Can You Develop a Tolerance to CBD?
As anyone who’s been smoking, eating, or vaping cannabis with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for a long time may tell you, developing a tolerance is inevitable for most.
In a nutshell, a tolerance basically means that you need more cannabis to get you high, or more of it to obtain relief than you originally started out with. For example, you started out taking two puffs for your chronic back pain daily. Once you’ve achieved a tolerance, it would mean that you now have to take four, five, or six puffs of the same amount to enjoy the same kind of pain relief.
It’s the same concept behind developing a tolerance with just about anything. It can happen with alcohol and painkillers too.
With the proliferation of non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) products on the markets these days, maybe some of you are now wondering if you can develop a tolerance to it too?
What The Science Says
CBD is fairly new in the market, and the current studies on this topic are still thin as of now. However, there’s some research on it. A 2011 study conducted by researchers at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Riberiao Preto in the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, explored CBD and say: “In human studies, CBD administration did not induce side effects across a wide range of dosages, including acute and chronic dose regimens, and tolerance for CBD did not develop.”
Meanwhile, another 2017 study called, “An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol,” which took a deep dive into the results of 132 studies on CBD says that: “…psychological and psychomotor functions are not adversely affected. The same holds true for gastrointestinal transit, food intake, and absence of toxicity for nontransformed cells.” It adds that, “Chronic use and high doses of up to 1500mg per day have been repeatedly shown to be well tolerated by humans.”
On the other hand, it’s also been observed that a reverse tolerance actually occurs with CBD. Unlike with THC, tolerance is inevitable because it directly binds to your endocannabinoid receptors and if you’re a chronic user, with fewer receptors over time, you need more THC to see the same results. But some believe that CBD doesn’t cause a tolerance since it doesn’t bind to cannabinoid receptors in the same manner that THC does. CBD actually promotes enhanced receptor activity, resulting in you needing less CBD to achieve the same result; hence, the phrase reverse tolerance. This is why many people report needing less CBD after a few months of using it.
Are You Experiencing A Tolerance To CBD?
While the studies and science currently say that CBD tolerance doesn’t occur, if you are experiencing it, this can be explained with the fact that aside from it being a fairly new area to research, everyone’s highly varied biochemical makeup means that we all respond to CBD differently. You may have a tolerance to CBD and your friend may not. That’s just how the human body works. It’s also the same reason why finding an accurate dose for CBD will require some trial and error.
Now, as soon as you identify the tolerance, the best way to approach it is by taking a break. It’s the same method recommended to individuals with a THC tolerance. We know that cannabis and CBD products don’t come cheap, and a tolerance is anything but kind to your wallet. But this can be addressed by taking a 48-hour break, longer if you can, from CBD which would “clean” your receptors and restart your system. Once you’re ready to try again, see how your body feels; don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling great with just a small amount of CBD. If you have a variety of CBD products at your disposal, you might also want to start with trying another form of administration after your break. For example, if you’ve been taking tinctures daily, try taking capsules after your break and observe how you feel.
Continue paying close attention to your body’s relationship with CBD over time to identify what dose, consumption methods, and products are right for you. Eventually, you’ll get to know your body’s unique needs and this information will give you a better pulse when it comes to medicating accurately.