Is CBD Psychoactive?

Alexandra Campbell About CBD, FAQ

Is CBD Psychoactive?

One of the most frequent questions we hear about CBD is, “is CBD psychoactive?” The short answer is no, CBD on its own is not psychoactive.

But there’s a lot more to it than that. Read on to find out more.

Defining CBD

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is a compound of the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as the industrial hemp plant.

CBD is one of more than 100 chemical composites known as “cannabinoids” that make up the industrial hemp plant and is best known for its potential to remedy a host of various ailments, symptoms, and diseases.

Just a few of the conditions that CBD may be able to help with include anxiety, cancer symptoms, depression, and seizures. Given all of the potential benefits of CBD and its possible ability to assist in so many troublesome health issues, it makes sense that people are wondering, “is CBD psychoactive?”

While the possible relief from CBD is undoubtedly appealing, many people might avoid trying CBD for fear that it will make them feel high or “stoned.” Luckily, that isn’t necessarily the case.  

There are many ways to take CBD depending on the user’s preference. Among the most effective are vaping CBD and taking CBD oil sublingually, meaning dropping the oil underneath the tongue and holding it for a few moments. Other options to use CBD include topical balms and gels, cold and hot beverages, gummies and other edibles, and more.

Sometimes when we hear terms like “edibles” and “vaping,” we make immediate connections with the act of getting high and using recreational marijuana. While using edibles and smoking marijuana are certainly ways of getting buzzed, this isn’t at all the case with CBD. The high associated with marijuana involves an entirely different chemical: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Let’s look at the research so far about CBD and then explore the differences between the two main cannabinoids of the Cannabis sativa plant, THC and CBD.

Is CBD Psychoactive? The Research So Far

In terms of CBD’s effect on its users and issues with potential dependence, the World Health Organization states that “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

Is CBD Psychoactive?

The current research we have now and continue to collect emphasizes the hopeful potential for CBD as a remedy for a broad spectrum of maladies, including alcoholism, antibiotic-resistant infections, arthritis, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, MS, PTSD, schizophrenia, and a plethora of others conditions.

CBD has demonstrable neuroprotective and neurogenic effects, and its potential anti-cancer properties are currently being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere. Evidence suggests that CBD is safe even at high doses.

Certain people who might be especially interested in knowing “is CBD psychoactive” are those who struggle with or know someone who struggles with substance abuse disorder. As unusual as it may initially seem, there’s a growing body of medical research supporting the efficacy of CBD for drug addiction and alcoholism.

A recent study suggested that CBD is an excellent remedy to addiction. Indeed, CBD would not be indicated as a potential treatment option for patients with substance abuse disorder if it were capable of getting its users high. Their conclusions state that the week-long period of CBD-based treatment inhibited the advancement of earlier presented “addictive” qualities and hindered relapsing for up to 5 months.

So not only is CBD effective in preventing relapses in drug and alcohol addicts, the benefits it provides are also long-lasting which is crucial when fighting substance addiction.

THC, on the other hand, has completely different effects on its users.

Is CBD Psychoactive? The Difference Between CBD and THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are two of the main cannabinoids that occur naturally in the Cannabis sativa plant.

Cannabis that is rich in CBD is either non-psychoactive or less psychoactive than marijuana with THC-dominant strains. It’s critical to check the percentage of THC in any given CBD product, to make sure that it’s either utterly free from THC or has only a trace amount. While CBD, by itself, cannot cause a high, THC can–so it’s necessary to be mindful during your purchasing.

Having access to the CBD-rich strains of cannabis is a very appealing alternative for patients seeking relief who want to avoid the sometimes-problematic feelings of lethargy or dysphoria that come with a THC high. Fortunately, most products marketed as “CBD oil” are derived from the industrial help plant and contain either negligible amounts of THC or none at all.

Final Thoughts

Although CBD does technically have the same chemical make-up as THC, its atoms are arranged differently and will not cause psychoactive effects.

This means that when using CBD medicinally, you are likely to reduce symptoms without the effects on your cognitive ability. So, for those looking to experience the many benefits of the cannabis plant without the high, you can feel confident that CBD is a good choice.

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Last modified: June 3, 2019