It’s a common question, and one that I was asked just last week.
A friend of mine shared that he was experiencing lingering back pain. It wasn’t debilitating—but it would crop up at inopportune times and derail his activity in short bursts. I suggested CBD, known for being a natural pain reliever. He looked surprised and asked, “Won’t it get me high?”
The answer? No. No it won’t.
My friend is not alone in his thinking. There is a lot of confusion around the effects of CBD, and the role it plays as part of the cannabis plant.
Cannabis is one of the safest known intoxicants, but intoxication is not necessarily what we’re always looking for as a supplement to a healthy, focused, vibrant daily life. This is where CBD comes into play.
CBD and THC, both major compounds of the cannabis plant, play alternate roles. THC is responsible for that psychoactive “high.” It does this by activating the CB1 receptors in the the brain—specifically the parts of the brain that affect intoxication, short term memory impairment, anxiety, and euphoria. THC intoxication increases blood flow to the prefrontal cortex of the brain, affecting a loss of focus, poor decision making, and a decrease in our fine-motor skills.
But what THC activates, CBD inhibits. CBD works in the same areas of the brain, but in the opposite way.
In fact, CBD is known to curb the negative effects of THC—improving episodic memory, reducing anxiety, and toning down the the paranoia that can often accompany a cannabis high. The higher the level of CBD in a cannabis strain, the lower the level of intoxicating effects of THC. This is good news for those who use cannabis for medical purposes. But even better news for the greater population is that CBD can be extracted on his own from the cannabis plant.
CBD on its own retains its full spectrum of benefits, without having to fight against the more problematic effects of THC. We can enjoy lowered anxiety and pain relief without the loss of memory, dizziness, and paranoia that often accompany intoxication. We can truly relax, unwind, and gain focus—rather than just escape for a short burst.
Extracting CBD on its own gives many of us the option to improve our lifestyles, careers, and outlook without the risks associated with “getting high.” CBD is a clear choice toward wellness, clear thinking, and a bright path forward.