When you ask people what CBD feels like, you’ll hear different answers, from relaxed to focused to stress-free and in less discomfort. Others also praise CBD for its beneficial effects on the skin, which shouldn’t be surprising to anyone considering the abundance of CBD skincare products.
But what does CBD really make you feel like?
What happens when you take CBD oil and it enters the bloodstream?
Because CBD is derived from cannabis plants (like THC), some people mistakenly attribute intoxicating effects to it. However, CBD itself is a non-intoxicant, so it won’t get you high. Cannabis is an umbrella term to describe the family of plants; both hemp and marijuana are its members, but they also have different chemical profiles. Since hemp-derived CBD oil contains 0.3% of THC or less, the chances of getting high are ZERO.
Today, we’ll clear up any confusion regarding what CBD feels like; how the cannabinoid produces its effects, and how they affect your everyday life.
How Does CBD Make You Feel?
CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, so as we said, it won’t get you high. It will, however, produce a wave of calming and relaxing effects that can elevate the mood and invigorate the user. The effects of CBD oil depending on the time of the day, the amount is taken, the user’s weight, metabolism, and the type of CBD product.
For example, CBD oil is thought to ease stress, improve attention, promote healthy rest, and ease physical discomfort. On the other hand, products like CBD topicals have been reported to provide relief in specific areas.
CBD doesn’t interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain — hence the lack of intoxicating effects. Instead, CBD modulates the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help the body maintain a balance between essential physiological processes. The ECS occurs in all other systems and their organs, manifesting itself through 2 types of receptors: CB1 and CB2 (1).
CBD helps the ECS produce and maintain more of its natural neurotransmitters known as endocannabinoids. These molecules have a similar chemical structure to plant-derived cannabinoids, which explains the versatility of CBD in self-care. Endocannabinoid deficiencies have been reported to cause imbalances in the said organs and systems, leading to many health concerns.
But when more cannabinoids are circulating in the body, the ECS can bring homeostasis back more efficiently. As a result, the user may experience a range of positive effects, such as peace of mind, better regeneration, overall sense of balance, better stress management, lower sensitivity to physical discomfort, and plenty more.
Some of the effects of CBD appear directly after consumption, while others need more time to experience its full potential.
How Does CBD Oil from Hemp vs. Marijuana Make You Feel?
As mentioned earlier, CBD can be extracted from hemp and marijuana.
Hemp-derived CBD oil contains no more than 0.3% THC. Cannabis plants that meet these conditions are federally legal because hemp is now an agricultural commodity. It can be grown and processed for any purpose, including health supplements such as CBD extracts. Hemp-derived CBD products won’t cause a high, but they can make you feel relaxed and more in-the-zone.
Marijuana-derived CBD oil comes from selectively bred marijuana strains that are grown for higher ratios of CBD to THC. These ratios may be 1:1, 2:1, 5:1, 10:1, or even 20:1. Depending on the final composition of your marijuana CBD oil, you may experience mild-to-moderate psychoactive effects, but you won’t be as buzzed as after taking THC oil. In fact, consuming marijuana-derived CBD oil with a 20:1 ratio of CBD to THC will be deeply relaxing but won’t make you feel high.
But then again, hemp is currently the only source of CBD that is legal in all 50 states. Marijuana-derived CBD oil can be purchased only in states that have legalized medical or recreational use (or both) of marijuana.
Full-spectrum vs Other Spectrum Effects
A CBD product labeled as full-spectrum means that you’re getting an extract containing the plant’s original cannabinoid profile, terpenes, and other important compounds, including trace amounts of THC. The 0.3% of THC hasn’t been filtered out during the extraction process. The presence of the minor cannabinoids and terpenes allows the body to process CBD more efficiently. As a result, the oil doesn’t produce a bell-shaped dose-response observed in pure CBD. In plain English, full-spectrum CBD oil offers more predictable and stable dosing and produces stronger effects than CBD isolate.
If you’re concerned about taking even trace amounts of THC in your CBD product, consider a broad-spectrum CBD oil. Broad-spectrum extracts are similar to full-spectrum, as the oil contains most cannabinoids from its original state. However, the THC is removed after initial extraction, which reduces the risk of getting a false-positive score for THC on a drug test. Users can still reap the benefits offered by other minor cannabinoids and terpenes.
Another THC-free option is CBD isolate. As the name suggests, CBD isolate is just pure CBD that has been separated from other hemp compounds. It takes the form of white crystals; manufacturers often pulverize it and suspend it in food-grade carrier oils to create pure CBD oils. Unlike the above spectra, CBD isolate doesn’t offer the whole-plant synergy and is less predictable when it comes to the effects of specific doses.
How Different Types of CBD Products Make You Feel?
Aside from the cannabinoid spectrum and individual factors, the type of CBD plays a significant role in determining the way CBD makes you feel.
What Does CBD Oil Feel Like?
When you take CBD oil under the tongue, it absorbs into the bloodstream through the network of tiny blood vessels, avoiding the first-pass metabolism in the liver. As a result, CBD can kick in faster, allowing you to experience its health benefits within 15–20 minutes after administration. Full-spectrum CBD may leave a botanical aftertaste in your mouth, but the effects are well worth it.
Here’s how CBD oil feels like:
- Relaxing – CBD interacts with your brain and body through different receptors in a way that takes the edge off of stress and makes you feel relaxed. This is the desired effect for people who work in a high-pressure environment and need something to keep them up and about without jittery feelings associated with stimulants like caffeine and energy drinks. At the same time, CBD oil relieves the tension in your body, allowing you to unwind when your brain feels a bit overstimulated. People often use CBD in the evening to calm themselves before bed and wake up refreshed (2).
- Balancing – CBD can balance the activity of many systems throughout the body, including those responsible for digestion, appetite, and feelings of nausea. If you’re struggling with an upset stomach, taking CBD oil may make you feel better and less nauseous (3).
- Discomfort-free – CBD changes the way some signals are sent from the neurons to the brain. This mechanism is responsible for decreasing certain sensations in the body, such as physical discomfort. People report less tension and swelling when taking CBD oil and topicals (4).
- Elevating – the right dose of CBD can improve your mood without producing any mind-altering effects. When you take CBD oil you may feel uplifted and sober at the same time.
- More ‘in-the-zone’ – CBD may help you avoid or dismiss distractions, increasing your focus. Office workers who take CBD for attention-related problems find themselves more productive and motivated throughout the day.
On top of that, high doses of CBD taken in the evening are known for sedating effects, which is the desired effect among those looking for a better-quality rest.
What Does Vaping CBD Feel Like?
Vaping CBD feels much like taking CBD oil, but the difference is in the onset of the effects and their duration. Since vape pens use inhalation to deliver CBD into your system, it enters the bloodstream through the lungs where it can immediately produce the aforementioned effects. Depending on the terpene content of your CBD vape oil, they can be more relaxing or invigorating. The effects of vaporized CBD usually stick around for 3–4 hours. Some people microdose CBD through vaping in order to maintain consistent concentrations of CBD in the body throughout the day.
How do CBD Gummies Make You Feel?
Eating a CBD gummy offers similar benefits to taking CBD oil because the main active ingredient remains the same. However, oral forms of CBD like capsules and edibles need to pass through the digestive system before they can enter the bloodstream. Doing so delays the onset of effects by up to 90 minutes depending on your weight, metabolism, and whether you take CBD on a full or empty stomach. On the other hand, the effects of oral CBD products last longer than other forms, up to 10 hours.
How Does a CBD Cream Make You Feel?
CBD topicals like creams, balms, gels, and lotions are designed to target localized discomfort. When you apply them to the skin, the CBD gets absorbed into its epidermis layer, an area with concentrations of cannabinoid receptors type 2 (CB2). Upon interacting with the CB2 receptors, CBD produces its soothing effects, lasting up to 8 hours. The absorption rate of topical CBD varies depending on the product’s formula and its fat base.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD?
CBD is generally considered well-tolerated in humans. Study after study shows that doses like 1,500 mg daily are safe and don’t cause serious side effects. That being said, there are a few reactions that may occur if you take a large dose of CBD oil, including:
- Dry mouth – this side effect is common among all cannabinoids due to their ability to interact with the salivary glands in the mouth. CBD inhibits saliva production, so while it’s not the worst problem, a bit of dry mouth can cause mild discomfort. Keep yourself hydrated or eat something sour to stimulate saliva secretion.
- Biphasic nature – biphasic means that low doses of CBD will provide different effects than high doses. In other words, at low levels, CBD may give you more energy, while at high levels, it becomes sedating.
- Dizziness – larger doses of CBD can cause a temporary drop in blood pressure, making the user feel dizzy. It’s certainly not the desired effect if you want to take CBD during the day.
- Possible drug interactions – CBD compromises your liver’s ability to metabolize certain medications, so if you take any pharmaceuticals, CBD could negate its benefits and cause more harm than good. Be sure to consult your doctor to establish the right time schedule for your supplementation and avoid this interference.
Summarizing the Effects of CBD and How They Make You Feel
Everybody is different, so the final profile of effects will depend on what type of CBD you take, how much, and during what time of the day. But, the short answer is: CBD makes you feel relieved. It’s the kind of multifaceted relief involving better stress management, elevated mood, improved focus, less discomfort, and more efficient rest.
The effects of CBD are mediated through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, which is a widespread regulatory network in humans and all vertebrae. In addition, CBD operates on over 65 molecular targets, which makes it a versatile compound; but more importantly, it doesn’t cause addiction and you can’t overdose on it, no matter how much you take. Still, we advise you to take CBD within reason and consult the idea with your doctor due to possible CBD-drug interactions.
What does CBD make you feel? Let us know in the comment section!
- Zou, Shenglong, and Ujendra Kumar. “Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 19,3 833. 13 Mar. 2018, doi:10.3390/ijms19030833
- Blessing, Esther M et al. “Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders.” Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics vol. 12,4 (2015): 825-36. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
- Parker, Linda A et al. “Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids.” British journal of pharmacology vol. 163,7 (2011): 1411-22. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01176.x
- Russo, Ethan B. “Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain.” Therapeutics and clinical risk management vol. 4,1 (2008): 245-59. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s1928