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This Is Why CBD Doesn't Work For Everyone

While the compound can help some people immensely, it's not a miracle product. Here are five reasons why.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

CBD won’t solve all your problems.

Sally Anscombe | Getty Images

While many other companies would like to have you believe differently, it’s true. It’s not a panacea. It’s not a miracle product. Millions of people have already begun to regularly use CBD for one reason or another, but the truth is it doesn’t work for everyone.

There are many reasons for this. Some of them have to do with the nature of CBD and the endocannabinoid system; some have to do with the fact that every person is different and has a unique lifestyle and genetic makeup. 

Here are the top five reasons why, while CBD can contribute greatly to your health and well begin, it doesn’t work for everyone.

Related: How To Know What Dosage Of CBD To Take

1. We all have a unique endocannabinoid system that responds differently to CBD.

Similar to a fingerprint, each person has a uniquely configured endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is one of the largest molecular systems in the human body and is made up of millions of cannabinoid receptors scattered throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. It supports your body in maintaining a stable equilibrium in response to environmental changes. 

Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is unique in its makeup and level of functionality. Just like any other system in the body, people can naturally have more or fewer receptors—or those receptors function in different ways. There can also be differences in the number of endocannabinoids that are produced or in how quickly they’re metabolized. Some people’s endocannabinoid systems are well-nourished and supported. For those people, introducing CBD may produce barely-noticeable effects.

How do you know if your endocannabinoid system needs support? Although there’s not enough solid research to make a definitive answer, if you have experienced changes in your environment, you might be needing some extra cannabinoid support.

2. CBD takes time to really work (sometimes a lot of time).

Thanks to some overzealous marketing hooks and media stories, there are many misguided expectations about what the effects of CBD “feel” like, and how long it takes to experience these feelings. 

It is true that CBD does occasionally produce noticeable effects for some users right off the bat. This can usually be attributed to the person having a very different endocannabinoid system or possibly even experiencing the placebo effect. However, like many nutritional products, it usually takes several weeks of consistent daily use to observe any impacts, if not longer. 

The misconception that CBD works right away is a damaging one because many first-timers find themselves disappointed when they don’t experience the effects they’re looking for on the first day or even the first week. When using CBD as a self-care tool, it’s important to set realistic expectations and recognize that it takes time, patience, and awareness.

Related: 4 Smart Ways To Choose The Best CBD Product For You

3. There is a huge variety of products available and you might not have the right one. 

Even if you’re opting for high-quality CBD products over CBD lattes, it still may require some road testing to get where you want to be. 

If you’ve been taking CBD products consistently for over a month and haven’t noticed any changes, consider the type and concentration of product you’re taking. Full-spectrum extracts contain a wide array of 110 plus cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, including CBD, CBG, and CBN (but no more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight, legally speaking). CBD isolate products, on the other hand, are typically stripped of all these extra compounds to feature only CBD. 

While both types can be effective, full-spectrum extracts tend to be more popular than isolate products. Full-spectrum extracts encourage what’s known as the “entourage effect,” which describes all of the compounds of the cannabis plant working together in a complementary way. In essence, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 

Similarly, some people require higher concentrations of CBD than others. Many first-timers start with between 5 to 15 mg of CBD per day for the first several weeks to observe. After that, though, some users find they may need upwards of 50 mg to achieve the desired effect. The general advice is to start low and go slow to find your sweet spot. We also recommend talking to your healthcare professional before starting any new product, especially if you have a health condition, taking medication, or are pregnant or nursing.

4. Some “CBD” products don’t actually contain CBD. 

The number one rule when shopping for CBD is to always look for third-party testing. 

If a company doesn’t share recent tests on its products, it’s possible that they are not trustworthy and their products could contain misrepresented amounts of CBD or potentially harmful contaminants, like pesticides or heavy metals. 

For example, a study of 47 CBD products from different companies revealed that 11% of products delivered no CBD whatsoever. Twenty-three percent of the products delivered less than 80 percent of CBD than advertised on the label. Likewise, the FDA has responded with warning letters over the past several years to companies who have falsely labeled and marketed CBD products, misleading their customers into believing that they’re getting more CBD than they really are. 

CBD manufacturers and retailers should be fully transparent and share a certificate of analysis for every single batch of every single product that leaves their facility so customers don’t have to blindly trust their product will be free from contaminants and contain the amount of CBD that they are expecting. 

Related: CBD for Seniors: How to Navigate Your Way

This is an example of one of Bluebird Botanicals' Certificate of Analysis. 


5. CBD can’t fix an unhealthy lifestyle.

CBD is a supplement, meaning it is intended to do what its name implies: supplement, or build on top of, an already healthy diet and lifestyle. 

It’s true that CBD works well for many people, but it’s not a cure-all. It can help support bodily balance, but it can’t make up for a bad diet, no exercise, a lack of sleep, poor emotional hygiene, or disconnection from one’s community and/or social support network. In order to reap the benefits of CBD and maintain true wellness, you have to put together all the puzzle pieces.

The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content contained in this article is for general information purposes only.