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  • by Nicola Boulton September 03, 2022 4 min read

    CBD Tolerance: What Is It and How Can You Avoid It?

    CBD is non-intoxicating, meaning it doesn’t get you high. It is effective in treating diseases and health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and epilepsy.
    As CBD’s popularity has grown, so has the interest in using it to treat chronic conditions. However, because CBD is a new and rarely studied compound, there’s a lot people still don’t know about it. One of the things we do know is that CBD can build up tolerance in some users. Since CBD can be psychoactive if used in high doses, some people are concerned about developing a tolerance to it. So, what is CBD tolerance and how can you avoid it? CBD tolerance is the phenomenon of the body adapting to CBD, decreasing response to its effects. Tolerance to CBD can develop over time or occur more quickly if you take high doses.

    How Does CBD Tolerance Develop?

    The mechanism behind CBD tolerance is still being studied, but it’s thought that CBD is metabolized by the body to reduce its effectiveness. Over time, the body may start relying on this reduced CBD dosage, leading to tolerance.

    Body function and CBD Tolerance

    CBD tolerance is not fully understood, but it is believed that the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) mediates the increase in CBD tolerance. Dissanayake & Dissanayake (2015). Suggested that the ECS is a network of receptors located throughout the body, as well as enzymes that produce and break down cannabinoids.

    They are activated by cannabinoids, such as CBD, interacting with the ECS to regulate energy balance, pain perception, and immune response. (Maroon & Bost, 2018) When the body is exposed to CBD over time, the ECS becomes desensitized to the cannabinoid, reducing the CBD’s therapeutic effects. However, over time the body becomes used to CBD and the receptors become less responsive. This is known as tolerance and it can limit the amount of CBD absorbed by the body.
    There are a few ways to prevent CBD tolerance from developing, including using a tincture with a high CBD to THC ratio, taking breaks from using CBD, and rotating between different CBD products. Managing the ECS helps regulate the number of cannabinoid receptors in the body. Martínez et al. (2020) noted that the ECS also helps break down CBD and other cannabinoids, preventing them from building up and causing tolerance. By regulating the number of receptors and the breakdown of cannabinoids, the ECS can ensure the body benefits from the therapeutic effects of CBD.

    CBD Tolerance: What to Do If You Build Up Tolerance to CBD

    If you have been using CBD products for a while and have noticed that you are no longer feeling the same benefits, you may have developed a tolerance to CBD. This is a common issue with many medications and supplements, and it is something that you can manage if you take the right steps.
    There are a few things you can do to avoid developing a tolerance to CBD:
    - Use CBD sparingly. If you’re using CBD to treat a chronic condition, try to take it only on days when you need it.
    - Vary your dosage. If you’re taking a high dosage of CBD daily, try taking smaller doses more often instead.

    - Increase your CBD intake slowly. If you’ve been taking a low dosage of CBD, you may want to increase your dosage slowly. This will help your body to adjust to the increased dosage.
    - Rotate CBD products. If you’re using multiple CBD products, try using a different one every few days.
    - Use whole-plant CBD. CBD from whole-plant hemp is less likely to cause tolerance than CBD from isolated cannabinoids.
    - Try a CBD tincture. Tinctures are absorbed more slowly than other CBD products, which can help to avoid tolerance.
    CBD tolerance is a real concern, but it can be minimized by following these tips.
    - Take a break. If you’ve been taking CBD regularly, taking a break of a few days may help reset your tolerance.
    - Lower your dosage. If you’ve been taking a high CBD dosage, lowering your dosage may help reduce your tolerance.

    - Increase your CBD intake slowly. If you’ve been taking a low dosage of CBD, you may want to increase your dosage slowly. This will help your body adjust to the increased dosage.
    - Try a different CBD product. If you’ve been taking the same CBD product for a while, trying a different product may help to reduce your tolerance. Different CBD products have different strengths and effects.
    Reducing your CBD tolerance can be difficult but necessary if you want to continue enjoying the benefits. Therefore, following these tips should help you reduce your tolerance.
    If you continue experiencing issues with tolerance, talk to your doctor. They may help you find a CBD product that works better or prescribe something that can help manage your symptoms. Learn more about the science behind cbd


    CBD oil is an effective treatment for various medical conditions. However, it is important to understand the potential risks and side effects associated with its use. One risk associated with CBD oil is tolerance, a condition where the body becomes used to a drug and requires increasingly larger doses to achieve the same effect.

    While tolerance to CBD oil has not been extensively studied, there is some evidence that it may occur. One study showed that rats given CBD oil for two weeks experienced a decrease in the effectiveness of the oil. More research is needed to determine whether tolerance to CBD oil occurs in humans and the methods to prevent it.


    Dissanayake, D. W. N., & Dissanayake, D. M. D. (2015). The physiology of pain: an update and review of clinical relevance. Journal of the Ceylon College of Physicians, 46, 19-23.


    Martínez, V., Iriondo De-Hond, A., Borrelli, F., Capasso, R., Del Castillo, M. D., & Abalo, R. (2020). Cannabidiol and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids for prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders: useful nutraceuticals?. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(9), 3067.

    Maroon, J., & Bost, J. (2018). Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids. Surgical neurology international, 9.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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