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Why CBD May Not Work For You: 5 Possible Answers

Why Won’t CBD Work for Me?

If you’re in the who’s who and know’s know, then you’ve definitely heard of CBD. Whether you’ve tried it yourself once or twice or you know someone who takes it daily and swears by it, cannabidiol is taking the cannabis world by a non-psychoactive storm.

Some users have reported not feeling any difference from taking CBD, while others have reported great therapeutic benefit. So what’s the catch? Why won’t CBD work? Will CBD work for me? How will I know?

In today’s article, we’ll touch on the potentials of CBD including its therapeutic benefits, what factors go into CBD working smoothly in your system, as well as how CBD may not work for you (yet). 

Let’s get to work!

What is CBD Oil?

CBD is a medically abbreviated term for cannabidiol. It is just one of 100+ cannabinoids that are derived from the magical cannabis plant. CBD is becoming popular in the realms of holistic, natural, and lifestyle medicine due to its non-psychoactive effects - it won’t get you “stoned”.

CBD has come a long way since it was first discovered in the mid 1900s by researchers in the UK and USA. Depending on where you live, CBD companies, social media ad samples, and billboard advertisements are popping up just about everywhere, convincing you to try CBD.

Though CBD is not yet FDA approved, hemp-derived CBD (< 0.3% THC) is legal in almost every state. So why not give it a shot?

How Does CBD Interact With the Body?

Once users begin asking questions about this magical herb and what it’s capable of, next comes the question of “how does it work in my body?”.

Well, for starters, let’s talk about our endocannabinoid system (ECS). Each and every one of us humans (animals too) has an endocannabinoid system. Our ECS works alongside other major organ systems to help maintain a harmonious and homeostatic balance every day.

Within our ECS, there are cannabinoid receptors that work to communicate with other bodily receptors leading to the brain. There are two main cannabinoid receptors to note: cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). These receptors connect with different cannabinoids, well, differently.

For instance, CBD connects indirectly with these receptors. Thus, users don’t feel a “high” or have mind-altering effects. On the other hand, when users take tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it connects directly with these receptors, providing users with a euphoric and mind-altering feeling.

CBD may interact with each and every one of our bodies differently though, depending on a couple of factors. Are you sensitive to new supplements or medications? Do you have a fast metabolism? Are you new to CBD? What dosage are you taking? These are just a few of the questions I would ask someone prior to them just saying that CBD doesn’t work for them. Dosage matters. Quality matters. Your body’s physiological response to this cannabinoid matters.

5 Potential Reasons Why CBD Isn’t Working For You (Yet)

Numerous factors go into why CBD may not affect you or your system like others claim it does to them. Let me explain.

You’ve tried this, you’ve tried that - CBD just isn’t working for you. That’s it right? You’ll just throw the towel in now? Not quite!

Taking CBD is much like creating a cooking recipe from scratch: it takes practice, maybe different ingredients, and a continuous effort to get it right. Same can be said for taking CBD. Certain types of CBD may work better for you, others might not. Certain dosages may work best for you, others might not.

I’ve broken down 5 potential reasons CBD may not be working for you. Check it out!

1. Give it Time to Get into Your System

Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? Well your body possibly won’t feel the effects of CBD right away either. It takes time!

Depending on your metabolism, CBD administration method, quality of CBD, dosage amount, and frequency of use, CBD may take longer to work into your system.

For example, if you are new to taking CBD and you take tincture oil, let’s say with 10 mg of CBD, you may not notice much of anything. It is possible that your body will metabolite the cannabinoids slowly and may take longer for you to feel the effects, up to 48 hours later.

Be patient with cannabidiol, it’s your friend, she’s there for your long haul!

2. Try a Different Type of CBD

Depending on your administration method of cannabidiol, you may feel (or not feel) the effects differently.

For instance, taking a sublingual CBD oil may metabolize into your system faster since it is absorbed directly through your taste buds, bypassing your digestive system for processing.

Also, a  2007 cannabinoid pharmacokinetics research article found that CBD was 10 fold higher in permeability than THC when it came to using topical CBD products.

Our best advice here? Find your groove. CBD products range from topical to oral to edible to applicable - it’s up to you! If you can think of it, I can almost guarantee you a CBD company has created it. CBD chapstick? CBD bath bombs? CBD makeup? CBD towels? Probably all of the above and more.

3. Check the Quality of Your CBD

If I could highlight this section to be the most important I totally would! NOT ALL CBD PRODUCTS ARE CREATED EQUAL.

The quality of your CBD matters. Do the products you’re interested in have lab testing? Do they have third-party lab testing? Do they include certificates of analysis? Do they produce concentrations and percentages of what ingredients are in their products?

These are important questions to ask companies prior to purchasing their CBD. If they can’t provide you with these requests? It may be time to browse elsewhere.

CBD is not FDA approved, so companies can totally have 0.01% CBD in their “CBD oil” and call it CBD oil. Thus, that’s not the quality you’re looking for sis.

4. It May Not Be Your Best Fit

One size does not fit all friends, especially for CBD products and oils. Just because Sally loves her CBD pills from company Z does not mean they’ll work just dandy for you as well (or maybe they will, who knows).

Finding a CBD product that works for you makes all the difference! Create a hypothetical (or literal) list of what you’re looking for in a CBD product: taste, dosage, quality, ease, etc.

5. Reassess Your Dosage

Maybe you’ve got the right CBD product for you, but you’re just slightly off on your perfect dosage. It’s okay, it happens!

You can always start from the basics: lower and slower (as I like to say). Worried you’ll take too much? Take a drop at a time. Worried you won’t take enough? Start writing down what dosage you take on what days and how you may feel.

You’ll be able to look back on your dosages and how you felt after, which can help you gauge your next CBD dosage.

As always, we recommend talking with your primary healthcare provider prior to starting any CBD regime, as cannabidiol may or may not affect any current medications you may be taking.

What CBD Products Should I Purchase?

Here, at Hempulse, we pride ourselves on having a wide variety of products surely to match what you’re desiring. From CBD Edibles to CBD Creams to CBD Tinctures and CBD Pills, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re wanting an incognito, exact dosage every time, sort of pill, our CBD Capsules would be perfect for you! We offer a 10 mg or 25 mg per serving of THC-free gels, giving you the opportunity to choose your dosage.

If you’re searching for a cream or lotion, our CBD Lotion Body Butter may be the unscented topical you’re looking for to help with those sore muscles.

Why CBD Isn’t Working for You: Final Thoughts

CBD is here to stay awhile, no worries there. It’s all-natural, non-toxic, non-addictive, and may provide therapeutic benefit to your health, well-being, and areas of concern.

CBD may not be working for you because you’ve got a few things to consider first: CBD quality, your dosage, CBD administration type, and time for it to absorb into your system. Once you get those factors dialed in, you’ll be on your way to the beaming benefits of cannabidiol in no time flat.

Until then, keep at it! Cannabidiol can be a beautiful option for each and every one of us - it just takes a little patience and familiarity to get to your desired dosage.

Doing your homework, one day at a time, will keep you on track towards finding a CBD recipe that works for you.



Huestis MA. Human cannabinoid pharmacokinetics. Chem Biodivers. 2009.

Pertwee RG. Cannabinoid pharmacology: The first 66 years. Br J Pharmacol. 2006.

-- Written by Kirsten Thornhill

Human Physiologist | Content Writer | Lifestyle Medicine Advocate
Kirsten Thornhill was born and raised in a small town in Northern California. She graduated with her Bachelors from CSU Stanislaus in Turlock, CA in Kinesiology Exercise Physiology and her Masters from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA in Kinesiology Exercise Physiology. Kirsten is very passionate about human physiology and the metabolic and nutritional adaptations that occur in athletes. She has specialized in teaching clinical and practical exercise and rehabilitation applications. She enjoys educating and informing people on the importance of lifetime movement, holistic and lifestyle medicine, and health research and development. Her passion for alternative medicine enables her to strive when promoting health and education.

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