Cannabis, CBD & Reaction Time

Cannabis, CBD and Reaction Time

Cannabis users can experience a range of side effects. One of those can include a slower reaction time. What causes this to happen? And is there anything you can do about it?

What is known about cannabis, CBD and reaction time?

Reaction time performance may involve two phases: an early, attention-demanding phase which is sensitive to drug effects and a later “automatic” phase which results from practice and is more resistant to drug effects.

Cortico-striatal networks are neural circuits in the brain, and they are essential for producing movement as well as motor learning and control. According to a recent study, exposure to cannabis has significant effects on cortico-striatal networks

But, according to another study performed on six cannabis users, simple and complex reaction time was not significantly affected by cannabis or by the interaction between drug conditions and the amount of information transmitted during the task given.

While these studies are all helpful in understanding cannabis and potential impacts to our reaction time, they do not cite these effects while controlling for dosage, the cannabinoid ratio in the product (THC vs. CBD), the strain, the ingestion method, or a host of other factors that can hinder reaction time. 

It appears that CBD are often free of this side effect due to the absence or extremely low levels of THC present in the product. This is one of the reasons CBD is a popular choice for individuals seeking similar benefits to cannabis.

What can you do to avoid slowed reaction time?

This is a difficult question to answer given the lack of scientific research around cannabis. Because of the federal prohibition on cannabis, the scientific community hasn’t been able to perform the rigorous studies needed to truly understand which cannabinoids and terpenes are responsible for which effects.

Anecdotally, according to some users, using a smaller dose may help minimize side effects from cannabis. According to others, the cannabinoids or strains play a bigger role in impacted reaction times.

Please: Don’t drive or operate heavy machinery (or do anything requiring fast reaction time, really) while you’re using cannabis. Studies have found a direct relationship between blood THC concentration and impaired driving ability.

Some people enjoy the feeling of just being a little slow. Others don’t.

Getting answers with Jointly

Jointly is Your Cannabis Companion – a smartphone app that answers your important questions by aggregating experiences from a community of users just like you. Jointly is safe, secure, private, unbiased, and easy to use. Jointly only includes legal and licensed products from legal and licensed brands.

Using Jointly, you can learn about products and methods which may reduce or eliminate the side effects you are experiencing.

Jointly can help you identify the best products for your goals, based on real experiences of other people, like you, with the same goals.

Then, Jointly helps you learn how to use those products to their full potential. You can determine your optimal dose, and learn how the quality of your cannabis experience can be impacted by sleep, hydration, exercise, diet, and more.

We hope you get the results you deserve. And, be sure to learn about the steps you can take to increase your odds of success.

And, if you have any feedback or ideas for improving Jointly, please let us know. We’re here to help, but also to learn.


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In no way is any of the information contained on this site or in the Jointly app intended to be a medical or prescriptive guide or a substitute for informed medical advice or care. If you believe or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your doctor or health care provider. You should never delay seeking or disregard advice from a medical professional based on something you have read here.

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