How does CBD make you feel?

by Laura Howarth January 10, 2023

How does CBD make you feel

CBD might be growing in popularity, but there are still a lot of misconceptions about what it is and what it can do. With its close ties to cannabis, there is a natural fear that this product could get you high or alter your mental state. 

As long as you get your CBD products from a reputable source, the THC content should be low enough that the effects on your mental state are negligible. 

While it might not get you high, it does have an impact on your mental state. How CBD makes you feel will all depend on how much you take, your experience with CBD, the strength of the product, how often you take it and more. 

In this guide, we’ll explore how CBD impacts the body and how it makes you feel. We’ve also spoken to leading CBD experts to learn more about their experiences with CBD.

Fast facts

  • CBD is a compound extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant.
  • It does not have the same properties as THC, another cannabinoid extracted from the same plant.
  • CBD will not get you “high” but it can alter your mental state.
  • Many companies will say that CBD is non-psychoactive, but this isn’t accurate.
  • CBD can help you to feel relaxed and grounded.
  • As CBD is biphasic, the serving size will have an impact on how it makes you feel.

What does CBD do?

Endocannabinoid System

To understand how CBD makes us feel, we first have to know what it is doing in the body. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system. There is still a lot we don’t know about how it works, but one theory is that CBD inhibits the release of an enzyme responsible for breaking down anandamide after it has served its purpose.

Anandamide is also known as the “bliss molecule” because it is responsible for producing feelings of happiness and mental well-being. With more anandamide available, this could help boost your sense of wellness.

Some scientists have also suggested the idea that the endocannabinoid system could be faulty in some people. EB Russo suggests that this would explain why some people have clusters of conditions that are seemingly unrelated. More research is needed to understand if this is the case.

Introducing the endocannabinoid system

Happy well people having tea

The endocannabinoid system is a fairly new discovery in the scientific community. It is a complex system of receptors, neurotransmitters and enzymes that work together to help maintain a state of homeostasis. Homeostasis is another word for balance.

An example of homeostasis in the body would be temperature control. When we are too warm, the body signals to the sweat glands to release sweat to help cool us down. And when we are too cold, the body starts to shiver to generate warmth.

The ECS is involved in many different processes throughout the body, including appetite control, hormone regulation, sleep patterns, inflammation response and more. Keeping it healthy offers some clear benefits.

Is CBD addictive?

As CBD comes from the same plant as cannabis, you might be wondering if it has the same capacity for addiction. Since CBD does not produce a euphoric high, you cannot become addicted to the substance.

If you stop taking CBD for any reason, you shouldn’t notice any changes to your behaviour or well-being. It doesn’t lead to dependence, so you cannot suffer from withdrawal when you stop taking it.

Are there any side effects?

While CBD isn’t addictive, there is the risk of some adverse side effects. In general, CBD is safe for most healthy adults to take, provided they are not taking any other medication that could cause an interaction. However, there are some side effects to be aware of.

Since CBD is not a medicine, there are no recommended serving guidelines to follow. Instead, you need to listen to your own body to determine the right amount for your needs.

The Biphasic EffectSide effects aren’t always evident, and they are typically very mild. They are also often very short-lived, which means they will pass once you stop taking CBD.

The most common side effects of taking CBD include dry mouth, digestive problems, including vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhoea, and appetite changes. In rare cases, there may be more severe side effects such as low blood pressure, dizziness and liver toxicity.

Side effects tend to occur when taking high servings of CBD. Since CBD is thought to be biphasic, the serving size will have a significant impact on the affects you experience and how CBD makes you feel.

The biphasic effect of CBD

Biphasic effect - day and night

When something is biphasic, it means that it has a different effect depending on how much you consume. A great example of this would be alcohol. In small amounts, alcohol can have an uplifting effect that makes you feel happy. But when you drink large amounts, alcohol is a depressant that will lower your mood.

CBD has a similar impact on the body, meaning that small servings and large servings will have a different impact on how it makes you feel.

Taking your supplement twice a day – in the morning and in the evening – is thought to be one of the best ways to reap the benefits. 

However, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. Rather than trusting another person’s suggestions on serving sizes, you should always create your own schedule based on how it makes you feel.

How does CBD make you feel?

calm

When you take CBD, it always takes a little while to take effect. How long depends on how you take it. If you've eaten it, you may not feel anything for half an hour to two hours. If you use a vaporiser, you may notice something within a couple of minutes. 

With some products, you may feel nothing at all, but consumers report a slight 'grounding' sensation. How you experience CBD is likely to be unique to you, but to give you an idea of what to expect, we contacted some of the most informative UK CBD websites. 

They agreed to provide an insight into how CBD makes them feel:

Herbert Maxwell from Herb Reviews only notices physical sensations from potent CBD:

“Stronger products often give me a feeling that is similar to the effects of a good session of yoga or mindfulness. It's like an all-over sense of peace and well-being. However, if I'm using a lower-strength oil or capsule, I usually don't feel anything.”

Jack from High & Polite experiences a sense of calm

“Typically, I'll feel very little obvious effects from CBD. After a particularly stressful day, however, I'll get this sense of calm and relaxation sweeping my body. Used during the day, I notice I find it easier to avoid distractions.”

At CBD 4 Beginners, Paul also experiences mild sensations:

relax

“I liken the feeling of using CBD to a very mild, almost unnoticeable nicotine rush. You don't get the light-headedness, but you definitely feel more serene. The world feels a slightly better place with CBD!”

For Harry from CBD Bible UK, it's all clarity and concentration: 

“I describe the feeling I get from consuming CBD as focus - particularly in the mornings if I wake up a bit hazy, I find that consuming CBD will almost immediately centre me and allow me to concentrate on the tasks I need to complete.”

Karrie from CBD UK Review on Instagram also experiences a sense of improved focus:

“During the day, after about 5-10 minutes I notice I can focus a little easier. At bedtime, I can drop off a little sooner and sleep right through, while also feeling a little brighter in the morning.”

One thing that seems to be common among these comments is that CBD doesn't have a strong physical sensation and any differences may be subtle. It also highlights just how varied your individual experience of this cannabinoid can be.

Conclusion

How CBD makes you feel will vary depending on your serving size, your experience with the product, the quality of the product and your body composition. What is certain is that CBD cannot get you high, it isn’t addictive, and any side effects you might experience will be short-lived and mild.

To make the most of CBD and its grounding benefits, we recommend exploiting the biphasic nature of the product. Exploring different serving sizes at different times of the day will help you to enjoy the full range of benefits.

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Laura Howarth
Laura Howarth

Author

Laura Howarth is a specialist CBD author based in Manchester, UK. She is passionate about sharing her love for CBD through educational articles and in-depth guides.


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