Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a naturally-occurring compound in cannabis and hemp plants. Though one of many compounds, CBD has received the most attention by far. Frequent changes in federal and state laws have led to a spike in demand and production of CBD-based alternative medicinal products.
A similarly well-known cannabinoid is Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is popular for its psychoactive effects or feeling of euphoria when consumed as part of marijuana or cannabis.
Though similar, CBD does NOT cause a ‘high’ like THC. In fact, CBD has well-documented health benefits like treating depression and anxiety.
CBD Mistakenly Assumed to Cause a ‘High’ When Consumed
Like THC, CBD is also a cannabinoid that is naturally found in hemp and cannabis plants. However, CBD can be successfully isolated from the THC compound. This can be then included as an infusion into oils, edibles, tinctures, and creams without the high-producing THC compound.
That said, this does not stop people from assuming that CBD can lead to the same effects as consuming marijuana, especially given that both come from the same plant. However, CBD is not intoxicating, hence, no ‘high’.
Additionally, CBD can also be sourced from the hemp plant which has no psychoactive side-effects at all. The good part? CBD from hemp retains the same medicinal properties.
A number of states in the US have made it legal to purchase and consume hemp-based CBD. Laws state that the product in question should contain less than 0.3% of THC – a level low enough that there is no danger of any psychoactive effects at all.
Can CBD Oil Give You a ‘High’?
After extraction from hemp or cannabis plants, CBD can be included in a variety of products like creams, lotions, oils, and tinctures.
The more popular of the lot is CBD oil. This can be taken directly by adding a few drops under your tongue, or it can be added to food, drinks, or vaped.
With the spurt in demand and supply of CBD products, a number of them are promoted as being an organic and 100% natural remedy for depression and anxiety. While consuming a high dose of CBD, probably more than the recommended amount, can have an uplifting effect, this is not the same as a ‘high’.
Additionally, consuming higher than the recommended dose of CBD can cause side-effects like dizziness and nausea. In which case, users will most probably bypass the ‘uplifting’ effect.
THC vs. CBD
Both THC and CBD are cannabinoid compounds that occur naturally in cannabis. Both compounds affect the Cannabinoid Type 1 (CB1) receptors in the human body. The difference lies in the effects of each compound.
While THC activates the CB1 receptors and gives a feeling of euphoria associated with marijuana, CBD depresses the CB1 receptors. It blocks the euphoric impact caused by CB1. Therefore, for all practical purposes, consuming CBD with THC can control the effect of THC on the human body.
CBD and Your Health
CBD has several positive effects on a user’s health. Some examples, backed by research, are documented here. Though it feels a little like getting high, CBD helps users feel relaxed and is not intoxicating.
Recent research has shown that CBD can be beneficial in reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It can also help in the treatment of pain and inflammation.
CBD can also help patients suffering from Epilepsy and epileptic seizures. A couple of years ago, the FDA has approved Epidiolex, a first CBD-based medication, for the treatment of epileptic seizures.
Side Effects of CBD
According to the WHO, CBD is safe to consume. That said, research into CBD is ongoing. Despite the wide use of CBD, some people may be susceptible to some side-effects, especially when CBD is consumed at higher than recommended doses. These include –
i) mild nausea
iv) dry mouth, and
Users already on prescription medication will be well advised to consult their doctor before trying CBD. CBD may reduce the effects of some medication or may also interact leading to unwanted side-effects.
CBD products that are derived from Hemp and contain less than the prescribed .3 percent of THC are legal per federal law. However, certain state laws may still deem it illegal.
CBD products that are derived from Marijuana are illegal per federal law but remain legal under laws of certain states.
It is advisable to check the appropriate state laws in case of travel. It is important to note that over-the-counter CBD products are not approved by the FDA.