Cannabidiol, or CBD, is all the rage right now, and its oil is popping up in common, everyday items like lotion, coffee, and even dog treats. You can easily walk into stores and find it and also purchase CBD products online with just a few clicks. Countless people are enjoying the supposed health benefits it offers. What is it exactly, though, and importantly, does CBD get you high? Let's back up for a moment.
First, What is CBD?
To begin, it helps to know what a cannabinoid is. These are chemical compounds that affect the receptors in the body's endocannabinoid system. When a compound reacts with these receptors, they can impact everything from your nervous system to your immune system to the impulses in your brain.
Remember that the cannabis species of plant includes hemp plants and marijuana plants.
CBD, one of the most well-known (and well-researched) cannabinoids, naturally occurs in hemp, which is why it's often called hemp oil. Interestingly, hemp has been used for centuries to create items like clothes, paper, rope, and industrial materials. You can even find it in certain foods. Hemp has been such a big part of American history that its image was printed on money!
Another cannabinoid you've probably heard of is THC, which, on the contrary, is often derived from marijuana.
While marijuana contains a considerable amount of THC, hemp carries very little. Instead, it has higher levels of CBD in it. Thus, the two plants are mostly used for different reasons: THC versus CBD.
They might both be cannabinoids, but much of the similarities end here. It's important to know these aren't interchangeable terms, and there's a distinction to make between CBD and THC and how they each affect your body. So, when we're talking about hemp and CBD, we are not having the same conversation as marijuana.
The Difference Between CBD and THC
THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that makes you high. If your employer asks you to take a drug test, odds are it's looking for THC (among other things). That's because this is what causes you to become impaired whenever you consume marijuana. If you have it in your system, then you've recently consumed marijuana and could potentially be under the influence.
However, such is not the case with hemp and CBD.
Hemp carries very little THC. It's main component is CBD, and CBD derived from hemp does not make you high. Using CBD oil in any manner will not lead to impairment. In fact, research is increasingly suggesting it could carry certain health benefits. (More on that in a minute.)
People are sometimes hesitant to consume CBD-containing products because they're worried it'll make them feel high or cause them to fail a drug test. Remember: CBD and THC are two completely different things, and the former isn't psychoactive. This is good information for employers to note. What you're looking for when you drug test your employees is traces of THC, so it's vital to include this in your workplace drug testing program.
The Possible Health Benefits of CBD Oil
This industry is too new and has only recently started skyrocketing, so it's worth mentioning the research is still in its early stages and we don't yet truly know the long-term effects of CBD consumption. However, what we do know thus far is looking promising. CBD oil is sometimes used to help treat pain and is obviously a safer alternative than pharmaceutical options which could lead to addiction, like opioids. In fact, we're noticing a hopeful trend: CBD might be helping people suffering from opioid addiction by easing the symptoms of withdrawal.
Again, it's likely too soon to draw any concrete conclusions, but we could be headed on an amazing path, and hopefully, CBD will offer an answer to our nation's alarming opioid crisis.
It doesn't end there. Other research has found using CBD oil could help fight anxiety. Because of the oil’s ability to alleviate anxiety and stress, people will sometimes use it to help them sleep at night. Since many people use marijuana largely due to its calming effects, CBD could be a compromise that'll still give them that benefit, minus the impairment.
Other conditions CBD oil has been used to treat include diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Could CBD oil help you? Possibly. Does that mean there's no harm in taking it? No. Even though it won't get you high, it's important you talk to your physician before trying any CBD products, same as you would with supplements you can find at the store or online.
Also bear in mind that just like supplements, it's possible that different people will react to CBD differently. What works for one person might not work for another, so it's always best to move forward with caution.
The Future of CBD
Hemp is soaring. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, the number of acres used for hemp cultivation increased a whopping 140%, and by 2021, the hemp market is projected to reach $1.65 billion. A quick look on Amazon will render countless CBD oils, gummies, vape inhalers, lotions, pet products, and more. People are flocking to it to enjoy the effects they get from marijuana without the impairment.
As the cannabis industry grows, as marijuana use increases, and as people continue exploring ways to use CBD, having clear rules regarding drug use in your workplace is becoming more vital than ever. State laws can be ambiguous, they can differ from federal laws, and there is still a lot of grey area. Don't try to navigate it alone. Contact US Drug Test Centers today for help managing your drug-free workplace policy, employee testing, and more.