What Does CBD Feel Like?

by Kat Austin June 18, 2021 6 min read

What Does CBD Feel Like? - Vida Optima™

You've heard that CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, but what does that really mean? It's obviously starkly different from THC, the cannabinoid known for cannabis's euphoric effects, but what doesCBD feel like? And do different CBD products have different effects?

Table of Contents
CBD Effects in the Body
How Does CBD Actually Feel?
Is CBD Intoxicating?
What are CBD’s Therapeutic Effects?
Do Different CBD Products Produce Different Effects?
What are CBD Side Effects?
Conclusion: What Does CBD Oil Feel Like?

Key Takeaways

  • CBD is non-intoxicating and the effects are usually described as relaxing and mildly euphoric.
  • In general, CBD’s effects may be hard to notice, but the potential therapeutic benefits (like relief from discomfort or improved focus and sleep) are apparent for most people.
  • Different formulas and dosing styles may provide a slightly different experience, and the effects from full spectrum CBD are generally thought to be more substantial than from isolate products.
  • CBD is generally described as having a favorable safety profile and rare and mild potential side effects.

CBD's Effects in the Body

CBD's effects are most often described as soothing and relaxing, adversely different from Delta-9-THC's intoxicating effects that may make you feel giggly, hungry, and sedated.

A model of CBD's molecular formula, which is entirely different from psychoactive THC's.

Despite having very different effects, both cannabinoids interact with the body in a similar manner—through the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)—and we need to dig into how this system works in order to explain how CBD feels.

The Endocannabinoid System is a bodily system found in all mammals, including humans, that's made up of neurotransmitters (called endocannabinoids) and their receptor sites. The ECS is known to regulate a slew of regulatory functions, including mood, sleep cycles and energy, pain signaling, inflammation, focus, and more.

In order to provide psychoactive effects, THC binds directly to the CB1 receptors, the primary receptor sites located in the brain and central nervous system. CBD, however, does exactly the opposite. It inhibits CB1 activation and has even been thought to negate some of THC's effects when the two are taken together.

CBD has a similar impact on other receptor sites. In fact, CBD is thought to bind with around a dozen different receptor sites throughout the body. Some research shows that CBD can also inhibit activation of the CB2 receptors, the primary endocannabinoid receptor found in the immune system. Preliminary research suggests that this may be how CBD blocks signals of pain and inflammation.

There are plenty of preliminary studies that aim to understand how CBD makes you feel, but not much about CBD is written in stone. For now, we believe that CBD's interaction with the brain and immune system can help provide feelings of euphoria, relaxation, improved mood, and may even help improve other functions like sleep and pain regulation.

CBD oil tinctures, the most popular dosing method available for reaping the benefits of CBD.

Okay, So How Does CBD Actually Make You Feel?

If you're looking for a straightforward answer for "how does CBD make you feel," we're sorry to say that there isn't one.

But that's a good thing!

CBD has an adaptogenic nature, meaning it responds directly to your unique biological composition, more specifically your unique endocannabinoid system balance.

In general, CBD plays a "regulatory" role, which means it may help you in the ways you need it most, whether that be lowering pain or boosting a low mood.

Is CBD intoxicating?

Still, CBD has some generally uplifting, slightly euphoric effects that are usually experienced by all users. This effect isn't potent like THC's intoxicating effects, rather it feels mildly relaxing and euphoric without making you incapable of daily tasks or concentrating.

What are CBD'S Therapeutic Effects?

CBD isn't intoxicating and feels mild and relaxing, but it also may have therapeutic benefits for those with an imbalanced endocannabinoid system. Evidence is limited, but some studies suggest that CBD may help with pain, including neuropathic pain, inflammation, anxious thoughts and depression, sleep disturbances, and more. To learn more about CBD'S potential benefits, read "What is CBD?"

Do Different CBD Products Feel Differently?

One of the most common questions accompanying "How does CBD oil make you feel?" is "Do different CBD products have different effects?"

Yes, they do! But the difference is pretty hard to pinpoint in most cases. Still, there are a few specific instances in which the effects of varying types of CBD products are distinctly different:

Hemp-derived vs Marijuana-derived

It's true that CBD can be derived from two different sources, and it makes a huge difference in the effects you may feel, as well as the availability and legality of the product.

Hemp-derived CBD comes from, well, industrial hemp. This form of cannabis is the form that is federally approved and contains less than 0.3% THC. Because hemp products are legal in most areas, you can buy them at regular stores and online and don't need to visit a dispensary.

Hemp-derived CBD is the most common form of CBD available today, and is generally the non-intoxicating form sought out for therapeutic effects.

Marijuana-derived CBD products are very different in that they are made from marijuana, a form of cannabis that is federally classified as a Schedule I substance. These types of products are only available in legal marijuana dispensaries in areas where cannabis is legal.

While marijuana-derived CBD products will contain moderate to large amounts of CBD, they often contain active doses of THC as well. That means that while you may still reap the benefits of CBD, you’ll probably feel the intoxicating effects of THC.

Full Spectrum vs Isolate

The most distinct difference in effects is between different CBD formulations, like the difference in CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD effects.

If you aren't sure what these formulas are, here's the difference:

Full Spectrum CBD refers to a hemp extract product that includes a diverse range of natural cannabinoids and terpenes. CBD is still the frontrunner in these formulas and usually accounts for 75-90% of the total potency, but the formula also typically includes minor cannabinoids like Cannabigerol (CBG) or Cannabinol (CBN), and even trace amounts of THC.

CBD isolate is the opposite—pure CBD where all other cannabinoids and terpenes are removed in a refinement process.

There haven't been many large studies to compare the effects of the two, but full-spectrum CBD is thought to be more effective for most uses due to something called the entourage effect. This describes suspected synergistic effects between CBD and other natural hemp compounds.

Because minor cannabinoids and terpenes have their own unique therapeutic effects, full spectrum CBD may provide stronger, more effective results.

Sublingual vs Inhaled vs Ingested

The way you take CBD also impacts the effects you feel, although the difference usually manifests in different onsets and durations of effects.

Vida Optima Vitality CBD Fruit Chews

Sublingual doses, like tinctures or some edibles (like our CBD Fruit Chews) dissolve in the mouth and reach the bloodstream immediately. This means they take effect quickly and are metabolized more quickly than other methods. You may feel the effects of a sublingual dose in 15-30 minutes and the effects may last up to 4 hours.

Inhaled doses, like from vaporizers or hemp flower, are pretty similar in that they reach the bloodstream quickly. These doses usually take effect within minutes and can last from 2-4 hours.

Edibles doses (like our CBD Multivitamin Gummies) are unique in that they need to be digested, which is a slower process. It can take up to 2 hours for a CBD edible to be fully digested, but some reports suggest that this provides slow-rolling effects that can last up to 6 hours or more. Some reports even suggest that edibles have another significant advantage: it may be more easily stored in your body fat, and your body can use it later when it's needed.

What are CBD Side Effects?

Although CBD is much milder in nature than THC, many people still wonder if the non-psychotropic cannabinoid could cause any adverse reactions or side effects. The answer is—it’s possible, but rare.

Many sources suggest that CBD has a much milder side effect profile than most competing medications, and one 2017 study described CBD’s safety profile as “favorable.”

But that’s not to say it has no potential for side effects at all. Still, the most common side effects associated with CBD are mild, including diarrhea, tiredness, and changes to appetite or weight.

If you want to learn more about the potential of adverse effects, read “CBD Side Effects.”

Conclusion: What Does CBD Oil Feel Like?

To put it briefly, CBD doesn’t have any overwhelming effects. Instead, it works to balance things within the body’s Endocannabinoid System, which could lead to improved mood, sleep, pain tolerance, and more. Some people do experience a mild euphoria or relaxation after taking larger doses of CBD.

Looking for high-quality CBD that ships right to your door? We recommend checking out ourVitality CBD Collection, which includes oils, gummies, and more in a range of potencies and flavors that may work for you.

Vida Optima Vitality CBD Oil Softgels


  1. “Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877694/
  2. “The diverse CB1 and CB2 receptor pharmacology of three plant cannabinoids: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2219532/
  3. “An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies” https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2016.0034

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