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You may have heard people talk about the various potential benefits of using CBD as an alternative treatment for a variety of conditions, from eczema and acne to anxiety and joint pain. But how does using CBD actually make you feel?

Does CBD make you feel relaxed?

Unlike other parts of the cannabis plant, CBD is non-psychoactive, which means it doesn’t affect cognitive brain activity to induce feelings of elation. Instead of causing the user to feel euphoric or ‘high’, it’s suggested that CBD causes a feeling of relaxation.

In 2005, an article published in a journal on neurochemical research suggested that CBD could affect the 5-HT1A receptors in the brain. As these control the body and brain’s serotonin levels – as well as the Endocannabinoid receptors for controlling stress and energy levels – it was posited that CBD could be capable of having an impact.

A study into CBD’s effect on anxiety was detailed in the January 2009 edition of This Month in Archives of General Psychiatry. It was based on the reaction of subjects to several faces that evoked feelings of anxiety.

The study was held on three separate occasions, with each version using CBD, THC (a psychoactive extract of the cannabis plant) and a placebo. Results suggested that CBD reduced levels of anxiety in subjects, with it being the only positive outcome from the study.

A man feeling relaxed after taking CBD oil

Does CBD make you sleepy?

One of the benefits of CBD being non-psychoactive is that it won’t work as a type of sedative. If anything, it has the opposite effect in stimulating the body. However, each person taking CBD is likely to experience it differently. This means that some people could have experienced a feeling of tiredness through taking it, just as some people could have felt revitalised.

An early study into CBD on how it affected the sleeping pattern of rats was published in the August 2006 edition of FEBS Letters. In Cannabidiol, a constituent of Cannabis sativa, modulates sleep in rats, it was possible to get a grasp of how it impacted many aspects of sleep.

The results suggested that while the substance does not act as a sedative, CBD could increase the time spent sleeping once asleep, reduce symptoms of REM sleep and decrease the number of times sleep was disturbed. Overall, it didn’t sedate the subjects, but it did improve their sleeping pattern.

In the April 2017 edition of Current Psychiatry Reports, an article titled Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature, looked at examples of research around CBD’s impact on sleep. The findings posited that it could help to treat excessive daytime sleepiness.

It also pointed towards CBD being a potential remedy for other sleep-related conditions, both to reduce tiredness and improve the quality and quantity of sleep. This even includes working as a therapeutic treatment for insomnia.