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How Does CBD Make You Feel?

There’s no denying that CBD, or cannabidiol, is taking the health and wellness world by storm. CBD boasts a long list of health benefits, ranging from reducing anxiety to relieving chronic pain. But before cracking open the tincture, many first-time users are probably wondering, how does CBD make you feel?

Those who aren’t fans of the psychoactive effects of THC might be cautious about consuming its sister cannabinoid. Others might wonder if it’ll even affect their symptoms. Will it relieve their back pain, or just make them drowsy and unfocused?

So why and how exactly do people use CBD — and of course, how does it affect them?

Read on to get the CBD experiences of seven real people. Their words have been lightly edited for clarity.


Alyssa Royse, CrossFit owner and trainer

I used it for years after breaking my neck, which will not heal. It’s really the only thing that works when pain flares up, and I refuse to spend my life on opioids, for obvious reasons.

I generally use a tincture. But I also have mints that I can carry with me, and a couple of topical rubs that I love. I don’t like to be high or “out of it,” (total control freak, probably, and I should probably work on that) so CBD is great for me.

I tried the pharma stuff — a whole encyclopedia of prescription pain pills — and I hated them all.


Stephen Woolfolk, entrepreneur

Stephen Woolfolk headshot
I initially dabbled in the CBD waters a couple years ago when I was in college due to soreness from training during the soccer season.

Now I am an avid believer that it is marvelous for far more than just physical soreness. I use it mainly for focusing while working on office work, or things of that nature.


Elizabeth Collins, comedian

Elizabeth Collins headshot
I’ve used it for Ménière’s Disease. When I feel symptoms coming in, like a full ear, I take some to try prevent a vertigo attack.

I had never smoked pot nor tried CBD; it was out of desperation that I tried it.

When symptoms of vertigo are severe, I’ll take a few drops of CBD every few hours. I had read it helps improve symptoms for others with Ménière’s. I’m not sure if there is any real science behind that but I know I feel a lot better managing symptoms of imbalance and anxiety. Plus CBD calms my eyes during vertigo or when my eyes are anxiously searching for balance.


Leanna Johnson, writer

Leanna Johnson Headshot
My fiancé Emerson and I both deal with mental health concerns, he has anxiety and I was diagnosed with PTSD and depression. We’d been looking for some medicine alternatives to help with panic attacks and overall mood swings.

Although I have tried antidepressants and mood stabilizers, the stakes are often high for strong medications because you have to commit to taking it consistently as well as monitoring dosage and potential side effects.

Emerson is a vaper, and he first learned about CBD at his vape shop here in the Chicago suburbs.

Generally, we buy a bottle of very concentrated CBD drops and take it sublingually (under the tongue). It’s not cheap, but a small bottle can last up to 6 months. There’s no real regular routine, we both will take a couple drops as needed on stressful days or if we have trouble sleeping.

I find it particularly helpful during panic attacks or depressive episodes because the mellowing effect helps break the self-destructive “cyclone” thought pattern.


Melanie DeCarolis, marketing content strategist and guitarist

I use it mostly for repetitive strain injury/carpal tunnel issues — I’ve got a desk job and I play guitar in a band — and early onset arthritis in my knees.

I’ve had mixed luck with the stress management side of it. I started this summer, which complied with the legalization timeline in Massachusetts, where I live.

I’ve been primarily using ointments and rubs because I’ve had more success with it for pain management. Ingesting it sublingually for stress hasn’t yielded much for me, but I admit I haven’t experimented as widely as I probably should for proper dosages.


Kim Wong-Shing, writer

Kim Wong-Shing headshot
I use CBD daily for anxiety! I’ll take a small enough amount that at first, doesn’t really make me feel anything, and I usually forget all about it. But then after some time I realize that I’m less anxious.

It doesn’t completely stop the anxiety, but I definitely notice a difference. I’m really sensitive to pretty much all substances (caffeine, THC, sugar, everything) and even a regular dose of CBD can make me too relaxed to function how I need to. So, taking a tiny amount at a time works for me, but sometimes I take more if I want to really chill out before bed.

For me, it’s similar to the mellow feeling of smoking weed, but without the anxiety attacks that THC gives me.


Justin Miller, website creator

I use it for a slipped disc in my L4 and fractured C1 on my neck, as well as other past injuries.

CBD is super effective in reducing the inflammation and pain in my back, knee, and neck. I was hit by a car three years ago and suffered most of these injuries. It’s life-changing.


So, there you have it. People of all paths use CBD to help them go through life a little easier, whether that means taking it daily or on an as-needed basis.

These folks are able to manage their health symptoms and still do all the things that make them, well, them.

Of course, CBD isn’t going to work the same for everyone. It might take some trial and error before you’re able to figure out the right dosage and method of consumption. That being said, these testimonials show that for many people, it could be worth it.

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The Author

Kathleen Wong

Kathleen Wong

Kathleen Wong is a writer based in Honolulu, Hawaii. She has written for High Times, Merry Jane, Mashable, Refinery29 and Mic. When she isn't writing, you can find her on the beach or walking her dog.