How it feels to take CBD

Published Jun 19, 2020 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Tinnakorn Jorruang

THC is the most popular cannabinoid that is highly sensationalized and portrayed in the media as a cure-all for just about anything you could ever imagine, but now that cannabidiol is garnering much-deserved attention, those who have yet to try it are asking, what does CBD feel like? It’s a terrifying prospect, taking something when you have no idea how it may impact the way you think, feel, and live life, so we’re here to clear up some of the most common misconceptions surrounding CBD including how it works, and how it might make you feel.

Where does CBD come from?

CBD is often advertised as a hemp-derived product due to the more relaxed and less taboo opinions that are forming around the hemp industry. Many people are of the opinion that hemp plants cannot get a user high because they don’t contain THC, but that’s actually not true for many species of hemp. Hemp, like cannabis, produces cannabinoids like THC and CBD in different variations, with some carrying a higher amount of one over the other, so technically CBD products can be made with both plant species.

The trouble is that cannabinoids are impossible to separate from one another, so the majority of mass producers of CBD products use hemp plants because they tend to produce such minuscule levels of THC, but there are plenty of pure CBD cannabis strains to choose from too, so it is entirely possible that your CBD oil, isolate, or another cannabidiol concentrate is made with either of the closely related plant species.

However, in order for CBD products to pass federal standards and restrictions, they must contain less than .03% THC, so in the end, it doesn’t really matter which plant species are used in the process, as long as it is one that is producing the right amount of CBD. That is why all CBD options could come from either kind of plant, but since the stigma surrounding cannabis remains, and hemp is naturally a better producer of CBD, chances are pretty high that any CBD product is made using hemp flowers or seeds.

So, what does CBD feel like?

Well, this is a common question that comes up quite a bit, but the explanation might not be what you were expecting, as it has virtually no psychoactive effects when taken alone, so describing the experience is difficult. If you’re comparing the feeling of CBD to what you could expect from THC, then the biggest thing you’ll notice is that it won’t get you stoned. Instead, it could leave you feeling energized, help to reduce chronic pain and inflammation, and improve other things to leave you with a better overall sense of wellbeing.

CBD, for some, can cause slightly uncomfortable side effects, such as a slight bout of nausea, or trouble with sleep, but for the most part, when it is taken, you really shouldn’t feel anything abrupt or intense. Hence the reason why CBD is marketed as a health product rather than a recreational option. It may be able to assist with the recreational use of THC, but typically, people only take it so that they can feel better or treat an ailment that they’ve been struggling with.

What would a person use CBD for?

When pretty much every single thing that could possibly bother you from the common cold to aches and pains, is said to be curable or in the very least treatable with an all-natural cure, it makes sense to question the validity of the claims. After all, there is virtually no other medicine or supplement that boasts such fantastical qualities, but the truth is that CBD can help people with a whole lot more than you might think including:

  • ADHD
  • Sleep
  • Alzheimer's
  • Anxiety
  • Pain relief
  • Acne
  • Seizures
  • Cancer
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stress
  • Appetite issues
  • Chron’s disease
  • Dystonia
  • Inflammation
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Neurogenerative diseases
  • MS
  • Schizophrenia

This list is just a summary of some of the conditions that are most commonly treated with the assistance of CBD. However, there are thousands of other less researched possibilities, and in many cases, those who do benefit swear that it works better than pharmaceutical alternatives. So, if the problem that you struggle with isn’t found here, that doesn’t mean that CBD products cannot help you. They simply aren’t listed because there is not enough evidence to prove how effective it can be in other situations.

Learning how to take CBD oil and other derived products

Now that you have a slightly better understanding of what CBD could feel like, you’re likely wondering how to tell if you’re taking enough or too much, as it won’t leave you sleepy and groggy in the same way that THC products do. With psychoactive goods, the goal is typically to get a certain intensity of the effects, and that is still true here, it just might take you longer to figure out the ideal CBD dose for you, because you won’t be able to immediately notice much if any difference.

With a good cannabis joint, you can take a few puffs, wait a few moments for it to kick in, and decide whether or not you’re ready for or in need of more, but with CBD products only time can reveal how much you will need. That is the reason it is always recommended to start with a low dose of around 5mg of CBD. From there, a minimum of one week should pass before you can take a real assessment of the situation at hand, as it can take that long for the cannabinoid to work its magic, or for you to notice that it’s happening.

This is all because CBD is a much less subtle cannabinoid. It’s not like aspirin that takes a specified amount of time to kick in, or anything THC related, as it can take a bit of time for the cause of your symptoms to be fully addressed. Reducing inflammation and coating neuroprotective pathways takes time and patience, but the benefits are more than worth the wait. Once you make it through the 2 weeks trial period, the dose can be increased carefully and slowly until your irritating symptoms start to melt away.

For some people, it can take a really high dose of CBD to see the results that they want, so this is a process that can continue on for days, weeks, and even months before you find the ideal amount for you. Though this might sound discouraging, it is important to remember that CBD in higher doses can result in unwanted side effects like inability to sleep, or upset stomach, so it is always safest to take it slow as you learn through experimenting with CBD products.

What drugs should not be taken with CBD?

Unfortunately, it is incredibly difficult to research the potential side effects of CBD on pharmaceutical drugs, as there are moral limits to what the scientific community is allowed to do, but there are a couple of specific types of medicine that have shown to be adversely affected with the use of CBD. So far, heart medications and blood pressure medications are the two that we know should not be taken with CBD, unless you are under the supervision of a medical professional.

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