THC and CBD are the two primary cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Despite the fact that they share the same origin, there’s one main difference— THC is psychoactive. CBD is not. THC will get you high; CBD products won’t.
So, why do the two often get conflated? Why do many people wrongly assume that CBD will get them high? In most cases, it’s a lack of information combined with the “guilty by association” phenomenon. They might come from the same place, but they cause very different reactions in your body.
To clear things up, today, we’ll discuss the differences between CBD and THC and debunk some of the common myths surrounding CBD.
Can You Get High Off CBD Oil?
So, can CBD oil get you high?
The answer to that is no; so long as one condition is met—that the CBD you’re using is derived from the hemp plant and not the marijuana plant.
Hold on, but don’t both of those come from the cannabis plant? Yes… and no. CBD and THC are two of the 100 unique compounds known as cannabinoids that come from the cannabis sativa plant, from which we get the marijuana and the hemp plant.
Both CBD and THC interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is composed of countless cannabinoid receptors spread throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). This system has a significant control over various bodily functions.
According to UCLA Health, “Endocannabinoids are arguably one of the most widespread and versatile signaling molecules known to man. We now know the endocannabinoid system is involved in a wide variety of processes, including:
- Reproductive function”
CBD vs. THC
CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are known as chemical twins. They share the same chemical structural formula, which includes:
- 21 carbon atoms
- 30 hydrogen atoms
- 2 oxygen atoms
The difference though lies in the arrangement of the atoms. Their molecular structures vary, giving them unique pharmacological properties. So, although CBD and THC both interact with the ECS, they do so in dramatically different ways. To illustrate the point, it’s important to break down each cannabinoid individually, starting with THC.
The ECS has two primary receptors—CB1 and CB2.
- CB1 – Regulates the memory, mood, motor function and various other physiological perceptions.
- CB2 – Regulates immune system response.
THC is known as a partial agonist, meaning it’s able to bind and then stimulate both receptors.
This pharmacological reaction is what causes many of the psychoactive effects, or what people more commonly refer to as the “marijuana high.”
Common mind-altering symptoms and side effects include:
- Pain relief
- Short-term memory recall issues
- Heightened perception
- Decreased focus
- Impaired motor skills and function
- Time perception distortion
Some people react better to THC than others. Marijuana smokers, for instance, chase the THC high; whereas others hate the feeling of impairment. Regardless, these various psychoactive symptoms associated with the marijuana high are why it’s illegal to drive or operate machinery under the influence.
CBD is mood lifting, not mind altering.
But why is that?
Unlike THC, CBD is classified as an antagonist, meaning that it can’t directly attach to the CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, it indirectly stimulates the receptors, which causes them to increase natural (endogenous) endocannabinoid production. This creates the pleasant feeling associated with taking CBD, but prevents it from turning into a mind-altering high.
CBD allows you to maintain your general wellness, health, and vitality without feeling intoxicated. The positive effects include:
- Support for restful sleep
- Support healthy blood pressure and heart health
- Helps with tension and stress
- Lifts moods and increase energy
- Helps with stiff joints, achy muscles, and inflammation caused by exercise
Because CBD oil doesn’t get you high, you can use CBD to supplement your daily routine without fear of being negatively impacted.
How is CBD Oil Derived?
As mentioned, the marijuana plant and the hemp plant are not the same thing. There’s one crucial element that separates the two—their THC concentration.
- The hemp plant – Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the growth of hemp plants and the production of hemp-based CBD products was made legal nationwide. To qualify as hemp, the plant cannot contain more than .3% THC concentration.
- The marijuana plant – Although every plant is different, some marijuana plants have THC levels as high as 40%.
Hemp-based CBD is made by isolating and then extracting CBD from the hemp plant. It’s then mixed with a carrier oil such as MCT oil, hemp seed oil, or coconut oil to help it reach the bloodstream. Once you have your hemp-based CBD oil, it can be used in one of several ways including:
Will CBD Cause You to Fail a Drug Test?
Again, this depends on your CBD source. If your CBD is hemp-based and contains less than .3% THC, then it won’t cause you to fail the typical 10-panel drug screen. That test looks for the following controlled substances:
- Amphetamine sulphate
- Synthetic cannabinoids
- Other substances
If the CBD you use is hemp-based you’d have to take more than 2,000mg of CBD (more than a month’s supply) to reach the threshold set by a marijuana urine test. Still though, there are anecdotal reports where CBD users fail a drug screening.
What could be the reason for that?
Either they’re not telling the truth, or the CBD company that’s supplying their CBD products isn’t. Frighteningly, the latter case occurs more often than you might think.
It’s Vital That You Know Your CBD Source
In many cases of failed drug tests it’s the CBD company who’s at fault. They make claims that their product doesn’t back. Recently, there’ve been a few eye-opening studies that have revealed two major problems common to the CBD industry:
- CBD product contains more than .3% THC – A 2019 study done by German researchers on more than 67 food products containing CBD, found that one in four products had THC concentrations higher than allowed. They concluded:
In our opinion the systematically high THC content of CBD products is clearly a “scandal” on the food market. Obviously, the manufacturers have – deliberately or in complete ignorance of the legal situation – placed unsafe and unapproved products on the market and thus exposed the consumer to an actually avoidable risk.
- CBD products are often mislabeled – A 2017 Penn Medicine study found that, “Discrepancies between federal and state cannabis laws have resulted in inadequate regulation and oversight, leading to inaccurate labeling of some products.” Their research revealed that 70% of all CBD products sold online were either over or under labeled, which posed serious potential harm to consumers. Common problems included:
- Products had CBD concentrations that far surpassed the recommended daily dose.
- Products contained a significant amount of THC in them, which could cause intoxication or impairment.
- More than a quarter of CBD products contained less CBD than advertised, rendering them useless.
So, how do you ensure that you’re getting a hemp-based CBD that won’t get you high or cause you to fail a drug screen? To ensure that your CBD is legit, take the following precautions:
- Check to see if it has been third-party lab tested for quality and consistency – Any company can make grand claims, but not all of them can back those up. You should only purchase CBD products from companies that have put them through rigorous third-party testing. This type of testing will confirm THC and CBD contents as well as the quality and accuracy of ingredients. An honest CBD company will have their lab tests readily available on their site for anyone to see.
- Research the CBD company – It’s vital that you know how your CBD is made, from cultivation to extraction to production. Ideally, your product should be:
- 100% organically grown hemp
- Grown in the U.S. to ensure that regulations are being followed
- Free of pesticides, heavy metals, herbicides, and harsh chemicals
- Read the product reviews – Customers will tell you whether or not they’re happy with the product. If you don’t want to use those displayed on the website, there are several websites that have CBD product reviews.
By doing your homework, you can ensure that you’re getting the safe, non-psychoactive CBD you need.
Can You Get High from Cbd Hemp Oil?
CBD is an incredible compound that won’t get you high, so long as it’s certified to be hemp-based. And since there are so many companies out there that are dishonest about the product that they’re selling, it’s crucial that you partner with a CBD producer that tells the truth.
This is where Resilience CBD stands out.
Our high-quality, organic, hemp-based CBD products are ethically sourced using nothing but the finest of ingredients. Each component is carefully and thoughtfully selected to optimize your CBD oil benefits. And every product comes with a third-party lab tested stamp of approval.
Are you searching for CBD oil uses that support your overall health, vitality, and wellness?
Then look no further than Resilience CBD.
Written by: Michael Tatz | Linkedin
Michael Tatz is the Co-Founder of Resilience CBD, and a passionate leader in the health & fitness world helping others rise to and crush their wildest goals. A former Division 1 college wrestler, Army Officer, and investment manager at Goldman Sachs, he has pushed his body and mind to the limits on the mats, dressed in camo, and in the boardroom.
Today, he spends his time leading Resilience CBD to develop the absolute best recovery products for athletes everywhere. Resilience was founded after CBD personally impacted Michael’s life, and the brand was built to partner with everyday athletes in pursuit of conquering their most difficult challenges, rebounding after their toughest performances, and rising to their goals that once seemed impossible.
1. UCLA Health. Human Endocannabinoid System. https://www.uclahealth.org/cannabis/human-endocannabinoid-system
2. NCBI. Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol
3. PubMed. Neuroimaging in Cannabis Use: A Systematic Review of the Literature. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19627647/
4. US FDA. Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/congressional-testimony/hemp-production-and-2018-farm-bill-07252019
5. Healthline. 10-Panel Drug Test: What to Expect. https://www.healthline.com/health/10-panel-drug-test
6. NCBI. Are side effects of cannabidiol (CBD) products caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contamination? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7029751/
7. JAMA. Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2661569
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