Is CBD Addictive?

Most of us know the health benefits of CBD. Studies have shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory and seizure-suppressant properties, as well as the ability to reduce anxiety and help people manage their daily stresses.

According to WHO, CBD is a safe and well-tolerated compound, even in doses as high as 1,500 mg daily.

But is it addictive?

What is CBD and How Does It Work?

CBD (or cannabidiol) is one of the two major components in cannabis. Unlike the other compound, THC, CBD lacks psychoactive properties, meaning it won’t make you feel high in a way THC does. CBD may balance out THC by modulating its psychoactivity in the brain.

CBD interacts with major receptors in the endocannabinoid system; the prime regulatory network in all animals. These receptors send messages throughout the body, delivering signals for the brain to interpret. The functioning of your brain is largely dependent on these signals; this way, it can regulate important processes throughout the body, allowing it to maintain homeostasis — a fancy term for biochemical balance.

CBD may support homeostasis through several different routes. Scientists believe that CBD has more than 65 molecular targets, which would explain its wide range of benefits and applications. CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system can influence 5-HT1A receptors that are sensitive to a neurotransmitter called serotonin.

Serotonin is a major player in mood regulation; it can also intensify feelings of happiness and relaxation. CBD acts as a natural inhibitor of the 5-HT1A receptors. It blocks its reuptake in the brain, allowing higher concentrations of the neurotransmitter to circulate in the body.

CBD and Addiction: Is CBD Oil Addictive?

Since CBD doesn’t produce the psychoactive buzz associated with THC, it has a very limited potential for abuse according to scientists. A 2017 study from the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence reviewed the results of a previous study, in which researchers administered different doses of oral CBD to frequent marijuana users. The subjects took CBD alone and in combination with smoked marijuana. The researchers concluded that CBD is as likely to be abused as the placebo.

A few years earlier, a 2011 study concluded that CBD is safer than THC and other cannabinoids. Researchers found that CBD is well-tolerated in humans, even in high doses up to 1,500 milligrams daily. Unlike THC, CBD didn’t impair psychological functions or motor skills, nor did it change the blood pressure, body temperature, or heart rate.

Interestingly, even THC cannot lead to physical addiction. According to addiction experts, 91% of marijuana users will never get addicted to THC. The remaining 9% percent will just form negative habits around the substance, which may lead to some form of abuse.

Since THC can be habit-forming, it’s important to know the difference between the two sources of CBD extracts: hemp and marijuana.

Hemp-Derived CBD vs Marijuana-Derived CBD

CBD can be extracted from hemp and marijuana. Although these plants share the same parent — Cannabis sativa L. — they have different chemical profiles and THC/CBD ratios.

Marijuana is naturally THC rich, so CBD oils produced from marijuana strains — even those high in CBD — will contain a significant amount of THC. These products can get the user high.

However, when CBD oil is made from hemp plants, it won’t produce any intoxicating effects due to its almost non-existent THC content. Hemp plants usually contain 0.3% THC or less, boasting higher levels of CBD.

CBD derived from hemp plants is not addictive. It’s also federally legal; you can easily find it online and over-the-counter in major pharmacies, dispensaries, vape stores, and smoke shops.

What Are the Side Effects of CBD Oil? Can You Overdose on CBD?

CBD is completely safe. There are a few mild side effects that may occur when you take too much CBD oil at a time.

Potential adverse reactions to CBD include:

  •  Dry mouth
  •  Lower blood pressure
  •  Changes in appetite
  •  Dizziness
  •  Sedation
  •  Diarrhea

Possible Drug Interactions

We recommend that you talk to your doctor if you take any pharmaceutical drugs and are afraid they may interact with CBD.


Initial studies haven’t found a link between CBD and alterations in perception, judgment, or cognition. Without the feelings of “high”, the brain may not associate the substance with the reward centers. CBD also doesn’t cause withdrawal symptoms and can’t be lethally overdosed.

Have more questions? Come visit our shop and we can answer questions, show you different products and help you make a decision.