Is CBD psychoactive?

There are over 400 chemicals in cannabis, over 100 of these chemicals are unique to the cannabis plant and called "Cannabinoids" the most notable one is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the psychoactive drug present in cannabis that makes its user feel high!

The second most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis is CBD(Cannabidiol). Oils, Brownies and "Bud" containg CBD are becoming more and more popular and are being sold in headshops online and in our high streets as a post ban "Legal high", because it is not covered by the psychoactive substances Act due to it not being psychoactive.

legal highs uk

packets of "bud" containg CBD (2017)

"Psychoactive Drug" Definition: "a chemical substance that changes brain function and results in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness or behaviour".

I hear your confusion, if CBD is not psychoactive, and there for does not interact with the brain, and thus does not make you feel any different than you would if you did not smoke it, what is the point?

Well there have been study’s to show that CBD does interact with the brain to:

1. Improve mood
2. Combat anxiety
3. Prevent/reduce the amount of seizures in people who suffer from epilepsy

Wouldn’t that make it "psychoactive"?

the answer of course is YES

Although it is important to note that if you consider the range of psychoactive drugs CBD would be at the very bottom in effects and risks of harm to self and others, and something like synthetic cannabis would be closer to the top.

Please Note: this article only relates to "CBD" in isolation smoking cannabis as a whole will include the other 400 chemicals that are strongly linked to various mental and physical health conditions.

More information about CBD here

Reference: Delilah Butterfield (, Wikipedia