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Is CBD Addictive?

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Is CBD addictive? To cut to the chase: no, CBD is not addictive. But such a blunt answer does little to reassure many people's genuine reservations about CBD products, so we've laid out a simple explanation for why CBD is not addictive.

Is CBD Addictive?

But Isn't Cannabis Addictive?

The form of cannabis we usually hear about – the kind used to make the drug marijuana – is addictive, but not all cannabis plants are. The addictive element in cannabis is a cannabinoid called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and it can make up as much as 20% of the plant in varieties bred for its production. 

CBD (cannabidiol) is another cannabinoid found in cannabis plants, but unlike THC it is not addictive. CBD oil is not derived from these high THC cannabis plants but from hemp plants – a variety of cannabis plant traditionally used for textile production. Under EU law, hemp plants must contain less than 0.2% THC content.

So Why Is THC Addictive but CBD Is Not?

To answer this question you need to know a little bit about how addiction works and a little bit about how THC and CBD interact with your body. 

  • Physical addiction develops when the body becomes used to and reliant upon the presence of a certain drug to fulfil one of its normal functions, for instance the release of dopamine.
  • THC is a cannabinoid that interacts directly with a regulatory system in the body called the endocannabinoid system. The body naturally produces chemicals called endocannabinoids as part of this system. However, THC is a cannabinoid which can react directly with this system, so after heavy and extended use the body can become reliant on THC to regulate elements of its endocannabinoid system.
  • CBD is a cannabinoid that does not interact directly with the body's endocannabinoid system. Rather, it has a passive effect on the production of the body's own endocannabinoids. For this reason the body can never become physically reliant on CBD.

Can You Get Withdrawal Symptoms When You Stop Taking CBD?

Withdrawal symptoms are deeply connected to physical addiction. Withdrawal symptoms emerge from your body failing to react to the absence of a drug to which you have become physically addicted.

In the case of THC this would express itself as the body not being able to regulate its endocannabinoid system properly, and can result in mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, headaches and other symptoms. Since CBD cannot cause physical addiction, halting use will not cause any withdrawal symptoms. 

More Common CBD Questions

If you would like to try out CBD, please take a look at out guide to the Best Way to Take CBD or browse our Full CBD Selection to find the right CBD product for you.

Do you have any questions about our CBD products? Please don't hesitate to let us know in the comments, or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags: General Health, CBD


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