In a world where people are more interested in getting effects from their CBD without the high, there is now a way to vape CBD. With so many health benefits that CBD provides, it’s natural to wonder whether or not CBD oil can get you high. Is CBD Oil really non-psychoactive or just non-intoxicating? Vaping CBD oil is common, especially after claims about its medicinal properties. But, is it true? Sort out the facts about CBD oil and its safety.
What Does Vaping CBD Feel like and Can it Get You High?
Cannabidiol, known as CBD for short, is found in high concentrations in the Cannabis plant. CBD use has exploded in popularity in recent years due to its numerous and powerful therapeutic effects. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the more infamous cannabinoid found in marijuana, CBD doesn’t produce a “high.” As a result, CBD tends to be far less tightly regulated than the whole cannabis plant or extracts that contain THC.
THC produces the “high” that most cannabis users seek. As such, farmers and growers have, over the past few decades, bred strains of marijuana with increasingly high levels of THC. More recently, as the benefits of CBD have become known, some growers have turned to hemp, another strain of the cannabis plant with negligible levels of THC, to make their CBD products. As CBD and THC both come from the same plant, you may be wondering if CBD gives the same “high” as consuming cannabis, or indeed if it has any psychoactive effects at all. Read on to find out more.
Does CBD Get you High?
CBD is often touted as being “non-psychoactive,” but this is categorically untrue. For a substance to be deemed as psychoactive it must affect the user’s mental state or impact the way that they feel. Psychoactive substances often, but not always, have an intoxicating effect.
THC and CBD are both psychoactive substances, in that they alter the way that a person feels, but CBD, unlike THC, is not an intoxicant.
THC has a profound effect on the way that the user feels and their overall mental state. Using THC can result in euphoria, relaxation, changes in thought, and an altering of the perception of space and time. The experiences of music, food, and conversation are often enhanced with THC use, but this compound does sometimes come with unintended side effects.
CBD, on the other hand, has a subtler, sometimes barely noticeable psychotropic effect. In addition to the therapeutic effects of CBD on insomnia, inflammation, and chronic pain, it also has some mood-altering effects and can increase calmness and overall relaxation.
So does CBD get you “high”? Not exactly. Its psychoactive effects, though they occur, are much milder than those of THC.
Drug screening programs tend not to test for CBD, so as long as you are cautious in where you source your CBD products from, you can use them without fear of affecting your work life.
What is CBD’s Mechanism of Action?
Inside every one of us is an incredibly complex and finely tuned system of hormones, endocrines, nerves, and receptors that function together to produce every thought, feeling, and desire you will ever experience.
Different endocrine systems serve various respective functions. One of these, known as the endocannabinoid system, affects a large number of physical operations inside the human body, such as mood, pain, hunger, and more. The endocannabinoid system consists of two receptors, CB1 and CB2, as well as endogenous cannabinoids (produced in our bodies), other neurotransmitters, and specific enzymes.
Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC mimic in part the structure of our endogenous cannabinoids. As such, they bind in different ways to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These exogenous (produced outside the body) cannabinoids cause a variety of effects and modulate some of the physical processes that occur in our bodies.
The stereotypical “munchies” effect is often reported by cannabis users. The “munchies” refers to the state of intense hunger that regularly follows cannabis consumption, and is one example of how these exogenous cannabinoids affect processes within us.
Both THC and CBD are effective analgesics, meaning that they reduce pain. CBD has been shown to have numerous other positive effects as well, which we shall look at in greater detail.
What effects does CBD have on the body?
Fortunately, the endocannabinoid system does not affect any of our vital, life-giving processes. Unlike opiates, cannabinoids such as THC and CBD will never signal your heart or lungs to stop, and therefore it is nearly impossible to overdose. To even approach a lethal dose of THC, you would have to consume a whopping 53 grams of the stuff (pure, which even the most expensive shatter is not), all at the same time – A feat even the most dedicated of stoners would likely find impossible.
CBD has a large number of purported beneficial effects, many of which have been confirmed by scientific studies. CBD has been shown to be effective at treating pain, battling treatment-resistant seizures, alleviating anxiety, and improving sleep.
Is CBD Psychoactive
Often you may hear people claim that CBD isn’t psychoactive, but even a superficial examination shows that this isn’t true. Of the many conditions and disorders that people take CBD for, anxiety and insomnia are two of the most common.
Both insomnia and anxiety are mental experiences. For CBD to be able to treat these two disorders of the mind, it must, by definition, be psychoactive.
Today’s high-THC powered weed strains have, in comparison to their cousin strains that people smoked 30, 40 years ago, a much higher THC to CBD ratio, as well as being higher in overall THC concentration.
Strains of cannabis that have a more even amount of CBD and THC are far less likely to create unwanted side effects in the user, such as paranoia, anxiety, and a racing heart. It appears that both cannabinoids compete for the same receptors and therefore dilute each other’s effect.
What does using CBD feel like?
By far the most commonly reported experience in people who use CBD is a sense of relaxation. Pains can feel lessened, as can mental stresses and anxieties. For other people, the feeling can be as simple as an absence of the negative things that were in their conscious awareness previously.
CBD has a proven anti-inflammatory effect, and this may in part contribute to the pleasant subjective feelings commonly described in people who consume it.
Generally, CBD extracts contain less than 0.3% THC. Contrast this with CBD flower, a type of hemp grown to maximize CBD and minimize THC, that can still contain enough of the more intoxicating compound to produce a notable euphoric high. Users who want to avoid any intoxicating effect should be mindful of the type of CBD product they consume.
How do you take CBD
There are many ways to consume CBD, each with varying levels of bioavailability and speed of absorption. Both vaping and smoking CBD products gets them into the bloodstream and over the blood-brain barrier much faster than other methods, and more of the consumed product ends up being absorbed.
A slightly slower, but still effective and controllable way to take CBD is by letting it pass through the mucosal membranes of the mouth. In practice, this involves dropping CBD tincture under your tongue and holding it there for as long as possible. Sublingual dosing in this way isn’t as quick to act as smoking or vaping, but it is still reasonably swift. Taking CBD orally in capsules or edibles is the method with the slowest onset.
Will CBD show up on a drug test?
CBD, being a legal and non-intoxicating substance, is seldom tested for on standard drug tests. However, that doesn’t mean you can ingest every CBD product out there entirely without risk.
There are many different types of CBD products available. Some of these are “isolates,” meaning they contain little to no CBD at all. Other products, sometimes marketed as “full-spectrum,” can contain traces of THC and other cannabinoids that could, in theory, give a positive drug test.
As long as you buy your CBD from a reputable source and check the third-party laboratory tests (which should be clearly displayed on the manufacturer’s website) you shouldn’t run into any issues with drug testing.
The legality of THC and CBD, as well as the severity of penalties if you are found to be using these substances, varies drastically from country to country. To avoid falling foul of the law, make sure you read up properly on the regulations regarding CBD, THC, and cannabis products for your jurisdiction.
Does CBD Oil Get You High?
It’s challenging to go a day without hearing about the health benefits of CBD oil.
People are using CBD (cannabidiol) for everything from anxiety to depression, pain, seizures, inflammation, insomnia, and skin conditions.
Many prominent studies have highlighted CBD as a safe and effective alternative for conventional treatment options when it comes to the above health problems.
But can CBD oil get you high?
CBD naturally occurs in cannabis plants, so it’s natural to ask this question.
However, the type of cannabis used for making CBD oil plays an important role in whether or not the product will get you high.
In this article, we’ll clear up any confusion about the effects of CBD. We’ll also cover the differences between CBD and THC to help you understand how these two compounds influence your brain.
Can CBD Oil Get You High?
The short answer is no.
This is one of the misconceptions about CBD that must be turned around. CBD oil doesn’t get you high as long as it contains up to 0.3% THC.
CBD doesn’t have intoxicating properties. It can make you feel calm and relaxed, but these effects aren’t even close to what you get from consuming marijuana.
However, not all CBD oils are created equal.
Some CBD products are produced from marijuana plants, and as such, they may contain a significant amount of THC (5% and up). These products can produce a psychoactive high. However, they also contain high levels of CBD due to selective breeding of the strains used for extraction, so the high will be more balanced.
Speaking of CBD and THC, let’s have a look at how these compounds interact with our bodies and with each other.
Differences Between CBD vs. THC
Understanding the difference between CBD and THC should clear up any confusion you may have about the possibility of getting high from CBD oil.
Let’s discuss THC first.
What is THC?
THC is the only compound in the cannabis plant that can make you feel high. Once it enters your circulatory system, it binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain and spinal cord, producing sensations of euphoria, deep relaxation, and changes in sensory perception.
THC can act on our mood, memory, pain perception, and other important functions such as fertility or appetite.
The nature of THC is biphasic, which means that low to moderate doses can ease anxiety and relieve stress, whereas higher doses can elevate anxious feelings and trigger paranoid thinking patterns.
What is CBD?
CBD won’t get you high in a way that THC does, as it doesn’t have a direct bond with any of the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system.
Instead, CBD sends signals to the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to produce more of its endocannabinoids and help the body maintain a state of balance between all biological processes. This balance is known as homeostasis.
CBD can reduce anxiety, ease pain, reduce inflammation, improve joint function, help with attention problems, promote neuroprotection, and more.
CBD also blocks the sites of receptors to which THC wants to bind, reducing its psychoactivity. At the same time, CBD has been shown to enhance the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties of THC. On the other hand, CBD extracts need, at least some amount of THC, to unlock the full potential of CBD. The synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes in the cannabis plant is referred to as “the entourage effect.”
What Does CBD Feel Like?
Now that you know what CBD can’t do — it can’t get you high — you’re probably wondering what to expect when you take CBD oil for the first time.
Like we said, CBD doesn’t have a direct affinity with any cannabinoid receptors, although it acts on more than 65 identified molecular pathways.
CBD signals the ECS to release more endocannabinoids while slowing down their breakdown. This, in turn, allows more of your native cannabinoids to circulate in the body.
Most users describe the effects of CBD as a surge of unwinding sensation combined with relief running through the body and mind when inhaled or taken sublingually.
Many first-time users report first results within 15–30 minutes after taking CBD oil, or within 2–5 minutes after inhalation. Oral products such as edibles and capsules need more time to show their effects, usually up to 120 minutes.
To sum up, CBD doesn’t get you high, but instead:
- Makes you feel relaxed
- Improves your focus
- Promotes a healthy response to stress
- Helps you stay calm
Most of the time, you’ll hear people saying that CBD is non-psychoactive when they refer to its effects.
Or does it simply lack intoxicating properties?
Is CBD Really Non-Psychoactive?
Since CBD doesn’t get you high, you might think that it’s not psychoactive.
Well, let’s take a look at the definition of the word “psychoactive.”
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, psychoactive means affecting the mind and behavior.
While CBD won’t directly affect your behavior, it positively does affect the mind. For example, by helping you cope with stress and reducing anxiety, CBD can help you get in the right mood, stay productive, and less likely to have temper tantrums.
CBD is psychoactive.
But so can be your friends; or your electronic equipment; or anything that makes you happy or angry for that matter.
There’s a fine line between psychoactive and intoxicating.
What Type of CBD Oil Can Get You High? How Are CBD Oils Made?
Most CBD oils are produced from hemp plants, which are specifically bred for their high CBD content and only a negligible amount of THC.
What do we mean by negligible amounts of THC?
Hemp contains 0.3% of THC or less per dry mass, whereas marijuana may contain anywhere between 5–30% THC.
If you have a product with less than 0.3%, it won’t get you high.
That’s why hemp-derived CBD oil is federally legal. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp has become an agricultural commodity and can be grown for a variety of uses, including health supplements such as CBD extracts.
Despite different sources, all CBD oils are produced using the top-standard extraction method — CO2 extraction. This technology involves pressurized CO2 that changes its state from liquid to gas during the extraction process. It strips the beneficial compounds off the original plant without additional heat or solvents. CO2 extraction yields pure and consistently potent extracts.
Other Cannabinoids that Could Make You Feel High
Full-spectrum CBD oil contains other compounds on top of cannabidiol, including minor cannabinoids and terpenes.
The majority of cannabinoids are non-intoxicating, but there are two trace molecules that can produce similar effects to THC. Such as Delta 8 THC, and this cannabinoid can get you high.
THCV has a similar molecular structure to THC. Since it can only be found in trace amounts, it would have to be isolated in larger amounts to get the user high. THCV alone can have an intoxicating effect, but not in a way that could cause or worsen anxiety. In fact, THCV elevates the mood and enhances focus while mitigating the intoxication from THC.
Other health benefits of THCV include its ability to reduce paranoia, stimulate bone growth, and slow down the development of neurodegenerative disorders.
CBN starts to form when you expose THC to heat and oxygen, which is why high levels of CBN can be found in poorly stored or aged cannabis. While not intoxicating per say, CBN induces potent sedating effects, which get strengthened in the presence of THC.
Marijuana CBD Oil Can Get You High
Like we said, CBD can be extracted from hemp and marijuana plants.
Although marijuana-derived CBD oil is produced through the same processes as hemp-derived CBD, it contains more THC — between 5–30% — depending on the THC content of the strain used for extraction.
Marijuana CBD oil is only legal in states that have approved marijuana for medical or recreational use. Make sure that you’re familiar with the cannabis laws in your state to avoid crossing the law.
Hemp CBD Oil Can’t Get You High
Since there are only trace amounts of THC in hemp-derived CBD oils, they can’t get you high.
However, you can still experience a wide range of health benefits associated with using cannabinoids. People use CBD oil to feel focused, relaxed, invigorated, pain-free, and better rested on top of many other goals.
Unlike marijuana CBD oil, hemp-derived products are legal in all 50 states. You can find them online as well as in local head shops, vape stores, pharmacies, and health retail outlets.
CBD Oil and Getting High: The Bottom Line
CBD oil can do many great things for your health. What it cannot do, however, is get you high — as long as it contains 0.3% THC or less.
Hemp is grown to boost the CBD content in the flowers while lowering the concentration of THC so it doesn’t induce intoxication.
Don’t confuse the marijuana high with relaxation or sedation caused by higher doses of CBD oil. Hemp products won’t directly influence your behavior.
Getting high off of CBD oil is only possible if it comes from mature marijuana plants. But then again, not every state in the U.S. allows medical or recreational marijuana use, so make sure that you know the local law and always read the product’s label or lab reports to confirm both the CBD and THC content in your CBD oil.
If it reads less than 0.3% THC, then you have a 100% legal product that won’t get you high.
Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.
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Everything You Need to Know About Vaping CBD Oil
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Vaping has been around for more than a decade now and is growing in popularity—especially among teens and young adults. One of the newest trends impacting this growing vape culture is the desire to vape cannabidiol (CBD) oil. In fact, using this oil in vape pens is becoming increasingly popular and the industry is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years according to the Brightfield Group, a firm that studies the CBD market.
Part of the draw to CBD oil in areas where marijuana has been legalized is the fact that it has been touted as helping treat a host of medical problems. Some of the medical issues people claim that the oil treats include epileptic seizures, anxiety, inflammation, and sleeplessness. However, there is very little evidence backing up these claims with the exception of treating epilepsy.
In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only one CBD-based medication, which is used to treat seizures associated with two severe forms of epilepsy. But, when it comes to CBD in general, they stress that it cannot be added to food, drinks, or dietary supplements. And although the FDA has warned manufacturers against making unproven health claims, it has not done much to stop the sale of CBD products.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants. Typically, it does not produce a “high” or intoxication because it contains very little, if any, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In fact, CBD oil is only permitted to contain less than 0.3% of THC oil. CBD oil is legal in states where medicinal or recreational marijuana is legal. Meanwhile, several other states have CBD-specific laws on the books even though marijuana is not yet legal there.
According to the FDA, it is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to food or marketing it as a supplement. Despite these guidelines, they warn consumers that some CBD products are being marketed with unproven medical claims and are of unknown quality. They also caution consumers that CBD can harm the liver and may interact with other medications you are taking. And, it may even have a negative impact on male fertility.
Is Vaping CBD Oil Safe?
Generally speaking, vaping is an unsafe practice regardless of what substances are in the vape pen. And, CBD oil is no exception. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently linked vaping products to an outbreak of nearly 3,000 lung illnesses that were so serious that even young people were being admitted to the hospital. Meanwhile, nearly 70 people have died from what is now being called EVALI (e-cigarette and vaping associated lung injury). And, the CDC believes thousands more may have admitted to the hospital with lung issues related to vaping.
Although the CDC has traced many of the EVALI hospitalizations back to vitamin E acetate, a substance used to dilute oils used in vaping, the risks of vaping CBD oil are not without risk, especially if the vape pens are obtained from illicit dealers, online sources, or friends. At least 26 of the EVALI cases were hospitalized after vaping CBD oil.
Additionally, numerous scientists, doctors, and researchers are concerned with the safety of inhaling CBD oil because little is known about the long-term effects. What’s more, when vaping devices are heated, a chemical reaction takes place in the vapor, which could pose additional risks to the lungs, especially in young people.
And despite the fact that the 2018 Farm Bill removed CBD from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act, it is still subject to the same laws and regulations as other substances monitored by the FDA. Unfortunately, though, there is very little regulatory oversight of CBD oil in general—even though vaping is one of the most popular ways of using the oil. In fact, the FDA has not yet determined how to regulate CBD vaping products just yet.
But many people are hoping those regulations will happen soon. Even the CBD industry is concerned and asking for oversight. For instance, without more regulations, organizations like the U.S. Hemp Authority are unable to certify CBD oils as it does with CBD topicals, tinctures, and edibles. And, until that happens, consumers have very little way of knowing what they are getting when they purchase a CBD oil.
To make matters worse, this lack of certification has lead people to sell vaping liquid they claim contains CBD oil when it actually contains harmful chemicals, which is injuring and killing people in the process. To determine the extent to which this is occurring, the Associated Press (AP) commissioned a study to analyze the contents of nearly 30 oils claiming to contain CBD.
Their testing was completed by Flora Research Laboratories in Grants Pass, Oregon, which is licensed and inspected by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. What they discovered is that 10 of the 30 vapes contained synthetic marijuana while others had no CBD oil at all. Additionally, eight oils had no detectable level of CBD while 14 were less than 0.3% CBD by weight. The other six ranged between 1.07% and 8.87% CBD by weight.
Because this testing was a such a small sample, the AP noted that their sampling is not representative of the entire CBD market. However, their testing does show just how risky it is to vape CBD oil when there is little to no regulation of the product. Vapers have no idea what they are getting when they take a puff.
A Word From Verywell
If you are considering vaping CBD oil as a way to address a medical concern, talk to your doctor first. The risks associated with vaping and CBD oil are significant and may not provide the benefits you want.
And if you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area. For more mental health resources, see Verywell’s National Helpline Database.
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.