The body is great at adapting to new stimuli and substances that we start to take. Because of this, to build muscle you must lift heavier weights, or a coffee drinker needs more and more caffeine to get their desired boost. Does CBD fall into this category? Do you build a tolerance to CBD Oil? 

Being that you likely take CBD at least once a day, if not two or three times, it is understandable that you’d be concerned about your dosages increasing over time. What causes our bodies to adapt, and will that happen as we take CBD? 

In this article, we’ll examine how tolerance works and how this may affect the dosage of CBD Oil you’ll require overtime. 

How Does Tolerance Work?

Tolerance is something that is very individualized due to our unique genetic structure. Not only are some people more sensitive to substances in general, but people adapt to a new substance at different rates. 

There are three main categories of tolerance: cellular, metabolic, and behavioral. Most substances activate two, or all three of the categories to different extents. 

With cellular tolerance, the body becomes less responsive to a substance. Coffee drinkers understand this as well as anyone. Your morning cup of coffee slowly turns into two, then three, and before you know it you basically need an IV to get the caffeine kick you crave! 

Metabolic tolerances occur when the body starts to block or limit the amount of a chemical reaching a targeted area. Alcohol produces a metabolic tolerance as the more often you drink the more you build up more of the liver enzymes that break down alcohol. Thus, you must drink more for the same amount to reach your bloodstream. 

Finally, behavioral tolerance happens in the brain when we become psychologically adjusted to the effects of a substance.

Do You Build a Tolerance to CBD Oil?

Anyone who has used cannabis medicinally or recreationally probably believes that you will build up a tolerance to CBD. After all, cannabis users build a tolerance, so it makes sense that since CBD is a component of the plant, you’d build a tolerance to that too.  

The fact is that you will not build a tolerance to CBD. In fact, CBD benefits from a process referred to as reverse tolerance. THC, another common cannabinoid in cannabis, does build a tolerance in the body. The difference is how the two compounds bind with the endocannabinoid system. 

When THC enters the body, it binds with CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. After a while, the body builds a cellular tolerance to that binding process. This means there are fewer free CB1 receptors, and more THC is needed to feel the same effects. 

Unlike THC which binds and limits receptor activity, CBD actually promotes increased receptor activity! This means you won’t build up a tolerance to CBD at all. 

Even in CBD-rich products like Complete Spectrum CBD, many other components from hemp make it into the oil, which could change how CBD relates to your body and how, or if, tolerance is built. Along with cannabinoids like THC and CBD, the hemp plant has tons of terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds that will affect this.

Early research suggests that not only will you not build a tolerance to CBD oil, but CBD benefits from a concept known as reverse tolerance.

What is Reverse Tolerance?

When reverse tolerance occurs less of the substance causing the change is needed to get the same results! This is normally a fairly slow process, but in time you need less and less of the product. 

It is believed that CBD works in a reverse tolerance model thanks to the increased receptor sensitivity that occurs. CBD also seems to help turn off receptors that are active that don’t need to be. CBD helps the endocannabinoid system become more efficient, even without its presence. 

In a paper published in 2016, CBD was theorized to help fix endocannabinoid deficiencies in the body, allowing you to better control chronic pain from migraines, fibromyalgia, IBS, and other treatment-resistant conditions.  

If this theory is true, it means that over time receptors that need to be on will be on, and those that don’t will be resting, thus less CBD will be needed to get them to their desired state. 

The evidence definitely shows that you do not build a tolerance to CBD like you would cannabis, or more specifically THC, and what little research that is available backs this up. 

Over time, CBD could make your endocannabinoid system work better. This would have numerous positive changes including lessening the need for addictive, and sometimes dangerous, pain killers and prescription medication. 

Tolerance to CBD – Final Thoughts

The quick answer to the question “Do you build a tolerance to CBD” is no, you will not build a tolerance to CBD or CBD products. Cannabis, on the other hand, or any strain with a high amount of THC is a different story. The body reacts differently to these two cannabinoids. 

As with so many topics surrounding CBD, more research is needed to determine exactly how and why your body doesn’t build up a tolerance and why it actually seems to build a reverse tolerance. Just don’t forget about your friends at 4cornerscannabis as your reverse tolerance builds! 

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