WILL CBD GET ME HIGH?
Unfortunately, this is a common question among newcomers to hemp-derived products: and although the answer is a resounding no, misconceptions still exist about the difference between hemp and marijuana, or CBD and THC. In this article, we aim to eliminate these misconceptions, explaining the difference between hemp and marijuana, and distinguishing the psychoactive compound CBD from the non-psychoactive THC. As we discuss below, CBD produces no psychoactive effects–this is a fact accepted by researchers, scientists, and United States law.
The statements herein have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and any information herein is not intended to aid any reader in the diagnosis, treatment, curing, or prevention of any disease or other medical condition.
The misconception that CBD causes a “high” derives from its origin as a subspecies of the cannabis plant. There are two varieties of the cannabis sativa plant: hemp and marijuana. Although they are both subtypes of cannabis sativa, marijuana and hemp are different plants with different chemical compositions, and they produce entirely different effects.
Nonetheless, the fact that both hemp and marijuana are different variations of the same type of plant–cannabis sativa–has led to the common error of conflating the two, and assuming that any variety of cannabis produces the “high” that comes from marijuana. This, in turn, has led to misconceptions that consuming CBD–which derives from hemp–produces the same high as consuming THC.
In reality, however, these two plants have completely different chemical compositions, and when consumed, they produce completely different effects. Only the marijuana variety of cannabis produces intoxicating effects.
THC Content: The Key Differentiator Between Marijuana and Hemp
THC content is the key differentiator between marijuana and hemp. Marijuana contains high amounts of THC, the intoxicating compound responsible for the high associated with marijuana consumption: marijuana is legally defined as containing over 0.3% THC, though marijuana intended for recreational use has a THC content ranging from 15 to 20%.
While THC is the dominant cannabinoid in marijuana, CBD is the dominant cannabinoid in hemp, and accounts for over 40% of the plant’s composition. Hemp is legally defined as containing under 0.3% THC, and it is physically impossible for such small, trace amounts of THC to produce any psychoactive or intoxicating effects.
It is because of this drastic difference in THC content that marijuana and hemp-derived products produce completely different effects.
How CBD Reverses the Effects of THC
As discussed above, CBD is non-psychoactive, and hemp-derived products cannot cause the high associated with marijuana consumption. Moreover, CBD is the only known compound that actually prevents or reverses the psychoactive effects of THC. In other words: if one were to consume marijuana and CBD together, CBD would largely prevent the “high” that marijuana alone would produce. With regard to psychoactivity, CBD is the opposite of THC, and prevents the psychoactive activity that results in a high when marijuana is consumed.
THC produces a high by binding with cannabinoid receptors to alter signaling between synapses, resulting in the dysphoric, intoxicating effects that many associate with marijuana use. CBD, on the other hand, prevents THC from accessing this region of the brain, and reduces the synaptic activity that causes THC’s psychoactive effects. Studies have shown that when consumed after THC, CBD modulates and reduces the excess activity in the brain responsible for the high that THC produces.
This has been confirmed by various scientific studies. While observing the differences in activity between CBD and THC in the brains of rats, neurologists found that CBD does not interact with, or have any effect on, the receptors and pathways that THC must access to create psychoactive effects: in a 2019 study, researchers observed that “CBD by itself had no effect” on these pathways in the brain. Moreover, they found that “CBD may actually block THC-related side-effects,” and that CBD “was also able to reverse the anxiety-like behavior and addictive behavior caused by THC” (Hudson, 2019).
Full-Spectrum vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD
Only full-spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of CBD, which must legally remain below 0.3% (though it would be difficult to exceed this THC content, as there is rarely over 0.3% THC in the hemp plant from which CBD originates). These trace amounts of THC cannot and will not produce a high; the only reason that some companies choose to include them in full-spectrum formulas is because THC, even in trace amounts, can bind to certain receptors that CBD cannot reach, leading some consumers to believe that full-spectrum products provide enhanced benefits for pain and other symptoms.
Of course, CBD consumers have the option to choose products that contain no THC at all. Broad-spectrum CBD contains all of the therapeutic compounds in hemp except for THC; this type of CBD is processed after extraction to strip all traces of THC from the hemp extract. Yet broad-spectrum CBD still harnesses the natural synergy of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, which work together to enhance the effects of CBD.
Whether they choose a full-spectrum product containing less than 0.3% THC, or a broad-spectrum product containing no THC whatsoever, consumers needn’t be concerned about whether trace levels of THC in their CBD products will get them high.
CBD: A Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoid
In short, no legal CBD product can cause you to become high. CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects, and is legally recognized as non-intoxicating; consuming CBD does not impair one’s ability to drive, operate machinery, perform everyday tasks, or do anything they normally would without it.
We provide third-party lab test results that confirm the THC content of our products, which always falls at or below the non-psychoactive limit of 0.3%. With this, you can rest assured that under no circumstances will our CBD cause you to become high. To the contrary, you may be pleased to find that Goldvana hemp-derived products leave you feeling more clear-headed, healthier, and happier.