Can You Build Up a Tolerance for CBD?

So, you’re a fan of CBD. You apply it under your tongue in the morning for its mood-boosting properties, apply it to your face for hydration, rub a CBD-based serum on your aching tennis elbow, and perhaps relax at night with a CBD-infused bath bomb. With all this use, it’s natural to wonder: is it possible to build up a tolerance to CBD? 

What’s the bottom line on CBD tolerance?

When you develop a tolerance to something, it means that you will have to take increasingly higher dosages over time to achieve the same type of results as when you first started. This is a common issue with ingredients that bind to endocannabinoid receptors.

The good news is that tolerance from using CBD is incredibly rare, as to be almost non-existent. Because of the way CBD interacts with the body, it doesn’t actually bind to the endocannabinoid receptors that allow it to influence reactions. Instead, CBD uses these receptors to promote certain activity, whether it is to inhibit or antagonize, and that is how it can regulate the other systems of your body.

Unlike other products derived from the hemp plant, CBD doesn’t produce a psychoactive effect, nor is it addictive. While tolerance is different than addiction and dependence, it can play a factor in both, as the body learns over time ways to process the substances more efficiently. 

What If CBD Isn’t Producing the Desired Effect? 

Let’s say you’re not getting the desired effect from your CBD; while it’s most likely not because you built up a tolerance, there are other possible factors. Take the following actions to improve the results:

Increase dosage gradually (titrating) - Though the package or bottle your CBD comes in will have a recommended dosage, with CBD these can be highly individualized. If you’re still a beginner to using CBD, it is a good idea to start with a low dose, see what results occur, and make a decision about whether to increase the dose. By titrating your dose, you can find that you may only need something slightly higher, and you give the CBD enough time to be absorbed and work properly.

If the dose you are taking at the moment seems like it is not working, go ahead and increase it little by little until you feel like you are getting the outcome promised.

Use a different application method - CBD can be applied in various ways, but there are three umbrella application methods: topical, ingestible, and sublingual. 

  • Because CBD is absorbed by the skin, topicals are great for chronic pain and inflammation, chronic skin conditions, skin scarring, and anti-aging. Topicals are creams, lotions, ointments, serums, muscle balms, and other externally applied formulas.
  • Ingestibles are at their best working to achieve better wellness, and helping the internal body systems stay balanced. They can be gummies, capsules or pills, or infusions that are added to food and drink.
  • Oil that is applied sublingually is held for about thirty seconds, so it can be absorbed into the receptors under the tongue. The sublingual application helps solve many issues, as it doesn’t have to go through digestion like an ingestible, but it has a degree of bioavailability, unlike topicals.

Keep in mind that the application method can also dictate how potent the dose is, how quickly it works, and the amount of bioavailability, which is the process by which the CBD enters the bloodstream.

Change the type of CBD oil - CBD oil comes in three basic types: full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate. 

  • Full spectrum oil includes other beneficial terpenes from the plant. These terpenes create an entourage effect that strengthens the potency and efficacy of CBD.
  • Broad spectrum has similar inclusions from the plant as full spectrum, but is THC-free.
  • Isolate is just CBD oil, so while it still works, it has a lessened potency.

Knowing what type of CBD oil you are using, and understanding the differences in their potency can go a long way toward finding the right one for you. Full spectrum is considered to be the “strongest.” If you choose to take an isolate or broad spectrum, you may need to work harder at finding the correct dosage.

Consider using a CBD product that combines other ingredients - In a similar way to how full spectrum CBD creates an entourage effect, you may want to think about finding a CBD product that combines one or more ingredients that also work toward mitigating your problem, thereby boosting the effects of all of them. 

Skin Care - Botanika Life products like the Vitamin C Elixir and the Plant Stem Cell Skin Elixir have added ingredients that include Vitamin C, squalane, and marula, and plant stem cells which all combat the signs of aging, provide hydration, and boost needed elements like collagen.

Stress Reduction and Sleep Aid - If you need nighttime help unwinding, Botanika Life’s Stress Balls include essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus that help with relaxation while reducing stress, tension, and anxiety. Similarly, the CBD Sleep Spray also contains known sleep aid melatonin, as well as magnesium, and GABA. The ingredients collaborate to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. 

Pain and Inflammation Relief - Botanika Life’s CBDPain Relief Collection has everything you need to mitigate pain and inflammation. Ingredients like menthol, lidocaine, arnica, and aloe are incorporated with full spectrum CBD to create powerful products.