Ever since CBD came into the mainstream, a lot of people have confused the chemical with THC. There are a lot of reasons why they do this—they think that since CBD and THC come from marijuana—both of them get you high, and the fact that people keep throwing around terms like “psychoactive” isn’t helping anyone out. At the outset of this piece, we’d like to make one thing very clear—CBD does not get you high, even though there is a legal amount of THC in some CBD products.
CBD is incapable of getting people high due to this extremely low amount of THC. Due to this confusion regarding what CBD feels like, a lot of people have strayed away from using CBD. Owing to the stigma surrounding THC and marijuana, CBD seems to have been carried with the tide—through no fault of its own. So, for anyone who thinks CBD gets you high or if you’re wondering what CBD feels like, this blog will tell you everything you need to know about the effects of CBD.
What is a Psychoactive Substance?
Even though these are two different substances, both THC and CBD are psychoactive to some degree. Just because these two substances are psychoactive, however, does not mean that they are necessarily bad for you or that they will get you high. A psychoactive substance is “a drug or that affects how the brain works and causes changes in the mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings or behavior.”
In other words, if you’re ingesting any substance that changes how you feel or think—it’s a psychoactive substance. By this definition and many medical practitioners will agree—even coffee is a psychoactive substance because it impacts how your brain processes information. In fact, coffee is also one of the most widely used psychoactive substances in the world. The more important question for us is, if both CBD and THC are psychoactive substances—why should we use CBD?
There is an underlying assumption in this question—that the psychoactive effects of CBD are the same as those for THC. See, the problem isn’t that CBD is a psychoactive or THC is or even that coffee is—the real problem is that THC may sometimes have unwanted psychoactive effects. There are few, if any, overlaps between the psychoactive effects of CBD and THC.
CBD is psychoactive, but not intoxicating. CBD has actually been shown to counteract some of the negative effects sometimes accompanied with a THC high like anxiety.
What Does CBD Feel Like — Looking at the Psychoactive Effects of CBD
Research is still underway on how CBD interacts with the human body and to discover how CBD achieves its effects—one this is for certain though, CBD does not intoxicate people. In fact, research suggests that it counteracts the effects of THC and acts against THC’s intoxicating effects. So if CBD doesn’t get intoxicate you, then what does CBD really feel like?
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to affect our cognitive functioning. The ECS is responsible for controlling a wide range of processes in the human mind that are related to emotions, balance, the bodies healing process and more. Additionally, CBD is said to supplement the body’s ability to produce endocannabinoids because CBD is chemically quite similar to these endocannabinoids. Considering what people have to say about what CBD feels like, there is reason to believe that CBD might interact with the body in much the same way as endocannabinoids do.
Self-reports from people who’ve used CBD tell us that people can experience the following effects after taking CBD:
- Reduced stress
- Better appetite
- Reduced experience of pain
- Epidiolex uses CBD and THC to suppress epileptic seizures
It is important to note that we don’t have a clear path of action for the effects of CBD—in the sense that research is still underway to identify exactly how CBD takes effect. The one thing we do know it’s that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system to produce these effects.
What Does THC Feel Like — The Psychoactive Effects of CBD
There’s a long history of the effects of THC on the human brain, and this history has been well-documented across medical research. We know for a fact that THC binds with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain—we also know for a fact that CBD can repress the effects of THC on these two receptors. The following effects are reported from the use of THC:
- Pain reduction
- Memory impairment
- Difficulty concentrating.
Each of these effects are linked to the relationship between THC and the ECS, where it binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors to induce these responses. None of this has any similarity to the effects reported after the use of CBD.
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