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CBD Not Working for You? Here Are 5 Possible Reasons Why

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Before you breakup with CBD, consider these reasons

I tried CBD, but it didn’t do anything for me.

Why isn’t CBD working for me?

Is all this CBD hype just a scam?

Sound familiar? If you’ve tried CBD products without any results, you’re not the only one — but that doesn’t mean the whole industry is a scam.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a nonpsychoactive component found in the Cannabis plant. It’s being researched for many possible medical benefits, and unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), this active compound doesn’t get you “high.”

People are using it to help manage a number of ailments, including:

  • chronic pain
  • inflammation
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • seizures

Before treating a medical condition, speak to your doctor to determine whether CBD is the right option for you, especially if you’re taking other medications. CBD may interact with many over-the-counter or prescription drugs and supplements.

You may have heard some folks with chronic conditions raving about good results — and that’s because for them, it’s one of the only few options that works.

That said, there are also some legitimate reasons why CBD might not be working for you.

So before you give up on it and tell your CBD-obsessed friends that they’re full of it, check to see if any of the following reasons apply to you.

Where did you buy your CBD oil?

As it grows in popularity, it seems like CBD is popping up everywhere — from online companies to over-the-counter shops. You might have even tried a free sample to see if it works without investing anything more than the cost of shipping.

Unfortunately, some of these products don’t have high-quality CBD. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t yet approved any non-prescription CBD products. Some scammers take full advantage of that fact by selling low-quality products that aren’t labeled accurately.

One group of researchers analyzed 84 CBD products and found that only 31 percent of them contained the amount of CBD that had been advertised.

So the next time you’re looking to invest in a new CBD product, use these three tips to make sure the product lives up to its promises:

  • Look for evidence of third-party lab tests. Lab testing can reveal exactly how much CBD is in the product, and the test results should be available for you to see for yourself.
  • Read consumer reviews. Websites like CannaInsider, Leafly, and CBD Oil Users provide reviews on brand effectiveness, delivery time, and customer service.
  • Pick from a list of well-established brands. Read enough lists of favorite CBD products and you’ll see some of the same companies pop up over and over again. Popular brands such as Charlotte’s Web, Lazarus Naturals, and CBDistillery have firmly established themselves as quality sources. You can also pick a brand from a list like this one and you won’t have to worry about the guesswork of figuring out if the brand you’re buying is trustworthy.

Many CBD users have reported trying several different brands before settling on one that works for them, so keep searching if your first try doesn’t produce the results you’re looking for.

Finding the right dosage of CBD can be a tricky endeavor. The appropriate amount varies for each individual, as every person has a unique biology that results in a different reaction.

So how do you figure out what’s right for you?

Start with a low dose and slowly increase it over time until you find your “sweet spot.”

Some folks find that taking a daily dose can help sustain a level of CBD in your body, which might stimulate your endocannabinoid system (more on what this is, below) to make it react more to cannabinoids like CBD.

And many people use a microdosing technique to find their personal dosage and adjust it as needed over time.

You may find it helpful to use a journal to log your results. Keep track of how much you’ve taken, how you feel before dosing and at several time intervals afterward, and any changes in symptoms that you notice.

Over time, this info can help paint a picture of how CBD affects you.

Building up a tolerance

Keep in mind that it’s possible to build up a tolerance to CBD, like many other drugs and chemicals. So if you find that it’s not working as well after a while, try taking a few days’ break to reset your system before starting with a low dose again.

The first time I tried CBD, I wondered if I’d wasted my money on some overhyped trend. I put some drops of an oil tincture under my tongue, expected near-instant relief from my chronic pain, and got… nothing.

My experience isn’t at all unusual, because immediate results aren’t all that common.

In fact, many people take CBD for several weeks or even several months before they see a difference.

Exploring the effects of CBD isn’t as simple as taking a couple of Tylenol and calling it a day. It actually requires a certain level of commitment to put time and thought into your process of uncovering the long-term effects.

If you’re still not seeing results after a while (think a few months), then it may be time to move on and try a different brand. Your CBD journal can help you keep track of how long it’s been and whether or not you’ve experienced any changes.

Patience is key, and while it can be frustrating to keep trying with no results, you may end up feeling super grateful that you didn’t give up.

It seems like I’m hearing about a new CBD product just about every week. You can find everything from CBD coffee to bath salts and lube.

Have you tried CBD but it doesn’t seem to work for you? Consider these five reasons before you give up on CBD for good.

This Is Why CBD Doesn’t Work For Everyone

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CBD won’t solve all your problems.

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.

While the compound can help some people immensely, it's not a miracle product. Here are five reasons why.