In our last article, we answered the (very common) question, “What Is CBD?“
Next, we’ll break down what you should (and shouldn’t) expect when using CBD for the first time.
If you’re wondering how CBD will make you feel or whether it does / doesn’t get you high, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s start with what not to expect …
Don’t Expect to Get High (If You Do, Your Product Has Too Much THC)
Let’s get this out of the way: hemp-derived CBD like Pure Capsule Company’s has no psychoactive effects and will not get you high.
CBD that comes from hemp contains less than 0.3% THC (the cannabinoid in marijuana that gets you high) and is federally legal because this is considered too low to have any impairing effect.
If you feel “high,” it’s NOT the CBD … it’s THC. A November 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found 21% of CBD products purchased online had THC levels possibly high enough to result in intoxication or impairment! Note that THC is a cannabinoid that has some beneficial effects but most folks just don’t want the “stoned” feeling that comes with it.
Important: always, always, always make sure you choose a product that has been third party tested for CBD and THC content as well as contaminants like mold, heavy metals, chemicals, etc. so you know your product contains what it says on the label!
Expect to Feel Minor Relief If You Suffer from Anxiety, Stress, or Insomnia
One of the most common questions we get is:
How does CBD oil make you feel?
We like to tell people it’s more about what you don’t feel.
Full spectrum CBD may help you feel less stressed, less anxious, spend less time lying awake at night, and/or lessen your chronic pain (the last one can require higher doses for many). CBD is not going to cure any of your health ailments, but it can help you lessen the symptoms of certain conditions.
And even slight relief from these types of conditions can be life-changing, as anyone who has suffered from them can attest.
Expect Different Onset Times for Different Products
How fast you feel relief will depend largely upon what type of product you take.
Tincture oil drops applied under the tongue and vaping work the fastest (within minutes for most people).
Vaping has the obvious disadvantage of smoke inhalation (albeit with significantly less chemicals than a cigarette).
Capsules and gummies can take 30-60 minutes or more to start working.
Also, cannabinoid content often changes from batch to batch. You could chomp away on 10 different CBD gummies or tablets from 10 different brands and likely experience varying results (because full spectrum CBD products contain varying amounts of beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes … more on this in a later article).
Expect Some Potential Unexpected Benefits
Talk to your friends who have taken CBD and one thing you’ll spot pretty quickly are the amount of people who …
- Begin taking CBD for X, but experience Y and/or Z instead (both positive).
- Begin taking CBD for X and experience positive results for X, and/or Y, and/or Z.
So, for example, you may try CBD oil drops to ease your chronic pain, and you start realizing you feel less anxious when you take it … or you’re more productive … or over time you discover yourself taking less of this or that medication (author’s note: this happens often … I take CBD instead of klonopin now, a powerful benzodiazepine with many side effects I used to take to treat my insomnia).
Don’t be shocked if you don’t see the results you expected … but you should see some results after taking CBD for 2-4 weeks.
Expect Minimal Side Effects (But Know They Can Happen)
According to a 2017 review from the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, the three most common side effects from clinical studies looking at patients who used CBD to treat epilepsy and psychotic disorders were strong changes in food intake, some diarrhea, and tiredness at high doses.
Your body does NOT build a tolerance to CBD, so there’s no physical withdrawal symptoms or need to continue upping doses once the therapeutic impact you desire has been achieved.
That being said, there are several serious safety considerations:
- CBD can thin blood, so people with thin blood or who are on blood thinners should consult a doctor before taking it.
- CBD is known to inhibit the CYP450 enzyme system which is a primary means with which the body processes a large assortment of conventional medications (NSAIDs, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, steroids, anesthetics, etc.). Meaning, with both CBD and these drugs in the system, they’re processed slower than normal, which can lead to problems, particularly liver toxicity.
- Certain drugs are designed (prodrugs, like codeine which metabolizes into morphine inside the body) to activate during processing, and CBD can inhibit the amount of the drug being activated.
According to the FDA:
- CBD has the potential to harm you, and harm can happen even before you become aware of it.
- CBD can cause liver injury.
- CBD can affect the metabolism of other drugs, causing serious side effects.
- Use of CBD with alcohol or other Central Nervous System depressants increases the risk of sedation and drowsiness, which can lead to injuries.
- CBD can cause side effects that you might notice. These side effects should improve when CBD is stopped or when the amount ingested is reduced.
- Changes in alertness, most commonly experienced as somnolence (drowsiness or sleepiness).
- Gastrointestinal distress, most commonly experienced as diarrhea and/or decreased appetite.
- Changes in mood, most commonly experienced as irritability and agitation.
- There are many important aspects about CBD that we just don’t know, such as:
- What happens if you take CBD daily for sustained periods of time?
- What is the effect of CBD on the developing brain (such as children who take CBD)?
- What are the effects of CBD on the developing fetus or breastfed newborn?
- How does CBD interact with herbs and botanicals?
- Does CBD cause male reproductive toxicity in humans, as has been reported in studies of animals?
Expect It to Take Some Time to Start Noticing Significant Results
Don’t expect CBD to work miracles for you overnight.
After using CBD for 2-4 weeks, most people experience some type of result, be it less pain, anxiety or improved sleep.
If you don’t feel like you’re getting any benefit from it after a month or so, then stop taking it.
How Do I Know If I’m Getting High Quality CBD or Junk?
A November 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 69% of CBD products purchased online did not contain the amount of CBD claimed on their labels!
Are you using a CBD product from the 31% that actually have what they say on the label? It takes some investigation to find out.
Here’s the checklist we always give people. Make sure your CBD checks all these boxes:
- Sourced from organic hemp grown in the U.S.
- Full spectrum (not isolates) … ‘cuz you get more beneficial cannabinoids (which studies show produces an “entourage effect”).
- CO2 extracted, the cleanest chemical-free method of extracting the compound from the hemp plants.
- Independent lab results posted online with CBD/THC levels, pesticides, heavy metals, mold, pathogens, etc.
Once you find a product that’s clean and effective, and you’ve taken steps to verify its purity and safety (check those lab testing results!), stick with it for the aforementioned 2-4 weeks.
Next, be sure to check out our article about CBD dosing to find out what the research says about what dosage of CBD you should be taking to get relief from anxiety, pain, and sleep!