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June 13, 2018

Does CBD Get You High?

   Cannabis has a history as long as the world is old. Since the beginning of time, or at least 8000 B.C. according to archaeologists, humans have used the cannabis sativa plant, otherwise known as marijuana or hemp, as a healing remedy, a spiritual sacrament, a renewable resource, and even as a food source. However, scientific research and technological advances over the last 3 decades have paved the way for a deeper understanding of how the human body processes and utilizes the particular cannabinoids, like cannabidiol, or CBD, from this infamous herb.

   Additionally, anecdotal stories from consumers touting their health successes continue to take the internet and social media by storm. This flurry of activity has left many to wonder if cannabidiol could help them, too. While many people are curious about the benefits of CBD, a lack of information or fear of adverse effects may create hesitation or leave them wondering, “Does CBD get you high?”


CBD Does NOT Get You High

   Today, thanks to modern technology and research, we know the simple answer is “No – CBD does NOT cause any kind of psychotropic effect.” In fact, CBD can actually counter the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC – the cannabinoid responsible for the cerebral effects of cannabis. However, understanding the history of how cannabidiol was discovered provides valuable insight into what we know today.


The Discovery of CBD

   Cannabidiol (CBD) was first discovered in the early 1930’s and 40’s; isolated by an organic chemist, Roger Adams. Recognizing the medical potential of the compound, he filed for a patent and marijuana growers started breeding plants to produce high amounts of the cannabinoid. Unfortunately, it didn’t catch on, prohibition and propaganda against marijuana caused fear and hesitation; and eventually, CBD cannabis strains simply became known as “The Hippie’s Disappointment” specifically because of the lack of psychoactive effects, or inability to get the consumer high.


   Although the cannabinoid hasn’t received much fanfare in the past, research on cannabidiol is plentiful. Unfortunately, prohibition and decades of social stigma prevented the proliferation of the information in the United States. However, as legalization spreads across the nation, the supporting research for the benefits of responsible cannabinoid consumption for health and wellness continues to accumulate and flourish thanks to the information era.


The Discovery of the Endocannabinoid System


   Although the phytocannabinoids from the cannabis plant were well-known and studied extensively, how they interacted with the human body remained a mystery until the early 1990’s when scientists discovered the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system consists of a series of receptors throughout the human body which monitor their surrounding environment and attempt to correct any fluctuations. The overall goal of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis or a perfect balance.


   In addition to learning the purpose of the endocannabinoid system, scientists also discovered how marijuana causes its psychoactive effects in the human brain, and how CBD works to mitigate those effects.


Psychoactivity: THC vs. CBD


   Understanding how these cannabinoids work within the body provides valuable insight. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the cannabinoid long sought after for recreational use due to its ability to enhance the senses, create euphoria, and produce psychedelic and psychotropic effects. While THC has its own set of medical benefits, many consumers in the modern market prefer to avoid the cerebral effects of the compound to allow for more consistent dosing.


How THC Gets You High


   When THC is consumed it creates psychotropic effects by binding with the CB1 receptor in the central nervous system, the brain, and spinal cord. THC is thought to be quite similar in nature to the body’s own “bliss molecule” or Anandamide, which is produced by the endocannabinoid system.


Why CBD Doesn’t


   CBD, on the other hand, has very little affinity for the CB1 receptor at all. In fact, CBD is considered a “competitive inhibitor” – meaning it will literally race to receptors to prevent them from binding to other compounds. By binding to the receptor’s allosteric site, CBD disables the receptor from receiving THC, thus preventing activation of the psychoactive effects.


So… What Does CBD Do?


Because marijuana has only been used as a recreational drug for the better part of modern history, CBD poses a common and frequently asked question for many newcomers to herbal supplementation and veteran cannabis consumers, alike:


“If CBD doesn’t get me high… what does it do?”


   Research has shown CBD has a broad range of effects on the human body and affects more than just our endocannabinoid system. CBD actually impacts multiple receptors throughout the body to elicit particular effects.

  • CBD is an inhibitor of certain enzymes in the liver which can impact how the body metabolizes other substances, as well as, increase the production and longevity of the body’s own endocannabinoids.
  • CBD has been shown to be an agonist for certain serotonin receptors, as well as, a partial agonist for dopamine receptors which can relieve anxiety and depression, as well as act as an antipsychotic in certain mental disorders.
  • CBD is a negative allosteric modulator of opioid receptors as well. Meaning it blocks receptors from receiving opioids similar to how it prevents THC from binding to CB1 receptors.
  • CBD can inhibit receptors in the adenosine system by slowing the uptake of adenosine allowing it to activate more receptors.
  • CBD increases activation of glycine receptors to help prevent pain signals from traveling to the brain.
  • CBD works with GABA receptors to control tremors and seizure activity, as well as, produce anti-anxiety effects without sedation.
  • CBD also binds with the TRP receptors associated with pain perception, as well as, temperature and pressure sensations.
  • Finally, CBD also impacts PPA receptors which are associated with neuroprotective, analgesic, and inflammation responses. Additionally, it is suggested these receptors may improve metabolism as well as have anti-cancer benefits.

Using CBD for Symptom Management


Learning how to use CBD can be somewhat intimidating simply because most new users don’t know what to expect. When new consumers are just starting CBD therapy there are a few key points to understand.


First, don’t expect to get an immediate, noticeable effect from cannabidiol. Unlike its sibling, THC, this cannabinoid will not make you “feel” anything, although some new users may occasionally report a slight feeling of dizziness – this is very rare unless the product contains more THC than is reported on the label. (Rest assured, all the products at Dr. Hemp’s have been rigorously tested so this doesn’t happen with our products!)


Secondly, understanding dosage titration is important. All cannabis consumers should always approach new products with responsibility and appropriate caution. Titration is defined by starting cannabinoid doses low and working your way up to a therapeutic level over time. This process allows the consumer to find the optimal CBD dosage to treat symptoms without going overboard. While too much CBD will not create adverse effects, cannabinoids tend to have a biphasic effect, so a lower dose may actually work better. The goal is to find your sweet spot.


Finally, change your perception of how a “drug” should work. Instead, simply watch for symptoms to fade. Rather than waiting for the “effects to kick in” like a traditional cannabis or opioid effect, watch for your symptoms to fade as the dosage increases. As stated, the effects of CBD are quite subtle, so you’ll want to maintain an acute awareness of the severity of your symptoms and note changes with each increase. Keeping a journal of your dosing and recording the severity of your symptoms can help make the process much easier.


The Future is in the Research


   In the past, research on cannabis in the United States has been severely limited due to prohibition and the tangle of red tape involved with getting federal approval for cannabis research. Despite the lack of federal support, researchers from other countries, as well as, several initiatives at universities and research facilities in legal states have been working diligently to uncover the secrets locked in the leaves of this ancient plant healer.


   While prohibition continues to recede, and our knowledge of cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system continues to grow, the demand for cannabinoid products also increases. While the day may come when cannabinoid supplements and formulas are readily available at the corner market like gummy vitamins and other herbal supplements, get ahead of the curve now by ordering your products from a trusted, CBD producer like Dr. Hemp’s.


Start supplementing with CBD for health and wellness with a wide array of products available in Dr. Hemp’s CBD online store including:

  • Liquid Shots
  • Suppositories
  • Vape Cartridges
  •    Even CBD products for your pets! (Yes! All vertebrate animals have an ECS.)

   At Dr. Hemp’s CBD, all of our products are produced from hemp and contain minimal (less than .3%), if any, THC. Our products our 100% natural and are guaranteed not to create any type of psychotropic effects. All of our products are legal and can be shipped to all 50 states.
Start building your own cannabinoid supplementation plan with Dr. Hemp’s CBD’s today!


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