Cannabidiol (CBD) is just one of hundreds of compounds the cannabis plant contains. Recently, its popularity has soared worldwide due to its array of potential health benefits. However, there’s one question on a lot of people’s minds: can you become addicted to CBD? In short, the answer is no, with the reason lying mainly in the fact that it’s a non-intoxicating substance.
Studies and research suggest that cannabis can be addictive – especially with heavy use. However, current scientific evidence suggests that CBD by itself is not. In fact, the World Health Organization states that “evidence from well-controlled human experimental research indicates that CBD is not associated with abuse potential.” In that way, they suggest that CBD is not addictive. Note: research into heavy, long-term CBD consumption is still in its infancy.
Can You Become Addicted to CBD? No, and Here’s Why
1. CBD Does Not Cause Intoxication
Still, a 2016 study showed that THC produced “substantial physical and psychological effects” (such as a change in blood pressure, heart rate, and cognitive function) in the 31 adult participants. However, CBD did not. CBD also returned the same results as a placebo when participants were asked to report feelings of intoxication during another separate study. When we compare THC with CBD, it becomes apparent that the reason the former is addictive is that it causes intoxication.
2. THC Levels are Lower than 0.3%
It’s important to bear in mind that there are varying types of CBD available to purchase. Full-spectrum CBD contains all the compounds found in the cannabis plant, including THC. In addition, in some US states that have legalized cannabis for recreational purposes, the level could be more than the federal legal limit of 0.3%. If it’s high enough, it could cause intoxicating effects, thereby making that particular CBD oil addictive. Anything with THC levels below 0.3%, however, will have no intoxicating effects.
3. CBD’s Effects Don’t Meet the Definition of “Addiction”
We must also consider the true definition of the word “addiction.” Merriam Webster states that it is “a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms upon withdrawal or abstinence.”
In this sense, it is plausible to suggest that some individuals may feel some psychological need to consume CBD heavily and/or regularly. In addition, they may experience harmful psychological or social effects as a result. However, this is likely to be extremely rare. Any addiction would be largely attributable to other psychological factors, rather than the CBD itself being addictive.