It’s no secret that cannabis use is going to get you high. The “high” is the euphoric, floaty, and intoxicated feeling associated with ingesting or vaping marijuana. It can make a person more creative, jokes funnier, and may lead to an enlightened state of consciousness. On the flip side, it can make some people paranoid. And it might not be a feeling everyone likes, which is perfectly fine. So, how do you enjoy all the medical and other benefits offered by cannabis without getting high? The answer is CBD oil, and it won’t get you high.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive compound found along THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) inside cannabis and hemp responsible for many of health benefits from marijuana. THC has its medical uses but is the culprit behind the high feeling. Conversely, CBD has some of the same benefits (and more) with none of the high or tolerance build-up. Thus, it’s the choice for those seeking cannabis for purely therapeutic purposes. Let’s take a look at how THC gets you high and why CBD doesn’t.
Why Does THC Get You High?
THC and most other drugs, including caffeine and cocaine, work by affecting the reward pathway located in the brain. However, THC works by using the endocannabinoid system, while things like cocaine and other illicit substances hijack circuits to overproduce neurotransmitters like dopamine. The endocannabinoid system occurs throughout nature and is an old and complex network of receptors and endocannabinoids (compounds similar to cannabinoids discovered in cannabis found naturally in most organisms) in the nervous system, brain, and the rest of the body. Its main job is maintaining homeostasis, and research is still learning how important it truly is.
THC gets you high by binding to the CB1 receptors, which then stimulates the brain’s reward pathway and other parts as well. This “reward” system is part of the limbic system and is responsible for why anything feels good: sex and eating included. Most drugs flood this area with dopamine, giving the feeling of being high and wanting to repeat the action. It can lead to addiction (as with anything). THC, on the other hand, does affect the reward system and does stimulate the reward pathway, but it’s nowhere near the same degree as heroin or cocaine. Studies show that the limbic system is flooded with only a “moderate” amount of dopamine. Now that we know how THC gets you high, why doesn’t CBD do the same?
Will CBD Oil Get You High?
No, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning it does not get a person high. Well, the term “non-psychoactive” is a little misleading. It does interact with the brain, just not in a way that alters your state of mind. Unlike THC, CBD binds extremely weakly (if at all) with the CB1 receptors and uses at least 12 other points to interact with the brain. Some evidence shows that CBD actually inhibits CB1 receptors, counteracting the effects of THC and lessening the high. However, the marijuana flower tends to have a much higher concentration of THC compared to CBD. The reverse is true for hemp: more CBD than THC.
What Does CBD Do Then, and How Does It Make You Feel?
Cannabis is more useful than just getting high. CBD is a testament to that. THC as well, but not everyone wishes to get high. Epidiolex was the first drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June of 2018. It’s a prescription medicine used to treat epilepsy that contains CBD.
Along with that, it’s found to be helpful with inflammation, pain, depression, insomnia, nausea, mental disorders, migraines, and more. CBD is safe. There are very few side effects associated with it (which will be discussed soon). Also, it doesn’t interact with the brain’s reward pathway, so it doesn’t have a risk of abuse or addiction.
Now, the great thing about CBD is it has some similar effects to THC without the high. Since it lowers the stimulation of the nervous system, you will feel more relaxed. And due to its interaction with serotonin receptors in the brain, it can help fight anxiety without the need for something addictive like Xanax. CBD enables you to get a good night’s rest. And in small doses, it’s been shown to be a slight stimulate, giving a person better attention and focus. CBD will keep you cool, calm, and, most importantly, sober. Considering trying a bottle of CBD oil? Check this one out that we found.
As stated above, there are a few negatives with CBD, but none that are serious. The first is dry mouth, which is a common side effect of all cannabis products. The second is feeling dizzy or light-headed when used in high amounts. Other side-effects include diarrhea, changes in appetite or mood, and nausea. Neither THC nor CBD is fatal.
What About Drug Tests? Does CBD Show?
Yes, CBD will show if it is tested for, which is true of caffeine and everything else. Both THC and CBD are fat-soluble, meaning they bind to the fat cells in your body and can stay there up for up to 30 days. However, the good news is most tests are only concerned with THC since it’s the one that gets you high. The bad news, though, is CBD products might have some trace amounts of THC in them. It’s best to proceed with caution. Depending on how long and how much used, a month is enough to clean your system for any upcoming drug tests.
Understanding the Complexities of Cannabis
THC and CBD are the most famous and most studied cannabinoids for sure. However, there are over 100 other cannabinoids inside of the plant and how they interact with each other and inside is still a mystery being solved. For instance, yes, CBD inhibits CB1 receptors, making THC less effective there. On the other side, though, CBD enhances THC’s effects through those 12 different areas in the brain. Then you have terpenes, and other compounds in the plant that also play a part in the effects (both medical and recreational) felt by cannabis. So, depending on your needs, it’s best to do as much research as possible to find the right choice for you.
Thank you for reading! Let us know in the comments below what effects, if any, you feel when taking your doses of CBD oil. Also what brand of CBD oil do you prefer? We’d love to hear from our community.