“I’m taking CBD products on a regular basis but will I start to build up a tolerance and eventually need to take more CBD to get the same benefits?” For the savvy person using CBD for its powerful benefits, concerns about CBD tolerance is a fair one given that THC (the psychoactive component in marijuana) is well-known for building up tolerance in users. But when it comes to CBD, the answer is a straight-up “no”.
In fact, when it comes to CBD, in some cases the opposite is true (known as reverse tolerance). It’s crucial to have all the facts on hand so you can continue to take CBD with confidence and assurance so let’s break this down:
Tolerance? Reverse Tolerance? Huh?
Tolerance occurs when you start to see less benefits with a previously effective amount. The result of developing a tolerance is that you start to need more of something to get the same desired effect.
Reverse tolerance, also called drug sensitization, means that less of something is needed to get to the same end point. This is the opposite of tolerance. A smaller dose is needed and, in some cases, continues to slowly decrease.
Why Does THC Cause Tolerance?
Research shows that long-term and regular use of THC results in users building up a tolerance because of the way that it binds directly to the body’s endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system which controls the immune system, nervous system, and mood. In particular, THC binds strongly to the CB1 receptor in the brain (hence the mind-altering experience) and chronic THC users have fewer cannabinoid receptors over time, therefore needing more THC to get the same result.
Why Doesn’t CBD Cause Tolerance (When THC Does)?
Even though CBD and THC come from the same cannabis plant species, CBD does not cause tolerance because it doesn’t work by binding to the cannabinoid receptors in the same way that THC does. CBD avoids the problem of tolerance altogether and, unlike THC which reduces cannabinoid receptors over time, CBD actually promotes increased receptor activity. In fact, some people have reported that after a few months of CBD with desired results, they find that they don’t need as much, and decrease their dose without the loss of effects (hello, reverse tolerance!).
OK, So Where Does This Leave Me? How Much CBD Should I Take?
Everyone’s body is different depending on your genetic makeup—which is why figuring out the correct dosage of CBD requires some personal experimentation. Now, assuming you’re using a high-quality CBD product (and not fake CBD), take a look at our helpful CBD dosage post to begin to work out your CBD “sweet spot”.
Understanding tolerance and reverse tolerance when it comes to CBD is another crucial part of your wellness journey. Having all the facts to hand, being able to troubleshoot when needed, dispelling CBD myths, and ultimately getting to know your body’s unique set of responses will continue to put you in the power seat to wellbeing and, ultimately, peace of mind.