CBD’s popularity has been nothing short of astounding. The cannabinoid compound has become one of the most popular supplements on the market since its legalization less than two years ago. It is available in thousands of stores and websites. Survey data indicates that millions of Americans have tried CBD, and that number is likely to increase.
However, CBD is very new to the commercial market. This, combined with some confusion about its origins, has left many people with some basic questions: What, exactly, is CBD? What good can it do? Does CBD get you high?
The answer to that last question is no. CBD does not get you high, provided it is produced within normal legal parameters.
In order to understand why CBD cannot get you high, it is worth examining the product’s origins. CBD is actually manufactured from the hemp plant. Depending on the quality of the hemp and how the processor is looking to manufacture it, hemp will go through a variety of different extraction methods. All of these methods end with CBD oil being extracted from the hemp plant, then placed into some sort of ingestion method.
This is different than marijuana, which actually comes from the marijuana plant. Marijuana is known for its many impacts on the human body, including getting someone high. Marijuana comes with high levels of cannabinoids. Depending on the specific strain question, marijuana content may be around 12% or higher.
Different methods of extraction will result in different types of CBD. These include:
- Broad Spectrum CBD, which contains as many of CBD’s naturally-occurring components as possible. This includes all flavonoids, terpenes, and other cannabinoids except for THC. All THC is removed from Broad Spectrum CBD at the manufacturing stage.
- Full Spectrum CBD, which is identical to Broad Spectrum with one very important exception: It does contain trace levels of THC.
- Isolate, which is essentially pure CBD.
Only Full Spectrum CBD contains any amount of THC. However, as per federal guidelines, legally produced CBD is only allowed to contain .3% THC. This level is far, far too low to get anyone intoxicated.
This raises the question, then: Why have any THC in CBD at all? It ultimately comes down to personal preference. Individuals who prefer their CBD with THC tends to prefer a more “natural,” produce that has been altered as little as possible during the manufacturing process, and hemp does come with trace levels of THC.
Furthermore, there is some evidence to indicate the efficacy of what is known in the CBD world as the “entourage effect.” This is essentially the idea that CBD works best when it has all of its normally occurring ingredients – including THC.
There is some evidence to demonstrate that CBD does work better when it contains THC. Multiple studies – one in Frontiers in Plant Science and one in Frontiers in Neurology – have found that CBD with THC tend to provide more relief and benefits than CBD without THC. At the same time, these studies determined that the low levels of THC in the CBD are far, are too light to result in any sort of intoxication or high. Some individuals have reported feeling more relaxed or at peace when they take Full Spectrum CBD, but this could be anecdotal or a placebo effect. It is important for users of Full Spectrum CBD to keep in mind that it is possible – though doubtful – for an individual to test positive for THC if they use high enough concentrations of CBD and a drug test is sensitive enough. As such, it is preferable for an individual who may be subjected to a drug test to stick with using Broad Spectrum CBD.