CBD products do not contain THC and will not give people a “high.” The cannabinoids CBD and THC are both constituents of the cannabis plant.
Although CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are both parts of the same plant, they have very different effects on the body. THC is the substance in cannabis that gives a person the feeling of being high. Conversely, CBD is commonly used to manage pain and aid in relaxation.
While it is possible to buy CBD products, research shows that these products may still contain varying amounts of THC. It is advisable for people to check the label of a product before trying it.
Read on to learn about the benefits, risks, legality, and more.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a substance found in plants and is well-known for being a cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, it does not give a person who consumes it a high.
CBD itself does not contain THC. However, some broad-spectrum CBD products may have small amounts.
A 2017 research letter published in the
This means that while a person buying a CBD product may think that they are choosing a product with no THC in it, this may not always be the case.
Despite being derived from the same plants, CBD and THC have distinctly different properties and effects on a person. They also have different legal statuses.
The high a person gets from consuming THC happens when THC binds with cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain. It can make a person feel happy, relaxed, paranoid, or fearful.
Conversely, CBD cannot bind to these receptors without THC. This means that if a person uses CBD and THC is not present, they will not get high. CBD has a low tendency to combine with the receptor on its own.
Marketing CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement is
At the federal level, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved one CBD product to date. This medication is used to treat seizures in people with the following health conditions:
- Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy
- Dravet syndrome, another rare type of epilepsy
- tuberous sclerosis complex
While the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the definition of cannabis in the Controlled Substances Act, CBD products still have to abide by the same legal requirements as regulated products containing any other substance.
As of 2021, the
Instead, many CBD products available are meant for topical use. For example, a company may manufacture a CBD balm that is meant to be used for sore muscles.
Hemp is another name for cannabis when people grow it for a range of industrial uses, such as making clothing, paper, or animal feed. It has
A CBD extract can be broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, or isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD contains all extracts of the cannabis plant, which includes CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and other cannabinoids. Broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum, except it has almost no THC in it. Finally, CBD isolate is pure CBD.
The three types are as follows:
|Full-spectrum||A full-spectrum product will contain all of the natural compounds in the cannabis plant, including THC. However, THC levels must be no more than 0.3% to comply with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation on full-spectrum CBD products.|
|Broad-spectrum||Broad-spectrum products contain natural compounds of the cannabis plant. However, while manufacturers remove all or most of the THC in broad-spectrum CBD, it may still be present in trace amounts.|
|CBD isolate||This is the purest form of CBD and should contain 0% THC.|
Read more about terminology and other important CBD information.
CBD has a range of benefits, both proven and anecdotal.
However, the study’s authors noted that much of the evidence from systematic reviews did not differentiate between unregulated herbal cannabis and pharmaceutical-grade regulated cannabinoid-based medical products (CBMP). This means that it is difficult to determine what exactly caused the benefits.
Despite this criticism, the authors concluded that CBMP causes few side effects and can benefit people with:
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- chronic neuropathic pain resulting from injury to the nerves that facilitate communication between the brain and spinal cord and other parts of the body, such as the skin and muscles
- nausea and vomiting following chemotherapy
- resistant childhood epilepsy
Possible CBD side effects listed by the FDA include:
- drowsiness or sleepiness
- gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea or reduced appetite
- irritability and agitation
- liver injury
- altering the effect of other drugs a person is taking
- risk of injury if a person uses CBD with other medications that cause drowsiness or sedation
- damaging male fertility, including male infants exposed in the womb
- The cumulative effect of consuming CBD in more than one product — for instance, applying a CBD cream to the skin and taking CBD supplements orally on an ongoing basis.
- The effect of CBD on populations including children, older people, adolescents, and people who are pregnant or lactating.
- The effect of giving CBD to animals that become meat or produce dairy products, eggs, and more.
According to the FDA, there is limited research on potential interactions between CBD and other herbs and dietary supplements. Therefore, people should be careful when combining CBD with other supplements and herbal remedies.
Cannabis contains a range of natural plant substances called cannabinoids, which include CBD and THC. Full-spectrum CBD products may contain up to 0.3% THC, while broad-spectrum products contain almost none.
The potential benefits of medical-grade cannabis include managing chronic pain, nausea following chemotherapy, and epilepsy that is resistant to other treatments. Research suggests that all the cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, and other plant components in cannabis may work together to provide the plant’s therapeutic effects.