If you’re trying out CBD and not getting the results that you are looking for, you might be taking it in the wrong way. From upping your dosage to taking it in a different way, there are a range of options available to you. Learn about reasons CBD may not be effective for your arthritis symptoms and what you can do to find a CBD product and dose that’s better for you.
What to Do When CBD Oil Stops Working
Your best bet is the uptitration method. This is where you continue to take more each day until you feel that taking more offers no added benefit. The uptitration method relies on you: it’s all about how you feel when you take a supplement. This is the dosage method that most manufacturers recommend. But the issue may be that CBD just isn’t for you.
Whatever the case, you should read our piece below. We explain everything from why CBD might not work, to what to do when it doesn’t, and why CBD might not be suitable for you. So, read on!
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Why Would CBD Oil Not Work?
There are several reasons why your daily dose of CBD oil might not be working as you expect it to. The first is that you aren’t taking enough to feel its full effects. This isn’t anything to worry about as it’s easily remedied through the uptitration method (taking more each day). But why else might CBD oil not work?
Which Is the Best CBD Oil?
One common reason is that the CBD oil you have bought may not be up to scratch. According to CMC (Centre for Medical Cannabis) lab tests, more than half of the most popular high-street CBD oils on sale today don’t contain the level of cannabidiol that they claim to. This is the result of new manufacturers flooding a deregulated market with new products.
The oil they sell isn’t a cheap knock-off, like vegetable oil packaged as CBD oil! Rather, this is a sign that their distillation process isn’t of high quality. The issue may be that they use low-quality hemp, for example, or that they destroy the CBD with excess heat. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell whether your oil has lots of CBD or hardly any, at least not at home. Proper scientific testing is required.
What you can do is ensure that you only buy oil from trusted manufacturers like Hempura! We use the best distillation process, which involves expensive lab-grade equipment and lots of know-how from having been making CBD for years.
How to Get CBD Oil to Work: Uptitration
It’s usually suggested that you begin your CBD journey by taking only a small dose each day. You then up the amount you take gradually through a process called uptitration. Each day, you take more than you did the previous day.
If you are just starting taking CBD, we recommended that you start with a low dose of around 10-15mg, taken in two doses, evenly spaced throughout the day. The milligram amount is conveniently on each of our CBD product pages.
Eventually, you get to the point where you feel a strong effect each time you take your daily dose of CBD. You may notice that taking any more CBD at this point doesn’t seem to hasten or strengthen this effect. If so, then you’ve reached your optimal level of dosage and should stop.
The reason why uptitration works is that CBD builds up in your body over time. As you continue to take more and more, your reserves build-up. After a while, you’ll have enough that the oil you’re taking is only replacing that which your body uses. You’ll then have a continual source of just the right amount of CBD in your body. Understandably, people call finding this correct dose ‘hitting the sweet spot’!
One particularly good idea is to keep a journal on the effects of CBD on your body. Using this journal, you can gauge whether you should up your dose, whether you’re taking the right amount, or whether you should consider cutting back.
Try Different Administration Methods
Taking CBD oil sublingually isn’t the only method. You can also take CBD by swallowing it. Or, you can buy CBD capsules, gummies, vape liquids or any number of other products—even chocolates. Take a look at the Hempura store.
While sublingual administration is the easiest and most effective method, it may not work for you. If so, that’s fine. Try swallowing your CBD oil or taking CBD capsules instead. You might find that taking a capsule is a more pleasant experience and that the effects of CBD taken this way are longer lasting for you.
If that’s the case, don’t worry. In our online store, we stock CBD capsules as well as oil. Give them a try and see how they work for you!
Talk to Your Doctor
If your CBD oil still doesn’t seem to have an effect on you, it might be time to speak to a doctor.
To be clear, the lack of an effect isn’t a sign of a medical emergency. But if you’re taking CBD to help combat a medical condition, and you still feel bad even after you take it, then it’s an issue that CBD won’t be able to fix.
In the face of an issue like this, you should see a medical professional, either for a diagnosis or expert help. Don’t rely on food supplements like these, or herbal remedies, instead of medical assistance.
Does CBD Oil Go Off?
Another reason you might not feel the effects of your CBD oil is that it’s gone bad, or gone stale.
Like any other natural product, CBD oil can only last so long before it starts to break down. When this happens, there will be less CBD in the product for your body to ingest, and you will, therefore, feel less of an effect.
This process is hastened if the oil is exposed to sunlight. The warmth of the sun’s rays, as well as UV light, cause chemical reactions in any product that make it break down quicker. This is how food goes stale.
It’s also possible for the oil to go off, i.e. for bacteria to get inside your CBD. Bacteria feed on sugars and excretes waste that changes the taste and smell of a product. They’re responsible for the typical ‘gone off’ smell of food that’s spoiled. It’s possible for this to happen to your oil, too.
You may continue to take stale CBD oil if you like—it doesn’t have any ill effects—but it won’t be as effective as fresh oil. But if your CBD oil has gone off, there’s nothing you can do but buy more. It would taste rancid and could even make you ill, just like eating spoiled food can.
Can You Become Tolerant to CBD Oil?
With legal drugs like caffeine, alcohol, and illegal drugs, it’s possible to build up a tolerance. This is where the body reacts to the drug by making more or less of something.
Take caffeine for example: when ingested, it attaches itself to particular neurons in your brain. In normal circumstances, particular neurochemicals would attach to these neurons, which would signal tiredness to your brain. When the caffeine molecules are in the way, they can’t, so you won’t feel tired.
But the body is smart. So, when it notices this happening, it creates more of the tiredness neurochemical so that it can overcome the effect of the caffeine. This means that you have to drink more caffeine than you used to in order to stay awake—you’ve built up a tolerance.
This is also the reason why you experience a coffee crash, and withdrawal symptoms of intense tiredness if you stop drinking caffeinated drinks altogether. It’s not good for your body. You might expect that a product distilled from cannabis might be addictive in the same way.
Ironically, it doesn’t appear that you can build up a tolerance to CBD. While the effects of CBD oil still haven’t been fully researched, anecdotal evidence suggests that you cannot become tolerant to cannabidiol. You can build up a tolerance to THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient in recreational marijuana, though.
It’s therefore unlikely that your CBD oil isn’t working because you’ve taken too much.
…CBD Might Not Be for You
While CBD is becoming ever more popular, that doesn’t mean it will definitely work for you.
Levels of absorption depend on your unique metabolism and biochemistry. Your body may only be able to absorb small amounts of CBD at a time, which would mean you have to take capsule after capsule to feel any effect at all!
The endocannabinoid system, which CBD affects, isn’t well understood. But according to the New York Times, some people naturally produce more endocannabinoids than other people—meaning that CBD isn’t needed for these people. Around 20% of people in the U.S. have a genetic mutation that makes this the case.
And if you have a healthy lifestyle, and you already feel well, then the effects of CBD might be lost on you. If so, don’t worry—it means you’re already healthy and well, which is a good thing!
8 Reasons CBD Might Not Be Working for Your Arthritis (and What to Do About It)
Cannabidiol, known as CBD, is a type of chemical called a cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis plant. It’s not intoxicating like THC, a different kind of cannabinoid that causes the “high” you get from using pot. Chances are you’ve heard of CBD. It’s one of the fastest-growing supplements in the U.S. and has become a popular topic among arthritis patients, from online support groups to clinical conversations in doctors’ offices.
Unlike many alternative arthritis treatments that get touted online, CBD does appear to have some positive effects, says Elyse Rubenstein, MD, a rheumatologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “There really aren’t yet any good studies to show that it works for arthritis but I’ve had patients who have found using CBD very helpful,” she says. “I haven’t seen any harm from it so it may be worth trying.”
However, for every CBD success story there are plenty of people who see little or no effects from using CBD. The first time Chris G., 37, of Denver, Colorado, tried a CBD oil tincture she felt nothing. “I might as well have been drinking straight coconut oil,” she says. Her friend had given her a bottle to help with rheumatoid arthritis pain and told her to just try it. Using CBD didn’t help the second time either. Or the third. Or the fourth. “I finished the whole bottle and never saw any difference,” she says. “I hear others talking about it and wonder why it didn’t work for me.”
Then there are the people who feel an effect — but not a good one. “It was like being drunk, but not in a fun way,” says Jason J., 46, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The father of two tried it to treat his chronic pain from reactive arthritis as well as anxiety. He started with pure CBD oil and felt nothing so then he moved up to a CBD oil with a small amount of THC. The results were not great. While it did lessen his pain, he says it also made him feel nauseous and dizzy. He tried it a second time, this time spacing the doses further apart, but had similar results. He didn’t like the feeling and as a father was hesitant to do anything that might make him impaired while caring for his kids. “I wish it worked for me, but it did more harm than good,” he says.
If either of these experiences sound familiar, don’t give up yet. There may be good reasons CBD has not helped you — yet — and ways to make using CBD more effective for you.
1. Your CBD isn’t actually CBD
Just because cannabis products are becoming legal in certain parts of the U.S. doesn’t mean they are regulated. CBD is the wild west these days: There are a lot of “CBD” products with little or no actual cannabidiol in them, says McKenzie Mann, product development manager for Blue Forest Farms, a farm that grows high-CBD hemp and sells CBD products. The FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products and there aren’t universal quality standards, so unless you have a basement lab and chemistry degree, it’s near impossible to know exactly what you’re getting.
The fix: Look for brands that have their products independently tested (they should be able to provide you with test results), shop only at places you trust (preferably in person, not online), and when you find a brand that works for you, stick with it, says April Olshavsky, founder of Herbal Risings, a company that educates people on the proper use of CBD products.
2. You may benefit from a different strain
Not all cannabis plants are the same, which means the chemical makeup of your CBD product can differ widely. For one thing, CBD is one of many dozens of types of cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Just as when you eat different berries (blueberries versus raspberries versus strawberries) you’re exposed to different antioxidants and plant chemicals, different cannabis plants have various amounts and types of cannabinoids and other compounds such as terpenes, which also have anti-inflammatory properties independent of the CBD.
The fix: Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a specific strain being good for a specific disease or symptoms, says Bridget Seritt, co-founder of the Canna-Patient Resource Connection, a Colorado-based organization that is working to protect patient rights and end stigma against those who choose cannabis as medicine. A good CBD supplier should be able to show you third-party tests that include both the terpene and the cannabinoid profile. “There are hundreds of products with different formulations of each component, so knowing what goes into your products is essential. Keep a journal so you know which products worked and which did not. You can use the profile information to find similar products,” Seritt advises.
3. You need a different type of extract
There are different types of CBD extracts, and it’s important — from both a health and legal perspective — to understand their differences:
Full spectrum: This oil is how it comes raw from the plant and contains a full spectrum of compounds, including CBD, THC, terpenes, chlorophyll, minerals, and other parts of the hemp plant. “This is usually the best for most people and what we recommend — it’s the ‘entourage effect.’ All the compounds in the plant work best when they are together,” Mann explains. “Like most plants, it’s healthier to use it whole.”
Broad spectrum: This oil is similar to a full-spectrum product but with THC removed. In states where CBD is legal, laws can vary as to how much THC is permissible in CBD products in order for them to be legally sold. Many states in which certain CBD products are legal require them to contain less than 0.3 percent THC. A higher amount of THC in the product may make it more effective for certain conditions, Mann says, but this is a good option for people who live in states with THC restrictions.
CBD isolate: This oil is 99 percent straight CBD. While this might look like what you want — especially as it’s often labeled “pure CBD” — it’s the least effective form, Mann says.
The fix: Opt for a full-spectrum product if it’s legal to use where you live.
4. You didn’t wait long enough to see results
Many people do not see a difference after one or two doses of CBD. “CBD works on the endocannabinoid system in the brain and everyone’s is a little bit different,” Mann says. “One person may feel a difference within 20 minutes but others it may take several days to build up enough to where you feel it.” It can take up to eight weeks of regular use to feel an impact, says Seritt.
The fix: Give your CBD time to take effect. Try a product for at least two weeks before deciding that it’s not working for you.
5. You’re not consistent
“The biggest mistake people make with CBD is failing to follow a regular routine. You need to have patience to see the full effects,” Olshavsky says. This is especially true for people dealing with chronic pain from arthritis and other illnesses, she adds.
The fix: Do at least one dose once a day for at least two weeks to give the product time to build up in your system, Mann says.
6. You need a different method of delivery
Oral tinctures — drops that you place under your tongue — are the most popular way to use CBD but there are plenty of other options. You can also inhale it with vape pens, rub it on topically with a lotion, take it orally with capsules, or eat CBD-infused foods. Different delivery methods may be better for certain health conditions or personal preference.
For those using CBD primarily for targeted joint pain, a CBD lotion may be the best option. If you need CBD to take effect quickly for intense pain, vaping will work the fastest. Worried about prying questions? Capsules are simple and discreet to use. And for people who don’t like pills, edibles such as candy, gum, or other CBD foods are a fun way to ingest it. (However, Mann cautions that some of the potency is lost when CBD goes through your digestive tract, so capsules and edibles aren’t his top choice for efficacy.)
The fix: Talk to a reputable company about which form of CBD will work best for your specific needs.
7. You need a higher dose of CBD
People are often hesitant to take CBD because they equate it with recreational marijuana, which can lead them to under-dose, Olshavsky says. Or your dose may be sufficient but you’re not taking it often enough. What works for your friend may not be the right amount for you.
The fix: Between dosages, routine, and application method, it can take some trial and error to find the right product and regimen for you, Olshavsky says. “The best thing you can do is to keep a journal and record your symptoms and results.”
8. You may benefit from some THC
For many people, CBD works better with some THC in it. The compounds work together, with THC providing pain relief and the CBD helping to manage any negative side effects of THC, Mann explains. Many people who complain about their CBD not working are often using one of the types that has no THC in it, he adds. Even a CBD oil with just 0.3 percent THC may be more effective for you than one without any.
The fix: Consider trying something other than the “pure” isolate version of CBD (though you need to research whether or not these products are legal where you live). If you live in a place where marijuana is legal, consider a CBD oil with a ratio of 3:1 or even 5:1 of CBD to THC, Mann says.