Can CBD Oil Get You High?

The short answer is no, CBD oil cannot get you high. Because this oil is derived from the cannabis plant, this chemical compound carries with it an undeserved stigma and a complexity that is narrowly understood. The truth is that CBD oil provides a number of health benefits, with no mind-altering side-effects.

To help users better understand how CBD oil works within the body, and why it does not have the ability to get you high, we’ll dive into the chemistry behind the oil. But first, it’s important to take a close look at the chemical that CBD oil is associated with and often mistaken for – THC.

What is THC?

CBD oil is often unnecessarily linked to THC and its effects. Unlike CBD oil, THC will most definitely cause a psychoactive experience. However, it is important to note that, while these chemical compounds come from the same plant, there are entirely different and have different effects on the body and brain.

THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the main ingredient in marijuana that is responsible for the experience of being “high.” There are certain areas in the brain that contain cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are located in spots associated with your memory, your coordination, your thinking, etc.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), once THC has entered the brain, it will attach to these receptors and inhibit or alter the state of being for the previously mentioned cognitive activities and sensory perceptions. This is where the “high” comes from.

How Does CBD Oil Differ From THC?

On an anatomical level, the two are the same, meaning that they are composed of the same atoms. What makes them unique from each other is that their atoms are arranged in a different sequence. These anatomic differences between CBD and THC are significant in that, THC triggers CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain, while CBD has no effect on them.

The analogy is often made that CBD doesn’t fit into the CB1 and CB2 receptors much like how a AAA battery doesn’t fit into a AA battery slot. So, fret not; CBD oil isn’t comprised of the anatomic makeup required to activate the receptors responsible for psychoactivity.

Instead, CBD works to activate separate and distinct receptors in the brain such as vanilloid, adenosine and serotonin, all with respective perceived health benefits. Additionally, CBD has the ability to minimize or inhibit THC’s effects on the brain by obstructing its path toward the FAAH enzyme, thus reducing any “high” from taking place.

What Is CBD Oil and What Can it Do?

CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is just one of many compounds that make up hemp or cannabis plants. In addition to THC, it’s companions within the plant are cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabicitran (CBT), cannabicyclol (CBL), and many more.

While CBD oil does not produce psychoactive effects, there are a number of benefits associated with its use. Many users have sought out CBD to improve wellbeing in several aspects of their lives. It is entirely safe to use and is legal for use throughout the US.

In addition to effectively blocking THC’s ability to cause a high, many individuals have chosen to utilize CBD oil for several perceived benefits. While studies pertaining to the usage and benefits of CBD oil are ongoing, the chemical compound is widely becoming popular.

What are the Other Chemical Compounds in Cannabis?

It is little known that there are actually at least 85 different chemical compounds that have been isolated within the cannabis plant. Aside from CBD and THC, there hasn’t been any substantial amount of research done yet to find out more about these compounds relative to their effects on the body and the mind. Below are a few of the more well-known and increasingly more thoroughly researched composites.

Cannabinol (CBN)

Gaining recognition as a compound with benefits similar to that of CBD, Cannabinol (CBN) is also derived of from the cannabis plant. However, it is formulated naturally in a much different way than CBD or THC.

According to Pure Analytics, a testing laboratory headquartered in Santa Rosa, CA, CBN is a oxidative degradation product of THC. This means that when THC becomes purposefully or accidentally exposed to UV light and oxygen over a certain period of time, the result is cannabinol.

While CBN is considered to have roughly 10% the psychoactive effect of THC, it is noteworthy that CBN does compose of the proper anatomic structure to cause a high.

Cannabichromene (CBC)

This derivative of cannabis is extremely rare, and when found, it is usually present at less than 1%. While some research has implied that there may be benefits to digging deeper into its composition and effects on the body, as of now, CBC is rather mysterious. Currently, scientists do not believe this particular compound is capable of causing a high.

Cannabigerol (CBG)

More commonly found in cannabis plants is that of Cannabigerol (CBG). This non-psychoactive compound is considered to be the precursor to THC-acid and CBD-acid. Much like it’s housemate, CBC, little is known about the potential benefits of its use.



The cannabis plant is as complex as it is amazing. Putting aside any preconceived beliefs regarding the effects of using such a plant for personal wellbeing is that path that more and more individuals have chosen. As we pave the way toward a better understanding of the composition of cannabis, including its makeup of CBD, THC and others, we will begin to see a shift in thinking and in corporal prosperity.

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About Nganic

Nganic is a family owned company whose goal is to provide education and information in regards to CBD.



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