Although CBD and THC are both components of marijuana, they are far from interchangeable with one another. While determining the two differences between the two, one of the most popular questions that consumers have is “does CBD get you high?”
While the short answer to that question is no — CBD on its own does not get you high — there are still many things that you should know about this cannabinoid before you seek its benefits. In this article, we will answer the common question of “is CBD psychoactive?” by looking at the properties of CBD as well as how it compares against its cousin cannabinoid, THC.
As CBD is only growing in popularity, we will answer other common questions such as:
- How much CBD should a person take?
- Will consistent CBD use make you high?
- Would a very high amount of CBD get you high?
- Can CBD oil get you high?
Does CBD Get You High?
Let’s start by answering the main question as to whether or not CBD can get you high.
Cannabis is made up of two components: cannabidiol, or CBD, and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Between CBD and THC, THC is the component that leads to a state of inebriation.
The difference in the chemical structures of the two cannabinoids are actually quite minimal, and they alone can’t explain the reason why one is psychoactive and one is not. The way the two are received in the body is what makes all the difference.
All cannabinoids get into the user’s body through what is called the endocannabinoid system. The ECS, as it is commonly known, has three parts: cannabinoid receptors, synthesizing enzymes, and cannabinoids. Cannabinoid receptors are where all cannabinoids attach when they get into the body.
These receptors are further categorized into CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are located on the body in the central nervous system, including the brain, and they have a higher affinity for attracting THC. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are found in the peripheral organs, and they have a higher affinity for CBD. Because it connects to the brain, THC alters perception resulting in what some people refer to as a mind high. CBD has a more or less similar effect on the body, except that it is not perceived mentally. It causes physical relaxation, which some people refer to as a body high.
What are the Differences Between CBD and THC?
What is CBD?
As we mentioned before, CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis and hemp plants. Remember — cannabinoids are the compounds found in cannabis. CBD is a type of chemical that is derived from a marijuana plant.
It is commonly misunderstood that there are only two components of marijuana, when in reality there are over one hundred different components. However, CBD and THC are the main ones to know. CBD can be extracted from marijuana or industrial hemp, which itself is a more widely accepted source of CBD. This is because it doesn’t contain as much THC as marijuana does.
Types of CBD: Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and Isolates
Some CBD products are manufactured as full-spectrum products. Full-spectrum means that they contain all the organic compounds that occur alongside CBD in the industrial hemp plant. These include all the other cannabinoids and terpenes. Full-spectrum CBD oil is often considered the best choice for sufferers of anxiety. Industrial hemp typically contains up to 0.3% THC and terpenes depending on its strain, as well as other cannabinoids.
Other products may be referred to as broad-spectrum. Broad-spectrum products are specially formulated for people who want zero THC in their products. They contain all the other organic compounds found in the hemp from which they were extracted except for THC, which manufacturers remove.
Broad-spectrum products are ideal for people who have to go through regular drug tests from time to time. The third type of CBD products is referred to as isolates. In these products, all other cannabinoids and compounds found in the hemp are removed to leave only the CBD.
CBD products can come in a wide variety of forms, and the way in which it is consumed may have an effect on the way its effects are experienced. The most common products are CBD oil or tinctures. Some people prefer to use CBD gummies and other edibles, while others prefer to take their CBD as vape oil. Other products may include sodas, capsules, or even teas.
What are the Side Effects of CBD?
As we hinted at earlier, CBD can provide a sensation of relief that can help ease pain, both physical and mental. However, just like any other substance, CBD can have some adverse side effects, with the most common ones including:
- Decrease or increase in appetite
- Low blood pressure
What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most active ingredient found in cannabis, and the one most responsible for the sensation commonly known as a “high”. Some of the common effects of THC intake include relaxation, fatigue, and euphoria. However, depending on the individual and the other components of the particular strain of cannabis, products with high THC can sometimes cause paranoia, sleeplessness, or anxiety.
CBD and THC: Main Differences
- THC has psychoactive properties that can lead to feeling “high; CBD does not
- THC is illegal in many jurisdictions; CBD is generally legal (you should always check with your local laws)
- THC can often result in mentally euphoric side effects; CBD does not
- THC has been known to cause some adverse side effects like fast heart rate, dry mouth, and red eyes; CBD does not (although it may have its own adverse side effects, see above)
- THC will show up in drug testing; CBD usually will not (though it sometimes can—if you use CBD and are drug tested regularly you should exercise caution)
CBD and THC: Similarities
Alongside their differences, there are also some similarities between the two cannabinoids, including:
- Both come in a variety of formats, from oils to capsules to vapors
- Both CBD and THC can be used to treat a variety of ailments including chronic pain and anxiety
- Both CBD and THC are compounds found in cannabis and hemp plants (remember, there are over 100 of these compounds)
Is CBD Right for You?
The question of whether CBD oil is a complicated one — and it can be looked at in several ways. The first thing you need to know is that CBD is very well tolerated in significant quantities by most people who may take it for general wellness or to help manage symptoms of a condition. So, for the most part, CBD is an option for most people, if not everyone.
There, however, could be some other considerations such as taste and convenience. Some people dislike the earthy CBD taste or the texture of the product in their mouth. Manufacturers have mitigated these concerns by flavoring CBD products so that you can choose any taste you prefer. CBD oil is good because you take it sublingually, and it, therefore, doesn’t have to go through the first-pass metabolism. This means that it does its job fast.
In summation, unlike THC CBD is not psychoactive. It sometimes gets a reputation for causing a “high” due to its association with THC.
CBD is very well tolerated, and its effect on the body is entirely different from THC. However, if you are thinking of using CBD, you will need to find out the legal status of CBD where you live. While CBD products are primarily legal for sale over the counter, there are some places where they are yet to be allowed.
CBD is versatile enough to let people use it in different ways, including smoking a CBD dominant hemp flower. And even if the smoke tastes like weed, remind yourself the answer to the question “does CBD flower get you high?” That answer remains no.
In most cases, CBD will not show up on a drug test. This is because drug tests are designed to test for THC in your body (generally through your urine), and CBD legally can only contain a very small amount of THC (<0.03%). The majority of drug tests are looking for THC levels of more than 50 nanogram per mL. If we do the math, that means it would take an awful lot of CBD with 0.03% THC consumption to trigger a drug test!
However, there is one caveat — as THC is fat-soluble, it is possible for it to be stored in your body tissue. This means that the THC from the CBD that you consume could theoretically add up over time, which in turn could show up on a drug test.
It is reasonable to ask whether or not you should be operating a motor vehicle after the consumption of CBD. Depending on how CBD affects you, it is not generally advised to drive following CBD consumption. While CBD will not make you high, it can cause other effects that can impair your driving abilities, such as drowsiness, lack of alertness, and low blood pressure. It is advised that a driver pay attention to how CBD is affecting them before they make a decision to drive or not. If you are feeling as if your functions or limited, it’s a better idea to stay home — just like you would if you were extremely tired, for example.
Paranoia is a possible side effect associated with cannabis use. However, some users experience paranoia when they use cannabis as a result of the psychoactive effects of THC. As CBD does not cause any of these psychoactive effects, it is not associated with paranoia. In fact, many users of CBD products report that they are effective in relieving their anxiety, not creating more. If you want to lower your chances of encountering paranoia, you will want to seek out CBD products that contain 0.00% THC.