Can You Drive on CBD in Canada? The Laws Explained

Like every other country, there are some rules and regulations that need to be followed when it comes to driving and consuming CBD in Canada.

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Driving safely is one of the most emphasized facts when it comes to lecturing people on how to avoid accidents. Consuming CBD, and then driving, is another important issue that has been causing concerns all over the world.

However, here you will learn about Canada’s rules and regulations on this issue and if you can easily drive when or after consuming CBD or not. 

Understanding Canada’s Cannabis and Impaired Driving Laws

It has been criminalized to operate a vehicle when you are intoxicated by cannabis or any type of its products in Canada. As you might be aware, you can buy CBD flowers in Canada, as well as oil and any other cannabinoid products.

Let us have an overview of what the rules and regulations are for Canadian citizens in this regard:

  • There is a Canadian law, a provision that makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated with either an alcoholic drink, cannabis, or a combination of both.
  • In June of 2018, an organic law known as the C-46 Bill was passed, and it added the federal laws and penalties relating to driving while impaired to Canada’s criminal code.

The Federal law under Bill C-46 sets limits for the amount of THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) in blood as follows:

  • If any WID count of THC (<1-2 ng/mL) in blood is found within two hours of driving, it is a summary violation and ultimately carries a $1,000 fine.
  • With the allowable limit of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood set within 2 hours of driving, the offender might face class D felony charges or indictment with punishments ranging from a $1,000 fine to up to 10 years imprisonment for the second or subsequent offense.

Whether you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or another kind of substance abuse behind the wheel in most countries at least the punishment can go in the direction of fines, imprisonment, and other sanctions. 

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CBD’s Impact on Driving Ability

CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the compounds of cannabis responsible for the mind-altering effects that are usually caused by THC, the other cannabinoid. 

CBD boosting the ranks as a natural substitute to traditional therapeutics is raising eyebrows, tension included, however, there is still a criterion that needs to be given more weight.

In the case of THC, which targets receptors in the brain that impact cognition and motor skills, the driver’s ability to continue to focus on driving is adversely affected. But, despite this, each response to CBD is individual-based, and therefore, some people may experience drowsiness or side effects like this as reactions that may make them no longer safe to drive.

Driving a car while cannabis has your blood detected increases the likelihood of your driving skills deteriorating: your hand-eye would be slower, your memory and focus shorter, and may even cause you to drift off. As a consequence, impaired driving involving cannabis might lower the standards of safety.

In the province of Ontario as well as in Canada it is illegal to drive when CBD is in your system. In Ontario, drunk driving laws are stated in the Highway Traffic Act, and nationally, under section 320.14(1) of the Criminal Code, driving while impaired by any substance is considered a criminal offense.

If you fail the Field Sobriety Test (FST)

  • First offense: Consecutively a 3-day driving ban and a $250 fine.
  • Second offense: Seizure of seven-day driver’s license, enrollment in education and treatment program, and $350 fine.
  • Third offense: With a 30-day immediate license suspension, compulsory treatments or classes, ignition interlock device installation for six consecutive months, and an additional fine of $450.
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If you fail the Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE)

  • Immediate 90-day license suspension, vehicle impoundment for 7 days, and a $550 fine.
  • For a second offense, participation in an education or treatment program is required.
  • For a third offense, an ignition interlock device must be installed for six months in addition to other penalties.

These legal consequences aim to deter individuals from driving under the influence of CBD and ensure road safety for all.


Best Practices for CBD Consumers Who Drive in Canada

For a Canadian driver who is taking in CBD, their best move is to apply proper practices that make them comply with the law and ensure road safety. The first step will be to familiarize yourself with the laws on driving while CBD is in your system. 

Consumers need to be aware of legal limits with THC and any punishment for driving under the influence as laws can vary by province or territory. Consumers must look for products with small to no THC amount so they will not be impaired in traffic while driving. 

Also, people have to fathom the way CBD interacts with them specifically since reactions may differ. The best option is to arrange alternative transport if you are not sure how the CBD affects you or when you take more substantial doses. 

Being updated about the changes to the laws that concern cannabis and driving in the country of Canada is also essential. They can maintain legal regulations and ensure the safety of themselves and others on the road as they drive carefully and follow traffic rules.

Andleeb Asghar - Pharmacist

Andleeb Asghar - Pharmacist

Andleeb Asghar holds a “Pharm-D” degree from Lahore College for Women University, Lahore. She is an official Registered Pharmacist (RPh) in Punjab, Pakistan. She has also got a “Master of Philosophy” degree from the University of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Lahore. Andleeb has worked in various practice settings as a clinical Pharmacist and has a wide range of experience. She has been cited in Healthline and Telehealth for her expertise. She has also served as a distinguished guest speaker at various local hospitals and high-profile organizations. She has been writing Cannabinoid & Marijuana related content for the past five years for different reputable companies. She is passionate about serving others by crafting information and helpful pieces for her readers.

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