Does CBD Get You High?

Does CBD Get You High?

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Will CBD get you high? The answer to this question is a resounding no. CBD oil doesn’t make you high. In fact, CBD oil is specifically produced to minimize what’s called the THC count (what makes a person high) all the while maximizing what’s called CBD count, i.e., what prevents a person from getting high.

Having established that CBD oil will not get you high, it’s important to understand the reasons why. As users of cannabis, it’s in our best interest to be informed on everything related to CBD and CBD oil.

Let us get started, shall we?

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or what we refer to as CBD, is one of the several components found in the cannabis plant that’s known as cannabinoids. Another commonly known cannabinoids are THC. Other cannabinoids include CBL (Cannabicyclol), CBG (Cannabigerol) and CBT (Cannabicitran). These are what make up the chemical composition of a cannabis plant.

Scientists have gone further to classify cannabinoids such as CBD into three separate categories namely:

  • Phytocannabinoids
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Synthetic cannabinoids

Below are brief descriptions of what these categories are all about.

Phytocannabinoids

The prefix ‘phyto’ always refers to “of a plant” or something that relates to plants. When ‘phyto’ is added to chemistry, we get the word, ‘phytochemistry” which is essentially a branch of science that deals with plants.

As such, phytocannabinoids are chemical compounds produced in the cannabis plant and other plants as well.  That said, you need to keep in mind that genuine cannabinoids (such as CBG, CBD, and CBN) are only produced in the cannabis plant. Other plants such as liverwort, electric daisy, and Echinacea produce cannabimimetic compounds which can interact with the human mind and body similarly.

Endocannabinoids

These are cannabinoids produced in the body of a human being.

The chemical structure of endocannabinoids is similar but not identical to phytocannabinoids, and they names are quite different:

  • Anandamide
  • Noladin ether
  • N-arachidonoyl-dopamine
  • Virodhamine
  • 2-Arachidonoyl-glycerol

Just the thought of your own body being able to produce its own psychoactive high is exciting, but unfortunately, that’s where it ends (at the thought level) because things don’t work that way.

This is because the concentration level of endocannabinoids in the human body is so low that it cannot trigger a high and neither can it bring relief from PTSD. Besides, the human body will not intentionally produce enough endocannabinoids to make this happen. For a person to feel any of these effects, you will have to add phytocannabinoids to your system.

Synthetic Cannabinoids

These cannabinoids are created in a laboratory. Depending on what the chemist is looking to create, synthetic cannabinoids can take the form of phytocannabinoids or endocannabinoids.

Having understood the science of cannabinoids, let’s now focus our attention on phytocannabinoid CBD and get to know why it will not give you a high.

Why CBD Won’t Get You High?

The human brain is made of millions of neurons that interact and work hand in hand to help you function properly – from keeping senses active to triggering emotions etc. Depending on what’s happening inside the human body or what’s happening around you, these neurons can be active or inactive. This tells us that neurons are not switched on all the time and can sometimes lay dormant.

The battery terminal inside an electronic device operates in the same way neurons do. One of the terminals discharges electricity while the other receives electricity. The end that receives electricity is referred to as a receptor.

Once a battery is inside an electronic device, power will flow into the receptor and activates our device. Our brains act in the same way. When a particular chemical is introduced into our brain, it plugs in or connects with the receptors and turns on the neuron. The neuron that’s turned on also triggers something else within the brain or the body.

The Cannabinoid receptor (CB1) is one such receptor. THC (responsible for making you high) acts as a battery – using the above illustration of a battery in an electronic device, we will say it’s an AA type of battery. The THC fits compactly into the receptor and supplies the necessary stimulation to make the neuron active.  The psychoactive effects of consuming cannabis are then felt because of this active neuron.

With CBD, you’re taking an AAA battery and placing it into an AA space. The AAA battery may fit, but it’s no match, and it will not produce any power. In the same way, the CBD will fit but not supply the power needed to trigger the neuron. What’s more, CBD will occupy space inside the receptor and thwart any chances of the brain getting any THC in.

In doing so, CBD prevents any THC activity in your brain. CBD is also referred to as CB1 antagonist.  As with movies or books, antagonists here refer to substances that obstruct, hamper or hinder the physiological actions of other substances.

While in the process of preventing THC activity on the CB1 receptor, CBD also activates other receptors. Among the receptors that get activated are the adenosine receptor, the vanilloid receptor, and the serotonin receptor.

Adenosine receptors are responsible for regulating anxiety. Once introduced into the brain, CBD causes the receptors to function at their maximum capacity which in turn reduces anxiety. Vallinoid receptors are responsible for the regulation of pain and introduction of CBD lowers the intensity and acuteness of pain and inflammation. With serotonin receptors, the introduction of CBD makes these receptors work towards reducing depression and contribute to several biological and neurological systems.

What CBD Does

CBD has several benefits with more being discovered as days go by.

Some of the benefits of CBD include:

  • Reduces inflammation*
  • Lowers pain*
  • Kills or slows down bacterial growth*
  • Obstructs the growth of cancer cells*
  • Averts degeneration of the nervous system*
  • Treats psoriasis*
  • Suppresses muscle spasms*
  • Reduces seizures and convulsions*
  • Lowers risk of artery blockage*
  • Promotes bone growth*
  • Moderates blood sugar levels*
  • Relieves anxiety*
  • Aids sleep*
  • Minimizes the severity of psychosis*
  • Reduces nausea and vomiting*
  • Stimulates appetite*

Sounds too good to be true? These are, as a matter of fact, facts.

Many patients would consider gaining all these benefits without the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana as the epitome of success in medical treatment.

Does Scientific Research Exist?

Yes, there’s a lot of research that has been conducted on cannabinoids. As a matter of fact, CBD has recently become the trending topic of scientific inquiries due to its medicinal benefits and the fact that it lacks intoxicating effects.

Research has established growing evidence showcasing the ability of CBD to reduce the number of seizures that a person is suffering from refractory epilepsy experiences. This is especially true for children suffering from the Dravet syndrome.

Other studies show CBD’s ability to:

  • Reduce fear of public speaking
  • Lessen the intensity of damaging memories associated with PTSD
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Treat panic disorder. This is a severe form of anxiety that causes panic attacks

There’s also research that mentions CBD as an effective form of treatment for Schizophrenia although more research is needed to determine this conclusively.

Another study shows that CBD can reduce blood pressure in a healthy individual. Researchers have found evidence which proves that CBD can be substituted for opiates in treating chronic pain. Further evidence has our scientists stating that CBD can help treat liver damage brought about by severe alcoholism.

In spite of the many medical benefits associated with CBD, researchers face roadblocks. There are situations when the illegality of compounds such a CBD makes it impossible for the scientific community to carry out research that would otherwise benefit us a lot.

Why is CBD Illegal?

This is a really good question that should be asked over and over until it reaches the ears of those who can make the necessary amendment.

The truth of the matter is that there’s no good or worthy reason as to why CBD is illegal. Unfortunately, CBD remains classified as a Schedule 1drug by the DEA at the federal level.

Federal regulations define Schedule 1 drugs as substances that have no currently accepted medical use and have a high potential for abuse. Nothing could be further from the truth as far as CBD is concerned since first and foremost, CBD doesn’t cause a high, and secondly, we have tons of research and evidence pointing to its medicinal benefits and applications.

The question still stands; why is CBD illegal?

Well, it’s highly likely that the DEA is not updated on the facts surrounding CBD. Up to the end of 2015, researching CBD was completely illegal. Restrictions have since been eased to allow for research to be conducted on CBD. However, it has only been a few years and certainly not enough time to gather the ‘mountain-full’ of conclusive evidence required to legalize CBD nationwide.

To worsen the situation, the DEA has continuously denied applications submitted by researchers who want to conduct more research on the medicinal properties and effects of CBD. The federal government confirmed that as of February 2018, there were 26 outstanding applications from marijuana suppliers and the DEA hasn’t approved any of them. This is clearly a paradox seeing as how the scientific study of CBD is technically approved, but applications are still being ignored. It effectively states that researching CBD is illegal.

Interestingly, marijuana is legal in several states. As a matter of fact, CBD has been legalized in 47 states. The remaining three, i.e. Idaho, Kansas and South Dakota still consider CBD oil to be an illegal substance. That said, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved a bill in June 2018 that would see CBD legalized nationwide. The Senate will vote on the bill very soon.

Additionally, marijuana (which contains THC) is legalized in 29 states for medical purposes only. Other areas where it’s legal include Puerto Rico, Guam and the District of Columbia. Some states insist on a prescription to legally use marijuana while other states allow unrestricted use of CBD for as long as the concentration level of THC in the CBD is less than 0.3%.

The complexity of the laws surrounding marijuana and CBD is compounded by the fact that the former is a hundred percent legal for recreational use in 9 states namely Alaska, Colorado, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, Vermont, Oregon, and Washington D.C.

The population in the 9 states as well as the nation’s capital totals around 70 million people which translate to about a fifth of the entire American population. Essentially, what this means is that for every five American citizens, one is legally allowed to smoke weed recreationally yet at the Federal level, CBD still remains in the category of Schedule 1 drugs.

CBD Oil and the High-CBD Strains

Naturally, many in the cannabis industry have been doing their best to achieve a higher THC percentage. There’s also a minority group quietly striving to attain high CBD percentages. This minority group wants to minimize and if possible completely eliminate the psychoactive effects in marijuana while retaining the beneficial medical effects.

High-CBD strains include Sour Tsunami, Harlequin, Cannatonic, and Charlotte’s Web. The marijuana industry has seen the production of CBD Oil, which is, in essence, a concentrate, of the cannabis plant.

Where Does CBD Oil Come From?

The more well-known marijuana products are derived from the marijuana plant. These plants yield buds which contain 5-10% THC. The hemp is a member of the cannabis plant family and only produces 0.05-1% THC. These percentages are considered negligible by nearly all chemist standards.

Oil manufactured from the hemp plant is relatively high in CBD and low in THC. As a result, we are able to get the medicinal effects indicated above without attracting the “negative” psychoactive effects that come with regular marijuana use.

How is CBD Oil Made?

There are several ways that CBD oil can be made from the hemp plant.

In most cases, it’s made using CO2. Manufacturers create high pressure and low temperature and forcefully pass CO2 through the hemp plant. Once it passes through, the CO2 is allowed to escape leaving behind the CBD extract.

Another way CBD oil is made is by using olive oil. This procedure is quite popular because of the safety of olive oil and its nutrients which are added to the CBD extract. Using olive oil also ensures the product is free from unwanted chemicals.

Yet another way to produce CBD oil is by using ethanol extraction or using high-grain alcohol extraction.  Ethanol contains acidic properties which end up destroying some of the hemp’s natural and beneficial oils during extraction. Because of this, ethanol is the least used method in the production of CBD oil.

Due to the nature of the production process including the high pressure, low temperatures are needed for CBD oil to be successfully produced. It’s advisable to buy a professionally-produced product instead of trying to make it yourself.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Fortunately, there are very limited side effects. Scientists will not admit it outright, but studies indicate that the greatest side effect of using High-CBD products such as CBD oil is a dry mouth.  

It’s worth noting that CBD interferes with the ability of the liver to metabolize any other pharmaceutical product and this interference can result in unintended consequences. If you are on medication, it would be prudent to consult with your physician before taking a CBD product.

Due to the limited side effects and extensive applications, CBD can be used to treat several disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, epilepsy, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, osteoporosis as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder.*