Dealing with legal cannabis issues: Driving after smoking
The legalization of cannabis is a practice that is slowly gaining momentum in different parts of the world. More and more people are warming up to the idea of being able to walk to your local store and purchase a joint or two on the road. The implementation process, however, has been slower than expected because of a number of unforeseen issues that need to be ironed out. A key subject among these issues is road safety concerns. So how safe is it to drive after smoking cannabis?
Smoking cannabis alters your state of mind, sense of judgement and mood. Users are known to get high after consumption which is likely to have these kinds of side effects. Although no clear correlation has been made regarding car accidents and consumption of cannabis, the effect it will have on one’s ability to drive is undeniable.
There are many different strains of cannabis which have different levels of THC and CBD. This means that it is close to impossible to tell just how much you are consuming and when to stop. Different people also have different reactions after using the drug; therefore some may become more impaired than others even when they consumed the exact same amounts. In general, you are likely to have a reduced sense of ‘alertness’ after smoking cannabis.
SCIENCE: There are many different strains of cannabis which have different levels of THC and CBD. This means that it is close to impossible to tell just how much you are consuming and when to stop.
Research on the effect of cannabis on one’s ability to drive is still in its early stages. Recently, the Centre for Medical Cannabis Research released a report to announce the commencement of a research program to examine the effect of cannabis on users’ ability to drive. The project attracted more than 150 volunteers which makes it the largest of its kind.
During the project, practitioners aim to establish the effect of different strains of cannabis on new and habitual users by running a number of tests to get information about these effects. It has also been quite difficult to establish what percentage of consumption can cause significant impairments since people are generally unable to tell what levels of THC and CBD are contained in each joint. While we wait for the results, the following are a few tips to ensure that you stay safe whenever you are high on cannabis and you need to drive.
Take a Breather
Whenever you have smoked cannabis, it is recommended that you should wait at least four hours since your last inhalation. This will give your body time to adjust and to regulate the amount of THC in your system. In cases where the cannabis has been ingested orally through edibles, it is recommended that you should wait a minimum of 8 hours before getting behind the wheel. Different people have different reactions to cannabis, therefore a lot of personal responsibility should be observed at this point. If you have waited long enough but you still feel high, it is always best to wait a little longer.
FACT: Whenever you have smoked cannabis, it is recommended that you should wait at least four hours since your last inhalation.
How Do I Know If I’m Still High?
There are many ways in which you can use to determine whether you are still high or not. First, you need to check your eyes. People who are high on cannabis tend to have bloodshot eyes, therefore if your eyes are red; there is a good chance you are still under the influence of cannabis. Second, you will need to check your surroundings and coordination. If your coordination is not as good as it normally is and there is a sense of distortion in your surroundings, it is not safe to drive. Lastly, if you are anxious or have a feeling of euphoria, you are still not sober enough.
Although cannabis may have a number of medical applications, there are side effects associated with the use of the drug. These effects alter your state of mind and may have an influence on your perception, alertness and ability to react to different situations. Whenever you have smoked cannabis, it is always advisable to have a designated driver or wait long enough for the high to wear off before getting behind the wheel. Always remember, safety first.