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What does CBD feel like? What does CBD do?

September 13, 2019

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Written By: Lane Giddings

CBD oil seems like a new big health craze. Everyone is selling it and everyone is taking it. However, it can be really difficult to find an unbiased account of what CBD actually does, how CBD affects your body, and what CBD feels like.

There are so many misconceptions about CBD oil in itself. Whenever I talk about working for a CBD oil company, I immediately get bombarded with questions:

Is CBD Legal?

Let’s start: Yes, it is legal in most states. Properly manufactured CBD oil contains .3% THC or less, which is the legal limit to be classified as hemp product. The plants are specifically bred to stay within the legal definition of “hemp” in order to maintain legality in nearly every state. CBD is even a principal component and active ingredient in and FDA approved medicine for epilepsy. CBD oil is thought to have more healing properties than THC because it has more of the actual cannabis plant. (more on CBD oil basics here )

THC vs CBD

So, no it’s not just weed. CBD works physically with the body, it has no psychoactive or intoxicating effects, whereas THC gives you a “high”. The best comparison I’ve heard for CBD oil and weed is kombucha and beer. Kombucha has some alcohol in it, but you don’t take it to a pregame or a tailgate. You drink it for the healing properties because you want your digestive system to love you enough to process all the junk food you eat late at night. Beer has alcohol in it and most people drink it to get drunk. CBD=kombucha, THC=beer.

What does CBD do?

CBD oil has gotten a reputation as a “cure-all” which is patently false, but scientific studies have people use the extract to help with joint/arthritis pain, anxiety and depression. One of the major benefits of CBD oil is that it has anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory properties do amazing things for your body. It can help your skin with eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, and other inflammatory skin conditions. CBD hemp oil is frequently used to help conditions like: arthritis, chronic pain, and back pain for the anti-inflammatory properties. CBD oil can also help treat the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, or MS. CBD oil has tested to have a positive effect on the serotonin receptors in the brain, affecting the emotional state and feeling of well-being which is helpful for depression. CBD oil is a fast acting way to treat the physical symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks.

There are so many advantages to using CBD oil that at the very least, it’s worth learning more about.

As far as what CBD oil feels like, every person has a different perspective on that, so I decided to learn more about how it affects both myself and those around me.

What does CBD feel like: A Personal Account

Just recently I started my own journey using CBD oil. When I joined the Maku team, they asked me if I had ever tried CBD. I never had so they gave me a bottle and told me to research how it could help me, to see if I could be a good liaison for others’ journeys to CBD enlightenment. Upon researching CBD oil I learned a ton. CBD oil or hemp oil is derived from the hemp plant and contains less the legal limit of THC, .3%. Hemp Oil has many physical benefits, similar to marijuana, but lacks the “high” or psychoactive effects; therefore does not alter your mind. The physical benefits that I found most applicable to my life is that CBD oil helps with pain and sleep.

About a year ago I fell down a flight of stairs and really injured my back, like physical therapy twice a week for six months injured my back. My lower back was always swollen and throbbing. After the physical therapy, I knew a couple of ways to stretch it if it started acting up. However, it seemed like every night before I went to sleep it would tense up and I would toss and turn all night trying to find a relieving position. So I was very willing to try CBD oil in an attempt to help loosen my back, especially because I hate the groggy way muscle relaxers make my body feel.

CBD oil for sleep and pain

When I started using CBD oil, I would use it at night if I had a particularly long or stressful day in an attempt to get some form of quality sleep. After using CBD oil I did notice a kind of “all body relaxation” before I would go to sleep. Knowing more about CBD now I realize that this is part of the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD. My “relaxation” is actually just alleviation of the normal pain I push through everyday from swollen past injuries from a lifetime of being over competitive in every sport I played. I took the CBD 45 minutes before I intended to go to sleep, so while doing my nightly ritual I found myself very calm, relaxed, and excited to go to sleep.

As soon as I hit the pillow I was asleep, which is honestly miraculous. I have been taking melatonin for years, but I still stay up for at least an hour trying to get to sleep, then oversleep and miss my alarm the next morning. The quality of my melatonin induced sleep was sound once I fell asleep. However, the next day I would feel groggy for most of the day. While I might have slept a full eight hours, I felt like I could have slept another six easily. When taking CBD I fell into a very deep sleep almost immediately. As someone who frequently has night terrors and never sleeps through the night, it was such an amazing feeling. I felt like I made up for every bad night of sleep that week in one night. Since trying, I have used CBD oil every night after I had a stressful day and my mind won’t stop racing. I also take CBD at night if I had an intense workout to relax and repair. CBD oil feels like it intensifies the normal, natural acts of falling asleep as opposed to creating a drowsiness that puts you to sleep.

What does CBD feel like: Others’ Accounts

It’s not just me taking advantage of the awesome side effects of CBD oil, here are multiple personal accounts of what CBD feels like to others.

Describing the sensation of tinctures themselves one Maku employee called it, “A calm wave that washes over you starting in between your eyes.” As far as CBD oil tinctures , drops you put under your tongue to absorb quickly into your bloodstream, this seems like across the board a standard answer. CBD oil tinctures are one of the more popular forms of CBD intake. Tincture oils are very effective for calming because of this “washing over” your face and brain feeling.

One of my favorite accounts of what CBD feels like is actually someone describing not what you feel, but what you don’t feel when taking CBD oil,

“The way we describe taking CBD is that it’s not about what you feel, but it’s more about what you don’t feel,” he says. “If you have pain or anxiety, once the effects of CBD start setting in, it’s almost like it’s whisked away and it’s not there anymore.” It doesn’t change your entire body and mental state though, “It’s not about getting high or really feeling any psychoactive effects; it’s more about melting away whatever’s getting in your way of living well, so that you can focus on living your life.” says Drew Todd a CBD company co-founder.

CBD is frequently used for pain due to the anti-inflammatory factors. For those who do not want to depend on highly addictive opioids and pain medicines, CBD oil is a great alternative. Also, you can still perform at a normal level when using CBD oil unlike most pain killers, so it’s perfect for people who have high demand jobs. A local paramedic firefighter uses CBD as a pain alternative and when asked said, “I take it at night before bed. It just helps me relax after a rough day. Also, I have a pinched nerve in my back and it helps with that pain a lot as well.”

CBD for anxiety

CBD both works physically with your body and your mind to reduce anxiety. CBD helps your mind combat anxiety by activating the serotonin receptors in your brain. Studies show that CBD oil helps stop the physical symptoms of anxiety, in turn slowing down or altogether stopping both anxiety attacks and overall anxiety. CBD oil has also proven effective on severe anxiety such as PTSD and social anxiety disorders. In a PTSD model, CBD improved the process of forgetting traumatic memories. In one human trial, they measured the effects of CBD oil on people with a fear of public speaking, it was effective in reducing anxiety.

Many people take CBD oil for anxiety attacks. One of the most effective methods of CBD intake for anxiety is via a CBD vape pen because it’s a near immediate absorption for your body. A graduate student who struggles with social anxiety described the feeling of using CBD during an attack as, “My pen makes my muscles relax then in turn my brain begins to slow down and relax as well.” CBD oil uses both acting on serotonin receptors and the ant-inflammatory effects to battle anxiety. The act of relaxing the muscles takes a lot of the physical symptoms of anxiety away and gives your mind less of a reason to react so aggressively, thus combating anxiety.

“It helps regulate a level of homeostasis throughout the body creating a feeling of normalcy.” CBD works with the body to combat many physical and mental disorders that are such a common plague in today’s society. Feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression can make life seem off-balance. CBD oil can help to create a level of balance in your life. It can help you slow down, calm down, and take things one step at a time. CBD oil helps keep a “homeostasis” so that you can perform at your best to achieve everything you need out of your day.

What does CBD feel like? Our Conclusion

The most important thing is finding exactly how CBD makes you feel. If you find yourself suffering from any of these ailments I would recommend trying CBD oil. CBD oil may not be a “cure-all”, but odds are there are certain things in your life that could improve if you try CBD oil. Whether you suffer pain, depression, anxiety, or insomnia, CBD oil could be the new best addition to your lifestyle.

Please do your research and ask a doctor to find out not only how CBD will work for your lifestyle, but how much CBD works best for you.

What does CBD feel like? What does CBD do? CBD oil seems like a new big health craze. Everyone is selling it and everyone is taking it. However, it can be really difficult to find an unbiased account of what CBD actually does, how CBD affects your body, and what CBD feels like. Here's what you need to know…

I Took CBD Oil Every Day for My Anxiety—Here’s What Went Down

When I first learned about CBD oil, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. My mind immediately turned to weed and the unnerving experiences I’d had with heightened anxiety in college. For me, a person who’s already predisposed to overthinking, marijuana, no matter what the form, would typically put my mind into overdrive and result in a common yet dreaded side effect: Paranoia. But, let’s back up a bit. What even is CBD?

What is CBD?

A bit of online digging led me to realize that the active ingredient in Charlotte’s Web Everyday Plus Hemp Oil, the product I’d been offered to test, was the chemical compound CBD, which stands for cannabidiol. Unlike THC, the other crucial compound in hemp and marijuana plants, CBD (when derived from the hemp plant) does not produce the psychoactive effects that make you feel “high”; instead, emerging science has hinted that CBD may actually ease anxiety, and therefore, makes you less likely to freak out.  

For example, one study comparing the effects of THC and CBD found that, while THC increased anxiety by activating the neurotransmitters involved in the “fight or flight” response, CBD actually repressed autonomic arousal—or the nervous system response associated with sudden increases in heart rate or respiration.   In other words, CBD may be ideal for people looking to relax and unwind.

While the science behind CBD’s effectiveness for treating anxiety, pain, and insomnia is still in its infancy,   Charlotte Figi’s inspiring story sounds promising. Figi, a 6-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare and resistant form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, was placed on hospice care and given a “do not resuscitate” order when her parents, desperate and frustrated with pharmaceutical medication, considered medical marijuana; specifically, a strain low in THC and high in CBD. Charlotte is now nearly seizure-free since she began supplementing with Charlotte Web’s CBD oil, which the brand named after Figi.

Legal and Safety Things To Know About CBD

The current CBD industry is like the internet’s early years. the Wild West. Legally, speaking, a Harvard Medical School blog post reads, “All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it.”   With heightened interest around CBD, it’s important to note that because CBD is currently unregulated, it’s difficult to know what you’re getting (whether that’s a tincture—commonly referred to as CBD oil, which is often combined with a carrier oil like coconut oil—topical products like creams and balms, sprays, or capsules), despite product labels and brand promises, the blog post further reads. It’s also important to note that people experience CBD differently. For the most part, the National Institute of Medicine says that while most people can tolerate CBD, side effects do exist. They might include dry mouth, drowsiness, and reduced appetite, among others.  

That said, those interested in exploring the potential benefits of CBD should consult with their doctor (especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or currently taking medication) and be mindful of your dosage, writes Consumer Reports. And before you buy, Megan Villa, co-founder of the hemp-focused website and shop Svn Space, told Shape magazine to seek out a certificate of analysis. “Ask for a COA for the batch number of the product you have, since these products are made in batches,” she said. “You need to match the batch number to the COA that pertains to it.” Then, scan the report for potency (i.e. does the number of milligrams of CBD that the product label touts match the lab report?), contaminants and pesticides, and mold (which should live under the “Microbiological Testing” part of the report). Go a step further and note whether the testing lab is GMP (Good Manufacturing Principles) certified, and whether the lab is registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shape magazine also suggests purchasing CBD products made from domestically-grown hemp, and reading up on the difference between full- and broad-spectrum and CBD isolate.

With that, I threw caution to the wind and asked for a sample. Here’s what happened—including what it feels like—when I took one full dropper of Charlotte’s Web’s Everyday Plus Hemp Oil in the mint chocolate flavor every morning for seven days.

My First Impression

It was actually a bad bout of jet lag after a trip to California that inspired me to finally test out the CBD oil (I’ll admit that my weed-based reservations kept me from trying it for the first few months). Knowing that the oil had also helped people with sleep issues, I squeezed one full dropper of the Everyday Plus oil onto my tongue, per the instructions, and waited.

Thirty minutes later, I was surprised by how subtle the effect was. While I expected a hazy nodding-off effect similar to melatonin’s, the oil simply relaxed my body ever so slightly—my heart stopped pounding against my chest, my legs stopped kicking beneath my sheets, my mind stopped racing. I wasn’t sure if it was the oil or the late hour, but eventually, physical relaxation gave way to mental relaxation, and I drifted off to sleep.

Reflecting the next morning, I was most surprised by the fact that I never felt “high” in any way—there was never a moment of It’s kicking in; I can feel it now like with pain medications or even anti-anxiety drugs. Considering it takes time, consistency, and the right dosage to experience the full effect, I continued taking the oil once a day for the next six days. Here’s what went down.

It Made Me Less Anxious and Edgy

Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go.

While normally I’d be slightly tripped up by little things like an overly crowded subway car or a full inbox at work, the CBD oil seems to have taken the edge off of my anxiety a bit. Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go. In some ways, I feel more like myself. With that said, I’ve still experienced some social anxiety when meeting new groups of people—I’d be interested to see what taking the full recommended dose would do.

I’m More Focused At Work

I work well under pressure, but being extremely busy at work has almost made me less productive—I’m constantly distracted by email, Slack, and the people around me, to the point where getting my work done becomes difficult. This week, however, I’ve found it easier to put my blinders on, block out all distractions (especially social distractions), and focus on one task at a time. I think this is partly related to the lessened anxiety—I feel more frazzled and off task when my anxiety is running high. It almost feels like a newfound sense of clarity and calm that enables me to focus.

I’m Falling Asleep Faster

I assume this is also a side effect of feeling less anxious, but I seem to fall asleep faster; within the 20-30-minute range rather than my normal 45 minutes to one hour (or longer). Not only do I seem to be skipping or at least shortening the whole tossing-and-turning phase of my sleep cycle, but I’m able to snap out of the overthinking that often keeps me up at night. Of course, there’s no telling whether a big life event would disrupt this newfound bliss, but I’d like to think it’s helped on a day-to-day basis.

My Experience With CBD

Would I say that CBD oil has fundamentally changed my life? No. But per the Charlotte’s Web website, this is the typical first experience. “Anyone who has ever started a new vitamin or supplement routine knows the short answer to how long it takes to kick in is—’it depends.’ For many newcomers, they’re not sure what to imagine, or some anticipate a huge change right away. For most of us, though, dietary supplements take time.”

With that said, I’m definitely intrigued enough by the subtle effects to continue taking the oil and to possibly up the dosage to the recommended two full droppers of the 30mL bottle per day. Plus, I take comfort in knowing that it’s an all-natural product that’s responsibly grown on family farms in Colorado. Something that’s safe, legal, requires no prescription, and makes me less anxious, less scatterbrained, and more focused? I’m definitely on board.

Explore the World of CBD

Looking to learn more about CBD? These are some of my favorite products to help get you started.

For those new to CBD, Charlotte’s Web recommends this hemp oil. Containing 17mg of CBD per 1mL serving, this CBD oil is also U.S. Hemp Authority Certified. Choose from four different flavors including Lemon Twist, Mint Chocolate, Orange Blossom, and Olive Oil.

Go deep on the subject of CBD with this book that includes case studies, interviews with doctors, an overview of the latest cannabis research, and how scientists are exploring cannabis for various medical uses. There is also an explainer about the difference between CBD products made from industrial hemp versus in a lab, and products made from the whole marijuana plant.

Charlotte’s Web inaugural CBD oil product comes in two flavors; Olive Oil and Mint Chocolate. It’s also its most potent. According to its website, its Original Formula Hemp Extract Oil comes with 50mg CBD per mL.

Gretchen Lidicker puts a lifestyle spin on the world of CBD as the author draws on the “knowledge of leaders in the health and wellness world” to explain why CBD has become a top beauty and wellness trend for top athletes and celebrities. The book also includes recipes and recommendations for how to choose a top-quality CBD product.

This travel-friendly roll-on is packed with CBD and fragrant essential oils, including lavender, bergamot, and chamomile, for an easy de-stress quick fix. The result? “That elusive feeling of wakeful calm,” reads the Sagely Naturals website.

With this book, CBD is explained from A to Z and breaks down the good, bad, and ugly of a fledgling industry that is poised for rapid growth. CBD: 101 Things You Need to Know About CBD Oil covers what it is, why people take it, who it’s for (and who it isn’t for), its myriad forms, and more.

Lord Jones’ High CBD Formula Body Oil combines CBD with organic avocado, jojoba and safflower oils for smooth, hydrated skin. Each bottle has 100mg of CBD.

Charlotte’s Web’s Extra Strength Capsules feature 25 mg of CBD per capsule. The website offers capsules as a convenient and precise way to take CBD—on the go, stash them in your gym bag, pocket, etc.

One editor explains how she took CBD oil every day for a week to help her anxiety, plus the difference between CBD and weed. Learn more here.