Is Cannabidiol Addictive? CBD Oil And Addictiveness

Here at Leaf Sciences some questions we’re frequently asked are ‘is cannabidiol addictive?’ and ‘is CBD oil addictive?’

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of more than 100 different chemical compounds, or cannabinoids, found in the Cannabis sativa plant.

CBD-based retail products are created via a lengthy process, requiring licensed grown industrial hemp at the outset. Eventual products can include cosmetics, capsules or edibles, drinks, tinctures, oils and more.

CBD oil specifically is extracted from hemp plants, usually with supercritical CO2 extraction processes, then diffused into a carrier such as hemp seed oil or olive oil.

More than 1.6 million people in the UK say they’re regular cannabidiol consumers, according to ACI. Not only that, but Global Market Insights forecasts the European market value will reach $28.7bn (£21.7bn) by 2027.

However, is cannabidiol addictive? Or is CBD oil addictive? 

In fact, what does addictiveness really mean? That’s actually the best place to start.

Wondering whether cannabidiol is addictive? Read our blog which explains all.

Explaining addictiveness

Having an addiction is when you’re unable to stop yourself from doing, or using, something despite negative consequences. 

It’s a brain disorder, manifested by compulsive behaviour to seek a perceived reward in spite of the adverse end result.

Character traits of addicts include lacking self-control, strong desires for specific behaviours or substances, and feeling unable to stop themselves from doing what they want to do.

Addiction is the result of complex psychosocial and also neurobiological causes. It’s very difficult to treat, often only possible by undergoing long-term psychotherapy.

One notable addiction type is cannabis use disorder, caused by frequent consumption of marijuana. 

Symptoms can include a dependency on THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol, which is another cannabinoid from the Cannabis sativa plant and the one with psychoactive effects, causing a ‘high’.

Other frequent symptoms are withdrawal signs including: 

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Disturbed sleep 
  • Loss of appetite

In the case of cannabis use disorder, it’s the presence of THC which causes the addiction. THC is a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, meaning that it is illegal to produce, possess or distribute a product containing it.  

Does cannabidiol contain THC?

CBD is legal in the UK, as long as it contains essentially no THC at all. The law is that only up to 1mg of THC per pack is permitted, under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

Cannabidiol providers can ensure their products consistently adhere to this restriction by obtaining verification from an accredited laboratory with a detection limit of 0.01%.

There are some cannabidiol products which are guaranteed not to have even trace elements of THC in them. These are CBD isolate products, containing no compounds or substances other than pure cannabidiol in the form of a crystalline solid or powder.

Since CBD products do not contain more than 1mg of THC per pack, they cannot make you feel ‘high’.

However, an important caveat is that it’s vital to only buy from reputable companies, since some cannabidiol products have been mislabelled in the past.

Watch out for any CBD products claiming to ‘only’ have 0.2% THC content – that’s actually too much, by law. The 0.2% limit just applies to what’s permitted during the cultivation of industrial hemp, not what’s allowed in commercial product form.

CBD consumers are advised to research any company they make a purchase from, check the ingredient list and read customer reviews to make sure they’re buying only quality items.

In the UK, cannabidiol products are only allowed to be sold once they have their novel food application validated by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Is cannabidiol addictive?

Cannabidiol is not addictive. The absence of THC means that no addictive substances are present in CBD, so you cannot be addicted to CBD.

What about specific products though – is CBD oil addictive? No – neither CBD oil, nor any other kind of cannabidiol product is addictive. 

To explain this, it’s good to understand what effects CBD, as well as THC, have on the human body. Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in different ways.

The ECS produces natural endocannabinoids to help balance functions including sleep, mood, memory, appetite, digestion, temperature and inflammation. These endocannabinoids bind with receptors, such as CB1 in the central nervous system and CB2 in the peripheral nervous system.

THC has much stronger – and ultimately for some people, addictive – effects since it binds to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, producing wide-ranging results. However, these can also include adverse side effects like paranoia, memory loss and anxiety.

In contrast, we know that CBD prevents some endocannabinoids from breaking down, thus helping them in their mission to balance functions in the human body. 

Research is ongoing into exactly how cannabidiol works with the ECS, but it’s completely different to the way THC interacts with it.

Wondering whether cannabidiol is addictive? Read our blog which explains all.

Could cannabidiol potentially help fight addiction?

There is also some preliminary research suggesting that CBD could potentially play a role in helping to treat certain types of addiction: 

  • A 2015 review of 14 preclinical and clinical studies found that cannabidiol might have therapeutic potential for opioid, cocaine, psychostimulant, cannabis and tobacco addictions
  • A 2019 review concluded that CBD could potentially help limit cravings, impulsivity, paranoia and withdrawal symptoms connected to cocaine addiction

It is too early to say for sure though and much more comprehensive research is needed before we’ll know whether cannabidiol could help to fight cannabis addiction or any others.

Summary: is cannabidiol addictive?

So in short, to answer the common question ‘is cannabidiol addictive?’, the answer is no. None of its associated products are either, such as CBD oil.

To be permitted for sale, cannabidiol should not contain THC – which is the cannabinoid from the Cannabis sativa plant that has addictive properties. 

For more information about licensing requirements around the sale of CBD in the UK, we’ve recently written a full guide. 

To find out more about CBD products or if you have any queries, please feel free to contact us.

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How Does CBD Oil Make You Feel?

If you’ve never tried it before then you’ll likely be wondering, how does CBD oil make you feel?

CBD oil is the most commonly used type of CBD product in the UK, according to YouGov.

It’s become increasingly popular over the past few years, with many people enjoying it because of the way it makes them feel.

However, users should note that the companies they buy from are not allowed to make any medicinal claims about their CBD products if the product is not a licensed medicine.

So if that’s the case, then how does CBD oil make you feel after you’ve taken it?

How does CBD oil make you feel? Read our in-depth guide to find out

CBD does not produce a ‘high’

The first thing to keep in mind is that, although CBD comes from the Cannabis sativa plant, it does not get you ‘high’.

There are more than 100 different cannabinoids in the plant – two of which are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC is the cannabinoid present in cannabis that causes psychoactive effects and produces a high. It’s a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

In the UK, assuming the CBD product is a legitimate one – i.e. it has successfully completed the Food Standards Agency (FSA) novel foods application process – it won’t contain THC. 

Or, if it does contain trace elements, not enough to produce an effect – in the UK, CBD is legal, as long as it does not contain more than 1mg of THC per pack. That goes for CBD oil, or any other type of CBD product.

There are also some CBD oils which are guaranteed not to include even trace elements of THC – these are called CBD isolate oils.

So, in short, how does CBD oil make you feel – does it get you high? No, as long as it is a genuine, FSA-approved product – more on this shortly.

How does CBD oil make you feel?

What effect does CBD have? Technically, it interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is a biological system which plays a role in the regulation of functions in the human body, to help keep things in balance – impacting sleep, mood, appetite and much more.

The human body produces endocannabinoids, which bind to the principal CB1 and CB2 receptors:

  • CB1 receptors are in the central nervous system – endocannabinoids bind to these for the purpose of increasing appetite, relieving pain, or reducing stress
  • CB2 receptors are in the peripheral nervous system – endocannabinoids target these to regulate inflammation and immune response

Research is still ongoing to uncover precisely how CBD interacts with the ECS. A potential way is by preventing endocannabinoids from breaking down, allowing them to have greater effects on the body – perhaps reducing anxiety, aiding sleep, calming inflammation and more.

This helps explain why after taking CBD, some people might describe potential feelings of calm or relaxation.

As we’ve written about previously, early results indicate CBD oil may possibly play a part in alleviating symptoms from chronic pain and arthritis – amongst other conditions. It might also potentially help those struggling with anxiety problems.

Taking CBD oil for the first time

While the majority tend to notice nothing unexpected after absorbing CBD, some new users have felt side effects including dizziness or drowsiness

To reduce any risk of side effects, it’s important to only buy quality, FSA-approved products. Some suppliers’ CBD oils could be mislabelled and include banned ingredients, such as over 1mg of THC per pack. 

When buying CBD from a provider for the first time, read customer reviews and check their ISO-accredited lab certification.

If you’re taking medication or have a particular condition, you may want to ask for medical advice from a GP before starting to take CBD oil.

How does CBD oil make you feel? Read our in-depth guide to find out

Increasing your dosage: how does CBD oil make you feel?

New users are advised to start with a low dose, before increasing it over time. However, do you feel stronger effects if you take more CBD? 

Not necessarily, in fact, if you take much more CBD than usual, you may see diminishing returns when it comes to its effect.

It’s been claimed that CBD’s effectiveness is like a bell curve – with relatively lower effects at low doses, peak effects at medium doses, then reduced effectiveness again at high doses.

A GP can also advise you on the appropriate dosage that’s right for you. For other questions about CBD dosage, read our full guide here.

How does the way you take CBD make a difference?

The four most common methods for taking CBD oil are:

  • Sublingually (under the tongue)
  • By swallowing (e.g. in capsule form)
  • By vaporising
  • Topically

Of course, taken topically – i.e. applied directly to the skin – CBD oil will give you more of a surface-level feeling compared to the other ways.

The application method will also change how quickly you feel the effects of CBD. Trends suggest that sublingual absorption and vaporising are the fastest ways to feel something.

In contrast, consuming CBD may be slower-acting, but have the longest-lasting effects as it’s broken down more gradually by the digestive system.

Aside from capsules, there’s a wide range of edibles available including gummies, sweets, chocolate and protein bars. Another option is to buy, or even make your own, CBD tea.

Summary: how does CBD oil make you feel?

So, how does CBD oil make you feel? It has the potential to give you a subtle sensation of feeling calmer, more relaxed or less stressed. 

This is due to the way it interacts with the endocannabinoids in the human body’s ECS.

It will not make you feel high, since legal CBD products contain essentially no THC, which is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis.

How you feel can also be affected by the CBD oil dosage you take, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that the more you have, the more noticeable the results. 

And how does CBD oil make you feel if you consume it? The potential effects may take longer to materialise, but last longer, compared to taking it sublingually for example. 

For more information about CBD products, or if you have any queries, please contact us.

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