Does One Size Fit All? Here’s How CBD’s Effects Can Vary From Person to Person

“CBD isn’t psychoactive.”

“CBD will never get you high.”

“There are no negative side effects to CBD.”

These are all things we’re constantly told about CBD, one of our favorite herbal remedies and one of hemp’s many gifts to humankind. But are they universal truths?
Realistically, no. That’s not to say CBD is harmful — that’s definitely not the point we’d like to make today, nor do we think it’s factually accurate. However, it’s important to recognize that every single body processes things differently, from vegetables all the way to alcohol and drugs.
Girl laying on bed shot by David Cohen

Just as two different people can have completely different reactions to the same cocktail — take for instance, your favorite lightweight friend who’s tipsy off a few sips, versus you, the tank who won’t feel anything until drink three — CBD can have a different expression in every person.

Sure, on the whole, CBD gives similar results for most people. It’s just like how whole wheat bread doesn’t have any negative side effects or warnings — it’s considered a completely safe food to eat. But if you have Celiac or Crohn’s, you definitely wouldn’t say bread is side-effect-free . . . right?

Different people have different sensitivities, and to say that CBD is universally non-psychoactive may not be painting the whole picture. When it comes to taking a whole plant extract or full-spectrum tincture, you’re absorbing a whole range of phytocannabinoids — including CBD — that could have an impact on your body that produces a bit of a high. This could also depend on your dose, and how many milligrams of CBD you’re taking.

Take me for example: I’ve had nearly a hundred different CBD products at different doses with different deliveries. 99-percent of the time, I don’t notice a thing. I typically feel relaxed, I reduce inflammation, and I sleep more soundly (It’s hard to notice anything when you’re removing negative side effects, right?). But I’ve definitely become high from using CBD products before. After trying some CBD chocolate I got a warm, fuzzy, mellow feeling — like a “borderline high.” 

Once was from taking too much when I first started using it — I’m talking full on stoned. Munchies, paranoia, inability to concentrate, the works. Another time I took too much of a whole-plant extract (which likely had a bit more than the typical 0.3-percent or less THC), and was so incredibly high — at my family’s house during the holidays — that I told my mother my quads were filling with hot helium and my legs were floating to the ceiling. I wish I was making this up.

It’s not just me, either. We’ve talked to several women with different CBD experiences, and they’re almost afraid to share their experience because they’ve been told that CBD doesn’t have these effects. Liz L. from San Francisco, CA had a little too much CBD on one of her first experiences with the supplement. In her words, she “felt like an astronaut. Soooo high.”

Cheyenne A. from Encinitas, CA told SVN that after trying some CBD chocolate she got a warm, fuzzy, mellow feeling — like a “borderline high.” 

“I used to say CBD is non-psychoactive,” said co-founder of Hudson Hemp, Melany Dobson. “Now I’ve changed that to CBD is non-intoxicating. If you really look into CBD, it will have some psychoactive effects because the brain and the body are very connected.”

And on the other hand, some people don’t feel a response to CBD products at all. Just like some medications and drugs are quite effective for one patient, they’ll be useless on another patient. Why do you think there are nearly 100 kinds of antidepressants?

Keep in mind that when it comes to cannabis and its effects, more and more research is being done by the hour practically. More people are trying CBD than ever before, so we’re on the precipice of a mega-download of information when it comes to how bodies process this plant and this compound individually — and there’s bound to be quite a spectrum.

And like we’ve said before, the general population will (*likely*) have a similar response to CBD — no negative side effects, reduced inflammation, relieved anxiety, improved sleep — but it’s impossible to say that one particular thing affects every single person in an identical way.  As we like to say, if you are just getting into CBD, start low and go slow.

Written by Dominique Astorino

Wellness Expert and Svn Space Podcast Host and Contributing Editor Dominique holds bylines at POPSUGAR, Brit+Co, SHAPE, Svn Space and Huffington Post Wellness covering everything from health, fitness, and nutrition to crystals and CBD.

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