How does CBD make you feel?
People describe it sometimes in terms of neutralizing pain and discomfort, or removing stress. For some, that feels like an effect in itself. For others, it’s an exaggerated sense of peace and calm, or just a lack of whatever negative feelings they had experienced before. A CBD-high is an effect that could be described as an anti-effect.
CBD has slight psychoactive effects. But whether you call CBD’s effects a high or not using it or using makes you feel a little different. There are noticeable sensations that many users find as pleasant as those provided by THC. Only THC is intoxicating. While CBD promotes relaxation and calmness, THC produces actual euphoria, and alters perceptions of space and time.
Humans and other mammals have an internal network of chemicals and receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems called the endocannabinoid system. These receptors, named CB1 and CB2, bind with molecules called ligands (in this case endogenous cannabinoids like anandamide) to control the release of neurotransmitters like glutamate and dopamine. The endocannabinoid receptors, work in concert to affect a variety of processes in the body, such as thought, memory, mood, pain management, and appetite. Although CBD may alter your mood—providing a deep sense of calm and relaxation—it doesn’t change spatial and sensory perception or create euphoria, like THC does.
Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are not considered dangerous, because they don’t affect the parts of the brain that regulate vital functions of the body. Unlike opioid receptors, the cannabinoid receptors will never signal your lungs to stop breathing. For this reason, it’s practically impossible to overdose on hemp or marijuana.
CBD is thought to be helpful in treating anxiety and insomnia. And while the scientific research isn’t absolutely clear, anxiety, stress and sleep problems are the most common reasons consumers use CBD.
Interestingly, marijuana strains that have significant quantities of both CBD and THC rarely produce the undesirable effects—like paranoia and anxiety—sometimes experienced with weed that’s high in THC but has low CBD content. CBD nullifies the effect of THC on the CB1 receptors, and thereby moderates the psychological effects of its relative.
People that smoke flowers (buds) or high-CBD/low-THC marijuana flowers seem to experience the most obviously psychoactive effects. That may be because the flower contains a higher level of THC than other CBD products.
Smoking speeds the active ingredients entry to the brain (through the lungs) much more quickly than other delivery methods. Using CBD oil tinctures sublingually (under the tongue) is the second-fastest method (though still much slower than inhalation). Using gummies or swallowing a tincture is the slowest, since the CBD must process through the liver before reaching the bloodstream and brain.
Some users may feel the presence of any amount of THC when it’s mixed with CBD. That’s the “entourage effect” theory, which says cannabinoids combine to create more than the sum of their parts.
It’s worth experimenting with different brands of CBD products to see what feels best to you.