Before the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, CBD products were grouped into the same category as THC. As far as the federal government was concerned, the lack of psychoactive effects was irrelevant—CBD came from the cannabis plant, cannabis was illegal, and thus CBD was illegal.
These days, hemp-derived CBD products are legal if they contain 0.3 percent of THC or less. There is finally a legal distinction between these two compounds, but is there a psychological one?
Can CBD oil get you “high” in the same way as recreational marijuana?
Can CBD Oils Get You High?
The cannabis plant contains over 100 cannabinoids and these generate an array of reactions when ingested. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the only one that produces a “high”.
The feelings that you typically associate with recreational and medical marijuana are produced by this compound. CBD does not cause a similar high, and this is true whether you’re consuming it in isolation or with other non-THC cannabinoids.
There is a caveat, though…
Can Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Get You High?
Full-spectrum CBD products contain 0.3 percent THC or less. This is potentially enough to trigger a positive result on a drug test, but it shouldn’t be enough to cause any kind of “high”.
Of course, everyone reacts differently. If you consume enough of these oils and you are hypersensitive to THC, it’s possible that you might derive some kind of psychoactive effects, but it’s unlikely.
It’s also not advised. CBD oils are widely tolerated and are generally considered to have minimal risks. But as soon as you start taking more than the recommended amount, the risk of side effects and serious adverse reactions increases.
Can Smoking Hemp Flowers Get You High?
The hemp flower market is a little more niche than the CBD oil and CBD gummy market. It’s also more controversial, and many states outlawed smokable hemp flowers even after the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Some consumers took this to mean that hemp flowers were psychoactive and produced effects similar to those of marijuana. After all, if local law enforcement won’t let you smoke it, it’s probably because it’ll get you high, right?
Hemp flowers are produced under the same rules and regulations as CBD oil. They must contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight and if they exceed this amount before, during, or after harvest, they must be destroyed.
The reason many state governments took such a strict stance is that it’s hard to differentiate hemp flowers from marijuana flowers. They smell the same, look the same, and taste the same, but one is legal under federal law and the other is not.
You can’t determine the THC content of a hemp flower just by looking at it, and if you live in a state where marijuana is legal, openly smoking hemp flowers can make life difficult for local law enforcement.
You won’t get high from smoking these flowers. Chronic use could also expose you to a host of health complications, including cancer and lung disorders.
Is Hemp-Derived CBD Psychoactive?
The CBD community has long debated whether hemp-derived CBD products are psychoactive or not.
Some argue that they are psychoactive as they produce calming effects. Others adopt a more literal and scientific approach, noting that CBD doesn’t alter the user’s state of mind in the same way as marijuana and other drugs, and therefore can’t be called psychoactive.
So, what’s the truth?
Well, it’s a little from column A and a little from column B… but mostly it’s from column B.
If anecdotal reports and scientific studies are to be believed, CBD can produce sensations of calm following ingestion. But those sensations are mild, and not quite the same as a strong sedative, analgesic, or hypnotic.
If we call it psychoactive because of these effects, then we have to do the same with chamomile, lavender, and thousands of other plants. Everything from a warm bath to a block of cheese can produce feelings of calm—does that mean that mozzarella is psychoactive?
CBD might produce positive effects, but it doesn’t alter the user’s sensory perception or their state of mind, so it really can’t be called psychoactive.
Summary: Can CBD Oils Get You High?
If you’re thinking that CBD oils and other CBD products are an easy, convenient, and legal alternative to smoking marijuana, think again.
These products contain very small concentrations of THC, and THC is the only psychoactive compound found within the hemp plant. It’s not enough to produce the effects typically associated with a marijuana high, and this remains true even when consumed in large and potentially harmful amounts.
If you’re looking for a potentially helpful substance that won’t get you high, produce a lot of side effects, or cause any major health complications, CBD oils could be just what you’re looking for.