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How Marijuana Affects Your Driving

woman driving blue vintage car
Does weed affect your driving skills when you drive high?

All good citizens are well aware that drinking and driving is a terrible idea but can the same be said when it comes to driving stoned? With increased medicinal and recreational use, researchers are doing their best to provide cannabis lovers with a solid understanding of how the usage of marijuana can affect pets, job performance, and most importantly, ones driving.

There is really a lot of disagreement when it comes to cannabis safety, especially with regards to human performance and impairment. In an interview with News-Medical Life Sciences, a Doctor of Sam Houston State University discusses why cannabis impairment is challenging when it comes to instituting limits like we have established with the alcohol 0.08.

We now have the ability, from an analytical standpoint, to detect lower levels of cannabinoids, and we also have the ability to identify and quantify other cannabinoid markers. With sensitive instrumentation this allows us to assess cannabinoids in emerging fluids and tissues like umbilical cord and oral fluid.

Dr. Madeleine Swortwood of Sam Houston State University

Oral Fluid Drug Testing

Cannabis remains the most common non-alcohol drug that is involved in driving under the influence cases. As we see an increase in medicinal use, decriminalization and recreational use, the public no longer sees cannabis as a safety or an impairment issue. The doctor, however, advises to keep those things in mind and educate citizens. She suggests that more research go into oral fluid drug testing, both from a roadside standpoint for things like drug-impaired driving, or even workplace drug testing. People are a lot more willing to provide an oral fluid swab or a saliva swab than they are to provide a urine cup or have a phlebotomist take a blood sample.

While cannabis is still illegal in many countries across the globe, many individuals and governments are embarrassing the plant’s benefits. It’s therefore important to continue to manage the effects that cannabis will have on impaired driving and workplace safety. Just because something is legal does not mean that it is safe for someone to use all the time. Just like you would not drink at work or drink and drive, we really need to have that same type of approach for cannabis. Further research is needed to work out the amount of weed that is dangerous and what exact effect it has on driving ability.

Driving on CBD

Small doses of CBD appear to have no significant impact on driving, according to first-of-its-kind research published the Journal of the American Medical Association. The results should reassure people using CBD-only products that they are most likely safe to drive, while helping patients using THC-dominant products to understand the duration of impairment.

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