CBD – or the cannabinoid cannabidiol found in cannabis and hemp – is extremely popular these days. For example, also in Switzerland, perhaps because there is also a maximum of 1 percent THC in the CBD edibles! So it is high time for a scientific study into the possible influence of drivers who are 'under the influence of CBD-rich weed'. 

CBD is extremely popular, but what is it doing in traffic?

CBD can be taken in many forms: dripping oil, swallowing capsules, eating gummies, evaporating cartridges or of course smoking old school in a joint. There are hundreds of strains on the market today that are high in CBD and low in THC, or even contain none at all. The versatility of CBD (rich) weed is largely due to the medicinal cannabis revolution of recent years.

A lot of research has already been done on THC and taking part in traffic, but the situation is different with CBD. And contrary to popular belief, CBD is also psychoactive. Not as intense as brother THC of course, but still…

THC in CBD edibles

In European countries, a maximum of 0.3 percent THC is allowed in CBD edibles. As mentioned, in Switzerland they go the extra mile and CBD tobacco or a CBD cigarette – yes, they all exist these days – may contain 1% THC.

For a pilot study, scientists from the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Bern therefore went on the road with 33 human CBD guinea pigs. Their study was published in the journal Forensic Sciences Research under the title ' Impact of smoking cannabidiol (CBD)-rich marijuana on driving ability '.

Design and objective of the Swiss study

The participants were all given a joint with 500 milligrams of tobacco. Some received a horn with another 500 mg CBD-rich (16.6% cannabidiol) + 0.9% THC containing weed. The other part of the group was given 500 grams of tobacco + 500 mg of placebo in the form of Knaster Hemp . Also sounds excellent to our ears, but it is 'only' a nicotine- and cannabinoid-free herbal mix aka tobacco substitute (also for sale in the Netherlands by the way).

Next, the researchers used field sobriety testing — also known as DUI testing — to test the CBD blowers' driving performance and road safety. "The aim of the study was to come up with recommendations for warning labels on tobacco replacement CBD Edibles and to provide drivers with information about the potential risks of consuming CBD weed," the three said. scientists their intentions.

No difference between CBD and placebo

And then the conclusions of the driving skills tests under the influence of cannabidiol. The Swiss could not find any significant differences between the effects of smoking CBD-rich weed and placebos on reaction time, motor time (that is how you experience time, or the interval between the first change in electrical activity in a muscle and the initiation of a muscle movement), behavior during stress and concentration.

'No significant impact on driving ability has been found after smoking CBD weed', the researchers conclude very clearly.

Driving with CBD

The 19 men and 14 women between the ages of 19 and 31 tossed a coin and then received either a CBD-rich joint or a placebo. In addition to immediately after the test, they were also tested after 7 and 14 days. Those who had had a CBD joint the first time were then given a placebo and vice versa.

The study shows that there are no significant differences in reaction time and in motor time between smoking CBD-rich weed and placebos. There are, however, minor differences between men and women in these factors. There were again no differences between the first and second day of testing, so that the researchers concluded that 'learning effects' can be excluded.

And what about the THC limit?

But then the THC, because it was also in the test weed at 0.9%. To find out if the participants were above the legal limit for driving with THC, blood tests were taken after smoking and completing the driving tests to determine the cannabinoid concentrations of CBD, THC and THC metabolites.

Although the blood tests showed that all (!) participants had a THC level in their blood that was above the legal limit at the time the tests started, there are no significant differences in blood pressure, behavior, orientation, mood, language skills and psychomotor skills. skills established. the researchers therefore conclude that smoking CBD-rich cannabis has no significant influence on vital signals.

CBD dampens the effects and influence of THC

"Despite THC concentrations reaching levels considered to cause symptoms of interference in other studies in which THC-rich marijuana was smoked, no 'signs of impairment' were observed in this study," the Swiss said. "Our findings suggest that higher CBD edibles cause a negative allosteric effect in the endocannabinoid system, preventing such symptoms from occurring."

So there's no harm in smoking CBD weed – or otherwise consuming CBD – before getting in the car. However, the Swiss recommend waiting a few hours after taking it, simply because you can still exceed the legal limit (of THC)…