Over the last two decades, CBD has gathered a huge fan following due to its purported benefits. People have dubbed it as the “natural Xanax” and a “quick fix” to their “looming anxiety,” among other things. This has created an explosive surge in CBD products, from edibles and vapes to oils and topical creams. But, does the buzz around CBD have any foundation in truth? Does it work for everyone? If it does, then why CBD isn’t working for you?
To answer these questions, we have to consider several things. From dosage and brand reputability to delivery systems, many factors govern CBD’s bioavailability and subsequent effects.
Thankfully, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to help you work out the nerve-wracking reason why you might feel you’re not on CBD’s good side.
- Is Your CBD Product Genuine?
If you feel like CBD isn’t doing it for you, you have to verify your CBD product’s authenticity before anything else.
Unfortunately, the CBD industry is highly unregulated. Many low-quality and poor grade products are easily available in public stores. In some cases, these products can’t even be called CBD products because they contain no CBD at all.
First, to buy the right product, check whether it’s sourced from hemp seeds or hemp plants. The use of hemp seed pressed oil is widespread; however, it’s not the real deal. Although it has health benefits of its own, it’s different from CBD oil in many aspects. Hemp-seed-based oil is a treasure trove of Omega 3s and 6s, but it doesn’t have the same chemical profile CBD oil extracted explicitly from hemp plants does.
You also need to check whether you’re using full-spectrum CBD oil. Full-spectrum CBD oil is packed with several cannabinoids, which work synergistically with the endocannabinoid system to yield extended benefits.
One way to check whether your product is genuine is by perusing the labeling. Whether it’s an edible, spray, or oil, a good seller will accurately list down CBD percentage in mg. However, you have to go one step ahead and also request for lab-testing. Again, most reputable retailers will not hesitate to send lab results via email or some other channel. Some also have this information available on their websites and social media accounts.
One bonus of getting lab results is to make sure your product isn’t contaminated with pesticides, fee metals, and other harmful additives.
- Is Your Dosage Correct?
One critical reason users don’t experience any noticeable benefits is getting the CBD dosage all wrong. Fortunately, this isn’t hard to fix.
The best way is to start slow and then gradually build your way up.
If you consume too much too fast, you risk developing a CBD tolerance. This might require you to have high doses of CBD to experience any measurable effects.
The opposite might also cause problems. Your CBD serving size might be too small, depending upon your weight, age, height, gender, and several other factors, which may impact your tolerance.
Every individual has to figure out a CBD dosage that’s consistent with their physiological profile. Sometimes, this takes a bit of experimentation. But, it’s worth the effort.
If you’re on other meds while taking CBD, that’s another side of the story. In that case, you might need to consult your physician as CBD can cross-react with other medications, thus reducing its overall bioavailability and efficacy. Some drugs that can impact CBD include:
- Heart medications (calcium channel blockers)
- Are You Taking CBD in your Intended Format?
Your delivery system is also highly important.
Each delivery channel has different bioavailability. Meaning, one CBD product might not be as readily absorbed in your bloodstream as another.
Take the example of edibles—your digestive system processes edibles, which removes a whole chunk of cannabinoids from the overall CBD. A 2009 study found that oral CBD has very minimal bioavailability, falling somewhere between 4-20%.
If you’re looking for a much more bioavailable product, you can use tinctures. Tinctures are placed under the tongue where CBD directly comes into contact with blood capillaries, which eases its entry into the bloodstream. This sublingual route also prevents any interaction with the liver, further increasing bioavailability and removing the need for a higher dose.
However, some people don’t take tinctures properly. Instead of placing them under their tongue, they add them to their food or beverages. This causes the CBD to fall into the digestive system’s clutches, where its efficacy is markedly reduced.
Vaping CBD also provides speedy results. In this channel, CBD makes its way to the bloodstream via the lungs, decreasing metabolic processing and improving bioavailability.
For topical use, topical CBD creams offer the most. If you’re trying to relieve pain in a specific patch on your skin, go for a CBD balm or hemp cream. Keep in mind, though, that CBD creams applied on your skin will have a localized effect, i.e., they’ll only provide relief in or close to their real estate.
In the end, it all boils down to choosing the right delivery system based on your objectives and lifestyle.
- Have You Set Realistic Expectations?
As we’ve already mentioned, CBD doesn’t treat every person the same. Your experience may vary depending upon your physiological profile, genetic makeup, and metabolic activity, among other things.
That’s why you need to take your time. Use a CBD product for at least 30 days before jumping to any conclusions.
It’s still early days for CBD. Therefore, scientific research on its dosing, effects, and other critical things is premature. You can rely on online reviews to make an educated guess. But, it’s not going to be a sure thing. You’re going to have to make a bit of trial and error to find a CBD product that works best for you.
According to Gallup News, 14% of Americans use CBD in one form or the other. Out of these, many have problems with CBD usage. If you’re among these and wondering why CBD isn’t working for you, maybe you need to change your perspective on CBD and set realistic expectations.