Long term CBD consumers often wonder if they could become tolerant to their CBD oil, vapes, or edibles just as some might become tolerant to medication after a long period of use. The answer to this question is no, we don’t become tolerant to CBD, but instead, we can develop reverse tolerance to the natural cannabinoid found in hemp. So what does this mean for daily CBD users? And how is it possible for individuals to build up a tolerance for THC and not CBD?

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a natural compound found in hemp that can possibly help relieve pain, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and more. tetrahydrocannabinol , also known as THC,  is a psychoactive compound found in marijuana that can cause individuals to get “high.” Although moderate amounts of THC has also been linked to possibly help individuals with nausea, insomnia, pain, epilepsy, anxiety, etc.

What is Tolerance?

Tolerance is defined when an individual begins to see less benefits from a previously effective dosage. The outcome of becoming tolerant to a synthetic or natural ingredient is upping a previously effective dosage to get the same benefits as before. Although with reverse tolerance, also known as drug sensitizing, it means that individuals who have consumed CBD for a long period of time can lower their dosage to achieve the same benefits as they did from their previous starter dose.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

CBD connects organically to our body’s receptors in our brain and immune system due to the endocannabinoid system. Because, cannabinoids like CBD bind with our CB1 and CB2 receptors in our brain, this helps produce endocannabinoid molecules that regulate and stabilize our body, also known as homeostasis. With this stability, CBD increases the production of endocannabinoids in our body, helping our nervous and immune system operate at its healthiest level of efficiency. This explains how CBD consumers can possibly lessen their original starter dosage to achieve similar results as they did when they first tried CBD.

Although CBD and THC derive from natural growing cannabis, they both have different effects on the body’s endocannabinoid system. THC binds solely with the CB1 receptors in our brain to help produce endocannabinoids that can benefit the nervous system and more. Although with repeated use, the CB1 receptor begins to maintain its normal activity, creating less endocannabinoids in your body that helps maintain homeostasis.

Because THC tolerance develops through our body’s cellular structure, we can build up tolerance to the cannabinoid through two different types of methods called desensitization and internalization. Desensitization starts when our CB1 receptors begin to bind less and less to cannabinoids easily. Although with internalization, the outer CB1 receptor cells are internalized and can sometimes become completely unresponsive. With desensitization less and less cells can be activated by THC, but with internalization, your CB1 receptors can respond to THC but the cells are operating at half of their efficiency when operating in the endocannabinoid system.

Although CBD binds with our CB1 receptor similarly as THC, its effect on our receptors cellular structure in the endocannabinoid system is different due to an activity called the negative allosteric modulation. With long term CBD use, this activity helps reduce the binding structure of our CB1 receptors, giving your endocannabinoid system a break unlike THC that over activates your receptors. With this break, the cellular structure of your CB1 receptors are replenished and increases the production of endocannabinoids throughout the body.

Finding What Works For You

Due to everyone’s absorption and metabolism rate, finding the correct starter dosage for CBD is tricky and requires personal trial and error. Sometimes new consumers might have to try different delivery methods through vape, MCT oil, or more to find the perfect CBD product that works for you.

For long term CBD consumers, sometimes decreasing your dosage might not beneficial for everyone due to different types of aliments or conditions. For consumers who feel as if they are seeing less benefits from their usual CBD dosage, it’s possible that taking a small break from CBD might help your receptors reset itself. Another option is to gradually increase your dosage by a small incremental dose for a few days. Last but not least you can also try a different CBD product to see if maybe a different formulation of an oil, edible, vape, etc. might be more beneficial.

Finding the perfect dosage and CBD product is a personalized process to your path to natural wellness. For more information about tolerance, the endocannabinoid system, and more, feel free to talk to our certified consultants at Go Green Botanicals.