Why are cannabis smokers usually thin?

The main intoxicating component of the hemp plant (cannabis) is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC can be detected in the body for an extremely long time, so the THC values ​​can still be positive even after a long time.

So if you have consumed cannabis, you will certainly ask yourself more often than not, after which period of time you can drive safely again or whether your driver's license will be withdrawn in the event of a police check including blood or urine tests. Of course, this depends on the THC values ​​you have determined (you can find more about the importance of the THC values ​​for driving license withdrawal here: THC value and driving license withdrawal and here: driving license withdrawal and cannabis).

One of the decisive factors in the context of a driving license revocation is your determined person active THC level (i.e. the still (psycho-) active THC in the body), on the other hand the THC-COOH value. THC-COOH is a metabolite, i.e. a breakdown product of THC.

1. The active THC level

Due to the rate at which it is broken down in the blood, THC can only be detected for a limited time (more on this in a moment). The active THC value can therefore be seen as how long it was last used.

If you found a THC concentration of at least 1.0 ng / ml in your blood serum while driving a motor vehicle, you have (unfortunately) already fulfilled a requirement for the withdrawal of your driving license: the lack of ability to distinguish between cannabis consumption and driving. A THC concentration of 1.0 ng / ml is too much according to the current case law and it then considers a risk to other road users to be given (the case law is currently still adhering to the value of 1.0 ng / ml, although the limit value commission is adhering to it has meanwhile spoken out in favor of a limit value of 3.0 ng / ml in order to be able to assume a lack of separation ability - more on this here: Current information on driving license law).

For you, of course, this means only using your car if your THC concentration is below the limit value of 1.0 ng / ml. So far still very easy. But there is no surefire way to calculate the level of THC in your blood, and most studies do not agree and even contradict each other.

Your THC concentration after cannabis use depends on many factors. Your own consumption pattern is particularly important:

- at regularconsumption of cannabis, a THC concentration above the limit of 1.0 ng / ml can still be determined 72 hours (!) after the end of consumption.

- but also at less heavy consumption Detection is still possible after 24 hours, sometimes even after 48 hours.

- with only (very) occasional or single use of cannabis, the THC concentration drops to an average of around 1.0 ng / ml within six hours of smoking, even after high doses.

The only thing that can be seen from the whole is that with increasing consumption there is also a significantly longer detectability of THC. Extremely frustrating, you will think now. But there are definitely no instructions, no recommended time intervals and no safe tips to avoid the risk of driving license disqualification from cannabis use.

For regular users and cannabis users almost daily, this also means that this does not go together with driving a car. During a check-up, your THC concentration in the blood should regularly exceed the limit value.

If you consume less, you should leave your car for at least 24 hours (no guarantee), depending on the frequency and amount of consumption, it might be 48 hours.

However, if your active THC value is above the limit of 1.0 ng / ml during a check-up and a blood sample has been ordered, you do not have to panic upside down. You can find out how you can avoid driving license disqualification here: Avoiding driving license disqualification.

2. The THC-COOH value

THC-COOH is a non-intoxicating breakdown product of THC. It is lipophilic and is therefore deposited in body fat. The metabolism now ensures that these substances are broken down and the breakdown products are excreted in the urine. THC-COOH has the unpleasant property for the driver that it degrades very slowly and also unpredictably. This is also due to the fact that weight reduction, i.e. diet, or stress can influence the detection of cannabis use.

The THC-COOH values ​​provide information about how often Cannabis was consumed. The consumption behavior can be determined on the basis of the values, i.e. whether you consume regularly or (only) occasionally. This has to do with the fact that THC-COOH is more easily absorbed by fat than it is broken down in fat. The result is that with continuous cannabis consumption, the THC-COOH accumulates in adipose tissue. To give a (simplified) example:

You have a bucket half full of water that has a hole in the bottom. The water runs out of the hole from the bucket until it is empty after 3 days. But if you pour water into the half-full bucket every day instead, the liquid level will rise continuously.

Translation: You consume cannabis, which is converted into THC-carboxylic acid (THC-COOH) and deposited in adipose tissue. If there is no further consumption, the THC-COOH is excreted in the urine. However, if it is consumed again every following day, the carboxylic acid level (the THC-COOH value) continues to rise, and then at some point it reaches values ​​that suggest that regular consumption is taking place.

Unfortunately, if regular cannabis use is detected, you can say goodbye to your driver's license: your driving license will be withdrawn. The courts are once again not in agreement about which values ​​testify to regular consumption, which offers the possibility of taking action against a (threatened) driving license withdrawal.

However, the following values ​​can be used as a guideline for regular or occasional consumption:

When examined within a period of up to eight days, has a THC-COOH value of 75 ng / ml result, so leaves this on regular Close consumption (as already said, some courts assume regular consumption even with a lower value - obviously every judge how he wants and how he interprets or wants to interpret studies ...)

However, if, for example, a blood test is carried out during a police check shortly after driving, due to the lack of degradation between the announcement and blood collection, according to prevailing case law, proof of regular consumption of cannabis can only be considered to be established from a THC-COOH value of more than 150 ng / ml become.

With a THC-COOH value between 5 - 75 ng / ml, the dishes go from at least depending on the federal state occasional Cannabis use. Occasional use of cannabis is not enough to revoke your driving license. There is also a lack of ability to differentiate between driving and consumption.

Even with urine tests, there are no fixed deadlines or rigid limits as to how long and which consumption can be proven. Studies have shown that habitual cannabis users still produced positive results for cannabinoids in the urine after 77 days. And let's be honest: I have already seen evidence of THC in the urine in my legal practice after more than three months (as far as the statements made to me by the consumers about the last consumption were correct, which I am convinced of).

Summarized again, the following applies:

The active THC value indicates when cannabis was last consumed.

The THC-COOH value indicates how often cannabis was consumed.

The following consequences result from these values ​​in terms of driving license law:

- one-time trial consumption leads Not to revoke your driving license (so your lawyer will be happy if you have not yet provided any information about your consumption !!!).

- If you are an occasional consumer, the driving license authorities must also prove that you cannot distinguish between driving and cannabis use. This is the case if you have a THC level of 1.0 ng / mL or more while on a drug ride.

- As a regular user, your driving license will be withdrawn without you having been caught driving a drug.

If you have been stopped on a drug trip, you should (of course) initially not provide any information about the matter and consult a lawyer as soon as possible. I can also only advise cannabis use immediately and entirely to discontinue for a few months! The driving license authority can order a medical report to prove the occasional consumption. This can still happen months after the drug trip. If THC was then detected in the blood during the intoxication and again as part of the medical report (maybe months later), the authorities have definitely proven that you have consumed twice and that is already occasional consumption. Then it can no longer be shown that the use of cannabis during the drug trip was a one-off trial use.

Important: If you have already received a driving ban and a fine as part of an administrative offense procedure in accordance with § 24a StVG, you can Not makes it easier to consume cannabis again and smoke your after-work joint: the administrative offense procedure according to § 24a StVG has nothing to do with the driving license procedure. This means that even after you have served the driving ban and paid a fine, you can face driving disqualification. The two procedures run side by side. Even if you (should) feel doubly punished with it, you can both Procedure to come to you.