CBD products are new to the masses and many don’t know how to tackle this new tool in the world of wellness. The subtleness of CBD is one of its strongest assets, but it may lead some to believe they are not feeling a difference with CBD use.
The goal of CBD is to promote homeostasis, or internal balance. That’s why our CBD is non-psychoactive and comes without intoxicating side effects. However, there may be many other reasons why you are not feeling a difference with your CBD use. Read up to see if any of these tricks can help you feel the optimal benefits of CBD that you long for.
How CBD Works
To get a clearer understanding as to why you might not be feeling the effects of CBD, it’s good to have solid foundational knowledge of CBD.
The human body is lined with cannabinoid receptors. These receptors gauge the environment that is brewing throughout different areas of your body. This includes your skin, your brain and your gut.
There are many ways to consume CBD. However, they all fall into the following categories.
Oral supplementation includes CBD tinctures. You can take tinctures directly by mouth or you can add the liquid to food or drinks.
Using a CBD tincture or CBD vape pen are the quickest ways to enjoy CBD’s effects. With that being said, you will also burn through the cannabinoids faster.
As for edibles, most effects happen through the digestive tract.
When you consume edibles, your body must break down the solid material surrounding the CBD. Whether it’s a brownie or a gummy bear, you won’t feel the effects until the CBD oxidizes into the bloodstream.
With that being said, you don’t digest a full edible immediately. While the effects may take a while to kick in, they will last longer than a tincture. In the same breath, your stomach acids may destroy some of the cannabinoids. This comes with the territory of eating. The nutrients in a salad have the same struggle. Therefore, edibles may not pack as intense of a punch as a CBD tincture.
Digestive CBD products aren’t just edibles. They also include CBD softgels. Instead of food surrounding the cannabinoids, you get a capsule. Capsules are not as dense as an edible, so you will most likely feel the effects sooner with CBD softgels than eating food infused with CBD.
Remember how we said your body was lined with cannabinoid receptors? The largest organ boasts a hoard of them. In fact, studies find that the skin has its own endocannabinoid system.
Skin is very porous and yet we try masking those pores with makeup and other harsh chemicals. Well, we shouldn’t. This porous surface soaks up everything we put on it, including CBD. You can apply CBD salve to muscles after a workout or try a CBD serum to promote a healthy complexion!
While it takes a bit longer than a CBD tincture, the effects will come quicker than the digestive method.
Now that you have a solid foundation on the workings of CBD products, let’s figure out some of the reasons you may not be feeling the benefits of CBD.
Get Out of Your Head
One reason you might not be feeling anything is that you’re thinking too much about it. While many understand CBD doesn’t get you high, there’s still a cognitive correlation to the other cannabis plant that does. Many who are new to CBD expect to feel this great sense of euphoria. That’s not what CBD is meant to do.
In fact, if you are feeling a bit light-headed, then you probably consumed too much CBD. Don’t fret. There have been no medical instances of a CBD overdose that required hospitalization or ended in death.
Check Your CBD Serving
In uncharted waters like CBD, many say start slow. That’s a great idea. Just as you dye one strand of hair first before dyeing the whole head, you need to test the waters with cannabinoids.
With that said, our livers are pretty solid and you can most likely metabolize low servings of CBD with ease without feeling the effects. After you see how you feel after one tincture dropper or one piece of CBD chocolate, up the ante. Once you feel the effects you desire, you’ll know it. Trust your body. It knows more than you do!
Don’t Consume CBD on an Empty Stomach
Any time you take a supplement, you should have a little something in your stomach. Your stomach acids are extremely potent. If the first thing your CBD comes into contact with is stomach acid, the cannabinoids won’t stand much of a chance.
By having a slight bite to eat, you create a raft on your stomach acids. That way, the CBD in the edible/CBD-laden saliva/softgel you consumed has something to land on.
As your acids break down the solid material, the CBD is free to oxidize. That means the compounds within the CBD dissipate into the contained atmosphere that is your body. From there, CBD will bind onto receptors throughout your system.
Consume CBD with Healthy Fat and Complex Carbs
Sure, you shouldn’t take CBD on an empty stomach. However, you shouldn’t take it on a stomach full of sugary, starchy or fried foods either. Ideally, you should consume CBD with healthy fat and complex carbs.
CBD to fat is like a moth to light. Fat soaks up CBD. This makes a nice little cocoon for the cannabinoids as the fat flops into your stomach acid reservoir. With that being said, you don’t want a big, fatty steak that will clog up your system.
Instead, consume fats that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are found in lean proteins, seeds and legumes. What’s great is that you can find omega-rich foods that will work at any time of the day. Try consuming CBD with foods such as:
- Hemp seeds/hemp oil
- Flax seeds (ground)
- Free-range chicken eggs
- Free-range chicken
- Chia seeds
- Organic coconut oil
- Organic extra-virgin olive oil
To ride the wave of effects even longer, be sure to eat some complex carbs. These are fibers that your body takes a long time to digest, which means they will create a blockade in your system that allows the CBD more time to oxidize.
Now, blockade might sound scary, but complex carbs are okay. Consuming complex carbohydrates strengthens beneficial bacteria that help you better absorb nutrients.
Some of the best complex carbs to have with CBD include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Steel cut oatmeal
- Whole wheat pasta
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat bread
Complex carbs are preferred over starchy ones like white rice and potatoes because they are packed with micronutrients. When your beneficial bacteria break down these foods, they release a multitude of phytochemicals into your system.
These benefits will be further enhanced by CBD. Studies have shown that broad or full spectrum CBD has an entourage effect — when it’s in the presence of other phytochemicals, it gives their benefits a boost.
You Haven’t Tried Long Enough
Rome wasn’t built in a day! Nothing in this world is a cure-all and most things take time to work.
CBD has been getting so much mainstream attention that many are expecting mountains to be moved within one use. Not to mention, those who are new to the concept still have the marijuana stigma looming in the back of their minds. Consumers have a tendency to envision the instantaneous high that comes with the other cannabis plant. These preconceived notions are a natural storm of unreachable expectations.
Are You Using Low Quality?
Perfumes have cheap rip-offs in gas stations. “Healthy” granola bars are laden with sugars and artificial ingredients. When something strikes it big, there are bound to be imitations. CBD is the new belle of the ball in the world of wellness. While still in its infancy, subpar products are already popping up. Don’t fall for the scam.
CBD products are not currently well regulated, so you’re going to want to do your due diligence when selecting CBD products. Make sure you opt for a brand that offers either “full spectrum” or “broad spectrum hemp oil.”
This means many of the 100+ unique phytochemicals in hemp are present in the product. That sets the entourage effect into motion. By using a higher quality CBD product, you are getting a load of benefits that go beyond just CBD.
Lastly, you want to make sure the company you are buying from is using strict farming methods. Pesticides are synthetic chemicals — that means they have reactions with everything they come into contact with. When you’re adding synthetic ingredients into the mix, they do nothing but dilute the overall potency.
That’s why you need to opt for a brand like Joy Organics. Not only do we use hemp grown by U.S. farmers, but we also test the purity of each formula through a third-party laboratory. In the CBD world, transparency is important. Otherwise, you might not feel the desired effects of your CBD products.
If you’re still unsure why you aren’t feeling a difference after using CBD products, feel free to contact us so we can talk through it.
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Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.