Cannabis and THC in the blood behind the wheel: Research & Studies

  • Today we look at a very thorny issue - driving under the influence of drugs and specifically cannabis, ie THC. The article is a summary of previous studies on this subject, summarized by a long-term cannabis specialist, Davide Bienenstock.

"Im a cannabis reporter for over 15 years. I dare say Ive seen and heard everything. All the pros and cons that continue to appear during the legalization debate.

For the whole hereeither, when all the objections of the opponents of legalization were disarmed with rational and truthful arguments, there was always one single, strong counterargument that could not be removed from the table: What if in the momcannabis entrenchment will start a wave of new amateur users behind the wheel and start driving under influence?

Of course, opponents of legalization regularly swear by other seemingly strong counter-arguments. However, the overwhelming majority of them require a mere investigative effort to quickly realize that they are not true.

Hempis not an input drug

An absolutely classic example of the argument against cannabis legalization is that cannabis use is the gateway to a world of harder and more dangerous drugs.

Existingstudies have shown many times that cannabis useis not a gateway to hard drugs,it does not depend on it (relative to other drugs, including, for example, coffee), it does not cause cancer or lung damage and does not lead to an increase in violent crimes.

Of course, hemp is not an absolutely harmless drug. Of course, if the cannabis herb began to turn its users into crazy heroin addicts with lung cancer, then we would, of course, be worried. Anyway, today we have a real pile of official evidence that such cases are simply not happening.

But how is THC in the blood and cannabis driving under control?

cannabis, thc in the blood, driving under the influence of THC, cannabis behind the wheel, marijuana behind the wheel, drug tests

States with legal cannabis: Increase in drug-related driving cases

The whole debate was ignited by statistics on traffic accidents in the state of Colorado. The number of deaths at the wheel associated with drivers under the influence of cannabis has increased rapidly.

But can it be legalization itself?

Obviously no one is so sure. Also, articles that report on this issue often mention that "authorities are unable to confirm that cannabis legalization may be due to increased deaths."

Why here are the authorities who have the habit of cannabis regularly blaming for the myriad of notnegative consequences? So what does newspaper articles mean, that cannabis is associated with these accidents?

Everything depends on the US drug policy itself. In the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Task Force report, you can read that 'marijuana-related cases' do not necessarily mean that marijuana or medical cannabis is the direct culprit of the accident. It only means THC appeared in the resulting toxicological report of the case.

This means that if a victim gave a couple of puffs from a joint a week before his death, her death automatically falls into the 'cannabis / marijuana relationship' compartment.

THC in the blood and driving the car: facts and statistics

Before we go into deeper analysis of the very confusing science of cannabis management, one very basic fact is that: driving under the influence of any kind, whether legal or illegal, is an irresponsible and criminal act.

"Compared to sober drivers, THC drivers have a 5% greater chance of getting accidents. Furthermore, drinkers over average (0.08 per mille) have an increased chance of accident by 225%."

drug testing at the wheel, how long thc in the blood, thc concentration disorder,

So when the press asks "cannabis legalization for accidents increase?"in that way a non-functional, and anti-cannabis-based question. No one at the same time claims that the legalization of alcohol can happen in traffic accidents or not? In the case of alcohol, a drunk driver is rightfully blamed, both during the trial and in public.

The use of cannabis increasesrisk of a traffic accident, it is clear to everyone. But what dose do we talk about? And how much risk? There are many factors involved in the debate. For example, THC-enriched chocolates are not dangerous from the point of view of fatal overdose. However, cannabis-consuming foods are very potent and, of course, the driver under their influence can easily fall asleep at the wheel or dream, leading directly to an accident. This threatens both the driver and other people.

During the legalization of cannabis in Colorado state nastavil maximum allowed THC limit in driver blood 5 nanograms.

Hemp behind the wheel: A new look at the complete data

However, lets put off the notoriously complex THC testing for a while and see if the driver was really under the influence of THC or not. New datasets now reveal new and crucial statistical data:

l Since 20By 2016, drivers with positive THC tests had risen 145% - from 47 to 115. Of course, that doesnt sound good. At the same time, this is totally misleading statistics. "The THC Positive Test basically means that the driver still has some THC in his blood, even though he may be totally sober at that moment.within a few hours, THC, however, remains in the blood for days and even weeks. Therefore, the THC test may be positive even though the driver last smoked cannabis 3 weeks back.

If she sDrinking alcohol is the same approach, then 55 to 75% of the adult population (the percentage of alcohol-consuming people at least once a month) drink-driving. But, the person who drank alcohol last week is not "drunk" behind the wheel, just as a user with a positive result for cannabis metabolites is not "tested".

Looking at the complete datasetit is therefore clear that the percentage of allegedly "investigated" drivers basically reflects the percentage of the total number of cannabis users across the state.

Kontext and relative risk </ h2>

A closer look at the 2015 study (NHTSA) is perfectly suited to this topic. The US Federal Government considers this research "the first wide-ranging study on the number of traffic accidents in relation to drug use."

Data during thatthis study was specifically obtained from 3,000 drivers who were the culprits of traffic accidents and 6,000 so-called control drivers who have not yet caused an accident. The whole observation took place over a period of twenty months in Virginia.

All collected data has always beenrecorded immediately during the events. Researchers and participating police officers were prepared 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A very important finding of this research is that while THC drivers have a 5% higher chance of becoming the culprits of a traffic accident, drivers under opioid prescription drugs have a 15% chance of an accident.

Increase šance to a car accident: Drugs & Alcohol

But the shocking difference between opiate and cannabis driver data is also dwarfing if we compare it with driver-related data. Here it turned out that drunk drivers have a chance of an accident increased by 22 to 222%, and that is at the level of drunkenness at the minimum detectable level of the breathing tester. The moment the driver reaches the minimum allowable amount of per mille in blood in America (0.08 per mille), the chance of an accident increases to a shocking 1118%.

In addition, to better understand pa review describing an increase in the chance of an accident after taking cannabis, we can look at the data on penicillin and co-passengers. Research has shown that people under the influence of penicillin have a chance of an accident increased by 25%. Furthermore, drivers carrying two to three passengers have these chances increased by 120%. Finally, drivers who make phone calls or write messages while driving are increasing the chance of an accident by 310%.

Separate study following this challengeIn addition, um deduced that it is very difficult to determine in which case THC actually affects drivers. Some of the results show that drivers with a strong THC effect have also dramatically increased risks for the accident, while others have increased the risk of zero and for some the ability to drive safely has even improved.

In other words, cannabis affects different drivers in different ways. It is therefore very difficult and perhaps impossible to express in percentage terms how much the use of cannabis at risk is.

Those who already have cannabis experience know that more experienced and long-term cannabis users are less affected by THC than those who use cannabis only sporadically. Thus, the extent of tolerance of a given user to THC plays a huge role.

This phenomenon is also confirmed by a study published in a scientific journal of pharmacology in 2010. Here, the survey found that a chronic cannabis user is affected by THC from exactly 0%.

As you can see, the whole thing is more complicated than it may seem at first. THC affects everyone differently and it is very difficult to determine how serious actually THC is behind the wheel. Anyway, we recommend a fundamentally sober management and stick to the creed that drugs simply do not belong to the wheel.

Source:
Bienenstock, David. "Taking Drugged Driving Seriously: What Does the Science Say?" Leafly, 1 Feb. 2018
www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/taking-drugged-driving-seriously-what-does-the-science-say?fbclid=IwAR0N28SGqEdHtOtZJe7KejbeBgesvacEXOy4MV356ZQvgnHo0Fvr1NY0xFI.

Author:
Bienenstock, David

  • Articles from category research have only informative in nature. They are not intended to encourage the cultivation or spread of cannabis as a drug, but to raise awareness of cannabis.