What Does CBD Make You Feel Like?

A common question that CBD newcomers have is what will CBD make me feel like? No need to be apprehensive about altered mental effects or feeling “high” because CBD does not produce the psychoactive results commonly associated with cannabis use. 

How CBD will make you feel depends on the method of application, dosage, and quality of the oil. Below, we’ll explain the various factors so you can better determine which approach is best for your individual needs. 

What Does CBD Feel Like if Taken Sublingually or Orally?

The effects of sublingual (under the tongue) or orally consumed CBD vary depending on the individual and dosage, but most people feel a sense of relaxation, calmness, reduced anxiety, and/or full-body pain relief. Although less common, some report feeling more focused, alert, or energized. Taken sublingually, the onset of these CBD-derived positive feelings is almost immediate due to absorption through tiny blood vessels in the mucous membranes of the mouth into the bloodstream. This makes sublingual use a common choice for people who want to experience nearly instant CBD benefits. 

Taking CBD orally refers to eating, drinking, or swallowing CBD instead of administering it under the tongue. Commonly referred to as edibles, oral CBD products come in the form of gummies, tablets, and other food products. Oral CBD provides the same benefits of pain relief, as well as lessened anxiety and inflammation, increased relaxation, and improvement in sleep. The main difference in methods is that oral ingestion has a slower onset of results, but the effects may last longer. 

Will CBD make me feel “high”?

The short answer to this question is no. CBD is not psychoactive like THC, so it won't make you feel "high" or intoxicated. High quality, or full-spectrum CBD, may contain 0.3% or less of THC. Although low levels of THC will not make you feel “high”, they can assist in maximizing the benefits of CBD. Due to the entourage effect, meaning all the compounds in cannabis work more effectively altogether, the combination of CBD and THC is more beneficial than taking CBD or THC alone. 

Will CBD make me feel drowsy?

Each person varies in terms of their reaction to using CBD, but drowsiness is not the most common result. Some people become more alert and focused, while others may feel relaxed. Research suggests that CBD promotes sleep by reducing anxiety and stress; if you feel drowsy from the CBD, it may be a sign that you should lower your dosage.

How long does it take for the effects to be felt?

The length of time it takes to experience the effects of CBD largely depends on the method you take it. Using CBD sublingually is one of the most effective methods to achieve rapid absorption and potency. The effects of sublingual CBD are generally felt within 15-45 minutes, with continuing benefits lasting up to 4-5 hours. To receive the full benefits, hold off on drinking water after taking CBD for at least 60 seconds.

When ingested orally, CBD takes longer to begin workingbecause the cannabinoids need to travel through the gut and liver. On the positive side, the benefits of CBD also have a longer duration when taken orally. The onset of effects tends to occur within 1-2 hours after oral ingestion and last between 6–8 hours.

Here’s a tip: Your absorption rates when taking CBD orally can increase dramatically if you have been eating. Chewing increases blood flow in the mouth and can improve your absorption frequency.

What if I don’t feel any different after taking CBD?

While the effects of CBD may be subtle, consider increasing your dosage if you don’t notice any results. Studies have shown that even high doses of CBD, such as 1500mg per day, are still safe. Issues with CBD are rare, but if you are taking prescription medications you should consult with your doctor before using CBD. There are some cases where it can interfere with liver function and interact with specific medications. 

What Does CBD Feel Like if Used Topically?

When CBD is applied topically, such as a cream, lotion, or muscle balm, the effects are concentrated in the specific area where it is applied. Topical CBD is absorbed through the skin providing a soothing sensation. Some people describe a cool tingling feeling or mild warmth, while others may simply feel a sense of pain relief or muscle relaxation in the specific area where applied. CBD topicals are often used for localized pain and inflammation relief, along with treating skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Keep in mind that, due to the targeted nature of topical application, you won’t feel the full benefits of the CBD throughout your whole body. 

Additional Reading for Newcomers to CBD 

Chances are, what CBD feels like is only one of many questions you may have about incorporating this ingredient into your wellness routines. Additional articles that could help you use CBD with confidence include:

CBD for Beginners & Tips for Getting Started - You have questions, and we have answers! Learn about the different types of CBD, how to find the right dosage to receive the desired feelings, and other helpful tips. 

Pros and Cons of Using CBD for Pain - As is true of any pain solution, CBD has its strengths and limitations. Dive deeper into this subject to determine if CBD is the right path for your pain management. 

Understanding What Makes CBD High Quality - How the CBD makes you feel is intertwined with the quality, itself. Some types are more potent than others, and how the hemp was grown also plays a factor. Learn telltale signs of high-quality (and subpar) CBD so you can make informed buying choices. 


By Emily Wegener

With a unique background as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Masters Degree in Teaching and experience in Psychology, Emily spends much of her time researching and trying out new holistic healing modalities.