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The center of the downtown campus on March 24, 2021.

As CBD products become more widespread, Toni Marie Rudisill, an assistant research professor in West Virginia University's School of Public Health, is seeking students to participate in a study that will test how CBD impacts driving performance.

Rudisill is investigating how medications and drugs affect driving performance. “My end goal as an injury epidemiologist, I want people to live long, healthy, productive lives,” Rudisill said.

The driving simulation study is being led by Rudisill and funded by the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

40 participants will be randomized into groups that will either receive a placebo or 300 milligrams of CBD oil. Researchers will then assess driving performance along with cognitive tests.

“West Virginia, from a transportation standpoint, we do have an elevated traffic fatality rate,” according to Rudisill. “For West Virginia, I hope that this study can help people make an informed decision about what we take.”

Toni Rudisill

Toni Rudisill, WVU research assistant professor.

Rudisill described what drove her to study CBD’s impact on driving.

“I started seeing CBD popping up for sale after the Farm Bill passed in 2018, and there were a lot of advertisements saying it could help you sleep, can make you less anxious and can help you relax,” Rudisill said. “I wondered if that would impact people's driving performances.”

It appears that CBD products are here to stay. “It's a multi billion dollar industry, it's not going to be going anywhere because it is a very popular substance,” Rudisill said.

Given the popularity and lack of research, Rudisill hopes that this study will support additional research on CBD.

Students interested in participating in the study can contact Rudisill at trudisill@hsc.wvu.edu or study coordinator Cynthia Fisher-Duda at cynthia.fisherduda@hsc.wvu.edu.