3 Facts About the Addictiveness of CBD

Since CBD is a product of the cannabis plant, it’s often associated with it’s marijuana cousin. A plant that will make you feel a “high” and, for some users, can turn into an addiction. This association has lead some to ask the question; is CBD addictive?

No! CBD is a non-addictive substance.

Unlike THC, cannabidiol reacts within the brain and body in a variety of different ways. Furthermore, certain chemical compounds, such as THC, have characteristics which lead to addiction. CBD is void of these.

Within this article, we offer you insight as to why CBD is non-addictive and give comparisons to THC’s addictive qualities.

1CBD Is Not Addictive

When it comes to addictive drugs (including alcohol), there is one specific trait almost every has in common, they trigger the release of dopamine¹. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that releases in the brain’s pleasure center and results in us feeling happy. Naturally, dopamine releases when we’ve overcome challenges (such as graduating college or landing a job) and through certain instinctual behaviors (such as sexual interaction or even eating specific foods)².

All addictive drugs release excessive amounts of dopamine within the brain and, it’s often the reason people have so much trouble quitting. Furthermore, it causes people to experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when they decide to quit.

CBD does not release a large amount of dopamine within the brain. This is the main reason people don’t get high (or feel a sense of euphoria) from taking cannabidiol.

2What CBD Actually Does

In fact, CBD does quite the opposite – it balances out your brain’s neurotransmitters. If your brain does have an excess of dopamine, CBD will lower the amount release, returning the body to a homeostasis state. This is why many have used it as a means of reducing the high brought upon by marijuana³.

To top it all off, people don’t experience withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop using CBD.

3CBD and THC Differences

So, if CBD doesn’t have addictive qualities, why does THC? The first reason is THC will release dopamine in the brain⁴. As mentioned, drugs that release dopamine can cause addictions. Luckily, THC produces less dopamine than other harmful drugs, such as nicotine and opioids.

However, besides dopamine, there are other traits of THC that make it differ (and more addictive) than CBD. To better understand these, we must see how both chemicals interact with receptors in our endocannabinoid system.

When you smoke pot, THC binds itself directly to specific receptors. The fact that it does so allows people to have similar experiences everytime they light a joint. However, CBD doesn’t bind itself to a specific receptor. Instead, it balances out the receptors within the brain⁵. Meaning, no matter when you take it, no two experiences will be similar.

Final Notes

Remember when considering CBD, it is not an addictive substance. You can feel safe to try it without getting worried about becoming addicted. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact us on our Contact Us page.

Reference Sources

¹ NIH News in Health: Biology of Addiction

² NCBI: [Dopamine: not just a neurotransmitter].

³ Rambam Mainmonides Medical Journal: The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain

⁴ Europe PMC Founders Group: The effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the dopamine system

⁵ International Journal of Molecular Sciences: Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannbinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System

3 Key Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana

Hemp and marijuana ARE NOT the same, they are simply apart of the cannabis family and, in effect, have similar appearances.

The continuous confusion between the two can be pinpointed to political leaders who grouped all cannabis species as a Schedule I Drug in 1970. For nearly four decades, public perception of these plants was based on this proposition.

However, marijuana and hemp have a number of different aspects to easily separate them. Within this article, we look into these differences and give you a clearer image of what hemp and marijuana truly are on an individual level.

1The Basics

For an immediate idea of how the two plants differ, we’ll discuss the basic differences.⁷

Hemp has less than .3% THC count, is not a psychoactive, and it is adaptable and requires little care. On the other hand, marijuana has between 5% and 35% THC count and is a psychoactive. It also requires a lot of care and proper techniques. Hemp is used for many things, with concrete, fabric, food, and plastic being just a few of them. Marijuana is exclusively a medical and recreational drug.

2Physical Differences

Many people continue to confuse marijuana and hemp simply from their appearance. Though they do have similar characteristics, a quick observation reveals they also have a lot of differences².

Marijuana tends to have:

  • Broad leaves
  • Short, fat bush
  • Tight bud (like a nugget)

Hemp tends to have:

  • Skinny leaves
  • Tall and skinny stalks

These differences are most noticeable if you were to attempt to grow the two. Hemp tends to grow closer together and is produced in multi-acre plots. Its cultivation timeframe is around 108 to 120 days and can be harvested in diverse climates.

Marijuana plants, on the other hand, tend to be grown further apart due to their short and bushy size. It takes around 60 to 90 days for marijuana to fully mature and is difficult to grow unless in a warm and humid climate.

3Chemical Differences

The most notable difference between hemp and marijuana is their chemical makeup. Marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which causes psychoactivity in the brain and often leaves people feeling high³.

Hemp contains such a small amount of THC (less than 0.3%), it doesn’t cause this psychoactive reaction. Instead, it contains another cannabinoid known as cannabidiol (CBD).

THC and CBD are so different that CBD actually has the ability to counteract the effects of THC.

To offer you a better understanding, THC will:

  • Cause and prevent anxiety
  • Change the thinking process
  • May cause hallucinations or delusions
  • Release dopamine

While CBD can be:

  • An analgesic
  • An antianxiety agent
  • An anti-inflammatory

Final Thoughts

It’s important to note that this article discussed simply the basics differences between hemp and marijuana. Truly, you could write an entire book on the variety of dissimilarities these plants have. So much so, scientists don’t even know all the ways in which hemp and marijuana differentiate.

The reason this article remains simple is for the sake of sharing information. Much of the public is still unaware of the differences between hemp and marijuana and still perceive them as the same. With that, it’s important for us to educate and allow people to develop a better understanding of these plants.

Reference Sources

¹ PLOS One: The Genetic Structure of Marijuana and Hemp

² PennState Extension: Industrial Hemp Production

³ Dialogues in clinical neuroscience: Cannabis, cannabinoids, and health

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