Does CBD Oil Get You High?

Why CBD doesn't make you high

CBD, or Cannabidiol from both cannabis and hemp can provide medical benefits but they don't get you high. Image Credit: By CAPJAH on shutterstock

If you’re like many, you may have questions about CBD oil effectsand specifically whether or not CBD oil and other cannabis oil products get you high. The short answer is no. As the non-psychotic component of cannabis, CBD oil is primarily used to help relax and calm the body and mind.

This is why CBD—or cannabidiol—has fast become a hip and healthy way for treating aches and pains, the signs of a panic attack, and helping with anxiety, relaxation and sleep over the last few years. And the CBD industry is skyrocketing: consumer sales of CBD products in the U.S. hit $350 million in 2017, up threefold from 2014, and are predicted to reach $2 billion in the next two to five years . The multiple health benefits of CBD oil products for relaxation, anti-anxiety, pain relieving and as an anti-inflammatory, in particular, are key to its rising popularity.

Two other big reasons why? CBD doesn’t get you high, and unlike medical cannabis, it is not a controlled substance. However, the FDA has so far only approved CBD for treatment of epilepsy in the form of a drug called Epidiolex. In clinical trials, Epidiolex cannabinoid treatment showed a 39 percent reduction of seizures in children .

To understand why CBD doesn’t create a high, it helps to know what CBD exactly is, how CBD oil is processed from the cannabis plant and from hemp plants, and the difference between THC and CBD.

CBD Basics

One of the most common questions people ask about CBD products is, “Will using it make me fail a drug test?” In theory, the answer should be no, as most drug tests check only for THC and not CBD. However, some people have reported testing positive for cannabis after using products that contain CBD oil, since these can contain trace amounts of THC.

To explain it simplistically, CBD is cannabidiol, one of more than 80 natural phytocannabinoid compounds. It is pressed from the flower, leaves and stems of the cannabis plant to extract cannabidiol oil from its multiple natural phytocannabinoid compounds. CBD can also be extracted from just the seeds of industrial hemp plants. The positive CBD oil effects are due to the way cannabidiol interacts with our body’s own natural endocannabinoid system—a network of cell receptors that partner with our nervous system to help release our ‘happy hormones’ (serotonin and dopamine) to regulate essential functions such as pleasure, pain perception, sleep, appetite, and mood.


Think of CBD as the straight-laced twin of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the psychotropic compound in cannabis that makes you feel high, euphoric, or woozy, whereas cannabidiol is a naturally occurring cannabinoid compound in the cannabis plant with no mind-altering effects. Due to the way CBD oil is processed from the plant, it contains only negligible trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3 percent), so is not considered to have any psychoactive properties. Published research in 2006 additionally suggested that CBD has anti-psychotic effects and can bring you down from a THC-induced high.

This means as well as not getting you high, CBD is non-addictive—a fact supported by the World Health Organization which recently reported that CBD oil has no potential for abuse or dependence. It’s also considered safe for human consumption due to its extremely low toxicity with little to no risk of side effects.

How do I take CBD oil?

An industry of concentrated oils, gel caps, tinctures and edibles to topical creams and beauty products is fast-growing in the United States, today. Clinical trials have shown that for anxiety, it is most effective taken as an oil—either as liquid oil, oil-based capsules, vaporized oil, or as a tincture. Of note, there’s no evidence that smoking CBD oil has any benefits. Most people prefer to take CBD oil either as gel capsule or vaporized due to its unpleasant oily taste when taken as drops under the tongue. Because it’s edible, it can also be added to drinks and food.

This is burgeoning CBD’s use in other industries such as infused in wellness and beauty products, flavored drinks and even cocktails—as well as pet treats for anxious cats and dogs .

What’s the Best CBD Dosage?

This is the most frequently asked question by experienced and first-timers exploring CBD oil effects. Even though CBD brands may recommend a certain number of drops or vapor puffs, for example, no one dosage amount works for everyone. It depends on the condition it’s being taken for, your body weight, body chemistry, how your body typically reacts, and the concentration of CBD oil you’re taking. While it can be purchased in its pure form, CBD oil is typically mixed with a carrier oil such as olive oil, coconut or grapeseed oil.

The same as with different strains of dried cannabis, different CBD oils can give different experiences depending on their concentrations and balance of added THC beyond trace amounts (which can be significant in some marijuana-CBD).

Regardless, beginning with your body weight is the best place to start and through trial and error adjust from there. The recommended rule of thumb is to take 1-6MG of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight and adjust up by 2 to 3 MGs based on your level of pain, anxiety or stress, also taking into consideration how your body reacts. Then monitor closely to find the dosage that works for you .

Nicola Bridges
Nicola Bridges
Nicola Bridges is an award-winning writer and editor who’s covered health, wellness, and women’s lifestyle for the past two decades. The former editorial director for and editor in chief of Working Mother, she is currently a regular contributor to Parade Magazine and The Fine Line where she writes about trends in modern health.

Comments are closed.