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CBD Not Working for You? Here Are 6 Possible Reasons Why & Tips to try.

CBD Not Working? Why?

Learn 6 Reasons why CBD may not be working for you.

EDUCATION LEVEL:

Beginner to Intermediate

CBD Not Working? Why?

Learn 6 Reasons why CBD may not be working for you.

EDUCATION LEVEL:

Beginner to Intermediate

I don't feel anything from my CBD; why isn't CBD working for me?

My CBD is not working for me; why?

The main reasons CBD may not be working for you are:

  1. Poor product quality
  2. Strength & Dosage
  3. Type of CBD
  4. Length of Time
  5. Tolerance, Genetics & Metabolism
  6. or you’re expecting something that isn’t going to happen.
  7. Delivery Method & absorption?

“I think CBD is snake oil & a scam!”

“I feel normal, but do not feel the effect of CBD?”

“Why am I not getting any effects or feeling a “buzz” from my CBD?”

“My CBD lotion is not working?”

You are not feeling any difference from CBD, and it has you puzzled? You’re thinking, “I got scammed, I’ve wasted my money, and now I don’t know what to do?” Sounds familiar, right?

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Vance Green, PharmD.
Updated on July 9, 2021


Well, although the above statements could, and in many instances, are accurate. It’s not all bad; although your initial CBD experience got tarnished, there are some simple reasons why. We’re going to guide you through the possible causes, impart some fundamental advice and ways to turn your CBD experience around. So you, too, can benefit from the life-changing effects that CBD has brought to many people just like you.

The main reasons CBD may not be working for you and the mistakes you’re probably making (Without Even Knowing It)

  1. Poor product quality
  2. Strength & Dosage
  3. Type of CBD
  4. Length of Time
  5. Tolerance, Genetics & Metabolism
  6. or you’re expecting something that isn’t going to happen.
  7. Delivery Method & absorption.

There’s no doubt about it: CBD is everywhere. Unfortunately, for consumers, this means many labels to read and understand, claims to wade through, and endless options for you to choose from.
And unfortunately, not all bets are safe bets.

To ensure you’re receiving the full benefits of the hemp plant, you need to take the right kind of CBD in the right way from the right brand. Brands going above and beyond in quality, safety, and transparency. The fact is: Not all CBD is created equal.

There’s nothing worse than wasted time, money, and effort – especially when you’re taking steps to improve your health. So how do you know if you’re doing CBD the right way? And what are the most common mistakes? Here are some signs you’ve veered off the path on your CBD journey—and exactly how to get back on the straight and narrow.

Are you expecting to feel a “Buzz”?

Let us clear up the last reason CBD is not “working” first.
You’re expecting, or you were misinformed, you’ll feel a buzz similar to a THC high.

This expectation isn’t going to happen 99% of the time; CBD and its companion cannabinoids don’t affect us in that way. They’re non-intoxicating. They could, in some cases, give a sense of calm, relaxation, or what’s known as a “body high.” But, you’re not going to get “stoned” unless you take high doses containing THC.

Many people report CBD doesn’t make you feel something; it’s more what you don’t feel. But, it takes away feelings of discomfort or anxiety. Leaving you with less pain & tension, resulting in a sense of wellness and relaxation. It can be subtle but profoundly powerful.

Poor product quality.

Poor product quality, unfortunately, is more common than not. With a considerable portion of the market flooded with fakes, under-dosed, low potency, un-tested CBD products getting sold.

In some cases, simply hemp-seed oil (Sativa Cannabis seed oil) getting sold has hemp extract (containing absolutely no CBD) as a means to confuse consumers into parting with their money. But, of course, you want to be spending your money on the best CBD oils you can afford.

The good news is you can avoid most of these products with a few simple checks.

First, it’s vitally important to do some digging and buy CBD from reputable companies with transparent reporting on their CBD products. If you can’t, find lab reports, or the company isn’t willing to show you lab reports. Then, just say no and move on.

Second, avoid Amazon, eBay, and similar platforms. You cannot buy legitimate CBD on those platforms as they prohibit CBD sales.

Finally, stick to domestic companies with business registration and easy-to-find reviews and information. If you purchase CBD through social media via direct messaging, you’ll likely get scammed.

Buying CBD extracted by butane or hexane

Before you jump ahead and purchase your full- or broad-spectrum CBD oil, it’s time to do a little research on extraction methods, which are not all equal in extraction quality or preservation of compounds.

To get the best CBD for your money, look for a product extracted using CO2. Extraction using the Co2 method is where the raw plant material gets exposed to high-pressure, low-temperature CO2 gas.

Co2 extraction isolates the cannabinoids, terpenes & other compounds and preserves them in the oil. However, Co2 extraction takes longer and requires expensive machinery, which some businesses are unwilling to utilize.

On the flip side, seeing this method is a good hint that the people extracting your CBD have a legitimate operation going. If the brand can educate you regarding the ins and outs of its process. This information should be on their website or given over the phone. It’s a clear sign they’re going above and beyond in terms of quality and transparency.

CO2 extraction remains the gold standard in the industry. But with high production costs come higher price tags. Consumers looking for a quality product should be willing to invest, though. Because other extraction methods, including butane or hexane, do a good job extracting cannabinoids from hemp but they can leave a residue behind that’s not healthy to ingest.

And unless the product is being third-party tested (more on that to follow), you don’t know how much of that solvent residue is ending up in your oil that you might later consume.

Buying CBD from conventionally grown industrial hemp farms.

Speaking of unwanted ingredients in your CBD oil, pesticides are another big concern. Hemp is a bioaccumulator, meaning it absorbs chemical waste and heavy metals, also known as Phytoremediation. It does this with such vengeance that hemp often gets planted to detox land after contamination.

According to a paper published in Epilepsy & Behavior in 2017, “if large quantities of hemp get cultivated to produce CBD, it is critically important that the quality of the soil is closely monitored and regulated.”

The good news is, buying CBD products extracted from organically grown (Preferably USDA Certified Organic CBD Products) hemp can lower your risk of pesticide exposure and support the environment at the same time.

Ready for a little bad news?

The keyword in the sentence above is “lower.” Buying CBD extracted from organic hemp is a good start—but it’s not guaranteed that the product is contaminant-free and up to safety standards. The only way to truly protect yourself is to make certain your CBD oil has been 3rd party lab-tested, which brings us to the following common mistake.

Buying CBD without a batch lab test

As we just learned, pesticides are a significant factor to consider when buying hemp-based products and an excellent reason to go organic. But, unfortunately, that’s not where the contamination conversation ends. It surprises many, but other unsafe & unhealthy compounds, including heavy metals, fragrances, preservatives, solvent residues, mold, mineral oil, and microbes, can also find their way into your product. (Yikes, right?)

The above is why lab testing is. Absolutely. Imperative. It’s the only way to really guarantee that you’re not ingesting harmful chemicals along with your CBD. We deem this as a minimum barrier of entry that all companies should be held to.

Independent Lab testing is important for another reason as well: to make sure there’s actually CBD in the product you’ve purchased.

Independent Lab testing is essential for another reason as well: to make sure there’s actually CBD in the product you’ve purchased.
Now, this might seem silly, but when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lab-tested CBD products in 2015, many of them contained significantly lower levels of CBD than stated on the bottle—and some didn’t contain any CBD at all.

A great CBD company will be open and transparent about its lab testing procedures on its website and product label.

What is independent Third-party lab testing? Third-party lab testing means the testing has been carried out by an independent company with no affiliation with the brand. It’s also vitally important that there’s an exact batch number on your product with a corresponding lab report. This means the company is testing every batch of the product instead of just every so often.

CHECKLIST: Avoid Amazon, eBay  & similar platforms.

  • Avoid buying via social media pages, private messages, and unknown individuals. Always use a credible, registered company with an online business presence.
  • Google the brand to see if they have a legitimate website and reviews
  • Always check for lab reports that include batch number, contaminant tests as well as cannabinoid tests. 
  • Contact the company to ask questions.
  • If you’re unsure or something doesn’t feel right. Move on.

Strength & Dosage

If you frequent social media groups, you’ll often hear, start low. In many cases, people don’t start with a reasonable amount to receive any benefits. CBD is very individual, so it will undoubtedly require trial and error. Legally CBD product manufacturers can’t give dosing advice, so that leaves consumers to work it out for themselves.

However, many sources and consumers report that a reasonable starting dose would be between 10-50mg per day, while others state upwards of 100mg a day. So, again this would be for you to trial and adjust accordingly, which brings up the question of bottle potency. Many products contain less than 5mg per dose / per ml, so trial and error with these products would be challenging, somewhat expensive, and likely ineffective overall.

Working out the products’ possible dosing amount is fairly simple. Take the full CBD value and divide it by the milliliter value of the bottle. You’ll quickly be able to work out how many doses you have to play with while you learn your requirements. Our 1000mg CBD oil comes in a 30ml bottle. 100 / 30 = 33mg per ml. Approx 20 drop per ml of oil = 1.65mg per drop.

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 to achieve.

Remember, what works for one person may not work for you. Biology, metabolism, diet, exercise will affect each person’s response to CBD.

Medical News Today has an in-depth dosing article here that you may find helpful.

TIP: Try spreading your intake out multiple times a day. Gradually Increase your dose each day until you feel comfortable. You may need less; you may need more. Adjust as you see fit.

Our endocannabinoid system is active even if we do not use cannabis. This is because our bodies produce endocannabinoids naturally, which are similar, but different from phytocannabinoids found in cannabis.

Length of Time

While some consumers report they receive almost immediate benefits from CBD, many people say it can take a few weeks to start to feel the benefits. Why?

CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system. Your body is filled with neurotransmitters & receptors (CB1 CB2), mostly primed to interact with cannabinoids. However, due to varying reasons, some people have deficient ECS that take time to “active” to a level where cannabinoids and the ECS interact at a level high enough to create change within.

Your endocannabinoid system is active even if you do not use cannabis. This is because your body produces endocannabinoids naturally, which are different from cannabinoids found in cannabis.

The two main identified endocannabinoids are,

  • anandamide (AEA)
  • 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG)

Scientists around the world are still trying to understand the ECS fully. Nevertheless, studies report our ECS is responsible or partially responsible for vital human functions and processes such as:

  • Your cardiovascular system
  • Neuroprotection and muscle movement
  • Stress Responses and sleep regulation
  • Reproductive systems
  • Mood, memory, and social behavior
  • Digestive processes
  • Inflammation and pain perception

Give yourself time, adjust your doses up, and keep a journal of your daily doses and any changes. You’ll soon find your sweet spot once your ECS is in balance. But, again, it’s very personal; one size doesn’t fit all.

One important note to mention. Is CBD lotions, CBD creams, CBD salves may not be working due to the lack of activity from your ECS.

To get the best results from CBD creams, lotions & Salves, supplement your daily use with CBD oil. Taking a CBD oil will activate your endocannabinoid system from the inside out, increasing the topical benefits.

TIP: Give yourself time, increase doses until you feel the benefit you desire. There are no hard rules. Everyone is unique, as will your daily regimen be.

High-quality full-spectrum CBD products are typically created from extracting all of the beneficial compounds from the whole-plant, which includes the hemp flowers — Sometimes referred to as whole-plant, full-plant, or aerial parts. These types of CBD products often produce the best results as they contain all the beneficial components and multiple cannabinoids.

Tolerance, Genetics & Metabolism

As with Strength, dosage, and timescales, you may find you have a high tolerance naturally, which could be genetic driven or metabolism controlled. If this is true, you’ll likely want to increase your dose and take a little more time. Only you can work that out. Stick with it, make sure you have a quality tested product, and you’ll soon enough find the relief you’re seeking.

If you’ve been taking CBD for some time and it’s suddenly stopped working. You may have reached your tolerance level. You can fix this by taking a reset break for a few days and going back to your regular dosing regimen. Reset breaks have been reported as a helpful strategy with CBD consumers.

TIP: If CBD suddenly stopped working, try taking a reset break for a few days & return to your regular regimen.

Type of CBD – Isolate, Full-Spectrum?

Not all CBD oil gets created equally. Many products are CBD isolate but not clearly labeled. Maybe you’re taking an isolated CBD product, but it’s just not delivering? Numerous research papers are suggesting whole-plant extracted products have far more health benefits and better results.

As we’ve mentioned previously, CBD Isolate has its place; however, it’s not the most beneficial when it comes to health. Therefore, when you decide to purchase CBD, we recommend you look for products that say “full-spectrum” instead of CBD isolate, ideally, whole-plant full-spectrum.

A CBD isolate product contains only the CBD compound. That means it was separated from the other cannabinoids and compounds that occur naturally in the hemp plant. In contrast, “full-spectrum” means the product includes not just CBD but other naturally occurring cannabinoids (like CBG – Cannabigerol and small amounts of THC), terpenes, fatty acids, minerals, and essential oils.

On top of the health benefits these additional compounds bring, this makes for a richer taste and smell.

You might also see products labeled broad-spectrum; this means the THC has been removed entirely, unfortunately, along with most other beneficial compounds. Other cannabinoids do remain. Remember to check the lab reports!

When you buy CBD oil, always choose full- or broad-spectrum CBD oil over a CBD isolate. The medicinal & therapeutic impact of the whole-hemp-plant is greater than the sum of its parts. And research suggests when you isolate CBD, it becomes less effective, more unpredictable, and tricker to dose. In other words, you get less bang for your buck.

In fact, studies suggest that CBD isolates require much higher doses to be effective and are more likely to interact with medications and cause adverse side effects.

Full-spectrum CBD oils have a better safety profile and a wider therapeutic window (meaning they work well at a broader range of doses). This is because cannabinoids work synergistic-ally—a phenomenon coined the “entourage effect“—which get bolstered by the terpenes and essential oils. Terpenes ( known for their anti-inflammatory properties), are of particular interest to researchers.

In fact, some experts think terpenes are even more interesting than cannabinoids. One article written by Ethan Russo, Ph.D., a pioneer in cannabinoid science, concluded that “Terpenes display unique therapeutic benefits that may contribute meaningfully to the entourage effects of cannabis-based medicinal extracts.” The take-home? You want more than just CBD in your CBD oil.

Advice: Stick to the more user-friendly full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oils for everyday use.

With whole-plant full-spectrum CBD products containing up to 100+ other cannabinoids in trace amounts, 100s of terpenes, nutrients, minerals, fatty acids, and more, it’s understandable that whole-plant full-spectrum results in more significant relief. All of these compounds, working together synergistic-ally, is referred to as the entourage effect. Maybe try a full-spectrum CBD oil next time.

Learn more: Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, Isolate – Learn the differences.

TIP: Try a different product using the verifying tips above. Maybe try a full-spectrum CBD product that’s validated by clear 3rd party lab reports.

Does CBD Delivery Method Matter? How does it affect absorption?

As with all other aspects of CBD we’ve covered so far, the delivery method is vitally important too. The delivery methods and application methods are varied as much as the reason for use. Each ailment and person is different, as are the results.

Sublingual CBD Oils

With this delivery method, the compounds absorb via the mucous membranes in your mouth. Just drop one serving under your tongue, swish it around for about 30 seconds, and then swallow the excess. You might feel the benefits in as little as 5 minutes but give it at least 20 to reach full effect. The sublingual oil is mess-free, refreshingly simple, and you can control your dose more easily than you can with other delivery methods.

Inhaling CBD

Another highly absorbable way to take CBD is through inhalation. The lungs provide a direct line to the bloodstream, and you can feel the effects almost immediately. At first glance, smoking CBD might seem extreme or dangerous.

“But, doesn’t smoking increase your risk for lung cancer?”

According to a 2017 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids, this is a widespread misconception.

The report, written by leading doctors and researchers in the U.S., concluded that “There is moderate evidence of no statistical association between cannabis use and incidence of lung cancer.” So while smoking tobacco is still an extremely dangerous and detrimental practice, you can’t lump all “smoking” into one category.

Topical CBD

Topical products are also great for taking advantage of CBD; just keep in mind they have the added hurdle of making their way through the skin to get to work in your body. So unless you’re using CBD for a topical issue or localized issue—like an inflammatory skin condition or knee pain, for example—it’s best to stick with another delivery method to make sure the CBD is making it all the way to your bloodstream.

CBD Edibles

Edible CBD products are a fun and delicious way to get your daily dose of CBD but pay close attention to the dosages. Many edibles only contain 5 or 10 mg of CBD, which is less than the average oil and not enough CBD for many people to feel the benefits. Like topicals, they also have a challenge before them—making their way through your G.I. tract to absorb into your bloodstream via the intestines. Because of this, they might require a higher dose, and they will take longer, up to two hours, to take effect.

Learn All About CBD & CBG Edibles: Why People Love Gummies.

There’s a lot to consider as a CBD consumer, and it can be overwhelming to think that despite your best efforts, you might be “doing CBD wrong.” But if you follow these five rules of thumb, you’ll be well on your way to finding a CBD oil that is safe and effective. Hopefully, in the future, there will be more laws and regulations in place to make sure consumers are connecting with brands that really have their health in mind.

When looking at CBD Gummies, CBG Gummies it’s important to pick products with 25mg and up!

Until then, all we can do is keep reading up on CBD, learning from our mistakes, and making sure we ask the right questions from the brands were considering. Cheers to using CBD the right way!

TIP: Try a different product using the verifying tips above. Maybe try a full-spectrum CBD product that’s validated by clear 3rd party lab reports.

When all of these individual components of whole-plant full-spectrum hemp/cannabis work in harmony, they are responsible for a synergistic process, scientists have named the entourage effect.