No, CBD is not prohibited while driving

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Avalanche of simplistic titles for truncated information likely to mislead. Following a recent decision by the Court of Cassation, numerous press titles and other blogs have announced the ban on CBD while driving. However, driving while having consumed CBD is not prohibited and the court decision does not say that. Back on the case to understand everything.

Driving under “CBD”

On January 21, 2021, a man was heard in criminal court regarding his arrest for speeding. In accordance with the usual procedure in this type of case, the man underwent saliva tests which revealed the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The court therefore found him guilty of driving a vehicle under the influence of narcotics and speeding between 40 and 50 km/h. The sentence imposed included a two-month suspended sentence with probation. He was given a two-month suspended prison sentence, a six-month suspension of his driving license and a 50 euro fine.

Although the defendant accepted the charge of speeding, he decided to appeal the court’s decision regarding driving under the influence of narcotics. He argued that he had not consumed cannabis but only cannabidiol (CBD), probably in the form of hemp flowers whose THC content was below the legal limit of 0.2% at the time of the events. . On September 5, 2022, the Rouen Court of Appeal agreed with him and dismissed this charge.

However, the Court of Cassation invalidated the Appeal. According to the Court, the offense of driving a vehicle while having used narcotics is constituted “if it is established that the defendant drove a vehicle after having used a substance classified as a narcotic, regardless of the dose absorbed “.

THC being classified as a narcotic, the Court of Cassation overturned the judgment of the Court of Appeal. The case was therefore returned to the Court of Appeal for a new trial.

So driving after consuming CBD is legal?

Driving after consuming CBD – and we are talking about cannabidiol, the molecule – therefore poses no problem. On the other hand, if the CBD product that has been consumed also contains THC, even in minute doses, the latter can cause a positive saliva test. The Court of Cassation thus ruled that, even if the dose of THC measured reveals the consumption of a legal product, any trace of THC leads to a driving offence.

The confusion in the press no doubt comes from the fact that the term “CBD” is widely used to refer to all forms of CBD products, at the risk of causing confusion.

Which CBD products do not contain THC?

The decision of the Court of Cassation is obviously a warning for consumers of CBD products. Until the law changes and allows driving after consuming a legal product that does not cause impairment, people wishing to stay in the nails can turn to:

  • CBD e-liquids that are consumed with an electronic cigarette. Vape pens containing CBD distillate generally contain a small level of THC which, even if lower, would potentially be able to give a positive test.
  • CBD oils broad-spectrumalso called broad-spectrum
  • isolate-based CBD products, generally less qualitative but free of any other cannabinoid than cannabidiol
  • all hemp oils and foods containing hemp flour or hemp seeds. They contain very few cannabinoids, CBD included, but do not make you positive. They are also very good sources of omega 3 and 6 and antioxidants.

Everything that is flower or CBD extracts and all “full spectrum” products are at risk of testing positive for THC since they contain it.

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