How does cannabis affect our driving skills? There are new results

How does cannabis affect our driving skills? There are new results

The CBD contained in cannabis would have no effect on driving skills, while those of the THC would vanish in a few hours. This is demonstrated by a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association

(photo: Samuele Errico Piccarini / Unsplash) Our ability to be behind the wheel would not be altered in the least by cannabidiol (CBD), a substance contained in cannabis and widely used for therapeutic purposes. While tetrahydrocannabinol (Thc), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, on the other hand, would have effects on our driving skills for a few hours, about 4 hours. Sydney and conducted at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, according to which the lack of negative effects of CBD is good news for those who take cannabis for therapeutic purposes, as it does not compromise their ability to drive. "These results indicate for the first time that CBD, when administered without THC, does not affect an individual's ability to drive," comments study author Thomas Arkell. "This is excellent news for those who follow a treatment using CBD products".

To reach this conclusion, just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers involved a group of 26 participants who were administered different varieties of cannabis (mainly Thc, mainly Cbd, a blend of Thc and Cbd, or a cannabis placebo, devoid of active components). Subsequently, participants were asked to drive 100 kilometers on a public highway, in a double-controlled car with a driving instructor present, both 40 minutes and 4 hours after inhaling the cannabis. To evaluate driving performance, the researchers used a specific test called Standard deviation of lateral position (Sdlp) which measures the standard deviation of a vehicle's position. The value of SDLP, we specify, increases under the influence of alcohol and psychotropic drugs.

(Photo: Maastricht University) From the analyzes, the researchers observed that cannabis containing mainly Cbd did not compromise the guidance of auto, while the one containing mainly Thc, or the mixture of Thc and Cbd, caused a slight alteration 40 minutes after inhalation, but not after four hours. This, the researchers point out, is the first study that illustrates the lack of effects of CBD on driving and provides a clear indication of the duration of the effects of THC. "Road safety is a primary concern", comments the author. "These results should allow for evidence-based laws and regulations for people who use medical cannabis."

Studying the effects of cannabis on driving with such precision in a real-world context is incredibly important. "With the rapid changes in attitudes towards the medical and non-medical use of cannabis, driving under its influence is emerging as an important and somewhat controversial public health issue," explains Iain McGregor, one of the authors of the study. "The results should reassure people using CBD products that they are most likely safe for driving, while helping other patients using THC products understand how long the effects last."

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