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  • by Nicola Boulton September 27, 2022 4 min read

    Does CBD Get You High?

    CBD’s metabolism in the body does not result in psychoactive effects. In addition, it contains low levels of psychoactive THC. This article discusses the chemical composition of CBD and how it impacts the body.

    Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a natural chemical in cannabis and hemp plants. CBD is among the many components of the mentioned plant which have gained traction globally. Due to its popularity, its products have risen in several countries. The chemical has multiple health and therapeutic effects, including skin, heart, and brain. The health importance associated with this compound includes relieving stress and inflammation. People mistake CBD for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is associated with high effects. However, CBD and THC bind with the CB1 receptors within the brain, which results in the production of high feeling-related hormones. In contrast, CBD does not activate CB1 directly.

    There is a similarity between CBD and a neurotransmitter referred to as endocannabinoid. The chemical regulates biological body functions, like pain, inflammation, and pleasure. The similarity of these neurotransmitters makes CBD compatible with body mechanisms.

    Why Do People Believe That CBD Might Get You High?

    The misconception arises from the source of CBD and THC. CBD is a cannabis derivative, a plant known for psychoactive behaviors. Cannabis contains a chemical compound called THC; this compound provides the psychoactive effects found in cannabis. However, CBD is domiciled in the hemp plant, while THC is primarily obtained from the marijuana plant (Schilliing et al., 2020); the two plants are from the cannabis family.

    Unlike THC, CBD does not cause the high feeling associated with marijuana. In most countries, the product is extracted from the Hemp plant that is legalized for medicinal use; the law regulates THC levels in CBD at 0.3% or less; this is not enough to cause intoxicating effects.

    Can Different Forms of CBD Result In Different Effects?

    The effects of CBD depend on how we take the compound. CBD comes in several forms; edibles, topical creams, and vape pens. It is also infused in foods and beverages. The forms of CBD will dictate the time it takes to manifest in the body and the duration its effects will last in the body system.


    Topical products are used for localized skin conditions. Their absorption into the bloodstream is usually in slow motion, as they are absorbed through the skin.

    Vaporizing or Smoking

    According to Liu (2019), vaporized or smoked CBD has faster effects than edibles taken through digestion. It is absorbed into the body via the lungs and has the highest bioavailability. However, vaped or smoked CBD flowers may produce greater psychoactive effects once a bigger portion of the cannabis contains THC.

    Oils and Edibles

    CBD mixed with foods or oils takes long to manifest compared to inhalation. Edibles are channeled through the digestive tract to the liver before entering the bloodstream. Hence, the extended digestion process delays its effects in the body; the cannabis derivative takes up to two hours before its effects manifest.

    CBD Distillate

    High (2022) recommended CBD distillates for users who dislike the intoxicating feelings of cannabis. The distillates undergo purification to remove the most active ingredients; the removal includes the psychoactive THC.

     The distillate has relaxing and calming effects on the body. It can also reduce inflammation, pain, and sleeplessness. In addition, isolation suppresses mental conditions like depression and anxiety (High, 2022).

    Are There Side Effects to CBD Intake?

    According to Gottschling et al. (2020), CBD is a safe substance when used properly and in the right quantity. However, some users report the following side effects for larger doses of the cannabis derivative; 

    • Scaly mouth.
    • Diarrhea.
    • Acute nausea.
    • Fatigue.
    • Dizziness. 
    • Change in weight and appetite

    If one is under any medication, they should seek medical advice before taking CBD; the mechanisms of CBD metabolism may inhibit the effectiveness of other prescription drugs in the body. The interaction could result in a toxic accumulation of pharmacological drugs in the body.

    The negative effects of CBD in the body could emanate from poor quality drugs. Users should verify the ingredients in a CBD product through the labels, third-party, and results or certificate of analysis. In addition, online reviews by other consumers could indicate the quality of a product.


    CBD does not have psychoactive effects on the body; high-quality CBD contains trace levels of THC that are insufficient for psychoactive effects. However, poor-quality products may misrepresent the levels of THC, resulting in psychoactive effects. Notably, the cannabis derivative does not interact with the body similarly to the psychoactive THC; hence, it does not result in psychoactive effects. However, its metabolism may be similar to some pharmacological drugs, making it unsuitable alongside prescription drugs.


    Gottschling, S., Ayonrinde, O., Bhaskar, A., Blockman, M., D’Agnone, O.,Schecter, D., ... &Cyr, C. (2020). Safety considerations in cannabinoid-based medicine. International journal of general medicine, 13, 1317.

    High, D. C. O. G. Y. Can CBD Get You High and Does It Give You A Buzz? (2022).

    Liu, T. (2019). What is CBD Oil? Learn the Facts: Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects.

    Schilling, S., Melzer, R.,& McCabe, P. F. (2020). Cannabis sativa. Current Biology, 30(1), R8-R9.


    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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