Can You Build Up a Tolerance to CBD?

When you build up a tolerance to something, you find that you have to take more of it to get the same effects. It's common for users of THC to develop a tolerance after repeated use. But is building tolerance also an issue with CBD? It's clear to us that more research is needed to definitively answer this question.

Limited research studies on this topic indicate that CBD does not build tolerance. But we regularly hear from users who experience diminished benefits from using their CBD products over time. In many cases, a "reset" can get them back on track.

What May Cause Tolerance to CBD?

Tolerance to THC is attributed to the CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain becoming desensitized with repeated activation. The amount of time that it takes to develop a tolerance to THC varies from person to person. Some of the factors at play include frequency of use, dosage, history of use and individual body chemistry.

CBD products also interact with the endocannabinoid system. So it's reasonable to think the cannabinoid receptors may also become desensitized due to repeated CBD use.

How To Reset Your Tolerance

If you've been using CBD for awhile and find that it's not working as well as it used to, you may benefit from a “tolerance break."

Tolerance breaks are especially common among THC users and give your cannabinoid receptors a chance to “reset.” Time needed for these tolerance breaks typically ranges anywhere from two days to four weeks, though the latter is significantly less common. Temporarily stopping your usage of CBD products for two days may be all you need.

If a reset doesn't work, you can also try switching to a different CBD delivery method. For example, you may want to try vaping CBD oil if the sublingual drops have stopped working for you.

What is Reverse Tolerance?

If you begin experiencing negative side effects from a CBD product that previously worked well for you, it’s possible you are developing something called “reverse tolerance.” The concept here is that over time you begin to need less of a substance to achieve the same effects. This plays on the idea that your cannabinoid receptors become even more effective at doing their job.

To combat this, try slowly lowering your daily dosage of CBD until you start to experience benefits again. A comparable term would be that your initial use is a “loading dose” and a lower ongoing amount is your therapeutic maintenance dose. If you never experience a return of benefits, you may need to take a tolerance break, change products, or go the opposite direction and increase your dose.


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Sarah Jorczyk

Sarah Jorczyk is an advocate for CBD products and one of the Administrators of the CBD Oil Users Group on Facebook. She strives to educate the public, and promotes the use of safe products while helping others throughout their CBD journey. You can also find a variety of her content, including reviews and educational videos, on the group's youtube page.

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