One topic that seems to cause a lot of confusion in the cannabis industry is the topic of whether or not CBD has psychoactive properties. This is especially important to those who are interested in using CBD for it’s myriad of benefits, but are concerned about the possibility of intoxication or, in other words, the “high” that is often associated with the marijuana plant and how it will affect their brain activity. If you’re confused about this topic, this article is for you.
The Truth about CBD and Psychoactivity
Conflicting Information in the Industry
If you are feeling overwhelmed about the information that is currently available on the internet and throughout CBD literature relating to this matter, you are not alone. Much of the information out there refers to CBD as a non-psychoactive.
So, what is the truth? Is CBD psychoactive or not? Our goal today is to provide some valuable information and to clear up any miscommunications about CBD as a psychoactive compound.
As we mentioned, much of the documentation out there about CBD refers to it as a non-psychoactive, we’ve done some research here at More Than Hemp and have found that the majority of people are actually misusing that phrase.
The truth is, CBD actually is psychoactive. If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. The definition of psychoactive is simply “affecting the mind.” If CBD did not have psychoactive properties, and had zero impact on the brain, how would we be able to explain its positive effects in relation to issues like anxiety and depression? These are all issues of the mind, so it’s no wonder that people are confused when they hear CBD is considered a non-psychoactive.
Non-intoxicating vs. Non-Psychoactive
Rather than referring to CBD as non-psychoactive, which is technically incorrect, we find it is more accurate to describe it as non-intoxicating.
Like we said before, there has been a ton of information out there that demonstrates the fact that, for some, CBD (or cannabidiol) can potentially produce anti-anxiety, and antidepressant effects. If CBD has the ability effect these mood-related disorders that lie primarily within the mind, it should technically still be considered a mood-altering substance. The distinction, then is that CBD does not induce much of a euphoric feeling, if any. Rather than referring to cannabidiol as a non-psychoactive substance, it makes more sense to talk about it as simply non-intoxicating.
The Differences Between THC and CBD
So, if THC and CBD are both technically psychoactive compounds, how do we explain the differences in their effects? Or, in other words, how does one make you feel high while the other does not?
To start, let’s talk about what we know about THC, the cannabinoid most typically associated with the marijuana plant. This is the compound that produces the intoxicating or euphoric effects you probably think of when you think of cannabis. While we know THC is responsible for this effect, researchers still aren’t entirely certain exactly how this effect is achieved within the brain, although they do have some ideas.
Essentially, THC is believed to be an activator of a receptor in the brain known as the CB1 receptor. This receptor is thought to play a big role in cannabis intoxication and its ability to produce euphoria.
That being said, CBD alone is not as inclined to bind to this receptor in the way that THC does. Actually, it is thought that CBD, especially when combined with THC, actually interferes with CB1 receptor activity. So, if THC is the compound that produces euphoria, it could be helpful to think of CBD as a block to that particular effect. Whereas, when CBD is absent and only THC is being used, there will be a higher chance of feeling inebriated.
Is CBD Better Than THC?
Ultimately, one is not necessarily better than the other, but they do very different things. If you want to feel calmer and still be able to maintain focus, CBD is probably the right choice for you as it does not activate the CB1 receptors.
Though non-intoxicating, CBD can work in tandem with THC or on its own in order to produce positive, psychoactive effects that have been beneficial for many people.
CBD is Psychoactive (and that’s okay)
With all of the buzz (no pun intended) around CBD not being a psychoactive compound, it can be a little alarming to hear that it does have mind-altering effects, especially for those who are particularly sensitive to THC. But the fact that CBD is technically a psychoactive should not deter you from considering using it for its many benefits. It is simply a difference in terminology.
CBD produces mind-altering effects, but as we discussed in this article, mind-altering does not necessarily mean intoxicating. With that in mind, if you’re considering trying CBD, you should not let the word ‘psychoactive’ scare you off.
At the same time, we think it is important for people to know that, while CBD won’t get you “high”, it does affect the mind, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Many people have found relief from debilitating symptoms with the use of CBD without feeling high.
One of our main goals at More Than Hemp is to educate you on the effects of CBD and the different CBD products on the market so that you can buy hemp derived CBD oil – and other CBD products with confidence.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information presented on this website is not advice and is not a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional. Information provided does not constitute a professional relationship with Dr. Leigh Randa, PhD. Always consult with your doctor before combining CBD with your current treatments or medications. CBD should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment.