How Long Should I Wait To Drive After Using Cannabis?

Smart Cannabis: How Long Should I Wait After Using Cannabis To Drive?

cannabis seeds driving impaired

Cannabis is an excellent option for kicking back and unwinding with. But the very effects that help can also dull your reflexes and leave you groggy or spacey.

Is There a Cannabis Breathalyzer?

Everyone knows paranoia is a potential side effect of cannabis, but even if your favorite strain doesn’t affect you that way, most people are at least a bit concerned about getting busted for being high while out and about – specifically when driving. While it’s easy to say “don’t drive until you’re not high anymore,” how do you know exactly how long to wait?

Currently, techies and scientists around the country are working hard to develop a so-called breathalyzer for cannabis (source 1) so police officers can accurately determine whether a driver is under the influence of this plant–needless to say, the scent shouldn’t be an indicator, and urine and saliva tests leave much to be desired: cannabis can be detected in these fluids days or even weeks after use.

While at-home drug tests for cannabis do exist, they pose the same problem – they use urine and don’t actually tell you whether you’re still under the influence – rather, they are often used by patients who need to know if a medical, athletic, or employment drug test will come back positive. (source 2)

How Do You Know When It’s Safe to Drive?

So, how do you figure out when it’s safe to drive following your last dose? It’s not a straightforward answer. Like alcohol, the length and potency of cannabis’ effect on your body depend on many elements: your age and weight, the strain and how much THC were in the dose, whether you’re using other substances as well, and your tolerance. The ingestion method is also a factor. (source 3)

Once cannabis enters your bloodstream, it is metabolized and takes effect very quickly, but edibles can take up to two hours to reach the bloodstream, while smoking, vaporizing, and sublingual application (concentrates dropped under the tongue) are absorbed within seconds.

When smoking and vaporizing, effects usually reach their height about 30 minutes after ingestion, and you can assume they will last for two or three hours. If you’ve eaten your medicine, it could be four to six hours (after the effects begin) before you’re no longer “under the influence”.

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Is There a Safe Amount of Marijuana for Driving?

Sure, it’s possible a single toke of a low-THC strain won’t impair you, but if you’re at all uncertain, why risk it? Even CBD strains, which don’t cause any psychoactivity, could leave you relaxed enough to slow your reflexes, making driving dangerous.

Stay Safe with Cannabis

Your best bet? Plan to stay put for at least two hours after you’ve smoked or vaporized your cannabis dose. If you’re using edibles, wait until you’re home for the day or evening. Always use your discretion, and pay attention to how certain strains make you feel – even consider setting a timer when you take your dose and turning it off when you feel back to normal, so you know approximately how long you are affected.

At Growers Choice, we want you to enjoy the wonderful medical and recreational effects of cannabis in a safe, smart manner. If you have any questions about the best cannabis strains for you or the best way to use your cannabis, don’t hesitate to reach out – we’re always here to help!

Now get out there, and Get Growing!


External References

  1. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2023). Analyzing THC in breath. Retrieved from the NIST website.
  2. Australia’s MyDR. (2023). “Do at-home drug tests work?” Retrieved from the Australian MyDR website.
  3. National Library of Medicine. (2012). “Chemistry, Metabolism, and Toxicology of Cannabis: Clinical Implications.” Retrieved from the National Library of Medicine website.

One thought on “Smart Cannabis: How Long Should I Wait After Using Cannabis To Drive?

  1. Wow! I didn’t really realize the difference in the timing between edibles and smoking or vaping. Sounds like edibles are a bit more unpredictable in regards to how long it will take for you to be able to drive again. Super interesting!

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