Can CBD Edibles Get You High?

August 5, 2017

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is increasingly recognized as a powerful and safe medicine for an astonishingly wide variety of conditions. Everything from IBS and epilepsy to muscle soreness and anxiety.

Some people, however, are reluctant to use CBD as a medicine – the intoxicating and psychoactive effects of cannabis may impair their ability to function in daily life.

This confusion is understandable, as cannabis contains a complex cocktail of biochemically active compounds. Can CBD edibles get you high? Yes, and no, depending on its chemical makeup. Fortunately, each compound has its own unique properties and by isolating CBD, patients can get more of the medical benefits they want with less of the cognitive impairment they don’t.

Unique Compounds Create Unique Effects

Cannabinoids are the class of chemical that is most responsible for the many effects of cannabis. They bind to endocannabinoid receptors in the body. These receptors come in a couple different variations. Some of these variations, like the CB1 receptor, are mostly located in the the brain. Others, like the CB2 receptor, are located more in the body around the immune system.

Each cannabinoid has the same general structure but a slightly different shape and slightly different chemical properties.

These differences give each cannabinoid different preferences for what receptors they bind and the effect they have once they bind them. Some cannabinoids will bind a receptor and trigger neural activation. Others bind a different receptor that turns off inflammation pathways. There is a very, very wide variety in how each of the cannabinoids acts on different receptors.


Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC is the most well-known and researched of the cannabinoids and gives rise to the psychoactive high. It mostly binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain, hence the mental high.

CBD, however, mostly acts on CB2 receptors in the body, which is where all the medicinal action happens. In fact, some of the pathways activated by CBD actively turn off the pathways that are activated by THC. They have an inverse relationship.

The more CBD in your bud, the less psychoactive the strain will be. CBD on it’s own will NOT get you high.

For more info, check out the CBD Project, a tremendous resource on this remarkable cannabinoid.

Edibles vs. Smoking

There is a considerable difference between smoking flower and an edible a medical patient will want to take into account. The flower is the whole cocktail, containing all the different compounds in a particular strain. Even in high CBD strains there is often still THC as well as terpenes and other compounds that influence the overall effect, and there’s no control or guarantees there.

Some people consider this to be optimal, as these other compounds often have synergistic relationships, making it more potent and beneficial than an isolated compound. Can CBD edibles get you high? It all depends on if THC is included in the edible.

Others, however, may find that they only want pure CBD, and this is really where edibles are a fantastic way to medicate. Most edibles on the market today contain known dosages, say 20mg of THC or 10mg of CBD, for example.

This allows the patient to know exactly what they are getting, and make an informed choice.

CBD Edibles: The Non-Psychoactive Way to Medicate

Because CBD is not psychoactive like THC, pure CBD edibles are an ideal option for medical patients who want the medicine and not the high. For those that do want some of the other benefits of cannabis, there are many options available.

Come in and ask one of our knowledgeable budtenders to see what options are best for you!

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