5. Medical use and novel cannabinoids
To evaluate current & emerging DUIC issues, including medical cannabis and novel cannabinoids
1) Is medical use of cannabis producing similar problems for driving as recreational use? Drivers on medical cannabis may experience impairment, but certain user conditions may potentially mitigate the effects of cannabis. These include: relief of symptoms leading to improved driving, tolerance due to regular use, and, titration of dose to achieve a therapeutic effect while avoiding a ‘high’.
2) Does CBD affect driving performance and can it counteract the effects of THC? CBD-dominant cannabis is not likely to cause driving impairment. Cannabis that contains a combination of THC and CBD, can cause driving impairment. It can be concluded that CBD cannot compensate for the impairing effects of THC.
3) Are synthetic cannabinoids posing a risk for traffic safety? Synthetic cannabinoids bind to the same receptors as THC, and have most often a higher potency, with some of them being up to 85 times as potent as THC. It can therefore be assumed that synthetic cannabinoids have similar if not stronger impairing effects on driving ability than cannabis.
4) Can we perform road-side testing to detect synthetic cannabinoids? Signs of impairment on the standard field sobriety test in drivers positive for synthetic cannabinoids have been demonstrated. Synthetic cannabinoids are not detectable in standard drug tests.
Data on driving under the influence of medical cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids is scarce. Those using cannabis medically are advised to do so under medical supervision.