The question of tolerance is often raised by those who take CBD on a regular basis. Does CBD become less effective over time? It’s an important question for those who don’t want to lose benefits, nor continually increase their dosage. In this blog article, we will provide the best evidence available and some tips on what you can try if you feel like it is less effective than it used to be.
Tolerance and CBD
If you develop a tolerance to a substance, it means that higher doses are required to experience the same effect. This can happen with many different substances. Consider caffeine. Your body can become accustomed to caffeine over time, and more caffeine is required to experience the same energy and focus you experienced when you first tried it. The reason that our bodies develop a tolerance to various substances is because the body is often seeking to balance out the effects of foreign substances and their chemical or hormonal impact. Even an increase in something as harmless as water can result in changes that the body will eventually counterbalance.
So is CBD a substance that the body tries to counterbalance with increasing tolerance?
More scientific studies are needed at this point to draw a firm conclusion, however, the weight of the evidence suggests that your body does NOT build up a tolerance for CBD. Why don’t we have a clear scientific answer for this topic? Well, CBD has a unique mechanism of interaction with cannabinoid receptors in the body, making it challenging to study how it affects tolerance. Further study will help answer the question conclusively. In the meantime, here is some evidence on both sides of the issue . . .
Reasons Why Your Body May Build Up a Tolerance to CBD
The primary reason to believe the body builds up a tolerance to CBD is the fact that it does so with other cannabinoids like THC. People who use THC on a regular basis experience diminishing effects. They need to increase their intake or take a break from using THC for a period of time to experience the same effects.
However, THC and CBD function very differently in the body, so it is not wise to conclude that the studies on THC apply to CBD.
Reasons Why Your Body May NOT Build Up a Tolerance to CBD
The weight of the evidence is on the fact that your body does not build up a tolerance to CBD. There are presently no studies showing that CBD loses its effectiveness over time, and at least one study shows that it does not increase tolerance (1).
The reason CBD may not result in increasing tolerance has to do with how it interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the body. Most cannabinoids, including THC, directly bind with endocannabinoid receptors and can fatigue them over time. CBD functions differently. It does not bind directly with endocannabinoid receptors, but interacts indirectly with them. As a result, CBD does not desensitize the endocannabinoid receptors.
This indirect interaction with the endocannabinoid receptors has a secondary effect: it prevents the body’s naturally-produced cannabinoids from being absorbed by the receptors, thereby increasing the availability of these natural cannabinoids in the body. So rather than wearing out the endocannabinoid system, CBD appears to enhance its functioning. Some people call this a “reverse tolerance” effect.
What Should I Do If CBD Seems To Benefit Me Less Over Time?
While CBD does not appear to increase tolerance, you may feel like it has become less effective over long-term use. Everyone’s body is unique. We have different physiology, genetics, metabolisms, and also environments.
So if you feel like your tolerance for CBD has increased, here are three things you can try:
1) Try a different product
Some people find that changing the delivery method restores the benefits of CBD. If you are used to taking CBD Oils, which absorb through your soft palate, try CBD Softgels which are absorbed through your digestive system. If you are accustomed to using a CBD Topical, try an ingestible like CBD Gummies.
2) Try a higher dose
In addition to trying a different delivery method, try increasing your dose. You may find that a higher dose provides all the benefits you are looking for. If you are used to taking 25mg, increase to 50mg for several days and see if you notice a difference. Our highest dose product is our CBD Softgels with 100mg per capsule. We have great reports from customers who tried our ultra-strength softgels and quickly noticed a difference.
3) Take a short break from using CBD
Stop taking CBD for several days, or even up to a week, then return to your previous regime. Some people feel like a short break from CBD increases its effectiveness when they start taking it again.
CBD has many benefits; thankfully, it does not appear to diminish its benefits through continued use. Neither does it cause side effects, nor create dependency, so you can experiment with higher doses and different products to find the best solution for your specific needs. If you would like help deciding on the best product for you, please reach out to Customer Service at [email protected].
By Ben Joyce, Co-Founder and CEO of Mission Farms CBD © Copyright 2022
(1) Bergamaschi, M. M., Costa Queiroz, R. H., S. Crippa, J. A., & Zuardi, A. W. (2011). Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa Constituent. Medicinal Genomics.