Can I get high by using CBD or CBD Oil?

The most common concern for first time CBD users is “Can I get high by using CBD?”

In order to truly answer this question, we need to understand What is CBD? What is THC? And How is CBD different than THC?

CBD vs. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid, a type of natural compound found in cannabis and hemp. This is often the root cause of the question, as many still consider CBD oil to be just cannabis in disguise. 

CBD is in fact one of hundreds of compounds in these plants, but it’s received more attention lately as changes to state and federal laws have led to a rise in the production of CBD-infused products.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another well-known cannabinoid. This compound is known for its psychoactive effects when consumed with cannabis, or marijuana.

THC produces what many consider a “high,” or an altered state characterized by euphoria, pleasure, or heightened sensory perception.

While both cannabinoids have been around for centuries, it is only recently that scientific studies are able to be done due to change in legislation. CBD became federally legal late 2018, and there are a flood of states legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational use.

Studies are preliminary and there is yet quite to discover as to how THC and CBD interact and behave with our body. Our body has its own endocannabinoid system and both THC and CBD are the phytocannabinoid versions of this. The body’s endocannabinoid system contains two main receptors CB1 located in the brain & CB2 in the central nervous system. These receptors impact a vast array of functions within the body like pain perception, the experience of anxiety, inflammation, and appetite. 

THC compound has been shown to target and directly bind with the CB1 & CB2 receptors. CBD on the hand indirectly activates both cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid receptors.

Cannabis Plants Are Not All the Same

A popular misconception is that all cannabis plants are the same. This is not true. In fact, cannabis is a genus in a family of flowering plants. This genus includes both Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica, as well as Hybrids.

Hemp is also a type of sativa plant and is biologically 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 like paper, rope, and cloth.

Marijuana when smoked or ingested, produces psychoactive, intoxicating effects, creating a “high” caused by THC. THC has shown to increase levels of dopamine in the body along with impacting the hypothalamus (appetite), the basal ganglia (cognition and emotion), cerebellum (sensory perception), and the neocortex (perception and conscious thought).

Why some think you can get high on CBD

Both THC and CBD naturally occur in cannabis plants. CBD can be isolated from the cannabis plant and the THC compound. People infuse CBD into tinctures, oils, edibles, and other products without the high-inducing THC.

Still, many individuals might assume CBD causes the same effects as marijuana, because both can be found in the same plant. However, CBD alone is nonintoxicating. It won’t cause a high.

What’s more, CBD can also be derived from the hemp plant. Hemp has no psychoactive effects, either.

In fact, in many states only hemp-derived CBD is available legally. And, federally CBD products are not allowed to have more than 0.3 percent THC in any of the products.

What’s the difference between Psychoactive vs. Intoxication?

CBD is classified as a psychoactive substance, but this doesn’t mean it will get you “high” or intoxicated. So, what is the difference? 

Substance like alcohol, recreational drugs, THC that when taken produce a state of diminished mental and physical ability are deemed to be intoxicating.

On the other hand, substances like caffeine, chocolate, and CBD that change an individual’s mental state by impacting how the brain and central nervous system function are deemed to be psychoactive. The term psychoactive is not necessarily a negative term or needs to have negative connotation.

So, CBD 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 or any CBD derived product is legally only allowed to contain trace amounts of THC (<0.3%).

Through the process of isolation, either trace amounts of THC can be left behind resulting in Full Spectrum CBD or can be completely removed for Isolate or Broad-Spectrum CBD. While this process removes some of the potential whole plant benefits that have been linked to THC, it more importantly also removes any intoxicating properties. Thus, making CBD an ideal choice for anyone who doesn’t want to get “high”.

Is CBD Oil Right for You?

Though federally CBD has been legalized as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent THC, some states have banned CBD or require that they don’t contain any THC altogether. So, we strongly encourage you to check your individual state laws before making a CBD purchase. 

Additionally, before starting CBD we suggest you speak with your doctor or a medical professional so you can make the most informed decision possible.

If you decide CBD is right for you, then make sure you do the proper due diligence to check COA (certificate of analysis), lab results, ingredients and only buy from a reputable source.

Is it legal to use CBD products?

U.S. federal law still classifies cannabis as a controlled substance. But in December 2018, Congress lifted the prohibition on hemp plants. That means hemp-derived CBD is legal in the United States unless outlawed at the state level.

By law, CBD products can have no more than 0.3 percent THC. In states where medical marijuana or recreational marijuana is legal, marijuana-derived CBD may also be available. CBD-to-THC ratios will vary by product.


Even though CBD can be extracted from a cannabis plant and is considered psychoactive it won’t get you “high” or intoxicated like marijuana or THC have the ability to.

CBD has grown in popularity and is now available in many forms such as CBD infused oil, CBD tincture, CBD edibles, or CBD topicals. The use of CBD with THC-rich cannabis products, the CBD may lessen how much of a high you get from the THC.

We strongly recommend that before you begin using any CBD products that you talk with your doctor or consult a medical professional.

And, if you do decide that CBD is right for you, please be sure to source only high-quality CBD products from reputable retailers.