Mellow Without The Munchies: Will CBD Get You High?
Despite CBD’s mainstream stature—or perhaps because of it—there’s a lot of misinformation surrounding its effects. Perhaps the biggest misconception people have about CBD is that it makes users feel “high.” Unfortunately, some curious customers put off trying CBD out of fear of these supposed psychoactive effects.
Here’s the truth: CBD will not make you feel “high.” Only THC will give you that distinctive “stoned” sensation. Even though CBD and THC come from the same plant, that doesn’t mean they have the same effects.
Since hemp legalization is so new in North America, it’s understandable many people have the wrong idea of CBD. However, you should never avoid trying CBD because you’re afraid of feeling “high.”
So, What Exactly Is CBD?
If you’re new to CBD, you’re probably wondering what the heck this supposedly “magical” molecule is? Well, CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Researchers still aren’t sure how many cannabinoids cannabis contains, but recent estimates suggest there’s about 100.
CBD—short for cannabidiol—is one of the most abundant cannabinoids in the cannabis species. Unlike the infamous THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound. CBD is also federally legal thanks to the 2018 US Farm Bill.
Before moving on, it’s important to note there are two main variants of the cannabis plant: hemp and marijuana. Hemp plants naturally have an abundance of CBD and low traces of THC. By contrast, marijuana is often bred for high THC counts, but it could have low to moderate CBD levels.
According to US federal law, hemp-derived goods are legal if they contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. By contrast, marijuana remains an illegal substance at the national level. For your safety, please ensure your state doesn’t have special hemp restrictions before purchasing CBD goods.
How Does CBD Work?
It’s almost as if humans were “designed” to use cannabinoids like CBD. Don’t believe us? Well then, you probably haven’t heard about the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
No, this isn’t something out of a sci-fi novel; the ECS is just as real and vital as the digestive, lymphatic, or nervous systems. Although we didn’t know about the ECS till the 20th century, it appears to play a role in everything from sleep and mood to pain and hunger. Amazingly, our bodies produce cannabinoids (aka endocannabinoids) that activate cannabinoid receptors known as CB1 and CB2.
Here’s the neat part: cannabis is the only plant that can interact with the ECS. For some strange reason, cannabis flowers contain phytocannabinoids that mimic our endocannabinoids.
Unlike THC, CBD does not bind directly with the ECS’s CB1 receptors. Instead, CBD seems to work by encouraging the production of an endocannabinoid called anandamide. Some studies also imply CBD could interact with non-ECS receptors like the 5HT serotonin receptor and the TRPV1.
Interestingly, researchers also believe CBD actively blocks CB1 receptors from accepting THC molecules. This may explain why marijuana strains with higher CBD counts don’t have an intense “high” sensation.
Does CBD Make You Feel Anything?
Just because CBD doesn’t bind with the CB1 receptors doesn’t mean it has no physiological impact. Sure, CBD may not make users feel “trippy,” but it still interacts with multiple receptors in and outside the ECS.
As mentioned above, recent studies suggest CBD might help re-uptake the endocannabinoid anandamide. For those who are rusty on their Sanskrit, “anandamide” literally means “bliss molecule.” Therefore, it’s no surprise studies suggest anandamide could have anti-anxiety potential. This could be one reason why CBD users often report feeling pretty chill shortly after taking their supplements.