Can You Drive After Drinking CBD Drinks?

Can you drive after drinking CBD drinks?

In today’s fast-paced world, the quest for relaxation and relief from daily stressors has led to a surge in interest surrounding CBD beverages. These elixirs of tranquility, derived from the hemp plant, are praised for their potential therapeutic properties without inducing intoxication.

Given the novelty of these products, concerns have arisen about their impact on one’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. 

This article aims to provide an examination of current legislation and safety considerations concerning driving after consuming CBD drinks. In doing so, this discussion will delve into the potential effects of combining CBD with other substances as well as address common myths and misconceptions surrounding its use.

Legalization and Laws

The landscape of legalization and laws surrounding the consumption of CBD-infused beverages has become increasingly complex, raising concerns about potential implications for an individual’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. As these products continue to gain popularity, questions have arisen regarding whether or not CBD could impair driving abilities in the same way alcohol does.

While there is no specific legal limit for CBD consumption before driving, it is essential to understand how cannabis law may apply in certain situations. Additionally, one must consider the potential effects of CBD on reaction time and other factors that contribute to safe driving practices.

Currently, roadside drug screening tests are designed primarily to detect THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, rather than CBD. However, some tests may still produce false positives if trace amounts of THC are present in a person’s system after consuming a CBD-infused beverage. This could potentially lead to issues with drivers being unfairly penalized under the existing cannabis law.

Furthermore, while research on the effects of isolated CBD on driving abilities remains limited, some studies suggest that it may not significantly impact reaction time or other critical aspects of operating a vehicle. Thus, it is crucial for individuals who choose to consume such products to remain knowledgeable about their local legislation and stay informed about ongoing research into this area so as not to inadvertently jeopardize their safety or that of others on the road.

Safety Considerations

Safety considerations are of the utmost importance when discussing the potential impact of consuming CBD-infused beverages and operating a motor vehicle. As the popularity of these products continues to rise, it is essential for drivers to be informed about the potential effects and risks associated with cannabinoids like CBD.

While research on the safety and side effects of CBD is still in its infancy, current studies have not found any significant impairments in cognitive functions or blood alcohol levels after consumption. However, it is crucial to note that individual reactions to CBD may vary, and some users might experience adverse effects that could interfere with their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

In order to minimize risk while driving after consuming CBD drinks, it is recommended that drivers allow ample time for the product’s effects to dissipate before getting behind the wheel. This precautionary measure can help ensure that individuals do not inadvertently put themselves or others at risk on the road due to possible adverse reactions from cannabinoids in their system.

Furthermore, as legalization and regulations surrounding these products continue to evolve, it will be important for consumers and drivers alike to remain educated about how various cannabinoid-infused products may interact with their own unique physiology and potentially affect their ability to drive safely. Ultimately, prioritizing safety precautions when using such products will significantly contribute to public health efforts aimed at reducing traffic accidents related to impaired driving.

Effects of mixing

While the non-psychoactive nature of CBD may not directly impair motor skills or cognitive function, the effects of mixing it with other substances can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous. This highlights the importance of exercising caution when consuming these products to ensure that one’s ability to drive safely is not compromised.

The following points emphasize some key concerns related to mixing CBD drinks with other substances:

Increased drowsiness: Combining CBD with alcohol or medications that cause drowsiness can exacerbate sleepiness, leading to a decreased ability to focus on the road and slower reaction times.

 Amplified psychoactive effects: Although CBD itself does not have psychoactive effects, it could potentially interact with THC-containing products or certain medications in ways that heighten their influence on cognition and perception.

Unpredictable blood alcohol concentration: The interaction between CBD drinks and alcohol consumption might lead to unexpected fluctuations in an individual’s blood alcohol concentration, posing challenges for accurate blood tests during routine traffic stops.

Inaccurate drug test results: Using CBD products along with other substances could result in false positive results during drug testing due to potential cross-reactivity between various compounds.

Considering these potential side effects, it is essential for individuals who consume CBD-infused beverages as an alcohol alternative or supplement to fully understand how they may interact with other substances. 

By being informed about the possible risks and implications associated with mixing various elements within their systems, people can make responsible choices regarding their consumption habits while prioritizing public safety on the road.

Drug Tests

While many CBD-infused products are marketed as having low or no THC concentration, inconsistencies in manufacturing processes and mislabeling can result in varying chemical content within these products. This poses a potential risk for individuals who consume such beverages, as they could inadvertently ingest trace amounts of THC that may be detected during drug tests.

Drugged driving laws typically focus on detecting the psychoactive component THC rather than CBD since it is responsible for causing impairment similar to alcohol intoxication.

Given that some individuals may consume a combination of both substances or unknowingly ingest small amounts of THC through a CBD-infused product, it becomes vital for law enforcement agencies to develop comprehensive approaches towards assessing driver impairment that account for not only blood cannabis content but also other signs indicative of substance use.

By distinguishing between those who are actually under the influence of psychoactive substances and those who simply consume non-intoxicating CBD products without intending to break the law or endanger public safety, authorities can better ensure road safety. 

Myths and facts

Dispelling common misconceptions and establishing factual information about CBD-infused beverages is essential to fostering responsible consumption and informed decision-making among consumers.

Many people often confuse cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive compound found in cannabis, with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound responsible for feelings of intoxication. As a result, there are several myths surrounding the use of CBD-infused drinks, such as CBD-infused sparkling drinks, leading to confusion about their safety and potential health benefits.

  1. Myth: Drinking CBD beverages will get you high.

Fact: Unlike THC, which binds directly to receptors in the brain and produces feelings of intoxication, CBD does not have that same effect on receptors. This means that consuming a nonpsychoactive compound like CBD will not lead to feelings of intoxication or alter one’s state of mind.

  1. Myth: Drinking CBD beverages can increase alcohol cravings.

Fact: Some studies suggest that using CBD may help reduce alcohol cravings by interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the body and altering body chemistry related to addiction.

  1. Myth: There is no acceptable amount of CBD for consumption when driving or operating heavy machinery after drinking a CBD-infused beverage.

Fact: While it is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to driving or operating heavy machinery after consuming any substance, most experts agree that consuming acceptable amounts of non-intoxicating cannabinoids like those found in many CBD-infused drinks should not impair your ability to drive safely.

  1. Myth: There are no potential health benefits from drinking CBD beverages.

Fact: Although further research is needed to fully understand all aspects of this complex plant compound, preliminary studies have shown promise for various potential health benefits related to inflammation reduction, anxiety relief, pain management, and more through its interaction with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body.


In conclusion, the question of whether it is safe to drive after consuming CBD-infused beverages remains a matter of legal and individual responsibility.

Although research has shown that pure CBD is unlikely to impair driving ability, potential interactions with other substances and varying legislative stances render a definitive answer elusive.

It is crucial for individuals to stay informed about the laws in their jurisdiction as well as their own personal reactions to ensure safety on the road.


Arkell, Thomas R., et al. “Effect of cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol on driving performance: a randomized clinical trial.” Jama 324.21 (2020): 2177-2186.

Sevigny, Eric L. “Cannabis and driving ability.” Current opinion in psychology 38 (2021): 75-79.

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