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Can CBD Get You High? The Truth About CBD Psychoactivity

Can CBD Get You High? The Truth about Psychoactivity and CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) has undoubtedly carved out a name for itself, from being virtually unknown a few short years ago to becoming a household name today.

CBD, it seems, is being used in everything from lattes to lotions these days! Yet even with all the exposure CBD gets, it is nowhere near as famous as the black sheep of the cannabis family — Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short. THC is infamous. 😎

Sadly, THC’s infamy for its psychoactive effect has led many people to worry they might get high off CBD and other minor cannabinoids like CBG, CBC, CBN, and CBDV.

Join us as we answer the most frequently asked question about CBD: can it get you high? We’ll put some common misconceptions to rest and give you the clarity you need to know the real effects of CBD.

Table of Contents

    Much like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, CBD vs THC are both legendary in their own right, but the vibes between them could not be more distinct.

    THC vs CBD

    It’s true that both THC and CBD come from the same plant, Cannabis Sativa L. But there’s a big difference between the types of cannabis plants used to extract them.

    Let’s find out where these two cannabinoids come from and how they differ.

    THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

    Ah, THC. The notorious wild child. THC is the major cannabinoid derived from marijuana, the type of cannabis sativa plant that causes powerful psychoactive effects. Now, if you are seeking a trip down Munchie Avenue while giggling at everything along the way, THC is right up your alley. Just remember, THC is illegal or requires a prescription from your doctor in most places around the world.

    THC has health benefits similar to CBD. However, the dose required to attain them often causes significant psychoactive side effects. Many people simply looking to relieve everyday wellness concerns find the mind-altering effects unappealing. This is where THC’s sober sibling swoops in to save the day!

    CBD (Cannabidiol)

    CBD is the golden child of the active compounds found in cannabis, offering many health benefits without an intoxicating trip in sight!

    Legal over-the-counter cannabis products must be sourced from industrial hemp plants, the variety of cannabis sativa that produces all but the tiniest amounts of psychoactive THC.

    Compare the difference between the three types of over-the-counter CBD extracts based on their THC content:

    • You get the highest concentration in full spectrum CBD with up to the federal legal limit of 0.3% THC
    • Broad spectrum CBD is essentially the same as full spectrum, only with no detectable levels of THC at 0.0%
    • CBD isolate with no THC is a radically purified hemp extract that contains only pure CBD and nothing else — not even a hint of THC at 0.00%

    Now, to answer that burning CBD question once and for all.

    Can CBD get you high?

    CBD is clinically proven non-psychoactive, which means you can’t get “high” off it no matter how much you take. That’s more of a medical marijuana/recreational marijuana thing. THC gets you high because it binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors. These special receptor sites are part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and control vital physiological functions that also influence memory and perception.

    Research shows that CBD does not bind to either of the endocannabinoid receptors and cannot cause psychoactive side effects — great news if you’ve been worried about getting high off CBD!

    Hemp extract affects everyone differently. Talk to your doctor before adding CBD products to your wellness plan.

    Why some think you can get high on CBD

    Cannabis Sativa L. — regardless of whether it was marijuana or hemp — was declared illegal by the United States government beginning in 1937.

    For the decades following, people did not distinguish between the psychoactive effect of marijuana and the non-psychoactive health benefits of hemp plants. Both were considered dangerous drugs in the eyes of the law throughout much of the world. Hemp plants were illegal in the United States until the 2018 Farm Bill created a new legal definition for hemp that split it off from marijuana, which remains a controlled substance.

    But taboos cast long shadows, and CBD has persistently remained in THC’s psychoactive shadow as far back as when it was first isolated by cannabis researchers in 1964. The cannabis stigma is the reason many people who discover CBD for the first time today have two main concerns about hemp products:

    • Is CBD legal?
      Yes, CBD is legal in all 50 states and Puerto Rico
    • Can CBD make you high?
      No, over-the-counter CBD cannot make you high

    It makes sense why some think you can get high on CBD, given its association with the cannabis plant. After all, the two different cannabis sativa plants were considered the same until just a few short years ago.


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    So, how does CBD feel?

    Something people discover the more they learn about CBD is that it’s a bit of a walking contradiction in the world of plant-based medications.

    Taking CBD is more about what you don’t feel than what you do! This is the opposite of THC, which is all about its mind-altering effects.

    Harvard research shows CBD may help people feel better in the following ways:

    • Soothe nervous tension
    • Reduce occasional anxiety
    • Elevate mood balance
    • Alleviate everyday aches & pain
    • Relieve inflammation
    • Support immune function
    • Aid healthy digestion
    • Balance sleep/wake rhythms

    Unlike THC users — who mostly just wanna have fun — CBD users just want to live their best life safely, naturally, and with a clear head.

    While CBD won’t give you a high in the traditional sense, it will feel pretty great to sleep restfully, reduce tension, and relieve those everyday aches and pains.

    What about CBD oils with THC in them?

    Don’t expect any psychoactive fireworks or altered perception from over-the-counter CBD oil. You need at least 5 to 10 mg of THC to feel a psychoactive effect.

    Note that very high-potency CBD products contain more hemp extract and a higher dose of THC. So, before grabbing full spectrum CBD oil or popping a CBD gummy for the first time, check its certificate of analysis (COA) for the total mg THC per CBD dose and make sure it is less than 1 to 2 mg THC.

    Can CBD get you high? Never! But if you're taking a "ratio" product, know this first...

    RELATED ARTICLE: Can you get high from a THC:CBD “ratio” product?

    Some types of CBD oils contain higher THC levels than the legal limit allows for over-the-counter cannabis products. These are called “ratio” products and are available by prescription only in many states with medical use laws and recreationally in states with recreational marijuana laws. Expect varying degrees of intoxication or mind-altering effects after taking a CBD:THC ratio product.

    When in doubt, always know you can play it safe and THC-free with broad spectrum CBD or pure CBD isolate with no THC.

    Final thoughts on CBD getting you high

    It can’t — woohoo! 🎉

    Enjoy CBD as part of your everyday wellness plan for health benefits that help you live your best life without sacrificing a clear mind. How much CBD you need depends on your weight and other factors.

    Talk to your doctor before adding CBD to your wellness plan if you’ve been diagnosed with a serious health issue or if you take prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

    Can CBD get you high FAQ

    The most frequently asked questions about CBD oils and psychoactive effects are answered below. Live chat a Cannabiva Wellness Advisor if you need answers to something we haven’t explored today.

    CBD is a natural medicine called a cannabinoid that comes from the hemp plant. In the body, CBD binds to special cannabinoid receptors that influence your endocannabinoid system (ECS). When CBD binds to cannabinoid receptor sites, it sends a message directly to that part of the body. That message may tell your body to respond in different ways. As a result, CBD helps boost mood, soothe tension, reduce anxiety, promote pain relief, or trigger an anti-inflammatory effect.

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