When first introduced to CBD, some people are hesitant as they do not wish to get “high”. As cannabidiol derives from cannabis, this is a common misconception. Due to the heavy stigma that has plagued cannabis for decades, some people are still reluctant to try CBD products. To many, CBD is still considered as a drug.
CBD or cannabidiol is a molecule, found within the cannabis plant, however, CBD is not the “high” inducing cannabinoid. The infamous cannabinoid THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), is the psychoactive molecule, found within the cannabis plant.
Unfortunately, many that would benefit from CBD products shy away from them as they understand cannabis to be illegal. Over time, with further education, this will change. Before modern extraction methods, consuming CBD without traces of THC would not have been possible. But today, the general public must understand that they can benefit from cannabinoids without getting “stoned”. Thanks to a variety of extraction methods, there’s a range of THC-free products widely available and legal to purchase.
Despite progress regarding legislation changes, depending on where you live, it is advised that you learn local law. Sadly, CBD is still illegal in some countries. Throughout the United States, and Europe, CBD is fortunately legal.
Outside of extracted cannabinoid products, you can find cannabis in its raw form, that does not get you high. This is known as hemp, one of the many members of the cannabis family. Similar in appearance as recreational cannabis, and often offering similar aromas, depending on its natural terpenes. The difference between the two is its structure of molecules (cannabinoids), a THC level of fewer than 0.2% (0.3% in the United States).
So, what is the difference between CBD and THC?
One of the most common statements being said about CBD is that it’s not psychoactive. Suggesting that it does not alter changes within the brain. In fact, CBD will do this. Offering improvement in a variety of mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression. It just won’t get you high, like THC.
THC and CBD are almost identical. They have the same chemical formula, with the only difference being the position of one molecule. However, they can have very different effects on the conscious body. This slight molecular difference is what creates the “high”.
How do they interact with the Endocannabinoid system?
Cannabinoids bind with receptors within our body, known as CB1 & CB2 receptors.
The endocannabinoid system comprises of endocannabinoids which naturally occur in the human body, in fact, all mammals. Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids bind to the CB1 & CB2 receptors, affecting our state of mind and personal health. Modern research has identified that cannabis and its cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system. With that, the right cannabinoid balance is vital as it regulates a number of bodily functions; including mood, body temperature, nervous system, and immune system.
With the confusion surrounding CBD as to whether it is psychoactive or not. Effectively, yes, it is as it does alter your state of mind. However, CBD can actually reduce the “high” effect of THC.
The Effect of CBD on the brain
Although scientists have proven (as has anecdotal evidence) that CBD will not make you high, it does affect your brain. This is why we can suggest that yes, CBD is psychoactive, but it is non-intoxicating.
The definition of psychoactive is something that alters the state of mind, which CBD in fact does. It might not alter your behaviour as recreational drugs do, but it does have a positive effect on the brain.
CBD, mostly interacts with the CB2 receptors – these receptors are mainly concentrated around the skin and peripheral organs of the body, and the immune system. This is why CBD is especially effective with anxiety and inflammation.
CBD can affect the adenosine receptors, which can help to reduce anxiety – having an anxiolytic effect, as well as regulating the glutamate and dopamine levels.
This is why CBD is able to treat sufferers with a number of health issues, including schizophrenia, PTSD, anxiety, epilepsy, and nausea.
How to describe CBD
It seems a bit inaccurate, however, to describe CBD as psychoactive. This will perhaps give the add to the misconception that CBD will get you high, and perhaps deter potential patients. How could you best describe CBD, in order for individuals to best understand how it impacts our brain?
- CBD is non-intoxicating – We can say that CBD is non-intoxicating, meaning that it won’t impair psychomotor or cognitive performance. This means that you will not see a change in bodily functions. As for altering the mind, CBD will, in fact, improve concentration levels.
- CBD is not sedative – Unlike many options for a variety of medical conditions, CBD will not make you drowsy. It does offer a calming and relaxing mood.
- CBD is non-addictive – There is nothing in CBD that is addictive and shows no potential for abuse. It may offer the same feeling that is provided by chocolate or exercise, as it can certainly improve one’s general mood. If anything, research and case studies suggest that CBD helps addicts cope with weaning off of addictive substances.
Can we confirm that CBD is in fact, psychoactive?
It is understandable that people would be concerned about the potential effects of CBD on their brain. In fact, it is irresponsible not to be concerned about these things if you are thinking about taking something for the first time.
The term ‘psychoactive’ is somewhat misleading and this is why there is sometimes slight confusion over the effect on CBD on the brain. However, it is important for people to note that it can alter your state of mind, but without making you high or impairing your function.
However, CBD does affect people in different ways, so it is advised to start with smaller doses and gradually increase them until you find the right amount for you. It is recommended that you don’t drive or operate machinery the first time that you use CBD until you have identified your optimum dose.
CBD can be a very effective way to enhance your endocannabinoid system, give your health and well-being a boost and maybe help you to relax in general. It won’t make you high, but there is every chance that you will experience some of the benefits that CBD has to offer.