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CBD Oil and Driving: Everything You Need to Know

person driving a car (Photo: Pixabay)
(Photo: Pixabay)

CBD oil is not marijuana because it doesn’t contain THC, the cause of the psychoactive side effects.

Unlike alcohol or Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD oil does not give you a high, slow your reflexes or mess with your visual perception and concentration. It doesn’t have any adverse health effects, and studies show it even helps alleviate stress, pain or trauma. However, different people react to different doses, and if you’re not sure how it will impact your ability to drive and get on the road, here are a few things you should know about CBD and driving.

First of All, What Is CBD and CBD Oil?

CBD is one of the many chemical compounds found in cannabis, a plant which has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Cannabidiol oil or CBD oil, on the other hand, is an extract made from its leaves and stems, usually mixed with a carrier oil like hemp seed oil. Unlike its other cousins CBD lacks the psychoactive properties of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the ones responsible for getting you high.

CBD oil is gaining popularity lately, and there are a lot of studies focusing on its healing potential. Also, more people take it as a dietary supplement, using it for therapeutic purposes, physical performance improvement and recovery and maximizing its properties that benefit the body.

Are Using CBD and Driving Legal?

Though there is still debate over how the FDA should regulate it, CBD is legal on the federal level through the 2018 Farm Bill. Therefore, CBD and driving with it in your system won’t get you into trouble the same way drunk driving would. As long as the CBD oil you use contains no more than 0.3% THC, it’s classified as a hemp product and is therefore legal.

Though this is legal, we wouldn’t suggest telling the officer since many do not understand the difference between hemp and marijuana.

How Long Does CBD Oil Stay in Your System?

There is no one single answer to this question because there’s a whole lot of key factors that influence how long CBD oil will stay in your system. The body’s reaction also differs from individual to individual. The factors contributing to how long the substance lasts in your body include your body weight, your lifestyle, metabolism and, of course, the frequency and amount of CBD oil you consume.

Because CBD can be stored in fat cells, it can stay longer in your system if you have a larger body mass than if you have very little fat in your body. So, it also makes sense that people with a more active lifestyle can get rid of traces of CBD from their body faster compared to those who do not exercise because they eliminate traces of CBD as they burn the fat. It’s the same thing with diet, as fiber-rich food pulls fatty substances from the body via stool, CBD is eliminated in the process as well. So the more fiber you take in, the faster CBD will exit your body.

Sometimes, though, metabolism is a completely separate thing from a person’s weight or lifestyle, and if you naturally have a high metabolic rate, you can eliminate CBD faster no matter how much you weigh or what kinds of food you eat.

Perhaps the most important factor to consider is how much you consume and how often you take it. If you take CBD oil on a regular basis or if you take it in large doses, it will take time before you clear your system completely of the substance.

Won’t It Make You Feel Sleepy?

When taken in higher doses, CBD oil gives a relaxing effect that can promote better sleep. However, small doses can give you an energy boost and keep you alert, awake and focused, so you may actually drive better! But again, different bodies have different reactions to the product. There is no “one serving fits all,” so it is best to figure out how much CBD oil to take and how your body reacts to it before trying CBD and driving.

So, Should You Take CBD and Drive?

Yes. You can take CBD oil and still drive because the 0.3% THC in it will not impair you or get you high. You will still function like your normal self. However, be sure you source your CBD oil from a company you can trust so you know they display the accurate chemical breakdown of their products.

Justine Lopez

Justine Lopez is an advocate for a positive and healthy lifestyle that improves physical and mental wellness. She is part of the editorial team of MadebyHemp.com, a small Michigan-based company dedicated to helping others improve their well-being through quality CBD hemp oil supplements and products. (Disclosure: The articles that I submitted first appeared on MadeByhemp.com)

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