Traveling with Dabs? 4 Top Tips to Avoid a DUI

After 4/20, the next biggest cannabis holiday of the year is 7/10, or Dab Day. That’s the day when highly potent forms of cannabis other than flower take center stage, such as dabs, cannabis oil products, shatter, wax, and concentrate. Although nobody knows who first celebrated 7/10, cannabis consumers chose the date because the number “710” looks like the word OIL turned upside down. To celebrate 7/10, dispensaries in legal states offer some of the best deals of the year. Accordingly, this leads to many more drivers traveling with high-potency cannabis products in their possession.

 

Dabs or dabbing is a term that refers to shatter, wax, live resin, and other forms of extracted cannabis resin. These concentrated forms of cannabis are available in various textures, and the product descriptor often reflects a concentrate’s texture or viscosity. Consumers intake cannabis concentrates using a dab rig, e-rig, or pen that heats it to a high temperature for inhalation.

 

What does 7/10 mean for drivers and the risk of cannabis DUI? 7/10 celebrators and regular dabbers alike need to know the implications of driving, cannabis, and the law.

First Off, Don’t Dab and Drive

 

Most people think about alcohol when getting slapped with a DUI. However, any method of cannabis consumption can cause driver impairment and lead to a cannabis DUI.

 

Cannabis consumers need to know dabs or concentrates are much higher in THC percentage than flower. Cannabis flower THC potency is typically between 15% to 25% THC, whereas dabs tend to be 60% to 90% THC. A tiny amount can add up to a whopping THC dose with dabs, even for experienced cannabis consumers. Dabbing and driving do not mix on 7/10 or any day of the year.

 

4 Tips for Traveling with Dabs to Avoid a Cannabis DUI

 

If you are celebrating 7/10, it’s best to prepare when traveling with dabs. Here are some travel tips to help you make sure you stay safe on the road.

  1. Never drive and dab. Even if you think you are an experienced cannabis consumer, remember that dabs are highly concentrated, and even a tiny dose can impair your driving.
  2. Dabs and alcohol do not mix. Whether you feel it or not, studies show that alcohol intensifies THC impairment. Poly-drug driving is on the rise in states that have legalized cannabis. THC is the most common substance found in police drug tests of drivers involved in crashes, second only to alcohol.
  3. Check your local and state laws regarding open containers and cannabis. Much like alcohol, some states have specific laws prohibiting driving with a container with a broken seal, the contents partially removed, or if there is evidence that a passenger consumed cannabis in the vehicle. The safest place to keep your dabs and equipment is out of the cab and in the trunk.

If you plan to celebrate 7/10, make a plan. Know how you will get to and from your destinations, and stick to your plan. Use a designated driver, taxi, or rideshare. For more tips on staying safe with cannabis consumption on the holidays, check out our guide.

 

Be Prepared to Dab Responsibly with a reepher Membership

 

Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. Correspondingly, it is crucial to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan. Cannabis consumers must understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs. If you’re a cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges, please check out what a reepher membership offers.

Cannabis, Driving, and Holiday DUIs — What You Need to Know

Holidays should be an opportunity for fun and enjoyment, but for many, holiday festivities end with a cannabis DUI charge or arrest. Here’s everything you need to know about cannabis DUIs and the holidays.

 

Which Holidays Are Deadliest for DUI?

 

Sadly, deadly car accidents peak on and around holidays. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the top five worst holidays for fatal accidents are in the summer months — Memorial Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, Father’s Day, and Cinco de Mayo. On Labor Day and Independence Day, 38% of fatal crashes involve an impaired driver.

Source: https://www.autoinsurance.org/deadliest-holidays-to-drive/

 

Don’t Mix THC and Alcohol

 

Most DUI statistics track alcohol, but how much does cannabis play a part in holiday driver impairment? Poly-drug driving is driving under the influence of two or more drugs. Behind alcohol, cannabis is the second most common drug involved in fatal car crashes. The data shows driving under the influence of cannabis and other drugs is becoming more prevalent, while alcohol-impaired driving is declining. In fact, traffic safety data indicates that DUIs have increased in states following cannabis legalization. Cannabis consumers need to know that alcohol intensifies the effects of THC. On the holidays or any time of year, don’t combine cannabis with alcohol and get behind the wheel.

Source: Face Sheet from the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibly

 

What You Need to Know About 4/20 and Cannabis DUI

 

What was once a day of protest and organizing against prohibition, 4/20 has evolved into a mainstream celebration of cannabis culture and consumerism. More people are participating in the festivities, resulting in a peak in the number of high drivers on the road.

 

Cannabis consumers should know that law enforcement is taking note and cracking down. Many states allow police to set up DUI checkpoints on 4/20, although they differ regarding what police are allowed to do under state law. The Missouri Department of Transportation set up 4/20 checkpoints with the campaign slogan “Drive High, Get a DUI.”

 

If you participate in 4/20 cannabis consumption, the best advice is also the safest: Don’t drive high.

 

Holiday Travel Tips to Avoid DUI Arrest

 

Nothing ruins the holidays like a DUI and driving while impaired puts people’s lives at risk. Plan ahead during the holidays so you can consume cannabis responsibly. Even if you are lucky and don’t get into an accident, you can still be charged with a cannabis DUI that can cost thousands in legal defense, fines, and car impound fees — not to mention jail time.

The following tips will help you avoid cannabis DUI on the holidays or any day of the year:

  • Don’t drive high, ever. Even though many people think they drive better with cannabis, the data shows that THC does not improve driving.
  • Don’t combine cannabis with alcohol or other drugs. Whether you feel it or not, studies show that alcohol intensifies THC impairment.
  • Plan ahead for festivities. Know how you will travel safely to and from events, and stick to your intentions.
  • Check your weather forecast and travel conditions like rain and ice, and don’t drive if it is unsafe on the road.
  • Check your car before leaving on a holiday trip. Make sure turn signals, lights, brakes, and tires are in good working order.
  • If you plan to consume on the holidays, plan ahead by taking a taxi, public transit, or a ride share.
  • Use a designated driver. If you are the designated driver, stick to your commitment and do not consume cannabis, alcohol, or other drugs.
  • Be cautious of other drivers on the road. Keep in mind that more people will be driving impaired on holidays.
  • Follow traffic signs and speed limits. Don’t give police a reason to pull you over and test for DUI.
  • Avoid distractions and keep your eyes on the road. Never text and drive.
  • Pay attention to DUI checkpoints where police check for cannabis impairment. Cannabis consumers need to know their rights.
  • If you are transporting cannabis in the car, make sure to check your state’s laws about limits and regulations. If you are a medical patient, make sure you have your card.
  • If you are traveling out of state for the holidays, make sure you know the laws and regulations of the place you visit. Cannabis is still federally illegal, and state laws vary. Do not transport cannabis across state lines.

 

Protect Against Holiday DUI With a reepher Membership

 

Any time of year — but especially during the holidays — a cannabis DUI arrest or charge is the last thing anyone wants. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. Correspondingly, it is crucial to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan. Cannabis consumers must understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs. If you’re a cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges, please check out what a reepher membership offers.

5 Ways Police Policy Changes When a State Legalizes Cannabis

When a state legalizes cannabis, police policy has to adapt in myriad ways, from traffic stops to off-duty police consuming cannabis. Here are five ways police are adjusting in states that legalized cannabis.

Off-Duty Police Officers and Cannabis Consumption

 

New Jersey made headlines when it passed state laws to allow police officers to consume cannabis, as long as they purchase it legally and only consume it while off duty. The trend is part of a more significant shift toward non-discrimination in employment regarding cannabis consumption. Other states have taken different approaches: in Colorado and Arizona, local police departments can set their own rules for police officers, while other departments have barred officers from using cannabis due to its federally illegal status.

Retiring Drug Sniffing Dogs

 

Many drug-sniffing K-9 officers have early retirement parties in states with legal cannabis. The dogs are trained to associate the smell of cannabis and other drugs with their favorite toy. Once a dog is taught this behavior, it stays with them for life. Of course, trainers cannot teach dogs to differentiate between the smell of legal and illegal cannabis, nor can they distinguish the smell of a medical card holder’s supply. They are trained to respond the same way to the odor of any illicit drug, and there is no way to differentiate whether the amount of cannabis someone has in their possession is under the legally allowed limit in their state.

 

To cope with the changes, some police departments are starting fresh with replacement puppies trained to smell only other illegal drugs, like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines. Other departments are phasing out their programs entirely because they cannot afford the roughly $15,000 it takes to enlist a new K-9 officer. Moreover, concerning evidence that drug-sniffing dogs frequently make mistakes adds to the likelihood of a permanent decrease of K-9 officers on active duty.

 

Changes in Probable Cause and Police Searches

 

For years, police officers have used the odor of fresh or smoked cannabis in your car as probable cause to search vehicles during traffic stops. Now with legal cannabis, police procedures are undergoing significant changes, but the laws are varied and evolving.

Some states have passed laws to expressly prohibit police from using the odor of cannabis as justification to search your vehicle. However, if you are suspected of driving under the influence of cannabis, police could still search your vehicle in any state.

Changes in Police Funding

 

When a state or city government legalizes cannabis, they often have provisions in the law that use tax revenue generated from the sale of legal cannabis to fund the police. Advocates for defunding police are critical of the trend and its disparate impact on communities most affected by the war on drugs. While the amount varies widely among states and municipalities, legal cannabis can mean big money for law enforcement department funding.

 

At the same time, police budgets are taking a hit from another direction due to an overall decrease in property forfeitures from illegal cannabis operation busts. Historically, these revenue sources have been vital for many departments’ budgets. However, legal cannabis has not ended the illicit market; In fact, illegal cannabis operations have increased with legalization, partially because they can offer lower prices than dispensaries. Big players in the legal cannabis industry have a financial incentive to support continued police crackdown on the illicit competition. For the foreseeable future, property seized in illegal cannabis busts will likely continue to be a revenue stream for police departments.

Cannabis DUIs Have Increased

 

Police are making more cannabis DUI arrests in states with legal cannabis. A 2018 Highway Loss Data Institute analysis estimated a 6% increase in collision claims with the implementation of cannabis legalization in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, compared with neighboring states. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that THC is the second most common substance found in the blood of drivers involved in crashes, second only to alcohol. States with legal adult-use cannabis are reporting more crashes due to poly-drug driving, especially from a combination of cannabis and alcohol.

 

With legal cannabis, implied consent laws still apply, meaning that police can require any driver to take a THC test if they suspect you are driving while impaired. Even if a driver consumes cannabis within the law, implied consent means that the driver automatically consents to a drug test when they get in the driver’s seat. Suppose a driver refuses to take a police-ordered drug or alcohol test. In that case, they can face serious consequences such as losing their driver’s license, or the refusal can be used against them in court proceedings in a cannabis DUI arrest or charge.

Cannabis DUI Terms Defined

Do you have questions about cannabis DUI terminology? You are not alone. The lingo around cannabis DUI charges can be a confusing alphabet soup of acronyms, and the exact definitions may depend on where you live. Different states have different definitions, so it is important to talk to a lawyer in your area that knows DUI law in your area.

 

Here are some cannabis DUI terms defined.

 

  • Drugs – A driving charge involving drugs can involve any kind of medication or drug. Here are some examples.
    • Over-the-counter drugs (OTC) drugs can impair driving and be used in a DUI or other driving charges. Some examples of OTC medicines that can impair driving are cough and cold medicines, sleep aids, and allergy medicines.
    • Prescription drugs, including those prescribed by your doctor for a medical condition and taken properly, can cause driving impairment. Some examples include medications for anxiety, antidepressants, pain medicines, muscle relaxants, sleep aids, stimulants, and anti-seizure drugs.
    • Illegal drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, LSD, mescaline, PCP, methamphetamine, and psilocybin.
    • Cannabis of any kind can impair driving. Driving impairment could be determined based on the use of medical cannabis or recreational cannabis. Any dosage form could potentially be involved, including flower, tinctures, concentrates, or edibles. Many popular cannabis and hemp-derived products can impair driving and lead to a cannabis DUI charge, including Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC, or THCO.
  • DUID – Driving under the influence of drugs.
  • DWAI – Driving while abilities impaired. Generally, DWAI may be used to refer to a lesser charge than a DUI in some states.
  • DWI – Driving while intoxicated, or driving while impaired, depending on an individual state’s law. Like DUI, DWI can refer to alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. Although DUI and DWI are often used interchangeably, the exact differences vary between states.
  • Impairment – The term impairment refers to the point where an individual’s consumption of drugs or alcohol has affected judgment or physical ability, but at a lower level than intoxication. Impairment with alcohol can be based on blood tests, performance in standardized field sobriety tests, or observed behavior. With cannabis, although THC levels are not reliable indicators of cannabis impairment, state laws vary.
  • Intoxication – Physical or mental control that is markedly deteriorated by the effects of alcohol or drugs is referred to as intoxication. With alcohol DUIs, intoxication refers to a blood alcohol level that is higher than impairment. With cannabis, intoxication is more difficult to define and state laws are variable.
  • Open container – An open container of alcohol is typically defined as a container that has been opened, has a broken seal, or has some of the contents removed. Most states have laws that prohibit drivers and passengers from possessing an open container of alcohol inside of a vehicle. With expanding legalization of medical and adult-use cannabis, open container laws have been defined similarly by states, although there are differences in regulations. Usually, a cannabis open container is one that has a broken seal, has contents partially removed, or if there is evidence that cannabis was consumed in the vehicle.
  • OUI – Operating under the influence. OUI is a term only used in certain states, and it is often used interchangeably with DUI.

A cannabis DUI charge or arrest can be expensive, and the laws are constantly changing. Even medical cannabis patients who have followed the law and done everything right can still be charged with a cannabis DUI. It is important to consume cannabis responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan. To find out specifics for cannabis DUI in your state, contact a DUI lawyer in your area.


If you’re a cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges please check out what a reepher membership has to offer.

What Do You Know About Cannabis Drug Testing?

Most people experience cannabis drug testing in relation to police or employer interactions. Police may order a cannabis drug screening if they suspect a cannabis DUI. As states have passed medical and adult-use cannabis laws, some employers are beginning to do away with cannabis drug test requirements. However, there are still employers that include cannabis or THC in employee drug screenings.

 

Cannabis Urine Test and a Cannabis Blood Test Compared

 

Cannabis is most commonly tested in urine or blood. Cannabis drug test results depend on factors such as how long ago you consumed cannabis, how much cannabis you consumed, and individual differences in how fast cannabis is cleared from your system.

 

Here is a comparison chart of urine and blood tests for cannabis.

 

Cannabis Urine Test Cannabis Blood Test
What does it measure? A THC metabolite called THC-COOH, a product that is left over after breaking down THC THC concentration in the blood
How long will a positive result show up after cannabis consumption? Within days or weeks Within minutes or hours
Advantages Better at detecting past cannabis consumption from days or weeks ago; Easy to collect a urine sample Better at detecting recent cannabis consumption from minutes or hours ago
Disadvantages Does not accurately measure recent consumption Difficult to collect a blood sample

 

How Long After Consuming Cannabis Does THC Show Up on a Drug Test?

 

THC (or delta-9 THC) can stay in the body and show up in drug tests for days, weeks, or even months after consumption. THC and its metabolites are fat-soluble, so they can be stored in fat cells and released slowly over time. That is why some studies suggest that exercise can increase the chances of a positive THC drug test, even if someone has not consumed cannabis recently.

 

Can Police Require a Cannabis Drug Test?

 

Police can require any driver to take a cannabis drug test under the concept of “implied consent,” which means that under the law any driver automatically consents to drug or alcohol testing. If a driver refuses to take a police-ordered drug or alcohol test, they can face serious consequences such as losing their driver’s license, or the refusal can be used against them in court proceedings in a cannabis DUI arrest or charge.

 

 

Are There Cannabis “Breathalyzer” Tests?

 

Unlike alcohol, there is no breathalyzer test for cannabis, THC, or THC metabolites. As states are legalizing medical and adult-use cannabis, public health officials and law enforcement are increasingly concerned about more drivers on the road driving under the influence of cannabis. Scientists are working on a THC breath-scanning device, but so far it is unclear whether there will be accurate cannabis breathalyzer tests in the future. The best advice when it comes to cannabis and driving? Don’t drive high.

 

Could CBD Affect Cannabis Drug Tests?

 

Unlike THC, CBD from hemp is non-intoxicating. Products derived from hemp that are less than 0.3% THC are federally legal. However, a cannabis drug test could still detect trace amounts of THC from full-spectrum CBD products. CBD consumers should carefully check products for THC percentages, and buy CBD products from reputable companies with third-party lab testing.

 

 

Concerned About Drug Testing With a Cannabis DUI? reepher Could Help!

 

Considering most states have no minimum THC threshold for a DUI conviction, cannabis consumers face serious risks if they drive with the slightest trace of THC in their system. With few exceptions, police can charge a driver with a cannabis DUI no matter how little THC is in their drug test if their driving behavior suggests or implies intoxication. The penalties drivers will face for a cannabis DUI conviction are severe, and not to be taken lightly!

If you’re a cannabis consumer concerned about potential cannabis DUI charges, check out what a reepher membership has to offer.

Cannabis DUI and Car Insurance — What You Need to Know

If you are involved in a cannabis DUI, you can face serious financial repercussions, legal consequences,  and personal hardships such as losing your job, your vehicle, obtaining car insurance or even relationships with your family and friends.

Some of the biggest questions and complications that can arise if you are in a cannabis DUI-related car accident are related to car insurance. Here are answers to the biggest questions about car insurance and cannabis DUI charges.

 

Does Cannabis Legalization Cause More Collision Insurance Claims?

 

A 2018 Highway Loss Data Institute analysis estimated a 6% increase in collision claims with the implementation of cannabis legalization in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, compared with neighboring states that have not legalized adult-use cannabis. The combined-state analysis was based on collision data from January 2012 through October 2017 and was controlled for differences in the rated driver populations, the insured vehicle fleet, the mix of urban versus rural exposure, unemployment, weather, and seasonality.

Poly-drug driving, or driving under the influence of two or more drugs, is the most common reason that drivers who test positive for cannabis get into fatal car accidents. The most common substance in poly-drug drivers is alcohol, followed by THC. The combination of alcohol and THC is by far the most common poly-drug combination.

A 2018 report from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission found that starting in 2012, poly-drug drivers became the most prevalent type of impaired driver involved in the state’s fatal crashes. Furthermore, the commission reported that since 2012, the number of poly-drug drivers involved in fatal crashes increased an average of 15% every year.

 

Does Car Insurance Cover a Cannabis DUI-Related Accident?

 

In most states, insurance cannot deny coverage for a collision or comprehensive claim, whether you were driving under the influence or not. If you are involved in a cannabis DUI-related accident, in general, your liability insurance will cover the other vehicle’s driver and passengers up to your policy limit the same as it would in any other accident.

However, some automobile insurance companies argue that damages from a cannabis DUI are based on intentional negligent conduct, and will sometimes deny coverage on that basis for injuries to other drivers or passengers.

Similarly, sometimes lawyers in personal injury cases in cannabis DUI-related accidents may argue that driving under the influence constitutes an intentional act of misconduct. If the case goes to trial and the plaintiff is awarded damages for the driver’s misconduct, it is possible the DUI driver’s insurance company will not pay for damages.

An umbrella policy is an extra insurance that provides coverage beyond the existing limits of other policies, such as coverage for injuries, property damage, certain lawsuits, and personal liability situations. However, an umbrella policy will likely not cover costs if you commit a crime, such as driving under the influence.

 

Could Car Insurance Rates Be Affected by a Cannabis DUI?

 

Car insurance company practices are evolving to keep up with the ever-changing cannabis laws, and there is uncertainty about whether cannabis use could become a factor in setting rates. Regardless of the circumstances, any kind of car accident or DUI conviction can negatively affect your car insurance, possibly resulting in higher premiums, cancellation of your coverage, or difficulty in finding new coverage.

The most important piece of advice to prevent a cannabis DUI? Don’t drive high.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is important to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

If you’re a medical or recreational cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges, consider what a reepher membership has to offer.

Pot Testing Protocols — How Do Employers & Police Test For Cannabis?

Cannabis and careers usually don’t mix. However, as marijuana becomes more mainstream, some big-name companies are ditching stringent THC requirements. For instance, Amazon made headlines in 2021 when it got rid of its cannabis drug tests. Also, many surveys suggest more companies are relaxing their stance towards cannabis-related screenings.

That being said, cannabis remains federally illegal, and most businesses still have THC restrictions related to employment. Plus, there are even stricter laws against driving under the influence of marijuana. Since cannabis remains federally illegal, everyone needs to take these laws and penalties seriously.

To help determine whether someone has been using cannabis, scientists have devised a few drug screening tests. If an employer or officer suspects you of using marijuana, they’ll likely ask you to submit one of these analyses. The results from your drug test could have a significant impact on your career, so you must understand just what they’re testing for.

 

What’s The Standard Cannabis Screening From Employers?

 

There are a few ways employers could scan for cannabis, but the most common test is a urine sample. Labs are most interested in using this sample to check for traces of the high-inducing cannabinoid delta-9 THC. However, technicians could also pick up THC metabolites in urine. These broken-down particles also indicate a person has used a THC-heavy strain at some point in the past.

While not as common, it’s possible to detect THC in a person’s blood, saliva, or hair. However, most companies prefer urine samples because they tend to be simpler to collect.

It’s worth mentioning that most employee drug screenings don’t just test for THC. Often, these urine tests can detect other federally-banned drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or meth. Some drug tests also scan for high amounts of prescription opioids.

 

Could Police Order A Cannabis Drug Screening?

 

It’s not just employers that could force you to take a cannabis screening. Police officers have the right to order a cannabis drug test if they suspect you are using marijuana. This is especially true if police have “reasonable cause” to believe you’re under the influence of cannabis while driving.

Often, if a police officer suspects someone of using cannabis, they will enlist the assistance of a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). Qualified DREs usually ask drivers to perform visual and balancing tests to determine whether they’ve used marijuana. DREs may also scan a person’s eyes and monitor their heart rate for more information.

Depending on the findings from this study—as well as any circumstantial evidence—police could request a blood or urine sample from a driver. Like employee drug screenings, these samples could detect delta-9 THC and metabolites.

While drivers could refuse a drug screening test, they often face harsh penalties like a license suspension. However, some states allow drivers to speak with an attorney before submitting to a cannabis DUI test. Also, many jurisdictions let drivers get a second drug screening with a qualified technician or nurse.

 

How Much THC Qualifies As “Impairment?”

 

A trial put out by the National Institute of Justice recently found no significant correlation between THC levels and impairment. While THC doses over 5 mg caused noticeable physiological effects, there was no standard amount of THC in each participant’s body at the time of “impairment.”

After analyzing multiple blood, urine, and saliva samples, researchers found these THC tests couldn’t give a good read on a person’s physiological effects. Sometimes patients had little THC in their blood, but the cannabis product had a noticeable impact. Conversely, since THC has such a long half-life, it could remain in a person’s body long after the effects fade.

 

Could Police Scan Cannabis With A Breathalyzer?

 

There’s still no breathalyzer that can detect THC metabolites. However, some scientists are working on a THC breath-scanning device. As of today, it’s still unclear when these THC breathalyzers will ever be deployed in North America.

 

What’s The Minimum Limit Of THC For A DUI?

 

Most states have a zero-tolerance policy for THC. So, no matter how little THC you have in your system, it could be considered a DUI in most municipalities. However, a few states with recreational cannabis laws have a limit of 5 ng/mL of THC for cannabis DUIs.

 

How Long Does Cannabis Linger In A Smoker’s System?

 

There’s no simple way to figure out how long cannabis stays in each person’s body. Everyone has a different metabolism and endocannabinoid system. A smoker’s weight and age may also influence how long cannabinoids remain in their bloodstream. There’s even evidence that different cannabis products (e.g., edibles, vape juices, and flowers) could affect cannabinoid absorption.

Most tests suggest THC metabolites have a relatively long half-life. Indeed, these THC-related chemicals could stay in a person’s body for about ten days after using a marijuana product.

Of course, the more often someone uses cannabis, the longer THC will remain in their system. Frequent cannabis users could have detectable traces of THC in their urine for months.

 

Could CBD Hemp Flowers Affect Drug Screenings?

 

CBD hemp is touted as a legal, non-psychoactive alternative to THC marijuana. Although CBD products with ≤ 0.3 percent THC are federally legal, that doesn’t mean they can’t ruin a drug screening.

Please remember that everyone absorbs cannabinoids at different rates. Since full-spectrum CBD products have some traces of THC, there’s a chance these metabolites could wind up in a urine screening.

Customers should carefully scan their CBD products for THC percentages before using them. Reputable CBD companies should provide third-party lab analyses to confirm their THC levels. Broad-spectrum and CBD isolate products should have zero percent THC, but consumers must double-check their company’s lab results before using them.

 

Always Take Weed Screenings Seriously!

 

More states are legalizing recreational cannabis, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to use this drug anywhere or anytime. It’s especially important that cannabis consumer’s DON’T DRIVE HIGH.

Even cautious cannabis consumers still take risks when driving a car – as they are likely to fail a drug screening should they be required to take one. This is why reepher offers up to $15,000 in cannabis DUI coverage for the price of a pre-roll. Click here to learn more about reepher’s cannabis DUI coverage.

Moonshine, Marijuana, & Motorists — How Do Post-Prohibition Laws Affect Cannabis DUIs?

Recreational marijuana may be new, but lawmakers are looking to the past for guidance. Plenty of cannabis activists have pointed out the many similarities between alcohol and pot laws from Prohibition through legalization. Interestingly, these comparisons may extend into the realm of DUI legislation. Many states that allow recreational weed are using drunk driving laws as a model for their cannabis policies.

While there isn’t a 1:1 comparison between how alcohol and weed impacts driving, there are some interesting parallels worth considering. Also, since alcohol DUIs predate legal pot, they play a significant role in shaping today’s cannabis statutes. Even though cannabis and alcohol are unique substances, the law has yet to catch up with the latest science. Tokers need to know the DUI policies in their state to avoid legal issues.

 

Background On Booze Bureaucracy — A Brief History On DUI Laws

 

Most legal scholars believe DUI laws first appeared in America in the early 20th century. Interestingly, early DUI laws in New York didn’t specify how much alcohol was enough to be considered “drunk driving.” Due to a lack of hi-tech testing equipment, police officers could arrest drivers suspected of DUI.

Progress on DUI standardization only picked up steam as scientists developed reliable ways to measure BAC. The most significant innovation in this field was Robert Frank Borkenstein’s Breathanalyzer. However, even with this tool, each state had its own definition of what constituted “drunk driving.” Believe it or not, some states had a BAC threshold as high as 0.15 percent!

According to most lawyers, America seriously clamped down on drunk driving after Candace Lightner created Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 1980. This non-profit group influenced many states to intensify their stance against boozed driving. A few decades later, President Clinton forced states to lower their BAC threshold to 0.08 percent. Today, every state in America has a per se BAC limit of 0.08 percent (except Utah, which has a limit of 0.05 percent).

 

What Does Alcohol-Based DUI Have To Do With Cannabis DUIs?

 

The most glaring similarity between early alcohol laws and current cannabis DUIs is the lack of standardization. Like the first few decades of DUI enforcement, each state has different ideas on what constitutes the “legal threshold” for THC.

For instance, the legal limit for THC in states like Colorado is 5 ng/ml. However, many states have zero-tolerance THC laws on the books. Like the early days of alcohol enforcement, police in many states could arrest drivers if they suspect cannabis was involved.

 

Is “Stoned Driving” The Same As Driving Drunk?

 

Since alcohol has been legally available longer than cannabis, it has has become the de facto standard for DUI legislation. Indeed, many lawmakers assume cannabis and alcohol have similarly detrimental effects on motor skills. In reality, there are many unanswered questions about how cannabinoids affect driving.

For instance, a recent survey conducted by AAA looked for differences between drivers who consumed THC and those who did not. While researchers found cannabis smokers had poor scores on field sobriety tests, there was no evidence the limit of 5 ng/ml THC had any basis in science.

Interestingly, AAA said 23 percent of drivers arrested for DUI only had THC in their system. Most of these DUI drivers had THC as well as another intoxicant like alcohol.

But before tokers celebrate these findings, there are plenty of other studies that show THC has an adverse effect on driving. For instance, recent research out of the Netherlands tracked how much drivers swerved after vaping 13.75 mg of THC, THC and CBD, CBD, or a placebo. According to this trial, drivers who took THC or THC and CBD had driving scores comparable to someone with a 0.05 percent BAC. These adverse effects seemed to last at least 4 hours after vaping THC.

Clearly, THC has some effect on motor skills, especially minutes after using marijuana. Indeed, recent data strongly suggests THC has the most significant impact on driving performance during and immediately after smoking a joint. Even organizations like NORML encourage responsible tokers to avoid driving for a period of time after using marijuana.

 

Why Is Scanning For THC So Complicated?

 

Even if scientists discover an average THC percentage that affects driving patterns, measuring this drug isn’t as simple as scanning for blood-alcohol content. Recent research strongly suggests THC can remain in a person’s system for days, weeks, or months after taking cannabis.

Some studies even suggest higher THC scores aren’t necessarily correlated with poor driving performance. Indeed, THC levels tend to rise minutes after smoking marijuana, but pot’s psychoactivity is at its “highest” immediately after taking the first hit.

It’s also essential to remember that each marijuana strain has different effects, and each user reacts to cannabis differently. Generally speaking, younger and inexperienced users will have greater psychomotor impairment versus experienced cannabis users.

Searching for the “precise” THC level seems to be a holdover from alcohol-based DUI enforcement. While this model promises scientific precision, it doesn’t correspond with recent findings on THC absorption.

 

Will DUIs Be Applied Similarly To Recreational vs. Medical Users?

 

Another issue lawmakers face with THC-related DUIs is the distinction between medical and recreational cannabis. Unlike alcohol, cannabis is considered a medicinal substance for thousands of MMJ cardholders. This legal complication could put medical marijuana in the same bracket as prescription drugs, which are also subject to stringent DUI policies.

Interestingly, leaders at the Heritage Foundation recently suggested heightening the BAC levels for medical marijuana patients. Since most THC-related crashes also involve alcohol, foundation leaders hope this change might deter marijuana users from mixing other drugs.

However, there’s no mention of how these THC restrictions should apply to recreational users in the USA. At this point, most states don’t have separate DUI laws for medical vs. recreational smokers. This means any cannabis consumer risks DUI charges, regardless of whether or not the consumer had a medical card.

 

What Should Cannabis Users Know About DUI Laws?

 

Despite all of the questions surrounding cannabis DUI policy, Americans who use weed must take these laws seriously. As mentioned above, many of today’s cannabis DUI laws are based on developments in alcohol legislation. Until there’s more scientific evidence on how THC affects driving, it’s unlikely states will significantly relax their stance.

Since THC is metabolized differently by every driver, it’s impossible to say how much marijuana is too much. According to the latest research, however, every cannabis consumer should avoid driving for a period of time after using marijuana. When in doubt, smokers should rely on public transit or ride-share services to get around safely.

Considering most states have no minimum THC threshold for a DUI conviction, regular cannabis consumers face serious risks if they drive with the slightest trace of THC in their system. With few exceptions, police can charge a driver with a marijuana DUI no matter how little THC is in their test if their driving behavior suggests or implies intoxication. The penalties drivers will face for a cannabis DUI conviction are severe and not to be taken lightly!

 

Worried About Cruising as a Cannabis Consumer? Get reepher On Your Side

 

Whether you’re a recreational or medical user, it never hurts to have expert legal assistance at the ready. That’s where reepher steps in. If you’re charged with a cannabis DUI reepher will pay up to $15,000 for your defense. For more information on reepher’s cannabis DUI coverage check out this page.

When Does Weed Leave The Bloodstream? — How Long Marijuana Stays In An Average Adult’s Body

Unlike some other drugs, THC doesn’t “go away” shortly after its effects wear off. Even if users don’t feel “high,” there’s a significant chance they could have residual THC compounds in their cells. Cannabis consumers must keep this feature of marijuana in mind; a positive THC screening could result in costly repercussions.

So, how long does it take for cannabis to filter out of the body? Unfortunately, scientists can’t give a precise answer. While we know THC is detectable long after ingestion, how long it stays in each user’s system depends on multiple factors.

It may be impossible to give a “one-size-fits-all” answer for THC absorption, but a few recent findings could be of use to MMJ patients and recreational consumers alike.

 

How Long Will THC Stay In The Body?

 

The short answer is that delta-9 THC could remain in a person’s body anywhere between a few days to a few months. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to get more specific than that.

A significant reason researchers have a tricky time tracking THC has to do with its metabolites. Interestingly, even if there’s no delta-9 in a person’s body, there could be one of many compounds related to delta-9 THC.

When delta-9 THC goes through a person’s liver, it breaks down into roughly eighty THC metabolites. Many scientists believe these secondary chemicals remain in the body long after delta-9 clears via urine or feces.

Research out of Bangalore suggests delta-9 THC has a half-life of about 1.3 days in occasional users. However, Mayo Clinic scientists believe the metabolite THC-COOH could be found in urine within seven days after smoking a joint.

Not only do delta-9 THC and metabolites remain for a long time, new data suggests it appears in a person’s bloodstream almost immediately. Indeed, the University of Bern reports THC concentrations in blood plasma peak at five minutes post-ingestion.

For extra complexity, all of these THC molecules are fat-soluble. Unlike water-soluble nutrients like B vitamins, THC won’t dissolve in water and quickly pass via the kidneys. Instead, delta-9 and its metabolites will attach to the body’s fat cells. It could take many days for these stored THC molecules to get released and exit the body.

 

Will A Person’s Average Weekly Weed Usage Affect THC Readings?

 

Of the many factors that affect THC absorption, average weekly usage is the most significant.

Simply put: The more cannabis a person consumes, the longer THC will stay in their system.

Also, the more weed a person takes, the more likely they will score a positive result on a standard drug screening.

Findings out of the Mayo Clinic suggest THC detection scores range from about three days to 90 days in urine samples after participants smoked cannabis. Those on the low end of this spectrum took cannabis no more than three times per week. People closer to the 90-day extreme took at least two cannabis products per day.

Another test from the University of Bristol examined hair samples from over 130 participants. Scientists organized these groups into three categories: chronic, light, and non-users. After analyzing a 1 cm hair sample from every patient, scientists noticed a correlation between each person’s self-reported cannabis use and the likelihood of a positive result.

Lab technicians found high concentrations of cannabinoids like THC in 75 percent of study participants who used cannabis “chronically.” By contrast, about 40 percent of those in the “light user” category had positive cannabinoid readings in their hair samples.

 

Could Different Drug Tests Show Different THC Blood Concentration?

 

While cannabis use frequency plays a significant role in THC absorption, different testing methods could give unique readings on THC percentages.

For instance, scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital recently examined how long different test samples could detect THC. Of the various methods tested, blood and saliva had the shortest detection window of roughly 24 hours after smoking cannabis. Sweat was higher at between 7 – 14 days when using a sweat patch, while urine tests had an average cutoff of 30 days. Lastly, scientists claimed hair samples could detect marijuana use at least 90 days after smoking.

However, other studies suggest cannabis compounds could remain for much longer in saliva samples. For instance, the National Institutes of Health discovered traces of THC in saliva from chronic users after ~ 28 days of using cannabis.

Although we’re still learning how testing methods affect THC readings, it’s clear each method has a unique sensitivity to this cannabinoid. However, every test will detect THC and metabolites for a more extended period the more frequently people use cannabis.

 

Does Weight Weigh On A THC Screening?

 

As mentioned above, THC and its metabolites are fat-soluble. Therefore, most of these compounds will settle in fat cells for days and weeks before being released into the bloodstream.

Given THC’s fat-soluble nature, most scientists assume a person’s weight could influence how long THC remains in their body. The more fat cells there are, the more available “space” THC has to latch onto. Therefore, it probably takes more time for people with an above-average BMI to clear THC from their system.

Although there’s no empirical data tying a person’s weight to the time it takes THC to leave, there’s plenty of evidence that suggests THC clings to fat cells. In fact, a study out of St. Olav University Hospital found that physical exercise increases THC and metabolites in a person’s bloodstream.

Since activities like running “burn” fat cells, they speed up the release of stored THC. For this reason, many people seem to have higher THC concentrations in a urine test shortly after a workout. Even if an athlete didn’t take THC for a few days, it’s likely more metabolites are entering their bloodstream after an intense run.

 

Does CBD Oil Complicate Drug Screenings?

 

In theory, CBD should help people metabolize THC faster. According to most studies, CBD blocks THC from landing on CB1 receptors, which means any THC in a hemp product should leave the body relatively quickly.

However, scientists believe THC molecules could be stored in fat cells for days or weeks after ingestion—even if you’re taking a CBD-rich product. Please remember that THC breaks down into dozens of metabolites.

So, while drug tests don’t screen for CBD, that doesn’t mean hemp products can’t trigger a positive THC reading. Per US law, full-spectrum hemp derivatives could have as much as ≤ 0.3 percent delta-9 THC. Depending on a person’s metabolism, it’s possible THC metabolites could be detectable for days or weeks after smoking CBD hemp or taking a full-spectrum edible, oil, or tincture.

 

Afraid Of Cannabis Readings? reepher’s Team Can Provide Relief

 

It’s scary not knowing how much THC is in your bloodstream. Even if you haven’t taken cannabis for a while, there’s a chance some THC could still be in your system. Since marijuana tests can have significant consequences, cannabis users need to be extra careful about taking this herb.

If you’re concerned about driving as a regular cannabis consumer, you’re not alone! reepher provides up to $15,000 in cannabis DUI coverage so you can be a little less paranoid while driving sober. Click here to learn more about DUI coverage for the price of a pre-roll.

The Dangers Of Cannabis And Driving

Nobody doubts that alcohol adversely affects driving. If you ask people about driving with cannabis, however, you’re bound to get a boatload of responses.

While research into “riding with reefer” is ongoing, pot does not improve a driver’s skills. Unlike what some consumers want to believe, recent data shows consuming cannabis negatively impacts driving. Recreational and medical consumers need to be extra careful about when they consume and never drive under the influence of cannabis.

There may not be mountains of data on “high driving,” but a few trends have emerged in recent years. A quick review of the latest research should help thoughtful users understand the risks of using weed behind the wheel.

 

Do Cannabis Laws Lead To More Crashes? — What The Data Shows

 

Establishing causation is always tricky; especially when researchers are dealing with a federally illegal drug. However, new evidence suggests that states with recreationally legal cannabis laws have more police-reported crashes.

Indeed, this was a crucial finding in a new IIHS report that analyzed collisions in six states between 2012 – 2016. Three of these states—Colorado, Oregon, and Washington—have cannabis laws that allow recreational use. The nearby control states (Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah) forbid recreational weed.

According to IIHS analysts, the states with legal weed experienced an average increase of 5.2 percent in traffic crashes. Interestingly, collision stats in states without recreational pot dipped by one percent.

These IIHS findings are similar to those in a 2018 report by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). Instead of tracking police-reported crashes, the HLDI examined average collision claims in states with and without recreational weed. The HLDI’s data found that Colorado and Washington State experienced a significant increase in crash claims versus nearby non-recreational states.

As state governments looked closer into this issue, they discovered something quite alarming—cannabis isn’t the sole culprit in most crash cases. These findings have led many state officials to propose a new DUI category: “poly-drug driving.”

 

What Is Poly-Drug Driving? 

 

“Poly-drug driving” is precisely what it sounds like: driving under the influence of two or more drugs. This classification is significant to know because it’s the primary reason drivers who test positive for cannabis get into fatal crashes.

Both the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice have raised concerns over the correlation between poly-drug driving and crash fatalities. Washington State claims that 44 percent of drivers involved in deadly crashes had more than one drug in their system. In 2016, poly-drug driving contributed to 2,264 Colorado collision cases.

By far, the most common combination of drugs is alcohol and THC. Indeed, Colorado found that just 15.5 percent of poly-drug crashes in 2016 didn’t involve THC and liquor. When Colorado officials detected THC in a driver’s bloodstream, there was a 70 percent chance they also had alcohol.

Washington’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey also found that cannabis smokers were more likely to engage in risky behaviors. Binge drinking was the most common dangerous habit associated with cannabis consumers. Researchers also found that cannabis consumers were more likely to drive “buzzed” or neglect to wear their seat belt.

A 2016 AAA study supported all of these state-sponsored findings. After pouring over hundreds of THC-related DUI reports, AAA found that 23 percent had just cannabis in their system. All of the other cannabis DUI cases had both alcohol and THC.

Even the US Department of Transportation claims that drivers who took alcohol and cannabis are at an 8.4-times greater risk of getting into a fatal crash. These findings strongly suggest alcohol plays a crucial role in fatal cannabis-related crashes.

 

How Does Alcohol Affect THC?

 

Since alcohol plays a significant role in THC-related collisions, many scientists are interested in how these drugs work together. In fact, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) conducted a trial examining this very issue.

For this study, researchers gave adults one of three vape cartridges. The first group had a placebo, while the other two inhaled varying amounts of THC. Shortly afterward, each participant was given a tiny amount of alcohol or a placebo.

When scientists analyzed the THC in each person’s bloodstream, they discovered the total THC concentration was highest in those who vaped and drank alcohol. For instance, people who took the higher dose of THC plus alcohol had 67.5 µg/L THC in their bloodstream. On the flip side, those who just vaped a high-THC strain had 42.2 µg/L THC.

While doctors are still investigating these drug interactions, the study indicates alcohol intensifies the effects of THC. Findings like these help explain why alcohol plays a prevalent role in cannabis-related crash fatalities.

 

Is It OK To Take THC Before Driving? 

 

Short answer: no.

Since cannabis crash fatalities are closely associated with alcohol, some people assume that THC isn’t a serious threat. In fact, a survey out of Washington State found that only 36 percent of pot smokers said cannabis negatively affects driving. For comparison, 77 percent of non-cannabis smokers said weed weakened driving skills.

This survey also revealed remarkable differences in how various age groups felt about cannabis and driving. Generally speaking, the younger the driver, the less likely they expressed concern over weed’s effects. Over 50 percent of respondents aged 15 – 20 said cannabis improves driving skills. Only 13 – 17 percent of drivers aged 21 – 35 agreed with this statement.

There seem to be two reasons some people dismiss the ill effects of THC. The first has to do with alcohol’s involvement in many cannabis crashes. The second (and arguably more common) explanation has to do with the “lack” of scientific research.

Because cannabis is federally illegal, it’s still not particularly accessible for testing purposes. Indeed, it’s only in the past few years that reputable universities have been able to study the intricacies of marijuana cannabinoids.

However, there are enough high-quality, placebo-controlled studies that show THC adversely affects a user’s motor skills. For instance, the AAA study mentioned above found that cannabis smokers had weaker scores on field sobriety tests. Also, research out of the Netherlands discovered that drivers who vaped THC or THC and CBD had worse lane weaving than drivers who took CBD or a placebo.

A recent Boston University trial also examined the effects of low-dose THC, THC and CBD, and CBD on a driver’s psychomotor skills. The data from this study showed that THC and the THC/CBD mix weakened a person’s driving ability.

So, despite what many consumers want to believe, THC will put you in danger while driving. Even the cannabis advocacy group NORML admits that THC has “acute” effects on driving performance.

These negative effects are most pronounced in younger and inexperienced cannabis smokers. As evidenced by the survey results above, consumers in their teens tend to underestimate weed’s effects on driving abilities—often resulting in tragic consequences. Indeed, NORML reports that drivers between 18 – 25 are most likely to take risks like driving after consuming pot and alcohol.

 

How Much THC Is Too Much Before Driving?

 

Although many trials suggest THC affects motor skills, it’s impossible to figure out an average “THC threshold.” Indeed, the Mayo Clinic recently said traces of delta 9 THC could be in a person’s urine four hours after taking marijuana. Experienced tokers may have THC in their body for weeks after smoking cannabis. Therefore, THC levels could appear elevated long after the “high” wears off.

Unlike alcohol, cannabinoids and THC-related metabolites have a relatively long half-life. This makes tracking THC levels a tricky way to assess a person’s driving skills.

Given all of these complications, it’s near impossible to recommend a “safe” cannabis dosage. For the time being, NORML urges responsible cannasseurs to refrain from driving after using a cannabis product. Cannabis consumers should only use weed when they don’t have to drive for a long period of time.

 

Worried About Cannabis DUI? reepher Can Help

 

Cannabis DUI laws may seem like a drag, but they are essential for public safety. Although we’re still learning how cannabis affects driving skills, it’s clear that many serious car crashes involve weed and alcohol. Recent research also suggests THC hinders driving performance.  Cannabis consumers need to understand these potential risks before hitting the road.

Even if you’re a responsible driver, please remember that THC has a long half-life. There’s always a chance your THC level may be above the tolerated limit, especially if you consume regularly. To help cannabis consumers deal with this risk, reepher offers up to $15,000 in dui coverage. Click here to learn how you can protect yourself for the price of a pre-roll.