If there’s one question that we still get asked constantly after all of these years in the hemp business, it’s: “Does CBD get you high?” And we can’t blame anyone who comes to us with this question, because hemp is still a very new industry, with a lot of confusion surrounding it. While CBD is widely touted for its unique properties and potential effects on common ailments like stress, pain and even skin problems, it’s understandable that a large number of people would be hesitant to try it if they thought that it could make them feel high.
We’ll use the knowledge about the hemp plant in an effort to put this question to rest once and for all. We will also talk about how long the effects of CBD do last in the system so that you can know what to expect when taking it.
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CBD, Hemp and Psychoactive Compounds
So, does CBD get you high or not? Well first, we need to make the distinction between CBD and hemp. CBD is cannabidiol, and it’s the dominant compound in the hemp plant. It’s also the one that we most seek out when we take a hemp product or hemp derivative, because CBD has been widely studied for its unique effects on the body, which are the result of the compound binding with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body to regulate specific bodily actions. CBD is a cannabinoid, which is a class of compounds unique to cannabis, that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system through this unique regulatory manner.
CBD is, quite plainly, non-psychoactive. In other words, the isolated compound does not make you high, because there’s nothing in the compound that could produce such effects. What this means is that you could take the highest dose of pure CBD possible and still not get high.
So, what about the hemp plant? After all, CBD is only one compound found in the plant material.
Well, hemp overall is non-psychoactive. Hemp comes from the cannabis genus, which has also given us marijuana. Marijuana, of course, gets you high. This is because the marijuana plant can contain anywhere from 12 to 30 percent THC. THC is, like CBD, a cannabinoid, but one that is psychoactive. In hemp, there’s only about 0.3 percent THC that naturally occurs in the plant’s chemical composition. This is considered a trace amount, and simply isn’t enough to produce mind-altering effects. Therefore, the hemp plant cannot get you high.
THC and Different Hemp Extractions
So, is there THC in the hemp product that you take? Well, it depends. There are different types of hemp extractions, in terms of the chemical compounds that end up in the resulting extract. There are three main hemp extracts commonly used in hemp products: CBD isolate, broad spectrum and full spectrum.
CBD isolate is simply a pure cannabidiol extract, which means that there is no THC in it, nor are there any other compounds found in the hemp plant. Full spectrum hemp extract is the entire chemical composition of hemp, including THC, which again exists in such a trace amount that it can’t get you high. Broad spectrum hemp extract has every compound that occurs in hemp minus THC, which has been removed.
Luckily, basically every company that produces hemp products specifies which type of extract they use. So, if you want to avoid THC despite its non-psychoactive levels in hemp, you can by choosing CBD isolate or broad spectrum. The main reason why people wish to avoid THC in hemp even with the knowledge that it can’t get them high is because they wish to avoid a stigmatized plant compound altogether.
Finally, we want to bring to light a new trend in hemp. The federal law states that hemp products can be sold and consumed legally as long as they contain a maximum of 0.3 percent THC. The THC that they are referring to is called delta 9 THC, which is the compound in marijuana that gives the plant its psychoactive properties. But, scientists have discovered another cannabinoid called delta 8 THC, which is degraded delta 9 THC that’s much more mild. This is technically legal according to federal law, which states that all hemp derivatives minus delta 9 are legal. Delta 8 will get you high, but only if you purchase a specific delta 8 product, which is made with a concentrate of this particular compound.
How Long Does CBD Last? Different Delivery Methods Offer Different Effects
Even though CBD doesn’t get you high, it’s understandable that people wonder how long the effects of CBD can last. After all, some people are uniquely sensitive to the relaxing effects of the compound, and therefore rightfully want to know how long those effects can be expected to last in the system.
Mainly, how long CBD’s effects can be felt depends on the delivery method chosen. The delivery method refers to the type of CBD product, in terms of how it’s administered so that it can absorb into the body.
Here’s a breakdown of each delivery method and the window during which its effects may be felt.
Method #1: Vaping
CBD vaping products are known for having the shortest-lasting effects but do take effect far faster than other methods due to how well CBD absorbs into the lungs. Vaping CBD typically allows you to feel effects within minutes, which are felt in a uniquely potent manner, but often dissipate within an hour of administration.
Method #2: Topicals
CBD topicals are unique from other methods because the effects tend to stay localized to the area of application. CBD absorbs through the skin very quickly, and most report that they feel the effects at work within 20 or so minutes. The effects can last for up to six or so hours.
CBD tinctures, which are often sold as “CBD oil,” are administered under the tongue, so that the cannabinoid can absorb through the sublingual tissue. Effects tend to peak within 15 to 30 minutes and can last for up to four hours.
Method #4: Edibles
Edibles are ingested, and so it can take anywhere from one to two hours for the effects to be felt, as the digestive process is fairly slow. The effects are also known for being subtler due to how the cannabinoid gets processed by the liver. But, the effects can last from 6 to 8 hours, which is uniquely long.
Method #5: Flower
CBD flower works a lot like CBD vapes, because it also absorbs through the lungs when inhaled. Therefore, like vaping, smoking CBD flower allows the effects to peak within minutes and be felt fairly potently, before dropping off around an hour after administration.
Other Factors that Influence How Long Cannabidiol’s Effects May Last
Now, let’s quickly go over some other factors that play a role in how long you could feel the CBD at work.
Factor #1: Strengths
Higher milligram strengths are naturally more potent, and the more potent your dose of hemp, the longer the effects will be felt. More milligrams simply take a longer time to clear out of the system, so keep this in mind when choosing a milligram strength of a hemp product.
Factor #2: Dosage
Of course, how much you take of a product also determines how long the effects will be felt. If you take, say, double the suggested dose of a particular CBD product, you will likely notice that its effects are felt for a longer period of time.
Factor #3: Your Tolerance to Cannabinoids
Everyone has a unique tolerance to cannabinoids, which seems to be based off of the state of one’s endocannabinoid system. Those with a lower tolerance may find the effects last for a longer period of time.
Factor #4: How the Hemp Compounds Were Extracted
Finally, the extraction method used also makes a difference. CO2 extraction, which is the standard throughout the industry, keeps the compounds more stable, which means that they will stay effective in the body for a longer time.
Those who wish to avoid the psychoactive effects of cannabis can rest easy in the knowledge that hemp is a completely non-psychoactive plant, and CBD a fully non-psychoactive compound. Therefore, you can take relatively high daily doses of cannabidiol without worrying about experiencing mild-altering effects as a result. At Kigh CBD, we proudly offer high-quality CBD that has been tested to ensure that it contains only the trace amount of THC that naturally occurs in the hemp plant.