Does CBD get you high?
It’s a natural question to ask if you’ve been raised in a culture that’s stigmatized psychoactive substances as much as ours has.
So…does it? The simple answer is no. The longer answer is that some types of CBD are more mentally uplifting than others! Keep reading for more information.
- What does ‘high’ even mean?
- Is CBD psychoactive?
- How CBD affects your brain
- CBD & hope
- Keep calm and CBD on…
- CBD’s effects by spectrum
What does ‘high’ even mean?
Before diving into whether or not CBD gets you high, it’s important to look at what the word ‘high’ even means.
First and foremost, being high refers to being in a different state of perception. Getting high places one’s mind in an expanded state where larger amounts of information are available. Pioneering psychedelic novelist Aldous Huxley put it pretty perfectly: 
“Each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe. The function of the brain and nervous system is to protect us from being overwhelmed and confused by this mass of largely useless and irrelevant knowledge, by shutting out most of what we should otherwise perceive or remember at any moment, and leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be practically useful.”
Humanity has been getting high and opening itself up to otherworldly information for eons. Our ancestors used psychotropic substances to foster social relationships, resonate with a singular vision, and communicate with the spirit realm.
In this sense, CBD doesn’t get you high. It won’t have you seeing sounds or hearing colors or communicating with your ancestors. CBD may not be psychotropic — but it is psychoactive. This is an important distinction! Check out the definitions below and you’ll see what we mean:
Psychotropic: A substance that alters your mental state and corresponding ability to function. Psychotropic substances get you ‘high.’
Psychoactive: A substance that readily passes through your blood-brain barrier. Psychoactive substances don’t get you ‘high,’ but they can be uplifting.
CBD definitely falls into the latter category. Cannabinoid expert Dr. Ethan Russo agrees. According to him, “[CBD] must be considered psychoactive because of its ability to act as an anti-anxiety agent and an antipsychotic agent.”
Is CBD psychoactive?
Yes! But try not to view CBD’s psychoactivity as a downside. It doesn’t hurt your performance at work or make it unsafe to drive. And it definitely doesn’t get you high. If anything, CBD’s psychoactive properties might fuel your flow and boost your productivity.
CBD isn’t as psychoactive as THC, sure. But it can still have powerfully uplifting effects. Most people who try it find it calming, centering, and clarifying. You can thank CBD’s ability to activate some of your body’s most important endocannabinoid receptors for that.
If all this is true, you might be thinking, then why do so many sources claim that CBD isn’t psychoactive?
Part of it is due to CBD companies unwittingly spreading misinformation. Check out the FAQ section of a brand XYZ’s website and you’ll probably read something like this:
“CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it has no mental effects, and it can’t make you high.”
But this is only partially true — thankfully. It would be a serious bummer if CBD didn’t affect the mind and activate balance, calmness, and hope. These are actually some of CBD’s most beneficial qualities! To put it super simply, CBD’s psychoactive nature is a good thing.
How CBD affects your brain
Let’s take a slightly closer look at how CBD affects your brain.
Early research hinted that CBD only affected endocannabinoid receptors located in the nervous system and vital organs. (These receptors are called CB2 receptors.)
It turns out, however, that CBD is also quite active at endocannabinoid receptors located all throughout your brain. (These receptors are called CB1 receptors.)
That’s what the latest research says, at least. CBD doesn’t directly bind to your brain’s CB1 receptors, but it does slightly shift their shape so that other cannabinoids (and endocannabinoids!) can pour in. Simple translation: CBD can’t get you high. But it can make it easier for your body to access a natural, self-produced high. Pretty cool, huh? 
Other studies show that CBD can actually increase the productivity of our brain’s mitochondria. This is vital because the mitochondria are in charge of providing fuel for many different cognitive processes. 
CBD & hope
CBD may also help people break free from mental fog. This particular effect is subtle and seems to start with small improvements in serotonin signaling in the brain.
As Dr. James Taylor, a pain doctor who advocates for CBD with his patients, explains: “[patients’ come back and say they are feeling more hopeful.” Hard to quantify, maybe — but still true. Taken consistently, CBD may help people feel less depression and more hope.
And hope tends to trickle into many other areas of life. “With hope, [my patients] may be more willing to engage in yoga, in exercise, with things they need to do to get to optimal health,” Dr. Taylor says.
Keep calm and CBD on…
The subtle effects CBD has on our minds aren’t overly shocking — quite the opposite actually.
Many users report that nagging problems like mood swings or joint stiffness become ‘mindlessly gone.’ There wasn’t necessarily a conscious change, but in retrospect the physical and mental benefits were impossible to miss.
What makes CBD so simultaneously subtle and powerful? Once again, its ability to activate your endocannabinoid system! Once phytocannabinoids like CBD are consumed, they identify, connect with, and activate receptors, and messages are sent all throughout the mind and body without you evening realizing it.
CBD effects by spectrum
Do different types of CBD affect the mind differently?
You bet they do. The more THC a CBD product contains, the more likely it is to be psychoactive:
- True Full Spectrum™ CBD is the most psychoactive type of CBD. It features a true-to-nature CBD:THC ratio and plenty of uplifting terpenes! Still, it doesn’t get you high.
- Ultra Broad Spectrum™ CBD is mildly psychoactive. It doesn’t contain any THC, but it does contain an industry-leading ratio of CBD to other cannabinoids.
- CBD Isolate is least psychoactive. Its 100% pure CBD content doesn’t engage endocannabinoid receptors quite as directly as other options.
Does CBD make you high? Summing things up
Well, there you have it! CBD can’t get you high, but it can be uplifting enough to change the way you see yourself, others, and life in general.
You might just find that a filter or two of your own were removed — freeing you up to see things more clearly and move forward. Discover the difference CBD-centric upliftment makes for yourself today.