Dear Dr. Dave,
My husband was in a car accident that occurred at 5 p.m. He hadn’t smoked since the night before, at around 9pm. The police charged him with driving under the influence of cannabis, although he hadn’t smoked since 20 hours prior. Will he still test positive with active THC on the blood they took?
-Alinda in Arizona
The mere presence of THC or its metabolites is not indicative of impairment. It indicates relatively recent use. According to the National High Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), cannabis does not increase accident risk. Some studies show that cannabis actually lowers accident risk.
The NHTSA says if one is “impaired” from cannabis they drive slower and more carefully. The FDA gives the standard psychoactive drug warning for Marinol, or synthetic THC, which has been FDA approved and on the market since 1986, “Warning: Don’t drive, operate heavy equipment or engage in dangerous activity until you determine if it interferes with those activities. Some consumers of cannabis don’t have trouble driving, and in some cases, their driving improves.
Feel free to have your husband’s lawyer give me a call to discuss the science and the possibility of expert witnessing.
-David Bearman, M.D.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Bearman, M.D. is one of the most clinically knowledgeable physicians in the U.S. in the field of medicinal cannabis. He has spent 40 years working in substance and drug abuse treatment and prevention programs. Dr. Bearman was a pioneer in the free and community clinic movement. His career includes public health, administrative medicine, provision of primary care, pain management and cannabinology.
Whoever told this story is full of it. Marijuana really only stays in your blood stream WHILE you’re high… it stays in your fat cells, urine and hair for months sometimes. A simple google from the “doctor” will reveal its only present in blood for 8-10 hours sometimes less. I’m a heavy smoker and have yet to take a “tolerance” break since I started smoking in 1996. Long story short at one point the ATF had picked me up with a warrant for a blood test that I had passed with flying colors because I had been at work all day.
If this guy failed a blood test he had smoked a lot sooner than this lady leads on
The link to ask a question — https://ouncemag.com/drdave — does not work! So I will ask my question here:
Is it common for it to take a whole lot of inhales for marijuana to be effective when it is vaped?
I had never experienced MJ when I tried a very popular vape pen loaded with flower to see if it helped me with chronic pain. After several different tries over several days, I worked up to 3, 10-sec inhales in the first 45 mins, then a 4th inhale over the next hour. Still, I felt no effect whatsoever—not even relaxation. What went wrong?
The flower was fresh and properly crushed according to pen manufacturer instructions. I was exhaling plenty of “cloud” so I know I was doing it correctly.
So does the act of vaping filter out the effective components of MJ? If so, can you suggest in general how many inhales to take over what period of time in order to derive benefit from it? I’d much prefer to vape MJ than smoke it, but if it’s going to be this much trouble, I’m willing to switch to a pipe.