What to Expect When Taking CBD for the First Time

Cannabidiol is wildly popular, but if you’re about to take it for the first time, you’re probably unsure of what to expect. Does it get you high? How do you choose a CBD product that actually works? The confusion is compounded by the wild marketing claims made by many CBD companies. We’d like to set the record straight and help you to understand what to truly expect your first time taking CBD.

Basic Overview of CBD

CBD is short for cannabidiol. It’s a cannabinoid, a natural active compound found in the cannabis plant. It belongs to the same class of compounds as THC, but it’s non-psychoactive (i.e. you don’t get high from it). CBD is derived from hemp, which contains no more than .3% THC, so it’s legal at the federal level and not regulated like marijuana.

People are using CBD for its purported health benefits. It has been studied as a potential treatment option for numerous conditions, including:

While most of the research is in its early stages, anecdotal reports are largely positive and many people swear by CBD oil.

What Kind of CBD Should You Buy?

Cannabidiol is available in a wide range of preparations, including:

  • Tinctures
  • Vape oils
  • Lotions and creams (topicals)
  • Gummies/edibles
  • Coffees and teas
  • Bath bombs
  • Capsules
  • Hemp flower

There’s even a CBD pillow.

CBD oil tinctures are the most popular preparation; just place a couple of drops under your tongue. It’s a quick, easy delivery system that’s discreet and fast-acting.

If you’re seeking localized pain relief, you might choose a topical product that allows you to apply the remedy directly to the affected area—such as your knees, joints, or back.

Beyond that, it largely comes down to personal preference. If you already enjoy vaping, you might try vape oils. If you’re a coffee-lover, you might want to try hemp flower coffee.

The real decision you have to make is whether to buy full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or isolate CBD.

Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolate

There are three types of cannabidiol product on the market:

  • Full-spectrum: Full-spectrum CBD products contain all of the cannabinoids found in the plant, including the CBD along with CBN, CBG, THCV, CBGV, and trace amounts of THC.
  • Broad-spectrum: Broad-spectrum products are similar to full-spectrum, except that the THC has been removed.
  • Isolate: Isolate products contain only the CBD and no other cannabinoids.

Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products are usually your best bet.

Full-spectrum products are believed to be the most potent because the various cannabinoids work together to promote a range of therapeutic effects that you can’t get with CBD alone. If you want these benefits but you don’t want any traces of THC in your blood, broad-spectrum CBD is also a great choice, as it still contains more than 100 non-psychoactive cannabinoids.

How Much Should You Expect to Pay for CBD?

The cost of cannabidiol can vary significantly depending on a number of factors. Consider that a standard 1 oz. (30 mL) bottle of CBD can easily range from $35 to $150 depending on:

  • The CBD concentration. A 1 oz. bottle may contain just 250 mg or over 3,000 mg of the active ingredient. Beginners should start with a low concentration.
  • The CBD manufacturer. Brand recognition can amount to higher costs.
  • The type of CBD product. Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum tend to cost more than isolate products.
  • The quality of the product. Reputable brands spend extra on the highest-quality hemp manufacturing, premium-grade CO2 extraction, and third-party lab testing, so consumers can expect to pay more.

As a beginner, you might expect to pay an average of $50 to $60 for a 500 mg bottle of full-spectrum CBD oil. You can save money by using CBD coupons and shopping online.

CBD Dosage for Beginners

Now that you have your CBD, it’s time to start taking it. You don’t want to overdo it with the dosage, as this can lead to unwanted side effects without significantly increasing the benefit.

For a beginner, you want to start with a low dosage, about 5 to 10 mg, 2 to 3 times per day. Finding the right dosage may require a bit of math. A typical 30 mL bottle of CBD contains 30 servings (or droppers). So if the bottle contains 250 mg, a single serving will contain just over 8 mg—perfect for beginners. If your bottle contains 500 mL, a full dropper will contain about 16.6 mg; in that case, you might consume a half-dropper 2 to 3 times per day.

Increase the dosage slowly and gradually if you don’t get the desired effect or if you sense your tolerance increasing.

What to Expect When It’s Your First Time Taking CBD

When you take a high-quality CBD product, at first you’ll feel nothing at all. Depending on the delivery system, it can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to over an hour for the effects to kick in.

How Long Does It Take for CBD to Work?

According to Dr. Thomas G. O’Brien, a certified medical marijuana physician and the author of Medical Marijuana – Real Life Success Stories:

  • Vape Products take less than 2 minutes to kick in.
  • Sublingual Tinctures take 20 minutes to kick in.
  • Topicals take 30 minutes to an hour to kick in.
  • Edibles take 60 to 90 minutes to kick in.
  • Pills/Capsules take 60 to 90 minutes to kick in.

There’s a tradeoff, though. The products that work the fastest also tend to burn off more quickly. So while a vape product works almost instantly, the effects can fade within 3 hours. While edibles and pills take the longest to work, their effects can last 4 to 6 hours or longer. So decide which benefits are most important to you.

What Does It Feel Like Your First Time Taking CBD?

Taking a hemp-based CBD product isn’t like smoking marijuana. The effects aren’t going to hit you like a freight train. Cannabidiol is much more subtle, and in some cases, you might feel nothing at all—especially the first time around.

Your first dose of cannabidiol is just your initial loading dose. Cannabidiol binds to fat cells and is stored in the body and slowly released. As the level of cannabidiol increases in your body with each subsequent dose, the effects become more potent and more noticeable. So don’t fret if you don’t feel anything right away.

When the effects do kick in, some users report feeling a sense of relaxation, calm, or euphoria. Other users have reported noticeable pain relief or muscle relaxation. In some cases, mild drowsiness might set in. CBD should never inhibit your ability to drive, work, or go about your day.

If you’ve taken a few doses and you still don’t feel any effects, check to ensure that the product has a certificate of analysis from a third-party testing lab. You can often find this on the manufacturer’s website. The certificate confirms that the product contains as much cannabidiol as advertised. If the manufacturer doesn’t provide this certificate, you may have been sold a bad CBD product.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of CBD?

As long as you stick with the recommended low dosage, side effects should be very mild if they occur at all. The most common reported CBD side effects are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • General fatigue

Consider reducing the dosage if side effects present themselves.

Should You Try CBD?

The precise therapeutic effects of cannabidiol are still being researched, assessed, and debated, but millions of users already swear by it. Results may vary, but if you’d like to see for yourself if CBD can help you, you have nothing to lose. Cannabidiol is extremely well-tolerated, it’s legal in Canada and most U.S. states (Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, and South Dakota being the exceptions), and the side effects are mild.

Try it for yourself, and then let us know if it works for you!

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