What Does CBD Feel Like?

The one question we get all the time from first-time CBD shoppers is “what does CBD feel like?” 

It’s a perfectly good question, especially because the FDA has barred companies from making any explicit medical claims about CBD. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t any one-size-fits-all answer. Everyone is unique and has their own sensitivities. That said, you can get a sense of what CBD feels like by understanding:

  • What CBD is 
  • How CBD interacts with your body 
  • And, reading about how CBD makes others feel. 

We hope to cover all of that and more in this post.

What Is CBD?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the more than 100 chemical compounds (called cannabinoids) produced by the cannabis plant. While there are traces of CBD in what we call “marijuana” (cannabis that produces the psychoactive cannabinoid THC,) CBD is more commonly found in hemp plants.

CBD Molecule
Cannabidiol Chemical Structure


CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and will not get you “high.” This lack of intoxication has led the World Health Organization to state that “[i]n humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…” 

CBD won’t make you “high” and it can’t lead to dependency in users, so what does CBD feel like?

What Does CBD Do?

While experts aren’t entirely sure yet how CBD interacts with your body’s biology, we do know for sure that it interacts with your endocannabinoid system; an intricate cell-signaling system that manages a whole bunch of bodily functions, like:

  • Sleep
  • Mood 
  • Appetite 
  • Memory 
  • Fertility 
  • Central nervous system development
  • Synaptic plasticity 
  • And much more

As mentioned above, researchers aren’t completely sure about how CBD interacts with your body, but the general hunch right now is that CBD influences the CB1 and CB2 receptors to uptake more beneficial molecules and inhibits the uptake of other, less-desirable molecules.

What Does CBD Feel Like?

Unlike some all-natural, homeopathic remedies, CBD has an effect that you will feel. Depending on your method of ingestion, CBD can take 5-90 minutes to fully kick in. Also know that, unlike THC, CBD will not make you feel “high.” 

Still, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, so let’s break the question down a bit.

What Does CBD Feel Like When I…

Smoke or Vaporize It?

Smoking or vaping CBD flower/ concentrates should make you feel the CBD’s effects almost instantly. When inhaled, CBD comes in contact with your lung tissue and enters your bloodstream rapidly. 

Some studies suggest that after smoking or vaping, CBD reaches peak concentration in your bloodstream in just three minutes.

Take It Sublingually?

When you take CBD sublingually— under the tongue—  you should feel effects between 10-20 minutes later.

It should be noted that when taking CBD oil under your tongue, you’ll want to hold it there for at least 20 seconds before swallowing.

Apply It Topically?

Topical CBD is a different experience than ingesting CBD. When applying CBD salves, lotions, or cosmetics, you should feel something quickly. However, you should only feel the CBD taking effect on the spot applied. Most of the other ways CBD can make you feel won’t necessarily apply unless you use your topical product in conjunction with another ingestion method.

Eat or Drink It?

Eating or drinking your CBD in the form of an edible has its own pros and cons compared to say inhalation or sublingual ingestion. Taking a CBD edible will take longer to kick in— anywhere between 45 – 90 minutes depending on your personal metabolism and some other factors. 

That said, when you take a CBD edible you should feel the effects of the CBD for longer than you would with the other ingestion methods.

See our do’s and don’ts to making your very own CBD edibles here.

What Does CBD Feel Like Physically?

CBD’s physical effects depend on which type of product you consume and how often you partake. Someone who uses CBD topically will certainly feel the very targeted effects almost immediately. 

Someone who ingests CBD products may feel a number of things physically. CBD can make you feel: 

  • Sleepy or more awake (again, product dependent. Our CBD Coffee definitely won’t put you to sleep!)
  • Relaxed 
  • Less stiff

What Does CBD Feel Like Mentally?

CBD can also promote mental well-being. Whether or not these benefits come about from CBD use or from the physical effects listed above is still unknown, but many of our customers have said that using CBD makes them feel: 

  • Less socially anxious 
  • Able to focus
  • More alert
  • At ease 

How Long Will CBD Make Me Feel Like This?

Another good question. Expect the feelings brought about by CBD to last anywhere from an hour to six hours depending on the method of ingestion and dose taken. Generally speaking, inhaling CBD will wear off quicker than if you were to eat/drink your CBD.

What Does CBD Feel Like In High Doses? Can CBD Make You Feel Bad?

It is possible to overdo CBD, just like it’s possible to overdo anything. That said, taking too much CBD isn’t the end of the world. Picture CBD’s potency as a bell curve. Eventually, as you take more CBD, the effect additional CBD will have on you diminishes. 

Taking too much CBD will also increase the chance that you’ll experience a negative side effects like: 

  • Dry-mouth 
  • Fatigue 
  • Diarrhea

If you experience one of the above negative side effects, take a break, wait, and let your body flush out the excess CBD.

What CBD Feels Like According To Our Customers

We should note before these reviews that the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated any of these statements and CBD is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose, or treat any illness. 

Crystal R. writes of our 3,000mg Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture:

I am not exaggerating when I say this has really made a difference in my life. I have struggled with insomnia for years with nothing that has helped. I consider myself an optimistic person yet with life issues, juggling work, being a mom and this pandemic, I was feeling anxious more than I liked. 5 months on CBD and I can sleep! I keep it with me all the time and take it as I need it through the day. It’s a must for me. Sunset Lake has amazing customer service. I always get my products fast and with a friendly “neighbor” note from them. Thank you Sunset Lake!”

Josef D. purchased our Suver Haze Hemp Flower Smalls for his mother and writes:

“So I am writing this from perspective of watching it help someone else. I gave this strain to my mother who has chronic pain in four parts of her body. She is also getting over a surgery. She said the taste and smell were good. I smelled it before giving it to her and the pepper was there but stronger on the fruit side of the aroma. Very smelly in a good way. I saw her later on in the day and she said it is very motivational and she actually had to be careful and reign herself in because if she did anymore cleaning she was going to hurt herself. That is a good result I would say. I love my mother and it breaks my heart when she hurts so bad but with the help of hemp and hemp products she is able to live a meaningful life.”

Karen C. writes about our 500mg CBD Salve:

“I have been applying the salve to my feet every morning for about a year now. I suffer from Neuropathy in both feet, and within minutes of application, this salve greatly reduces the pain. It lasts a long time, too.”

Takeaways: What Does CBD Feel Like?

CBD will feel differently person-to-person, situation-to-situation, and product-to-product. The best way to determine what a specific product might do for you is by conducting your own research. Read other user reviews. Be sure to check out the product’s certificate of analysis to figure out exactly what you’ll be taking. 

Also remember that CBD is NOT an FDA-approved supplement and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 


“CANNABIDIOL (CBD) Pre-Review Report.” Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, World Health Organization 10 Nov. 2017

Bakas, T et al. “The direct actions of cannabidiol and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol at GABAA receptors.” Pharmacological research vol. 119 (2017): 358-370. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2017.02.022

Crean, Rebecca D et al. “An evidence based review of acute and long-term effects of cannabis use on executive cognitive functions.” Journal of addiction medicine vol. 5,1 (2011): 1-8. doi:10.1097/ADM.0b013e31820c23fa

Linares, Ila M et al. “Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test.” Revista brasileira de psiquiatria (Sao Paulo, Brazil : 1999) vol. 41,1 (2019): 9-14. doi:10.1590/1516-4446-2017-0015

Bauer, Brent “What are the benefits of CBD— and is it safe to use?” MayoClinic.org, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 18 Dec. 2020 https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700