A recent study has found that drivers who consume marijuana may not perform or feel impaired. The study found that, instead, drivers who used marijuana would sometimes experience a positive effect on their driving.
This comes at a time when policy makers are working to decide whether driving while under the influence of marijuana warrants similar penalties to driving while under the influence of alcohol in various states across the country. Under the law, impairment is defined as a state of diminished or weakened function.
In many states, the legal limit for blood–alcohol content is 0.08. It is known that a driver who has been awake for more than 20 hours drives with the same impairment level as an individual with the aforementioned blood-alcohol content. However, the stance on marijuana impairment keeps shifting because while it is known that the plant does cause impairment, establishing an acceptable limit seems to be a challenge.
The fact that marijuana metabolites also remain in the human saliva or blood long after the plant’s effects have worn off is also a challenge as it makes it harder for cannabis breathalyzer tests to conclusively measure the impairment level of a driver who’s been using cannabis.
Despite this, some states, including Colorado, have still imposed limits on the level of THC metabolites that can be found in a driver’s blood.
The study, which was conducted by University of Iowa researchers, found that marijuana compounds that give rise to other effects, apart from being high, could probably help individuals drive a bit better. The study, which was reported in the “Traffic Injury Prevention” journal, involved 10 drivers who were each evaluated on their road abilities two hours after they had consumed marijuana.
Each driver was asked to rate their perceived level of impairment before they performed some simulated tasks. Prior research had discovered that drivers who were stoned took fewer risks and were more aware of their impairment when compared to drivers who were inebriated and took more risks.
The authors of the study explained that with regard to longitudinal and lateral control, a growing perception of stimulation gave rise to a positive effect on the drivers’ performance. They added that the study results offered a better understanding of how various strains of marijuana, which gave rise to different experiences for users, could affect driving safety.
The researchers also noted that drug effects that produced more high or stoned feelings resulted in a greater negative impact on driving while those that caused more stimulation had a lesser effect on driving. This isn’t to mean that driving after consuming marijuana is safe, it just means that the level of impairment may not be as pronounced, depending on the marijuana strain consumed.
This study highlights why companies such as XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE: XPHY) (OTCQB: XPHYF) (FSE: 4XT) have invested immensely in studying the specific effects of various cannabinoids so that they can develop therapeutic formulations to treat a variety of conditions.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE: XPHY) (OTCQB: XPHYF) (FSE: 4XT) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/XPHYF
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