Does CBD Get You High?
Wednesday, 27 March 2019
If you've heard about the potential benefits of CBD, but have also it comes from the cannabis plant, you might be worried about getting high when using it. But thankfully there is no need to worry – the answer to the question "Does CBD Get You High?" is a resounding no.
What is the Difference Between CBD and Marijuana?
This question is the root cause of most people's concerns about CBD. Many people know that CBD comes from the cannabis plant, the same plant used to make the illegal drug marijuana, and CBD is present in conventional marijuana cannabis.
What fewer people know is that CBD (cannabidiol) is just one of many (upwards of 100) cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. The most notable cannabinoid is called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and this is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. An important distinction to make is that CBD itself has no psychoactive properties.
What Is the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?
So CBD has no psychoactive effects, but does this matter if both it and THC are present in the same plant? Something else fewer people know is that there is huge variation in the chemical make-up of different strains of cannabis. The cannabis we hear most about is used to produce marijuana and has around 20% THC content, but there are long standing forms of cannabis that contain extremely little THC, generally known as hemp.
Hemp has been in use as a fibre for at least 10,000 years, and continues to hold mainstream legal industrial uses right up to the present day. Hemp contains an extremely low THC content: all the seed varieties legal for use in the EU produce less than 0.2% THC.
What Does Psychoactive Mean?
Psychoactive is a technical term that refers to the manner in which a drug interacts with your body. A psychoactive drug is defined as one which acts on the central nervous system or brain, generating temporary changes to perception, mood, consciousness or behaviour. These changes are what we generally refer to as a "high", or as "being high".
THC is a drug that has a strong, direct impact on your central nervous system causing changes to the manner in which your brain functions. CBD on the other hand has a mild and indirect effect on your body, and does not cause changes to your brain function. Because CBD only interacts with your body indirectly it can never produce a high regardless how much your take. Taking a huge amount of CBD might eventually make you sick – as would ingesting a huge amount chamomile tea, for instance – but it will never make you high.
Both marijuana and hemp are varieties of the cannabis plant, but they contain radically different chemical compositions. While marijuana contains high levels of the psychoactive and illegal cannabinoid THC, hemp contains almost no THC. Since hemp is used to produce CBD oils, they do not contain THC in any meaningful quantity and will not produce a high, regardless of how much is taken.
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