One of the most popular questions that we get about using CBD is whether it will get you high. That’s not surprising since CBD products are derived from the cannabis plant. The short answer when talking about hemp-derived CBD products is no. CBD products that can be legally purchased online or in local stores will not make you feel high. That is, they won’t produce the psychoactive and intoxicating effects that are commonly associated with marijuana or THC.
To have a full understanding of the answer to this question, it’s important to understand the differences between CBD and THC. And it’s also important to know the difference between hemp and marijuana.
CBD vs. THC
CBD and THC are just two of the many naturally-occurring compounds from cannabis plants called cannabinoids. THC is the cannabinoid that produces the psychoactive and intoxicating effects associated with feeling “high.” Conversely, CBD is the cannabinoid that has become known for its potential therapeutic effects and health benefits.
CBD does not produce a high because it doesn’t directly bind to the CB1 receptors located in the brain. Unlike THC, CBD typically interacts indirectly with endocannabinoid receptors. This binding occurs with THC and is largely responsible for the intoxicating effects felt with THC. Because this binding doesn’t happen with CBD, there is no intoxicating effect from it.
In fact, CBD can actually have the opposite effect by preventing THC from binding. The presence of CBD can prevent someone from getting as high as usual from THC. CBD can also be used to effectively reverse or calm a high. It’s not uncommon for users of products that are high in THC to keep pure CBD on hand for this purpose.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
Hemp and marijuana are both plants that fall under the cannabis genus. From a legal perspective in the U.S., cannabis with less than 0.3% THC is considered hemp. Cannabis with more than 0.3% THC is considered to be marijuana.
All of the popular CBD oil products that can be legally purchased online or in local stores are derived from hemp. Full spectrum hemp-derived CBD products can contain up to 0.3% THC. But such a trace amount of THC is generally not enough to produce intoxicating effects. Broad spectrum and isolate CBD products do not contain any detectable amounts of THC based on manufacturer lab testing.
CBD oil with more than 0.3% THC is treated the same as marijuana. So it can only be legally purchased from a licensed dispensary in a state or country where marijuana is legal. Depending on the ratio of THC to CBD in the product and the individual, CBD oil products from marijuana can have the psychoactive and intoxicating effects commonly associated with feeling high.
The Bottom Line
You won’t get high from using hemp-derived CBD oil products or CBD itself. They may have a psychoactive effect in the sense that you feel more calm or relaxed. But they will not produce intoxicating effects or a feeling of impairment.