Does CBD Oil Get You High?

CBD Oil is very quickly becoming a staple nutritional supplement for millions of consumers worldwide. Despite its popularity, many consumers are still dubious of CBD oil because of its obvious associations with cannabis. They are interested in the potential benefits of CBD Oil consumption, but before trying would like to know ‘does CBD oil get you high'?

The World Health Organization: ‘CBD Oil Will Not Get You High’

According to the World Health Organization who recently published a report on the subject, there is no substantive evidence to suggest that CBD oil is likely to cause THC-like psychoactive effects [1]. In other words, CBD oil will not get you high.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabinoid found within cannabis that causes the 'high' most people associate with cannabis consumption. The high caused by THC is characterised as the impairment of psychomotor and cognitive performance, as well as a range of physical effects such as increased heart rate and dry mouth.

Can CBD Oil Convert to THC and Get You High?

Following a test tube study where CBD converted to THC in acidic conditions, it was proposed that CBD oil may potentially convert to THC in the presence of an acid like the one inside the human stomach [2]. This proposal is obviously very concerning to many prospective consumers of CBD oil, due to it being consumed orally.

Although worrying, such proposals and studies have been heavily refuted, as the simulated stomach acid environments used in such experiments do not replicate the physiological conditions and complexity of the human stomach [3].

To date, CBD to THC conversions have not been displayed in humans. A study conducted in 1991 investigating the effects of CBD on Huntington's disease gave participants oral doses of CBD at 700mg per day. This is a pretty large dose of CBD compared to what a typical CBD oil user would consume daily. Throughout the trial, patients had their blood taken and analysed for CBD and THC concentrations. The average CBD concentration in blood throughout the trial was around 7 nanograms per litre, with zero THC detected [4] .

This is supported by a review of the available scientific data conducted by Grotenhermen in 2015 [5]. The review concluded that even large doses of CBD do not cause the psychological, psychomotor, cognitive or physical effects observed with THC consumption.

What About Full Spectrum CBD Oils with Trace amounts of THC?

There are various types of CBD Oil products on the market today. Some CBD oils contain just CBD, whilst others contain a variety of cannabinoids including THC – These products are often referred to as being ‘full spectrum’. In the United Kingdom there is a legal limit for THC that products must comply with. Providing that the full spectrum product you are consuming is under this limit, it is highly unlikely that the product will get you high. However, consumers must take some responsibility themselves before purchasing full spectrum CBD oils, as these products do contain some THC, albeit in extremely small amounts.

In Conclusion: CBD Oil Does Not Get You High

From looking at the available research on the subject and taking into consideration the anecdotal reports of CBD oil users, consumers can be rest assured that CBD oil will not get them high. Furthermore, CBD Oil will not convert to THC in the stomach and thus there is no reason to avoid CBD oil consumption even at very high doses. Finally, although they are highly unlikely to get consumers high, some full spectrum CBD oils will contain legally compliant, trace amounts of THC.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jordan Donohue is a qualified nutritionist who has spent the last 5 years working in the supplement industry. First as the nutrition and regulatory affairs manager for sports nutrition powerhouse Myprotein and second as a business development manager for whey protein producer Arla Foods Ingredients.