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Is CBD Oil Addictive?

No. CBD oil sold commercially in the U.S. is not addictive, nor can it make an individual feel “stoned.”

Marijuana (Cannabis) is well-known as an addictive and illegal substance in all 50 states. However, confusion often surrounds hemp and cannabidiol (CBD), which are related to marijuana but do not contain the psychoactive component that characterizes marijuana.

CBD has therapeutic effects but does not cause the unwanted psychoactive effect. In fact, CBD actually counteracts the psychoactive influence of THC and has demonstrated anti-psychotic effects in schizophrenia patients (1).

Different strains of the cannabis plant have been developed in Europe and Canada for various applications. Recreational and medical types of cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, contains lower amounts of CBD and higher amounts of THC, generally 6 to 20 percent THC. Other strains of cannabis have more CBD and less than 0.3 percent THC; these are called hemp (2). Hemp has many industrial uses; its fibers are widely used in manufacturing, and its CBD is extracted for medicinal purposes.

The concentration of THC in marijuana is high enough to potentially cause addiction. For this reason, marijuana use, sale and possession are outlawed as a Schedule 1 drug in the U.S. On the other hand, hemp contains so little THC that it cannot possibly result in a psychoactive effect. Thus, an individual has a much lesser chance of becoming addicted to hemp CBD.

Both marijuana and hemp can be used to extract CBD oil, but the accompanying amount of THC varies according to the source. CBD oil derived from marijuana typically contains more than 0.3 percent THC and may create a “high” feeling and as with anything lead to addiction.

However, CBD oil derived from hemp includes less than 0.3 percent THC and is perfectly legal in the U.S. if imported. Hemp growers overseas can extract the CBD oil and export it to the U.S. Upon arrival, the CBD oil is processed for purity and quality, then sold commercially as a dietary supplement. In this form, CBD oil does not have psychoactive properties, nor can it create an addiction to CBD or cannabis.

Individuals who wish to treat medical ailments or symptoms with herbal medicine often want the benefits of using CBD. To obtain CBD in a natural form, they may choose medical marijuana or CBD oil derived from hemp.


(1) Cannabidiol. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabidiol.

(2) Rappaport, T. and Leonard-Johnson, S. CBD-Rich Hemp Oil: Cannabinoid Nursing 101: Cannabis Medicine is Back.


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