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  • by Nicola Boulton September 01, 2022 5 min read

    Is CBD a Drug?

    What is CBD? Can a person use CBD as a drug? Herein is about CBD as a drug, including its legality, benefits, and the possible side effects.

    Cannabinoid (CBD) has taken the world by storm. There seems to be a surge in interest concerning CBD, which may be attributed to the legalization of hemp in 2018. Some people assume that CBD and marijuana have similar effects, while others believe that CBD is some form of a drug manufactured inorganically. Look no further as this article deconstructs CBD: its positive benefits, possible side effects, and whether it is truly a drug.

    Analyzing CBD

    According to Dawidowicz et al. (2021), CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in hemp. Hemp, alongside marijuana, is a plant strain of the cannabis plant. These strains contain chemical compounds such as CBD and psychoactive THC. THC, abundant in marijuana, is responsible for the “high” sensation experienced after using cannabis.

    Hemp contains other chemical compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids. Terpenes are naturally occurring chemical compounds in plants responsible for their characteristic taste. According to Kandi et al. (2015), terpenes have anti-inflammatory properties that aid in alleviating muscle pain and inflammation. Terpenes also have neuroprotective and anti-depressant properties that help improve sleep and reduce anxiety.

    Is CBD Legal?

    In 2018, Congress passed the Farm Bill, which redefined hemp and removed it from the legal definition of marijuana according to the Controlled Substances Act. Despite CBD being regarded as legal under federal law, state governments have developed laws in retrospect to the federal law to regulate the administration of CBD. Thirty-six states have legalized CBD for medical use.

    How Safe is CBD?

    There are concerns about the safety of CBD. This may be accredited to its close association with marijuana, with many assuming they have similar effects. However, CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical compound with no intoxicating effects.

    There are three major types of CBD. The full spectrum of CBD contains all chemical compounds in hemp, such as CBD, THC, and terpenes. However, THC levels are significantly low (0.3%) to minimize potential intoxicating effects. The broad-spectrum CBD lacks THC, while the isolated CBD only contains CBD as its primary chemical compound

    High-quality CBD oil products are generally safe to use. Problems may arise when you overdose on CBD oil. According to McGrath et al. (2018), such side effects include diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset, dry mouth, fatigue, vomiting, drowsiness, and migraines.

    Is CBD a Drug?

    CBD is a natural chemical compound present in hemp. However, it can be processed into CBD gummies, tinctures, topical CBD, and capsules. CBD capsules can therefore be considered “drugs” since a doctor’s prescription is necessary for you to get the right Dosage.

    CBD capsules are a “pill-like product” administered orally. The capsules contain a gelatin casing and a precise amount of CBD. They take longer (about 30 minutes) to dispense their effects since the digestive system must process them and then absorb them into the bloodstream. However, the effects of consuming CBD capsules can last for about 6 hours, which makes it even more effective. According to Legal (2022), CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate muscle pain and inflammation.

    CBD capsules are popular due to their simplicity, effectiveness, and discreet nature since they are small, light, and convenient to carry around.

    Benefits of Consuming CBD Capsules

    CBD Capsules Generally Taste Better

    CBD capsules usually have a neutral taste as opposed to CBD oils, which have a herbal, earthy taste. This makes it more adaptable for people who would want to try CBD but dislike the earthy taste offered by CBD oil

    CBD Capsules Have a Fixed Dosage

    Administering CBD capsules saves you the hassle of calculating your Dosage correctly. This ensures you are less prone to errors that may lead to underdoing or overdosing. CBD capsules usually have the Dosage coherently outlined on the product label. McGregor et al. (2020) showed that CBD capsules come in doses such as 20mg, 50mg, 100mg, 200mg, and 500mg. However, it is important to consult your doctor about the right dose. Other factors such as age, weight, and frequency of use also determine the Dosage to be administered by a person. Learn more about benefits of hemp

    CBD Capsules Are Inconspicuous

    CBD capsules are advantageous due to their small, light, and discreet nature. This makes it convenient for anyone who would like to benefit from the properties of CBD since they would feel comfortable taking capsules in public, as they would be unnoticeable. However, CBD tinctures are easily noticeable and may make consumers uncomfortable while consuming them in public.

    The Effects of CBD Capsules Last Longer

    CBD capsules have a low bioavailability. This may be accrued to CBD capsules having to be processed by the digestive system before being absorbed into the bloodstream. However, they are still highly effective since their effects can last up to 6 hours.

    Disadvantages Of CBD Capsules

    The Dosage Cannot Easily Be Adjusted

    CBD capsules have a fixed dosage since there is a specific amount of CBD oil per capsule. Therefore, many enthusiastic users of CBD may find this disadvantageous, as their dosage is limited.

    They Have a Low Bioavailability

    Despite CBD capsules having longer-lasting effects, they have a low bioavailability. This may be accrued to CBD capsules having to be processed by the digestive system before being absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore, avid CBD users may find this unfavorable since they want the effects to “kick in” as soon as possible.

    A Word of Caution

    No specific side effects are linked to consuming CBD capsules. Consuming low-quality CBD and overdosing may lead to drowsiness, fatigue, diarrhea, and migraines.

    It is necessary to ensure that the CBD capsules you purchase have undergone intensive independent third-party testing. This is done to ensure that the purity levels are high. Some brands add carrier oils, such as MCT oil, to their CBD products. This may, in turn, lead to several adverse effects for some users.

    Ensure you read the ingredients on the product label. Ascertain that the level of THC is not more than 0.3%. You can also confirm that the CBD capsules you purchase have passed tests for heavy metals and pesticides per the Certificate of Analysis (COA).


    CBD is not a drug but a chemical compound present in hemp. However, it can be processed into CBD capsules, a pill-like product with a gelatin outer case, similar to most drugs. CBD capsules have a fixed amount of CBD oil, saving you the hassle of calculating the right dose. Ensure you purchase high-quality CBD capsules and products to minimize possible health risks. Learn more about can cbd make you smarter?


    Dawidowicz, A. L., Olszowy-Tomczyk, M., & Typek, R. (2021). CBG, CBD, Δ9-THC, CBN, CBGA, CBDA, And Δ9-THCA As Antioxidant Agents And Their Intervention Abilities In Antioxidant Action. Fitoterapia, 152, 104915.

    Kandi, S., Godishala, V., Rao, P., & Ramana, K. V. (2015). Biomedical Significance Of Terpenes: An Insight. Biomedicine, 3(1), 8-10.

    Legal, I. C. (2022). The Top Health Benefits Of CBD Oil–What To Know Before Using! Sign, 68.

    Mcgrath, S., Bartner, L. R., Rao, S., Kogan, L. R., & Hellyer, P. W. (2018). A Report Of Adverse Effects Associated With The Administration Of Cannabidiol In Healthy Dogs. Vet Med, 1, 6-8.

    Mcgregor, I. S., Cairns, E. A., Abelev, S., Cohen, R., Henderson, M., Couch, D., ... & Gauld, N. (2020). Access To Cannabidiol Without A Prescription: A Cross-Country Comparison And Analysis. International Journal Of Drug Policy, 85, 102935.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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