CBD is everywhere, there’s no denying it. The global CBD market was valued at $967.2 million in 2020, and expected to reach a whopping $5.3 billion in 2025. There is no question that it is being used by more and more of the population, and the questions most asked are, “Why is CBD so popular? How does CBD make you feel? Does CBD get you high?” We’ve got the answers to all this and more, so let’s take a deep dive into just what CBD does for the average consumer.
First of all, is CBD legal?
In 2018, the federal government passed the 2018 Farm Bill that removed industrial hemp from the Schedule I Substances list, which explains the hemp-derived CBD industry’s monumental growth. Schedule I Substances are considered to carry a high potential for abuse and have no recognized medicinal value.
Industrial hemp was on this list until 2018, alongside heroin and meth. Marijuana is still on this list today, even though it has varying degrees of legality depending on the state. Removing industrial hemp from this list paved the way for a flourishing CBD market in the United States, creating a new industry in America and contributing to the already-exploding global CBD market.
What does CBD stand for?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and is a compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD is a cannabinoid, and it is the second most abundant compound in cannabis. CBD is typically derived from hemp, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. Hemp and marijuana are both considered cannabis, but their only difference is the level of THC in them. Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC in comparison to the higher amounts found in marijuana. This is one reason why hemp does not provide the euphoric feeling that marijuana is known for. Researchers have discovered over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis so far that provide a variety of different benefits. Some other cannabinoids found in cannabis include:
How does CBD work?
CBD works by interacting with our body’s endocannabinoid system, just like any other cannabinoid. The endocannabinoid system is a bodily system every human being has, and it’s the very reason cannabis shows therapeutic potential. Even animals have an endocannabinoid system, which is why you see CBD being marketed towards pets too!
The endocannabinoid system has receptors throughout the body, and they’re located in various places. Scientists have discovered two different receptors so far, CB1 and CB2. That’s why CBD makes you feel great everywhere, because it’s multi-faceted and able to work with most, if not all, of the body.
Typically, cannabinoids fit the endocannabinoid receptor like a lock and key. THC, for example, fits the CB1 receptor perfectly. CBD doesn’t work that way however. CBD doesn’t directly engage with these receptors, but it does influence them in some way. CBD also works with non-cannabinoid receptors, like the 5ht serotonin receptors and the TRPV1 receptors. This is why CBD doesn’t get you high, because it doesn’t interact with the receptors like THC does.
The Big Question: How does CBD make you feel?
CBD can make you feel great. Many users report feeling more relaxed, focused, energetic, and more. Topical CBD like oils and creams are also becoming increasingly popular for temporary pain relief, and research is growing regarding its medicinal uses.
Remember: it can take about three weeks for your body to get used to a dose. Like other medications, CBD needs time to build up in your system, and we always recommend consulting a cannabis educated doctor before using anything for pain relief.
So, does CBD get you high?
The simple answer? No, however, CBD does provide the calming properties many experience with marijuana. Marijuana tends to be low on CBD and high on THC whereas hemp has the opposite makeup. The effect on the body is powerful and can lead to relaxation, but without the euphoric effects of high-THC cannabis. CBD has gained explosive attention for this reason. You still receive similar powerful relaxing effects you would from high-THC plants, just without the high or “stoned” feeling.
To put it plainly: Trace amounts of THC shouldn’t make you feel loopy.
The Entourage Effect
You’ll want to opt for full spectrum CBD products whenever possible to trigger the entourage effect. The entourage effect is the idea that cannabinoids work better together, instead of in isolation, and this includes a small amount of THC, terpenes, and flavonoids.
If you purchase a full spectrum product, there will still be trace amounts of THC. The 2018 Farm Bill allows hemp to test up to 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis, and all plants with more than that are discarded and destroyed. The legal limit is a tiny amount of THC, so it doesn’t make you high. For perspective, 15% THC is considered to be fairly low for marijuana products, with some testing out at 30% THC.
Cannabinoids are primarily responsible for how you feel, but compounds like terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds do play an important role in delivering cannabis to the body. For example, beta-caryophyllene is the only known terpene to bind directly with the CB2 receptor, while other terpenes like linalool behave much differently.
If you’re purchasing a CBD isolate or broad-spectrum extract, however, your product should be THC-free.
Does CBD show up on a drug test?
CBD is unlikely to show up on a drug test, but we cannot make any guarantees that it won’t. THC (in both ∆9 and ∆8 formats) does show up on a drug test. As we mentioned, full spectrum CBD products have a trace amount of THC. With that being said, because the amount is so small, you’re unlikely to test positive for THC on a drug test from hemp-derived CBD alone. It’s not impossible though, so here are some options to consider if you’re concerned:
If you’re comfortable, explain you consume hemp-derived CBD. Snap a picture of the label that shows there’s a small, legally compliant amount of THC in it. Mention it’s unlikely you’ll test positive for THC, but that you want to be upfront and honest in case your screening comes back positive.
- Not all products on the market are created equal. Companies use different manufacturing techniques to produce hemp extract, so finding a trusted brand is important. Make sure the CBD product you’re using is accompanied by a Certificate of Analysis from an accredited lab to confirm the THC potency levels of the product are less than 0.3%, and that the manufacturer is following the highest level of regulations and protocols to create the most superior product.
Start low and go slow.
Start low and go slow needs to be your motto if you’re new to CBD. It’s always wise to use caution when introducing a new supplement. If you’re new, we suggest starting with a half dropper twice a day to see how you feel. After three weeks, if you don’t feel anything, increase the dose!
We always recommend talking with a cannabis-educated physician who knows your medical history before starting CBD.