Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go.
With that, I threw caution to the wind and asked for a sample. Here’s what happened—including what it feels like—when I took one full dropper of Charlotte’s Web’s Everyday Plus Hemp Oil in the mint chocolate flavor every morning for seven days.
It Made Me Less Anxious and Edgy
For those new to CBD, Charlotte’s Web recommends this hemp oil. Containing 17mg of CBD per 1mL serving, this CBD oil is also U.S. Hemp Authority Certified. Choose from four different flavors including Lemon Twist, Mint Chocolate, Orange Blossom, and Olive Oil.
That said, those interested in exploring the potential benefits of CBD should consult with their doctor (especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or currently taking medication) and be mindful of your dosage, writes Consumer Reports. And before you buy, Megan Villa, co-founder of the hemp-focused website and shop Svn Space, told Shape magazine to seek out a certificate of analysis. “Ask for a COA for the batch number of the product you have, since these products are made in batches,” she said. “You need to match the batch number to the COA that pertains to it.” Then, scan the report for potency (i.e. does the number of milligrams of CBD that the product label touts match the lab report?), contaminants and pesticides, and mold (which should live under the “Microbiological Testing” part of the report). Go a step further and note whether the testing lab is GMP (Good Manufacturing Principles) certified, and whether the lab is registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shape magazine also suggests purchasing CBD products made from domestically-grown hemp, and reading up on the difference between full- and broad-spectrum and CBD isolate.
Go deep on the subject of CBD with this book that includes case studies, interviews with doctors, an overview of the latest cannabis research, and how scientists are exploring cannabis for various medical uses. There is also an explainer about the difference between CBD products made from industrial hemp versus in a lab, and products made from the whole marijuana plant.
I didn’t even consider that I’d get high on CBD . It’s well known as the non-intoxicating cannabinoid in cannabis and, as I tend to do, I’d been taking a lot of CBD for five years without getting high. The first time I got high by mistake, I was using a couple of new (to me) brands. I’d taken four gel caps, in total maybe 80 mg of CBD and what I presumed must have been a small amount of THC . But I had no way of knowing exactly how much THC , or anything else, might be in these unregulated CBD products.
If you want to use CBD or even THC but you’re worried about getting high, here are some reassuring thoughts from Dr. Dustin Sulak, an integrative medicine practitioner who focuses on medical cannabis, osteopathy, and mind-body healing. Sulak founded Integr8 Health, a holistic health practice with locations in Maine and Massachusetts that treat more than 8,000 medical cannabis patients. His educational platform, healer.com, is full of helpful information for patients and physicians.
After screening a variety of cannabinoids for their anticancer properties, McAllister’s group concluded that CBD was “the most active inhibitor of several different aggressive cancers.” But if you combine CBD with THC , “you actually enhance the anticancer effects of CBD ,” McAllister stated in a YouTube lecture about his team’s findings.
Sulak called savoring an antidote to anhedonia, which is an inability to feel pleasure. This is “a major culprit in depression and especially opioid use disorder, when people are no longer able to experience pleasure from the natural things in their lives that should give them pleasure,” Sulak explained, so they seek something that temporarily gives them a stronger pleasure signal, and it becomes “a downward spiral” in which they have to use a drug or a substance just to feel normal.
A decade later, Sean McAllister and colleagues at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute in San Francisco explored the synergistic effects of THC and CBD on human brain cancer and breast cancer cell lines.
Humans and other mammals have an internal network of chemicals and receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems called the endocannabinoid system. These receptors, named CB1 and CB2, bind with molecules called ligands (in this case endogenous cannabinoids like anandamide) to control the release of neurotransmitters like glutamate and dopamine. The endocannabinoid receptors, ligands, and certain enzymes work in concert to affect a variety of processes in the body, including thought, memory, mood, pain management, and appetite.
Both CBD and THC are mood-altering compounds that have significant therapeutic benefits, like relieving pain and nausea, reducing inflammation, and treating some seizure disorders. But even though both cannabinoids are psychoactive, only THC is intoxicating. While CBD promotes relaxation and calmness, THC produces actual euphoria, and alters perceptions of space and time.
Does CBD get you high?
CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants (a cannabinoid) that provides proven therapeutic benefits. Because it doesn’t have the same intoxicating effects as its cannabinoid cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) is more lightly regulated, and can be sold without a prescription in most U.S. locations. Even high CBD strains of cannabis can be purchased online without a medical marijuana card.
It’s possible that some users feel the presence of any amount of THC when it’s mixed with CBD. That’s the well-known “entourage effect” theory, which basically says cannabinoids combine to create more than the sum of their parts. It’s worth experimenting with different kinds of CBD products to see what feels best to you.
One product to avoid is CBD oil that has been adulterated with synthetic cannabinoids. These are lab-created chemical compounds that bind with the same cannabinoid receptors in the brain that THC and CBD do. But they can be as much as 100 times more powerful than THC, and have been known to cause extended psychotic episodes and even death. They’re often sold under the brands Spice and K2 (but there are many others) in truck stops, head shops and convenience stores. Sometimes they’re sold as vape juice in bottles marked CBD.