Why Doesn’t CBD Work For Me?
CBD has become a buzzword in herbal health and wellness circles since it was federally legalized in 2018. If you have even one friend or family member who uses it, you’ve probably heard all about its benefits. If CBD doesn’t work for you the first time, don’t assume you’ve fallen prey to a bunch of hype.
There are plenty of reasons that could explain why you’re not getting the results you expect. You can discover more about the most common problems with CBD below.
Why Doesn’t CBD Work for Me?
Before proposing some solutions, let’s discuss the underlying problem. If your CBD doesn’t work, it’s most likely due to one of these factors:
- Poor product quality
- Inappropriate delivery system
- Insufficient dose
- Lack of commitment
- Personal body chemistry
As you may have noticed, most of these are problems that can be resolved. It’s rare to find people who just don’t respond to CBD. They do exist, but chances are, you’re not one of them.
How to Boost the Effectiveness of CBD
If the CBD products you’ve tried so far don’t work for you, don’t give up hope yet. There are a few ways to address the problems listed above. Try these steps to boost the effectiveness of your CBD:
1. Choose Products Wisely
Not all CBD products are created equal. If the one you’re using right now isn’t working, it might have nothing to do with your brain chemistry. The problem might be with the product itself, especially if you bought it at a gas station or convenience store.
The best place to find high-quality CBD is online. You’ll have access to a diversity of products from reputable vendors. Plus, you’ll be able to find all the information you need to make a more informed decision.
The best CBD products are manufactured from hemp flowers and leaves. They’re also lab-tested to ensure potency and purity. If you can’t find a Certificate of Analysis (COA), contact the vendor. If the vendor won’t provide one, look elsewhere for the products you need.
2. Investigate Other Delivery Systems
CBD is a versatile compound. You can find it in everything from CBD oil designed for internal use to topical creams and ointments. It may seem like it shouldn’t matter which delivery system you choose, but it does. How you take CBD affects its bioavailability.
If you eat CBD edibles, your body will have to digest them before the CBD can be absorbed. Some of the plant’s beneficial compounds may be lost in this process. Taking CBD tinctures, on the other hand, allows the compounds to be absorbed directly into your bloodstream. You should notice quicker, more potent results.
Topical creams, ointments, and balms won’t provide system-wide effects. They’re best reserved for skin problems and muscle or joint pain that’s close to the surface. If the product you’ve been using hasn’t been providing efficient results, try a different delivery method.
3. Up Your Dose
Since CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA, there are no official dosing guidelines. You’ll have to figure out for yourself how much to take. The best way to do that is to start with a low dose, then increase it a little every day. Before deciding how much to take for your first dose, take a look at the product’s label. See how much CBD is in each dose. If that information isn’t available, divide the amount of CBD in the entire bottle by the number of doses.
If you find that you need a lot of CBD to reach an effective dose, that’s fine. Just buy high-potency products. You may also find it helpful to keep a journal of your results. Write down how much you take every day and how often, then note any changes ineffectiveness.
4. Stick With It
Unlike THC, which binds directly to your body’s endocannabinoid receptors, CBD acts indirectly on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It helps to reduce your body’s reuptake of anandamide and other endogenous cannabinoids. The results won’t always show up right away. It may take you some time to build up sufficient amounts of beneficial cannabinoids in your system.
Many people find that CBD produces no noticeable effects the first time they take it. Don’t give up. Try taking it every day for a few weeks, or even a few months. Note down any changes in your symptoms in your journal and revisit it later. You may find that CBD is helping more than you think.
Other Factors That Can Influence the Efficacy of CBD
There are a few biological factors that influence how you will respond to CBD. Some research indicates that women are more susceptible to its effects than men, for example. Hormone levels can also impact the cannabinoid’s effectiveness. CBD can provide heightened results when a woman’s estrogen levels are also high.
Certain lifestyle factors can also influence the impact of CBD. They include:
- How much Omega-6 you consume
- Use of alcohol or other drugs
- Stress levels
- Frequency and intensity of exercise
If you’re already very physically and mentally healthy, CBD may not provide noticeable results. It works best for people whose endocannabinoid systems aren’t in perfect shape.
When CBD Doesn’t Work?
When CBD doesn’t work and you’ve already tried all the steps described above, you may be out of luck. Up to 20% of people have a genetic mutation that affects their ECS genes. They produce above-average levels of anandamide and other endocannabinoids, to begin with. Most people with this genetic mutation experience lower levels of anxiety and ECS imbalance. They may not benefit as much from using CBD.
What’s the Next Step?
Now that you know what factors influence the efficacy of CBD, it’s time to take action. Try switching to a higher-quality or more potent product. You can also change your method of delivery to better match your needs. Stick with your new routine for at least a few weeks to a few months. There’s at least an 80% chance that it will help.
This Is Why CBD Doesn’t Work For Everyone
While the compound can help some people immensely, it’s not a miracle product. Here are five reasons why.
CBD won’t solve all your problems.
Sally Anscombe | Getty Images
While many other companies would like to have you believe differently, it’s true. It’s not a panacea. It’s not a miracle product. Millions of people have already begun to regularly use CBD for one reason or another, but the truth is it doesn’t work for everyone.
There are many reasons for this. Some of them have to do with the nature of CBD and the endocannabinoid system; some have to do with the fact that every person is different and has a unique lifestyle and genetic makeup.
Here are the top five reasons why, while CBD can contribute greatly to your health and well begin, it doesn’t work for everyone.
1. We all have a unique endocannabinoid system that responds differently to CBD.
Similar to a fingerprint, each person has a uniquely configured endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is one of the largest molecular systems in the human body and is made up of millions of cannabinoid receptors scattered throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. It supports your body in maintaining a stable equilibrium in response to environmental changes.
Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is unique in its makeup and level of functionality. Just like any other system in the body, people can naturally have more or fewer receptors—or those receptors function in different ways. There can also be differences in the number of endocannabinoids that are produced or in how quickly they’re metabolized. Some people’s endocannabinoid systems are well-nourished and supported. For those people, introducing CBD may produce barely-noticeable effects.
How do you know if your endocannabinoid system needs support? Although there’s not enough solid research to make a definitive answer, if you have experienced changes in your environment, you might be needing some extra cannabinoid support.
2. CBD takes time to really work (sometimes a lot of time).
Thanks to some overzealous marketing hooks and media stories, there are many misguided expectations about what the effects of CBD “feel” like, and how long it takes to experience these feelings.
It is true that CBD does occasionally produce noticeable effects for some users right off the bat. This can usually be attributed to the person having a very different endocannabinoid system or possibly even experiencing the placebo effect. However, like many nutritional products, it usually takes several weeks of consistent daily use to observe any impacts, if not longer.
The misconception that CBD works right away is a damaging one because many first-timers find themselves disappointed when they don’t experience the effects they’re looking for on the first day or even the first week. When using CBD as a self-care tool, it’s important to set realistic expectations and recognize that it takes time, patience, and awareness.
3. There is a huge variety of products available and you might not have the right one.
Even if you’re opting for high-quality CBD products over CBD lattes, it still may require some road testing to get where you want to be.
If you’ve been taking CBD products consistently for over a month and haven’t noticed any changes, consider the type and concentration of product you’re taking. Full-spectrum extracts contain a wide array of 110 plus cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, including CBD, CBG, and CBN (but no more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight, legally speaking). CBD isolate products, on the other hand, are typically stripped of all these extra compounds to feature only CBD.
While both types can be effective, full-spectrum extracts tend to be more popular than isolate products. Full-spectrum extracts encourage what’s known as the “entourage effect,” which describes all of the compounds of the cannabis plant working together in a complementary way. In essence, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Similarly, some people require higher concentrations of CBD than others. Many first-timers start with between 5 to 15 mg of CBD per day for the first several weeks to observe. After that, though, some users find they may need upwards of 50 mg to achieve the desired effect. The general advice is to start low and go slow to find your sweet spot. We also recommend talking to your healthcare professional before starting any new product, especially if you have a health condition, taking medication, or are pregnant or nursing.
4. Some “CBD” products don’t actually contain CBD.
The number one rule when shopping for CBD is to always look for third-party testing.
If a company doesn’t share recent tests on its products, it’s possible that they are not trustworthy and their products could contain misrepresented amounts of CBD or potentially harmful contaminants, like pesticides or heavy metals.
For example, a study of 47 CBD products from different companies revealed that 11% of products delivered no CBD whatsoever. Twenty-three percent of the products delivered less than 80 percent of CBD than advertised on the label. Likewise, the FDA has responded with warning letters over the past several years to companies who have falsely labeled and marketed CBD products, misleading their customers into believing that they’re getting more CBD than they really are.
CBD manufacturers and retailers should be fully transparent and share a certificate of analysis for every single batch of every single product that leaves their facility so customers don’t have to blindly trust their product will be free from contaminants and contain the amount of CBD that they are expecting.
This is an example of one of Bluebird Botanicals’ Certificate of Analysis.
5. CBD can’t fix an unhealthy lifestyle.
CBD is a supplement, meaning it is intended to do what its name implies: supplement, or build on top of, an already healthy diet and lifestyle.
It’s true that CBD works well for many people, but it’s not a cure-all. It can help support bodily balance, but it can’t make up for a bad diet, no exercise, a lack of sleep, poor emotional hygiene, or disconnection from one’s community and/or social support network. In order to reap the benefits of CBD and maintain true wellness, you have to put together all the puzzle pieces.
The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content contained in this article is for general information purposes only.
Why CBD Oil Won’t Work for Everyone [Answered]
CBD sales are escalating to the point where they are expected to reach approximately $20 billion globally by 2024. It is one of many interesting CBD statistics:
- There are almost 900 CBD brands in the American market.
- An estimated 40% of Americans have expressed an interest in using cannabidiol.
- Up to 75% of CBD brand founders or general managers are female.
- 90% of hemp-derived CBD consumers in the United States believe weed has medical benefits.
Here is a quick look at just how quickly CBD sales have grown in the United States, plus a projection of the next three years:
Potential CBD Benefits
The list of purported benefits varies from a reduction in seizures in people living with epilepsy to relief from anxiety and stress.
Pain and vomiting
May help reduce symptoms related to pain, vomiting, and nausea
Impacts endocannabinoid receptor activity, thus reducing inflammation and treating pain related to conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia
Potentially helps you to relax, feel calmer, and may also boost mood
CBD could minimize sebum production, the primary cause of acne
Possibly reduces muscle spasticity and seizures
CBD is linked with the ability to lower high blood pressure and reduce oxidative stress
However, CBD does not work for everyone. Therefore, we advise you to steer clear of any website, organization, or CBD seller that claims the cannabinoid is a cure-all. Research into CBD is ongoing, and while it has uncovered plenty of exciting things, scientists are, at present, unable to conclude the exact efficacy of cannabidiol.
If you have tried CBD and it did not have the effect you desired, there are several reasons. In this guide, we provide explanations for six of the most common.
1 – Low-Quality CBD Products
Due to its relatively new prevalence, the CBD market is still very much like the wild, wild West; heavily unregulated. CBD is not FDA approved, meaning it is not subject to many of the strict rules that other health products and supplements are.
Sometimes, dishonest companies will try to make a quick buck by selling CBD or hemp oil made from poor quality ingredients or with very little CBD content within the products at all. Ideally, look for CBD products that are made with organic hemp and are free from pesticides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers, and other carcinogens.
The way you can make sure a company’s products are free from all those nasty ingredients is by reviewing their third-party lab reports (if they have them). Reports conducted by an unaffiliated lab will give you an honest breakdown of what is featured in a CBD product.
Unfortunately, not every brand decides to quality control and test its products. In 2017, researchers examined the quality of online available CBD extracts. The study published in JAMA found that a mere 31% of products contained the CBD listed on the label within a margin of 10%. That means an entire one-quarter of the products tested had less CBD than its company claimed.
Another concerning factor was that 21% of products also had THC, which poses a massive problem if you are required to take a drug test.
As time went on, we were hoping the CBD marketplace was becoming more transparent, but in 2019, an NBC 6 Miami, Florida team bought 35 CBD products from seven different brands and had them sampled. The results? 20 of the products contained less than half of the cannabidiol content claimed! Even worse, some of the products contained zero CBD. One representative example was a bottle of gummies expressing 15mg of CBD on the label, which results showed only actually contained 2.2mg.
Therefore, if CBD is doing nothing for you, it might be a case of the product not containing much cannabidiol to begin with! Begin your CBD search by looking for reputable brands like PureKana, Premium Jane, Green Roads, Elixinol, and Provacan if you are a UK customer.
Incidentally, Green Roads was one of the brands tested by NBC 6. It was one of the few companies that made the grade. The company’s founder, Laura Baldwin Fuentes, said she spends over $1 million each year to perform three levels of testing. Remember, CBD companies are not legally required to test their products. Only buy from brands that have third-party lab reports backing up their claims.
2 – Dosage & Potency
One thing we DO know about CBD is that it affects everyone differently. Factors such as your age, weight, gender, lifestyle, general health, and the condition you aim to treat all play a role in how it affects you. As a consequence, your best bet is to begin with a low dose to see how CBD affects you. If you are not satisfied with the results, up the dosage accordingly until you reach the minimum recommended dose.
It is entirely possible that 10mg of CBD per day does nothing, but 20mg a day has an effect. As a general rule of thumb, begin with 1-6mg per 10 pounds of body weight, depending on your pain level. For example, you will take far more if you have severe pain when compared to mild discomfort.
Here is a quick table outlining rough estimates based on pain level and how much you weigh.
|Weight||Mild Pain||Medium Pain||Severe Pain|
As you can see, the range is vast. Begin at the lower end and work your way up.
Understanding the potency of the CBD product in question is imperative if you aim to determine your daily dosage. For instance, a bottle that contains 30ml of liquid and 1,200mg of CBD contains 40mg of CBD per ml. Most CBD tincture bottles contain a 1ml or 2ml dropper. Read the label carefully to see how many drops the dropper holds.
It is all too easy to miscalculate your dosage and use too little or too much CBD.
3 – You Have Inadvertently Developed a Tolerance
Those who consume cannabis often can take a tolerance break (T-break) when it feels as if marijuana is no longer offering them the same impacts as prior. After a short period of abstinence from the plant, they return and once again get to reap cannabis’s rewards. Like with cannabis, frequent CBD consumers may also need to take a tolerance break if they find cannabidiol is no longer assisting. It IS completely feasible that one could develop a tolerance to CBD, though they would probably have to consume a significant amount to reach that point.
A December 2018 study presented by Shimrit Uliel-Sibony expressed a trial in which 92 patients have ‘treatment-resistant’ epilepsy. They all were placed on a CBD treatment protocol, where cannabidiol was administered in especially high doses. The researchers found almost one-third of the patients developed a tolerance to the CBD.
Like any substance , i t is possible to develop a tolerance to CBD, though it’s uncommon.
The reports of this study certainly are not encouraging if one is consuming long-term high doses of CBD for epilepsy, but there is a sliver of hope about their findings. The dosage administered and the time frame of administration were both far above the amounts most individuals would practice. Also, it took an average of 7 months for each study participant to reach tolerance. Additionally, the mean dosage was 12.6mg per kg per day.
Just to put these numbers in perspective, a person weighing 154 pounds would need to consume around 882mg of CBD daily to build up such a tolerance, as represented in this study.
There is a short list of why CBD won’t work for you, but developing a tolerance is probably the least likely. Nonetheless, if you are, like many average consumers taking between 30mg-120mg of CBD per day, and you notice a tolerance building, consider refraining from cannabidiol use for one to two weeks and monitor closely how you feel.
4 – Genetics
Even if CBD is immensely popular, there is no actual evidence that it is guaranteed to work for every single individual. Sometimes, a person’s genetic makeup may be preventing them from benefiting from certain cannabinoids, hence why they may not have as positive a reaction as others.
In November 2016, a study conducted by Smith et al. and published in PLoS One examined rare genetic variants in the core endocannabinoid system (ECS) genes. Their research expressed that up to 20% of humans have a genetic mutation that enables us to generate a level of endocannabinoids that is above average. People who are presented with this genetic mutation are often shown to be less anxious, but they also do not receive as much relief when consuming cannabidiol products.
5 – Physical & Psychological Health
Also, there are biological factors at play. Initial research suggests that women are more sensitive to the cannabinoids in weed and hemp than men. As a result, they are more likely to experience pain relief than their male counterparts. It is also worth noting that men are larger than women on average. Since a person’s size dictates the effect of CBD, it stands to reason that men need more CBD to treat conditions such as chronic pain.
Interestingly, the menstrual cycle plays a role in how cannabinoids impact women. Studies going back to the early 1980s show THC works closely with the hormone, estrogen. As a result, marijuana is at its most potent when a woman’s estrogen levels are at their highest. It is less clear whether CBD has the same impact.
If you don’t believe that cannabinoids impact each person differently, consider alcohol consumption and tolerance. You may feel okay after four glasses of wine, while someone else may lose their balance after consuming the same amount. Once again, this is due to, the ECS. Factors such as diet, lifestyle, stress, and genetics determine the impact of CBD.
If you want CBD to work more efficiently, take a look at your fatty acid intake. A study by Kim, Li, and Watkins, published in Nutrition in June 2011, stated that a diet high in Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids would result in increased ECS activation. Increased Omega-3 intake helps modulate the activation of target receptors in the ECS.
Feel Good Already? CBD May Not Help
Oddly enough, if you are in excellent physical and psychological shape, CBD may not provide much assistance. From what we know about the cannabinoid, it works best in individuals with endocannabinoid ‘gaps.’ Do you take aspirin when you don’t have a headache or ibuprofen when you don’t have inflammation?
If you have a condition such as fibromyalgia, for example, you are in dire need of cannabinoids. As such, using CBD should help alleviate at least some of the pain. When you use CBD medicinally, it results in numerous chemical reactions within the body that help restore a state of balance or homeostasis. If your body is already in this state, it stands to reason that CBD won’t give you much of a boost.
It is the same scenario when it comes to mental health. Individuals with depression, PTSD, anxiety, or a similar issue possess a chemical imbalance in the brain. When you use CBD, it potentially restores the chemical balance and improves how you feel. Once again, would you use anti-depressants if you already felt good and did NOT suffer from depression?
6 – You Are Not Using a Full-Spectrum Product
There are plenty of cannabidiol sellers offering CBD isolate. While there is nothing inherently wrong with these products, some research suggests they are not as effective as full-spectrum products. This type of item contains dozens of cannabinoids aside from CBD, including CBG, CBC, and CBN; not to mention scores of terpenes.
Research shows that cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids work better together in a process known as the entourage effect. You can even combine CBD with THC if you don’t mind feeling a little stoned (CBD helps counteract the psychoactive effects of THC somewhat) and live in a legal state.
7 – You’re Not Being Patient! (Unrealistic Expectations)
Once again, the lack of regulation in the CBD industry is a problem here. Too many users believe the hype and think cannabidiol will provide a ‘cure’ for their medical complaint. It is best if you alter your expectations. If you have suffered from crippling pain for years, don’t be disappointed if CBD doesn’t eliminate it completely. It is far more likely that the cannabinoid will reduce the severity of the pain to a point where life is less miserable.
If you expect a 90-100% reduction in pain and ‘only’ get a 50% reduction, you will ‘feel’ cheated. In reality, you are much better off than you were before!
Don’t expect immediate results when using CBD; patience and consistency are key.
Also, don’t expect a situation where you use CBD and feel ‘better’ within five minutes! Many of the possible effects, such as anti-inflammatory properties, take weeks of daily use to notice. Remember, the CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptors of your immune system and ECS to trigger a response from the cells.
‘Balance’ in the body is not something that happens overnight. Be patient and wait until you finish a full CBD oil bottle, or use a CBD product daily for a month before judging its efficacy.
A Chart Highlighting and Summarizing Each Pitfall
- Lack of regulation
- Not lab tested
- Contains minimal CBD
- You are not taking enough CBD each day
- The CBD product is weak
- You fail to find your minimum useful dose
- Potential to develop a tolerance when taking a lot of CBD for a long time
- Most likely to affect patients with epilepsy
- The least likely reason
- Healthy individuals may not benefit as much from CBD
- A genetic mutation could result in increased endocannabinoid production, thus reducing the impact of CBD
- Women may experience more significant pain relief from CBD than men
- CBD isolate is likely not as effective as full-spectrum products
- Try a product that contains numerous cannabinoids and terpenes
- The entourage effect suggests that cannabinoids work better together
- CBD does not work overnight
- You may not feel the effects for weeks
- Don’t harbor unrealistic expectations
Final Thoughts on Whether CBD Oil Will Work for Everyone
If you have used CBD and are disappointed in the perceived lack of effects, look through this article to see if any of the points apply to you. It might be something as simple as not using a high-quality product, or else you don’t use enough CBD each day. Alternatively, you may be unlucky, and your genetic makeup means cannabinoids don’t impact you in a similar way to others.
On the plus side, it may not work because you are in excellent health. That’s hardly the worst thing in the world.