Does CBD Get You High: Facts vs Fiction

The short answer: 

Nope! CBD does NOT cause a high like THC. 

So what does CBD do?

The cannabinoid can help you relax, soothe anxiety, ease pain and improve overall mental health and well-being.

Let’s discuss this in detail. 

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Does CBD Get You High? How it Actually Works

CBD (cannabidiol) does NOT get you high — it’s non-intoxicating. 

Instead, it can make you feel calm and balanced.  


The cannabinoid increases parasympathetic nervous system activity — lowering your heart rate and relaxing your muscles for a calming experience.


We’ll break it down. 

When CBD interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system, your body thinks something like: “It’s okay; the lion stopped chasing you.”

And that’s when your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in.

What’s the parasympathetic nervous system?

It’s a part of your nervous system responsible for lowering blood pressure and adrenaline when you enter fight-or-flight mode. 

In short… Increased parasympathetic activity = reduced adrenaline = a sense of calm


There’s a common misconception that CBD isn’t psychoactive.

The truth?

While it can’t get you high, CBD is psychoactive since it influences your nervous system. 

It just does NOT have the same psychoactive effects as THC. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is responsible for the intoxicating effect associated with cannabis use.  

So if you consume THC-rich (marijuana-derived) CBD products, you may feel high. 

We’ll explore these aspects in detail. 

1. Marijuana VS Hemp-Derived CBD

CBD can be derived from the hemp plant and the marijuana plant — each with a different outcome. 

A. Hemp-derived CBD

In the UK, legal CBD can be derived only from industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) containing less than 0.2% THC concentration. 

Additionally, the final CBD product should have a THC level of 0.0% to be legal in the UK — it can’t contain even trace amounts of THC.  

The takeaway?

Consuming legal, hemp-derived CBD products won’t make you feel high. 

Side Note: Hemp seed oils (industrial hemp oils) differ from CBD oils. 

While they are both derived from the same plant, hemp oil is made from hemp seeds, while CBD oil comes from the leaves, flowers, and stems.

B. Marijuana-derived CBD

CBD products made from marijuana usually have a higher THC level than hemp-derived CBD (as much as 25% more). 

This can make you feel high.

The good news?

In the UK, marijuana is listed under the Controlled Substances Act and is illegal due to its high potential for abuse. So marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal in the UK.  

Important: Medical marijuana (aka medical cannabis) is a legal prescription medication in the UK. For example, Epidiolex is a cannabis product used to treat severe forms of epilepsy, such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. 

However, medical marijuana can only be prescribed by healthcare providers. 

Any other cannabis product (recreational marijuana) derived from the cannabis plant and containing THC is illegal in the UK. 

2. Types of CBD

There are three types of CBD, and the type you choose may determine whether you’ll feel high:

  • Full-spectrum CBD: These CBD products contain THC, CBD, terpenes, and other cannabinoids. Usually, they only contain trace amounts of THC — which may not produce an intoxicating effect. However, ingesting high doses may result in a high. 

Due to their THC content, full spectrum CBD products are illegal in the UK.  

  • Broad spectrum CBD: This is similar to full-spectrum, minus the THC (so it can’t give you a high). Apart from that, the products contain other helpful cannabinoids in the hemp extract to produce the entourage effect
  • CBD Isolate: CBD isolate is pure CBD — it doesn’t contain THC or other cannabinoids. So pure CBD products won’t make you feel high.  
Did you know? In 2017 the World Health Organization concluded that pure CBD isn’t harmful.

3. The Psychoactive Differences Between CBD and THC

Most people believe CBD exhibits no psychoactive effect on the user. 

While it’s a different effect from THC, CBD can alter your state of mind:

On the other hand…

THC increases your nervous system activity and attaches to your CB1 receptor. 

One of the key ways it increases activity is by altering your receptor to make it seem like you have a dopamine rush. This dopamine rush results in you experiencing a ‘high’.    

Read more: Discover the Key Differences Between CBD and THC.

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You might be wondering…

So how do I choose the right, non-high-inducing CBD product?

3 Handy Tips to Find the Right CBD Product  

Follow our tips to find your dream CBD product in no time:

1. Know Your Dosage

Different people have different use cases for CBD, each requiring a different dosage for the desired effect. 

Some may require a high dose to reduce stress and anxiety quickly, while a moderate dose will suffice for most people looking to calm down. 

Here are two use cases: 

  • If you suffer from chronic stress or severe anxiety, a 2019 study found 300mg CBD showed a marked reduction in overall anxiety levels. 
  • Want to use CBD for insomnia? Research shows a dose of 160mg and above can improve sleep quality and duration.
Hot Tip: Use our Free CBD Dosage Calculator to find your ideal CBD dose!

2. Get the Right Type of CBD

You already know the different types of CBD, but which one’s right for you?

Broad spectrum CBD has a few things going for it:

  • It’s more effective than CBD isolate at reducing stress, improving anxiety, and pain relief.
  • Thanks to its entourage effect, you may experience some benefits even at low doses.

CBD isolate is a strong contender too:

  • CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD.
  • It’s best for first-time CBD users.


Choose the CBD type that suits your needs — consider the effects you want to see and your experience level.

Did You Know: CBD gummies are usually made with CBD isolate. Try a CBD gummy for a delicious CBD experience. 

3. Buy High-quality CBD from a Reputable Source

Another crucial point in choosing your CBD product is choosing the right brand. 

Reputable companies that use high-quality ingredients, follow strict production methods, and abide by the laws are the keepers. 

Try one of our favorite CBD products from reputable brands in the UK:

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3 Intriguing CBD FAQs

Let’s answer some commonly asked questions about CBD:

1. How Long Do the Effects of CBD Last?

It depends on a couple of factors:

  • The method of consumption: CBD oils and tinctures usually take about 15-30 minutes to act and last between 4-6 hours. 

Capsules and CBD gummies can take 1.5-4 hrs to show effects, which could last up to 8 hours. On the other hand, CBD topicals can take 15 minutes to an hour to kick in and usually last for up to 6 hours.

  • The amount you’re dosing: The more CBD you consume, the longer the effects usually last. For example, you may experience longer-lasting effects by consuming 5ml CBD oil than 2ml oil of the same strength.
  • Biological factors: Your unique metabolism, the endocannabinoid system, and other biological factors affect how long CBD’s effects last. 

2. Can I Take CBD and Drink Alcohol?

It’s NOT recommended. 

CBD use combined with alcohol could potentially increase the effects of the alcohol. It may make you more intoxicated and increase the risks associated with excessive alcohol use.

Read more: Find out How Long After Taking CBD Oil You Can Drink Alcohol

3. How Do You Flush CBD from Your System?

Drinking more water will increase your urination levels, which can help flush out CBD from your body more rapidly.

Need to go for a drug test?

Concerned about failing because of CBD in your system?

Don’t be! Even if you test positive for CBD, it’s perfectly legal in the UK.  

Read more: Not convinced? Check out our detailed article on CBD, THC, and Drug Tests

Enjoy CBD without Worrying about a High  

Use high-quality, THC-free CBD products to enjoy CBD’s benefits without worrying about a high. 

Wondering where to buy such products?  

GreenBox is your one-stop shop for all things CBD! 

Head to GreenBox to find all the authentic brands under one roof. We perform strict quality checks to deliver only the best CBD products. 

From excellent CBD oils to delectable CBD gummies — there’s something for everyone.