What Does CBD Feel Like?

So you’re interested in trying CBD, but you’re wondering, “what does CBD feel like”?

Well, you’re in the right place. By the end of this article, you’ll know what to expect when experimenting with CBD.

Cannabidiol (CBD) itself is a compound in cannabis that goes through an extraction process to make CBD products. There are different types of products on the market, and they all do the same thing, but they all work a bit differently.

The main things that will impact your experience is:

  • The parts of the cannabis plant
  • Type of CBD extraction
  • Type of CBD product
  • Quality of CBD product
  • Dosage

Just a little heads up, there will be different terms used in this article that may get confusing. For example, hemp, cannabis, and marijuana etc. I’m going to define each of these terms so you know what each one is.

Hemp and Marijuana feel different when consumed

[Hemp is on the left. Marijuana is on the right]

There are two species of the cannabis plant, marijuana, and hemp. They both look similar, but they produce different effects.

Marijuana vs Hemp

What is the difference between Marijuana and Hemp?

When you buy CBD based products, you will notice that they all say, ‘Hemp.’ The main difference between them is the THC content.

Hemp will have high amounts of CBD, usually 20% or more and less than 0.3% THC. Marijuana is anything that has more than 0.3% THC.

When it comes to the law, Hemp is legal in every state, but Marijuana may still be illegal in some states as of 2020.

The Cannabinoids in marijuana vs hemp

The cannabis plant has hundreds of cannabinoids present, but the main two are CBD and THC. All of these cannabinoids in the plant interact with cannabinoid receptors, which are found throughout the body. This is also known as the Endocannabinoid system (ECS)

We all have an ECS, which means our body is designed to be compatible with this plant.

Our ECS controls things such as:

  • Stress
  • Inflammation
  • Memory
  • Mood
  • Energy Balance
  • Immune Function

As I mentioned earlier, hemp only has a trace of THC, whereas marijuana has significantly more.

What does THC feel like?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) produces mind-altering effects that make you feel stoned. This happens because THC directly stimulates CB1 receptors in the ECS.

THC comes with some negative effects, which may outweigh the positives for some people. THC can be beneficial in smaller amounts, especially when combined with CBD. However, in larger amounts on it's own, you can experience unwanted problems.

The main effects of THC are:


  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Increased appetite
  • Pain management
  • Treating nausea


  • Increased anxiety and stress
  • Increased paranoia
  • Depersonalization / derealization
  • Insomnia
  • Risk of drug-induced psychosis in large amounts
  • Losing touch with reality

How does CBD feel?

What does CBD do? People often confuse it with THC, which is the psychoactive chemical in cannabis. Although both substances come from the same plant, they have different effects on the body.

CBD is non-psychoactive and used mainly for medicinal purposes. So what does CBD feel like?

The main effects of CBD are:


  • Treating sleep and insomnia
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Managing pain and chronic pain
  • Managing symptoms of mental disorders
  • Treating neurological disorders


  • Dry mouth
  • A lot of brands sell bad CBD products

Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have any significant adverse effects when consumed in larger doses. Even if you drank a whole bottle of CBD oil, for example (don’t try this), you would not get high.

What does CBD and THC feel like in comparison?

I wish I knew the differences between THC and CBD when I tried marijuana for the first time. Everything was fine until one day, I had a full-blown weed-induced panic attack. This happened because I was smoking a marijuana strain that had high amounts of THC and no CBD.

Marijuana in general has become more potent over the years. Farmers have been breeding higher THC strains with lower levels of CBD to produce stronger mind-altering effects. This leads a lot of people to shy away from cannabis and view it in a negative light after having a bad experience.

However, CBD is the missing link that can help a lot of people experiencing anxiety due to the adverse effects of THC. Even Joe Rogan said that he didn’t realize he had anxiety until he started taking CBD. Here’s the video where he talks about it:

How types of CBD affect how you feel

Hemp farm and extracting CBD

When the Cannabis plant is grown, it’s harvested just like any other plant. It then goes through an extraction process to extract the cannabinoids before it’s processed into a CBD product.

The types of CBD will have a massive impact on how you feel. Some are more effective than others because of the cannabinoids that are present. Remember, it’s the cannabinoids in cannabis that produce effects on the body when our ECS is activated.

There are three main types of extraction:

  • Full-spectrum (all cannabinoids)
  • Broad-spectrum (some cannabinoids)
  • CBD isolate (only CBD)


Full-spectrum CBD, also known as ‘whole-plant extract,’ is when all the natural extracts are present in the extraction. These natural extracts include all cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and nutrients. This also includes a trace of THC (less than 0.3%), which creates an entourage effect.

This creates a stronger effect and a better experience compared to the other types of CBD. If you want to experience the full potential of what hemp has to offer, then choose a product that is labeled full-spectrum or ‘whole-plant extract.’


  • You experience the entourage effect of all the cannabinoids 
  • Most potent effect compared to the other types of CBD


  • Some products are labeled full-spectrum when they’re not
  • Products can contain more than 0.3% THC which can make you fail a drug test


Broad-spectrum is similar to full-spectrum. It contains all the same cannabinoids as full-spectrum but contains no THC. Some people prefer not having any THC in their system at all because they are scared of testing positive for marijuana.


  • Suitable for people who are scared of drug testing 
  • Produces similar effects to full-spectrum CBD


  • Reduces some of the effects because of the absence of some cannabinoids including THC
  • Some products will still contain small amounts of THC

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is when all the cannabinoids are removed except CBD. Long story short, this is the worst type of CBD you can get. What’s the point of erasing all those other cannabinoids. CBD in isolation doesn’t work as well when combined with the other cannabinoids.


  • Cheaper to add to products in bulk
  • Can be added to another broad/full-spectrum product to boost CBD content


  • All other vital cannabinoids are absent which reduces the effects
  • When used in large amounts, the effects are capped unlike the other types

Full-spectrum VS. broad-spectrum VS. isolate

CBD isolates don’t offer the same effects as the other types, especially in larger doses. The more you take, the less effective it becomes. Whereas with broad and full-spectrum, the effects keep increasing as you increase the dosage.

For optimal effects, you want to go with a full-spectrum hemp product.

What do certain CBD products feel like?

Types of CBD products

Choosing the right type of CBD product is essential. It affects the way CBD activates the ECS and achieving the desired effects.

There are four main types of CBD products on the market which are:

  • Oils & tinctures
  • Edibles
  • Vapes
  • Topicals


Bioavailability34-56%, effects felt within 10 minutes

Vaping products usually come in liquids or CBD buds, which can be vaped using a vaping kit. The liquid/bud is put inside of a vaping chamber, and then you inhale, just like a regular vapor.

As it enters the bloodstream quickly, the effects are felt within minutes. The only con is that the effects dissipate just as fast, so you would need to keep vaping to maintain the effects.

I’ve written a detailed guide on ‘How much CBD should I vape?’ where you can discover how to get the best vaping experience.

Oils & Tinctures

Bioavailability: 13-35%, effects felt within 5-20 mins

Oils and tinctures are not the same, but they’re similar. CBD Oils are oil-based, but CBD tinctures have small amounts of alcohol. Lots of people prefer tinctures because they taste better. However, CBD oils are superior when it comes to the overall quality.

CBD oils and tinctures are taken the same way. You use a dropper and squeeze the substance under your tongue and hold it there for 30-60 seconds before swallowing. If you swallow it straight away, it will get processed by your liver, so it will take a lot longer to feel the effects. By putting it under your tongue, the glands in your mouth allow the CBD to be absorbed into the bloodstream quicker.


Bioavailability6-20%, effects felt within 30-120 mins

The most popular edibles are gummies. These are often picked because of the high potencies the label shows. The only problem is that they offer the lowest bioavailability. So yes, the label might say 500mg, but you may only be utilizing 10mg. That kind of sucks.

It also takes the longest out of all the other methods to even feel the effects. The main pro is that it does last the longest. You could take a lot of edibles, but then again, that will come at a cost.


BioavailabilityLow, effects felt within minutes

CBD topicals are things like creams, lotions, and balms. This method is popular among athletes who deal with chronic pain. It would be put on the area where it hurts to alleviate pain.

The only problem is that it doesn’t interact with our ECS the same way as the other methods. Topicals don’t enter the bloodstream, so nothing is activated.

The best method of using topicals for a higher bioavailability (up to 14%) is by putting it on the anus or vagina. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound fun.

Which one should you get?

Vaping and sublingual methods provide the most bioavailability. Oils and tinctures are probably the best as they don’t require any inhalation. The effects are felt just as fast as vaping but also last longer. However, if you don’t mind vaping regularly throughout the day, vaping may be for you.

Quality of CBD affects your experience

CBD products must be lab-tested for quality

Picking a quality brand is essential. Everything that I’ve said up until this point is meaningless if you don’t buy it from a reputable seller. I’ve made a mistake in the past of going down to my local supplement store and purchase anything that was labeled CBD.

Little did I know that a lot of sellers lie on their labels. They lie about how much CBD is in their products and that it’s “full-spectrum.”

You’ll find out in a second how they do this.

Choosing a brand

Many CBD companies are popping out of the woodwork to sell CBD products. High-quality CBD products are expensive to make, so most companies who sell these will not be making much money. They do it mostly out of passion and caring about their customers more than making huge profits.

On the flip side, sellers can make a killing selling poor quality CBD products. Why? CBD products are not FDA approved, which means that a lot of sellers lie on the labels to increase their profit margin. I’m not going to name any brands because I don’t want to get sued, but they are out there. Their focal point is to use the least amount of CBD possible diluted with god knows what and make the labeling enticing enough for you to buy.

Brands that sell high-quality CBD products care more about their customers and are willing to help you out. On their website, you can usually find things like their farming methods, 3rd party lab results, and the ingredients used.

Third-party lab results are the only way to verify the cannabinoids that are present. It also proves that it doesn’t contain any harmful impurities like heavy metals.

What Does CBD Feel Like?

What CBD feels like

Taking CBD for the first time

So what does CBD feel like when you take it for the first time?

When I bought my first bottle of CBD oil, I bought an inferior quality product that probably had no CBD in it. When I took it I felt nothing. I even tried a ridiculous dose and I still felt the exact same.

After doing some intense research, I realized how important it was to pick a good brand. Shortly after, I found a good company online that ticked all my boxes. When I tried this brand, I experienced something different. 

I’m not sure if this was a placebo or not, but once I tried it, within 5 minutes, I felt energized, and my mind was racing but in a good way. I felt like I had lots of great ideas that I couldn’t keep track of.

I would describe it as drinking a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. So after about 20 minutes, I felt relaxed and calm. Lots of other people online reported the same thing.

After 30 days

I kept a diary of how I felt each day for 30 days. Here are the things I noticed:

  • Reduced anxiety and social anxiety
  • Sense of calmness
  • Better sleep
  • Better focus on a task
  • Less muscle soreness after workouts

I’ve also concluded that in smaller doses, I would feel energized, but when I took it in larger doses, I would feel sleepy. So what I did was, I would take a smaller amount of CBD during the day and then double it at night so that I could sleep like a baby.

As a result, I feel a lot calmer in general, and I’m getting better sleep, which is making me perform at my best. One tip I have for you is to take CBD with a little coffee in the morning, and you’ll feel amazing the whole day. I got so much more productive by doing this, and I’m a huge procrastinator.

The adaptogenic effect

What I’ve come to realize is that CBD has this adaptogenic effect where it enhances your current state. So, for example, if you’re doing work, you will feel extremely focused. However, if you’re working out, it will make you feel energized and ready to go.

I found this pretty cool. It seems as though CBD works with the body. Keep in mind that I only started experiencing all these benefits once I picked a good brand.


So what does CBD feel like? The answer is, it varies on a bunch of things. In general, though you will feel normal mentally because it’s not psychoactive. As for treating symptoms, you will feel a reduction in things like anxiety, pain, and insomnia.

As I mentioned above, there are several things that can impact the user’s experience. If you want to experience the full potential of CBD then do the following:

  1. Make sure the product you're buying is hemp-based
  2. Has to be full-spectrum CBD oil
  3. Pick a CBD oil product for quick and long-lasting effects
  4. Choose a reputable brand
  5. Experiment with different dosages

Frequently Asked Questions

Does CBD get you high?

Is CBD addictive?

What type of CBD should I get?

How much CBD should I take?

What are the side effects of CBD

Can you take too much CBD?

Nabrissa Simpson

I'm the co-owner of CBDTornado. I live in Star, Idaho and CBD oil has got rid of my anxiety and muscle pains. I take 50mg a daily and haven't looked back since.

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