In this blog our aim is to further exemplify our previous blog about the potential psychoactivity and psychological effects of cannabinoids that are commonly marketed as “non-psychoactive”. We aim to accomplish this by giving you further details on the words psychoactive and psychotropic.  These two words are often confused because they are interchangeable. However, they are not always interchangeable when considering chemical constituents that are drugs by definition. It is of importance to note that CBG (cannabigerol) is interchangeable with CBD in this article outside of some of the purported medical contexts. We hope this information allows you to make more informed decision in your product purchases. While furthering developing a better understanding of your own journey to improved well-being within your self care routines.

The terms "psychoactive" and "psychotropic" are related concepts but are often used in slightly different contexts in the field of pharmacology and medicine.

  1. Psychoactive:

   - Definition: A substance or drug is considered psychoactive if it has the ability to alter mood, cognition, behavior, perception, or consciousness.

   - Examples: Both psychoactive and non-psychoactive substances can fall under the broader category of psychoactive. Substances like caffeine, nicotine, and even certain herbs can have psychoactive properties. However, when people commonly refer to psychoactive substances, they are often talking about those that produce noticeable changes in perception or consciousness, such as alcohol, THC (found in cannabis), or hallucinogens.

  1. Psychotropic:

   - Definition: Psychotropic refers specifically to drugs that affect the mind, behavior, or mental processes. These drugs may be used for therapeutic purposes, such as in the treatment of mental health disorders.

   - Examples: Psychotropic drugs include a wide range of medications used to treat various mental health conditions. This category encompasses antidepressants, anti-psychotics, anxiolytics (anti-anxiety medications), mood stabilizers, and stimulants. Psychotropic drugs are designed to alter brain function to alleviate symptoms of psychiatric disorders.

Key Differences:

- Scope: "Psychoactive" is a broader term that encompasses substances affecting mental processes, whether or not they are used for therapeutic purposes. "Psychotropic" specifically refers to drugs used to treat mental health conditions.

-Intent: While both terms involve substances that impact the mind, "psychoactive" doesn't necessarily imply a therapeutic intent. A psychoactive substance could be used for recreational or non-medical purposes. In contrast, "psychotropic" drugs are primarily designed for therapeutic applications in the context of mental health treatment.

All psychotropic drugs are psychoactive, but not all psychoactive substances are psychotropic. The distinction lies in the intended use and the specific effects on mental processes or conditions. Both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are considered psychoactive, but they have different implications in terms of their psychoactive effects.

  1. THC (Psychoactive):

   - THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. It binds to CB1 receptors in the central nervous system, leading to various effects, including euphoria, altered perception of time and space, relaxation, and an increased appetite. These psychoactive effects contribute to the recreational use of cannabis.

   - THC is not typically referred to as psychotropic in the medical context because, while it does have psychoactive properties, it is more commonly associated with recreational use rather than therapeutic use. We’re hoping to change this view with a few projects we’re working on behind closed doors. Keep an eye out for when we can publicly speak about these project. One is attaining a Texas Compassionate Use License!

  1. CBD (Non-Psychoactive, but Psychotropic to Some Degree):

   -  CBD is often considered non-psychoactive because it doesn't produce the euphoric or intoxicating effects associated with THC. However, CBD does have psychoactive properties in a broader sense,** as it can influence mood, anxiety, and various cognitive functions. The psychoactivity of CBD is not associated with impairment or a "high" feeling.

   - CBD is considered psychotropic in the medical context when used for its potential therapeutic effects. It is being explored for its anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing), anti-inflammatory, and anticonvulsant properties without causing the intoxication associated with THC.

In summary, THC is psychoactive and is primarily associated with recreational cannabis use, while CBD is non-intoxicating and considered non-psychoactive in the sense of not causing a "high." However, both THC and CBD have psychoactive properties to varying degrees, and CBD can be considered psychotropic when used for its potential therapeutic effects on mental health. As one can see these terms can be easily confused. Not only this but the term psychoactive, specifically non-psychoactive is usually misrepresented within marketing to help sell product. Here at Texas Star we want to give you the most concise and clear information that we can. If you have any questions or would like to start a discussion, feel free to leave a comment on our socials or here on the blog page. We’re here to support you on your journey to a clearer state of existence and understanding.

Written by Andrew Hill


Very informative!

Shelli on Jan 19, 2024

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