Cannabidiol (CBD) is enjoying widespread acceptance in recent times. Gone are the days when its source, the cannabis plant, had a negative connotation attached to it.
Nowadays, the general public is recognizing the potential of cannabis, and the positive affects it has on anxiety in particular, for its possible therapeutic effects. However, an important question that needs answering is, does CBD get you high?
Effects of CBD on the ECS
Before diving into the psychoactive effects of cannabis, it is important to first introduce the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS refers to neurotransmitters known as endocannabinoids, the cannabinoid receptors which they bind to, and the enzymes that break them down.
Current research into the ECS revealed that it is responsible for the body’s homeostasis, which is any process or reaction of the body to maintain a stable internal environment. The body produces its own endocannabinoids but cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD, interact with the body’s cannabinoid receptors too.
However, these two compounds of the hemp plant have very different effects. THC causes euphoria while CBD has been observed to actually temper the effects of THC. THC binds to the brain’s CB1 receptors and enzymes cannot break it down as effectively as the body’s natural cannabinoids, resulting in a “high” that lasts longer.
CBD, on the other hand, binds to CB1 receptors in the brain and CB2 receptors found elsewhere in the body and have been linked to the body’s immune functions.
This allows it to benefit the whole body by alleviating mental conditions like anxiety and physical symptoms like muscle spasms, pain, and swelling.
So, Does CBD Oil Get You High?
CBD 101 does not produce mind-altering effects like the euphoria and intoxication of THC and therefore, does not make you high. It does, however, have a mood-enhancing effect which has shown to be effective in moderating anxiety, psychosis, depression, pain, appetite, memory, seizures, and other brain activity.
Furthermore, it is important to note that different formulations of CBD products can actually contain THC. For example, by law, a full-spectrum CBD oil must contain only 0.3 percent THC or less. Also, whenever you see a cannabis product with a ratio on it, this indicates the amount of milligrams of CBD to THC in it.
A formulation that is recently gaining popularity contains a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD or equal parts of the two cannabinoids. This formulation is usually a good starting point for new users. Anecdotal reports indicate that the amount of THC is just right for therapeutic effects but with plenty of CBD for pain to temper THC’s adverse effects.
Take note that CBD and THC ratios 1:9 or greater are already considered high-THC ratios and should be used with caution. As such, these kinds of products will produce mild to strong psychoactivity. On the other hand, ratios like 2:1–4:1 contain more CBD and produce less mind-altering effects.
What is Full-Spectrum CBD?
Full-spectrum CBD contains THC and all other beneficial cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes to produce an “entourage effect,” a synergistic effect that acts on the central nervous system. At 0.3% or lower, this amount of THC is not enough to cause intoxicating effects when used reasonably.
Broad-spectrum CBD similarly offers an entourage effect but this formulation has stripped any trace of THC. This ensures that you do not feel high and instead just get the relaxed and calm benefits of CBD.
Another CBD formulation is known as isolates. These, as their name suggests, contain the purest concentrations of CBD. Isolates have been further filtered to remove all other compounds and cannabinoids and, as such, cannot offer an entourage effect.
CBD is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Using CBD products may interact with prescription medications. It is best to consult a physician first before taking CBD.