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CBD Oil – Psychoactive or Non-Psychoactive?

A common concern for considering CBD oil usage to address negative body conditions is the worry of getting someone high. The questions whether CBD oil is psychoactive or not still lingers in the mind of many people. It is uncommon to hear such debates between CBD enthusiasts and critics. Many people still do not know whether it is safe to use CBD and its related products. Scientists are still in the process of understanding how CBD exerts its effects on the human body. So far, scientists have identified 60 different pathways that CBD operates within the body. The grouping of THC and CBD together since they come from the same plant has created a misconception that CBD gets people high. Nevertheless, the question whether CBD causes a euphoric high attracts a ‘no’ answer. CBD does not get someone high. However, a close compound, THC, is psychoactive and causes the alterations in the mind which make cannabis a familiar herb.

CBD is among the 85 cannabinoid compounds in the cannabis herb. The effects of CBD on the body include anxiety, stress, and nausea reduction as well as having anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties. CBD has so far proven itself as a beneficial compound.


When one speaks of psychoactivity, it comes down to cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors which dominate in the brain and CNS system. The difference between THC and CBD is how each one of them interacts with CB1. While THC will bind well with CB1, CBD has a low affinity for this particular receptor. However, it connects well with other receptors such as 5HT1A which aids it in acting as an antidepressant and the TRPV1 receptor which helps CBD serve as an antipsychotic remedy.

THC stimulates the CB1 receptors while CBD antagonizes their effect to the body. Therefore, CBD does not directly suppress the CB1 receptors but antagonizes the interacting effect of THC and the CB1 receptors. CBD’s role is therefore to undo the psychoactive effect of THC. The effects of THC include anxiety, a temporary memory loss, a euphoric feeling, and relaxation. CBD works against these effects.

Scientific Research on CBD

The use of CBD to treat a vast number of ailments has gain popularity over the years. Research into it has also grown substantially. Previous pieces of research report CBD as a major non-psychoactive component in the cannabis plant. Several other studies have cited its ability to antagonize the euphoric effects of THC. Other pieces of research have also backed up this hypothesis by asserting the antipsychotic properties of CBD in countering the effects of THC.

Other sources report CBD oil as a product with anxiolytic properties. While THC consumption has been linked to vulnerabilities of developing health disorders such as schizophrenia due to its psychotropic properties, CBD is listed as one of the therapy options in treating schizophrenia since it has an opposite effect.

Other pieces of research have also reported the different ways in which CBD interacts with the brain which is different from THC interactions. Although more research is needed in this particular area in gaining more information, it has been found that these two interact with the brain differently. These conclusions at least show that the two compounds give different outcomes when in the body.

Hemp and Marijuana

One needs to understand that CBD oil can be made from both hemp and marijuana to know whether or not it is psychoactive. Products made from industrial hemp have negligible THC levels which cannot get someone high once the CBD oil is produced. On the other hand, CBD oil can also be made from marijuana. However, marijuana has varying levels of THC and CBD. It is crucial to avoid products made from marijuana if getting high is of utmost concern unless the quantities are confirmed and clearly indicated. A third party lab can perform this function of testing the CBD and THC levels in such a product.

While marijuana has high THC levels and found in low quantities in hemp, the reverse is true for CBD. When making CBD oil, it is often extracted from industrial hemp rather than marijuana. The process of extracting CBD from hemp cannot contaminate the oil since there is no THC in the first place. Therefore, the user has no reason to have any concerns regarding any psychoactive properties in CBD oil.

The Process of Making CBD Oil

Hemp plants are collected to be used later in CBD oil production. The hemp strains which CBD is extracted have high CBD levels and low THC. This characteristic is even enhanced further to produce the purest form of industrial CBD. Average marijuana contains about 5-10% of THC whereas hemp contains only a small fraction of that percentage at 0.05-1%. THC can be extracted from the buds of the cannabis plant, but hemp is grown with attention on its height since it is only its stalks that are used.

CBD oil can be extracted in three different ways namely oil, CO2 or ethanol. All these methods produce a near pure form which has insignificant THC levels. However, using CO2 is more desirable than the other two methods since it provides a clean product without harmful byproducts.


CBD is legal in all the U.S. states. CBD oil is allowed for sale if it has THC levels within the required amounts below the 1% mark. The permission to sell CBD products was made with an informed mind that they cannot create psychotic effects to users.

So far, studies continue to show positive effects of CBD oil. Furthermore, researchers are suggesting even more positive inferences of CBD in dealing with adverse health challenges. Research is helping bring out the real benefits of CBD by supporting the idea of it being a non-psychoactive compound. CBD oil’s benefits continue to be overshadowed by qualms that it might get one high since it is linked to THC, a psychoactive compound. However, this has been proven otherwise. Understanding more about CBD’s differences with THC is a solid way of educating people on the many positive outcomes CBD can present.



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