What Does CBD Feel Like: Surveys, Research & Everything You Need To Know

CBD feels like a state of natural relaxation, and resembles a calming sensation that can be noticed both mentally and physically.

CBD is non-psychoactive, so you won't feel high or stimulated. The feeling of CBD is actually more related to the removal or absence of unwanted sensitivities.

But what is CBD?

You’ve heard of it. You’re curious about it. It’s one of the hottest trends in modern health & wellness.

In this article we’ll cover the feeling of CBD, and what it’s like to enjoy the compound that’s been helping people for over 10,000 years. Fortunately, you don’t have to eat full hemp plants like people used to.

What is CBD?

CBD is a molecule naturally found in hemp & marijuana, both of which are part of the cannabis family. CBD is short for Cannabidiol, which is pronounced "Canna-bid-dial."

In the hemp plant, the CBD molecule comes from the stalk, stems, flowers and leaves, but not the hemp seeds.

CBD is also referred to as a phytocannabinoid. “Phyto” means “of the plant.” Therefore, CBD is a cannabinoid that's derived from a plant.

In addition to CBD & THC, there are actually over 100 other phytocannabinoids found in hemp & marijuana. But we don't need to get into those right now...


How CBD Feels Based on Survey Results:

We surveyed thousands of active CBD users with the question “What Does CBD Feel Like?” and compiled the results.

Here are the most common responses plus a few of our favorite, honorable mentions.

*Note: CBD survey participants could vote on more than 1 option

What Does CBD Feel Like: Survey Results

Honorable Mentions: Survey Fillable Quotes

When taking CBD, it felt like...

"....the relaxation I get from a glass or 2 of wine, minus the buzz."

" anxious, nervous butterflies were gone."

"...I actually got a full 8 hours of sleep (before having kids)."


If Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek were to ask you “What Does CBD Feel Like?” the correct survey answer would be:

What Does Natural Relaxation Mean?

Natural Relaxation can best be defined as a state of rest that slows your breathing, slows your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, pauses stress, brings your body back to balance and promotes clarity in your mind.


The Survey says that CBD users believe that taking CBD feels like entering a state of Natural Relaxation.

What Should CBD Feel Like Based on Scientific Research:

Based on research, CBD should feel like a release from tension, which results in an improved mood and sense of relaxation.

Why? Let's read on.


Did you know that the United States Department of Health and Human Services actually has a patent on certain use cases for CBD?

That’s Right!

US PATENT #6630507B1 states that the US Department of Health & Human Services has rights to pharmaceutical compounds and compositions relating to Cannabinoids as neuroprotectants and antioxidants.

Why is US Patent #6630507B1 relevant to this article?

US PATENT #6630507B1 is relevant because the 26-page patent document helps outline how CBD interacts with the brain and body.

With so much incorrect, fabricated & misleading information about CBD on the internet, it’s refreshing to get information directly from the governmental branch whose primary duty it is to protect the health of all Americans.

WARNING: You’re about to get some awesome information that will make you a CBD expert among your friends. Jealousy may ensue.

What Does CBD Do To Your Body?

In the simplest explanation, when you take CBD it interacts with your Endocannabinoid System, which runs throughout your head & body. By inhibiting CB1, CB2 and other receptors from up-taking certain chemicals (Endogenous Cannabinoids), CBD can block symptoms of certain ailments.

What are Endogenous Cannabinoids?

Remember how CBD is a phytocannabinoid because “Phyto” means “of the plant”?

Well…. “Endogenous” means “having an internal origin.”

Endogenous Cannabinoids are cannabinoids that are naturally occurring in your (human) body, which are part of a larger system called your Endocannabinoid System (ECS).


What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?

The ECS is a system of cannabinoid receptors throughout your head & body that help maintain your homeostasis = balance, equilibrium & stability.

Not only that, but ECS receptors are also located on your mammalian brain, which is the part of the brain that controls the central nervous system and is the home-base for emotions, thoughts and memory.

The discovery of the Endocannabinoid System was significant because it proved that human brains & bodies have receptors that respond to cannabis compounds, like CBD & THC.


The ECS was actually only recently discovered in 1992 by two doctors in Jerusalem.

Okay, I’m Listening... Tell Me About The Receptors (quickly)

The ECS receptors are appropriately named Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1 (CB1) and Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2 (CB2). CB1 & CB2 also happen to be the most plentiful neurotransmitter receptors in the brain.

Plus, CB1 & CB2 receptors aren’t just in your brain. They’re also EVERYWHERE in your body as shown in the image below.

What Does CBD Do To Your CB1 & CB2 Receptors?

CBD actually inhibits activity in your CB1 & CB2 receptors.

For example: if a THC molecule tries to attach to a CB1 or CB2 receptor where CBD has attached, the THC molecule will get blocked. This is good to know if you accidentally get “too high" because CBD can actually counteract THC's effects.

In addition to the human body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD can also bind to other non-ECS receptors throughout the body.

Therefore, it makes sense why the “feeling” of CBD isn’t stimulating, but rather the removal of feelings because CBD blocks the uptake of different bodily chemicals that cause a range of symptoms (like anxiety, pain & inflammation).

The "Feeling" of CBD Analogy

When you take Tylenol or Advil, what does it feel like? It’s hard to explain, right?

You don’t feel good, but within 20-30 minutes you feel better. Maybe your pain is alleviated or your headache subsides, and those are the benefits.

In a similar way, taking CBD doesn’t have an isolated feeling. It’s more the removal of unwanted feelings.


Science suggests that when you take CBD, it feels like a release of tension through the blocking of negative symptoms. Therefore the results of taking CBD may include: improved mood, more calmness and a heightened sense of relaxation.

What CBD Feels Like: My Personal Experience

What’s up! My name is Beau, and I’m a co-founder of Sunday Scaries. Like many, I didn’t know what to expect when I started taking CBD in early 2017.

But my original motivation for trying CBD was because of my constant battle with anxiety.

My Personal Battle With Anxiety

About 9 months before I started experimenting with CBD, my father unexpectedly passed away; he was only 63.

Meanwhile, I was running a restaurant and working 80 hours a week. I rarely saw my family and friends, and I was always on the clock.

My dad’s passing was a big awakening for me…

It continuously made me question my personal & professional priorities, which caused a lot of anxiety.

Unfortunately, by May 2017, I was hitting my breaking point.

My 1st ‘Experience' with CBD

In May 2017, I could tell I was nearing my breaking point because I was always irritable, scatterbrained and anxious.

I had a bad habit of only partially finishing projects before overwhelming myself with another one. My unimportant, "busy" tasks seemed to dominate my days and push back my true priorities. I felt unproductive and lost.

Fortunately, that month, I was introduced to CBD by my friend, Garrett.

He was an investment banker and said CBD helped him stay calm & concentrated while working under immense pressure.

  • When I asked him “How Does CBD Make You Feel?”
  • Garrett: “CBD is great! I’m able to stay focused & energized in my crazy industry."

That’s when I started experimenting with CBD.

My 1st ‘Impression’ of CBD

I really enjoyed it. But like many; I had a hard time comprehending and describing what it felt like.

What CBD Didn’t Feel Like:

  • I didn’t feel high or inhibited
  • I didn’t feel drunk or loopy
  • And I didn’t feel stimulated

But what I did feel was: cool, calm & composed.

To me, CBD felt like a release more than anything. It felt like that feeling of euphoria after an accomplishment, or a good workout or finishing a book.

What CBD Did Feel Like:

  • A relaxed sensation
  • A feeling of clarity
  • Like my racing mind had taken a chill pill
  • The removal of daily mental obstacles

To me, CBD didn’t necessarily “add” a feeling so much as it removed negative & distracting feelings. And that’s why I loved it. I didn’t need more things to handle; I needed things simplified, so I could focus on what mattered.

My Ongoing Experience with CBD

Fortunately, my best friend and business partner in the restaurant, Mike, had the same positive experiences with CBD. We were both so taken back by this new compound, that we wanted to share it with all of our friends.

That’s why we launched Sunday Scaries.

Now, I take CBD daily.

  • I usually take 2-3 CBD gummies in the afternoon to relax
  • And I take 30mg of the Sunday Scaries CBD oil at night to clear my mind, so I can get some awesome zzz's.


What is CBD like? My personal conclusion, after extensive experience with CBD, is that the feeling of CBD is actually the absence of anxious & distracting thoughts. When I take CBD, I feel more focused & relaxed, and less worried about things that could happen in the future or things that have already happened in the past.

Other Popular Questions About CBD

Here are some other popular questions about the feeling of CBD, which we’ll cover in this section.

Does CBD Get You High?

Can CBD get you high? The short answer is NO.

CBD does not get you high, and here’s some basic information why:


As you know, CBD stands for Cannabidiol. THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol.

  • THC is the cannabis molecule that gets you high
  • How to pronounce Tetrahydrocannabinol: Tetra-high-dro-canna-bin-all

CBD and THC are the two most common cannabinoids in hemp & marijuana. Hemp is naturally high in CBD & low in THC. Marijuana is high in THC & very low in CBD.

Both CBD and THC provide numerous therapeutic benefits. However, CBD is not psychoactive and does not get you high. THC is psychoactive and does get you high.

So does CBD make you high? No.

How Long Does CBD Last?

The effects of CBD can usually be felt for 2-5 hours. However, the precise length of time is dependent on variables like: the amount of CBD you take, your personal attributes (weight, activity, metabolism, etc) and the method of delivery (gummies, tincture, vape, etc).

In our experience, customers have stated that they experience the relaxing and calming effects of 20-50mg CBD for 2-5 hours.

How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

Experts at the World Health Organization predict that CBD can stay in your system for 3-4 days.

However, moderate (regular) users of CBD may have CBD in their system for 5-7 days, on average.

Also important to note: CBD edibles, which take longer to process through the digestive tract, may take up to three weeks before getting fully eliminated from the body.

Does CBD Show Up On A Drug Test?

The answer: it might.

Here are a few reasons CBD might show up on a drug test:

  1. Differentiation Error:Unfortunately, some drug tests have a difficult time differentiating between cannabinoids. Most common workplace drug tests are testing for compounds like THC because it impairs judgement, is psychoactive and inhibits motor skills. Some drug tests may have a difficult time differentiating between THC and CBD.
  2. Testing Method:CBD might show up on a drug test depending on the type of drug test issued. Varying types of drug tests include: urine, saliva, blood, hair & perspiration.
  3. Product Labeling & Quality:This is another important reason to buy CBD from a reputable CBD company that responsibly sources & tests its products. Otherwise, the product you’re buying could contain trace amounts of THC.

Short Answer: if your livelihood, job and income depends on passing a drug test, it is not recommended to consume CBD.

What are the Side Effects of CBD?

The World Health Organization has stated that “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

Naturally, Full-Spectrum CBD Oil may have THC, which can cause psychoactive and high effects. However, Broad Spectrum CBD Oil and CBD Isolate (pure CBD) have very little notable side effects.

Some people have reported the following CBD side effects, especially when taking at very large dosages:

  • Change in Appetite
  • Tiredness / Fatigue
  • Dry Mouth
  • Possible Interactions with Other Medications

CBD has been reported to have a favorable safety profile. However, always err on the side of caution and consult with your medical professional.

Can You Overdose On CBD?

It’s highly highly unlikely, and you would be the first person on record.

Like Mark Twain said “Too much of anything is bad.” You can overdose on CBD the same way you can overdose on ice cream. Consuming extremely large quantities (10,000mg+) won’t kill you, but you probably won’t feel too good.

Daily Use Note: In a 2011 study, researchers found that doses of 1,500mg of CBD per day were well tolerated by the human test subjects.

No reports, to date, have shown CBD to be the reason for a death by overdose.

How Much is Too Much CBD?

Because there have not been any recorded deaths from a CBD overdose, the amount of CBD you would need to consume to induce a lethal overdose is inconclusive.

However, there are estimations for lethal overdosing for THC.

***Keep in mind the overdosing threshold for CBD would most likely exceed that of THC.

Comparative: THC Overdosing

For the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume CBD and THC have the same overdosing thresholds.

To potentially induce a lethal THC overdose, it’s been suggested that a person would have to consume an estimated 300mg+ of THC per pound of body weight in a single sitting. WHOA!

Therefore, an average 160 lb woman would have to consume 48,400mg+ of THC in one sitting to potentially induce a lethal overdose.

An average 190 lb man would have to consume 57,500mg+ of THC in one sitting to potentially induce a lethal overdose.


The estimated lethal overdose measurement for caffeine is 87mg per pound of body weight.

How Much CBD Should I Take?

Proper CBD dosing is tricky because there are so many variables. Variables like your body weight, your ailment, your body’s chemistry and the type of CBD can all affect how your dosing.

Neuroscientist, Nick Jikomes, who works at Leafly commented on this paradigm and stated that our body’s physiology naturally changes over time as well, and so do the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our Endocannabinoid System. Since the CB1 and CB2 receptors are primarily responsible for our body’s interactions with CBD, individual dosing will even shift throughout one’s lifetime as well.

Conclusion: Since dosing isn’t universal, start with low doses. Start with 10-20mg of CBD per serving and then gradually increase your dosage until you get your desired effects.

Fortunately, CBD oils and gummies from reputable CBD brands are usually dosed with 10-30mg servings, specifically for this purpose.

Is CBD Addictive?

The short answer: No.

According to the World Health Organization “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”

In addition, studies have shown that CBD users don’t experience physical withdrawal symptoms associated with addictions.

Is CBD Legal?

The short answer: Yes.

CBD is federally legal as long as it’s derived from hemp with under .3% THC. However some states and counties do have unique restrictive regulations.

For example, Kentucky outlaws CBD tea while other ingestibles are legal.

Specific State Regulations Regarding CBD:

Note: State laws are continuously changing. To stay updated with your state's CBD regulations, we recommend using this Leafly State Tracker.

Other Variables that Can Impact the Feeling of CBD

Cannabis-Derivation Variables

The molecule of CBD from hemp and marijuana is exactly the same. Whether from hemp or marijuana, CBD is made up of 21 carbon atoms, thirty hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms.

Isn’t it cute? It has your eyes.

Note: Hemp may also be referred to as “industrial hemp” because it is not only grown for CBD, but other consumer products as well.


Over 50,000 consumer products use compounds made from industrial hemp. Industrial hemp refers to a hemp plant that naturally has less than .3% THC.

That being said, the CBD oil may differ if it contains other cannabinoids and terpenes, including THC.

CBD "Oils" vs Isolate

CBD oils include CBD and other naturally occurring terpenes & cannabinoids found in hemp or marijuana. They are cleverly referred to as CBD's "entourage."

The oil is usually a light amber color as seen below:

CBD Isolate is the isolated molecule of CBD. Whether from hemp or marijuana, it's identical. However, deriving CBD isolate from marijuana isn't economical because of the naturally low CBD density in the marijuana plant. In addition, marijuana is federally illegal.

Marijuana's low CBD density and federally illegal status are the two strongest reasons why CBD found in consumer products is predominantly derived from hemp.

In the picture below, CBD Isolate is visible in its white powder form.

Hemp-Derived CBD Oil

Hemp-derived CBD oil will contain less than .3% THC, making it federally legal. This makes CBD oil from industrial hemp allowable for sale in all 50 states.

Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil

Marijuana-derived CBD oil may contain more than .3% THC, which is federally illegal. It must be sold at specially licensed medical facilities or sold to adults over 21 years of age in licensed recreational marijuana dispensaries.

How Do Feelings Change For Each Type Of CBD?

The primary question here is: How Does CBD Oil Make You Feel? Well, it kinda depends…

CBD is used in products in three primary forms: Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate.

What is Full Spectrum CBD Oil?

Full Spectrum CBD oil contains hemp or marijuana’s original terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids. This also means that the oil may contain THC because it has not been extracted out. Therefore, you may get a little high from full-spectrum CBD oil.

  • What are Terpenes?
    Terpenes are organic compounds found in cannabis plants that create the aroma of the plant. When taken with cannabinoids like CBD, Terpenes improve the therapeutic effect of the compound and can help with absorption into the body. This is what is referred to as the "entourage effect."
  • What are Flavonoids?
    Flavonoids are phytonutrients, meaning nutrients “of the plant.” Flavonoids are natural antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatory and other stress-reducing benefits.
  • What are the other Cannabinoids?
    In addition to THC, other popular cannabinoids include CBN, CBG and CBC. The presence of other cannabinoids are suggested to enhance the effectiveness of CBD.

What is Broad Spectrum CBD Oil

Broad Spectrum CBD oil contains hemp or marijuana’s original terpenes and cannabinoids without THC. Basically, Broad-Spectrum CBD oil is Full-Spectrum CBD oil without the THC.

Broad Spectrum CBD oil and Full Spectrum CBD oil typically look identical.

What is CBD Isolate?

CBD Isolate is the isolated compound of CBD without all the other cannabinoids, terpenes or flavonoids. It is also known as “pure” CBD, and should have a purity ranking of 97% or higher.

CBD Isolate is created through crystallization, which is then broken down into a white powder. It’s the purest form of CBD available on the market today.

How Does CBD Oil Make You Feel? It depends:

  • Full Spectrum CBD Oil Feeling:Because Full Spectrum CBD Oil may contain trace amounts of THC, you may encounter a slight “high” or euphoric feeling in addition to the relaxation feeling from the CBD.
  • Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Feeling:Because Broad Spectrum CBD Oil contains the complimentary terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids, the therapeutic and relaxation effects of CBD will be enhanced. However, unlike Full Spectrum CBD Oil, you won’t get high because the cannabinoid THC has been removed.
  • CBD Isolate Feeling:CBD Isolate will have the normal feelings of CBD as discussed in this article: natural relaxation, calming and a feeling of being collected.

Note: Since it’s been suggested that Broad Spectrum CBD oil enhances the effects of CBD, a larger dose of CBD Isolate may be required to achieve the same feelings as Broad Spectrum CBD oil.

How Personal Variables May Affect How CBD Feels

Other personal factors like your age, weight and overall health condition may affect the feeling you get from CBD.

In addition, ailments or the reason you’re taking CBD will determine the feeling you experience. Someone taking CBD for pain versus stress will experience & seek different types of relief.

Pleas note, it’s always best to consult with your doctor before taking CBD. This is especially important if you are taking other medications, which CBD may interact with.

The Delivery Method May Affect How CBD Feels

The method of delivery may also affect how you feel CBD.

CBD can be delivered in numerous ways. The most popular methods of CBD deliveries are through: oils, gummy bears, candy, topicals, vaporizers and capsules.

Each method has different absorption rates which are discussed in the next section.

What is the Best Way to Take CBD?

Here are the approximated absorption times for different delivery methods for taking CBD:

  • Vaping: 10-15 minutes
  • Taking Oil / Sublingual CBD: 10-25 minutes
  • Taking Gummies / Candy: 20-45 minutes (Obviously a great choice because they’re delicious!)
  • Swallowing Capsules: 20-45 minutes
  • Rubbing on Topicals: 25-50 minutes

Conclusion: Vaping CBD and sublingual CBD oil will help you feel the benefits of CBD faster. Topicals usually take the longest.

How Long Does It Take For CBD Oil To Work?

When taking sublingual CBD oil (under the tongue), CBD oil takes about 10-25 minutes to work.

However, it’s very common for CBD oil to be added to coffee, teas, smoothies and other edibles like salad dressings and treats.

In this case, it will take CBD oil 20-45 minutes to work if added to other methods of delivery that aren’t sublingual.

How Long Does CBD Oil Last?

As stated above, when CBD oil is taken sublingually, it should take about 10-25 minutes to feel its effects.

The effects should last 2-5 hours. However, your dosing and personal variables will have a dramatic effect on this timeframe. You won't know for sure until you try!

How Long Does CBD Oil Stay in Your System?

On average, CBD oil will stay in your system for 3-7 days, unless you ingest the CBD oil within an edible.

In that case, the edible must pass through your digestive system, which could keep the CBD in your system for up to three weeks.

Timing May Affect How CBD Feels

The timing of when you take CBD may also affect how it makes you feel.

Should you take CBD in the morning or at night? It depends…

Some people report that the relaxation they get from CBD makes them feel tired or drowsy. Contrastingly, some people claim it gives them clarity and energy.

Notably, important factors to consider when taking CBD are the other ingredients in the product you’re taking.

For Example: if you’re sensitive to sugar, then taking CBD gummies in the afternoon is a better choice, so the sugar doesn't keep you up at night.

CONCLUSION: What Does CBD Feel Like?

The survey results favored the notion that CBD feels like a state of natural relaxation.

Scientific research suggests that CBD feels like the absence of negative stimuli as a result of CBD causing brain & body receptors to block chemicals that cause unwanted symptoms.

My personal conclusion is that the feeling of CBD is the absence of distracting or anxious thoughts. The feeling I experience from CBD is an improved mood, clarity & focus through mental relaxation.

Conclusively: the feeling of CBD is most closely related to sensations of relaxation, relief and clarity.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide any medical or health advice. Before taking CBD, you should always consult with your medical professional. People’s experiences with CBD and reasons for taking CBD largely fluctuate, and none of this information is intended to guarantee any results.