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Don't Feel Anything From CBD? Try This...

Date 9th Jul 2021

Don't Feel Anything From CBD? Try This...

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most popular compounds in natural health and wellness that comes from cannabis—It's fast-growing to become a billion-dollar industry.

While reports of medical studies and anecdotal accounts of people praising its benefits seem to be widespread, there are also people who report no noticeable effects from CBD.

Not everyone's first experience with CBD will be significant.

If you've tried CBD for yourself recently, and fall in the latter category, don't completely give up on CBD yet. There could be several things going on. It could be because you've bought a bad batch of CBD products, you didn't take enough, or you're not taking it consistently to see any results.

CBD won't be right for everyone, but if you don't feel anything from your CBD, it's possible that your lackluster experience isn't because it's not right for you.

In this article, we'll dive into why you may not be feeling CBD and what you can do to fix that.

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Adjust Your Expectations Of CBD

Many people who try CBD for the first time and experience disappointment can be a result of misalignment of their expectations and reality.

There is so much buzz surrounding the cannabinoid that there's no doubt it builds grandeur for expectations.

Let's help you adjust some of your expectations to CBD and let you know how it should feel like.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis plant-derived compound—but unlike its notorious counterpart, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not produce any intoxicating effects that would change your perception or thought patterns.

First-time CBD users may understandably get confused between CBD and THC, and if you've ever experienced a marijuana high, you may come to expect profound changes in your state of mind when taking another cannabinoid. However, that's not the case with CBD because it's non-psychoactive.

Most people who take CBD experience a sense of calm or it could provide more focus on a given task—but it won't alter your state or produce body highs like with marijuana use. This is because CBD and THC behave differently in the body.

CBD Vs THC In The Endocannabinoid System

CBD and THC belong to a class of phytochemicals called cannabinoids that resemble neurotransmitters in our body called endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids. These types of neurotransmitters belong to a complex messaging system that controls homeostasis (balance) in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is responsible for relaying messages throughout the body to maintain optimal function by keeping us in a state of homeostasis, and it's involved in many vital systems that regulate stress, sleep, memory, hormone function, and metabolism.

Cannabinoids interact with receptors (CB1 and CB2) to ellicit an action and once they've done their job, enzymes come in to break down the cannabinoids.

The reason why THC produces a drastic change in our mental and physical state is due to its interaction with CB1 receptors in the brain.

The THC molecule structure closely resembles the endocannabinoid, anandamide otherwise known as the "bliss molecule." Anandamide and THC bind to CB1 receptors in the brain to release an influx of serotonin, which can change our perception and ellicit a euphoric sensation. This is how THC can get you high.

CBD, on the other hand, doesn't have an affinity to bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors and it's not considered a psychoactive compound, so its effects are much more subtle. Instead, CBD has been shown to inhibit enzymes that break down cannabinoids, like anandamide. With higher levels of cannabinoids in the ECS, messaging signals perform optimally, and we may feel more relaxed and calm.

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Why Aren't You Feeling Anything From CBD Products?

Now that you have a bit more of an understanding of how CBD and THC are different, let's troubleshoot some of the reasons why you may not feel the effects of CBD.

1. CBD Affects Everyone Differently

CBD and other plant-derived cannabinoids interact with the ECS to support the optimal function of several vital systems by maintaining homeostasis. Everyone's genetics, lifestyle, and health baseline is going to be different, therefore the CBD can vary drastically from one person to the next.

Your overall biochemistry will be a big factor in how CBD will affect you personally, so it does take a bit of experimentation with doses, products, and methods of administration to figure out what works best for you and why you're taking CBD.

2. You May Want To Evaluate Your CBD Dose

Dosing CBD is a tricky subject because there are so many factors that play into how CBD may affect you. To avoid experiencing any discomfort when taking CBD, we always recommend people start with lower doses and built it up over the course of a few days until they notice positive changes in their mood.

The recommended standard dose of CBD is typically dependant on weight. For an adult, a low dose may start at 5–10 MG of CBD a day.

If you find that this dose isn't producing a sense of calm, you may want to increase the dose slowly in the next couple of hours or the following day. Alternatively, you may need a stronger CBD potency to achieve the desired effects. 

For those new to CBD use, we recommend keeping a journal of your CBD doses and writing how you feel so you can keep track of your progress before jumping into high doses that are more likely to produce a negative experience.

3. You Might Need To Give It More Time

The effects of CBD aren't always noticeable right off the bat because it's not medication. Rather, the CBD products you find on the market help to supplement your ECS, which may take a bit of time to adjust. If you're taking CBD to support a healthy sleep cycle, you should take it about an hour before your ideal bedtime to prepare you for sleep with its relaxing effects. 

To start seeing the benefits of CBD, you may want to take consistent doses at a similar time each day for up to a week before you start feeling a sense of improved wellness.

4. Try Another Mode Of Administration

Hemp extracts are incredibly versatile and since we have endocannabinoid receptors located throughout the body, there are many different products and methods to enjoy CBD. You can find it in everything from traditional tincture format and capsules to delicious gummies, smokables, and even topical applications.

The fastest way to experience CBD is through inhalation—either through smoking dried hemp flower or with a concentrated extract in a vape device. When you smoke CBD it enters the bloodstream within seconds to deliver its benefits.

Smoking isn't for everyone, but if you plan on eating your CBD in the form of capsules and gummies, you may need higher doses as the digestive system and the first-pass metabolism in the liver can break down over half of the active compounds before it enters the bloodstream.

It can also take 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your metabolism to before you start feeling CBD if you ingest it.

Additionally, topical CBD in the form of rubs, lotions, massage oil, and balms only provides localized CBD benefits to the endocannabinoid receptors in the skin. You may not feel the sense of calm or improved sleep quality with topical CBD, but it may be the answer to your natural post-workout recovery relief.

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The Importance Of Shopping For High-Quality CBD Products

The CBD industry is relatively new—many consumers are unaware of some of the factors that make for an effective CBD product, and there's still a lot of misinformation floating around on what CBD can and can't do. Unfortunately, there are a lot of shady companies out there ready to dupe you into buying poor quality CBD, or ineffective CBD oil.

We'll go over the key factors you should look into when buying CBD, so you have a better chance of reaping the benefits.

Hemp Seed Oil Vs. CBD Oil

One of the reasons you may not be feeling anything from your CBD oil is that it could possibly be hemp seed oil dressed up in confusing marketing to increase company profits.

Hemp seed oil is harvested by pressing the seeds of hemp plants, and the seeds do not contain any cannabinoids or terpenes. While it's a great culinary oil, high in omega 3 and 6, you will not feel CBD with hemp seed oil alone.

Make sure that when you're shopping for CBD oil online or in-store the packaging indicates that it contains "hemp extract" or "CBD extract."

Certificate Of Analysis

Of course, we can't always depend on the integrity of all CBD brands on the market, which is why a certificate of analysis from a reputable third-party lab is a must.

A certificate of analysis indicates the cannabinoid profile and potency. This is how you'll know there is actual CBD in the product and not just hemp seed oil.

Obtaining a certificate of analysis isn't a mandatory practice in the CBD space, but trusted brands who value transparency in their business practice and safety with their customers will send samples of their CBD extract to a third-party lab to ensure the right CBD content is met and that's it's free from potential contaminants such as pesticides or solvents from the extraction process.

Hemp Sourcing

Hemp Sourcing

CBD extracts are only as good as the quality of the hemp crops it comes from.

Cannabis plants are extremely sensitive to their growing environment. They tend to absorb toxins in the soil like heavy metals and pesticides that can be detected in the certificate of analysis in the extracts, which is why finding a brand with a clean hemp source is imperative to a good experience with CBD.

We recommend you look to brands that source hemp from the United States, as the states have some of the highest agricultural standards in the world. If a brand can't disclose its hemp source, it's typically a red flag for us.

Does CBD Oil Actually Do Anything?

People are drawn to CBD as a natural way to support their overall health and wellness.

Because CBD primarily works in the ECS, which has such broad-reaching effects, it has a long list of reported health benefits, including supporting a healthy inflammatory response, supporting sleep, healthy post-workout recovery, and some people may even use it for better focus.

CBD companies have to avoid making specific health claims on their products otherwise they face fines and shutdowns from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but that doesn't mean CBD doesn't have proven health benefits.

There is one FDA-approved drug on the market called Epidiolex, which is used to treat childhood epilepsy, and studies over the last decade have shown the effects of CBD to be positive without showing many adverse effects.

CBD has been well researched to support a wide range of regulatory functions including inflammation, discomfort, sleep, and mental focus, and clarity with consistent use. The range of the health effects you may experience will depend on your genetics, health, and lifestyle factors.

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The Takeaway: Why Isn't My CBD Oil Working?

There can be a number of reasons why you're not satisfied with your CBD oil — your expectations from the get-go, the quality of your CBD, the dose, and the method of administration.

CBD has taken the health and wellness world by storm—and with good reason. It provides many people with exceptional benefits to improve their quality of life. However, it's important to note that not all CBD on the market is of the same quality, and CBD can affect people differently.

People typically use CBD to support a healthy and active lifestyle or to find post-recovery comfort in a natural-based product.

If you're disappointed in your CBD product, there are several things you can do to see if it's the quality of the product itself or if you need to play around with the doses and use it for longer.

Make sure that your CBD product comes from a reputable source—American farmed hemp with a third-party certificate of analysis to show the potency of the cannabinoids and to show that it's free from contaminants.

If your CBD product looks legit, you may want to experiment with your doses until you find the desired effects you want. CBD made from healthy hemp crops is considered to be safe and well-tolerated, so experimenting with using CBD is recommended to find the results you're looking for.

For more articles like this, or to receive Insider Scoops straight to your inbox on CBD and cannabis news, make sure you sign up for our newsletter or check out our blog. 

Katrina Lubiano
Katrina Lubiano

Katrina Lubiano is a content writer in the health and wellness space based in Vancouver, Canada — Canada's epicenter for cannabis culture. When she's not working, she enjoys sailing, watercolor painting, and cooking.