5 reasons your CBD oil isn’t working

January 18, 2022

You’ve bought yourself some CBD oil, you’ve heard all about the amazing things it can do, you’ve taken it a few times but… nothing is happening. 

Yes, there’s a chance you’ve bought a product that isn’t all that great. Sadly, they do exist. In fact, there are far more CBD products out there that are not all they’re cracked up to be than ones worth raving about. That’s inevitable given what a lucrative industry it is. However, there are also plenty of other explanations as to why you might not be getting the results you’re after, and things you can do to change that.

First of all, it’s worth noting that CBD is not a cure-all. And it’s not going to work for everyone. But, providing you’ve picked up a half-decent product, it’s likely that the reason your CBD oil isn’t working is down to how you’re taking it. So, here’s a quick guide to where you might be going wrong, and how to ensure you’re getting the most out of it.

You’re not being consistent with CBD

When someone new to CBD is asking me how to take it, I always say “treat it like antibiotics”. When you’re given a course of antibiotics from the doctor, they instruct you to never miss a dose, and take the whole lot, otherwise, they don’t work. The same goes for CBD oil: if you want to see results, take your desired dose every single day, religiously and seriously. Because CBD oil is (usually) an over the counter supplement, and skewed regulations mean it is sold as a novel food rather than a medicine, lots of users treat it with less respect and therefore have a tendency to take it as and when they remember. 

Despite what brands are allowed to say, CBD is a form of medicine – it can be prescribed, it is taken by millions of people all over the world to combat a huge variety of conditions. So when you’re taken yours, treat it that way.

From now on, take your CBD every day. Ideally, if taking drops, microdose by splitting your dose up into three and taking morning, afternoon and night. And keep at it for at least a month.

You haven’t found your ideal CBD dose

Unlike other medications, there is no one-size-fits-all dose of CBD. Yours will be entirely unique depending on why you are taking CBD, your endocannabinoid system (both receptor presence and endocannabinoid levels), age, blood volume and so on. There are doses or a rough dosage guide you can go by from studies for specific needs, such as one crossover study showing that 160mg CBD increased the duration of sleep and another demonstrating 300-600mg doses of CBD significantly reduced cortisol levels while inducing a sedative effect. But, you might need more or less than the next person. The only way to know for sure is to figure it out yourself.

A lot of CBD products will say that you should not exceed either 70mg or 200mg per day. But as is quite evident from how different those two numbers are, there are no hard and hard rules and most studies showing the efficacy of CBD use quite high doses. There have been no harmful side effects reported even for doses up to 1500mg (although that would be extremely high for most people). However, taking more than you need can result in minor side effects such as headache, nausea, sleepiness or feeling like your heart is racing.

The best way to figure out your dose is to start with a low dose and build up slowly. Begin with 2-3 drops under the tongue a few times a day for a week. If you notice no side effects, add a drop each time. Continue this until you feel like you’ve reached your perfect dose.

The cannabinoid content isn’t right for you

Not all CBD oil is made equal. Not all cannabis flower is made equal either. Different products will contain different cannabinoids and terpenes and it’s these that make all the difference to the therapeutic effect. Because of this, you may want to dig a little deeper and investigate which molecules suit your needs best – and then check the lab reports of products to see if they’re included.

Most of the basic information you’ll find about CBD oil will be about the CBD molecule, which will always be the cannabinoid present in the highest level in CBD oils. But, you may find that CBG might be more beneficial (in which case you might want to try a CBG oil instead), or CBDa, which is usually higher in CBD tea than oils, and has been shown to be 1000 times more effective at easing nausea and anxiety than CBD.

Do your research and the results will pay off.

You need to increase absorption

The bioavailability of CBD oil is very low (between 13 – 19%), due to the fact that oil and water don’t mix – and the human body is largely water! Because of this, it’s important to do everything you can to increase the rate of absorption when you take your CBD product, to increase the amount that actually gets to work in your system. 

If you’re taking oil drops sublingually (under the tongue) be sure to hold it there for at least 2 minutes to give it time to enter your bloodstream. If you do this directly after brushing your teeth or eating (ideally fatty food) the rate of absorption will be increased 5 fold! 

You could also opt for a water soluble CBD, which is more easily absorbed by the body, or try CBDa, which is water soluble therefore offering vastly superior bioavailability to CBD and a faster onset.

You’re being impatient

It can take some time to rebalance your body, particularly if your endocannabinoid system is very depleted. Take this into account when trying CBD oil – it’s unlikely to work immediately and will probably need at least a month to accumulate. As covered in the first point, take your CBD consistently every day for a month before deciding whether or not it’s having an effect.

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