By / March 10, 2021

Is it legal to drive after taking CBD in France?

If you have never heard of CBD, remember that it is a non-psychotropic substance with medicinal properties that have been proven over the years. It is often presented as “the legal version of cannabis” and its use has been authorized in France since 2017.

As such, it is possible to drive legally after consuming this product, but this practice is not necessarily recommended for safety reasons. We will try to make the point in this article.

Cannabidiol, a natural substance with many virtues recognized by the medical profession

CBD is the contraction of cannabidiol, a molecule derived from hemp. This product has been known for years for its pharmaceutical virtues. Today, CBD, also known as “medical cannabis”, is favored by many health professionals.

This natural substance is used in the treatment of many pathologies. In particular, to relieve pain and fight against sleep disorders. It is also prescribed as a dietary supplement because of its relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties.

It can be consumed in the form of tablets or CBD oil. The CBD-based e-liquids are also very appreciated by the followers of the vape.

French legislation concerning the use of CBD

Unlike THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not induce psychoactive effects and is not classified as a narcotic. The WHO (World Health Organization) has stated that CBD is not addictive, unlike other cannabinoids such as THC. However, although the law on CBD in France authorizes its consumption since 2017, certain restrictions exist. For example, the THC content must not exceed 0.2%, and minors are not allowed to purchase cannabidiol products.

To be sure to buy quality products that comply with French legislation, it is best to turn to reliable sites where each product is analyzed by an independent laboratory to measure the percentage of THC. This control is essential to provide customers with cannabidiol oils that meet high quality standards.

The consumption of CBD and cannabis testing controls

Many CBD consumers are also afraid of the risks involved in the event of police checks. Since August 2001, the french police have been able to test drivers for drugs if there is a suspicion of drug use. Since 2016, police officers in the country have been also been equipped with rapid and accurate drug testing kits that can detect several psychotropic substances such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines.

It is important to remember that these tests have become very reliable. In the case of cannabis testing, they detect only THC and not CBD. There can still be (in very rare cases) false positives, but very often the product consumed contains too much THC when this happens (much higher than the 0.2% allowed by French legislation). Therefore, it is important to buy products through totally legal and secure channels.

However, in case of positive results, sometimes additional analysis can prove your good intentions and work in your favor. It is also recommended to avoid driving around with CBD sheets, which can be confusing in case of a police check.

Cannabidiol at the wheel: legal but not recommended

As you have understood, CBD is not considered a narcotic substance and does not induce any psychotropic effects, unlike THC, which is also present in cannabis. However, some drowsiness may accompany the relaxing effect of CBD. For safety reasons, it is, therefore, preferable to abstain from using it before driving just like with any other medication that can cause drowsiness.

This recommendation is especially important for new users. Indeed, each organism reacts differently depending on its metabolism and the amount of CBD ingested. In fact, depending on the products purchased, the dosage is different and may cause more pronounced effects. Also, at the slightest feeling of tiredness, it is important not to use the car. Rather, enjoy the relaxing benefits of cannabidiol. It is preferable to consume it if you do not wish to take to the road in the following hours.

Finally, it should be remembered that spraying CBD while driving, even if it is not formally prohibited, can be punished according to article R412-6 of the French Highway Code. This legal text condemns the use of an object that does not allow you to keep both hands on the wheel. This second-class ticket gives rise to a reduction of 3 points on the driving license and a lump-sum fine of 35 euros.


(Featured image by why kei via Unsplash)

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