CBD is a natural alternative to over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications, anti-anxiety drugs, anti-inflammatory pills, and plenty more.
However, because CBD is derived from cannabis plants, new users can be hesitant about trying this versatile supplement at all.
That’s because they’re afraid of getting high.
Make no mistake, cannabidiol is not intoxicating, so there’s no chance of getting any psychoactive effects from using it.
In fact, CBD can even counter the intoxicating effects of THC.
But what exactly should you expect of your first time with cannabidiol?
Let’s take a closer look.
What Does CBD Feel Like?
People who have tried CBD typically report feeling relaxed — without the buzz commonly associated with THC.
This calming effect releases physical and mental tension — which is accompanied by a slower heart rate and breathing.
Will CBD Make You High?
As mentioned, CBD is a non-intoxicant.
CBD won’t make you high because it doesn’t directly bind to any of the cannabinoid receptors in the brain — unlike THC.
Instead, cannabidiol works on a set of key receptor-independent mechanisms to block these cannabinoid receptors in areas where THC tries to bind — reducing its psychoactive effects.
How Can I Tell When CBD Kicks In?
Using CBD isn’t like putting morphine in your system and waiting to feel its effects numbing the body and brain.
Instead, CBD works through the endocannabinoid system to regain the body’s chemical balance (homeostasis).
The effects of CBD oil are much slower than most pharmaceutical drugs and requires consistent use to be effective.
If you want to tell how CBD makes you feel, try taking the oil for at least a week — remembering to take notes about how you feel when you started, and then again when the week is over. This will help you identify how CBD is affecting you over time.
People using CBD for anxiety and stress relief often report much more immediate benefits. However, more severe, chronic conditions call for regular use of CBD to allow time to exhibit its therapeutic potential.
How Does CBD Really Make You Feel?
Everyone reacts a bit differently to CBD oil. The effects mostly depend on why you’re taking the CBD. For insomnia, the goal is to feel tired, while for something like pain the goal is to feel pain-free — without being put to sleep.
Therefore, CBD oil will have different effects on a person struggling with anxiety than on someone with chronic pain.
But what if you use it as a daily supplement? How does CBD make you feel then?
1. You’re Relaxed But Totally Sober
It’s easy to become a stress-prone person. Having to hit several deadlines each day, go through a number of meetings, and finding a balance between life, work, and relationships with others can be overwhelming.
We’re put under way too much pressure these days and many people don’t know how to put up with such high levels of stress.
CBD reduces the stimulation of your nervous system and thus has a calming effect on anxiety and high stress.
Moreover, CBD interacts with the serotonin receptors (1) — suggesting a mechanism of action for the anti-anxiety effects of CBD
But most importantly, the non-intoxicating nature of CBD allows you to experience this relaxation without altering your state of mind. The result is a feeling of being calm, and sober.
2. You Sleep Better
CBD can help you enhance the quality of sleep by improving your stress management, easing pain, and reducing your blood pressure. The decrease in blood pressure is caused by the sedative effects of CBD oil when administered at high doses.
A single dose of 30 mg of CBD oil before bedtime can help the user breathe more easily due to the reduced pressure and produce a similar effect to sleeping pills. However, unlike sleeping pills, CBD won’t cause a hangover or other unpleasant side effects.
3. You’re Able to Focus More
Many users of CBD oil report an enhanced day to day experience when it comes to cognitive performance.
You may find that you have improved attention and can remain alert for the most part of the day when taking CBD.
Lower doses of cannabidiol have been shown to produce mildly stimulating effects, raising your bottom energy levels.
People who take CBD oil report being able to perform better at work and feeling more accomplished than they had before starting their supplementation. If you think you might have a mild case of ADD, try using CBD oil and see if it makes you feel any different.
4. Pain is Gone
CBD has been found to work remarkably well for inflammatory pain such as rheumatoid arthritis. The analgesic properties of CBD are associated with the cannabinoid’s interaction with the body’s CB2 receptors which play an important role in regulating the body’s immune function (2).
By interacting with those receptors, not only does CBD boost immune response, but it also reduces inflammation and pain you feel while your body recuperates from any injuries or ailments you have.
Does CBD Have Any Negative Side Effects?
CBD is a natural and safe compound with no known cases of addiction or fatal overdoses.
The cannabinoid may come with a few relatively mild side effects, though.
The first unwanted reaction from using CBD is the feeling of dry mouth. This side effect is common for all cannabis products and is caused by the interaction between cannabinoids and our salivary glands. Long story short, CBD and other cannabinoids inhibit saliva production, hence the dry mouth or “cottonmouth”.
The second most common side effect results from taking high doses of CBD oil at a time. While users find low doses of CBD to be energizing, using large amounts of CBD in a short period of time can have the opposite effect and cause the user to feel dizzy or lightheaded. This effect is also linked to CBD’s ability to reduce blood pressure.
The general answer is: yes, there are a few side effects of CBD you should be aware of, but there is absolutely nothing to fear.
The vast majority of people who use CBD and experience no side effects. Research has shown that even doses as high as 1500 mg taken daily are well tolerated in humans.
Still Wondering What CBD Feels Like?
CBD affects everyone a bit differently, so the ultimate profile of effects will depend on what you use it for. But the question “how does CBD make you feel” is best answered with one word: relieved.
It’s not the same as saying “caffeine makes you feel invigorated and full of energy”, which is a much simpler connection. But words like calmness, happiness, contentment, and relaxation go hand in hand with this cannabinoid.
But most importantly, CBD is a natural and safe compound. It doesn’t cause addiction and you can’t fatally overdose on it, no matter how hard you try.
And the side effects — they’re nothing compared to what some popular over-the-counter supplements can do to your health.
How do you feel after taking CBD oil?
- Russo, E.B., Burnett, A., Hall, B., Parker, K.K. (2005). Agonistic Properties of Cannabidiol at 5-HT1a Receptors. Neurochemical Research, 30(8), 1037-1043.
- Manzanares, J., Julian, M., & Carrascosa, A. (2006). Role of the Cannabinoid System in Pain Control and Therapeutic Implications for the Management of Acute and Chronic Pain Episodes. Current Neuropharmacology, 4(3), 239–257.