What to Expect When You Take CBD

Jan 22, 2020


by Dan Ketchum

Does CBD get you high? Does CBD make you sleepy? Will you help me move this weekend? The answers are “never,” “maybe sometimes” and “please delete my number.” 

Just as you’ve got flavor profile options from minty to citrusy to cherry-on-top, entering the world of CBD presents you with a whole rainbow of intake options. Most commonly, there’s vaping, taking supplements like capsules and tinctures (called ingestibles) orally or rubbing on topical treatments. Each option works a little differently — both in terms of how they work and, most importantly, how they might make you feel.


How CBD Feels

Right off the bat, it’s crucial to note that everyone’s experience with CBD varies — that’s the beauty of being human, after all. Your unique physical body, the potency and dosage of the CBD, the absorption rate of the intake method and even what you ate for lunch can affect your personal experience.

Generally speaking, users report a relaxing sensation or a reduction in nervous feelings when using CBD. One thing’s for sure: CBD will not make you high as it does not contain significant amounts of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. 


When You Vape

In terms of results, most evidence is anecdotal, but vape users often report that it’s the fastest way to feel results, as inhaling vapor potentially hits the bloodstream quicker than other methods. It’s common to start feeling the effects of CBD just a few minutes after inhalation, and the feelings can remain for about three to five hours. 

 Although you’re not inhaling smoke, vaping is similar to smoking in that you’re absorbing the substance through your lungs. Vaping is often criticized for poor regulation, and a 2018 study from Environmental Health Perspectives finds that “potentially dangerous levels of metals leak from some e-cigarette heating coils.” By October 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that vaping-related lung injuries had clocked in at an alarming 1,080, while 18 people had been reported dead. Speaking to Vice in 2018, toxicologist Michelle Peace of Virginia Commonwealth University says, “When you inhale something as opposed to eating something, you do have to be careful.”*

*FOCL always recommends researching and buying from a trusted vendor to ensure you are putting a trusted and safe product in your body. 


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Getting More Topical

While hemp-seed-based oils do not have potential therapeutic effects, topically applied lotions, oils and balms that contain CBD do. When you rub topical solutions onto your skin — often used to help ease day-to-day aches or soreness — the CBD enters your bloodstream gradually.

So how long does it take for CBD oil to work? What about a good rub of CBD lotion? About as long as it takes to work orally, which is to say an hour or two. The effects may last longer when compared to vaping, as topical products enter your bloodstream over a prolonged period of time. 

The effects may feel gentler unless higher concentrations of CBD are present in the product. While massaging balms, lotions and topical oils onto specific body parts may help target them, using a transdermal CBD patch often produces a broader-feeling effect. 


Digesting Ingestibles 

There’s another type of oil in the CBD game, too. You can take cannabis oils and tinctures (cannabis dissolved in a solvent) like FOCL’s Premium CBD Drops by placing a tiny bit under your tongue, dropping some into your morning smoothie and more. Like topical options, the CBD is absorbed directly into your bloodstream, often making for an absorption method that rivals vaping in speed. It can take about a half hour to feel the effects, and the steady release may last for many hours.

Similarly, edibles and CBD capsules potentially offer more sustained effects. Speaking to CNET in 2019, Kevin Boehnke, PhD, of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan says, “It actually takes a while to hit the bloodstream because it has to be digested and metabolized ... So it takes a while to take effect, but then that lasts a lot longer and tapers more slowly.” Edibles and supplements, from chocolate bars to FOCL Day and FOCL Night capsules, can peak in about an hour or two and last up to roughly six hours, though full or empty bellies can affect that range.  

Start low, go slow and find the CBD product that works just right for you.  

Dan has been a freelance writer and small business owner since 2009. In the healthcare realm, he’s fortunate enough to have collaborated with the likes of Civilized Life, Cetaphil, LIVESTRONG, VitaGenne, DermStore, JillianMichaels.com and more as a writer, with work appearing in publications such as USA Today, The Seattle Times and the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate, among others.


Vice: Everything We Know About the Health Risks of Vaping CBD

Healthline: From Vaping to Gummies: 3 People Dish on Using CBD for Anxiety

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Study: Lead and Other Toxic Metals Found in E-Cigarette ‘Vapors’

Cnet: Edibles vs. Topicals vs. Vaping vs. Oils: CBD Products, Explained

USA Today: Vaping-related Lung Injury Cases Surge to 1,080; Deaths Rise to 18

Healthline: Can You Get High from CBD or CBD Oil?

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