You use CBD or you are thinking of starting to use it, but you often drive? You don't know if it is legal to drive while you are consuming CBD? We can explain everything about taking CBD and driving.
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is the molecule found in the hemp plant. The chemicals in cannabis are called cannabinoids, CBD and THC are the best known.
Unlike THC, its psychotropic cousin, CBD has no psychotropic effect on the human body, it does not make you high. It is a psychoactive molecule, it acts on neurochemical mediators. Its only purpose? To influence our endocannabinoid system to allow you to relax to the maximum. It acts on the nervous system but also on chronic or benign diseases. In short, it is there to make you feel good, to relax you and especially to make you have a good time. It will answer all sorts of problems. If you want to know more about the benefits of CBD, take a look at our article on our blog, it will tell you more.
A little reminder -
they come from the same plant, CBD and THC are not in the same category. Tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, CBD's little cousin, is the big bad wolf of the story. It is responsible for all of the bad effects like euphoria or paranoia, it acts on the consumer's state of consciousness and is notably responsible for the "stoned" or "high" effect. Illegal in France and the UK, as in many other countries, it is considered a drug (or even a soft drug).
CBD is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and can calm your anxiety, your pain or even help you sleep thanks to its many virtues. It also helps you with skin problems such as acne or blackheads thanks to the properties of CBD in cosmetics.
Driving while using CBD: what are the dangers?
Despite the fact that you are told that CBD is not harmful to your health and on the contrary it is full of good virtues, it is nevertheless dangerous when driving. It is therefore not advisable to drive after consuming CBD, whatever its form (oil, herbal tea, can or even by vaping it).
This is because CBD will act on the brain by increasing the levels of GABA which has a stabilising role that encourages regular functioning on a mental and physical level.
It produces a calming effect that slows down, promotes calmness, reduces muscle tone, reduces epileptic seizures and muscle spasms. It also increases the level of anandamide, at the same time.
For the more sensitive, CBD can have side effects. Although minimal, they are always present. You may experience dizziness, mood swings, fatigue or nausea. It is therefore best not to drive and to call a taxi or a friend if it is really necessary.
It's a bit of a neurologist's mumbo jumbo, but the point is that these substances in the skull will affect your mental state by causing a very rapid and powerful relaxation, which means that you will no longer have the concentration required to drive your vehicle. Your muscles will be relaxed due to the soothing effects of CBD and you may even feel drowsy. The level of loss of concentration is one of the first causes of road accidents. To avoid this, you should not take your car.
It is advisable to take your car after your body has recovered, i.e. wait at least 6 hours. On average, this is recommended and we advise you to respect it. If you have to take your car during the day, then you should use CBD in the evening when you get home.
Having CBD on you in the car is it legal?
If you are in possession of CBD flowers during a police check, they may be suspicious of the product you have on you. They can ask you to do a ‘field impairment test’ or a roadside drug screening kit. After that, they may be followed up with a drug kit for cannabis or cocaine. You can fail a drug screening check if you have more than 2mg of THC per ml of blood.
Because of its strong resemblance to THC-containing flowers, i.e. psychotropic cannabis, they might analyse your flower to check the level of THC present in it. This is why it is important to find a quality supplier. At Cakespace our flowers are all carefully selected, grown indoors and glassdoor on our partner farms and are certified to have less than 0.02% THC. In case of doubt, you can find all the necessary information on the product sheet on our website or directly on the bag of your product. If your CBD product is respecting the THC content then everything is going to be right and legal.
What are the risks?
French and English laws allow the use of CBD and make the consumption legal, it prohibits driving after the use of substances or flowers classified as narcotics.
Unlike alcohol, French law does not distinguish between the consumption of any kind of drug. Article L.235-1 of the Highway Code punishes driving after having: "used substances or plants classified as narcotics".
CBD is not considered a narcotic in the eyes of European law, but in France no distinction is made.
Despite the low THC content of CBD, less than 0.03% now, it is detectable by law enforcement saliva tests, however small. Even if you are an occasional or regular CBD user, then there will be no difference between the two tests. But it's not the same with pure CBD isolate which contains no THC content. It is therefore possible to consume it in oil or e-liquid without ever having a positive saliva test.
A positive saliva test can result in two years' imprisonment, a loss of 6 points on the driving licence and a fine of up to €4,500 in France. But it is also possible for the police to suspend your driving licence, immobilise your vehicle and, above all, have a nice little entry on your criminal record.
Stay alert in case of a roadside check, remember to bring the instructions or packaging (or even a detailed certificate of analysis) of your product to make sure you can prove to the officers that what you are consuming is legal CBD.
The bottom line? Avoid driving after consuming CBD. Get at least 6 hours of rest before you get behind the wheel of your car and hit the road. Remember, when you drive, many lives are at stake. Also, if an accident happens you will be held responsible.
If you enjoyed our little article on road safety (yeah, we think we're part of the Highway Code), don't hesitate to check out our blog posts and follow us on all our social networks to have a good time.
Cake it easy,
The Cakespace team.