Health & Wellness

It comes from cannabis. But does CBD get you high?

By Melena Gurganus

The short answer is no, CBD does not make you feel high. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is more widely known for its health benefits rather than any intoxicating effects.

Intoxication is associated with another cannabis derived compound, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

CBD on the other hand is entirely different in its chemical composition and it will not affect your cognitive functioning, but it may help you relax.

Why CBD Won’t Make You High

Let’s start with the basics, you can find both THC and CBD in marijuana, but marijuana plants are bred to contain an average of 5% to 20% of THC. CBD is extracted from hemp plants because of the plants ability to produce high amounts of CBD and less than 0.3%  of THC. Since there are only minuscule levels of THC in CBD derived from hemp, there is no psychoactive effect from hemp-derived products.

Misleading information about CBD continues to circulate as many refer to hemp and marijuana as the same plant, or choose to use the terms interchangeably. This stems from both plants being sub-strains of cannabis sativa.

Many people have negative connotations about cannabis use as a health supplement, primarily due to stigmas that stem from illegal marijuana use. However CBD does not fall into this category, and it has been shown to aid in natural pain relief and anti-inflammation according to Medical News Today.

[Find out more about what separates CBD from THC]

Will CBD Affect Drug Test Results?

Many people ask if they can pass a drug test after taking CBD. Drug tests are designed to identify THC, so it’s extremely difficult for hemp extracts like CBD to test positive since the amount of THC is so low. But it’s possible. The U.S. Drug Test Centers states that CBD hemp oil could cause a false positive on a drug test if your body has been exposed to over 2,000mg of CBD in one day. For those of you that aren’t familiar with average CBD dosing, this is a very high intake amount that won’t be used by the average person in a day.

If you’re worried about trace amounts of THC in full-spectrum CBD, there are also isolated formulas available. Isolate CBD is created through an extraction process that removes all other active cannabis compounds, including THC, to leave only 100% cannabidiol behind.

If there is no high, then how does CBD actually make you feel?

CBD is not going to give you an intoxicating high, but it’s common to experience a sense of relief. People have said CBD reduced their pain or anxiety without any additional side effects, such as paranoia or drowsiness that often results from THC or marijuana use. CBD produces more of a relaxing sensation, which can be effective in alleviating tension or calming one’s nerves.

[See a full list of health benefits associated with CBD]

How CBD Works

The human body actually has an endocannabinoid system that is responsible for the effects of CBD and other cannabis extracts that you come into contact with. According to a study published by Cerebrum, there are cannabinoid receptors found all over your body. CBD attaches to these receptors where it begins to alleviate a wide range of symptoms.

How quickly CBD starts to affect you will depend on a couple of different factors, including:

  • Method of use—some products work faster than others, and sublingual application or inhalation are the fastest ways to get relief from CBD. There are also plenty of ways to ingest this cannabis extract for a slower release of CBD that lasts longer over time.
  • Metabolism—this genetic factor pre-determines how quickly your body will break down and absorb CBD when it is ingested.
  • Full or empty stomach—generally, you can expect to get a faster response from CBD oils, capsules or edibles when they are taken on an empty stomach. If you have just eaten a decent meal, it will take some time for your body to digest the food before it gets to the CBD at the top of your stomach.

Should You Use CBD?

While CBD doesn’t get you high, it’s still important to understand its limits. More research needs to be performed to validate the health claims of CBD, and the potential long-term effects are unknown. CBD’s recent rise in popularity is not to be ignored, but you also shouldn’t base your health decisions on a product simply because it’s trending. If you have existing medical conditions and want to see how CBD may affect you, we recommend that you seek guidance from a trusted physician or medical professional before hand. Most importantly, don’t expect something to work miracles just because it’s been beneficial for other people. Everyone is different, and your experience may differ from someone else’s.

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