Cannabidiol, or simply CBD, is a natural cannabinoid compound that’s typically derived from the hemp plant. It’s actually only one cannabinoid out of 124 different known ones. One of the most common questions we get is: does CBD get you high?
CBD-infused products have recently become more popular, widely due to the changes made in both state and federal laws.
Another popular cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC. THC is the cannabinoid that is notoriously known for getting its’ users high.
In this article, we’ll discuss exactly why CBD oil cannot, and will not, get you high, and compare it to the properties of THC.
Both compounds naturally occur in the cannabis plant, but CBD can be separated from THC throughout the extraction process.
Does CBD Get You High?
First of all, no, taking CBD oil can not get you high.
After CBD has been extracted from hemp or marijuana plants, it can be infused with a number of different products such as oils, tinctures, and creams.
One of the most popular CBD products made is CBD oil. You can take it in different ways including: adding it to food, drinks, or vape pens.
The products are mostly promoted as a natural way to reduce anxiety. Anxiety is a common problem among a lot of people. According to research, CBD oil has been found to have the properties that help with reducing anxiety and depression related symptoms.
Despite being able to do that, it’s still not comparable to the intoxicating effects that recreational marijuana gives.
Nevertheless, when you consume very high concentrations of CBD products, or have more than the recommended dose, it might cause some side effects like nausea or headaches. Some of the more common side effects you might experience from taking high doses of CBD oil include: dizziness and lethargy.
CBD is often infused with edibles, tinctures, oils, and a few other products that include little to no THC (approximately 0.3%).
That said, many people still assume that CBD oil causes the same effects as marijuana. This is not true, at all, and is a common misconception.
Most individuals think that because they’re both derived from the same plant, they have the same mind altering effects. However, CBD alone can’t get you high.
It’s non-intoxicating, so you won’t get “high.”
Related article: Is CBD Addictive?
CBD oil products are mostly derived from hemp, since hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC, by law.
Several states have only legalized hemp derived CBD oil. According to the law, these products should not have more than 0.3% THC.
Again, that amount of THC isn’t enough to cause any psychoactive effects.
What Are The Effects of CBD Oil?
There has been tremendous interest from the general public regarding CBD research due to the numerous amount of potential health benefits.
Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors. CBD products might be capable of reducing the ability of other cannabinoids, including THC, to bind to CB1 receptors.
That can actually lead to a reduction in the intoxicating effects that THC may cause. It can also lead to an increase in the number of circulating cannabinoids.
According to a 2018 review in Surgical Neurology International, it was found that CBD oil products may help reduce inflammation in the brain through indirect binding with CB2 receptors.
Epidiolex was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a CBD prescription that’s cannabis derived for treating Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. The two are rare forms of epilepsy.
Some evidence from preliminary research and anecdotal evidence suggests CBD oils might be effective in treating a number of conditions including:
● Nerve and muscle pain
● Weight loss
● Side effects of chemotherapy
However, despite there being evidence, researchers have to still continue studying the effects and health benefits of CBD products.
The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the cannabinoid can potentially offer therapeutic effects to people who suffer from:
● Chronic pain
● Rheumatoid arthritis among other inflammatory diseases
● Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and Huntington’s disease
● Cardiovascular disease
● Brain injuries arising from restricted blood flow
● Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel
Risks and Side Effects of CBD Oils
CBD reacts differently from person to person.
The majority of people usually experience beneficial results from the compound, but there’s a slight chance it can also lead to adverse side effects for others. While these side effects aren’t necessarily horrible, they still offer discomfort.
For this reason, it’s important to consult your healthcare providers before you decide to start using CBD oils.
Some of these side effects of CBD include:
● Liver damage arising from drug interactions
● Higher risk of sedation, drowsiness, as well as injuries when there’s combined use of alcohol
● Drowsiness and fatigue
● A dry mouth
● Increased agitation and irritability
● Decreased or increased appetite
Are Hemp Derived CBD Products Legal?
Marijuana is classified as a controlled substance in the United States by federal law. Prior to 2018, hemp and marijuana were considered the same thing.
Therefore, CBD that’s derived from hemp is legal in the United States – unless it’s outlawed at the state level.
According to the law in states where recreational or medical marijuana is legal, all CBD products are not allowed to have more than 0.3% THC. You can also find CBD derived from marijuana, which will most likely get you high.
The Laws Surrounding Hemp
Hemp has a rather interesting history.
Did you know that even though hemp is completely non-intoxicating, it was criminalized in 1970 via the Controlled Substances Act?
People assumed that since hemp looked like marijuana, and smelled like marijuana, that is should be banned. While they do look strikingly similar (look at the picture below), they are different.
As you now know, they are very different plants.
It took 48 years for hemp to become removed from this list of controlled substances. The Farm Bill of 2018 (also known as the Agriculture Improvement Act) legalized hemp and hemp derived products. This legislative act makes most CBD legal, as long as it comes from hemp.
What is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?
This is the primary cannabinoid found in the marijuana plant. THC is the primary psychoactive compound people feel the effects from when smoking marijuana.
It usually binds with CB1 (cannabinoid 1) cannabinoid receptors that are found in the brain and are associated with inflammation, pain sensation, memory, learning, and movement.
These are part of a complex bodily system called the endocannabinoid system. Taking CBD can offer positive effects that are because of this system.
Apart from the CB1 receptors, it also binds with CB2 receptors that are found in the hippocampus and brainstem of the central nervous system. They are linked to emotions and memory.
Other endocannabinoid system cells that contain CB2 receptors include: bone cells, immune cells, spleen, and liver. One of the reasons why THC produces very powerful psychological and physical effects is because of the widespread distribution of cannabinoid receptors.
The most common effects of the compound are the psychoactive effects when consumed via recreational marijuana. THC gives you a “high”, which is an altered state of mind where you feel pleasure, euphoria, and sometimes increased sensory perception.
The main difference between the two cannabinoids is that CBD doesn’t cause a “high” like THC. CBD is used by many because of all the benefits it offers.
It helps with conditions such as depression and anxiety. If your goal is to get “high,” then CBD won’t work for you.
Why Does THC Make You High?
Information provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that, when THC binds to CB1 receptors, it stimulates a dopamine release after activating the brain’s reward system.
When there’s a sudden rush of dopamine, you experience a euphoric “high”, associated with recreational use of marijuana. Other common effects associated with THC include:
● Impaired memory
● Increased relaxation
● High appetite
● Dry, red eyes
● Feelings of paranoia and anxiety
● Low concentration levels
● Dry mouth
Comparing Hemp and Marijuana
Both the cannabis and hemp plant contain both THC and CBD together, along with over 540 other substances like terpenes and essential oils.
The main difference is the amount of THC and CBD present in each plant. Cannabis has three standard varieties: indica, ruderalis, and sativa.
A range of hybrid plants exist which also have properties from these strains. Those types of cannabis plants usually have much higher and varying levels of THC compared to hemp plants.
Marijuana plants contain MUCH more THC, as well as less CBD in comparison to hemp. However, over the years, those ratios have substantially changed.
The average potency of marijuana plants has risen from 4% in 1995, to near 28% in 2020. The average CBD levels in marijuana had dropped from 0.28% in 2001 to less than 0.15% in 2014.
This is because people who produce marijuana to get you high aren’t as concerned with CBD, since CBD does not get you high.
Hemp, on the other hand, is a specific variety of cannabis plants. Hemp has been grown for centuries and people use it to make food, ropes, sails, clothes and a wide variety of other items.
Industrial hemp has been popular in the United States for a long time. The 2018 Farm Bill considers sativa plants with less than 0.3% THC as industrial hemp.
It can be legally grown by producers across the United States, except in three states. However, they’re still subject to strict regulations.
The hemp plants contain THC, but very low levels. Some processed hemp products, such as gummies, tinctures, or capsules, can still have residual THC levels of up to 0.3%. This is not enough to get you high, though.
An important thing to note is that the benefits CBD oil offers do not change, no matter if it’s derived from hemp or marijuana. That’s because the chemical composition of CBD remains the same.
The amount of CBD that’s available for extraction does depend on which plant it’s derived from. There’s simply more CBD in the hemp plant.
You Cannot Get High from Using CBD
CBD has been rapidly growing in popularity because of the many health benefits it apparently has. However, there’s still not enough scientific evidence to fully support these claims, but the results currently available, are promising.
The hemp and marijuana plants are both different varieties of the cannabis plant species. Hemp, naturally, contains more CBD and a very small amount of THC.
Federally legal CBD products are always made from hemp plants. That’s because they contain less THC and more CBD. There aren’t any psychoactive effects when you use these products.
It’s important for individuals who are considering using CBD oil to help with physical or mental issues, to consult with their doctors first. It’s smart to make sure it won’t negatively react to other medicines they are taking, or any unique physical conditions they may have.