If you’re just starting out with CBD, you’re probably wondering what you might experience with your first dose.
We’re here to help. We’ll answer one of the most frequently asked questions about CBD and get you started with some realistic expectations.
Will Taking CBD Make Me High?
The biggest concern many people have when they take CBD is whether they will get high from it. We’ll cut to the chase. The answer is no.
You could drink an entire bottle of our tincture (not that we recommend that you do so) and still not get high. In fact, this is one of CBDs side benefits that makes it exciting as a potential medicinal treatment.
In scientific studies, CBD’s non-psychoactivity is often cited, since most people aren’t looking for psychoactive side effects in their medicine.
Now, for most people, the fact that CBD won’t make you high comes as a relief. But if that is disappointing to you, you are in the wrong place. What you’re looking for is CBD’s cannabinoid cousin, THC.
THC vs CBD
Both CBD and THC are cannabinoids - specific types of chemicals that can be extracted from cannabis plants. And they aren’t the only two cannabinoids. Scientists have identified well over 100 cannabinoids coming from cannabis.
(And in fact, your body also makes its own cannabinoids, called endogenous cannabinoids - but that’s a topic for another day.)
CBD and THC are the two most common cannabinoids, and they’re found in the greatest quantities, which is why they get the most attention (so far).
And they have a lot in common. They’re both being studied for their potential health benefits, and their molecular structures are almost identical.
But the one big difference is that THC makes you high and CBD does not.
How Does CBD Work?
We still have a lot to learn about how CBD works. But we do know that the reason that these two similar-looking cannabinoids diverge so significantly in how they make you feel has to do with the way they interact with your endocannabinoid system.
You may not have learned about this when you were in school, but that’s because the endocannabinoid system was only discovered in the 1990s. (And in fact all cannabis science is fairly recent.)
The endocannabinoid system (or ECS) is present in all vertebrates - whether they be birds, reptiles, animals, or humans. This system is spread throughout your brain and body and is composed of specific chemicals and receptors that work together like locks and keys.
The two main ECS receptors are called CB1 and CB2, but it’s CB1 that we’re most concerned with right now. That’s because when THC is present it binds strongly to the CB1 receptor (like a key fits into a lock) and produces strong psychoactive effects.
CBD on the other hand, not only does not bind to the CB1 receptor. In fact, it actually blocks THC from binding with it. So it can dampen the effects of THC, which is why marijuana strains with high CBD levels end up with names like “Hippies’ Disappointment.”
Plant Panda CBD comes from hemp, which already has very low levels of THC (by law, less than 0.3%). But we then further purify our CBD oil so that all the other cannabinoids (and plant matter as well) are completely removed.
So whatever your expectations are, they shouldn’t include any kind of euphoric high. Anecdotally, you might hear people talk about experiencing something like a “wave of calm,” when they take CBD - but what that means is hard to pin down. And many people experience nothing of the kind.
How do I know if CBD is working for me?
So if there’s no magical, euphoric experience when taking CBD, how can you possibly know if it’s working?
Well, here’s the thing. We, as a CBD company, are forbidden by the FDA and the FTC from talking about any of the potential benefits of CBD. So you’ll have to get that information elsewhere.
But since you’re interested in trying CBD, we’re assuming that you have a good reason for doing so. And while we can’t promise that CBD is going to be a magical fix-all for you, we obviously do believe in its efficacy (or we wouldn’t be selling it).
But the only way for you to know if CBD is working for you is keep track of your symptoms, and notice any changes that take place as you experiment with your CBD dose. We really recommend writing down how you feel before starting CBD - and tracking that closely for a week or two.
Remembering to write down how you feel several times a day can be annoying and even boring, but it’s the best way to figure out if CBD is actually making a difference. We know from experience how tricky our memories can be. It’s so easy to remember things as being better or worse than they really were.
Then, as you experiment with your dose, track any changes in your symptoms. Do this for a few weeks before you decide if it’s working for you or not. The internet is rife with complaints of people who tried CBD once or twice and then dismissed it as snake oil.
If it’s worth the investment of money, it’s worth investing some time into as well.
But My Friend Said…
Keep in mind that people react to cannabinoids in very different ways. There are people who find that CBD has immediate, obvious, and surprising effects that can be kind of life changing.
And there are also lots of people that have to play around with their dose for a while before they figure out what works for them.
And then there are people that find that it does absolutely nothing for the symptoms that they were wanting to target, but that it helps dramatically with something else entirely.
You get the picture.
CBD is a complex molecule which works on multiple levels at once (which is why scientists are still figuring out how it all works). So keep an open mind as well as a CBD dosing journal!
(And give us a call if you have questions about any of our products.)