If you’re looking for clarity around the UK law for CBD oil and driving, we’ve put together a quick guide here.
The popularity of CBD products continues to grow, with the market projected to reach close to £1bn by 2025 according to a recent Centre for Medicinal Cannabis report.
But can you drive on CBD oil in the UK?
Firstly, key considerations at the heart of this question are how you use CBD oil, as well as the provider’s standards of quality assurance.
Taking CBD oil
CBD oil is the most popular type of CBD product in the UK, according to research from YouGov.
The four most common ways to take CBD oil are:
- Sublingual absorption – placing the oil under your tongue and holding it in place for roughly a minute
- Vaporising – using a ‘vape’ to absorb specialised CBD oil via your lungs
- Capsule form – taking the oil with water
- Topical use – applying directly to your skin e.g. for skincare
With topical use, the CBD targets the epidermis without being absorbed into the dermis itself.
For the other ways of using the oil, CBD is ultimately absorbed into the bloodstream.
Studies have shown that in different forms, CBD products may have several potential benefits – from treating severe epilepsy, to anxiety and chronic pain, according to a recent Harvard Medical School article.
Quality and brand reputation
To make sure you’re not taking any risks with CBD oil and driving in the UK, only buy from providers with a good reputation.
Transparency about their product ingredients and manufacturing processes and certification from an accredited lab to accurately detect THC content are all very important.
Quality assurance is key as CBD from an untrustworthy supplier could be mislabelled.
Always do your research when buying CBD oil from a new provider. There are many low quality products on the market, so read some customer reviews first and also look into the supplier’s history.
The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 allows for no more than 1 mg of THC per product.
Industrial hemp can only be cultivated legally with a THC content below 0.2%, but this limit does not refer to consumption and so does not apply to CBD consumer products, including oil.
To avoid exceeding the limit, products should essentially contain no THC – this should be verified by an ISO accredited lab, with a detection limit of 0.01%.
Meeting this criteria is particularly important when it comes to CBD oil and driving in the UK.
Can you drive on CBD oil in the UK?
So, can you drive on CBD oil in the UK? The short answer is yes.
A 2020 study by the University of Sydney and Maastricht University showed that consuming CBD does not affect a person’s ability to drive safely, whereas THC can impair driving.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the UK government significantly updated its drug driving policy in March 2015.
The policy incorporated a zero tolerance approach to eight illegal drugs and a road safety risk-based approach for eight medicinal drugs.
Amongst the illegal drugs is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, i.e. THC, the main psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis.
In 2019, according to the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), there were 12,391 people convicted of a drug driving offence.
The UK law on drugs and driving state that it’s illegal to drive if:
- You have specific levels of illegal drugs in your blood
- You are unfit to drive due to illegal, or legal, drugs or medicines
Let’s address the first point, before unpacking the second point a little later.
As mentioned earlier, in terms of CBD oil and driving in the UK – legitimate CBD oil should essentially contain no THC, therefore it would not count as an illegal drug.
For more peace of mind, consider a high quality, lab-verified CBD isolate product – it’s the purest form of CBD and doesn’t contain any THC.
CBD oil and driving in the UK
With driving in general, it’s always important to only start your journey if you’re feeling well and aren’t tired.
Different people can react to any type of supplement in different ways, whether it’s a CBD product or something else entirely.
Therefore, when considering using CBD oil and driving in the UK, it’s vital to make sure you’re not experiencing any unexpected side effects which could affect your ability to drive safely.
This brings us onto the second point from before; if you’re unfit to drive, it’s illegal to drive, whether the cause is a supplement or an over-the-counter or prescription medicine, i.e. a legal drug.
Linked to this consideration is how long CBD stays in your system and how long you may feel its effects for.
There’s a range of factors which impact this, such as dosage and method of consumption, but – ultimately – everyone’s body is different. For example, some people have faster metabolisms, so CBD will not stay in their system as long.
Generally speaking, it’s common to feel the effects for four to six hours, with CBD remaining in your system for two to five days, or sometimes longer.
Hypothetically, if the police believe you may be unfit to drive, they can put you through a field impairment assessment and could also use a roadside drug kit, which can detect cannabis.
However, regarding CBD oil and driving in the UK, you wouldn’t fail a drug test as long as there is less than 2 mg of THC per ml of blood.
This is why it’s crucial to conduct research – ensure you buy products which are lab-verified to have essentially no THC.
For more information on this topic, read our recent blog which answers in detail the question “Does CBD oil show up on a drug test in the UK?“
Conclusion – CBD Oil And Driving UK: Can You Drive On CBD Oil UK?
Can you drive on CBD oil in the UK? Yes, but with a few important caveats.
Whenever you buy CBD products – especially if you’re considering using CBD oil and driving in the UK – it’s vital to buy from a reputable brand with strong transparency and sustainability credentials.
If you’ve bought the product from a reputable supplier, it should be scientifically proven to have no more than 1 mg of THC per pack.
We are experts in the cannabinoid industry, so if you have any queries about CBD oil and driving in the UK, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.