Is CBD Oil Addictive?
If you’ve never used CBD oil before or if you’ve only recently started using it, you’re probably still working through many questions you have about how it works; you can fail a drug test, among many other questions. One question that we don’t get often but is a concern for some is whether or not CBD oil can cause you to become dependent on it.
Some people have this concern because they’re thinking about marijuana / THC, which the media and many others try to paint as being highly addictive, which is untrue. Like with literally anything in life that supports one’s health, makes you feel good, tastes good, or any number of other potential factors, some people use marijuana consistently but it’s no different than many other things.
We’ll dive into a little more specifics below, but as it pertains specifically to CBD oil, there is nothing in it that would in itself be addicting. What you may realize though is that if it helps you feel better on a daily basis you may not want to stop taking it and continue to feel good. To avoid any resistance build-up, we recommend taking 3-4 days off every 1-2 months.
What Does Addictive Mean?
Like we mentioned above, anything can be addictive from a psychological perspective. For example, two addictions many people in society have, they just don’t realize it are sugar and caffeine. These are usually just psychological addictions and aren’t resulting in any physical impairment when you don’t have your sugar or coffee. This just means that you have your habit where you have your cup of coffee every morning, crave your bottle of coke or ice cream a few times a week, or many other similar examples.
Physical addiction, on the other hand, is much more serious and typically causes actual physical symptoms which make it very difficult to quit and in many cases requires some sort of medical intervention to overcome. This is most common in people who use hard drugs often like heroin and meth, which causes them to get “sick” with terrible joint pain, nausea, and many other symptoms. But even a much simpler drug that most people don’t think of when it comes to dependency is caffeine. Some people experience really bad headaches, extreme exhaustion, high irritability, and other signs of physical dependence to caffeine but don’t think anything of it.
What Makes a Substance Addictive?
Some substances change the way our brains work. Alcohol, benzodiazepine drugs, opioid drugs, and amphetamines can change your entire brain chemistry. These drugs, whether they were obtained on the street or prescribed by a physician, will have the same effects on everyone.
These drugs work by binding themselves to receptors in your brain. When they attach to the receptors, they each produce different feelings. Some of these feelings are therapeutic, while others are purely intoxicating.
As these drugs begin to change your brain, your brain gets used to its “new normal” and its balance completely changes. When you take away the drug it's dependent on, you’ll feel the effects throughout your entire body. Your brain is scrambling to restore itself and may release loads of natural chemicals in response to being free from the grip of the drug.
Additionally, “non-drug” related substances can induce cravings similar to an addiction in people who use them frequently. For instance, caffeine is addictive due to the way it affects the brain and creates an alert feeling that people desire. Caffeine also directly affects adenosine levels in a way that effectively keeps the feeling of tiredness at bay. Your brain can become addicted to caffeine as your body and brain get used to the effects of caffeine on naturally occurring adenosine, which is why you can become irritable and get headaches if you regularly drink a lot of coffee, tea, or energy drinks and skip out on your morning cups.
Similarly, studies have shown that sugar is addictive and stimulates the same areas of the brain as cocaine or heroin. Just like those harder drugs, weaning off sugar can lead to withdrawal and cravings, which can even require a detox process.
This large influx of unbalanced natural chemicals can cause serious side effects, including seizures or death. People who are dependent on drugs or alcohol require medically supervised detoxification as a part of their treatment. If you or someone you know is living with an addiction, seek professional assistance immediately.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD works very differently with your body than most other substances. . Your body has an endocannabinoid system designed specifically to interact with cannabinoids. Your body actually makes some of its own cannabinoids and uses them as needed, though so much more research needs to be done here.
CBD interacts with these receptors in your brain and body. Most cannabis researchers don’t believe that CBD actually binds to receptors like THC or other intoxicating substances do. The science is complicated and research is still ongoing, but it seems as though CBD merely helps direct your body without actually interfering with it.
CBD is not an intoxicant and won’t produce any of the typical symptoms of being high such as impairment/limited coordination, increased sensitivity in your senses, and the typical slower / more creative persona. Instead, CBD helps support homeostasis, overall wellness, more restful sleep, among other benefits.
Is CBD Addictive?
People might say they’re addicted to their favorite latte or smoothie bowl, and in that sense, it’s possible to be “addicted” to anything. This is a colloquialism that doesn’t equate to actual addiction. You might have heard people saying they’re addicted to CBD. What they mean is that they really love it and want to use it every day. It’s hyperbole that sometimes confuses people. If something is helping you live a better life why would you not take it often?
CBD does not alter your mind or change the way your brain works by introducing a chemical that creates a dependency. CBD only supports your wellness and encourages your body to do what it does best. If you stopped taking CBD you would not have any out-of-the-ordinary adverse reactions or “withdrawal” symptoms, only that if CBD has helped you with something you may revert back to experience that.
That having been said, many people take CBD daily because they enjoy its benefits. They can easily stop at any time, but they don’t see a reason to. Some people take multivitamins or drink green smoothies every day. Other people take CBD every day as a part of their overall wellness ritual, and they feel better when they do it. That said, we know many people who take CBD oil 45 days and then take a few days off so the body does not build up any resistance and the CBD oil stays as effective as day one.
There have been some studies conducted on CBD for its side effects and potential for abuse. The World Health Organization declared that CBD doesn’t have any abuse potential or serious side effects. Even if you use a significant amount of CBD every day, your body physically cannot become addicted to it because CBD doesn’t touch the pathways in your brain that have to do with addiction.
Can You Overdose on CBD?
Since CBD doesn’t actually bind to any receptors, it’s not technically possible to overdose on CBD. Some people take 1,500 mg of CBD every day and report no adverse effects. That’s a very significant amount of CBD that most people will never have a need to use and even at these levels, the only adverse effect that’s been shown is the potential increase in liver enzymes which has reversed itself when people stopped taking the CBD.
Ultimately the worst that might happen is you feel tired or the excessive amount of oil (typically the carrier oil if taking a tincture) may upset your stomach and either cause acid reflux if you’re prone to acid reflux or diarrhea from the oil throwing things in your stomach off. While this may not be a good time, you’re not going to be hospitalized for an overdose on CBD specifically. We cannot speak to the other ingredients you’re taking your CBD oil with. As for CBD oil specifically, there has never been a recorded case of CBD overdose.
Are There Any Side Effects From CBD?
There can be side effects from taking CBD products, but these side effects are typically not even because of the CBD itself. Most often, it’s actually the carrier oil, flavors, or other ingredients incorporated with the CBD that can lead to side effects like diarrhea or an upset stomach when consumed in large, taken on an empty stomach, or if you have a sensitive stomach.
This is especially true when CBD oil is taken on an empty stomach. This is because the oil tends to be easier for your body to process when there’s something else with it (even if eaten separately at a different time). Try eating a meal before you take your CBD oil if you experience tummy troubles when you use CBD.
CBD can interact with the way that some medications are absorbed with your body, just like grapefruit can. This is because CBD is metabolized through the liver and there are some medications that are processed through the same liver enzymes. One way to immediately almost guarantee there may be an interaction is that If you cannot have grapefruit with the medications you’re currently taking, you usually can’t have CBD either. If you’re on any prescription medications, speak to your doctor before you start using CBD.
Does CBD Oil Have THC in It?
Whether CBD oil has detectable levels of THC in it or not depends on the type of CBD oil it is. CBD oil is almost always made from cannabis plants classified as hemp plants (meaning they are under 0.30% THC). However, as the CBD oil is extracted that amount gets concentrated and increases but is then diluted into finished products to be below 0.30% for full-spectrum CBD oils. Broad Spectrum CBD oils have the THC refined out in extract form and CBD Isolate removes everything except for the CBD.
If you still have concerns about the presence of THC in your CBD products, choose a broad spectrum CBD oil product instead. Broad-spectrum CBD oils contain everything the hemp plant contains, but detectable levels of THC have been removed (less than 0.005% THC in these products).
Will CBD Oil Make me Fail a Drug Test?
It isn’t likely that you’ll fail a drug test for using CBD oil, but it’s not impossible. Drug tests aren’t designed to check for CBD because CBD is not a drug. THC is the psychoactive compound of cannabis, and that’s what drug tests are designed to look for.
If you use large amounts of CBD oil on a daily basis, there’s a chance that those tiny amounts of THC can accumulate in your system. A drug test that’s very sensitive to THC may be able to detect those levels.
Unfortunately, there are not extensive studies on what levels cause the THC to flag on a drug test (especially since there are multiple types of drug testing options) but we’ve heard of people failing a drug test with anything above 0.15% THC which they use for a prolonged period of time. A higher % of THC could make it happen even quicker. If failing a drug test is a concern for you, we recommend speaking with your employer or whoever it is that is drug testing you to confirm you are okay to take a full-spectrum CBD oil. Nevertheless, CBD is perfectly legal to purchase and use throughout the entire United States.
CBD oil is one of the safer, better-for-you products out there without many things to be worried about when taking it. It’s natural (make sure you’re not sourcing synthetic cannabinoids), safe, and is not addictive. Side effects are limited and minimal, and no one has ever “overdosed” on CBD. The main things to be on the lookout for are if you’re going to be drug tested then full spectrum CBD Oil may not be an option and you should discuss this with the company/person drug testing you prior to using and potential medication interactions if you’re taking medications that are metabolized by the same liver enzymes as CBD. If drug testing is a concern you may consider broad-spectrum CBD oil.
If you’re ready to give CBD a try, Leafwell Botanicals offers all the CBD wellness products you could ever need. We’re committed to clean-label CBD oil products with organic (where possible) & natural ingredients, and transparency which is why we proudly display our lab results for every batch. Our CBD products are carefully formulated by our in-house team of experts to provide all the benefits you need without any of the additives you don’t.