Does CBD get you high?

by Tom Russell September 19, 2020

Does CBD get you high

CBD is one of many substances that can be extracted from cannabis plants. However, CBD is not intoxicating so will not get you high.

The high produced by some strains of cannabis comes from a plant chemical called THC. Sometimes tiny traces of THC remain in CBD extract, but products that comply with the UK legal limit of 1mg per container won’t produce a high.

While some companies claim that CBD is non-psychoactive, this isn’t strictly true. CBD doesn’t intoxicate, but it does interact with your brain and central nervous system. Anything that works with your body in this way should be described as ‘psychoactive’.


THC vs CBD molecule

CBD and THC are both present in cannabis plants, but when humans consume them, they produce distinctively different effects. CBD interacts with your body in a way that supports your internal balance without making you feel “high”. Whereas THC stimulates your brain to create the potent euphoric feeling that cannabis is known for. Whilst CBD is legal, non-toxic and non-addictive, THC is a controlled substance.

To ensure that CBD doesn’t cause intoxication, steps are taken to minimise the amount of THC in the final product. This begins with using strains of industrial hemp which contain less than 0.2% THC. Then when the CBD is extracted, THC can also be removed or further reduced.

Once the extract is turned into the final product, third-party labs test a sample from each batch. This is the best way to verify that they contain the legal amount of THC. Most trustworthy retailers display these certificates at the point of sale for you to check before you make a purchase.

Are there any types of CBD that will get me high?

hemp plants

The way CBD products are manufactured can affect the amount of THC they hold. However, no legal CBD products should contain enough to produce a high.

Some CBD products have labels that claim, 'zero THC', but it's unlikely to find many that are 100% THC free. This is because it is difficult and expensive to remove THC from hemp extract altogether. Most will contain some THC although it may be undetectable in a lab.

Products made with CBD isolate, or broad-spectrum extract should have no detectable levels of THC. Those made with full-spectrum extract will contain traces, but they should still fall below the legal limit of 1mg per container. So, as long as the product is legal in the UK, it won't produce any intoxicating effect.

How does CBD make you feel?


When you take CBD, it always takes a little while to take effect. How long depends on how you take it. If you've eaten it, you may not feel anything for half an hour to two hours. If you use a vaporiser, you may notice something within a couple of minutes. 

With some products, you may feel nothing at all, but consumers report a slight 'grounding' sensation. How you experience CBD is likely to be unique to you, but to give you an idea of what to expect, we contacted some of the most informative UK CBD websites. 

They agreed to provide an insight into how CBD makes them feel:

Jack from High & Polite

Typically, I'll feel very little obvious effects from CBD. After a particularly stressful day, however, I'll get this sense of calm and relaxation sweeping my body. Used during the day, I notice I find it easier to avoid distractions.

At CBD4Beginners, Paul also experiences mild sensations:

I liken the feeling of using CBD to a very mild, almost unnoticeable nicotine rush. You don't get the light-headedness, but you definitely feel more serene. The world feels a slightly better place with CBD!

Herbert Maxwell from Herb Reviews only notices physical sensations from potent CBD:


Stronger products often give me a feeling that is similar to the effects of a good session of yoga or mindfulness. It's like an all-over sense of peace and well-being. However, if I'm using a lower strength oil or capsule, I usually don't feel anything.

Tom at CBD Sloth doesn't notice anything in particular but is occasionally aware that it is working:

I tend not to feel too different, but as I lay my head in the pillow at night, I instantly drift off, whereas back in the day it used to take me around 40 minutes to fall asleep. I also find it useful if I have a big presentation or meeting coming up.

For Harry from CBD Bible UK, it's all clarity and concentration: 

I describe the feeling I get from consuming CBD as focus - particularly in the mornings if I wake up a bit hazy, I find that consuming CBD will almost immediately centre me and allow me to concentrate on the tasks I need to complete. 

Karrie from CBDUKReview on Instagram also experiences a sense of improved focus:

During the day, after about 5-10 minutes I notice I can focus a little easier. At bedtime, I can drop off a little sooner and sleep right through, while also feeling a little brighter in the morning.

One thing that seems to be common among these comments is that CBD doesn't have a strong physical sensation and any differences may be subtle. It also highlights just how varied your individual experience of this cannabinoid can be.


CBD will not get you high, but it's always wise to view the certificates of analysis to verify that a product only contains traces of THC. When consuming legal hemp products, you may experience some mild sensations that indicate it's taking effect, or you may not.

If you're new to CBD start by taking a small amount at regular intervals until you're comfortable with how it affects you.

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Tom Russell
Tom Russell


Tom Russell writes extensively about CBD oil and other groundbreaking food supplements. He and his wife share their home with two daughters and a lifetime’s collection of books.

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