Can I Get a DUI for Taking CBD?

How and when using cannabidiol can potentially lead to a DUI.

CBD (cannabidiol) products are becoming increasingly popular and are widely available at grocery stores, pharmacies, and a variety of other market places. People use CBD for lots of different ailments and other purposes—including anxiety, pain, insomnia, and epilepsy—and it comes in various forms such as topical creams, pills, and edibles.

Marijuana use can certainly lead to DUI charges. But can ingesting CBD put drivers at risk of getting a DUI?

CBD Legalization

The federal 2018 Farm Bill removed CBD (and other low-THC cannabis derivatives) from the list of illegal controlled substances. State laws that apply to CBD vary. But CBD is legal, in some form, in all states.

Federal regulations allow CBD to have a THC concentration of up to .3%, but some states have lower THC threshold levels for CBD to be legal.

DUI Laws and CBD Use

Many state laws prohibit driving while under the influence of a controlled substance. But CBD generally doesn’t qualify as a controlled substance and doesn’t cause impairment (at least it’s not supposed to). So, in most states and circumstances, there’s probably not much risk of getting a DUI for CBD use—though it might be theoretically possible.

Per se DUI laws. Some states have “per se” DUI laws that make it illegal to drive with a certain THC concentration in your system. In Washington, for example, a bodily THC concentration of five nanograms can result in a DUI conviction. And the laws of a few states prohibit driving with any detectable amount of controlled substances in your body. In these states, a positive THC reading (no matter how small) due to CBD usage could possibly result in DUI charges.

Inaccurate concentrations on labels. A recent study found that approximately 20% of tested CBD products had incorrectly labeled THC concentrations. So, if a CBD product has a higher THC concentration than it’s supposed to, the amount of THC that ends up in the driver’s system could be higher than expected.

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