Can CBD Oil Get You High?

While both cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are constituents of the Cannabis sativa plant, these two phytocannabinoids (plant-derived cannabinoids) have widely different properties. Find out if using cbd products can make you feel high.


CBD and THC have the same number of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen atoms. These atoms are, however, arranged in very different ways. The THC molecule features a cyclic ring that helps it bond with your body’s cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), but CBD includes a hydroxyl group, which makes it act as a negative allosteric modulator by changing the shape of and bouncing away from cannabinoid receptors.

Your brain’s cannabinoid receptors are responsible for the high THC causes, so since CBD doesn’t bond with these receptors, it doesn’t cause the characteristic intoxicating effects of THC. Instead, CBD makes it harder for THC to bond with your brain’s cannabinoid receptors, reducing the intoxicating effects of THC when these two cannabinoids are used together.

How does CBD affect your body?

Instead of causing an intoxicating feeling by stimulating your brain’s cannabinoid receptors, CBD primarily bonds with the neuroreceptors that are responsible for regulating pain and inflammation. CBD has been shown to strongly interact with your 5-HT1A receptors, which regulate serotonin and neuropathic pain, and your TRPV1 receptors, which regulate inflammation and inflammatory pain.

Unlike the effects of THC, the effects of CBD are not euphoric or habit-forming. Instead, this cannabinoid usually provides a feeling of gentle relaxation that CBD users say is profoundly useful in a wide variety of different situations.

Does CBD get you high?

So, does CBD get you high? Absolutely not. This cannabinoid interacts with different parts of your brain than THC, and it might actually make THC less intoxicating.

What about types of CBD that contain small amounts of THC? While isolate and broad-spectrum CBD don’t contain any detectable levels of THC, full-spectrum CBD can contain up to 0.3% of this intoxicating cannabinoid. Examples of full-spectrum CBD products include hemp flower, hemp pre-rolls, or any CBD product that is labeled as “whole-plant” or “full-spectrum.”

While it’s true that full-spectrum CBD contains small amounts of THC, it doesn’t contain enough THC to get you high. Most full-spectrum CBD products contain more than 20% CBD and less than 0.3% THC.

Therefore, full-spectrum products contain at least 60-70 times more CBD than they do THC, making it practically impossible to use enough full-spectrum CBD to ingest a significant amount of THC. Since it appears that CBD reduces or even nullifies the effects of THC when you use these two cannabinoids together, it’s even less likely that ingesting full-spectrum CBD could provide a feeling of intoxication.

What are the effects of CBD?

CBD doesn’t get you high, but this cannabinoid does have a few commonly noted minor psychoactive effects. None of these effects will considerably alter your mental state or cause confusion, but they might be just what you’re looking for if you’re under stress or feeling anxiety:


Most CBD users report that this cannabinoid provides a mild sensation of bodily and mental relaxation. For some people who use CBD, this relaxation might involve a physical reduction in muscle tension, or it might simply result in a more laid-back, positive outlook on life.

Unlike THC, however, CBD won’t cause delusions of grandeur, unreasonable assertiveness, or mental instability. This non-intoxicating cannabinoid simply tends to provide a fresh outlook on life that isn’t so tense.


CBD has been studied for its effects on social anxiety, and this cannabinoid has also been researched for its effects on general anxiety. While it’s too soon to make firm conclusions, many CBD users have reported that this cannabinoid provides a powerful feeling of calm that makes day-to-day interactions easier and promotes effective decision-making.


Hemp users say that CBD can also make you somewhat sleepy. This effect might be just what you’re looking for, or you might rather avoid becoming too sleepy during the middle of the day. Some people who have used CBD flower say that sativa-dominant strains can counteract the overly calming effects this cannabinoid can provide.

Does CBD have side effects?

Aside from mild sleepiness, CBD doesn’t appear to have any considerable side effects. Some people who use CBD report gastrointestinal distress or dry mouth, but compared to the addictive and mind-altering effects of THC, these mild side effects are nothing to worry about.

Enjoy cannabis without the high

These days, you can enjoy the tastes, smells, and irreplaceable vibes of cannabis without getting high. Organic, indoor-grown CBD flower brands like Secret Nature offer all the benefits of top-shelf cannabis without the THC. Explore the wonders of non-intoxicating hemp to enjoy CBD in its most natural form.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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