how does cbd oil make you feel?
they say cbd makes you feel good, but what does that really mean? in all honesty, i felt cbd almost immediately the first time i tried it, but the same was not true for my fiancée and a lot of people find themselves more in her camp than mine. because cbd is not a psychoactive compound, you may not notice whether it is working on your body after you consume it, or you just may not know what to pay attention to. so especially when individual experiences vary, how does cbd really make you feel and how can you know it’s working?
cbd will not get you high, and it can have a wide range of noticeable effects within day-to-day life especially when taken regularly over a sustained period of time. this is possible due to its regulatory effects on the endocannabinoid system, which itself helps maintain homeostasis in your body.
you also may not notice any effects from cbd until you stop taking it regularly, at which point you may feel as if something is missing or off balance. furthermore, certain types of cbd products may work more effectively than others with your individual body chemistry.
all the cbd feels
cbd has no medically backed claims due to its unregulated status by the u.s. food and drug administration, though that has not prevented an overwhelming amount of anecdotal evidence from mounting across a myriad of ways in which cbd has improved peoples’ quality of life.
while this might sound too good to be true at first glance, it is plausible because cbd works in a holistic manner by way of activating the regulatory properties within your ecs (endocannabinoid system). many people report effects of relaxation and calmness that exhibit further-reaching effects on stress and anxiety, sleep, and mood. others report improved mobility or lessened pain symptoms, all of which may improve overall quality of life.
but we don’t need to speculate over here. there is plenty we already do know about cbd, so let’s start at square one. unlike thc, cbd’s effects are not psychoactive. if you have consumed thc through “marijuana” whether smoked, vaped, eaten, etc., you know that its effects are mind-altering, meaning users experience effects of being “high” once thc enters their bloodstream. thc lets users know that what they just consumed is working effectively.
in addition to not getting you high, cbd is nontoxic, not addictive, and is completely safe to consume even in high doses. cbd is one of the two primary compounds found within the species of plant known as cannabis (there’s a whole lot more to cannabis than just “marijuana”). if you guessed that the other main compound is thc, then your guess is correct. however, there are over 100 additional cannabinoids also present in small amounts that contribute to the overall effects that cannabis has on the human body.
beyond cannabinoids, other compounds known as terpenes and flavonoids are abundantly present within cannabis as well. terpenes are found in all plants and are responsible for many of their effects on the human body. for example, citrus has terpenes that are invigorating to the senses. citrus is also one food within our everyday diets that is rich in flavonoids (others include parsley, blueberries, and chocolate), and both terpenes and flavonoids also play a contributing role alongside the other accessory cannabinoids.
in total, hundreds of compounds are at play inside the cannabis plant, yet for some mind-numbing reason (if you see what i did there) our culture has adopted a view of the plant based on its associated legal status of “marijuana.” if the cannabis plant has greater than 0.3% thc, it is considered “marijuana” and is thus federally illegal due to thc’s mind-altering effects.
but what if cannabis has less than 0.3% thc?
cannabis that does not break the 0.3% thc threshold is classified as hemp. when it comes down to it, hemp and “marijuana” are both specially identical. in other words, both plants are classified as cannabis within the realm of taxonomy. referring to cannabis as “marijuana” simply does not explain the full equation behind why cannabis is beneficial to our beings, even if it has high levels of thc.
does cbd oil actually do anything?
there are a few reasons you may take cbd oil and not feel anything immediately, and this may lead you to wonder if cbd actually does work. assuming your cbd is legitimate, some of those reasons include:
the effects may be more subtle than you expected. this is possible especially if you have a relationship with thc and are comparing the experience to the “high” you get from it.
you consumed cbd via oral ingestion, in which case it may take longer to absorb into your bloodstream since it needs to pass through your digestive tract.
the type of cbd extract taken can affect the finished product and its effectiveness.
cbd works on your ecs (endocannabinoid system) and it may take your ecs more repeated doses at regular intervals before it starts to adapt and make full use of cbd.
your body requires a larger dosage.
let’s dive in a little further, starting with expectations. if you are expecting to feel some vastly noticeable effects after taking cbd oil, you may not find them. as i mentioned at the beginning of the article, i actually did feel effects right away, and told a friend it felt like a chiropractic adjustment for my brain. it was nice, but it didn’t make me high the same way that smoking a bowl or joint would.
just because you might not feel that same way doesn’t mean cbd is ineffective on your body. the fastest ways for cbd to reach your bloodstream are through inhaled and sublingual administration. cbd can be inhaled through vaping or smoking hemp flower, which can both be beneficial but also subject a user to having to vape or smoke.
sublingual administration is just as effective as inhalation due to the mucous membranes found underneath your tongue. even better, it does not come with having to inhale incinerated plant matter or other cbd vape liquids, nor does one have to purchase the hardware required to smoke or vape cbd. the most common way to take cbd sublingually is in the form of drops that can be placed under your tongue for 30-60 seconds until the cbd has been absorbed, where it can get to work in your bloodstream within minutes.
if you swallow cbd drops before allowing for their absorption, they will pass into your digestive tract just the same as food. this method is known as oral consumption, and it also encompasses the realm of cbd capsules and edibles like gummies and chocolates. when taken orally, cbd’s onset can take anywhere from 30 minutes up to two hours. cbd can also exist in the form of topical products, which can work locally where applied but will not enter your bloodstream.
next up are types of extracts: always make sure your cbd drops are broad spectrum in order to achieve maximum results without thc. when hemp (cannabis with <0.3% thc) is extracted and processed, one option is to isolate the cbd molecule from the hundreds of other compounds so that cbd is all that remains. this is known as cbd isolate, and it does not have the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that contribute to the overall effectiveness that the cannabis plant can exhibit.
the other option is to retain all of the compounds present inside cannabis, which is known as a full spectrum hemp extract. in full spectrum extracts, all of these compounds work together to display synergistic characteristics that further maximize cbd’s beneficial properties in a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. full spectrum extracts are widely regarded as superior to cbd isolate products because of this.
however, full spectrum hemp extracts still contain trace levels of thc. this amount is not enough to display psychoactive properties, but it is possible to engage the entourage effect from cannabis without having thc present nonetheless! because of this, full spectrum extracts can be refined to have the thc completely removed, resulting in the finished product of a broad spectrum hemp extract. broad spectrum extracts give you the opportunity to maximize the effectiveness of cbd without any risks that may come with thc, such as having to take a drug test for work or simply staying complicit with the law.
but let’s say you did take broad spectrum drops sublingually, felt nothing, and are still wondering if cbd works. fear not: cbd works most effectively when taken regularly, and your ecs may simply need more repeated exposure to its new cannabinoid acquaintance. this is completely normal; your ecs plays a role in homeostasis, meaning you might not feel anything is “wrong” when it is fully aligned.
of course, this is real life and nobody is perfectly aligned. you might need a more cumulative effort, meaning one dose of cbd is not going to be a cure-all for what could be a lifetime’s worth of imbalances. as such, it is important to take cbd every day in order to best set up your body for success. when doing this, you may start to notice subtle differences in your everyday life come a week or a month’s time.
cbd’s regulatory properties also may mean you feel no difference even over the course of time, only to notice where you have been more aligned once you stop taking cbd. this is another great way to tell if it has actually been working in ways you may not have noticed due to its lack of mind-altering properties. such examples may include noticing yourself feeling a little more stressed than in previous days or that your quality of sleep has dropped slightly, all of which may be remedied by consuming cbd regularly.
one last note on regular cbd consumption, your tolerance will not increase, nor will you become dependent. in fact, you may find that over time you can eventually lower your dose and achieve the same effects due to cbd’s regulatory and homeostatic properties. one such example of this was shown with regards to pain levels (cbd and pain article), where an effective dosage size for pain relief was established on mice in a laboratory setting. another dose that was 10x greater was then administered with no difference in results.
even still, you may find that you may need a higher dose to reach your desired level of effectiveness. if after a few days of taking cbd you are not where you want to be, you may want to experiment with increasing your dose incrementally to see if anything changes. the long-term cumulative effects of cbd mean that even taking less-than-optimal doses for your individual body chemistry will still expose your body to cbd in a way that will ultimately be of benefit as you do find that correct dosage size.
cbd’s effects on your body
your body’s ecs is made up of two types of receptors (cb1 and cb2) that exist all throughout your body in varying concentrations. cbd bonds to neither type of receptor directly, instead working indirectly with areas of your brain to signal for your body to create its own endocannabinoids, which in turn are sent into your bloodstream wherever they are needed in your body.
the regulatory effects of your ecs through endocannabinoids can play a role in just about all areas of healthy function as they bind to your cb1 and cb2 receptors. this includes immunity, memory, pleasure, and concentration, though that only begins to describe the whole picture.
unlike cbd, thc binds directly to your cb1 receptors to physically alter your state of consciousness (aka make you high). when this happens, neurotransmitters in your brain are altered in a way that can affect the same list of functions mentioned in the paragraph above and explains the experienced effects of thc, such as mild hallucinations, dry mouth (cottonmouth), and an increased appetite (munchies).
cbd’s homeostatic properties may even go as far as to counteract the effects of thc. when your endocannabinoids bind to cb1 receptors, thc may find itself homeless, so to speak, allowing your body to return back to a more base-line state.
the source of your cbd also matters with regards to its overall effects. remember, hemp and “marijuana” are both the same species of plant (cannabis). the only thing that makes them different is their thc level (and therefore their legal status); however, “marijuana” has been bred intentionally over time for increasingly higher levels of thc and lower levels of cbd. similarly, hemp flower can be bred for higher cbd levels that dominate the overall cannabinoid profile due to the relative absence of thc.
if you’re after cbd primarily, you want to make sure that it comes from hemp and not the form of cannabis classified as “marijuana.” more specifically, your cbd should be sourced from cbd rich hemp flower. this differs from industrial hemp, which is often grown for its fiber and seeds (think of hemp rope, clothing, hemp seed oil, or hemp hearts just to name a few). industrial hemp often has very few budding flowers, which is where the prominent density of cannabinoids, terpenes, etc. are found.
it’s also good to make sure your cbd is organically grown from medicinal hemp genetics. cannabis can absorb any toxins present in its soil, meaning an organic source will ensure your finished product is free of any pesticides, fungicides, and toxic metals like lead and arsenic. even though the cbd market is unregulated, there are strict processes and regulations around the growing and manufacturing of american-grown hemp since it became legal to do so with the passing of the 2018 us farm bill.
varying amounts of cbd can still exist even within cannabis with high thc levels. especially in states where recreational cannabis usage is fully legal, this enables one to legally acquire cbd that is sourced from marijuana. (if you do not live in one of these states, beware that purchasing any “marijuana”-derived cbd products online means you are engaging in illegal activity.)
if you are in a state where you can recreationally or medically acquire cannabis products with both thc and cbd, you should always make sure of the amount of each substance present before buying. many products will contain minimal amounts of both thc and cbd, and it is often more economical and efficient in these cases to consume your cbd and thc products separately.
(in other words, buying a bottle of broad spectrum drops and supplementing it with a trip to your local dispensary for thc will likely yield better results on both fronts.)
also pay attention to the ratios of thc and cbd within these types of products. you could see ratios range from 1:1 to 30:1 or even higher. such variation all but ensures these products will have a wide range of effects. furthermore, there is often no standardization as to which number represents thc and which represents cbd, making it even more crucial you understand what you’re buying before making the final purchase.
what can cbd help with?
there is almost an overwhelming number of potential uses for cbd to help people given that it interacts with your ecs in a holistic manner that is intertwined with many other functions and systems inside your body. with that being said, cbd is not likely a “cure” to anything in and of itself.
for example, cbd may have an impact on sleep in a variety of ways. while it doesn’t directly make you sleepy, cbd can regulate sleep stability to help with insomnia, increase focus and alertness during waking hours and better align the sleep-wake cycle. it could also help reduce levels of other hindrances such as stress, anxiety, or pain that hinder one’s ability to sleep.
cbd may also help with soreness, aches, and chronic pain, including that which arises from joint pain and arthritis.
furthermore, cbd can have an effect on your body’s swelling response whether internally ingested or applied topically (or both). it can also help with skin issues such as acne or eczema through both topical application and regular sublingual administration just the same as your ecs works to maintain homeostasis.
your ecs plays a role in regulating your mood and appetite too, the former of which may explain reports of calmness and relaxation that cbd users feel. this also may explain an overall increased quality of life that users report in general, and future research should begin to further explain whether or not this has a direct link to reducing stress and anxiety.
of all these, there is only one medically-proven use for cbd: treatment of epilepsy. an fda-approved cbd medication exists for the treatment of epileptic seizures, which in and of itself shows that the government recognizes in some part the healing potential that exists inside cannabis.
cannabis as a whole has also been shown to help with nausea, appetite, sleep, and other issues, though studies backing this have usually been linked to thc’s effectiveness (or that of “marijuana”). this especially brings potential value to those with cancer and/or who are undergoing cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.
though it has yet to be medically proven, there is potential that these healing properties may be present in cbd as well (or rather in cannabis as a whole), marking excitement towards the potential future use of cbd within modern medicine. in the meantime, it is already known and widely accepted that cbd is safe and interacts with your body in a completely natural way: the best way to see how it works for you is to try for yourself.
what are the side effects of cbd?
cbd has been shown to have an excellent safety profile with no major list of side effects. it has the potential to display many of the same benefits as marijuana, but without changing users’ states of consciousness or inducing other potential side effects like minor hallucinations or anxiety.
the short list of side effects that cbd users report include tiredness, diarrhea, changes in appetite or weight, and sometimes irritability and nausea. all of these occur in minor percentages of those who use cbd oil, regardless of if it is taken for optimal well-being or to help with any type of physical or mental ailments.
it is possible that these symptoms occur in users as some form of detoxification as your ecs enacts its regulatory processes from cbd. another reported side effect from some users is headaches, though clean, high-quality cbd should not bring about headaches. if you do experience a headache after taking cbd oil, there is a high percentage chance that your cbd oil is fake. for your benefit, we have an awesome resource on spotting fake cbd (link)(including a checklist) that you are going to love, so be sure to check it out too.
lastly, if you are taking any medications that have a grapefruit warning, you should talk to your doctor before consuming any cbd product. cbd interacts with the same enzymatic processes as grapefruit, so any medication that could cause adverse effects when consumed in conjunction with grapefruit should be avoided with cbd just the same.
disclaimer: we aren’t doctors. nothing stated in this article is presented as a professional medical claim or other form of advice, nor should it be taken as such. there are professionals you can and should talk to about any medically-related questions to cbd.
now that that’s all been said, here’s a little more anecdotal proof of how cbd is helping people within our community. cheers <3