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Can Cannabidiol (CBD) Cause a DUI Offense in AZ?

Posted on November 20, 2018 in DUI Drugs

Cannabidiol is an increasingly popular topic among individuals focused on health and wellness. Cannabidiol (otherwise known as “CBD“) is a compound found in both the controversial marijuana plant and the somewhat-less-controversial hemp plant.

Unlike the more abundant compound in marijuana, THC, CBD will not get you high and does not impair your ability to drive. Thus, CBD should not result in a DUI offense.

However, because of unclear state laws, law enforcement may still have grounds to charge you with a DUI if you use CBD before driving.

CBD is a safe and legal substance, but it may be safer to refrain from using it before or while driving in light of existing state law.

What is CBD?

CBD is a medicinal compound found in both marijuana and hemp plants.

Scientific research shows CBD may help treat several ailments, such as anxiety disorders, epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, and inflammatory diseases including arthritis.

Unlike THC, which is responsible for marijuana’s “high” and psychoactive properties, CBD is non-intoxicating and does not alter your mental state.

Is CBD Legal?

Current federal law allows for the use of CBD derived from hemp, according to the 2014 Farm Bill.

Federal regulators also recognize the legitimacy of CBD as medicinal compound as the FDA recently approved the first CBD-based medication called Epidiolex.

The FDA’s approval of a medication using CBD gave the DEA no choice but to reschedule CBD, which was a Schedule I substance until September 27. A Schedule I substance is described as having “no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse”.

Now, the DEA has rescheduled medications using CBD as Schedule V, recognized as a “substance with an accepted medical use and a low potential for abuse.”

Arizona State Law

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) legalized medical marijuana in 2010.

However, there has been some pushback by prosecutors on marijuana extracts because of the wording in the legislation, including CBD extracted from marijuana.

Fortunately, state judges have ruled in favor of marijuana extracts.

In March 2014, Judge Katherine Cooper ruled that marijuana extracts were legal under the AMMA. In October 2017, Judge Dale Nielson ruled against marijuana extracts but later changed his mind in March 2018.

While the legality of CBD extracted from marijuana remains somewhat dubious, using CBD derived from hemp should help you avoid legal trouble.

Will Using CBD Cause a DUI Offense?

Arizona state law makes it illegal to drive when any level of a drug under Title 13-3401 is in your system.

According to the law, the resin extracted from cannabis, which can include CBD, is enough to cause a DUI offense.

However, CBD products can be created from the stalks of the cannabis plant, which are not deemed as “cannabis” under Title 13-3401.

This creates a difficult situation for law enforcement and consumers to determine what part of the cannabis plant a specific CBD product was derived from.

With that said, since CBD does not impair your ability to drive and the law is unclear if it is included in Title 13-3401, you should not be charged with a DUI offense.

Will CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

If you are stopped by an officer on suspicion of DUI, he or she will give you an alcohol or drug test.

Typical drug tests at a traffic stop include blood and saliva tests.

These tests are designed to detect THC, not CBD. Thus, CBD should not show up on a drug test.

If you were to ingest atypically high amounts of CBD oil (i.e., 1000-2000 mg), then there may be a slight chance you will trigger a false positive.

However, further testing would come back negative.

According to US Drug Test Centers, “it would seem that CBD alone is not enough to raise any red flags on a drug test.”

CBD is Safe and Legal to Use

CBD derived from hemp is a safe and legal substance and should cause no trouble with law enforcement.

While it may be wise to forego using CBD before driving, it should not result in a DUI since it is non-intoxicating and will not affect your ability to drive.

In fact, consumers who use CBD may help improve their alertness and general wellbeing.

Have you used CBD before? If so, we would love to read about your experience in the comments!

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