Is Cannabidiol CBD non-psychoactive?
When we search for information about CBD (cannabidiol) on the Internet, the words “non-psychoactive” soon appear in the first lines of each informative article. In this way we can indicate to the reader that it is a product that, although it is a derivative of the same family of plants, its effects are different from those of marijuana with which we associate all this “recreational” and “recreational” world. even on the verge of cannabis legality. Although CBD is currently legal in Europe.
But is CBD really non-psychoactive? what does the word psychoactive mean?
What is psychoactive?
Somehow or other, the word “psychoactive”, in large part sounds like a hallucination to all of us, having visions or those hippies from the 60s who were taking psychedelic drugs like LSD. However, although these hallucinations also have to do with psychoactivity, the term “psychoactive” encompasses something much more general.
A psychoactive substance is any substance that affects the functioning of the brain leading to changes in mood, consciousness, feelings and even behaviour. Caffeine, nicotine or alcohol, for example, are all legal psychoactive drugs since they alter our brain chemicals (in the short and long term) and its functioning in one way or another.
However, there is a fine line of confusion between what is psychoactive and what is psychotropic. Perhaps many times when we really want to express that a substance is psychotropic we mistakenly use the word psychoactive.
The term psychotropic is a rather legal categorization. This includes drugs that are psychoactive and are included in the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, an international treaty of the United Nations. This treaty controls and classifies drugs with the aim of assigning them a social dangerousness. Strange as it may sound, all the drugs we have mentioned above are psychoactive drugs, but they are not psychotropic. However, marijuana that contains THC (or rather the THC cannabinoid) is indeed classified as psychotropic, although this is changing in some countries.
Does CBD affect our brain as a psychoactive substance?
First of all, to get it out of the way, CBD is not categorized as psychotropic. In addition, the World Health Organization supports CBD as a substance that is not harmful to the human organism and that does not create addiction or tolerance and therefore does not put society at risk.
But let’s not fall back into the trap of thinking that psychoactives are harmful or will make us hallucinate or feel “high. Of course if you consume CBD you will not lose control over your thoughts, movements or emotions (as you would with a psychotropic substance or when you are drunk or under the effects of caffeine). On the contrary, CBD will help you take much more control over most of your cognitive functions, which is precisely why it can be considered psychoactive.
Not only does cannabis have psychoactive effects
Sugar, cocoa in chocolate and other ingredients that we consume daily also have psychoactive effects capable of altering the chemicals in our nervous system. For example, cocoa alters our brain’s reward system so it is scientifically true that we feel happier after eating a chocolate bar.
Going back to CBD, its consumption supports our endocannabinoid system to naturally produce endocannabinoids that alter the secretion and availability of neurotransmitters as important to our functions as serotonin, dopamine and glutamate. In particular, CBD is able to increase levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide. Anandamide (AEA) is an endogenous (naturally occurring) cannabinoid that was discovered in the 1990s. It was baptized as anandamide from the Sanskrit “ananda” which means happiness, joy. This molecule is associated with the feeling of relaxation and its relationship with biological functions such as pain, sleep and hunger is being studied.
Mental effects of CBD
Chemical changes that occur when consuming CBD
CBD, despite being psychoactive, does not have serious side effects. At very large doses (greater than a whole bottle of 10% CBD) it can cause drowsiness and headaches, but these symptoms are automatically eliminated as soon as the dose is reduced.
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