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Can You Build a Tolerance to CBD Oil?


For a number of years now many people have turned their attention to CBD use and the ways in which its consumption may be beneficial. In this article, we’ll discuss how CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system and whether or not a person may build up a tolerance for the substance when used over time.

CBD’s Interaction with the Body

When CBD is introduced to the body, it interacts with the Endocannabinoid System(ECS), which creates cannabinoids for the purpose of transmitting signals from the brain’s CB1 and CB2 receptors through both the nervous system and the immune system.


CB1 receptors are found in the brain and throughout the body, but CB2, while also found in the brain, is more concentrated in the body’s immune and gastrointestinal systems.

Research has shown that when CBD interacts with these receptors, their capabilities are improved, thus improving the functionality of the receptors.

What is Tolerance?

Tolerance can sometimes be mistakenly interpreted as being similar to addiction or dependence, the way a person might be addicted to tobacco or coffee. Tolerance, however, occurs when,

larger and larger amounts of a substance are required in order to experience the effects that were initially felt.

Can Users Develop a Tolerance for CBD Oil?

The short answer is no. CBD tolerance isn’t something observed in common users of the substance. It is very different from other cannabinoids, like THC. People regularly become tolerant of THC due to how it interacts with CB1 receptors in the brain. When THC binds to these receptors,  it imitates endocannabinoids. This causes the Endocannabinoid System to sense potential overactivity, and so it down-regulates itself.


Because of this, fewer endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors are produced, thus making a user more tolerant of the substance, in this case, THC. After, a user will require larger and larger amounts to reach the same effects and become over-dependent.

Why is CBD different?

CBD, on the other hand, has a more indirect interaction with these receptors and binds to them differently. When the receptors encounter CBD, they don’t become desensitized as they do with THC, and so users will not get to a point where their body requires more the longer it’s used.

Though research on CBD is still in relative infancy, what has been discovered so far seems very promising regarding whether a person will develop a tolerance for the substance if used over extended periods of time. Unlike cannabis, where long-term users will develop a THC tolerance, the evidence for CBD seems to point in the opposite direction.

Studies and scientific research on CBD oil use suggest that a tolerance won’t be built and that if long-term use is carried out then the result may produce what is known as ‘Reverse Tolerance’.

What is Reverse Tolerance?

‘Reverse Tolerance’ is the phenomenon whereby the more exposed a person is to a particular substance, the less they ultimately need to feel its effects. Therefore, as time goes on users of CBD oil will require smaller and smaller amounts to do what formerly demanded more.

How is Reverse Tolerance Achieved?

There are over a hundred different phytocannabinoids found in cannabis, one of which is CBD. Similar to endocannabinoids, both of these cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Because CBD indirectly triggers cannabinoid receptors in the ECS without binding to them, over time this will enlarge the number of endocannabinoids naturally produced by your body.


The higher the number of endocannabinoids, the less CBD oil required to experience the benefits of a well-operating endocannabinoid system.

Despite these discoveries, much more thorough research is required on CBD and its ability to achieve ‘Reverse Tolerance’. Because of this, it’s recommended that a user of CBD oil discover for themself how best to reach this stage.

Regardless of the fact that CBD will not get you ‘high’, unlike substances high in THC content, users should begin their CBD use with a lower dosage to test out their tolerance levels. Over time the dosage should be incrementally increased.

If you begin to feel a flattening of the effects despite still increasing the dose, this might indicate that you’ve developed a certain tolerance for CBD. At this point, it’s recommended that the dose ought to be lowered.

The Best Way to Get Consistent CBD Results

Now that we know users are unlikely to develop a tolerance for CBD – and may even experience ‘reverse tolerance’ – how are they to extract maximum benefit from its use?

To best comprehend what effects CBD is having on your body, it’s recommended that users keep a detailed and daily record of their CBD use.

This will include:

  1. How much was taken
    2. The time it was taken at
    3.What the concentration was
    4.The effects(if any) it had on both the physical body and the mind
    5. The form the CBD was consumed in

CBD products are now available in an array of different forms(gummies, capsules, creams, oils, etc) that it’s possible different products may bring out different results. As such, users may have to spend some time tinkering with their dosage to find what arrangement is ideal for them.

Despite CBD oil being generally safe and suitable for consumption, it’s always encouraged that people speak to their doctor first before using it.

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