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Can You Build a Tolerance to CBD?

Some substances, when taken over an extended time, can cause our bodies to begin to build a tolerance. We establish a tolerance to a chemical when more and more of it is required to produce the same effects. Tolerance can build up even for simple daily items such as coffee and sugar.

Understandably, those who take CBD / CBDA oil may wonder if they might begin to build a tolerance in a similar way. In this article, we take a closer look at what tolerance is, and whether it is related to CBD.

What is Tolerance?

To understand whether our bodies can build a tolerance to CBD, we first need to understand how tolerance works. There are three different types of tolerance, cellular, metabolic and phycological, which can occur individually or in combination depending on the substance and how it reacts with the body.

Cellular Tolerance

Many substances work by binding to a receptor. Over time, receptors can become less responsive, causing a reduction in the effects.

Metabolic Tolerance

Metabolic tolerance occurs when the body becomes more efficient at metabolising or eliminating a substance. Prolonged consumption of a substance causes the body’s metabolism to ‘get used’ to something. The substance is broken down faster, and its effects are both diminished and often less prolonged.

Psychological Tolerance

Users can become psychologically attuned to the effects of a substance, meaning they are less perceptive or conscious of its benefits.

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Understanding How CBD Works

CBD works differently to most of the chemicals associated with the development of resistance or tolerance and, therefore, developing a tolerance is unlikely. Scientists know that CBD doesn’t bind directly with receptors. Instead, it indirectly improves the efficacy of endocannabinoids and receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Therefore, cellular tolerance is less likely.

Can You Build up a Tolerance to CBD?

While tolerance is often more complicated than the simple mechanisms described, research suggests that CBD is not tolerance-forming and may even have the opposite effect. Early studies indicate that due to the way CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system, over time, lower amounts may be able to produce the same result.

In answer to the question ‘can you build up a tolerance to CBD?’ most scientists seem to agree that the answer is no.

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What do I do if CBD is no longer working for me?

If you have been taking CBD regularly and are noticing a reduction in the effects, it may be a result of one (or more) of the following things.

1- Is the CBD you are taking from a reputable source and quality-consistent source? Many companies do not independently test each batch of CBD, meaning that the concentration of active ingredients may vary from batch to batch.


2- You may have changed the product you started with – not all CBD oils are the same! Even if by comparing two products’ label, they seem to be identical, several things can make them different. Check our article on this subject.


3- If you have not changed the product or the dose you were taking, some scientists suggest taking a break of just a few days may do the trick for you.


4- You could have reached the maximum effect you could achieve from enhancing your endocannabinoid system. Remember that at the dose you can take them as food supplements, CBD and CBDA are not medicines. Therefore, they are not going to revert the course of a disease or cure it altogether. If despite taking a CBD / CBDA product, you feel that your pain, stress or discomfort starts to come back, it may be that your condition is somehow worsening. Consider consulting with a health professional.

At ElleVance, we have our CBD / CBDA oils tested by independent laboratories, so we know that all our full-spectrum CBD products are of the highest quality. To explore our products as well as discover answers to more frequently asked questions such as ‘what are the best CBD products?’ Please visit our website.