LACHINA, Jan. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) – Here is another piece of evidence that marijuana Potential for driving hazard: As pot has been legalized in many countries and countries, many people driving while intoxicated and fall, researchers say.
THC, which is active in cannabis, has been found among twice as many injured Canadian drivers to be injured since 2018, when marijuana was first approved. The same results are evident in the United States, said senior researcher Dr. Jeffrey Brubacher, associate professor in the department of emergency medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
One prominent US expert on addiction agreed.
“It’s a growing and important field for research,” said Drs. Nora Volkow, director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in a statement. “A recent study found an increase in car accidents in the six months after a Cannabis medical license was issued in Canada, and another study found that the risk of car crash is 15% and the number of fatal deaths is related to 16% in U.S. governments. “where cannabis is legal,” he said.
“As more and more countries seek to legalize marijuana, it is important that we understand how legalization of the habit of alcohol and other health effects can be, including driving risks, identifying regulatory mechanisms and minimizing potential risks,” added Volkow. .
Brubacher said a large pot that is eaten before entering the rear wheel is essential.
“The number of drivers using marijuana, especially drivers with serious problems Price of THC Doses (5 nanograms / mL or higher) are affected, “he said.
Previous studies have found no evidence that low levels of THC (less than 5 ng / mL) are associated with an increased risk of injury, Brubacher said.
“However, excessive use of marijuana can lead to cognitive impairment and psychomotor damage, and there is evidence that drivers with THC levels of 5 ng / mL or higher are at greater risk for falls,” he said.
These shortcomings lead to shorter downtime, instability and traffic congestion, Brubacher said.
“We know that the risk of an accident is higher for drink drivers than for drivers who use marijuana,” he said. “Some previous researchers have also suggested that cannabis legalization could improve road safety if drivers use cannabis instead. alcohol. Unfortunately, we did not find any evidence of a decrease in the number of injured drivers tested alcohol. “
Volkow saw the effects of marijuana on being able to drive more efficiently.
“Numerous studies have shown that marijuana significantly impairs many of the basic skills needed for good driving, including judgment, driving and timing.” Laboratory research has also found a direct link between high levels of THC in the blood and driving. talent, “he said.
“However, this research should be interpreted with caution, as it can be very difficult to establish for any car accident. This is because – unlike alcohol – there are no road tests to test the amount of drugs in the body,” Volkow explained. “This means that tests performed to detect high levels of THC in drivers are usually performed hours after the accident. In addition, marijuana can be detected in body fluids for days or weeks after its final use, and drivers often combine it with drivers. and alcohol, which makes it difficult to determine. What a significant role that cannabis alone played in the accident. “
In this study, Brubacher and colleagues analyzed the amount of THC in the blood from more than 4,300 injured drivers who received treatment at a British Columbia injury site between 2013 and 2020.
Before the pot was approved, approximately 4% of drivers had THC blood exceeding the Canadian legal limit of 2 ng / mL. This increased by about 9% after approval, the researchers found.
The proportion of drivers with high THC levels also increased, from 1% before legal registration to 4% thereafter.
A significant increase was observed among more than 50 drivers. No significant change in drivers attempting to drink alcohol, whether alone or in combination with THC, was observed, the researchers said.
Driving late is advised
Number of drivers for both intoxication and higher was about 2% before legalization and 3% later, the researchers found.
THC blood is usually up to 100 ng / mL within 15 minutes of a smoking pan. Rates drop dramatically, to less than 2 ng / mL within four hours of smoking. After consuming consumed THC, the levels drop dramatically after eight hours, Brubacher said.
According to the data, he advises people not to drive for four hours after smoking a pot and eight hours after eating. Brubacher also warned that mixing alcohol with a pot can be dangerous behind the wheel.
“While these statistics apply to you, and I think there’s reason to be concerned, it’s not that the sky is falling,” he said. “It ‘s not a big problem if we see twice the number of drivers who drink alcohol, because the risk is lower with THC than with alcohol.”
A similar increase in smoking marijuana while driving has been observed in the United States in areas where it has been legalized.
According to Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, a group that promotes change in marijuana laws in the United States, “The same thing has been reported in some US states, such as Washington, with no significant car deaths.”
Although testing for THC can be difficult, Armentano warned that people should not drive a car feeling “high.”
“NORML has a long history of calling for campaigns related to the use of cannabis in driving, and we believe that such campaigns should be part of any legitimate user policy,” Armentano said. “We also have a history of calling for the establishment of additional and accurate rules and tools as well as ways to identify and restrict DUI. [driving under the influence] cannabis behavior. “
The report was published Jan. 13 mu New England Journal of Medicine.
To learn more about marijuana and driving, visit the US National Institute on Drug Abuse.
SOURCES: Jeffrey Brubacher, MD, assistant professor, department of clinical medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Paul Armentano, vice president, NORML, Washington, DC; New England Journal of Medicine, Jan. 13, 2022