Is CBD Oil Addictive


Is CBD addictive? It’s a common question asked about CBD oil. The answer is no and here is what you need to know about what is CBD oil and why it’s not addictive.  CBD is one of the most abundant cannabinoids found in Cannabis sativa, a flowering plant, of which industrial hemp and marijuana are two varieties. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemicals in Cannabis sativa that interact with natural receptors in the brain and body to affect mood, appetite, pain response, and immunity, among other effects


Marijuana can be addictive because it contains over 0.3 percent of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, which is psychoactive, meaning it can get you “high.”  “Marijuana use can lead to the development of problem use, known as a marijuana use disorder, which takes the form of addiction in severe cases.”[1]  CBD from industrial hemp has less than 0.3 percent THC and so is not mind altering.


When discussing CBD vs. THC, many also want to know if CBD is legal.  For years, the Federal Government did not distinguish hemp from other cannabis plants, all of which were illegal under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of hemp as an agricultural commodity and removed it from the list of controlled substances. If a hemp plant has more than 0.3 percent THC, it is considered marijuana.


Marijuana continues to be classified as a schedule 1 substance under the CSA. Marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, depending on state laws, can be smoked, put in foods or even brewed in tea. Marijuana is legal for medicinal and recreational use in 11 states for adults over the age of 21 and legal for medicinal use in 33 states.


What are the benefits of CBD oil?

Now that we’ve cleared up the issues surrounding CBD addiction and legality, let’s delve into the benefits of CBD oil for a number of conditions.


All CBD products contain CBD oil, which is what is added to the range of CBD offerings, from topicals to tinctures, capsules and gummies. Before any products are made, CBD needs to be extracted from the hemp plant. There are a number of ways to extract CBD from hemp. The three most common use carbon dioxide, steam distillation or natural solvents. The extraction process requires significant setup, expensive equipment and workers with specialized skills, which has an impact on the ultimate cost of the product.


CBD oil consists of the CBD that has been extracted from industrial hemp, then diluted with a carrier oil, of which hemp seed oil, MCT oil, and coconut oil are typical, to make it easier to consume and absorb.


Here are just some of the health and wellness issues where CBD has been shown to be beneficial:


Anxiety: A recent survey found that among those that use CBD, about 55 percent of those who have tried it say they used it to relax, and another 50 percent said they were looking for stress and anxiety relief.[2] While more research is needed on CBD and anxiety, a 2011 study found that CBD was able to reduce Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), for example.[3]


Sleep: Some research on CBD and sleep indicates that CBD may interact with specific receptors in the endocannabinoid system to potentially affect the sleep/wake cycle.  Furthermore, by reducing the symptoms of pain and anxiety, CBD may also contribute to a more restful sleep.[4]


Pain relief: Topical CBD is absorbed through the skin where it interacts with the body’s own CB-2 receptors, which are the endocannabinoids that are found in the peripheral nervous system and which play an important role in fighting inflammation.  Once CBD connects with CB-2 receptors, it has a pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effect on the body.


Immune System: While there is a need for more in-depth research on the impact of CBD oil and immunity, it appears that the two are interrelated. “…communicative molecules in the ECS can work as a signaling mechanism and provide instructions for the functional machinery involved in the immune response.” [5]  


How much CBD is enough and how often to take it?

Your doctor might be able to provide a recommendation on how much CBD to take and how often. Generally, it’s best to start with a smaller dosage and gradually increase it. As an example, you could start with 20 to 40 mg a day and after a week, decrease it by 5 mg until you feel that your symptoms are being treated effectively.[6]


A review of CBD from 2011 found that chronic use and high doses up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD are reportedly well tolerated in humans.[7] But even though it’s well tolerated, CBD oil side effects could include dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. CBD also can interact with other medications, such as blood thinners.[8] Another reason to talk to your doctor about taking CBD relative to other medications you are taking.


If you have more questions about CBD or any of our Lab+Blends CBD products, let us know.


[1] “Marijuana Research Report: Is Marijuana Addictive,” National Institute on Drug Abuse, accessed September 22, 2020.
[2] Kopf, Dan and Avins, Jenni. “New data show Americans are turning to CBD as a cure-all for the modern condition,” Quartz, April 15, 2019.
[3] Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011;36(6):1219‐1226. doi:10.1038/npp.2011.6.
[4] “CBD: For Sleep and Insomnia, American Sleep Association, accessed September 22, 2020.
[5] WayOfLeaf Staff, medically reviewed by Dr. Mike Bohl, “Does CBD Have an Effect on Your Immune System,” Way of Leaf, March 9, 2020.
[6] Ferguson, Sian, “CBD Dosage: Figuring Out How Much to Take,” healthline, August 1, 2019.
[7] Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Zuardi AW, Crippa JA. Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Curr Drug Saf. 2011 Sep 1;6(4):237-49. doi: 10.2174/157488611798280924. PMID: 22129319.
[8] Bauer, Brent A., MD, “What are the benefits of CBD and is it safe to use?”, Mayo Clinic, accessed September 22, 2020.