Is CBD Psychoactive? and some other misconceptions
A lot has been written and said about this matter, however, it seems that many are still under the misconception that CBD is psychoactive.
First, let’s talk high-level about what psychoactive actually is:
The simplified dictionary definition defines psychoactive as “affecting the mind”.
When a drug is defined as psychoactive it implies that this drug changes brain function and results in alteration of perception, mood, consciousness, cognition or behavior.
Such substances may be used medically, for instance, for anesthesia, or recreationally to induce alertness, euphoria and more.
So, Is CBD Psychoactive?
Bottom line first: NO. CBD IS BY NO MEANS PSYCHOACTIVE. Whether you want it or not, CBD will not get you high. If so, where did the misconception of CBD being psychoactive originate from in the first place? In one word: cannabis (more about cannabis, hemp, and CBD).
Other than CBD and many other naturally occurring molecules and compounds in the cannabis plant, there is one that is most associated with the plant: Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Consuming THC in vaping or any other form, will affect your mind, or in other words, get you high.
This is exactly why cannabis as a whole, was initially defined by legislators as a controlled substance, hence, illegal for consumption, not even for medicinal purposes. Here’s a good in-depth explanation of the difference between CBD and THC if you wish to further educate yourself.
The Endocannabinoid System
In general, our bodies have what’s called the endocannabinoid system, a network made up of cell receptors and corresponding molecules in the nervous system, organs, immune system, connective tissues, and glands. When certain cannabinoids bind with key cannabinoid receptors, they relay messages and give cells specific instructions.
Our bodies naturally produce some cannabinoids, while other cannabinoids exist in plants (phytocannabinoids) such as hemp, and others can be created synthetically.
THC binds with two human cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, an interaction that gets you high
CBD does not bind with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, hence, it does not get you high. On the contrary, CBD partially blocks these two receptors so not only CBD won’t get you high, it will actually dampen some of THC’s psychoactive effects.
So CBD Is Not Psychoactive. What about its legality?
You know how it goes - if you hang out enough time with the bad kid, its reputation will stick to you. And this is exactly the case here. Historically, legislators placed cannabis under the schedule one controlled substance deeming CBD illegal.
Increased restrictions and labeling of cannabis as a poison began in many states from 1906 onward, and outright prohibitions began in the 1920s. By the mid-1930s cannabis was regulated as a drug in every single state, with the first national regulation placed in 1937 under the Marijuana Tax Act.
It took 81 years until 2018 when cannabis was reclassified under the 2018 Farm Bill and finally removed from the list of controlled substances, as long as THC levels remain below 0.3%.
And Yes. You Can Keep Your Job
Among the common concerns is that if you consume CBD, you’ll fail a drug test. Well, this scenario is very unlikely if not impossible.
To begin with, drug tests are designed to spot traces of THC, therefore, if an extract contains no THC at all, such as a broad-spectrum extract or a CBD isolate, then the test will come back 100% negative.
If we are talking about a full-spectrum extract, it does include THC, however, according to the law, THC levels are below 0.3%, an extremely negligible level that will not show in the test.
So, In Summary, What Did We Learn:
CBD is not psychoactive
CBD is completely legal
CBD won’t show on a drug test