Does CBD get you high?
Short answer - no. So, if you are looking to get high, you are in the wrong place and will sadly have to explore other illegal means for that fix. This is because in the UK, all CBD products must contain zero to negligible amounts of THC for them to be legally sold in shops or online. THC - Tetrahydrocannabinol - is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis aka the part of the plant that gives you the feelings that you would associate with being “high.”
So what’s the difference between CBD and THC and why does one make you high and the other doesn’t?
CBD and THC are both one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. CBD and THC are both extracted from hemp or marijuana plants (both part of the cannabis plant family). However, most CBD products, in the UK especially, are more commonly derived from hemp plants as they contain less than 0.3% of THC and a higher concentration of CBD. THC on the other hand is most commonly extracted from marijuana plants where the THC concentrations are much higher, but will vary depending on how they have been farmed.
It is because of the fact that both CBD and THC are derived from the same plant family that people automatically assume that CBD will get you high, but this is not the case. CBD and THC interact with our bodies, specifically our Endocannabinoid system (see post that explains what this system is), in slightly different ways. They both interact with our CB1 receptors (the receptors linked to our central nervous systems), but THC binds with these receptors and activates them leading to the feelings most closely associated with being high such as euphoria. CBD on the other hand has the opposite effect on these receptors - it doesn’t bind, but rather blocks the psychoactive effects or these “high” feelings. As such, it may be that CBD, in some cases and depending on the ratio CBD to THC, reduces or blocks the high that is derived from the THC. So THC-rich cannabis products containing CBD may make you feel less high and rather enhance the more non-psychoactive soothing benefits.
We have discussed the concept of this in previous posts - the entourage effect - in that the more cannabinoids at the party the better. If a CBD product contains additional cannabinoids including even trace amounts of THC, it won’t be enough to bring out a psychoactive effect, but it will enhance the effects of the other cannabinoids present, in particular the CBD.
So in summary, CBD does not make you high (so no munchies or paranoia for you!). In fact, it’s quite the opposite, CBD is believed to lead to feelings of relaxation and calm, helping some people with their anxiety, some with pain relief and some get to sleep... basically we are all different, so give it a go and see how it may help you!