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How Does CBD Make You Feel and Can It Get You High?

Jim McDonald
March 26, 2020

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.

Both hemp and marijuana are the same species of plant—Cannabis sativa—but hemp has been selectively bred for thick, heavy stalks, whose fibers have been used for centuries to make clothing, sails, paper and rope. Since most of the THC in cannabis is found in the flowering portions of the plant, marijuana breeders have sought plants with lush, heavy flowers (buds), and for decades have selectively bred out the CBD, which moderates the racy high of THC.

CBD has psychoactive effects too. But whether you call CBD’s effects a high or not, vaping it or using CBD oil makes you feel different. There are noticeable sensations that many users find as pleasant as those provided by THC. Unlike THC products though, using pure (or nearly pure) CBD will not make you fail a drug test—as long as you’re careful to choose the right kinds of CBD products.

CBDfx Terpenes Vape Pen

CBDfx Terpenes Vape Pen

CBDfx Terpenes Vape Pens are disposable vapes filled with 50 mg of full spectrum cannabidiol and flavored with real terpenes. Terpenes are organic compounds found in plants that give each hemp strain its own unique flavor and character. CBDfx Terpenes Vape Pens come in four natural strain-specific varieties.

Does CBD get you high?

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.

How does CBD work?

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.

Cannabinoids created outside the body—called exogenous cannabinoids—like CBD and THC from the cannabis plant, can also bind with the CB1 or CB2 (and other) receptors to produce various effects and moderate some physical functions. THC can relieve nausea and increase appetite, and both CBD and THC are effective for pain relief. CBD is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory, and has proven medically effective in treating certain seizure disorders.

Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are not considered dangerous, because they don’t affect the parts of the brain that regulate vital functions of the body. Unlike opioid receptors, the cannabinoid receptors will never signal your lungs to stop breathing. For this reason, it’s practically impossible to overdose on cannabis.

Is CBD psychoactive or intoxicating?

CBD is thought to be helpful in treating anxiety and insomnia. And while the scientific research isn’t absolutely clear, anxiety, stress and sleep problems are the most common reasons consumers use CBD. For many people, CBD is relaxing.

Interestingly, marijuana strains that have significant quantities of both CBD and THC rarely produce the undesirable effects—like paranoia and anxiety—sometimes experienced with weed that’s high in THC but has low CBD content. CBD apparently “competes” with THC on the CB1 receptors, and thereby moderates the psychological effects of its racier relative.

Although CBD may alter your mood—providing a deep sense of calm and relaxation—it doesn’t change spatial and sensory perception or create euphoria, like THC does. In that sense, both cannabinoids are psychoactive, but only THC is intoxicating.

How does CBD make you feel?

As we’ve already discussed, CBD’s primary sensation is relaxation. People describe it sometimes in terms of neutralizing pain and discomfort, or removing stress. For some, that feels like an effect in itself. For others, it’s an exaggerated sense of peace and calm, or just a lack of whatever negative feelings they had experienced before.

Because CBD is an anti-inflammatory, it can reduce pain and relax the body. That, along with the stress and anxiety relief, may be noticeable. A first-time user of CBD tincture and CBD capsules told Vaping360 that he felt “super relaxed, no anxiety, no pain, and almost like I was floating.”

People who vape or smoke CBD-rich hemp flowers (buds) or high-CBD/low-THC marijuana flowers seem to experience the most obviously psychoactive effects. That may be because the flower contains a higher level of THC than other CBD products.

A high-CBD cannabis flower user on Reddit described “an effect” that “could be described as an anti-effect.” They said that “something happens and things seem to lift away with no feeling.” A Vaping360 editor says that CBD “both dulls and clarifies your mental state. Either way, your mental state can be altered.”

Buy from reputable dealers who offer a third-party chemical analysis of the products they sell.

Vaping and smoking speed the active ingredients to the brain (through the lungs) much more quickly than other delivery methods. Using CBD oil tinctures sublingually (under the tongue) is the second-fastest method (though still much slower than inhalation). Using CBD edibles or swallowing a tincture is the slowest, since the CBD must process through the liver before reaching the bloodstream and brain.

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.

In addition to CBD-rich flowers, CBD can be consumed in vape juice (e-liquid), CBD oil tinctures, edible products like gummies and drinks, in capsules, and in a wide variety of topical lotions and creams. CBD e-juice can be vaped in a regular vape mod or pen, or taken orally like a tincture. But even if its label calls CBD e-liquid “oil,” it isn’t really oil; e-liquid is made with propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. Tinctures are made with actual CBD oil and carrier oils like MCT or coconut oil, and can only be consumed orally, never vaped. Inhaling real oils can be dangerous.

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.

Avoiding synthetic cannabinoids—or other less-sinister additives you don’t want, like melatonin—is simple. Buy from reputable dealers who offer a third-party chemical analysis of the products they sell. That’s something you may want to do anyway if you’re concerned that the CBD oil you buy could make you fail a drug test.

CBDfx Vape Pen

CBDfx Vape Pen

The CBDfx vape pen is all you need to get started today. It is formulated with organic full spectrum hemp oil, rich in cannabinoids, containing 30 mg CBD per pen. This disposable vape pen is ready to use out of the box and doesn’t require filling or charging. Its powerful battery is good for a few hundred puffs.

Can CBD make you fail a drug test?

CBD is extracted from hemp and processed into different kinds of CBD products. CBD isolate and broad-spectrum CBD contain no discernible THC, and are the safest ways of using CBD if you are concerned about a drug test. Full-spectrum CBD contains traces of THC, and although it too is unlikely to make you fail a test, it should probably be avoided to be absolutely sure.

CBD derived from hemp plants almost always contains less than 0.3% THC, which is the legal maximum it can include unless it’s sold by a licensed dispensary in a state with a legal marijuana market. You can verify how much THC a product contains by checking the third-party test on the manufacturer’s website. If the seller can’t produce a test, or you feel hesitant, move on to a different company.

Hemp-derived CBD oil is highly unlikely to make you fail a drug test. As long as the CBD you choose has been tested by a third party, and is sold by a reputable retailer that stands behind its products, you can use it with confidence and enjoy the benefits CBD offers.

Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy

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Adam garcia
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Adam garcia

I have vaped a few bowls of the 2000mg eliquid cbd watermelon will it show up on a hair follicle test???

Dave Kriegel
Staff
Dave Kriegel

Hi Adam, what do you mean a few bowls? A few tanks? Which brand e-liquid was it? From my experience, I would say most likely no, because most CBD e-liquid I’ve seen are isolate-based and don’t contain any THC. Best of luck to you!

Hollie
Guest
Hollie

Will using funky farms 100mg blueberry gelato disposable white vape cause me to fail a marijuana 50ng/ cannibinoid 15ng test?

Dave Kriegel
Staff
Dave Kriegel

Hi Hollie, based on my research it would take a lot more full spectrum CBD than 100 mg to test positive for THC considering that would be less than 0.3 mg of THC in total per vape pen.

There are so many high quality CBD vape pens these days that are 100% THC free. You might want to consider looking into those because then you would be eliminiating any chance, no matter how low it may already be. Best of luck!

Hollie
Guest
Hollie

I use a few puffs sporadically, not every day if that helps.

Jade
Guest
Jade

Hey there.
I have just fallen in love with vapping cbd.
But am getting over the waist of the cbd disposable cartridges.
Am wondering, can I put a pure cbd oil concentrate into a e-cigarette pen? Or do I have to Mix e-juice with it? So it’s not so thick?
N if I can, how easy is it to clean?

Thanks so much.

Dave Kriegel
Staff
Dave Kriegel

Hey Jade, that’s great to hear. What kind of concentrate do you have? If it is a pure CBD distillate, your best option would be a disposable re-fillable vape tank, then you don’t have to worry about cleaning. They work really well with thicker cannabis oils. You can mix it with e-juice, but it’s not necessary. Just make sure you are vaping only pure cannabis distillate or vape juice that doesn’t contain any other oils. Best of luck to you, vape on!

Steven
Guest
Steven

I have a hemp laboratories full spectrum 1000 mg CBD VapeCartridge strawberry Kush will it cause me to fail a drug test that I have tomorrow for thc

Dave Kriegel
Staff
Dave Kriegel

Hi Steven, best of luck on your test today. From my research, I have found that it is highly unlikely to fail a drug test using CBD oil, even if it is a full spectrum oil that contains 0.3% THC. If you are still worried about it in the future, there are many CBD oils that are THC-free.

Mary Thompson
Guest
Mary Thompson

I have full 𝗦𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗺 CBD oil and I was wondering if I can smoke it? I have Essential Tremors & I need it to help me relax.

Dave Kriegel
Staff
Dave Kriegel

Hey Mary! I think you mean vape not smoke. I would need to know exactly which brand of CBD oil you have to answer your question. Based on my experience though, most full spectrum oils are not suitable for vaping and are designed specifically for oral use. Unless it is VG/PG based and labeled as CBD vape juice, I wouldn’t take a chance on it. I hope that helps, best of luck to you!

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