Friday, November 12, 2021

After inhaling cannabis, a person's driving performance and ability to learn new information takes a nose-dive for many hours.

This is a key finding of new research out of the UI’s National Advanced Driving Simulator in Coralville. It was led in part by University of Iowa College of Pharmacy Professor and Executive Associate Dean Gary Milavetz.

The investigation was a collaboration among the National Institutes of Health, the UI, and Advanced Brain Monitoring. The UI researchers tested their subjects using driving simulations and EEG tests to find brain signatures that correlate to impaired driving ability.

Medical cannabis is legal in Iowa. It can be used to tame symptoms after some cancer treatments, among other things.

Milavetz was a co-author on a paper related to the research. He prepared plant material doses for the study and analyzed data, according to the Daily Iowan.

The project's principal investigator is Chris Berka, CEO and co-founder of Advanced Brain Monitoring.

Cannabis leads people to drive more slowly and blunts their reactions, which is hazardous, Milavetz said. "They... block traffic and make it a challenge for people to go around them."

Read more in the Daily Iowan.