- Can You Get High from Hemp or CBD Oil?
- Hemp is NOT Marijuana
- No Hemp or CBD high!
- What’s the Deal with Hemp Oil?
- Does CBD Make You High, Myths About Hemp, Is CBD Oil Legal
- Is CBD Oil Legal?
- Will CBD Cause Addiction?
- CAN CBD OIL GET YOU HIGH?
- WHAT IS CBD OIL?
- DOES THAT MEAN CBD OIL IS THC-FREE?
- SO, CBD OIL WON’T GET ME HIGH. THAT MEANS IT’S NON-PSYCHOACTIVE?
- WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
- Every Question You Have About CBD—Answered
- OK, first things first. What is CBD?
- So you're saying CBD won't get me high?
- Where does hemp come in to all this?
- What are the health benefits of CBD?
- Still, is CBD worth trying for pain management?
- What about my anxiety—can CBD help with that?
- I've heard of edibles, tinctures, vape pens… What's the best way to take CBD?
- What should I look for when shopping for CBD products?
- What does the label look ?
- Speaking of which: Has it been third-party tested?
- What's the dosing?
- Does it claim to cure any diseases?
- Is there a batch number?
- Are there additional ingredients in there?
- Are you buying it IRL?
- That all sounds good, but is it legal?
- Can you travel with CBD?
- Will CBD show up on a drug test?
- Last question: Can I give it to my dog?
- What Is CBD Oil? Is It Legal & Does It Get You High?
- What Is CBD Oil?
- Does CBD Oil Get You High?
- Legality across the US
- Historical Legislation (1970-2000)
- Oil from Hemp
- Oil from Marijuana
- Rest of North America, South & Central America
- European Union
- Non-EU European Countries
- Drug Test
- Can CBD Oil get you high?
- Not All Cannabis Plants Are the Same
- Psychoactive vs. Intoxication: What’s the Difference?
- Why Choose CBD Oil over Marijuana
Can You Get High from Hemp or CBD Oil?
Over the last few decades, marijuana has steadily gained popularity. And there is no going back. Still, despite all the media buzz about the health benefits of cannabis, it is still largely associated with psychotropic effects.
Due to years of suppression of this plant, most people still assume getting medical assistance from cannabis – via hemp or marijuana – means getting high. That’s not necessarily true and there is so much more to cannabis.
The bottom line: can CBD make you high? Read on!
Hemp is NOT Marijuana
Most people don’t understand that cannabis is both non-psychoactive hemp and psychoactive marijuana. The two plants are actually cousins, but you can’t get high from hemp nor CBD hemp oil or CBD products. In fact, in most medical marijuana strains, the majority of the beneficial effects come from CBD and not THC.
(Yes, CBD can be extracted from marijuana, too, and separated from THC.) THC is responsible for the majority of recreational use due to its psychoactive effects on the body and how it generally makes users feel sensations of euphoria.
Most CBD products are made strictly from hemp-derived CBD – which is true of ALL Isodiol products.
Getting back to the subject: will you get high from CBD? No, and that’s a good thing!
No Hemp or CBD high!
CBD and THC work against each other to block out the other’s effects when one is more present in a strain of cannabis. Each hemp plant contains such a low amount of THC (generally 0.3% or less) that if you were to smoke hemp alone you would probably just end up with a bad migraine. In fact, as the saying goes, you could smoke a joint the size of telephone pole and not get high.
For that reason, large amounts of hemp are needed to be harvested in order to produce enough CBD extract to be used in CBD-based products. Medical marijuana produces more CBD per plant, but hemp plants can grow closely together, un marijuana, thus improving their industrial growth capability.
For example, about 200 tall, skinny hemp plants can grow in one square meter. One acre can yield 8,000 pounds of hemp seed, not to mention all of the stalks. When cold-pressed, those 8,000 pounds of hemp seed will yield over 300 gallons of hemp seed oil. Again, oil is also extracted from the stalks.
However, CBD oil extracted from hemp plants is the only type that the US government allows to be sold legally nationwide.
Now consumers can enjoy all types of CBD hemp oil and other CBD products in a variety of forms ( water and edibles among others) and through improved delivery methods.
What’s the Deal with Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil in itself is an excellent source of essential fatty acids, and can be found in health food stores around the country. EFAs are not produced by the body; we must get them in our diets.
They are the healthy fats that sustain us, powering both our brains and bodies. However, we don’t hear much about hemp oil, because it’s CBD that really brings an array of health benefits.
So, even if you’re not buying CBD oil specifically, you can still get a wealth of nutritional benefits simply by adding hemp oil to your diet.
Learn more about about how cannabinoids can benefit your well being and improve your quality of life by reading through our hemp oil blog.
Any and all statements made in the ISODIOL blog in regard to cannabinoid products are not expressed as medical claims. Our intention is to educate, not to suggest results nor to encourage action on the part of the reader.
ISODIOL is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arise use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within the site. The information contained within the site is periodically updated, there is no guarantee to the accuracy of the information.
Nothing on this site is intended to operate as legal advice, please seek your own legal advice.
The statements and products referred to throughout this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition.
If you have a health condition or concern, consult a physician or your health care provider. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing new exercises.
We recommend you educate yourselves on the scientific / nutritional facts.
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Does CBD Make You High, Myths About Hemp, Is CBD Oil Legal
Does CBD make you high? Any time cannabis products, such as hemp, medicinal marijuana, and pure CBD oil, are discussed, this and many other questions and preconceived notions are brought into the conversation. It is important to understand the truth and separate it from the myths about hemp.
For instance, is CBD oil legal? Is it addictive? Can children utilize it? Will it show up in a drug test? These questions, among others, are very important parts of the CBD oil conversation and should not be brushed off.
Leaving these questions unanswered or providing myth instead of the facts can be detrimental to everyone's health.
As much as we would to tell you that CBD oil is 100% legal, healthy, and acceptable, we must not cloud facts with our opinion or myth.
Whether you believe in the use of CBD oil to help people heal and live an overall healthier life, or you are against it, there is a truth behind the myth that should be expressed to anyone who is interested in learning more about CBD oil and hemp byproducts. Therefore, we will present the truth to each of these questions, with as much detail as possible.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
This is ly the most important question most people ask regarding CBD oil, its purchase, and its use, but it’s actually a two-part question. First, is it legal at all? Then, is it illegal without a prescription? Overall, CBD is legal in all fifty states.
As a byproduct of hemp, CBD Oil contains no illegal substance that would place it in any illegal categories.
The idea is to make sure you are purchasing your CBD oil from a reputable business that follow the laws and offers the oil for its health and beauty benefits to those that could truly benefit from its use.
It has been shown that with a prescription, CBD oil vape may be more easily obtainable.
There are many movements, both grassroots and corporate backed programs, that are attempting to make sure byproducts of hemp, such as CBD oil, are not considered illegal in the federal courts in the same way in which they are legal in the state courts.
The issue is not necessarily whether CBD oil is legal; it is whether you are purchasing CBD oil from a licensed and reputable company that can see the health and beauty benefits, and they work to pass those along to people of all ages.
Will CBD Cause Addiction?
This is a question that has been plaguing cannabis since the dawn of time, and will now plague its derivatives, including CBD. Research has indicated that CBD is not addictive and does not contain any of the potentially addictive parts of the cannabis plant.
As a matter of fact, research is also beginning to show that CBD has been shown to help decrease other addictive behaviors. A study conducted in the United Kingdom, for example, showed that individuals provided with CBD oil smoked considerably less cigarettes than those provided with a placebo.
The reduced amount was so significant, it lead these individuals to experience reduced cravings as well as reducing the act of smoking itself. Others have suggested that using CBD for pain management can be helpful without the side effect of cravings in between recommended doses.
Un pharmaceuticals, CBD has been shown to aid in pain management and pain reduction, and patients do not feel the need to continue the regiment once the pain is rightfully managed.
CAN CBD OIL GET YOU HIGH?
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably considering trying CBD products but may be curious about its psychoactive effects. If that’s the case, you’re not alone.
CBD oil comes from the cannabis plant, so it’s perfectly natural to question whether it produces the well-known high that is often associated with cannabis.
Well, we’re here to settle the matter once and for all, so you can make an informed decision about whether CBD oil is a right fit for you.
WHAT IS CBD OIL?
First and foremost, what exactly is CBD? It’s a chemical compound that is naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is only one of 113 different types of cannabinoids that scientists have been able to isolate and identify.
CBD oil is extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant – better known as industrial hemp. Hemp is chockfull of CBD, as well as other cannabinoids and nutrients that are good for your body. There is another strain of cannabis with which most of us are familiar: marijuana (Cannabis indica).
Marijuana tends to produce low levels of CBD while being abundant in a different type of cannabinoid known as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This is important to note, as THC is what’s responsible for the euphoric high that is often associated with cannabis.
CBD, on the other hand, does not produce a high.
DOES THAT MEAN CBD OIL IS THC-FREE?
That depends. CBD oil can come in a few forms: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD oil is one of the most common forms, and the oil is rich in a wide array of cannabinoids, aromatic terpenes, and other nutrients that work together to provide your body and mind with a variety of therapeutic benefits.
As the name implies, full-spectrum CBD oil does include a comprehensive range of the hemp plant’s naturally occurring compounds – and that includes trace amounts of THC. In the United States, the amount of THC that any CBD product can legally contain is less than 0.3%, which is not nearly enough to get you high.
If you’re sensitive to THC or simply don’t want it in your system at all, broad-spectrum CBD contains all the same essentials as full-spectrum CBD, but minus THC. And, if you want just pure CBD without any other cannabinoids, terpenes, amino acids, or anything else, then CBD isolate is the way to go.
SO, CBD OIL WON’T GET ME HIGH. THAT MEANS IT’S NON-PSYCHOACTIVE?
Actually, CBD does have psychoactive properties. The common misconception that it’s non-psychoactive largely stems from the frequent confusion that “non-psychoactive” and “non-intoxicating” mean the same thing.
According to the World Health Organization, psychoactive substances are “substances that, when taken in or administered into one’s system, affect mental processes, e.g. cognition or affect.
” And, since cannabidiol is often used for stress relief and mood regulation, it does contain mood-altering properties that would categorize it as a psychoactive compound. While this doesn’t change the fact that it’s non-intoxicating and will not produce a high, CBD does indeed have psychoactive properties.
WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
This is an important distinction, as some individuals may be reluctant to try CBD because it is deemed psychoactive, when they simply do not wish to experience an intoxicating high. In reality, many people enjoy taking CBD to help them with everyday stress and tension while remaining completely clear-headed and alert.
So, to summarize: CBD oil will not get you high. It can contain trace amounts of THC, which is the component in cannabis that’s responsible for inducing a high, but the 0.3% maximum legal content is not enough to intoxicate you in any way.
Every Question You Have About CBD—Answered
There's no question that CBD is the buzzy wellness product of the moment. If you live in a state where it's currently legal, you might feel CBD has gone from being sort of around to absolutely everywhere all at once.
Coffee shops sell CBD lattes, spas offer CBD facials, beauty companies are rushing to release lotions with CBD or hemp oils in their formulas.
And everyone from your anxious coworker to your arthritis-suffering dad wants to get their hands on some CBD gummies.
But even though it's infiltrating pretty much every corner of the wellness world (hi, vegan CBD brownies!) many people still find CBD a little confusing—especially when it comes to figuring out the right way to use it and how to make sure the stuff you're buying is, you know, actually legit. Below, we asked experts to answer the most pressing questions about CBD.
RELATED: 7 Surprising Ways People Are Using CBD Oil—and What Doctors Really Think About It
OK, first things first. What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the Cannabid sativa plant, whish is also known as marijuana or help, according to the US National Library of Medicine.
It's a naturally occurring substance that's used in products oils and edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. Un its cousin, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the major active ingredient in marijuana, CBD is not psychoactive.
So you're saying CBD won't get me high?
Nope. The cannabis plant is made up of two main players: CBD and THC. “CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant, so what that means is you won't have any effects euphoria,” says Junella Chin, DO, an osteopathic physician and a medical cannabis expert for cannabisMD. “You won't feel sedated or altered in any way.”
There are two possible exceptions to this. The first is that some people, for unknown reasons, just react differently to CBD. According to Dr. Chin, about 5% of people say they feel altered after taking CBD.
“Usually they're the same people who have side effects from Advil or Tylenol,” she says.
You never know how your body will react to any new supplement, so when taking CBD for the first time, do so safely under supervision.
It's also crucial to buy third-party-tested CBD for quality assurance (more on this later). Because the FDA doesn't regulate CBD, it is possible to buy a product that is more or less potent than advertised, or even contains small amounts of THC.
RELATED: 9 Things to Know Before Buying Another Supplement
Where does hemp come in to all this?
You've probably heard the terms cannabis, marijuana, and hemp all tossed around in relation to CBD. The plant Cannabis sativa has two primary species, hemp and marijuana. Both contain CBD, but there's a much higher percentage in hemp, which also has very low (less than 0.3%) levels of THC compared to marijuana.
When people talk about hemp oil, they're referring to oil extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. There are no cannabinoids—CBD or THC—in hemp oil. This ingredient is packed with healthy fats and often appears in beauty products for its moisturizing benefits.
What are the health benefits of CBD?
The only CBD medication that is currently FDA-approved is Epidiolex, which the agency approved last year for the treatment of certain types of epilepsy. But many people swear CBD has helped with a slew of other health conditions, including back pain, osteoarthritis, even cancer.
“My practice has patients walking in every day asking about CBD,” says Houman Danesh, MD, director of integrative pain management for the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. But while there's lots of anecdotal evidence, he says, “it's still very difficult to say” what the real benefits are due to a serious lack of research.
“Right now, you just have pharmacies trying to make some sort of sense it and say, 'Yes, it works for this,'” he says, “but that's not the way medicine is practiced—it should be evidence, and there's not a lot of evidence to really support these claims.”
RELATED: Marijuana Use Linked to Higher Sperm Count, Suggests Surprising New Study
Still, is CBD worth trying for pain management?
There are two main types of pain, Dr. Danesh says: musculoskeletal and nerve. “There could be benefit for both conditions,” he says.
The tricky part is that there's some evidence suggesting CBD works best for pain when combined with a little THC, says Dr. Danesh. “Depending on what type of pain you have, you might be able to do just CBD, but sometimes you need CBD and THC.
” This makes accessing a product that will actually help you more difficult due to different regulations in each state. In New York, where Dr. Danesh practices, for example, CBD is available over the counter.
But as soon as you add THC, you need a prescription.
Figuring out how much you should take is challenging as well; the dosage that alleviates one patient's pain might do very little for someone else. “And until we can study it, it's the wild west,” Dr. Danesh says.
The takeaway? “I think CBD is a safe thing to try,” says Dr. Danesh. But he urges patients to push for more research by putting pressure on representatives to get national bills passed that allow scientists to look closer at CBD and the conditions that respond to it.
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What about my anxiety—can CBD help with that?
CBD might be worth trying to manage symptoms of anxiety. “[CBD] tells your body to calm down and reminds you that you're safe,” Dr. Chin says. “It mellows out the nervous system so you're not in a heightened 'fight or flight' response,” she says, so people with anxiety may find it helps them feel more relaxed.
Still, one of the biggest misconceptions about CBD is that it's a wonder drug. “A lot of times people think CBD is a cure-all, and it's not,” Dr. Chin says. “You should also have a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and good nutrition—CBD is not going to fix everything.”
I've heard of edibles, tinctures, vape pens… What's the best way to take CBD?
It really depends on what your goal is and why you're taking CBD in the first place.
Some people don't want to ingest anything and therefore prefer a topical CBD cream or ointment. “You can apply it to muscles, joints, and ligaments and still get a nice, localized release,” Dr. Chin says.
The biggest differences between tinctures, edibles, and vape pens are speed of delivery and how long the effects last. Vape relief is faster but wears off faster too—usually in about two hours, says Dr. Chin. “Say you wake up in the morning and pulled your back out, you might want to take CBD through a vape pen, which delivers in 10 minutes.”
Tinctures and edibles take longer to work but last four or five hours. “A tincture looks a little liquid that you put under your tongue, and you feel relief within half an hour,” Dr. Chin says. “If you prefer to taste something, you choose an edible, whether it's a capsule, gummy, or baked good.”
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What should I look for when shopping for CBD products?
“There are literally hundreds of CBD brands at this point,” says Brandon Beatty, founder and CEO of Bluebird Botanicals and an executive vice president of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when shopping.
What does the label look ?
We don't mean the color or millennial font. If it's a dietary supplement, it should have a back panel with an FDA disclaimer and warning section, according to Beatty. “Ideally, it would be preferable to have access to their third-party lab testing results too.”
Speaking of which: Has it been third-party tested?
Nearly every expert Health spoke to agreed that your CBD products should be tested by a third party to confirm the label's accuracy.
This is a real concern in the industry—take the 2017 Journal of the American Medical Association study, for example, which tested 84 CBD products and found that 26% contained lower doses than stated on the bottle.
Look for a quality assurance stamp or certificate of analysis from a third party (aka not the actual brand) or check the retailer's website if you don't see it on the product's label.
What's the dosing?
This is a confusing one for many people. “A lot of brands don't do a good job of clearly instructing their consumer on the dosing,” says Chris Roth, CEO and co-founder of Highline Wellness.
When thinking about dosing, also consider whether your CBD is full-spectrum or isolate: Full-spectrum could include other cannabinoids cannabidivarin or cannabigerol (this is important, since “there's something called the 'entourage effect' when all together, they're more effective than any one of them alone,” Roth explains), while isolate is 100% CBD. “Some people might only need 10 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD, but with isolate, even taking 80 or 100 milligrams might not have the same effect,” he says.
Does it claim to cure any diseases?
If so, hard pass. “You should avoid any company that makes disease claims,” says Beatty. “If so, it means they're either willing to break the rules or they're not aware of the rules.”
Is there a batch number?
You know how you check your raw chicken or bagged lettuce every time there's a recall to make sure the one you bought isn't going to make you sick? You should be able to do that with CBD products too.
“This is a huge indicator as to whether they are following good manufacturing practices,” says Beatty. “There should be a way to identify this product in case it was improperly made so the company can carry out a recall.
Are there additional ingredients in there?
As with any supplement, you want to know everything you're ingesting in addition to the main event. For example, “sometimes I notice that [CBD manufacturers] will add melatonin,” says Dr. Chin.
Are you buying it IRL?
You can find CBD products in shopping malls, convenience stores, even coffee shops in many states right now. But when in doubt, natural grocers are a safe brick-and-mortar place to buy CBD, Beatty says. “Typically they have a vetting process that does some of the legwork for you.”
RELATED: 19 Natural Remedies for Anxiety
That all sounds good, but is it legal?
First, a little background. Industrial hemp was legal in the United States until Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937.
(“Some of our early presidents grew hemp,” notes Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish, a cannabis industry attorney based in Oklahoma.
) Nearly 80 years later, the 2014 Farm Bill took the position that states can regulate the production of hemp and, as a result, CBD. Then last year, President Trump signed a new Farm Bill that made it federally legal to grow hemp.
This means that “consumers everywhere, if they're compliant with their state, can grow hemp and use hemp products,” Parrish explains, “and among those will be CBD.”
In other words, the latest bill removed hemp from the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA's, purview. “Hemp can now be grown freely under federal law, which, of course, is huge,” Parrish says. “But while it's legal under federal law, it's up to each state to set their own policy.”
These policies vary widely. Marijuana and CBD are currently fully legal for both medicinal and recreational purposes in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Washington D.C.
In 23 states, it's legal in some form, such as for medicinal purposes. Another 14 states permit just CBD oil. But both are illegal in Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
For more information, the organization Americans for Safe Access has a helpful guide to the specific laws in each state.
“It's kind of ironic,” says Parrish. “With marijuana, we have got the federal government saying 'No' and a bunch of states saying 'Yeah, it's OK'—but with hemp, the feds say 'Yeah, it's OK,' but we still have some states saying it's not.”
Can you travel with CBD?
That same 2018 Farm Bill means you can now travel between states with legit CBD products. “Flying with CBD should pose no issues now,” Parrish says.
However, if you're traveling with a tincture, be mindful of TSA limits on how much liquid you can carry on an airplane, she adds.
(You can also mail CBD products, just “companies that comply with the Bill can ship their hemp-derived CBD products anywhere in the U.S.,” Parrish notes.)
RELATED: Is It Safe for Breastfeeding Moms to Use Marijuana?
Will CBD show up on a drug test?
It should not, as long as you're buying third-party tested CBD with no added THC, says Dr. Chin. But she does point out that athletes, who often are required to take drug tests that are more sensitive, “could potentially test positive” for trace amounts of THC if they've been using CBD products.
Last question: Can I give it to my dog?
Tempted to give your pup one of those CBD dog biscuits? “Generally we expect CBD products to be safe, and they could show some benefit for anxiety in pets,” says John Faught, DVM, a veterinarian based in Austin, Texas.
But the challenge when considering CBD products for pets is the same as with people: lack of research. “I believe there are good products out there today, but I also don't know how to distinguish them at this time,” Faught says.
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What Is CBD Oil? Is It Legal & Does It Get You High?
CBD is a compound from cannabis that, un THC, won’t get you high. With the recent legalization of medical marijuana in many states worldwide, the market of therapeutic CBD oil is booming. But is this product legal in your country? Does it show up in drug tests? Read on to find out.
What Is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound naturally found in the cannabis plant (Cannabissativa). It belongs to a class of 113 different compounds called cannabinoids, of which THC – the one that gets you high – is best-known [1+].
CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the flowers and upper leaves of cannabis and dissolving it in a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil. With the growing interest in researching its effects and the legalization of medical marijuana in many countries, CBD oil is emerging as a new investigational therapeutic agent mainly used for [2+, 3+]:
Here’s where it gets tricky: both hemp and marijuana are cannabis. However, marijuana and hemp are completely different varieties. Marijuana is much higher in THC, while hemp is low in it. CBD oil is usually made from hemp to meet strict regulations about low THC content.
In June of 2018, the FDA approved a medicine with pure CBD oil (Epidiolex) for the first time. Epidiolex is used in children over 2 years old for seizures caused by two rare types of epilepsy .
While CBD oil is being studied for a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, multiple sclerosis, depression, anxiety, and insomnia, research supporting its benefits is still limited. Talk to your doctor if you plan to use CBD oil.
- Approved for two types of epilepsy
- Can be used legally for several conditions in many countries
- Won’t get you high
- Insufficient evidence for some uses
- May be illegal to transport across borders
- Banned in some countries (or if its THC content is above a threshold)
- THC traces may show up in a drug test
- Poor quality of some supplements (less CBD than stated on the label)
Does CBD Oil Get You High?
Although both THC and CBD belong to the same family of chemicals (cannabinoids), they work in different ways.
THC binds and activates two types of cannabinoid receptors on brain cells (CB1 and CB2). This is how it causes a rewarding and psychotropic effect, giving rise to the “high.” But according to the research, this effect also increases the risk of abuse of other drugs such as opioids [5, 6].
CBD is less ly to bind to these receptors and slightly blocks rather than activating them. It also prevents the breakdown of the main cannabinoid the human body produces called anandamide. Anandamide is also known as the body’s natural “bliss molecule” (ananda is Sanskrit for bliss) [5, 7, 8].
Un THC, CBD also stimulates pathways that lower pain, inflammation, and anxiety (TRPV1, PPAR-gamma, and 5-HT1A). Plus, it blocks receptors involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s [9+, 10].
Read this post to learn more about the health benefits and dosing of CBD.
Legality across the US
Can you legally use CBD oil? This question is on the minds of many Americans. Most would guess affirmatively, as CBD won’t get people high, seems to be safe, and has strong medical potential. But with the changing regulations and different laws in each state, the answer is not as straightforward.
Confusion about the legality of CBD dates a while back. In the past couple of years, it has spurred horror stories in some states – reports of arrests, people being prosecuted for a felony, and authorities seizing CBD products.
Most people don’t want to take risks. With CBD oil, you want to have a peace of mind knowing you’re not breaking any laws.
Let’s first take a look at the cannabis legislation in the US throughout history to understand why it’s not as simple as it may seem at first glance.
Historical Legislation (1970-2000)
The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970 classified cannabis derivatives such as CBD as Schedule I controlled substances by both the FDA and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This classification applies to all substances with :
- No accepted medical use
- Lack of safety under medical supervision
- High potential for abuse
Schedule I substances are considered the most dangerous. They can’t be prescribed and their manufacture, transport, use, and possession require a specific registration. Heroin, for example, belongs to this class [2+].
The Hemp Industrial Association (HIA) filed a couple of cases against the DEA in the early 2000s. These were resolved with the approval of non-psychoactive cannabis imported from Canada and Europe. In turn, the CBD oil market started thriving. However, growing cannabis remained illegal in the US except for industrial hemp cultivated as part of an official research program [12, 13].
Oil from Hemp
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 – also known as the Hemp Bill – was approved in December of the same year. It clearly defined hemp as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC (as opposed to marijuana), removed it from the Schedule I substances list, and allowed its growing, possession, and transport across borders in all states .
This means that adults can buy and use hemp-derived CBD oil in all 50 states. CBD can only be obtained from plants of a licensed grower under the federal regulation. However, the FDA doesn’t allow its marketing for unapproved health claims or as a food supplement .
Oil from Marijuana
The legislation of marijuana-derived CBD oil is more complex. Although not approved by the FDA, the oil is allowed for a broad range of conditions in :
- All states where both recreational and medical marijuana are legal (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia)
- Some states only allowing medical marijuana (Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia)
A few states (Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming), only allow it for very specific conditions. Typically, this means meeting strict medical requirements, such as failing to respond to other therapies for a specific health condition.
Conversely, marijuana-derived CBD oil is illegal in Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
Carefully check the legislation in your state before purchasing marijuana-derived CBD Oil. It might be better to go with hemp-derived oil instead to stay on the safe side
States where marijuana is only approved for medical use will normally require you to obtain a medical marijuana card. Even in those without this restriction, consulting your doctor to see if CBD oil is beneficial and safe for you is highly recommended.
Because marijuana use and possession are not approved at a federal law level, flying with marijuana-derived CBD oil or transporting it across state borders remains illegal.
Rest of North America, South & Central America
In Canada and Uruguay, both recreational and medical marijuana (including CBD oil) are legal [15, 16].
Recreational marijuana is illegal (although often decriminalized) in all other South and Central American countries, but many of them allow its medical use. Countries where CBD oil is legal include Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Puerto Rico.
Panama has signed a bill for the approval of medical marijuana, but the law remains pending.
The EU only allows hemp products obtained from plants with a THC content below 0.2% and registered in the Common Catalogue of Varieties of Agricultural Plant Species. Most products don’t require specific testing or quality controls, except for prescription CBD oils prepared by pharmacists in Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands [17, 18].
Three countries (Austria, Czech Republic, and Luxembourg) allow a slightly higher THC limit (0.3%) in hemp varieties, while Italy allows up to 0.6%.
In early 2019, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) released a new guidance considering hemp products as ‘novel foods’. This applies to all foods that were not commonly eaten in the EU before 1997 or used safely in third countries for at least 25 years .
Although EU countries do not have to follow EFSA guidance, they usually do. And if they do, such categorization will strongly influence the CBD oil market. ‘Novel foods’ can’t be approved until their safety is proven in a process that normally takes 3 years! This could mean the temporary removal of CBD oil from the EU market in the near future.
Non-EU European Countries
The UK has announced that it will put the EFSA guidance into practice even after leaving the EU, meaning it will ban unapproved CBD products.
In Switzerland, CBD is not subject to the Swiss Narcotic Acts. All cannabis products with less than 1% THC are legal .
Norway allows medical CBD products, but they must be 100% THC-free.
CBD oil and other cannabis products are legal for medical use in North Macedonia. If their THC content is higher than 0.2%, they can only be obtained with a prescription.
Although they don’t have specific legislation on CBD oil, cannabis use and possession is illegal in Albania, Iceland, Kosovo, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine. An initiative to legalize CBD oil in Serbia was called off in March of 2019.
In Australia, CBD oil is allowed but only if prescribed by a doctor after a complicated and expensive authorization process.
In New Zealand, CBD is no longer a controlled substance and its medical use is allowed if prescribed. CBD products must contain less than 2% THC .
Most Asian countries are very strict when it comes to cannabis. This plant is normally illegal and people who use CBD oil can be sentenced to jail and even death in some countries [22, 23].
The medical use of registered CBD oil products is only allowed in Georgia, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Turkey.
In China, CBD is approved for use in cosmetics but not in foods or medicines. However, some provinces allow the growth of plants with less than 0.3% THC for exportation.
In India, it’s allowed to use imported CBD products if prescribed by a doctor. The country is working on legalizing cannabis growth for medical research and medicine development.
Similar to the case of Asia, cannabis is generally banned all over Africa. CBD oil is only legal in South Africa, where the medical and even recreational use of marijuana is also allowed.
Drug tests for marijuana detect the drug in urine, blood, and saliva. Because they are antibodies or analysis techniques specific to THC and its breakdown products, they won’t detect CBD. However, CBD oil and other hemp products often contain traces of THC. Taking high amounts may cause this chemical to show up in a drug test [24, 25, 26].
People required to pass frequent drug tests (e.g., athletes) should reduce their use of CBD oil or stick to THC-free products.
Although still not widely used, the tests can be adapted to detect CBD and evaluate the quality and therapeutic potential of hemp-derived medicines [27, 28, 29].
Can CBD Oil get you high?
CBD and THC are both derived from the cannabis plant, but have very different effects on your body and brain.
One of the first questions asked by people just learning about CBD oil is, “Can CBD oil get you high?”
It’s a valid question, and given that there is still a large portion of the general public who consider CBD oil to be little more than marijuana in disguise, it’s essential that in your search for information, you find the right information.
So, for the purposes of this page, we’ll define “high” as meaning a decrease in your mental or physical capabilities.
We’re here to clear up the biggest misconceptions about CBD oil and arm you with the knowledge you need to make the right choices for your personal health and supplement needs.
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Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of hundreds of cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant.
THC is the cannabinoid that occurs in the largest quantity within cannabis, while CBD presents in a much smaller ratio.
Because of CBD oil’s rise in popularity, many growers are now cultivating cannabis plants with high CBD content.
Both cannabinoids are currently being put through intensive studies, although their benefits have only been anecdotally known for some time. Prior to recent changes in legislation that allow for the sale of medical cannabis in a majority of U.S. states, it was difficult, if not impossible to legally conduct research into the potential positives effects of taking CBD oil.
What we do know is that both THC and CBD are the phytocannabinoid (plant) versions of our body’s endocannabinoids (internal).
Phytocannabinoids impact our endocannabinoid system, which consists of two main receptors: the CB1, and CB2 receptors, located predominantly in the brain and the central nervous system, respectively. These receptors impact a vast array of functions within the body pain perception, the experience of anxiety, inflammation, and appetite.
While THC has been shown to directly target and bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD instead creates the majority of its therapeutic benefits indirectly, activating both cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid receptors.
Not All Cannabis Plants Are the Same
Cannabis, despite what people think, is not a single plant. In fact, it is a genus in a family of flowering plants. This genus includes both cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. The substance popularly known as marijuana can be of the sativa or indica variety.
Hemp is also a type of sativa plant, however, it has few to none of the intoxicating effects that marijuana sativa plants carry. Biologically, hemp is quite different from marijuana and typically contains much higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC relative to marijuana.
Historically, hemp has been cultivated for its hard and fibrous qualities, used in the production of items paper, rope, and cloth. Now, hemp is the primary source of CBD oil.
Marijuana is the type of cannabis that when smoked or ingested, produces psychoactive, intoxicating effects, creating a “high” caused by the THC . THC, through its action on the brain, triggers a dopamine release.
This flood of dopamine is the source of positive emotions and the high that is felt by marijuana users.
THC also impacts the hypothalamus (appetite), the basal ganglia (cognition and emotion), cerebellum (sensory perception), and the neocortex (perception and conscious thought).
The hemp plant does not produce these results, as CBD does not play the same role in the body. This means CBD oil is not going to get you high in the same way as marijuana. But just because it won’t get you high, doesn’t mean it’s not psychoactive.
Psychoactive vs. Intoxication: What’s the Difference?
CBD oil cannot get you high but it is a psychoactive substance. This concept is a difficult one to unravel, but here’s a breakdown:
An intoxicant is a substance that when taken produces a state of diminished mental and physical ability. Examples of this include alcohol, recreational drugs, and THC.
A psychoactive substance is one that changes an individual’s mental state by impacting how the brain and central nervous system function. Examples include caffeine, chocolate, and CBD.
As you can see, while the “psychoactive” label attached to CBD oil may seem damning at first, understanding the terminology helps to uncover that many psychoactive substances can produce positive results, whereas intoxicants impact the brain in a negative way.
So, CBD oil is a psychoactive substance, but it will not get you high.
Why Choose CBD Oil over Marijuana
When isolated from the cannabis plant, CBD oil is able to be produced containing only trace amounts of THC (