How Does CBD Feel?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is an extract from the cannabis plant that many people claim can help alleviate anxiety and reduce chronic pain.
It’s fast becoming an alternative to over-the-counter pain medications, thanks to its perceived effectiveness and lack of side effects.
While CBD is a popular alternative therapy for a variety of conditions, what does it actually feel like? Will it make you high? Let’s find out.
CBD Will Not Make You High
CBD comes from hemp, a particular type of cannabis selectively bred not to produce any psychotropic compounds. It is different from cannabis grown for smoking, which does contain compounds that lead to a high.
Researchers believe that a chemical called THC is what leads to the sensation of a high when smoking regular cannabis or eating food which contains the leaves.
THC interacts with special receptors in the brain and nervous system as it travels around the bloodstream. When it attaches to these receptors, called C1 and C2, it mimics the effect of the body’s own cannabinoid-like compounds, providing a sense of euphoria.
CBD, however, doesn’t create a buzz or any of the feelings typically associated with smoking marijuana because it does not bind to the body’s cannabinoid receptors. It works through entirely different mechanisms.
What’s more, CBD is not the same as cannabis – it is an extract of the cannabis plant, a chemical that it manufactures to help with its survival. It is just like antioxidants in blueberries: compounds that blueberries use to protect themselves against UV sun damage.
How CBD Can Make You Feel
So, if CBD doesn’t make you “high,” how can you tell it’s working?
CBD doesn’t work like many of the pain management drugs that you find on the market today. Most people don’t feel any effects at all immediately after taking a dose of CBD oil. The reason for this is that CBD is believed to work in a way that brings the body back into “homeostasis” or balance, not take it away from it.
Most people usually start to feel the effects of CBD after a week or so of taking it. People report feeling more relaxed and that they have better pain management.
Users also often say that they feel more like their old selves again, referring to a time in their past, such as their childhood, when they remember feeling healthy.
Because CBD works to bring the body back into balance, you wouldn’t expect to “feel” anything directly from the CBD itself. Instead, you’d expect to experience the disappearance of negative sensations – signs that the body is out of balance. How people experience CBD, therefore, is mainly through the absence of physical and mental pain.
Let’s take a look at what this looks like in practice.
You May Feel More Relaxed
As humans, we’re not supposed to feel anxious or be in pain all the time. It’s a sign that something is wrong with our biochemistry. Depression and anxiety evolved to help us escape danger and protect our bodies from destruction.
A person might feel anxious, for instance, entering a cave inhabited by a bear. The modern world, however, corrupts our natural fear response mechanisms and can lead to a state of chronic anxiety caused by chemical imbalances in the brain.
CBD may help reduce the stimulation of the nervous system and slowly restore balance. Researchers think that it interacts directly with the serotonin receptors in the brain, stabilising mood.
People who take CBD often report feeling more relaxed and happy about their situation, even if nothing in their environment has changed.
You May Feel Less Pain
Many people suffer from conditions that cause chronic pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers believe that CBD oil modulates the body’s cannabinoid receptors in a way that reduces the experience of pain and enables people to live more of their time, pain-free.
Part of the reason for this has to do with why pain begins in the first place. A lot of the pain people experience in the modern world is the result of the body’s immune system attacking its own tissues.
Inflammation in the joints, for instance, is what causes rheumatoid arthritis. CBD can help to calm this immune response, leading to less inflammation and a lower propensity for the body to attack itself.
CBD, therefore, may be effective at reducing the pain response to many traumatic injuries and chronic disease. By lowering total body inflammation, it may help to lower the overall sensation of pain overall.
You May Experience Better Sleep
For many people in the modern world, sleep is an issue. As a culture and as individuals, we are chronically sleep-deprived. In the UK, men get around 6.28 hours of sleep and women 6.36 hours – less than many sleep researchers think is optimal.
CBD, however, may help you sleep better by reducing fear, stress, anxiety and blood pressure. Many people choose to use CBD oil instead of sedatives because it doesn’t come with a raft of adverse side effects.
What’s more, CBD may be better at inducing “natural sleep” – something which traditional sleeping pills do not do.
You May Experience An Improvement In Focus
Not being anxious and in pain are not only good for their own sake but may also make it easier for you to focus. Research suggests that cannabidiol may stimulate the brain in a similar way to caffeine.
People who take CBD regularly report that they often feel better able to concentrate at work, enhancing their performance.
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Should You Take High Doses Of CBD?
The majority of CBD users report positive experiences taking the product. However, taking it for a long time at high doses may cause side effects, including dry mouth and lightheadedness (for more on CBD’s side-effects, check out this post).
These side effects are rare: research suggests that CBD is well tolerated in people up to 1,500 mg per day. (Most people take under 100 mg of CBD per day).
So, in summary, CBD won’t make you feel much directly. You won’t get high, but you may experience beneficial effects, such as a decline in pain, anxiety, and an improvement in sleep.