Cannabidiol (CBD) for health and wellness is all the rage right now. However, many people still do not fully understand what CBD is, its benefits, risks, and more importantly, whether or not it will get you high.
While many publications claim it cannot, the truth is that it depends on the manufacturer and type of CBD you use. Some CBD contains the properties that get you high while some CBD has been processed to eliminate those properties.
The key to using CBD safely is understanding what CBD is, when it’s safe to use CBD, what CBD treats, and how you can take CBD.
What Is CBD?
To understand what CBD is, we need to first explain the cannabis plant and some of its properties. Cannabis has been used for centuries to make clothing, textiles, rope, food, paper, and much more. It contains many cannabinoids, the chemical compounds that are often extracted and combined with other ingredients to treat medical conditions.
The two cannabinoids we are most familiar with are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. They are the most popular extracts from the cannabis plant because they’re present in higher concentrations than other cannabinoids. CBD has become popular for treating a multitude of disabilities, disorders, and health conditions because it offers many benefits with mild risks and side effects.
How does CBD Work?
We have neuroreceptors that bond with cannabinoid substances that naturally occur in our bodies. This network is called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and has three components:
1. Endocannabinoids – the cannabinoid substances that occur naturally.
2. Cannabinoid receptors a class of cell membrane receptors in the nervous system that bond with endocannabinoids and cannabinoids.
3. Enzymes that break down endocannabinoids and cannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system affects many parts of our body including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. While cannabinoids are a natural substance in our system, it occurs in low doses. When we consume CBD and even THC, we gain cannabinoids in much higher doses that bond with these neuroreceptors which has a greater impact on our system.
Can You Get High from CBD?
You can get high from CBD if it contains THC. Both CBD and THC are psychoactive substances, but THC has a much different effect on our brains and bodies than CBD. The “high” feeling many people are concerned with is similar to the intoxicating feeling that alcohol, prescription drugs, or recreational drugs like THC or Cocaine cause.
CBD without THC does not cause intoxication. Instead, 100% THC-free CBD is being used as a safer therapy for numerous medical conditions such as neurodegenerative disorders, seizures, pain, anxiety, and inflammation. It has also been linked to improved memory and cognition.
The key to purchasing 100% THC-free cannabidiol is understanding the types of CBD and the importance of researching a product that claims to be THC-free. Currently, CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD, and full-spectrum CBD are available. Some of these products are not THC-free and therefore, will cause you to get high.
At 99% pure, CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD; it has been extracted to the point that it no longer contains any other components including THC, flavonoids, or any other cannabinoids. Full-spectrum CBD contains all the compounds found in cannabis including terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids such as THC but in very low doses. Broad-spectrum CBD contains many components in cannabis plant including essential oils, terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids but does not contain THC.
You can confirm a brand’s CBD product is 100% THC-free (technically 99%), through third-party testing which should be featured on their website if they have had it tested. The test will show you the percentage of cannabinoids present in their product including how much THC was found in the CBD.
If a product claims to be THC but doesn’t offer third party testing, they may not be a completely THC-free product. CBD is unregulated which means the government does not require brands to prove their claims. A reputable THC-free brand will provide you with third-party testing to prove their product is safe.
How Do I Take CBD?
CBD isolate is a powder and can be taken in several ways. Brands that manufacture edibles and CBD drink mixes use CBD isolate in their products. However, you can purchase just the CBD isolate. Since CBD isolate is flavorless, odorless, and dissolves, it can be put under your tongue, in your drinks, or even in food such as brownies!
Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD comes in vape, edibles, drink powders, tinctures, and topical creams all of which serve their purpose and have advantages and disadvantages.
It’s no secret that vape may have negative side effects on the lungs. While it’s the fastest way to get CBD in your system, dosing is inconsistent, and you must vape a lot to get enough CBD. Edibles like gummies often contain sugar or other undesirable ingredients, and some of the potency of the CBD is lost during digestion. Topical creams are good for soreness but will not help much with any other issues because you’re not using much on your skin.
Tinctures and drinks powders are safer more effective methods of getting CBD into your system. While these products may contain undesirable ingredients too, some brands keep their ingredients to the bare minimum. Tinctures and drink mixes are much easier to measure and ensure you’re taking a consistent dosage.
Will CBD Affect My Drug Test?
If you use CBD that has THC in it, yes, the THC will show up on a drug test. Many people have been reprimanded by their employers for having THC present in their system because the CBD they used had THC in it. That’s why it’s important to investigate a brand and check for third party testing.
Is CBD Legal?
CBD is federally legal if it doesn’t contain more than 0.3% THC. However, state laws governing CBD are very different. Many states have followed the federal government and legalized CBD if it doesn’t contain more than 0.3% THC, but other states have not legalized it, or some require you to have a prescription for CBD.
You must check with your state government to ensure CBD use and possession is legal in your area.
What are the Benefits of CBD?
Scientists are still performing case studies to prove the benefits of CBD, so many of the claims regarding the benefits of CBD are suspected rather than known without a shadow of a doubt. This is because experts in the health and medical industry need years and numerous case studies to confirm that a therapy is an effective treatment for any given medical condition, and we haven’t made it that far with CBD yet.
With that said, CBD is proving to treat many medical conditions. CBD with THC is suspected to be the most effective at treating health issues, but the controversy surrounding THC keeps many people from using it.
CBD on its own can provide many benefits too while having very little risks and side effects. The specific medical conditions that CBD is treating include:
• Chronic pain
• Anxiety and depression
• Cancer-related side effects: nausea, vomiting, and pain
Scientists are currently studying the effects CBD has on neurodegenerative diseases; they suspect it may treat diseases that affect the brain such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. However, these case studies are still in the works.
Are there Risks with Taking CBD?
Most people who use CBD do not experience any side effects, but a few have had nausea and fatigue. The long-term side effects of CBD are unknown because CBD is relatively new to the market.
One concern regarding the use of CBD is that it isn’t regulated by the FDA which means companies are not required to be honest about the ingredients, potency, or purity of their product. The other risk is that CBD can interact with some medications, so it is important to check with your doctor before you use CBD.
The Bottom Line
CBD does not cause the intoxicating effect that we associate with being high; its psychoactive affects the brain differently which may increase brain function and health. Since CBD does not cause people to feel high and is suspected to have minimal side effects, many people are using it to treat a multitude of physiological and psychological conditions.
If you’re considering CBD as a therapy for anxiety, depression, pain, or any other health issues, you need to research the brand and product before purchasing and make sure you doctor clears you to use CBD.