A Lot of CBD gets you a little Stoned

Cannabidiol or CBD has been getting a lot of press lately. This substance from the cannabis plant is generally regarded as non-intoxicating, with the feeling of being high associated with consumption of tetrahydrocannabinol aka THC.

However, Australian scientists have shown that when inhaling ridiculously large amounts of CBD you do feel stoned. Just not as stoned as from THC. This was a surprise to researchers who had “aimed to test the hypotheses that high-dose CBD alone would not be intoxicating relative to placebo”.

Contrary to the literature, both frequent and infrequent users subjectively reported feeling intoxicated by high-dose CBD administered alone (i.e. not combined with THC)

CBD changes the high from THC

They were able to confirm their second hypothesis. When consuming THC the addition of CBD produces paradoxical effects. When participants consumed a large amount of CBD alongside THC they were considerably less intoxicated than if they had THC alone, even with 50% more THC. Furthermore, THC with a small amount of CBD actually increased intoxication, especially with infrequent consumers. This is known as a biphasic effect of CBD, when a small amount does the opposite to a larger amount.

“On a scale from 1 to 10, where 10 is the most stoned you’ve ever been, how stoned do you feel now?”
The High CBD group answered 3 compared to 1 for placebo

Getting stoned on CBD isn’t Practical

So what does this mean for cannabis users, medical and recreational? Well the short answer is you won’t be finding recreational users trying to get a 3 out of 10 high using CBD. In order to inhale such vast quantities of CBD the researchers had the participants inhale extremely potent CBD extracts with a Volcano Vapouriser. They drily note that most of the CBD was lost due to the sticky resin produced in this process and more lost still when the thick vapour caused coughing.

“It would have been unethical to force participants to take the full dose when they reported that they had had enough… there was a great deal of variation in the time that participants took to inhale the doses from the balloons, ranging from a few minutes to ~ 20 min for some participants in some conditions, particularly those containing high-dose CBD due to throat irritation and coughing.

What about products like CBD oils, creams and capsules?

Well the first thing to point out is that the study was for vapourised CBD. They can’t say these effects would be the same for oils or creams. Even then, those products have much lower amounts of CBD. We don’t envision anyone eating eight tubs of
Holland & Barrett ‘s 50 mg CBD lip balm to get their kicks.