Can CBD get you high? The short answer is no – CBD or cannabidiol doesn’t get you high.
CBD is a naturally occurring chemical compound called a cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis plants.
Because it’s associated with cannabis (marijuana), and marijuana is associated with getting high, CBD often gets a bad wrap as also being an intoxicating substance.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating substance that has no known psychoactive effects. This means that you will not get the “high” feeling from taking it – or any of the other common side effects associated with marijuana highs such as being dazed, spacey, forgetful, confused, or anxious and paranoid.
In fact, most users of CBD report feeling relaxed, as well as relief for their symptoms. The main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that people associate with this “high” feeling is another cannabinoid called THC.
There is a lot of mist around CBD and its benefits. At HelpingPot, our mission is to help people understand and reap the benefits of CBD. We wrote this guide to help you understand more about:
By the end of this article, you’ll understand everything you need to know about THC and CBD, how they work together, and why CBD products do not get you high. Let’s jump right in!
CBD vs. THC – Knowing The Difference & Why CBD Doesn’t Get You High
In order to understand how CBD and THC are different, and how each make you feel, it’s important to understand a little bit about how they work in your body. Don’t worry, we’ll make this section as easy to understand as possible by removing a lot of jargon, and providing links to other relevant resources that can help answer your questions.
CBD: What is it and How Does it Interact with Your Body?
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabinol. Just like its cousin, THC, it is one of more than 100+ known cannabinoids that occur naturally in hemp and cannabis plants.
These cannabinoids work with your endocannabinoid system (ECS) to regulate important bodily functions such as sleep, digestion, reproduction, mood, memory, stress, and pain.
CBD, in particular, is currently believed to work a bit differently than most cannabinoids. Where most cannabinoids bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors in your brain in order to send signals to other areas of the body to trigger relief, cannabidiol seems to interact with your ECS directly in order to spur the internal production of (endo)cannabinoids.
Your body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which regulate your ECS and the bodily functions it controls. But, by influencing your body to produce more, CBD allows people to get much-needed relief for a multitude of medical conditions that cause chronic pain, inflammation, insomnia, muscle spasms, and more.
Want to learn more about how CBD works and the benefits it can have for your body? These guides explain everything you need to know in more depth:
THC: What is it and How Does it Interact with Your Body?
THC is the abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. Just like CBD, THC is also a cannabinoid – and it’s one of the more common ones. It naturally occurs in hemp and cannabis plants. It is the main cannabinoid responsible for the “high” feeling associated with smoking cannabis, and it is also one of the most prevalent cannabinoids found in the plant.
THC interacts directly with your CB1 and CB2 receptors in your brain, unlike CBD. This interaction causes increased release of dopamine – which causes a person’s memory, pleasure, movements, thinking, concentration, coordination, and sensory and time perception, according to NIDA.
This increased release of dopamine is what causes users of cannabis strains that are high in THC to feel high after using it. Ironically, because of the way CBD and THC develop during the growth of the plant, the higher the amount of THC present, the lower the CBD count will be and vice verse.
What makes this even more curious is the fact that CBD has been shown to actually inhibit or even reverse the psychoactive effects of THC. When you combine this with the fact that cannabinoids are believed to work together to provide enhanced relief through the entourage effect – scientists have been working hard to find a synthesis between the two.
In fact, in 2018, Sativex became the first drug derived from cannabis to be approved by the FDA. Sativex has a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC in order to provide treatment for two serious childhood epilepsy syndromes; Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. It provides relief while counterbalancing the psychoactive effects of THC with CBD.
Legality: CBD vs. THC
THC is illegal in the United States and is currently classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has no known medical uses, a high propensity for addiction, and is highly dangerous to users. While this has widely considered to be a misclassification for decades now, it does not appear to be changing any time soon.
However, while THC remains illegal at the federal level, over 30 states have now legalized cannabis for medicinal use, and a few states have even legalized it for recreational use. This has left THC and cannabis in a bit of a grey area of law.
CBD is completely legal at the federal level as long as it is derived from hemp plants that contain 0.3% THC. But, there are some states that have taken action against CBD – making it illegal until it is approved by the FDA.
Want to learn more about the CBD laws in the United States? This complete guide has everything you need to know.
Side Effects: CBD vs. THC
Here are the potential side effects of THC:
- Dry mouth
- Increased heart rate
Overall, the side effects of THC are far more prevalent and less mild than the side effects of CBD. They can also be enhanced by the method of ingestion, such as smoking or oral ingestion, which can also bring along more potential side effects over prolonged periods of time.
The potential side effects of CBD are:
- Slight Anxiety
- Changes in appetite or weight
More often than not, these side effects are only prevalent when people are getting used to dosing CBD, or are taking large doses (>100mg per day).
What’s important to note is that like we said earlier in this article, CBD is actually known to counteract the side effects of THC. So, if you happen to use a product that is high in both, you will likely only experience side effects from the cannabidiol, which are far milder.
Does CBD Oil Contain THC?
Usually in trace amounts, yes. This is because there is trace amounts of THC that naturally occurs in the hemp plant – where most CBD products are derived from.
However, it is in such trace amounts (usually less than 0.3%) that it rarely leads to side effects, and cannot physically lead to the “high”, euphoric feeling associated with smoking cannabis.
If even the slightest amount of THC is not an option for you, don’t worry – there are tons of CBD products like hemp seed oil, hemp oil, and CBD isolate that contain no THC at all.
Hemp-Derived CBD vs. Cannabis-Derived CBD
To understand a bit more about the type of CBD products you’re getting your hands on, you should know that some products are derived from cannabis, while others are derived from hemp plants.
Hemp-derived CBD is the only type of cannabidiol that is federally legal in the United States. These products must be derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC by volume. Overall, most of these products do contain a slight amount of THC, strictly for the enhanced relief effects it has when combined with CBD. But, it’s never enough to get anyone high or intoxicated, and hardly ever enough to produce side effects thanks to CBD’scounteracting effects.
Any CBD products derived from cannabis are explicitly for medicinal use after a doctor’s prescription. They may also be available in states with legalized recreational use, but may be hard to come by, and in a grey area of the law. These types of CBD products are believed to provide superior relief due to the entourage effect.
Because of legality, almost all of the CBD products you will find online or in stores are derived from hemp and not cannabis. This means you won’t really ever have to worry about them containing more than trace amounts of THC.
If you’re really paranoid, or just don’t want the THC in your body, but still want to take CBD, don’t worry – there’s a solution for you too. Most broad-spectrum CBD products contain 0% THC, and all trusted CBD brands have labels that tell you their cannabinoid levels.
Full-Spectrum CBD vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD
Understanding the difference between full and broad-spectrum CBD products is probably the easiest way for you to find or avoid THC in your product search.
Full-spectrum CBD is made with CBD that is extracted from the hemp plant that contains higher levels of THC and other cannabinoids. It gets its name from the extraction process, where whole plants (stem, leaves, seeds, and all) are ground up together before extraction. This helps to enhance the nutritional content of the end product by providing more cannabinoids, essential oils, fatty amino acids, and more.
Broad-spectrum CBD is also made from hemp plants, but they do not include the full plant. Typically, the stems are not included in the process and most or all of the THC is taken out during the extraction process. Broad-spectrum CBD products will usually boast 0% THC, or have very trace amounts that can’t be detected by lab tests.
More often than not, if a product is not labeled broad or full-spectrum, it falls under the broad-spectrum category. Just like foods that are vegan or sugar-free, the makers of these products like to brag about it a bit and use the buzz word as a form of advertisement.
As far as relief goes, users tend to get better results with full-spectrum products because of the added benefits THC can provide when combined with the other cannabinoids. However, broad-spectrum still provides excellent relief to millions of Americans suffering from side effects related to hundreds of medical conditions. If your concern is drug tests or absorbing THC into your body, then broad-spectrum is a way to still get the relief you need, but also peace of mind.
More CBD FAQ
The world of CBD can be a bit confusing. If you’re thinking about trying it, you want to have as many answers as possible before jumping in. In this section, we’ll answer a few more frequently asked questions about cannabidiol to help you find the best product for your needs.
Will CBD show up on a drug test?
No. Traditional drug tests don’t test for CBD, they test for psychoactive substances like THC. Even with full-spectrum products, the amount of THC you absorb into your body is so negligible that it won’t show on a drug test, even if you took it yesterday. But, if you’re really concerned about it, you can always go the broad-spectrum route, and get more or less the same relief without the risk.
How does CBD make you feel?
It really all depends on your body, your symptoms, the amount you take, and how you take it. Unlike cannabis, there are no psychoactive effects – meaning you won’t feel a head high or any type of mental impairment. CBD can make users feel somewhat of a body high in high doses with certain methods of ingestion, such as sublingual tinctures or vaping. But this body high is usually not long-lasting.
Over the long term, users report that CBD makes them feel more relaxed, less pain, and less inflamed. Some users also claim that it makes them feel more focused, less anxious, and that it helps them regulate their sleep schedule.
Why do people use CBD?
People use CBD for all sorts of reasons. From relief with anxiety and stress to sleep aid, all the way through helping them deal with chronic pain and inflammatory diseases. A recent survey of 4,000 CBD users found that the top reasons people used CBD were to:
- Stress/anxiety relief
- Improve sleep
- Relieve muscle pain
- Relieve chronic pain
- Relieve joint pain
- Social use
- Relieve migraines
Other reasons included relieving seizures and seizure symptoms, sexual enhancement, menstrual relief, and skincare, among others. For more on the many ways people use CBD, check out this helpful guide.
What does a CBD high feel like?
Again, CBD doesn’t get you high in the traditional sense. If you do take a large enough dose to feel a body high, it feels equivalent to a runner’s high, or the tingly body high you experience after intense exercise or sex. But, there is no head high associated or caused by the use of legal CBD products because they do not have enough THC to cause these effects.
Does CBD tincture get you high?
No, CBD tincture does not get you high. You will not feel any of the “high” feeling associated with smoking cannabis or using other illicit drugs. You can take a high enough dosage that it makes you experience a body high for a short period of time before wearing off. However, we recommend speaking with your doctor to figure out your ideal dosage and starting off small, then working your way up as needed. Too high of a dosage can have side effects.
Does CBD vape get you high?
No. CBD vape is one of the more potent ways to use CBD, with higher doses and a very quick method of ingestion that is felt and absorbed almost instantly by users. It is equally as fast in absorption as sublingual tinctures and usually provides whole-body relief. Because of the high dosage and full-body effects, some users do report a slight body high immediately after smoking. But this is not met by a head high of any kind like the one associated with cannabis.
Does hemp oil get you high?
No. Hemp oil and hemp seed oil actually contain some of the lowest levels of THC of any CBD products – with hemp seed oil containing none at all. This is because it’s made with hemp seeds, which have not yet produced any THC – a chemical process that is caused by sunlight. Without any psychoactive component (THC), it’s not possible for the substance to get you high by eating or drinking it.
Does CBD isolate get you high?
No. CBD isolate is often comprised of 99% or higher CBD. The other minute percentage is comprised of other minor cannabinoids and compounds that could not be completely removed. Through the extraction process, THC is completely removed, so there is literally no traceable amount of it in CBD isolate – preventing you from getting high from using it, even in very high doses.
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