CBD Oil Not Working? 5 Potential Reasons Why

Many people expect instant results when they first start taking CBD oil. But that’s more the exception than the rule. The lack of immediate results can lead some to quickly give up and consider the CBD oil not working and give up.

However, a better approach is to have realistic expectations when starting out. For many, CBD oil results are not achieved for several weeks. So perseverance is key. And so is an understanding of the different variables at play that can determine both short-term and long-term effectiveness for you.

The purpose of this article is to present 5 potential reasons why CBD isn’t working for you, or may have stopped working, and suggest what you can do to increase your chances of achieving your goal.

1. Choose a Brand and Product Wisely

The first decision that you had to make after deciding to try to achieve CBD oil results, was where you would buy it from. If you chose a brand from our recommended list, then you got a high quality product from a reputable company. You also got a brand that has been well-reviewed by others and that makes third party lab reports available to its customers.

Importantly, buying from a company that has a strong track record is a good first step since there are poor quality products on the market. But it doesn’t ensure immediate successful CBD oil results. For instance, each brand and product has its own unique cannabinoid and terpene profile. So a product that works great for one person may not work at all for another person even if they are treating a similar condition.

In short, many people tell us that they had to try several brands before finding the one that achieved positive CBD oil results. So be sure to always buy from a reputable source but know that it may take some experimenting to find “the one” that works for you.

Also be sure you know whether the product you’re using is full spectrum, CBD isolate (0% THC) or a hybrid of those. If you bought an isolate and haven’t gotten any results, you may need to try a full spectrum product or vice versa. This page of our website explains the difference between full spectrum and isolate products.

2. Find Your Optimal Dose

Taking too much CBD or too little CBD is the #1 reason that hinders effectiveness for beginners. Unlike aspirin where a standard dose of 2 tablets will be effective for the majority of people, the “right” dose of CBD is highly individualized. Type and severity of condition, weight and body chemistry are just a few of the variables that make the “right” dose different for each person.

Your goal is to find the optimal dose for you specifically. Again, you’ll need to do some experimentation to figure out what’s best for you. This page of our website on CBD oil dosage gives specific suggestions on how to find your personal “sweet spot” dose. The page also includes a CBD dosage calculator and CBD dosing log that can be helpful tools for users.

Dosage is something that needs to be evaluated on a continuous basis. So even once you find your “sweet spot”, you may have to experiment with higher or lower amounts if you experience unfavorable side effects or a decrease in effectiveness over time. This is especially true if you switch products or use multiple products simultaneously since different products have different potency levels.

3. Bioavailability Matters

Bioavailability refers to the percentage of CBD that actually gets into your bloodstream. The different ways of taking CBD have different levels of bioavailability. For example, 25 milligrams of CBD taken sublingually typically results in 20-30% of the CBD actually entering the bloodstream. But taking a 25mg capsule results in only about 5% of the CBD actually entering your bloodstream.

So depending on how you are taking your CBD, you may be getting less CBD into your system than you think. This article about the different ways of taking CBD oil explains bioavailability by delivery method in more detail.

4. Genetics May Be to Blame

Approximately 15-20% of people are genetically disposed to their body producing higher levels of natural endocannabinoids. This is generally a good thing for the overall well-being of those people. But the higher level of natural endocannabinoids can mean that they’ll get less benefit from taking CBD oil as a supplement.

5. Building a Tolerance

After you’ve been taking CBD for awhile, it’s natural to expect that a tolerance will build up over time. You may find that you have to take a higher dose to achieve the same results you got from lower doses previously. But at some point the effectiveness may plateau or higher doses become cost prohibitive.

At that point, you may want to consider taking a “tolerance break” from CBD to allow your endocannabinoid receptors to reset. After a couple of weeks, you can resume taking CBD and hopefully you’ll achieve your desired results again at a lower dosage than what you had built up to.


CBD oil is not a quick fix or miracle cure. You shouldn’t expect to achieve immediate results even if you follow all of the best practices discussed above.

But you can improve your chances of success by doing your research, being patient and understanding that it’s a process that will require some experimentation on your part. If you have any questions, please join us in the CBD Oil Users Group on Facebook where you can share experiences and ask questions of other CBD oil users.

Brian Peterson

Brian Peterson has been a CBD consumer advocate and educator since 2015. He is the founder and managing editor of the CBDOilUsers.com website. He's also the lead administrator of the CBD Oil Users Group, the largest CBD group on Facebook. His passion is educating consumers so that they can make their own decisions when purchasing and using CBD products.

  1. Not mentioned is that there’s a huge varience between vendors, and products within each vendor. CBD is a very complex combo of sub-components that vary widely across vendors, strains, even grow seasons!!! Just like grapes going into wine. Too much talk generically leaving off the vendor, date and product!!!!!

  2. Dr is living in the 1950s

  3. I just started using a cbd cream that a lot of my friends rave about. It doesn’t work for me. Am I the oddball?

  4. I use the hemp cream by Charlotte web. I cannot take it orally cuz Dr said it could interfere with my medication. It takes the edge off of all my body pains. I’ve never tried any other brand it type. A tube is suppose to last one month I need 2 tubs? So I must be using too much. I’d like to find out what brands other hjosnnrave used

    Leave a reply

    CBD Oil Users