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Let’s set something straight: CBD Edibles are (a bit) psychoactive

The media (and also us) and providers of CBD Edibles, regularly write that CBD is not psychoactive.

It’s one of CBD’s most emphasized benefits and selling points over medical marijuana products with THC. Nevertheless, CBD is a bit psychoactive; read along.

“CBD (cannabidiol) is extremely beneficial and non-psychoactive. This is in contrast to the beneficial, but extremely psychoactive THC.” Such phrases are regularly in CBD Edibles descriptions. Cannabis media also often specify it in this way, and Mediwietsite is no exception (sorry, huh).

But strictly speaking, that’s not true. CBD is indeed psychoactive. Time to put things right.

Mind-altering high

Anyone who has ever smoked a joint or ingested a high dose of medical marijuana is familiar with the effects of THC. This component in marijuana is responsible for the mind-altering effects of cannabis, better known as a “high” or “stoned” feeling.

Many people describe the cannabis high as a euphoric and floaty feeling. Physical but especially mental powers get a boost, making someone feel more emotionally and creatively inspired. Many people report thinking more clearly and becoming cheerful. Sometimes they feel energetic, conversing is nice and sensory perceptions come indifferently. The latter happens because the brain is more sensitive to impulses.

In this case, we also speak of ‘mind-expanding’. Some even describe it as ‘slightly hallucinatory’. That’s because THC affects transcend normal perception. This also explains the term ‘high’; you are in higher realms.

CBD doesn’t get you high. CBD does not provide mind-altering, nebulous effects like THC does. But CBD does something to our minds. For example, it reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. This makes CBD strict taken so also psychoactive. But what exactly is psychoactive?

Mind-altering versus psychoactive

A component is psychoactive when it acts on the central nervous system, affecting brain function. These effects then lead to a temporary change in perception, mood, consciousness, or behavior.

So far, psychoactive and mind-altering are still the same. Mind-altering effects also cause a temporary change in perception, mood, consciousness, or goodbye. However, with mind-altering, we had already concluded that these are effects that exceed normal perception. CBD doesn’t do that. This compound does not have that transcending, sometimes even intoxicating high of THC. CBD is therefore not mind-altering.

CBD does cross the blood-brain barrier and directly affects the central nervous system. Many people who take CBD notice slight changes in their mood and perception. CBD works well against (chronic) anxiety, among other things; an emotion that can affect a person’s life quite negatively.

Thus, if CBD Edibles reduces anxiety, it influences thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Or ‘the psyche’. CBD is therefore ‘psychoactive’.

Scientific explanation

The difference between CBD and THC lies in the way these compounds affect the brain. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) in particular plays a key role in this. Every human being (actually every mammal) has an ECS. This mechanism helps regulate numerous physiological and cognitive processes in the body, such as appetite, pain, stress response, mood, and memory.

The system works with different bodies’ cannabinoids. These are neurotransmitters that bind to receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems. The cannabis plant contains dozens of plant cannabinoids that also bind to ECS receptors. The two primary receptors for cannabinoids are called CB1 and CB2.

CB1 receptors are mainly located in the brain and central nervous system. They help regulate coordination, pain, mood, appetite, and a lot of other functions. CB2 receptors are located throughout the body. They mainly affect our immune system, inflammation, and pain.

THC can mimic the body’s cannabinoid ‘anandamide’. Anandamide binds to CB1 receptors in the brain and improves mood. THC is stronger than anandamide resulting in an exaggerated mood response, associated with feelings of euphoria.

CBD has a milder and more modulating effect on CB1 receptors compared to THC. CBD also acts as a modulator that enhances or attenuates the receptor’s ability to send signals. Similar to a dimmer. Scientists think that this modulation of brain activity is the basis of CBD’s ability to reduce seizures. But also psychological symptoms that are accompanied by mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

So: CBD Edibles are indeed psychoactive

CBD Edibles have been shown to have effects on anxiety, psychosis, depression, pain, appetite, memory, seizures, and other neurological activities. In short, CBD is a mood-altering substance. Either psychoactive, in the sense that it, directly or indirectly, affects mental processes of cognition and mood.

Indeed, CBD does not cause huge feelings of euphoria or intoxication. But to say it’s “non-psychoactive” isn’t technically accurate and is a bit misleading, for both patients and consumers.

Read also: To the cannabis oil? Reasons to use cannabis oil with THC

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