New research has found that cannabis breathalyzers are inconsistent in measuring THC impairment. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana that induces a high. This compound usually binds with receptors in the brain that control mood and pain, among other feelings.
The study was carried out in Australia by University of Sydney researchers.
For their research, the investigators conducted an analysis of 28 studies on the concentration of THC in saliva and blood and driving performance. The studies included in the analysis focused on how THC divided attention and impacted an individual’s reaction time. These two skills are necessary for safe driving.
The idea of cannabis breathalyzers is based on alcohol breathalyzers, which are used to assess an individual’s blood alcohol levels. These devices are mostly used by law enforcement officers and administered on the road. Alcohol breathalyzers have been used efficiently for a while now to provide relatively accurate evaluations on intoxication levels and how they impact a person’s driving skills.
However, marijuana breathalyzers don’t seem to be doing the same in providing accurate levels of THC impairment. The researchers’ analysis showed that the link between driving performance and THC impairment was inconsistent. Despite this inconsistency, the researchers also discovered strong connections between impairment and levels of THC in inexperienced marijuana users. However, once marijuana users used the herb several times in a week, these connections disappeared.
In their report, the lead author of the study, Dr. Danielle McCartney, stated that higher concentrations of THC in the blood were weakly linked to increased impairment in occasional marijuana users while no notable relationship was found in regular users of marijuana. McCartney noted that this finding suggests that oral and blood fluid THC concentrations are not the best indicators of marijuana-THC-induced impairment.
Prior studies have also found that THC intoxication presents differently in individuals, as a person who is experienced with marijuana may have the same THC levels in their blood as a person who is inexperienced with it. This means that while the compound can impair an individual’s driving skills, the two individuals will likely have different responses to the drug and how impaired they are by it.
Cannabis breathalyzers were considered to be a solution for solving driving while under the influence of THC, which is an issue that many associate with cannabis legalization. However, this study has highlighted that the devices need to measure a different biomarker in order to provide an accurate assessment of intoxication, as at the moment, they can only prove that an individual has consumed THC.
The controversy over how to ascertain that someone is driving while impaired by marijuana is in a way similar to the inconsistencies that cannabis beverage makers such as BevCanna Enterprises Inc. (CSE: BEV) (OTCQB: BVNNF) (FSE: 7BC) have been facing regarding how many infused drinks a customer can buy at a go while adhering to the total THC concentration limit set by Health Canada as the marijuana laws were formulated.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to BevCanna Enterprises Inc. (CSE: BEV) (OTCQB: BVNNF) (FSE: 7BC) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/BVNNF
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