Simply hearing the word “cannabis” can bring up a large range of associations—particularly for those who grew up in the 60s and 70s. It’s easy to imagine peers hiding their stash in the college dorm, camps, and beach parties with guitars and campfires, and sessions of weird and wonderful herbal experimentation.
When people now see CBD marketed in oils, topicals, food, and beverages, it’s natural to ask questions like, “Is CBD psychoactive?”, “Can you get high from CBD?”, and “What does CBD feel like?” Put very simply, CBD won’t get you high, but it could change your mood in some positive ways. Read on to find out what CBD feels like and how it could help you live at your best.
Derived from the family of plants known as Cannabis sativa L., CBD is one of hundreds of active compounds that vary widely between different cultivars. While differences can be noted between the strains marketed for smoking, the most striking difference is between cannabis plants with a high concentration of THC—known as marijuana—and cannabis plants with a low THC concentration of no more than 0.3%—known as hemp.
Before we associated CBD and cannabis with psychoactive experiences, hemp was grown for food, fiber, paper, and medicine, and it contains much the same array of terpenes, lipids, proteins, and cannabinoids as marijuana. However, hemp has a much higher concentration of cannabidiol (CBD) and only trace amounts of psychoactive THC. After more than 80 years of various types of federal prohibition, hemp was officially made legal for cultivation and sale again through the 2018 Farm Bill—paving the way for the CBD industry to flourish.
In contrast to the cannabinoid commonly referred to as THC, you can’t get high from CBD because this cannabinoid binds to the body’s cannabinoid receptors in a totally different way. Let’s take a look at the science that underpins this important difference.
The Lock-in-Key Effect of THC
When THC enters the bloodstream through smoking, vaping, inhaling, or ingesting, the molecules bind to cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1) in the brain, central nervous system, and specific extra-neutral sites like a key in a lock.
THC’s ‘unlocking’ effects on receptors in the neocortex, hippocampus are what lead to changes in perception, coordination, memory, judgment, heart rate, and so on. After 1 to 24 hours (depending on the form of consumption), these psychoactive effects subside as enzymes convert the THC into the THC metabolites 11-OH-THC and THC-COOH and start to process it out of the body.
CBD—The Non-Psychoactive CB Modulator
In contrast, CBD doesn’t ‘lock’ into our cannabinoid receptors like THC does but rather modulates the endocannabinoid system indirectly. For example, CBD can soften the psychoactive effects of THC when the two are used together. As a result of its effect on CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD leads to more of a general sense of well-being rather than a notable ‘high.’
For those who are wondering “What does CBD feel like,” users explain that the non-psychoactive CBD generally helps you feel calm and relaxed—the inspiration for the word “coast” in EndoCoast.
For many who suffer from stress and anxiety, CBD helps them remain clear headed and see things in perspective. For many who struggle to switch off at night, CBD helps them drift into a peaceful slumber and wake up feeling more refreshed. For many who live each day under a cloud of pain and inflammation, CBD helps ease the discomfort. In general, CBD seems to provide a sigh of relief and an increased sense of well-being that helps you perform at your best rather than landing you on the couch.
So, CBD is not psychoactive and it can’t get you high. But as we’ve seen, CBD does potentially change the way you feel. If you’re considering supplementing with CBD, it can help to know what CBD feels like and how this cannabinoid works to create its effects:
1. CBD Changes the Way that Other Cannabinoids Can Bind to Receptors
If THC is like a key in a lock, CBD is like a small stick poked in the lock that doesn’t allow the key to go all the way in. When THC and CBD are taken together, CBD makes the psychoactive effects of THC more moderate while preserving THC’s therapeutic effects of reducing nausea, easing pain, and increasing appetite.
2. CBD Keeps Your Feel-Good Molecules Circulating
The human body is fitted with an extensive network of cannabinoid receptors—known as the endocannabinoid system—and even produces its own cannabinoids: anandamide and 2AG. When you take CBD, the enzymes that break down these feel-good molecules are inhibited and let you ride your own natural “high” for a longer period of time.
3. CBD Mimics Serotonin in the Brain
While it’s not inherently psychoactive, CBD interacts with the “happiness chemical” serotonin receptors in the brain. Knowing that serotonin plays an important role in mood, happiness, and anxiety, the close relationship between the two substances could partially help explain CBD’s anxiolytic, or anxiety-reducing, effects.
This may all sound wonderful—and for approximately 3% of the American population, CBD has become an all-important part of daily life. However, the way that CBD interacts with other chemicals can affect other medications that you might be taking.
Before taking non-psychoactive CBD or any other plant-based supplement, be sure to consult with a knowledgeable healthcare professional. They will be able to advise you about safe doses for each substance that you take and monitor the effects of each one over time.
Now that you know you can’t get high from CBD, find your flow in the chaos of life with the non-psychoactive CBD products from EndoCoast. Sourced from natural, non-GMO hemp, our broad-spectrum CBD oil is extracted using a clean supercritical CO2 extraction process and tested independently for impurities and THC. Whether you’re looking for a soothing topical balm, convenient capsules, dessert with a difference, or a natural supplement for your furry friends, you are sure to find just the right product in our quality line of CBD-infused topicals and oils.
Love CBD? Share your stories of “what does CBD feel like” by contacting the friendly EndoCoast team and get free U.S. shipping when you shop our CBD products online!