Impaired driving is a serious crime, and if one is charged with impaired driving it is in their best interest to obtain defence counsel immediately.
An impaired driving conviction holds a wide variety of punishments and penalties from both a provincial and federal standpoint, which can become not only costly but also detrimental to a person’s record.
From the moment an individual is pulled over for impaired driving, penalties accrue and can dramatically change a person’s life for the worse.
The impairment by drugs can be different for each person. The three variables that are taken into consideration are the method of consumption, the quantity of cannabis consumed, and the type of cannabis used.
Smoking cannabis either in the form of a rolled up paper, referred to as a “joint”, or a bong or pipe, is a common method of ingestion. The effects of this method will generally begin at the outset of smoking, and peak within 30 minutes. The effect can diminish between 1-3 hours.
Vaping is a new trend amongst the techniques of consumption. This method heats the cannabis plant matter to translate into a vapour and is considered the cleanest and healthiest way to consume cannabis. This is not to be misconstrued to mean it is okay to consume and operate a vehicle. The effects of this method will generally begin at the outset of smoking, and peak before thirty minutes. The effect can diminish in a couple of hours.
Edibles are a form of consumption through a food or drink product. It is commonly made in a desert or chocolate, to offset the taste of the cannabis. The effects of this method can begin within 15 minutes to two hours, largely depending on the individual’s metabolism and whether it was ingested with an empty stomach, which can accelerate the absorption. The effect of consuming edibles is roughly 4-6 hours, but can last as long as over 24 hours. Edibles have the longest lasting effect in compared to the other methods of consumption.
Similar to edibles, tinctures are consumed orally. The effects are much quicker than an edible, but not as fast as an inhalation method. The full effects can be felt within 20 to 30 minutes. The duration depends on the individual. If the individual is a frequent user, then the effects can last a couple of hours. Infrequent users may feel the effects for several hours.
This may include cannabis-enriched lotions and balms, used for more therapeutic effects. These have no psychoactive effects and therefore, do not affect one’s ability to drive.
This highly potent THC oil is used to assist those with health critical issues such as cancer. The effects begin within 15 minutes to an hour, and can last anywhere between 4-6 hours.
Dabbing is a new form of ingestion, used by individuals who have a high tolerance of cannabis. Dabbing is a technique of heating a small amount of marijuana concentrate using a blowtorch, which creates a combustion.
This small amount of marijuana can contain up to 80% of THC, which creates an intense effect on the body immediately. This method has a duration slightly longer than inhalation methods.
The quantity of cannabis affects every individual differently depending on personal tolerance and method. As a result, there is no guidance about how much cannabis can be consumed before it is unsafe or how long a driver should wait to drive. Therefore, an individual who uses cannabis should not take the chance, and should refrain from operating a vehicle.
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There are two strains of cannabis: indica and sativa. Indica strains are more physically sedating, while sativa are more uplifting. Some strains vary in THC and CBD levels. THC is the “intoxicating” substance on the plant, while CBD (Cannabidiol), is the naturally occurring compound in the cannabis flower.
THC impairs a driver’s motor skills, reaction time, concentration, and ability to make quick decisions on the road.
It is said that CBD is non-psychoactive, however, this can be misleading. CBD is indeed psychoactive, but it is not intoxicating. The main reason for this is that any substance that has a direct effect on brain function is considered to be psychoactive. CBD does have an affect on the brain, as it can have very powerful anti-seizure and anti-anxiety properties. We recommend you to see this infographic to see what’s legalized medical marijuana in Canada.
CBD does not make a person feel “high” in comparison to THC, which does have an intoxicating effect. CBD is able to lessen the psychoactive effects of THC. This has created a myth that if the CBD and THC levels are equal, they can cancel out and there will no side effects. There are no studies to prove such. However, an individual using only CBD might not exhibit psychoactive effects that can be dangerous to drive with, but each individual should still be cautious of any side effects felt. Reported side effects of using only CBD include low blood pressure, light-headedness, and drowsiness.
CBD oil usually contains less than 0.3% of THC and does not have an intoxicating affect. Some CBD oils may have no THC at all. Therefore, determining whether or not to drive after using CBD oil will largely depend on how much CBD oil is used, if there is any THC, and the method of using it. If using it orally, or under the tongue, one might feel symptoms of tiredness and therefore should not be driving. Some may use CBD oil for achy joints, which has no affect on one’s ability to drive.