The dreaded lag time

Cannabis causes a lag, don’t be caught off guard.

Clock face on table, text overlay reads "What if you lived with lag?"“What’s with this lag?!”

You may have heard this from your favorite gamer in your life, or maybe a nearby computer whiz? When our technology lags it can be frustrating, confusing, and even end in a loss during Fortnite. But what if you lived with the real world?

What if we told you that when you consume cannabis and drive, you do?

Cannabis has measurable effects that impair reaction time in critical situations, similar to the dreaded video game lag. Studies show cannabis impairs critical abilities that lead to impaired driving, including:

  • Slowed reaction time
  • Decreased, divided attention
  • Impaired cognitive performance
  • Relaxed inhibitions
  • Impaired executive functions, including route planning, decision making, and risk-taking, or a combination of all

Despite the facts, the truth is that the more often people consumed cannabis, the less dangerous they considered driving high to be, according to findings from CDOT’s Cannabis Conversation survey.

If your video game was lagging, you would probably take a moment to pause and reset your device. Do you know how long cannabis stays in your system? Public health experts recommend taking time to reset before driving as well.

A recent study from the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at UCSD, combined with the latest information from CDPHE, tells us that cannabis can impair a person’s ability to drive up to 6 hours after smoking, and up to 8 after ingesting edible marijuana products. So next time you consume cannabis, take a break, reset, and do not drive.

For more information on the research behind cannabis and reaction times, visit CDOT’s Drugged Driving resources page.