Is CBD oil addictive?


CBD oil is an infusion of cannabidiol with an organic carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a plant-based compound extracted from cannabis buds or flowers. CBD oil comes in different brands, types, and potencies. It is popularly used for the multiple potential health benefits CBD is believed to offer. CBD oil is also versatile and can be taken in various ways. These include food and beverage infusions, tinctures, topical balms, pills, and sweet treats. However, most people are skeptical about taking CBD oil for fear of addiction. This is because they associate CBD oil with marijuana, which is also a product of the cannabis plant. Heavy and frequent use of marijuana often leads to addiction. This article determines if CBD oil is addictive and also addresses a few other possible side effects that you may expect.

What is Contained in CBD Oil?

CBD oil is manufactured in three distinctive types. CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD and full-spectrum CBD oils. Pure CBD oil typically contains no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This cannabis compound in marijuana makes one feel 'high.' However, some types of CBD oil contain THC in regulated amounts. Federal law restricts THC content in CBD products to 0.3%. Some CBD oils may contain more or less than what is displayed on the product label. This is because the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate CBD products. CBD isolate contains CBD as the only compound, although some brands may add a few unrelated nutritional supplements as a marketing bonus. Full and broad-spectrum CBD oils contain a combination of CBD with multiple other cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant. While full-spectrum CBD oil includes THC, broad-spectrum CBD oil is typically THC-free, although trace amounts may be found.

How Addictive is CBD Oil?

A drug is deemed addictive when you no longer take it for pleasure or specific health purposes and instead take it due to a compelling urge or a craving such that you cannot stop using it. Drug dependency tampers with the receptive cells in the brain responsible for pleasure and forces the user to use a drug to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Drug addiction worsens with time as the body gets used to the drug, making the user crave higher doses to keep feeling the ecstatic effects. THC is the cannabis compound that produces the psychedelic effect commonly attributed to marijuana. This compound is transported to the brain, where it interacts with endocannabinoid receptive cells in the parts of the brain responsible for pleasure, thought, memory, and mobility.

CBD also works in the same way, only that it does not produce the psychedelic effects that THC does. A study by Khaleghi, (2020) shows that CBD is quite safe, with docile reactions in the body even at doses as high as 1500mg. Owing to the limited presence of THC in CBD oils, you don’t have to worry about intoxication as much as you do with marijuana. While marijuana may lead to addiction due to high THC intake, the study proves that CBD oil cannot result in addiction or dependency.

Currently, no proven public health-related complications have been reported resulting from pure CBD intake. Notably, plenty of CBD oils may contain regulated THC or trace quantities. The legal threshold for THC content in CBD oil and other CBD products is 0.3%. However, the FDA does not regulate CBD oil since it is sold as a supplement. As a result, many CBD oil products contain considerably more THC than is indicated on the product labels. CBD may not result in addiction, but THC does. Ramaekers, et al. (2011) suggest that the human body can build up resistance to THC effects, leading to an urge for higher doses and intense withdrawal symptoms. Substance dependency is more likely to result from high-THC hemp products. Since authentic CBD oil has little to no THC content, it is generally non-addictive.

CBD Oil May Help Manage Drug Addiction

Far from being addictive, CBD oil may help control addiction. Recent research on mice suggests that CBD oils with the beta-caryophyllene terpene may help reduce addictive behavior. However, more research is needed to determine how significant this property may prove to humans. Also, a study by Razavi, et al. (2021) shows some hope for CBD as a useful treatment for meth dependency. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that CBD may contribute positively to the treatment of marijuana and tobacco addiction. According to Fischer, et al. (2015), CBD may also help contain drug cravings, psychotic disorders such as paranoia, and cocaine-related withdrawal symptoms. Extensive research is still needed to establish the full advantages of CBD in dealing with substance abuse and dependency.

Side Effects of CBD Oil

When used correctly, CBD oil holds multiple potential benefits for the user. However, CBD oil reacts differently with each user, and there are many brands and strains available on the market. Therefore, despite being non-addictive, various negative side effects may result from the random use of CBD oil or other CBD products. These effects may include nausea, drowsiness, anxiety attacks, mood and appetite changes, dry mouth, and dizziness. CBD oil may also interfere with the effectiveness of prescription drug doses or result in hostile reactions upon interaction.


Drug addiction is an uncontrollable urge to use a particular drug, the lack of which results in adverse withdrawal symptoms. Dependency on cannabis products can be caused by a high intake of THC, the psychedelic compound of cannabis. Addiction results when the body develops tolerance to THC forcing the user to crave more potent doses. CBD oil contains little or no THC, with a maximum of 0.3%. This means that CBD oil is typically non-addictive. CBD oil is potentially beneficial to overall well-being. However, it reacts differently with each user and may cause adverse side effects for some users. Some CBD oils also give false information on the product label. It is hence advisable to consult experienced practitioners before trying them out. You can also cross-check the product label for certified third-party verification for safety and quality before purchasing CBD products.


Fischer, B., Kuganesan, S., Gallassi, A., Malcher-Lopes, R., Van Den Brink, W., & Wood, E. (2015). Addressing The Stimulant Treatment Gap: A Call To Investigate The Therapeutic Benefits Potential Of Cannabinoids For Crack-Cocaine Use. International Journal Of Drug Policy, 26(12),


Khaleghi, M. (2020). New Arthritis Foundation
Guidelines On CBD Use Could Be First Of Many More To Come. Alternative Therapies In Health And Medicine, 26, 8-11.
Ramaekers, J. G., Theunissen, E. L., De
Brouwer, M., Toennes, S. W., Moeller, M. R., & Kauert, G. (2011). Tolerance And Cross-Tolerance To Neurocognitive Effects Of THC And Alcohol In Heavy Cannabis Users. Psychopharmacology,
214(2), 391-401.
Razavi, Y., Keyhanfar, F., Shabani, R., Haghparast,
A., & Mehdizadeh, M. (2021). Therapeutic Effects Of Cannabidiol On Methamphetamine Abuse: A Review Of Preclinical Study. Iranian Journal Of Pharmaceutical Research: IJPR, 20(4),

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