Is CBD Flower Psychoactive? – Effects of Smoking CBD

View from above of a beautifully colored hemp plant.

CBD flower and marijuana both come from the same plant. For this reason, the effects of both compounds are often conflated. But can CBD get you high in the same way THC does?

CBD flower will not produce the same psychoactive effects as marijuana, and it certainly won’t cause you to feel “high.” However, if we strictly look at the definition of “psychoactive” as a substance that affects the mind, then, in that sense, CBD is psychoactive. So, while it does not make you high, CBD is technically considered psychoactive because it affects the brain to ease problems like anxiety, pain, and inflammation. 

Smoking CBD flower is perhaps one of the quickest ways to take in your CBD products as well as one of the easiest. Being aware of the effects that CBD flower can have on your body can help you make an informed decision about what products are right for you and your situation.

Does CBD have a psychoactive effect?

Whether or not CBD has a psychoactive effect truly does depend on your definition of the word “psychoactive.” At its most basic, “psychoactive” typically refers to drugs or other substances that impact the mind.

In general, when we discuss psychoactivity and cannabis, we tend to discuss marijuana or cannabis products that contain the cannabinoid THC. THC is the cannabinoid responsible for producing the psychoactive high that comes alongside marijuana, and THC can be present in other cannabis plants as well.

Though CBD products come from cannabis plants, they are not considered to be psychoactive because they do not cause impairment. Trace amounts of THC can sometimes be found in some CBD products, particularly those that are full-spectrum. But, if the amount of THC in the product is below the legal limit, then it is not enough to produce the psychoactive high that you may associate with THC and weed.

However, it’s not entirely accurate to completely dismiss CBD as non-psychoactive, because it does indeed interact with various parts of the body, including the mind and central nervous system. Though its effects may not be disruptive or impairing, CBD does alter your physical state and the way your mind functions. For this reason, if we follow the technical definition of psychoactive as “affecting the mind” then CBD is psychoactive.

CBD can affect your mind in many ways, and when taken strategically it can be a great relaxation tool. There are lots of methods for consuming CBD, but CBD flower is among the most popular because it produces quick, powerful results.

What Does Smoking CBD Feel Like?

Smoking CBD may make you feel different than you do when you consume other CBD products (like CBD oil, CBD tinctures, CBD chewables, etc.). As mentioned, choosing to inhale CBD instead of consuming it orally or otherwise generally means that you’ll feel the effects of your product very quickly.

Smoking CBD causes many of the same effects on the body and mind as other forms of CBD, including relaxation, lessened stress and anxiety, and having an easier time falling asleep

Smoking CBD will likely make you feel at ease, free of stress, and ready to take on the day. You’ll also likely feel less pain and inflammation (if present), and you may feel more willing to complete tasks and chores. 

Consuming CBD of any kind, including CBD flower, is truly a unique experience for every individual. 

However, those with health conditions like asthma, COPD, and other respiratory illnesses might want to think twice about smoking CBD as their primary method of consumption. 

Smoking can be irritating to the lungs, so be sure to exercise caution if you’re a beginner. Smoking CBD is a great way to treat various ailments for many people, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong if it isn’t your preference!

Man with a scruffy beard lighting a joint that's hanging from his lips.

Will CBD flower make me high?

No, CBD flower will not make you high. CBD can not produce the psychoactive high that we often associate with cannabis plants – THC, another cannabinoid present in cannabis plants, is responsible for this effect.

CBD flower can produce noticeable effects on the mind and body, though. So, even if you aren’t “high,” you can still feel CBD impacting the way your body is functioning. 

For instance, those utilizing CBD to treat chronic pain and inflammation will likely find that they feel better after consuming CBD because of the lessened severity of their symptoms throughout the day.

As mentioned, CBD products that aren’t isolated can sometimes contain trace amounts of THC, but in order to be legally sold in the United States (on the commercial market), all CBD products must come from hemp plants with a very low THC concentration.

CBD flower may make you feel like you’re “getting high” in some way simply due to the nature of its method of consumption; smoking CBD gives you almost instantaneous results, and the fast-hitting nature of these products means that sometimes they can make us feel strange, especially for beginners.

Is smoking CBD bad for you?

Smoking CBD isn’t bad for you, but there are some factors to consider before deciding to do so.

As discussed above, those with health conditions that affect the heart, lungs, or other parts of the respiratory/circulatory system might want to consider alternative methods for consuming their CBD. 

These individuals are more likely to experience negative side effects and may find smoking to be especially bothersome. Putting irritating smoke into already struggling organs is a way to make your symptoms worse.

Smoking CBD can be irritating to anyone, even those with no existing health conditions. You may consider alternating between smoking and other methods of consumption if you’re concerned about how smoking might affect your health.

If you do decide to smoke CBD, though, and it doesn’t irritate or bother you, there’s not anything inherently wrong with that. 

Making the decision to smoke CBD is personal, but don’t feel pressured to start or stop smoking because of the experiences and opinions of others.

Does CBD hemp flower have THC?

Yes, some CBD products, including CBD hemp flower, do contain small amounts of THC, though they’re so insignificant that they can’t produce a psychoactive high. The federal legal limit in the US for THC is under .03% dry weight. This may be enough THC to trigger the entourage effect and make the CBD more effective, but it will not be enough to feel the effects of THC and it certainly won’t be enough to produce a high.

However, CBD is not regulated by the FDA. That means that there are some instances of mislabeling products and untrustworthy brands. Sometimes, brands claim their product contains below the legal limit of THC, but sell flower that contains more than that .03% threshold. 

For this reason, especially if you are wary of THC consumption, check brands for a certificate of analysis that verifies the cannabinoid content of your purchase. A dependable brand will offer an exact cannabinoid ingredient list from a third-party lab that verifies the CBD’s contents. 

Be especially careful with CBD flower, because hemp plants tend to include a wide array of cannabinoids including THC. If you want to play it very safe, you can opt for products like CBD isolate or broad-spectrum products that do not contain THC. But if you want to buy hemp flower, a reputable brand with a certificate of analysis proving that the product follows federal guidelines should be more than enough.

A lush green hemp plant to the right with a black THC molecule to the left and a sunny background.

Will CBD flower show on a probation drug test?

Drug tests do not test for CBD, so CBD itself will not show up on a drug test. But the reality of whether or not CBD consumption could cause you to fail a drug test is more complicated.

Although THC levels in CBD flower are extremely low, there is a small chance that the THC can build up in your body over time. This is because cannabinoids are fat-soluble, so they can be stored in your body, especially if you are a very frequent user.

Probation drug tests specifically are a tricky topic since the consequences could be quite severe if you fail, and there is simply no way to prove that THC in your urine sample is the result of CBD use and not marijuana use. To be safe, we recommend not using CBD flower daily while on probation or parole. Smoking CBD flower once in a while should be fine since that would not be enough to build up the THC in your system to detectable levels.

If you need CBD for pain- or mental health-related reasons, we recommend using CBD isolate or broad-spectrum (not full-spectrum) products so that you can consume CBD daily without ingesting any THC. Neither CBD isolate nor broad-spectrum CBD contains THC so those products will never cause you to fail a drug test.

Takeaway: Psychoactive? It’s Complicated

Whether or not CBD flower can be considered psychoactive mostly depends on how you think about the word psychoactive – if you consider psychoactive to be an adjective for any substance that interacts with the brain, then CBD can be labeled as such.

However, what most people are referring to when pondering this question is whether or not CBD will produce a psychoactive and inebriating high. The answer to this question is no. CBD will not make you high, and it won’t impair you the way products containing THC might. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have an impact on the body and mind.

When used correctly and mindfully, CBD flower can be a great way to manage symptoms of chronic pain as well as mental health symptoms. Finding great quality products at a good price is half the battle.

Fortunately, we’ve taken care of that for you. Be sure to check out our directory here for product recommendations, reviews, and comprehensive information.

Josh Murdoch

Josh Murdoch

I was born with Cystic Fibrosis, and although it is incurable, CBD and THC have been allowing me to live my life as a healthy adult now for years. For that reason, I’ve dedicated my career to spreading the good news about cannabinoids. Currently, I work for a vertically integrated cannabis company called Unrivaled Brands that operates in California, Oregon, and Nevada. Previously, I worked on two cannabis farms in northern California, one of which was located in the famous Humboldt County. I’ve also managed a medical cannabis delivery service in Marin County, California. I created CBD Facilitator to share what I’ve learned, and to recommend the best products that I have found in this chaotic market.

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