Drivers who take a few drops of cannabidiol, derived from cannabis, under their tongue is fine as long as it is in moderation.
A study conducted by the University of Sydney found that 1500 mg, the highest daily dose of cannabidiol (CBD), has no impact on people’s driving or cognitive abilities.
Unlike THC, a component of cannabis that can induce high and deterioration, CBD does not appear to intoxicate people. Instead, it can have calming and pain-relieving effects.
CBD is a widely used cannabis component for medical and wellness purposes, such as inducing sleep or increasing energy, and is consumed primarily orally as an oil.
Most countries, including Australia, allow people to drive while on the CBD.
In NSW, it is legal as long as a driver is not affected by fatigue or low blood pressure.
Lead author Danielle McCartney said CBD was not generally considered an intoxicating drug, but its effects were being measured in other tasks.
“Our study is the first to confirm that, when consumed alone, CBD is safe for the driver,” Dr. McCartney said.
The research, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, involved 17 participants who performed simulated driving tasks after consuming a placebo or dose of up to 1500 mg.
They completed the tasks between 45 and 75 minutes after receiving the assigned treatment, and again between three and a half and four hours later.
Drivers had to try to keep a safe distance from each other and the vehicle in front of them, as well as along rural roads and paths.
The researchers measured the number of conductors weaving or drifting, their cognitive function, and the concentration of oil in the bloodstream.
They concluded that no dose of CBD induced sensations of intoxication or appeared to affect driving or cognitive performance.
About 55,000 applications for access to medical CBD had been approved in Australia since 2016, Dr McCartney said.