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Can I Get a DUI for Taking CBD?

Please note: If you need to speak to a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles, contact Craig Sturm today.

CBD (cannabidiol) has gained popularity as an alternative for people who want to get the relaxing benefits of marijuana without going through the psychoactive high brought about by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabidiol products are also used for myriad health benefits. CBD comes in different forms, such as pills, edibles, topical cream, seltzer water, and more.

As a derivative of cannabis, people are still unsure if it is safe to consume CBD then drive. Just like in most states, it is legal to possess and use CBD in California.

So, can using CBD result in a DUI charge?

What Is CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is extracted from cannabis. The cannabis Sativa plant contains several compounds, the most common being CBD and THC. THC is the substance responsible for the “high” when an individual consumes marijuana. Notably, CBD and THC have different properties, and a person can consume them together or separately. CBD with minute amounts of THC, usually 0.03% or less, does not contain enough THC to cause the “euphoric high” traditionally associated with the use of marijuana. Due to its anti-inflammatory value, CBD is used to help with health issues such as:

  • Anxiety management
  • Pain relief
  • Acne
  • Improve heart health

Researchers are constantly conducting new studies to establish more benefits of CBD oil. For example, studies are going on whose aim is to investigate if there is any relationship between using CBD oil and reduced risk of cancer and decreasing the size of cancerous tumors. Moreover, CBD oil is hailed to have some calming effects on pets.

Is It Illegal to Drive after Using CBD?

The popularity of CBD has been growing primarily because it does not have psychoactive chemicals. Unlike smoking marijuana, using CBD does not make a user get high or cause impairment (at least it’s not supposed to). As such, CBD cannot inhibit a person’s ability to drive a vehicle.

It is legal to possess and use CBD in California. Under federal law, it is legal to grow hemp on an industrial scale. The 2018 Farm Bill reclassified hemp as a legal substance, removing it from the list of controlled substances. As such, CBD is legal under federal law.

So, in most states and circumstances, the risk of getting a DUI for using CBD is significantly low.

What are the Exceptions?

Some states use “per se” (by or in itself) DUI laws that make it a crime to drive a vehicle with a specific THC concentration in your body. It is a crime to drive with any detectable amount of substances falling under the controlled substance category in some states. For instance, if a police officer pulls you over under suspicion of DUI, they may request a chemical test. In some states, if the test turns out positive THC, no matter how low, it can result in DUI charges.

Be careful of inaccuracies on CBD product labels. Almost 20% of CBD products show the wrong THC concentration on the labels. Many people use a CBD product with a higher THC concentration than advertised, because of a misleading label. If this happens and you get pulled over for DUI and submit to a blood test, the THC that shows up in your blood could result in you receiving DUI charges.

Defending Against a DUI in LA

The law is constantly evolving. If you’ve been arrested for marijuana DUI in Los Angeles, ensure that you work with an experienced attorney who can put up a strong defense. Your attorney works with you to develop a defense strategy. Craig Sturm is happy to assist you with any DUI case in LA. Give us a call at 310-820-1315!

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