBD in their plasma. .
The results revealed that none of the doses tested induced feelings of intoxication in the participants and did not appear to impair their driving ability or cognitive performance.
“We caution, however, that this study only looked at CBD in isolation and that drivers taking CBD with other medications should do so with caution,” Dr. McCartney said.
Australia is one of many jurisdictions around the world where it is perfectly legal to drive while using CBD, as long as the drug is legally prescribed. In the state of New South Wales, for example, it is legal as long as a driver does not suffer from “impairment” due to fatigue or low blood pressure after consuming the substance.
This most recent study from the University of Sydney joins a host of others like it from around the world.
In 2020, researchers from the Dutch University of Maastricht came to similar conclusions. They conducted a similar study with 26 healthy participants who underwent driving tests after inhaling four types of vaporized cannabis containing various blends of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
This study was one of the first of its kind to probe the impacts of CBD use on driving ability, and has held promise for academics and policymakers around the world as medicinal cannabis products were beginning to gain popularity.
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