How do you know if you’ve had a positive experience with CBD?

July 15, 2023

One of the most commonly asked questions we hear is whether or not you’ve had the right kind of experience with CBD. Many people will mistakenly conflate CBD with illegal drugs like cannabis or LSD where there’s a commonly held belief you can have good and bad experiences. Our goal with this quick explainer article is to put the confusion to one side, highlight the positive impact of CBD, and let you know of any potential warning signs you need to look out for. 

Firstly, CBD is completely safe, legal and in no way comparable to the illegal drugs where people talk about ‘bad trips’ or ‘getting high’. We see CBD for exactly what it is — a naturally derived supplement that allows your mind and body to work the way nature intended. Confusing CBD with drugs is not only irresponsible and inaccurate, it also dramatically increases the chances of a significant proportion of the population missing out on the proven health and wellness benefits it has to offer. And when you’re in the business of helping people from all walks of life live better, that’s certainly something you’ll be keen to avoid. 

CBD is Completely Legal, Don’t Worry

Next up, we need to look at common questions like how long does cannabis stay in your blood and how long does cannabis stay in your system for in the right context. Rather than worrying unduly about measuring the exact levels in your body, we need to think about how to tell whether or not the CBD is doing what we intend. The best way to approach this is to first spell out clearly and precisely how CBD works and why this allows it to do what it does. 

Common conditions that CBD is used to treat include, but are not limited to: chronic pain, social anxiety, stress and muscle soreness. In each case we could go into detail about the biochemistry involved, but a quicker, and potentially more insightful approach, is to think about what each of these conditions have in common. For you to experience pain, anxiety or discomfort there has to be a corresponding signal sent to your brain. Once the brain processes the electrical signal it receives, and understands which set of receptors in the brain have measured it, you then experience the underlying phenomena: anxiety, pain, etc. 

Now, this may sound somewhat robotic or otherwise disconnected from the idea of being human, but this is how we all function at a biochemical level. There’s no magic here folks, just proven science. What CBD does is bind with certain receptors in the brain (think of them as sensors for particular classes of experience and sensation) and changes the way in which the brain is able to record what is going on. Again, if this sounds somewhat abstract or unusual, stay with us for a couple more sentences, it’ll make all the sense in the world shortly! 

If you can use CBD to change the way in which the brain detects and interprets things like pain and anxiety (and scientists have already proven that this is exactly what happens) you can then change the sensations you experience. This could be lesser amounts of pain, a reduction in muscle soreness after intense training, and a drop in your levels of social anxiety. By understanding each of these seemingly disparate experiences as nothing more than a diverse range of biochemical processes, we see how and why something like CBD could be crucial in reducing the impact they have on our lives. 

Now that we’ve established how CBD works without having to worry about the fine details of things like how long does cannabis stay in your urine, or how long does cannabis stay in your system, we need to think about the specific outcomes. 

Just because CBD can change your experience of negative things like social anxiety and pain by binding to receptors doesn’t mean you can use it to negate any type of negative experience. While it’s a versatile natural supplement that likely has other benefits we’re yet to uncover in the research lab, there will, of course, be things it cannot help with. This is true of any type of supplement or medicine and certainly not something to be unduly surprised by. 

What we now need to do is confine the discussion of positive experiences with CBD to treating those conditions for which it is intended. Let’s first focus on pain relief. If you take CBD and find that after your first use your pain levels increase, and that when you stop taking it your pain levels reduce to their previous levels, it’s clear you’ve not had a positive experience. The same would be true if you experienced a drop in your pain levels but a rise in unintended side effects like fatigue or nausea. While these are very uncommon, it’s worth being aware that some people do report these types of experiences. 

Now of this is to say that CBD doesn’t actually do what you want it to after all, more that the human body is a highly complex and vastly dynamic system. There is always some potential, no matter how small it may be, that other competing factors will be at play when you start supplementing your dietary intake with CBD. Keeping an open mind, avoiding the temptation to simply throw CBD to the side, and considering what really constitutes a negative experience is something really important. 

Get ahead of Social Anxiety

The other case we want to look at is social anxiety as it’s a classic example of what can happen if you approach supplementation with unrealistic expectations. Imagine for a moment that you’re someone who is shy, introverted and becomes very anxious at the prospect of having to take part in an extended social event. A good example would be being invited to your best friend’s wedding. It’s a long, expensive and stressful experience for you, and one that you know you simply have to attend for the sake of your friendship. 

You turn instead to CBD, you get to the church, still feel anxious, although nothing like you normally do, and decide it’s just a coincidence — CBD doesn’t work. Now, while there’s no acute negative reaction like a side effect, you conclude you’ve still had a negative experience as it didn’t magically cure your social anxiety. 

The key thing to remember here is that, while CBD is a versatile and powerful supplement, it is by no means a magic bullet. Psychological states like intense social anxiety are highly complex and rely on a variety of interrelating factors becoming balanced if they’re to be cured. CBD is a major part of that, but not the sole thing you need to do. 

Think in detail about what your experience with CBD really means, and the other factors that might be influencing how you feel at the moment, you’ll soon come to a reliable conclusion about how useful it is to continue. 

In our experience, you can’t put a price on a rational, scientific approach when it comes to supplementation. 

In the past you have ‘medicated’ with alcohol on the day to try and get through an experience that you’ve been stressing out about since you received the invitation three months ago. Once drunk you feel your inhibitions leave and then you feel like yourself, but you know deep down that you don’t want to use alcohol as a crutch throughout your life just to get through these types of days. 

Back to Blog