Does CBD Have Any Addictive Properties?

Cannabidiol (CBD) has become increasingly popular due to its potential health benefits but what about its addictive properties? Learn more about CBD here.

Does CBD Have Any Addictive Properties?

Since cannabidiol is not psychoactive, it does not have any addictive or habit-forming properties. People can smoke marijuana to get the medical benefits of cannabidiol, but the surest way to get the medical benefits is to use CBD oil on its own. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not produce psychoactive effects. Current research suggests that CBD is not addictive.

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that occur naturally in our body and in some plants. In humans they are called endocannabinoids, and in plants they are called phytocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system affects neurotransmitters that bind to receptors and influence pain, mood, appetite, sleep and the way we feel, move and react. Plant-derived phytocannabinoids mimic our body's natural systems, since their chemical composition is similar to that of endocannabinoids.

CBD is a common cannabinoid in cannabis, which is actually a group of flowering plants. Marijuana is a term generally used to refer to the dried plant form of cannabis. Hemp refers to varieties of the plant cultivated for non-pharmacological use, such as fiber. The main difference between the varieties is due to the content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The two most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis are cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which are found in both marijuana and hemp. Marijuana, however, has a higher concentration of THC. When heat is applied, THC breaks down and produces a mind-altering high by binding to the brain's cannabinoid receptors; raw cannabis doesn't. Depending on the amount of THC, it can induce relaxation and pleasant perceptual alterations in some people, and anxiety, increased blood pressure, hallucinations, paranoia and even psychosis in others.

On the other hand, CBD is not psychoactive and does not appear to be addictive. It interacts with the human endocannabinoid system by encouraging the release of our own endocannabinoids. The hemp plant has naturally occurring tetrahydrocannabinol (albeit in small amounts). If a product has THC levels greater than 0.3 percent (by dry weight), the government considers it marijuana.

If a hemp-derived CBD product contains THC, it must be below 0.3 percent to be legal. For perspective, today's average marijuana strain contains about 12 percent THC. When cannabis plants are stressed by the cold, they can produce more THC. Drought, floods, heat or cold can cause unintentional spikes in THC.

On the other hand, CBD derived from marijuana is illegal at the federal level and is classified as a controlled substance regardless of its THC percentage. You can buy CBD oil at dispensaries, specialty stores, health food stores, gas stations, wellness boutiques or online. You can mix the oil in capsules with food or drinks or eat it in the form of gummy or chocolate. Many people take it as a tincture usually made from high-CBD hemp strains mixed with 60 to 70 percent alcohol.

Tinctures can be measured with a dropper, sprayed under the tongue or massaged in the form of oil, topical lotion or balm; you can even give them to your pet. You can also vape CBD e-juice designed specifically for that purpose. Clinical trials are still in their early stages but there is increasing evidence to suggest that certain strains and doses of CBD may be effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis, neuropathic pain, type 1 diabetes, cancer and cognitive symptoms associated with HIV and Alzheimer's disease. The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation does not recommend the use of CBD for people in recovery unless approved by the FDA and in prescription form.

The biggest risk of using store-bought products is not knowing that you are buying from reputable retailers and suppliers.

Cindy Balzer
Cindy Balzer

Total internet lover. General internet aficionado. Evil beer enthusiast. Professional web ninja. Passionate travel evangelist.

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