testing out cbd gel capsules

while I’m looking forward to potentially relaxing effects, I’m hoping I can also get shit done

by Rainbow Heartface · September 09, 2019


12pm Unboxed Care By Design’s 18:1 ratio CBD:THC capsules. Today is a wfh day (for freelancing and editing). So, while I’m looking forward to potentially relaxing effects, I’m hoping I can also get shit done (like editing, writing, handing out resumes, and building a dresser).

I read the instructions, which say “effects should be noticeable in 15-90 minutes.” Uh, that’s a big range and hoping the .55 mg of THC will not be super noticeable as I’m prone to anxiety (and even sometimes panic attacks) from THC. The package doesn’t include any info about how long the effects will last, but a quick internet search says 6-8 hours for gel caps.

12:20 I take one.

12:23 Get a little nervous remembering my long, long love/fear relationship with being stoned. I used to smoke weed a lot in high school until it started making me paranoid. The paranoia slowly became the most prominent feature of being high, so I stopped smoking. Once weed became recreationally legal in CA, I started experimenting a leeeetle bit with edibles and pre-rolls. TLDR: very mixed results ranging from near panic attack to pleasantly giggling to myself while reading Mindy Kaling’s hysterical memoir. Cannabis became basically my druggie Russian roulette game.

12:40 The random smell of garbage startles me. I start to wonder if cannabis can create weird sensory experiences like that but decide it’s probably nothing. I do feel a little sleepy and perhaps hazy, but at this point it could definitely all be in my head. I did take it on an empty stomach, so maybe that makes the effects take hold more quickly.

12:50 I am noticeably relaxed. I realize how foreign a feeling this has been for me lately, or even perhaps in general in my life. These days I’m balancing a day job as a server with freelance writing work, so if I’m not in a hectic bar/restaurant environment, ever-vigilant about serving drinks and waiting tables, I’m often feeling down on myself for not being productive enough with my writing. But now, I feel relaxed and mostly clearheaded.

I search the internet to see if 10mg of CBD is a high dose. I find this calculator, and figure out that for my weight, a mild dose is 12mg, and a medium 15. I know from extensive experience that I am particularly sensitive to any kind of medication or drug, so if I had done my homework and checked beforehand, I would have chosen this exact dose. Thank you, universe.

1:30 Finished working on a cover letter. I feel like I did a fantastic job and was fully present and focused while working on it.

I feel hungry (not like munchies hungry, just normal hungry.) This is a pleasant surprise because honestly for me most of the time I know I need to eat, but don’t actually feel like I want to taste and savor the food. I remember that—like a rockstar—I cooked food last night for dinner aaaand saved some for today for lunch. I eat yummy ravioli.

2:15 Feel pretty… normal. Definitely a bit more relaxed than usual, but just kinda good.

I walk outside to drop of my resume at a bar I’m courting. Being outside on the street feels a little funny and I stop myself from collecting old giveaway furniture on the sidewalk that I don’t need.

When I drop off my resume, I suddenly get a little anxious and nervous, even though I don’t need this job and all I have to do is say “hi” to a manager there. I stumble through the drop off and move on to visit some friends.

My friends have a newborn and a toddler so their house’s chaos envelopes me. A twenty-minute brief visit and logistics check-in turns into three hours. I feel a little antsy while I’m there knowing that I want to move on, but I also want to support my friends and figure out our logistics together.

I cancel my social plans for the evening to compensate and spend the rest of the night putting together the dresser then hanging out with friends. All feels pretty normal.


The next day, Saturday:

12:00 pm I take one gel capsule.

Feel nothing.

1:45 I take a second. By my calculations, two gel capsules should contain 1.1mg of THC, which is still an incredibly small dose. (For reference, 2.5-5mg of THC is often considered a microdose.)

4:20 (not kidding) An intense sleepiness descends, giving way to a stoned feeling. My heart drops as I realize I made the typical newbie mistake of “I don’t feel anything. Let’s take more drugs.” Also, wtf, this took way more than 90 minutes to kick in.

Stoned feeling continues (and sorry, this is where I stop keeping track of time or making notes). I realize I have two hours until an OK Cupid friend date with a new person. I don’t even want to be around my super BFFs when I am stoned. Over the next hour, two of my BFFs call for separate reasons, and I muddle my way through logistical conversations. I remember while on the phone with one of them that there is an antidote! I read about it in another bud.com magazine piece. It’s black peppercorns, which supposedly calm you down when you have gotten “too high.” My friend balks but I find an article, which suggests that even a whiff of peppercorn smell can bring you down, but you can also chew on a few corns for a stronger effect. I find a few peppercorns in our spice cabinet and chew them. The spiciness and paranoia combine to make me wonder if the burning spicy sensation could actually cause my throat to close and for me to stop breathing. I calm myself down, eat a few more and find that the peppercorns do not work. I decide to go for a run to help ease my anxiety.

The run is super lovely and it’s nice to be able to just focus on moving my body without having to interact with anyone. I decide that if anyone tries to talk to me, I’ll just pretend I don't see them to avoid interacting. But even though the run feels good, afterwards I still feel stoned and a little anxious.

My roommates advise me not to start out meeting this new person by explaining that I took too much THC and now feel super stoned and I’m sorry. Instead, I try to act normal and am super grateful he drives us to a brewery and feel it out for a good half hour before I explain my day. Luckily, he’s super nonplussed and we have a pretty normal hangout aside from the fact that my memory is a little splotchy afterwards, maybe the result of mixing cbd, thc, and alcohol.  Ready for breakfast and weed delivery.

After writing all this, I realize I made one ~deadly~ mistake. I wanted to feel something from the CBD. But the real blessing of CBD is not to feel anything in particular, but a reprieve from anxiety, stress, or pain.

TLDR: One pill of Care By Design's 18:1 formula is a nice, smallish CBD dose. Two capsules is maybe too much for sensitive people like me unless you don’t mind being stoned. The gel capsule format is convenient, but it also means you can’t split the capsules in half. As always, YMMV.


Rainbow Heartface discovered the pleasures of cannabis at age 14, the dangers of cannabis at age 18, and re-discovered its pleasures at age 35. She will likely go back and forth between these two phases forever.