CBD is psychoactive BUT non-intoxicating.
THC is psychoactive AND intoxicating.
The idea that CBD is psychoactive may seem against the grain from what you’ve heard throughout the cannabis industry. However, the data is evident; so many of the excellent benefits of CBD would not be possible if it were not psychoactive.
If psychoactive seems like a scary thing, take a moment to consider your morning routine. Many of you reading this may be enjoying a nice hot cup of psychoactivity in the form of coffee. Java is one of the most addictive drugs due to its caffeine content and is one of the most commonly consumed psychoactive ingredients across the globe.
Psychoactive compounds can still affect brain chemistry without making you feel high, intoxicated, or even mildly euphoric.
Let’s explore various psychoactive ingredients and normalize that CBD is psychoactive.
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What does psychoactive mean?
According to the National Cancer Institute at cancer.gov, psychoactive is a drug or other substance that affects how the brain works and causes changes in mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings, or behavior. Examples of psychoactive substances include alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, marijuana, and certain pain medicines. Many illegal drugs, such as heroin, LSD, cocaine, and amphetamines, are also psychoactive. Also called psychotropic substances.
What else is also psychoactive without the high?
The article above on microdosing psychoactive ingredients, published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, explains that things like vanilla, black pepper, cloves, ginger, and other herbs and spices are all psychoactive since they have mild effects on mood.
Many plants or plant compounds we consume regularly can change our brain chemistry without creating any intoxication. Although some of these compounds, like coffee and sugar, can cause mental stimulation or anxiety and even physical jitters if too much is consumed, like CBD, most do not have much of a “feeling.”
Why CBD is psychoactive!
CBD is psychoactive because it can modulate brain chemistry, neurotransmitters, and other receptors beyond the Endocannabinoid System, affecting mood, emotions, behavior, and more.
CBD could not help with ailments like anxiety, depression, focus, PTSD, and many other disorders if it couldn’t change our brains’ chemistry.
Keep in mind that just because CBD is psychoactive, it doesn’t mean it elicits any high or intoxication.
Early research on CBD indicated that it is non-psychoactive. However, studies published within the last few years explicitly say CBD is psychoactive but non-intoxicating.
There are two possible reasons for this shift in terminology. The first is probably because early on in CBD research, from back in the 1960s, researchers didn’t know that CBD was capable of many things, like helping with anxiety and PTSD, so they were unaware of its psychoactive potential. The following reason is most likely due to prohibition and the negativity surrounding marijuana and other psychoactive drugs. Since CBD wasn’t a common household thing until the last five years, labeling it non-psychoactive was probably very intentional.
If CBD is psychoactive, will I fail a drug test?
The short answer is NO! CBD is psychoactive but will not make you feel high, intoxicated, or anything like THC. When tested for drugs, particular compounds are searched for. The inactive metabolite of THC that shows up on drug tests is nothing like that of CBD. So, don’t worry about pissing hot if you’re taking CBD. However, if you’re taking any “full-spectrum” CBD product, there is a chance that trace amounts of THC will result in a failed drug test!
Psychoactive vs. Intoxicating
The word toxin is the foundation of intoxication, which ruffles feathers. Some people dislike associating cannabis with intoxication since it’s primarily connected to alcohol and illegal drugs.
Here’s the deal, folks, CBD is psychoactive but non-intoxicating. So, if the word intoxicating is upsetting, I would suggest finding another way to describe the fact that CBD doesn’t make you high or euphoric. But please don’t use terms like non-psychoactive since it’s evident that it’s inaccurate.
Something to consider is that the word intoxicating is also used to describe blissful experiences like love, extreme activities, or the sensation of reeling in a high bass! So, maybe consider the idea that THC is precisely that – a blissful, intoxicating, and positive experience. Many words are only negative if they are intended to be so!
Enjoy and embrace that CBD is psychoactive and has powerful properties that affect the brain in many ways.
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