You may be wondering if it is legal to drive when using CBD oil. If so, you need to understand the differences between CBD oil itself and cannabis. While the two may originate from the same plant, they are ultimately two different products entirely. However, it is always a good idea to know your facts regarding cannabis and CBD oil. Knowing the facts can help you to distinguish between what is and isn’t illegal when it comes to using CBD products frequently.
What Exactly is CBD Oil?
It is essential to be as transparent as possible as to what exactly CBD oil is and how it can affect you when it comes to undertaking different daily activities such as driving after taking CBD oil. CBD oil or to give it its full name – cannabidiol is a compound found in cannabis plants like hemp or marijuana. The cannabis plant has over 100 different cannabinoids. Two of the most prevalent compounds are CBD and THC. THC is a cousin compound to CBD.
In the UK, as we are still currently part of the EU, CBD oil’s manufacture and regulation are strictly adhered to. CBD oil is extracted from specially grown hemp plants and contains less than 0.2% THC.CBD holds unique properties and is non-psychoactive. This means it doesn’t make you feel anxious or get you high as cannabis would, nor does it have that telltale “red-eye” look letting people know you have consumed the oil. These side effects or properties are attributed to THC.
Is CBD Oil Legal in the UK?
Many people still wrongly believe that CBD oil is, in fact, illegal for use in the UK. CBD Oil or cannabidiol is not unlawful. You can buy CBD oil over the counter in many UK high street stores and online from reputable companies.
Cannabis and weed -derived medications are currently only legal in the UK for patients suffering from nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Use is also permitted for those with multiple sclerosis or severe epilepsy. It was initially banned in 1928 and reclassified as a class B drug in 1971 before being briefly downgraded to a Class C drug in 2004. It was returned to a Class B status in 2009. However, the medical use of cannabis was legalised in 2018.
CBD oil is most commonly used in the UK for medical reasons not for getting high as the compound required for this is usually of such a low level – under 0.2%, it has minimal if any effect on users.
Does CBD Oil Show Up on A Drugs Test?
It is natural to be worried about the levels of THC – the compound which gets you high in your CBD oil. After all, they are both derived from the same plant. But mostly no, using CBD oil will not show up on a drug test. All CBD oil products and retailers are different, and if you are worried that the CBD oil you are using could show up on a drug test, then you want to check it before taking it or look at switching to a different strain.
Check the Level of THC. As we mentioned, CBD oil has low levels of THC; however, it is always wise to check the one you are using to make sure the levels are low enough. There are rare occasions when someone may test positive after using CBD oil. This is down to the amounts, compound, and composition of the specific oil you are using.
How Much THC Would Produce a Positive Drug Test?
When you take a drug test, the component it is testing for is the presence of THC. Specifically, THC-COOH, which is one of the primary metabolites. As with an alcohol test, there are limits which the tests determine and cut off values determining your competency to be evaluated as fit to drive.
Three different tests can be undertaken to prove the presence of drugs in your system.
- Urine Test. Most commonly performed in a work environment. A positive test is produced when the concentration in the sample is 50 nanograms per millilitre. THC metabolites can be detectable from 3 to 15 days after application, and the detection window can change depending on the dose, the concentration of the dose, and how frequent usage is.
- Blood Test. Blood tests to look for the presence of THC are used less frequently. This is due to how quickly the body expels the presence of THC. THC is only detectable in plasma for 5 hours. However, metabolites can be detectable for up to a week after use. Despite this, blood tests to determine if you are unfit to drive due to drug use are conducted to indicate impairment at the current time.
- Hair Tests. Unlike blood tests and urine samples, there is no actual cut off time for undertaking hair follicle tests to establish the presence of THC. THC metabolites are detectable for up to 90 days in hair samples. The private industry has set the limit at one picogram per milligram.
As you can see, no drug test tests for CBD. That’s why CBD can’t show up on a drug test. The only risk is taking CBD that is contaminated and has more than the acceptable amounts of THC, which would result in a positive drug for the THC but not for CBD.
Should you Drive After Taking CBD Oil?
Let’s look at the facts. All legal CBD oil in the UK is licensed, and the presence of THC has to be below 0.2%. CBD oil doesn’t make you high, but knowing if it is legal to drive when taking CBD oil is something you should familiarise yourself with.
As everyone is different, people taking CBD oil need to be aware of how the compound affects them personally. Be it drowsiness, headaches, nausea. While CBD oil isn’t illegal and classed as safe to use for drivers, allowing yourself to drive when experiencing side effects, can be cause for concern. If you find yourself experiencing any unwanted side effects after taking CBD oil, it may be worth experimenting with your dosage or the timing of your dosage.
In conclusion, taking CBD oil as a driver won’t cause you to fail a drug test or be charged with driving under the influence. That being said, driving while experiencing adverse side effects can put you at a higher risk of below standard reactions and impaired driving. Use your common sense and make sure you are 100% fit and healthy before getting behind the wheel.