Learn about reasons CBD may not be effective for your arthritis symptoms and what you can do to find a CBD product and dose that’s better for you. CBD, technically known as cannabidiol, has become an increasingly popular supplement in today's world.
8 Reasons CBD Might Not Be Working for Your Arthritis (and What to Do About It)
Cannabidiol, known as CBD, is a type of chemical called a cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis plant. It’s not intoxicating like THC, a different kind of cannabinoid that causes the “high” you get from using pot. Chances are you’ve heard of CBD. It’s one of the fastest-growing supplements in the U.S. and has become a popular topic among arthritis patients, from online support groups to clinical conversations in doctors’ offices.
Unlike many alternative arthritis treatments that get touted online, CBD does appear to have some positive effects, says Elyse Rubenstein, MD, a rheumatologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “There really aren’t yet any good studies to show that it works for arthritis but I’ve had patients who have found using CBD very helpful,” she says. “I haven’t seen any harm from it so it may be worth trying.”
However, for every CBD success story there are plenty of people who see little or no effects from using CBD. The first time Chris G., 37, of Denver, Colorado, tried a CBD oil tincture she felt nothing. “I might as well have been drinking straight coconut oil,” she says. Her friend had given her a bottle to help with rheumatoid arthritis pain and told her to just try it. Using CBD didn’t help the second time either. Or the third. Or the fourth. “I finished the whole bottle and never saw any difference,” she says. “I hear others talking about it and wonder why it didn’t work for me.”
Then there are the people who feel an effect — but not a good one. “It was like being drunk, but not in a fun way,” says Jason J., 46, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The father of two tried it to treat his chronic pain from reactive arthritis as well as anxiety. He started with pure CBD oil and felt nothing so then he moved up to a CBD oil with a small amount of THC. The results were not great. While it did lessen his pain, he says it also made him feel nauseous and dizzy. He tried it a second time, this time spacing the doses further apart, but had similar results. He didn’t like the feeling and as a father was hesitant to do anything that might make him impaired while caring for his kids. “I wish it worked for me, but it did more harm than good,” he says.
If either of these experiences sound familiar, don’t give up yet. There may be good reasons CBD has not helped you — yet — and ways to make using CBD more effective for you.
1. Your CBD isn’t actually CBD
Just because cannabis products are becoming legal in certain parts of the U.S. doesn’t mean they are regulated. CBD is the wild west these days: There are a lot of “CBD” products with little or no actual cannabidiol in them, says McKenzie Mann, product development manager for Blue Forest Farms, a farm that grows high-CBD hemp and sells CBD products. The FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products and there aren’t universal quality standards, so unless you have a basement lab and chemistry degree, it’s near impossible to know exactly what you’re getting.
The fix: Look for brands that have their products independently tested (they should be able to provide you with test results), shop only at places you trust (preferably in person, not online), and when you find a brand that works for you, stick with it, says April Olshavsky, founder of Herbal Risings, a company that educates people on the proper use of CBD products.
2. You may benefit from a different strain
Not all cannabis plants are the same, which means the chemical makeup of your CBD product can differ widely. For one thing, CBD is one of many dozens of types of cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Just as when you eat different berries (blueberries versus raspberries versus strawberries) you’re exposed to different antioxidants and plant chemicals, different cannabis plants have various amounts and types of cannabinoids and other compounds such as terpenes, which also have anti-inflammatory properties independent of the CBD.
The fix: Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a specific strain being good for a specific disease or symptoms, says Bridget Seritt, co-founder of the Canna-Patient Resource Connection, a Colorado-based organization that is working to protect patient rights and end stigma against those who choose cannabis as medicine. A good CBD supplier should be able to show you third-party tests that include both the terpene and the cannabinoid profile. “There are hundreds of products with different formulations of each component, so knowing what goes into your products is essential. Keep a journal so you know which products worked and which did not. You can use the profile information to find similar products,” Seritt advises.
3. You need a different type of extract
There are different types of CBD extracts, and it’s important — from both a health and legal perspective — to understand their differences:
Full spectrum: This oil is how it comes raw from the plant and contains a full spectrum of compounds, including CBD, THC, terpenes, chlorophyll, minerals, and other parts of the hemp plant. “This is usually the best for most people and what we recommend — it’s the ‘entourage effect.’ All the compounds in the plant work best when they are together,” Mann explains. “Like most plants, it’s healthier to use it whole.”
Broad spectrum: This oil is similar to a full-spectrum product but with THC removed. In states where CBD is legal, laws can vary as to how much THC is permissible in CBD products in order for them to be legally sold. Many states in which certain CBD products are legal require them to contain less than 0.3 percent THC. A higher amount of THC in the product may make it more effective for certain conditions, Mann says, but this is a good option for people who live in states with THC restrictions.
CBD isolate: This oil is 99 percent straight CBD. While this might look like what you want — especially as it’s often labeled “pure CBD” — it’s the least effective form, Mann says.
The fix: Opt for a full-spectrum product if it’s legal to use where you live.
4. You didn’t wait long enough to see results
Many people do not see a difference after one or two doses of CBD. “CBD works on the endocannabinoid system in the brain and everyone’s is a little bit different,” Mann says. “One person may feel a difference within 20 minutes but others it may take several days to build up enough to where you feel it.” It can take up to eight weeks of regular use to feel an impact, says Seritt.
The fix: Give your CBD time to take effect. Try a product for at least two weeks before deciding that it’s not working for you.
5. You’re not consistent
“The biggest mistake people make with CBD is failing to follow a regular routine. You need to have patience to see the full effects,” Olshavsky says. This is especially true for people dealing with chronic pain from arthritis and other illnesses, she adds.
The fix: Do at least one dose once a day for at least two weeks to give the product time to build up in your system, Mann says.
6. You need a different method of delivery
Oral tinctures — drops that you place under your tongue — are the most popular way to use CBD but there are plenty of other options. You can also inhale it with vape pens, rub it on topically with a lotion, take it orally with capsules, or eat CBD-infused foods. Different delivery methods may be better for certain health conditions or personal preference.
For those using CBD primarily for targeted joint pain, a CBD lotion may be the best option. If you need CBD to take effect quickly for intense pain, vaping will work the fastest. Worried about prying questions? Capsules are simple and discreet to use. And for people who don’t like pills, edibles such as candy, gum, or other CBD foods are a fun way to ingest it. (However, Mann cautions that some of the potency is lost when CBD goes through your digestive tract, so capsules and edibles aren’t his top choice for efficacy.)
The fix: Talk to a reputable company about which form of CBD will work best for your specific needs.
7. You need a higher dose of CBD
People are often hesitant to take CBD because they equate it with recreational marijuana, which can lead them to under-dose, Olshavsky says. Or your dose may be sufficient but you’re not taking it often enough. What works for your friend may not be the right amount for you.
The fix: Between dosages, routine, and application method, it can take some trial and error to find the right product and regimen for you, Olshavsky says. “The best thing you can do is to keep a journal and record your symptoms and results.”
8. You may benefit from some THC
For many people, CBD works better with some THC in it. The compounds work together, with THC providing pain relief and the CBD helping to manage any negative side effects of THC, Mann explains. Many people who complain about their CBD not working are often using one of the types that has no THC in it, he adds. Even a CBD oil with just 0.3 percent THC may be more effective for you than one without any.
The fix: Consider trying something other than the “pure” isolate version of CBD (though you need to research whether or not these products are legal where you live). If you live in a place where marijuana is legal, consider a CBD oil with a ratio of 3:1 or even 5:1 of CBD to THC, Mann says.
5 Reasons why CBD may not be working for you
CBD, technically known as cannabidiol, has become an increasingly popular supplement in today’s world.
More and more people each day are choosing to try CBD oil and other CBD products for themselves. However, even the best CBD may not be able to offer all of the benefits that a user was looking for.
While there is a great deal of hype around CBD, the truth is that it is a simple compound like everything else in the world, and while it may be beneficial to the healthcare regimen for many, for others it may not offer much in the way of benefits at all.
But why do some people feel the effects of CBD strongly, while other people seem to feel no effects at all? In this article we are going to explore the five main reasons why CBD may not be working for you and what the simple remedies to these issues may be.
CBD & your body interact in a variety of ways
Before we delve too deeply into why CBD may not be working, we should first be sure we have a basic understanding of what CBD is and how it works within us.
CBD is a cannabinoid, one of over a hundred cannabinoids that can be found within the cannabis plant. The cannabis family of plants can be a bit confusing since laws as much as science has dictated their classifications. For example, marijuana is cannabis with a high THC content, while hemp is cannabis with a low THC content (and a much higher CBD content). It is also worth noting that CBD and THC may both come from cannabis but affect our body in very different ways. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive, and will not cause you to feel “high”.
CBD and other cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant interact with cannabinoid receptors within our endocannabinoid system. Without getting into too much detail, this endocannabinoid system is found throughout our bodies and is how CBD may be responsible for helping people in so many different ways.
For example, we have seen claims of CBD being used to aid wellness treatments in much the same way as medical marijuana and medical cannabis. CBD has reportedly been used to help relieve symptoms of health conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome, and chronic pain. Perhaps most famously, the drug regulatory agency in the USA approved the use of Epidiolex, a drug based on CBD, for treatment of the symptoms of epilepsy.
Most people who take CBD today claim to take it for some form of pain relief or as a replacement for more harmful antidepressants. Currently, the medical community has no consensus on the efficacy of CBD for these issues however many studies are currently under way and the medical usage of CBD is becoming a more common thing each day.
5 reasons CBD isn’t working for you
The following are the five main reasons you are not getting what you expect out of your CBD supplements.
1. The consumption method you use
There are a whole host of ways to take CBD including oils, tinctures, vape pens, edibles, creams, and even niche things like shampoos and inhalers. However, each of these methods will take effect in your body slightly differently and the method you are currently using may not sync up well with either your needs or your unique body chemistry. Make sure you research the method of CBD you are taking and experiment with popular alternatives.
Some important points on consumption methods:
- Topical creams are better for more localized issues, like muscle pains and anti-inflammatory needs, and are likely not going to work when it comes to usage for digestive or mental relief.
- Edibles like gummies first need to pass through the digestive system before they enter the bloodstream, meaning less than 20% (the bioavailability of CBD is between 13% and 19%) of the CBD you eat actually goes to work providing some form of relief.
2. You are using a CBD isolate product
As we touched on before, CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system as do the other cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, and even Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the terpenes and flavonoids found naturally within the cannabis plant.
Studies have shown that when you take a full-spectrum CBD product, which is a form of cannabidiol that contains the full suite of natural compounds found in the cannabis plant, that you will benefit from all the compounds working synergistically together. A significant amount of anecdotal evidence suggests that this natural interaction, called the entourage effect, can potentially have much more powerful health benefits.
If you are taking a CBD isolate you are not benefiting from the potentially powerful entourage effect and this may be a reason as to why your CBD product is not working for you.
3. Quality and dosage
Another issue is that the CBD market is rife with poorly made or mislabelled products that may not be giving you the proper dose of CBD at a high-quality level. Although the government has initiated some regulation, the CBD market currently does not have uniform standards for all aspects of the business and thus it can be hard to sort through all of the noise to find the items worth buying. In some cases, you may even find things like hemp seed oil being mislabelled as CBD oil
In order to avoid these low-quality products, you want to look for brands that offer you the Certificates of Analysis of third-party lab testing results. These lab results will allow you to see if the product contains any harmful pesticides, as well as letting you see its overall purity and potency.
You want to find quality products from trusted brands that offer you lab results from independent test laboratories, and who derive their CBD from organic hemp, which will result in cleaner flowers and subsequent products. The best CBD is often grown in Colorado, but there are many farms in other US states and Europe that are beginning to offer strong competition. Try to avoid companies relying on mass-produced hemp.
The classic customer reviews are also a good final line against buying poor quality items. Make sure that the CBD you are buying has made plenty of happy customers in the past. Most people who use CBD have had to try one or more brands before finding the product they were most happy with. Do not be afraid to shop around.
4. Tolerance, genetics, and metabolism
If you are not feeling the expected effects from CBD another issue may be that your internal chemistry is simply not working well with the CBD. It may be the method of CBD that you are taking is not readily absorbed into your body, or that you have a naturally high tolerance.
For example, some scientists theorize that roughly 20% of people may have naturally high levels of cannabinoids, meaning they are likely able to handle stress better but will see less positive results from taking further cannabinoids like CBD.
There is no easy way to tell if this is why you don’t seem to be benefitting from CBD, though you may be able to talk with your doctor about other forms of supplements that you may have a better reaction to. It could be as simple as a brand change, or as dramatic as a switch to a whole new type of compound.
5. CBD may need to build up in your system
Sometimes you simply need to be patient. The endocannabinoid system is not like other internal systems and sometimes the way we interact with it is a little different. Cannabidiol usage is not like simply taking a pill and walking away, in some cases, people need to wait up to two weeks before they see benefits from CBD use! Of course, this will heavily depend on the benefits you are seeking and your method of consumption.
Give a product time, and allow your body the time to fully adapt and utilize the cannabinoids you are putting into it before you totally give up on a product.
The truth is that much of the science around CBD is very young and is currently focused on the possible benefits of CBD usage, and not so much the mechanisms around how these benefits occur. This means you may need to do a great deal of research and testing to find the product and method that is perfect for you. Giving it time may just be the trick that works for you.
Are you ready to give CBD another try?
If you are reading this article then that means that you have likely tried CBD in the past and were not fully happy with the results. Hopefully, this article has shown you that one or two missed attempts does not mean that you need to give up on CBD just yet.
There are a ton of ways to take CBD and the variations when it comes to quality are great. Be patient and give yourself time to find the absolute perfect brand for your needs. When you do, your body will thank you. We recommend buying from Blessed CBD via our CBD store , or read through our best CBD oils and best CBD gummies buyer’s guides.
4. Blessed CBD:
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