What is tolerance?
Before we talk about, “can you develop a tolerance to CBD” let’s go over what exactly tolerance is and how it happens. Tolerance is when over time your body requires a higher dose to achieve the same effect. Just as you can become tolerant to caffeine your body can become tolerant to many different things like alcohol. Your body is used to the substance, so you aren’t getting the same effects you are used to, leaving you feeling like you need more. Your brain and your liver are the ones to blame when it comes to building a tolerance to something. Tolerance happens because the receptors in your brain that are involved decrease as does their ability to bind efficiently. Your liver also must work harder to metabolize these substances each time you consume them.
The endocannabinoid system
To understand, “can you develop a tolerance to CBD” you need to understand a little bit about cannabidiol and the endocannabinoid system. The receptors that are affected when your body becomes tolerant to something are a part of the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system consists of receptors located all over the body and brain. The endocannabinoid system serves a vital purpose for our overall well-being. It regulates the body and essentially keeps everything “in check.” Cannabinoid receptors are on the surface of your cells. They transmit information and kick-start the appropriate response. Cannabinoids like CBD seem to affect the cannabinoid receptors called CB1 and CB2—giving you the incredible benefits CBD has to offer. But, when you overuse a substance like medication or alcohol, some of these receptors will not work efficiently causing you to become tolerant of the substance. What’s interesting is that CBD may not have this same effect.
CBD tolerance vs. THC tolerance
When so many people report easily building a tolerance to marijuana, you can see why the question “can you build a tolerance to CBD” comes up frequently. People who become tolerant of marijuana are not actually tolerant of CBD. They are tolerant of THC. After frequent use, people do seem to become tolerant of THC leaving them wanting to up their dosage. However, the research being done points to CBD not having the same effect as THC in this area either. Research seems to show that becoming tolerant of CBD is very unlikely.
It is exciting for people who desire the medicinal properties of CBD to know when asking, “can you build a tolerance to CBD” that how people react to THC and CBD are opposites. CBD has been known to have a reverse tolerance effect. This means that because of its reverse tolerance effects, CBD may cause you to feel like you need smaller and smaller doses over time while still receiving the same benefits. Natural chemical compounds found in hemp like CBD work closely with the endocannabinoid system by attaching themselves to the receptors. Over time, the compound THC will diminish the effectiveness of these receptors. However, CBD promotes activity in these receptors.