Landmark Research Study: Cannabidiol (CBD) in Marijuana Does Not Hinder Driving

Landmark Research Study: Cannabidiol (CBD) in Marijuana Does Not Hinder Driving

Cannabis Use Driving Test Vehicle

Car used to test cannabis effect on driving. Tests occurred on public roadways under controlled conditions in the Netherlands with Maastricht University. Credit: Maastricht University

Research study reveals cannabidiol safe for driving and THC effects fade in hours.

A landmark study on how marijuana impacts driving ability has revealed that cannabidiol (CBD), a marijuana component now widely used for medical purposes, does not hinder driving, while moderate amounts of the primary intoxicating part tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) produce moderate driving disability lasting up to four hours.

The study was led the Lambert Effort for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney and carried out at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. It was published today in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association

Thomas Arkell

Lead author Dr Thomas Arkell from the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Rehabs. Credit: University of Sydney

Lead author Dr. Thomas Arkell said: “These findings indicate for the very first time that CBD, when offered without THC, does not affect a topic’s capability to drive. That’s great news for those using or thinking about treatment utilizing CBD-based products.”

There has been significant growth in medical treatment using cannabis-related items in Australia and overseas. This includes increasing usage of CBD-containing products for conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety, persistent discomfort and addictions. Numerous currently offered products also contain a mix of THC and CBD.

The research study included individuals breathing in vaporized cannabis containing different blends of THC and CBD, then choosing a 100- kilometer drive under controlled conditions on public highways both 40 minutes and four hours later. Cannabis consisting of mainly CBD did not impair driving while marijuana consisting of THC, or a THC/CBD mix, triggered mild disability measured at 40 minutes later on however not after four hours.

Dr. Arkell said: “With marijuana laws changing worldwide, jurisdictions are facing the issue of cannabis-impaired driving. These results supply much needed insights into the magnitude and period of disability caused by different kinds of marijuana and can help to direct road-safety policy not just in Australia however around the world.”

” Roadway security is a main issue,” Dr. Arkell said. “These outcomes must enable evidence-based laws and policy for people receiving medical marijuana.”

Iain McGregor

Professor Iain McGregor is Academic Director at the Lambert Effort for Cannabinoid Therapies. Credit: University of Sydney

The Academic Director of the Lambert Initiative, Teacher Iain McGregor, said: “We were pleased to have the chance to collaborate with Teacher Jan Ramaekers and his group on this research study. Studying the effects of cannabis on driving with such accuracy in a real-world context is extremely essential.

” The results must reassure individuals utilizing CBD-only products that they are probably safe to drive, while helping patients utilizing THC-dominant items to understand the period of problems.”


The study involved giving 26 healthy individuals four different types of cannabis in a random order to vaporize on 4 separate events. Each participant’s driving efficiency was then examined on the road in real-world conditions along a 100- kilometer stretch of public highway in a dual control automobile with a driving trainer present.

The tests were done at Maastricht University in the Netherlands utilizing a reputable clinical test that measures standard variance of automobile position (SDLP), an index of lane weaving, swerving and overcorrecting. SDLP increases under the impact of alcohol and drugs such as Valium and Stilnox.

Individuals vaporized marijuana consisting of primarily THC, mainly CBD, THC, and CBD in combination, or placebo marijuana (no active elements). The amount of THC vaporized by participants sufficed to trigger strong sensations of intoxication.

To evaluate how the different types of cannabis affect driving, individuals completed two one-hour, on-road highway driving tests beginning at 40 minutes and at 4 hours after breathing in vaporized cannabis.

Professor McGregor stated: “With rapidly altering attitudes towards medical and non-medical use of marijuana, driving under the influence of cannabis is emerging as an essential and rather questionable public health issue.

” While some previous studies have actually taken a look at the effects of cannabis on driving, a lot of have actually focused on smoked marijuana including just THC (not CBD) and have not specifically measured the period of problems.

” This is the first research study to highlight the absence of CBD impacts on driving and to also offer a clear sign of the duration of THC problems.”

Recommendation: “Impact of Cannabidiol and Δ 9– Tetrahydrocannabinol on Driving Performance: A Randomized Medical Trial” by Thomas R. Arkell, PhD; Frederick Vinckenbosch, MSc; Richard C. Kevin, PhD; Eef L. Theunissen, PhD; Iain S. McGregor, PhD and Johannes G. Ramaekers, PhD, 1 December 2020, JAMA21218

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