Driving on CBD, Marijuana, and Alcohol — The Difference

Can you drive on CBD? For many people, using cannabis is a way of life. From use to maintenance, cannabis has the potential to change your life and make you happier. However, as with any substance used on a frequent basis, there is also the potential for addiction. When it comes to driving and weed in particular, not everyone knows what they can and cannot do. It is even more difficult to understand what to do when you get caught driving under the influence. To defend you it is better to address the best DUI lawyer who will ensure to do the right thing!

What is DUI in Canada?

Each province has a different set of laws regarding driving under the influence, or DUI. For example, each state has its own requirements for blood alcohol content (BAC). This can dramatically affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, even after you’ve consumed marijuana.

Is Cannabis Regulated by DUI Laws in Canada? 

As with most places in the world, Canada has legalized the use of cannabis in private, however it is still illegal to drive under the influence. As a result, driving with marijuana can have consequences.

Is CBD Included in DUI?

In Canada, cannabis refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems and seeds of the cannabis plant. Cannabis oil or any extract made from these parts of the plant is still considered marijuana. Although CBD is legal in Canada and many other places, it is still part of the cannabis family and can carry some penalties if you are pulled over for driving under the influence.

Consequences of DUI in Canada

Driving under the influence is illegal in Canada. If you are pulled over and found guilty of DUI, it will be added as a demerit point on your license. The practical consequences may vary. You will get completely different punishment, if you are: 

  • First-time offender;
  • Second time offender;
  • Had just cannabis or alcohol as well, or any other combination of substances. 

Among the outcomes — you get: 

  • Jail time (in the most severe cases);
  • Fines (several thousand dollars);
  • Ignition interlock (breathalyzer that will prevent your car from starting until you prove you’re sober);
  • Driving ban, for 1 year and more. 

What about Alcohol and Cannabis Combined?

When it comes to driving and alcohol, the law is clear. If you are found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 50 milligrams or more, you can be convicted of drunk driving. When it comes to cannabis and alcohol together — the rules are not as clear. The government says that it will be considered “impairment” whenever your THC levels reach five nanograms per millilitre of blood.

Why Driving While High or Drunk is Illegal? 

Alcohol and cannabis have a synergistic effect, making it harder for the driver to focus on their road and react to certain situations. The problem is, there are many times when people take a few drags of their joint, and then forget to put their hand on the brake.

It does not mean that you should never drive after smoking weed, but rather that you should be extra cautious — and wait for at least 6-8 hours. There are many instances when drivers do not realize that they have been slowing down as they smoke up before driving home. This can lead to an accident which harms others.

It is well established that smoking cannabis increases heart rate and blood pressure, and it is likely that most users are aware of this. However, you also have to consider drugs that affect the heart and blood pressure. For example, cocaine can also lower a driver’s heart rate and blood pressure but only if taken with a substantial amount of alcohol.

As multiple studies have proven, subjects who abstain from cannabis for periods longer than 1 month have a significantly lower odds of experiencing an accident. And the risk of accidents was significantly higher when subjects had used cannabis together with other psychoactive substances. 

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that there is an increased risk of an accident for those who continue to smoke marijuana on a daily basis.

Final Word — So is There a Difference? 

The short answer is — no. DUI is still DUI. If you are pulled over while high on marijuana and found guilty of DUI, the penalties will be severe. However, it is not as black and white as when it comes to alcohol. Whether you believe in driving under the influence or not, at least consider that your decision might put other people’s lives at risk. 

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