According to French law, natural or synthetic substances which modify perception, mood, state of consciousness as well as reflexes, and which generate psychic or physical dependence are considered to be a drug. To date, the authorities prohibit and sanction the consumption and sale of these products on national soil. All the narcotics listed are listed by the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) on an official list accessible online.
Drugs are dangerous both for the user and for those around him. According to recently collected data, there would have been approximately 752 people who lost their lives following a road accident caused by the taking of illicit substances during 2018. On the other hand, the results revealed that, among the total number of road victims, nearly 22% died as a result of a road accident correlated with the use of illicit products.
Faced with this alarming observation, the French government wanted to toughen up the legislation in this area. A strengthening of controls, the objective of which is to detect driving under the influence of narcotics and to reduce the risk of road accidents, has in particular been established. Often confused with THC, CBD is not classified in the substances to be controlled by the French authorities. As part of medical treatment, CBD can be prescribed by a healthcare professional. In recent years, CBD has also been found in some specialty stores. Source of many questions, a question around cannabis often arises: can CBD be detected with a police saliva test?
Different types of screening tests exist
The new devices can now detect traces of drugs immediately after consuming a narcotic. The latest advances have also solved a major problem with drug testing: false positives. A large number of false positives have been identified in recent years. To counter the results of erroneous tests, blood tests were particularly solicited. Globally, drug tests come in different forms. Drug use can be demonstrated through urine, saliva, or blood analysis.
In general, drug screening tests are able to detect the presence of various drugs including cannabis and its derivatives in the metabolism. Other narcotics such as cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, ketamine, methadone or even crack, can also be detected through these tests. On the other hand, hallucinogens are less easily detectable.
During a urine test, a paper strip provided for this purpose will react with one or more substances present in the urine sample, and this, in just a few minutes. In general, the urine tests performed are reliable compared to other tests. They are able to detect traces of drugs over the next 48 hours, if used.
Thanks to technical advances in this area, the saliva test has become the most widely used method. The saliva test is the second most widely used control method for detecting the presence of drugs in the body. Relatively easier to perform, the oral swab is effective in detecting drug use. The difficulty of falsification is in particular much higher for a saliva test than a urine test. Indeed, it is possible to falsify a urinalysis test by using synthetic urine. Unlike the saliva test, urine strips require several hours after consumption to be able to detect the illegal substance in the metabolism.
Is CBD detectable?
While some tests can reveal the presence of cannabis in the body, it is, to date, impossible to detect CBD through a urine, saliva or blood test. Only molecules prohibited by the ANSM are noticeable in a test. However, CBD is not one of them. In the case of cannabis, the tests will only be positive if traces of THC in urine, blood or saliva are detected. This is the molecule that causes euphoric and / or psychotropic effects in individuals under the influence of cannabis. As a result, CBD is not a psychoactive molecule, so there is no risk of obtaining positive results from the consumption of this substance.
Although CBD is legal and over-the-counter, it can cause mild drowsiness. It is therefore strongly recommended not to consume it, before taking the road. However, sometimes CBD can lead to a positive result, if the rates recommended by French law are not respected. According to the law put into force by the French government, the level of THC contained in the product must be less than 0.20% in order not to generate a positive saliva test. At the same time, flowering CBD, which contains slight traces of THC, can make results positive for THC when tested.
In which cases are these tests carried out?
In the event of a fatal accident or an accident resulting in injury, drug testing and alcohol testing are systematically compulsory. When a breach of the code is committed or in the event of suspicion, a drug test can also be carried out to verify if the driver is not under the influence of narcotics. When a test is negative for illicit substances, the motorist can get back on the road. If the test is negative, the police will be able to keep the driver’s license pending a blood test. These secondary tests are always carried out by toxicological laboratories, in order to avoid any risk of false positives.
Following a traffic violation under the influence of narcotics, the driver is liable to prosecution. This type of offense is punishable by two years imprisonment. To this is added a fine of 4,500 euros as well as a withdrawal of six points on the driving license. Depending on the circumstances of the road accident, the public prosecutor may also consider the cancellation, invalidation or suspension of the point-based license to sanction the driver.