A Highly Popular Cannabinoid; Does CBD Get You High?

Posted by Desiree Jones on

- Understanding the endocannabinoid system to elucidate the impact of consuming CBD.

As CBD shows up next to the register at your local gas station or appears on the shelves in the last video rental shop, more people ask the question: “does CBD get you high?”

It’s confusing. 

Cannabis is federally illegal, but you can buy it when you rent a movie?

In fact, hemp-derived CBD is now federally legal thanks to the 2018 farm bill which reclassified hemp and delisted the compound as a controlled substance.

So, legality aside, we still need to learn more about CBD to see if it gets you high or not.

Endocannabinoid System 101

As we’ve previously discussed under a microscope, the human body is equipped with its own endocannabinoid system.


We have receptors for and create our own cannabinoids. 

While we don’t necessarily produce CBD, we do produce a compound that is a mimic to the phytocannabinoid. 

It’s called 2-arachidonoylglycerol, or 2-AG.

However, just because our bodies produce 2-AG, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get us high. 

For example, our endocannabinoid equivalent of THC, known as anandamide, is often called the “bliss molecule” for how it makes us feel when we produce it. 

We seem, to get ourselves “high” at times. 

So, how does CBD impact our mental state?

The Psychotropic Effects of CBD Explained

CBD plays a role in psychoactivity but does not induce the euphoria associated with cannabis use.

While many claim that is CBD is non-psychoactive, a 2012 report—which was published in Current Pharmaceutical Design—indicated something different. 

They noted that “laboratory rodents and human studies have shown that [CBD] is able to prevent psychotic-like symptoms induced by high doses of Δ(9)- THC.”

While the psychoactive effect is not euphoric, CBD does seem to have antipsychotic properties. 

In fact, the authors of the paper, Zuardi et al., said that “CBD prevented human experimental psychosis” in their research. 

However, CBD does not get consumers high. 

Any psychoactive effects from CBD are attenuative in nature, not euphoric. 

So why is that CBD and THC are both made from cannabis, but only one of them gets you high?

CBD binds to the CB2 receptor. 

According to a 2018 paper published in Surgical Neurology International, this receptor is not densely located within the central nervous system as are the receptors for THC. 

As a result, CBD acts on the ECS without heavily influencing cognition, 

CBD Delivers High Satisfaction

Cannabis helps people in a number of ways, but not everyone enjoys getting high. 

So, if you were wondering, “does CBD get you high?”

The easy answer is: you can consume CBD without getting high. 

Please share this article with your friends if you found it useful!


By Nicholas D. 

Professional Cannabis Writer and Content Creator

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