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Does CBD Oil Get You High? Ask a Pharmacist

Does CBD Oil Get You High? Ask a Pharmacist

Posted by Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD on Oct 9th 2020

For Baby Boomers like me, the best explanation of “getting high” comes from the John Denver song, “Sunshine on my Shoulders.” He sings: “Sunshine almost always makes me high.” But when that sunshine makes a hemp plant grow, and that hemp creates CBD, many of us come to an initial question: does CBD get you high? That's what you will learn in this blog post and the video below.

Is CBD Oil Psychoactive?

“Getting high” has been scientifically described as elevating one's state of mind. The science shows that getting high is the creation of an altered state of mind or consciousness. Sometimes, that feeling occurs naturally. And sometimes, a person uses a drug to achieve that feeling of being "high."

Getting high can consist of situations like the following:

  • Strong feelings and emotions, as in deep appreciation of a beautiful day, a familiar song, or the face of a loved one.
  • Using drugs, plants, or botanicals to chemically alter the state of consciousness.
  • Exercise enthusiasts can experience a "runner’s high,” which is the feeling of an endorphin rush that comes with prolonged exertion.1 

The Cannabis sativa plant species is well known throughout human history. CBD's cannabinoid cousin, THC, is more prevalent in America's counter-culture for the psychoactive effects it can cause. THC is the compound in marijuana that can make you feel high. So naturally, people wonder if the effects of CBD found abundantly in hemp will do the same.

Many people want the wellness benefits of hemp without the intoxicating effects of THC. Is it possible to use CBD products without getting high? To start, let’s discuss the difference between CBD vs THC.

CBD vs THC

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of at least 150 phytocannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, along with the popular delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).2

The benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids found in cannabis hemp plant material have been anecdotally understood for decades. From college parties, to home cooking, to hardy textiles- hemp cannabis plants are infused into the culture of both prehistoric and modern civilizations,3 and they don't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Generally speaking, the type of cannabis we call “marijuana" produces larger amounts of the THC compound,4 and the type of cannabis we call "hemp" produces larger amounts of the CBD compound.5 These two cannabinoids are the most well known since they have dominated discussions amongst health and wellness enthusiasts for the past several years.

Hemp vs Marijuana

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, made hemp cultivation legal. It achieved this by defining hemp to distinguish it from illegal marijuana. If a cannabis plant contains less than 0.3 percent THC content, it is considered hemp and is now federally legal.6  

Soon, growers realized that the federal government only placed restrictions on THC, and not the many other cannabis compounds like CBD. In short order, cannabis cultivators began cross-breeding different plant strains to reduce THC levels, while also meeting the CBD percentage threshold necessary to be manufactured into CBD oils and CBD products.

Hemp plants look and smell the same as recreational marijuana strains, the only difference is the amount of THC. The only way to tell the difference between Hemp and Marijuana is with a chemical analysis.

Cannabinoids & the Endocannabinoid System

So how does CBD work? Before we talk about what CBD does to the body, a quick vocabulary lesson might be helpful first. “Phyto-“ means “plant” in Greek. Therefore, "phytocannabinoids" are the cannabinoids found naturally in cannabis plants.7 They are similar to endocannabinoids. “Endo-“ is a Greek prefix that means “from within, or inside.” So, “endocannabinoid” refers to a cannabinoid that is produced naturally inside your body.8

The recently discovered endocannabinoid system is network of cannabinoid receptors that are found throughout the body. The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, communicates with cannabinoids, whether they are endocannabinoids or phytocannabinoids. The ECS responds to cannabinoids that are inhaled through smoke, absorbed sublingually into the blood stream through a tincture, or taken orally in a capsule.9 

The ECS has of two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2.10 These two types of receptors are key to understanding how CBD and THC works, and why they effect the body differently. Namely, why THC produces a “high” sensation, while CBD alone does not.

How Does THC Get You High? 

The principle cannabinoid that causes the psychoactive effects of cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol THC, works by activating the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 receptors. CB1 receptors mostly reside in the brain, brain stem, and elsewhere in the central nervous system.11 By binding to receptors in the brain, a high dose of THC from recreational marijuana produces the feelings associated with “getting high,” such as: euphoria, laughter, and distortions of the senses.12 

Can CBD Get You High?

So, final answer, can CBD get you high? That answer is NO. The effects of CBD are different from the effects of THC. CBD affects the way the ECS's receptors bind with THC, mitigating the psychoactive effects of the THC. This has led to the conclusion that CBD can bring you back to "middle" instead of being "high." CBD is technically psychoactive because of calming effects it can have, but users say it is not at all like being high from THC-rich marijuana.

The main difference between CBD and THC is the end result that they bring to the consumer. THC is a cannabinoid that has been used by many people as a means to find a euphoric escape, otherwise known as "getting high." On the other hand, CBD reportedly does not produce the same euphoric feeling that THC does.13

This corresponds with what we understand about CBD as helping the body restore balance. Cannabinoids including CBD may help bring us back to center, without the risk of getting intoxicated. Even though full spectrum CBD oil contains trace amounts of THC, this THC level is far below the amount needed to actively cause psychotropic effects. It is enough, however, to work with the other cannabinoids for the most health and wellness benefits.

Is CBC Oil psychoactive

What Does CBD Do?

We discussed CBD’s ability to bind with the receptors in our endocannabinoid system. With this knowledge, you can see how CBD can not make you high, but CBD could get you "middle", bringing the body and mind into balance in a healthy way. That's something that all of us could certainly use in our everyday life. And that's why cannabis products containing the full spectrum of cannabinoids are leading the modern supplement industry.

But how can you be sure that you are taking a federally legal CBD product that won't make you feel high? Cornbread Hemp makes it easy by making their high quality USDA certified organic CBD oils from only the flowering portions of organic hemp grown in Kentucky, where hemp plants are legal but marijuana plants are not.

Cornbread Hemp also makes their third party lab reports readily available. These reports include the CBD content, and the THC content, of each product. Therefore, you can rest assured that any Cornbread Hemp CBD product will never contain more than the federal legal limit of 0.3 percent THC. It is just enough THC to work alongside CBD to help produce an "entourage effect."

The Entourage Effect

Full spectrum CBD products made in accordance with the Farm Bill of 2018 contain less than 0.3 percent THC by law. Many CBD companies only sell broad spectrum or CBD isolate products which contain no THC at all. Much of this due to an outdated stigma associated with marijuana.

Look at the full spectrum of cannabinoids, including both majors and minors, like your favorite sports team, with CBD and THC as two of the most important players. If one of them is suddenly no longer playing, the team's performance will suffer as a result. Studies show that without THC, the product may not be as effective. This is because of a reaction known as the "entourage effect."16 Every educated CBD consumer should look for a full spectrum product if they want the most benefit from using CBD oils.

Full spectrum CBD products are available in many forms, the most popular being a sublingual mix of hemp extract blended with coconut oil. CBD may also be made into edibles like gummies, CBD capsules, topical lotions and CBD creams, or even a specialized oil to be used in a vape pen. There are endless applications to CBD and CBD oils. Products made with hemp derived CBD are finding their way into many of our everyday health and beauty products, which is even more reason to be mindful of what you are purchasing.

Can CBD Gummies Get You High?

Can using CBD in gummy-form get you high? No. But they are a safe, legal, and convenient way to keep up with your CBD regimen. Just like CBD oil, the THC levels in full spectrum gummies are under 0.3 percent. That’s not enough THC to make you feel intoxicated, unlike full-strength cannabis gummies found where marijuana is legal at the state level. Unlike most cannabis gummies, Cornbread Hemp’s hemp-derived CBD gummies are USDA organic, in addition to being full spectrum and vegan.

CBD gummies are fruit-flavored soft chews. Cornbread Hemp’s gummies are flavored with organic strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry. In fact, all of the ingredients in our gummies are USDA certified organic. Customers know that they can trust USDA organic products because the USDA is so painstaking in its enforcement of the USDA organic standards.

Cornbread Hemp’s gummies come in bites containing 10 mg of CBD each, so one CBD gummy can be easily halved to increase or reduce your CBD gummy dosage by 5 mg. They are discrete. You can take CBD gummies anywhere you can have a snack.

Full Spectrum CBD and Drug Tests

If you take CBD, you should be aware that ingesting doses of CBD may cause you to fail a drug test. While THC-free products might seem like a safer bet than full spectrum oils, your workplace may use a drug test that can't tell the difference between the cannabinoids from cannabis and hemp. So there is a chance that you could be at risk for testing positive on a drug test even if you use a THC-free CBD product.  

If you think you might be subjected to workplace drug testing, talk to your HR department before beginning a CBD regimen.

In Conclusion:

So does CBD get you high? In short, taking CBD will make you feel as high as John Denver’s sunshine. Which is to say: the cannabis plant compound cannabidiol (CBD) is not considered to be intoxicating. Actually, scientists are actively working to uncover the beneficial properties of CBD!

Make sure you are choosing high quality legal CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC. Look for a third-party lab report to be certain. The Food and Drug Administration have yet to pass significant regulations on CBD products, so the USDA organic seal is the best way to be sure you are getting a safe product that is free from pesticides and harmful chemicals.

Cornbread Hemp's third party lab partner tests our product's THC and CBD ratios to ensure legality and potency. Also included in the report is a full safety screening for pesticides, heavy metals, microbials, mycotoxins, and residual solvents.  

For those that still aren't sure whether full spectrum products may be right for them, feel free to send us an email at support@cornbreadhemp.com and a team member will be happy to answer your questions! And don't forget to subscribe to our email list to stay up to date on the latest research like how much CBD to take and much more!

Does CBD Oil Get You High FAQ's

How does CBD oil make you feel?

CBD oil is widely held useful for bringing a sense of chill, a good night's rest, and comforting muscles and joints. Most people report how much their CBD oil is helping after they stop taking it for the first time.

Can you overdose on CBD oil?

The short answer is no. It is safe to take doses of CBD that do not exceed those available over the counter and online. And for the same reasons you won't get high if you use CBD, you cannot overdose on too much CBD oil. CBD does not affect the areas of the brain that would cause respiratory or circulatory distress.

How much CBD should you take?

Our recommended starting dose for first timers is 25mg of CBD per day for the first two weeks. This gives you enough to get the hang of things without the risk of having too much or too little. After two weeks of consistent use while tracking your results, adjust your dose up or down as needed.

References

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Lafaye G, Karila L, Blecha L, Benyamina A. Cannabis, cannabinoids, and health. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2017;19(3):309-316. Under the heading “Cannabis today,” 2nd paragraph.

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Bridgeman MB, Abazia DT. Medicinal Cannabis: History, Pharmacology, And Implications for the Acute Care Setting. P T. 2017;42(3):180-188. Under the heading “Historical Significance,” 1st paragraph.

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Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoids: What You Need To Know. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/cannabis-marijua... Published July 1, 2020. Accessed July 1, 2020. 3rd bullet under the first paragraph.

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Hilderbrand RL. Hemp & Cannabidiol: What is a Medicine?. Mo Med. 2018;115(4):306-309. Under the heading “CBD as an Extract from Hemp,” 1st paragraph

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Van der Kloot W. Anandamide, a naturally-occurring agonist of the cannabinoid receptor, blocks adenylate cyclase at the frog neuromuscular junction. Brain Res. 1994;649(1-2):181-184. doi:10.1016/0006-8993(94)91062-6. Do not have access to full text.

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All rights reserved. The statements made regarding CBD products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy and health benefits of hemp derived CBD products, and the effects of cannabidiol CBD, has not been confirmed by what Food and Drug Administration FDA-approved research suggests. Hemp derived CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to health information or medical advice from a healthcare professional or healthcare providers. Please consult your healthcare provider for medical advice about potential interactions, or if any side effect occurs.  

Cornbread Hemp works with cannabis sativa plant suppliers who guarantee no more than 0.3 percent THC content. Even with this trace percentage 0.3 THC, it is possible that hemp cannabis users may fail a drug test. Cornbread Hemp does not take any responsibility in the instance a customer fails a drug test while taking CBD products. Check state laws regarding cannabis derived products before possessing or travelling with them. Do NOT use Cornbread Hemp CBD oil in any vape pen.