Cannabidiol (CBD) does not cause a high. It is THC, not CBD, that creates the ‘high-feeling’ people associate with cannabis use. CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two different compounds isolated from the Cannabis sativa plant.
This article discusses the differences between CBD and THC and explains why these compounds produce such drastically different effects in people.
Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.
CBD is one of the most well-known cannabinoids produced by the C. sativa plant. It is
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another well-known cannabinoid that produces the strong psychoactive effects of being “high.”
Consuming or using CBD alone will not cause the “high” associated with THC.
CBD and THC are present in all types of cannabis plants but in different quantities. Certain varieties of C. sativa and Cannabis indica contain higher amounts of THC and low amounts of CBD. As of 2014, the average cannabis plant contained
CBD’s chemical composition and its effects are the same, whether extracted from hemp or other varieties of the cannabis plant.
It is illegal to add CBD to foods, dietary supplements, and products marketed as having therapeutic benefits.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis plants.
It also binds to cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptors located in the brainstem and hippocampus, which has links to memory and emotions. Immune cells, bone cells, and spleen and liver cells also contain CB2 receptors.
This widespread distribution of cannabinoid receptors is the reason why THC produces such powerful physical and psychological effects.
Public and research interest in CBD has grown considerably due to CBD’s potential health benefits.
CBD does not bind to either CB1 or CB2 receptors.
According to a 2018 review article, CBD may reduce the ability of THC and other cannabinoids to bind to the CB1 receptor’s. This may reduce the psychoactive effects of THC and may increase the number of circulating cannabinoids.
Anecdotal evidence and
However, researchers must continue to study the effects and potential health benefits of CBD.
In 2017, the
- neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease
- chronic pain
- brain injuries related to restricted blood flow
- inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis
- inflammatory bowel and Crohn’s diseases
- cardiovascular diseases
- complications of diabetes
Risks and side effects
While most people tolerate CBD well, it can lead to adverse side effects, such as:
- drowsiness or fatigue
- a dry mouth
- changes in mood, such as increased agitation and irritability
- interactions with prescription or over-the-counter drugs
- increased risk of sedation, drowsiness, and injuries when used with alcohol
- increased or decreased appetite
- liver damage due to drug interactions
If a person is considering using CBD, they should speak to a doctor or healthcare provider first.
Other effects of THC include:
- sense of euphoria
- increased relaxation
- changes in perception of time
- dry mouth
- red, dry eyes
- difficulty concentrating or problem-solving
- impaired memory
- feelings of anxiety or paranoia
- increased appetite
CBD does not make a person “high.”
Although CBD comes from cannabis plants, it does not produce the same euphoric intoxication as cannabis or THC.
CBD continues attracting attention from members of the general public, scientific communities, and healthcare organizations. An ever-growing body of preclinical and clinical research suggests that CBD may help treat various medical conditions, such as anxiety, inflammatory diseases, and chronic pain.
CBD is available in oral capsules, oils, tinctures, topical patches, and edible products.
While most people tolerate CBD well, they should only purchase CBD products from high-quality, reputable manufacturers and distributors.