CBD: It Doesn't Get You High, But it Can Be Uplifting

So far, the hemp industry has done a great job reassuring its customers that CBD oil won’t get them ‘high’. Myths tying CBD to ‘marijuana’ have also been dispelled, and most people have realized that CBD oil is fully legal. Overall, today’s CBD users are better educated than ever.

But we might have oversimplified things a little. 

While it’s 100% true that CBD won’t get you high, it’s inaccurate to say that CBD has no mental effects. You may have heard terms like non-psychoactive thrown around to describe CBD — but that one’s not true, either. 

Let’s look at the Miriam Webster’s official definition for non-psychoactive:

: affecting the mind or behavior

Fittingly enough, check out the example usage they listed! 

Found in other conventional restaurants as well as cafes, coffee shops, bars and even pet stores, hemp CBD (cannabidiol) does not contain the psychoactive properties of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary active ingredient found in marijuana.

— Baltimore Sun Staff, "Baltimore restaurants put CBD on the menu. Is it legal?" 

But real life says otherwise. Ask any CBD user and they’ll tell you CBD reduced their anxiety or boosted their creativity or cleared away their depression. In other words, it affected their minds and behaviors — for them, it clearly was psychoactive!  

What explains this disparity between official definitions and day-to-day life? Two things: the fact that people like simple solutions, and the fact that anything related to cannabis can still get stereotyped, usually out of fear. 

But in reality there’s no need for fear or hesitation. CBD’s psychoactivity isn’t a bad thing; it won’t impair your ability to take care of your children or (safely) drive your car. In fact, its existence might make it easier to be productive in your tasks or enjoy life at home. 

Below are three major things that contribute to making CBD oil products psychoactive. They’re ranked in sequential order to illustrate cause and effect: 

  • CBD alters brain receptors on a molecular level
  • CBD helps the brain produce feel-good neurochemicals
  • CBD has been correlated with hopefulness and better mood

CBD alters brain receptors on a molecular level. 

It was once thought that CBD only interacted with body receptors called CB2, but it turns out the compound can bind directly to brain receptors (CB1), too.  

That’s right: according to the newest research, CBD ‘opens up’ endocannabinoid receptors in the brain. Researchers call it conformational change. What happens when receptors become more, well, receptive? Greater numbers of naturally produced endocannabinoids can pour in. In a very real sense, CBD helps one’s body neurochemically feed and nourish itself. 

CBD may also change the way our brain’s energy-producing mitochondria process their energy. Science is still learning what this effect might lead to — but if nothing else, it sounds pretty psychoactive to us.  

CBD helps the brain produce feel-good neurochemicals.

CBD seems to increase brain levels of serotonin. In fact, the serotonin receptor is one more that you can add to CBD’s activation list. The compound may also boost dopamine, though more research is needed in that area. 

The result of these hormonal changes? Natural upliftment...and often, corresponding relief from the type of subtle melancholy we’ve all experienced. In some cases, this natural upliftment actually reduces ‘drug-seeking’ behavior. It makes sense: if a person already feels good, they’re less likely to look for a quick fix from recreational drugs or alcohol. 

As neurologist Dr. Ethan Russo tells The Leaf Cannabis News, CBD “must be considered psychoactive because of its ability to act as an anti-anxiety agent and an anti-psychotic agent.” The bolding is ours — but the clear message is his own. No wonder people love using CBD oil for anxiety and depression. 

CBD has been correlated with hopefulness and better mood.

Indeed, CBD’s essential oil is a favorite of people who want to optimize their mental wellbeing. Many users describe it as totally eliminating anxiety so that their true personality can shine through. CBD’s won’t give you the almost artificial high that THC does...but it could help unveil a naturally high version of you. 

How? In addition to what we’ve mentioned so far, CBD has been proven to boost our body’s bliss-causing endocannabinoids, For those unfamiliar, endocannabinoids are the same molecules responsible for euphoria after a bike ride or run.

A recent survey by Project CBD found that CBD oil was “remarkably good” at improving the moods of those with chronic pain or PTSD. People who take CBD also tend to sleep better — this effect, too, probably goes back to mood improvements. 

Would you like to experience CBD’s gentle, holistic psycological effects for yourself? If so, we’re here to help, so feel free to contact us anytime! 

"The first misconception about cannabidiol was that it was inactive" 

- Neurologist and cannabinoid expert, Dr. Ethan Russo

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