If you haven’t tried CBD before, you might be wondering what it feels like. Does it make you ultra-zen? Energetic? Super-sleepy? All three? The fact is, it’s different for everyone. Still, there’s a growing range of research that explores the effects of this clever compound, so you can understand what to expect from your first dose.
Let’s clear this up: it won’t make you feel high.
If it’s professionally and legally made, CBD isn’t going to make you feel high. This is because it’s formulated without (or with ultra low doses of) a psychoactive compound called tetrahydrocannabinol. Also known as THC, this is the part of the cannabis plant responsible for the altered state of a 'high' that many associate with smoking or ingesting cannabis. Cannaray is a THC-free zone.
Think of it as more of a balancing effect.
By interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), CBD is thought to promote homeostasis – which means it brings a sense of internal balance. But, how does it even the scale? Think of the process like the turning of a key; receptors in the ECS are the locks, and cannabinoids are the keys.
There are two types of these receptors (or locks) located throughout your body. CB1s exist in the brain and spinal cord, while CB2s are distributed in the immune system. When your ECS is working as it should, your body will naturally produce endocannabinoids. These bind to your internal receptors to help ‘unlock’ a balancing effect.
For example, there’s an endocannabinoid your body naturally produces called anandamide. It’s commonly referred to as ‘the bliss molecule’ (which sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?). When it binds to a CB1 receptor in your brain, it can create – you guessed it – a blissful state. It’s thought that external cannabinoids, like CBD, can interact and balance these receptors, too.
This is why experts tip CBD for achieving equilibrium. It’s thought to unlock a desired outcome by cleverly balancing your ECS.
The feeling is different for everyone.
There’s a reason CBD dosage is unique to each individual. As with many supplements, it affects everyone differently, and some need more than others to experience an effect. This can depend on a range of factors, from age to sex to the outcome you’re hoping to achieve. But it also comes down to what your body might need at any given time.
Although CBD isn’t classed as an adaptogen, cannabinoids are thought to work in similar ways. They adapt and bind to different receptors in response to where your body craves balance. As such, the feeling and effects you experience may be different to a friend’s. You can track how it makes you feel with our seven-day CBD diary, and refine your dosage to suit your unique needs.
Will CBD soothe pain?
Although studies on CBD and pain are still in their early stages, the World Health Organisation (WHO) lists pain relief as one potential benefit of the compound. CBD is described as an analgesic – which means it’s designed to soothe discomfort – and its use as an adjunct therapy for pain management is becoming more widespread.
In fact, Dr Daniela Tonucci, who is part of Cannaray’s Scientific Advisory Board, has been working with CBD and other cannabinoid therapies including medical cannabis to help patients with chronic pain. “When looking at its anticonvulsant effects (calming neuropathic pain), we have been testing whether CBD may help to stop the nervous system from over-firing, which in turn could centrally ‘soothe’ the nervous system."
Dr Tonucci recommends that, if you do decide to try CBD for pain, you do so with advice from a medical professional. They will be able to help you find a treatment plan that works for you.
Can CBD make you feel sleepy?
While some preliminary research suggests that CBD may help to improve sleep, it doesn’t induce a drowsy feeling. Instead, it’s thought to help ease some of the common symptoms of a restless night. Case in point: in one study of 72 patients who were dealing with anxiety and/or sleep disorders, CBD was administered over a period of three months.
After the first month, 79.2% of patients reported lower anxiety scores, and 78.1% said they were still feeling calmer after two months of taking CBD. 66.7% also said their sleep had improved after the first month. So, not only did they feel more relaxed, but the reduction in anxiety helped them drift off into a more restful sleep, too.
How quickly should you feel the effects?
The speed at which CBD begins to take effect depends on the product you use. Your fast-acting go-to is the CBD Oral Drops, which you apply under your tongue, so the oil can be absorbed into your bloodstream quicker. You should begin to notice a difference after 30 to 60 minutes, while the CBD Capsules may take a little longer; think 60 to 90 minutes.
Dr Daniela Tonucci
Dr Daniela Tonucci is a consultant in chronic pain and anaesthesia and scientific advisor to Cannaray CBD.