Cannabis oil deemed safe for driving

Jun 04, 2022
Source: Getty

Cannabis oil has been deemed safe for driving after researchers at the University of Sydney found that the oil doesn’t impact the state of people’s cognitive abilities.

The University found that even the highest daily medicinal dose of cannabidiol, 1500 mg, was not found to have affected a person’s condition in any way.

Dr Danielle McCartney, lead author of the University of Sydney’s Lamber Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, confirmed the research findings, deeming the substance “safe” when consumed without other presence of other substances.

“Though CBD is generally considered ‘non-intoxicating’, its effects on safety-sensitive tasks are still being established,” McCartney said.

“Our study is the first to confirm that, when consumed on its own, CBD is driver-safe.”

The CBD component of Cannabis oil does induce a sedation, high or impairment, unlike THC and is said to have both calming and pain relief effects.


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Australia first legalised the use of medicinal CBD via a prescription in 2021 with the substance often prescribed to patients suffering from pain, epilepsy, sleep and anxiety disorders.

In Australia and a number of other countries, it is legal for people to drive with CBD present in their system. NSW requires that drivers with CBD in their systems are not suffering from fatigue or impairment whilst operating the vehicle.

The study was conducted on a group of 17 participants who were assessed for a number of simulated driving tests after consuming the substance at frequently consumed dosages.

The participants were required to undergo the simulated driving tests between 45-75 minutes of consuming the substance and again between three and a half to four hours later, and were assessed for a number of factors such as safe distance and driving quality.

It was concluded that the relevant prescribed dosages did not cause feelings of intoxication or induce cognitive impairment/affect cognitive performance.

Despite the findings, McCartney advised that those drivers who consume the substance alongside other medications should be cautious.

“We do, however, caution that this study looked at CBD in isolation only, and that drivers taking CBD with other medications should do so with care,” McCartney said.

Another new study published in the international scientific journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids looked into the use of medical cannabis and found that patients suffering from chronic pain conditions and who were resistant to other medications saw a significant increase in quality of life, with 47.9 per cent showing considerable improvement in pain levels, 49.3 per cent and 35.6 per cent reporting substantial improvements in sleep and fatigue levels.

As to what the findings offer for the implications of future use is yet to be known. The study was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. 

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