By Jenny Menzel, H.C.
If you’ve hopped on the legal cannabis wagon by supplementing with its non-psychoactive compound, cannabidiol (CBD), you may be wondering where the wagon is heading if you aren’t noticing immediate results. Is it working? Did I waste my money?
These are common questions you should be asking when using CBD to relieve health complaints like pain, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. If you think CBD isn’t working for you, there may be reasons why. In this article, we look at the potential solutions you might consider to maximize the effectiveness of CBD before giving up on it.
Try These 6 Things To Make CBD Work For You
1. Know What You’re Using it For.
Many people eagerly jump on the CBD wave expecting miracles without a clear understanding of their health complaint. First and foremost — know why you want to try CBD so you can better monitor whether it’s working for you. For example, if you’re using it for pain, consider researching proper dosing or particular companies producing CBD formulas for pain. If it’s sleep you’re struggling with, try a CBD formula that pairs with other sleep aids. If you’re unsure of where to begin finding this information, start with a simple internet search. Then, delve into contacting customer service at reputable companies that supply products of interest, asking them which products they might recommend — and most importantly, why they recommend them.
2. Switch Up The Quality.
According to research published in JAMA, more than two-thirds of online CBD extracts were found to be inaccurately labeled, making it difficult to spot the difference between real and fake CBD. To ensure you are buying quality CBD, you must be willing to embark upon a learning curve to become a smart shopper. What does high-quality CBD consist of? If you do nothing else, make sure your CBD is from a reputable, third-party tested company. These suppliers provide transparency by testing their products through independent labs that adhere to high-integrity industry standards. If a CBD product has been tested through an ISO-certified lab, you can be assured it has accurate labeling and is free of chemicals, solvents, heavy metals, and other contaminants. Quality suppliers will also have positive reviews at third-party sites and an excellent rating with the Better Business Bureau.
3. Determine Your Dosage.
Bio-individuality is the most important thing to consider when trying to maximize the effectiveness of CBD. When you first buy a CBD product, it's tempting to start out fast and heavy to get results right away. However, the wiser approach is to start low and slow with a “less is more” mentality — increasing your dosage until you find a sweet spot in quantity or by playing around with dosing at different times of the day. Finding the correct dose at the optimal times of the day is the most tricky part of getting CBD to work for you, as our bodies and needs vary tremendously amidst many similarities. Spend a few days on one dose before increasing — considering weight, height, and health conditions.
Weight, in particular, greatly influences metabolism, circulation, and other health factors. People who weigh more generally have more fat cells, which actually makes CBD more available to the body. CBD needs fat to assimilate best, so people with a higher body fat percentage may require less CBD to achieve greater effects than someone with lower body fat.
4. Try a Different Form of Delivery.
The method of consuming CBD makes a big difference in how you experience its effects.
CBD oil is consumed orally and swallowed. To maximize its entry into the bloodstream faster, try holding the CBD oil under your tongue or against your cheek so your sublingual or buccal glands can assimilate the CBD oil through the mucous membrane. You can even swish it around for longer than 2 minutes to allow it to mix with your saliva. When CBD oil gets swallowed immediately, it goes through a slower process of metabolism via the digestive tract — a process needed to break down CBD capsules and gummies. Nano CBD may be even more absorbable due to nanotechnology. Because CBD is fat-soluble and the human body is predominantly made up of water, nanosized CBD oil may provide an even deeper delivery to the human body — maximizing its efficacy.
5. Allow Time for CBD to Build Up in Your System.
The time it takes to feel the first effects of CBD varies and is determined by how quickly CBD can absorb into the bloodstream — which is dependent on factors like CBD quality, consumption method, dosage, weight, metabolism, genetics, and medications. The most influential factor is how you consume CBD. You may feel the effects of inhaling vaporized CBD oil, for example, within 5 minutes, whereas taking CBD oil orally or through an edible can take up to 5 hours because of its more extended route through the digestive tract. Give CBD time to build up in your system as you would any new supplement or medication, while safely experimenting with different dosages.
6. Know When It Isn’t For You.
CBD isn’t for everyone and may not be the right supplement to accomplish your health and wellness goals. If you’ve tried all of these things and you still aren’t noticing much effect, put it down for a bit and perhaps come back at another stage in your life. As our bodies and lives change with the seasons, so do our needs. Just because CBD doesn’t work for you now doesn’t mean it won’t work in the future.
If you’ve tried everything you can to make CBD work for you, know that it just might not be the supplement at this time for your health needs. While all bodies inherently work the same, we are all different and require a different combination of lifestyle, diet, and therapies to reach or maintain homeostasis.
- Bonn-Miller MO, Loflin MJE, Thomas BF, Marcu JP, Hyke T, Vandrey R. Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online. JAMA. 2017;318(17):1708-1709. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11909
- Turea M. How Long Does CBD Oil Take to Be Effective? A Guide. CBD Kyro. https://www.cbdkyro.com/education/how-long-does-cbd-last-to-work/. Published October 28, 2020. Accessed January 21, 2021.