Ten Possible Reasons Why CBD Might Not Work for Everyone

  • Updated September 2, 2022

  • Published September 2, 2022

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Reasons CBD Might Not Work

Men and women take and use a variety of CBD products because they experience the desired effects. A 2022 Singlecare study found that 68 percent of people using CBD say it is effective. Many people choose it because it is non-psychoactive, a natural hemp plant extract and available in various products from CBD gummies to oils and tinctures. However, CBD doesn’t work for everyone for many reasons. It could be your personal characteristics, or you experience side effects. We list 10 reasons why CBD may not work for you.

TLDR: CBD doesn’t work for everyone for one or more reasons. They include having allergies to CBD or other botanicals, using low-quality products that do not have the amount of CBD stated on the label, taking low potency CBD when a higher potency would be more beneficial and experiencing side effects, to name a few reasons. If starting a CBD regimen, the best advice is, to begin with, a low potency CBD and slowly increase the potency until desired effects are experienced if the low dose does not cause issues.

10 Reasons CBD Might Not Work

Why doesn’t CBD work for everyone? The human body is a complex biological system, so it is not surprising that CBD does not work for everyone. The following are 10 reasons CBD might now work for you.

1. Personal Characteristics

Anything you consume will be influenced by factors like weight, metabolic rate, age, genetics and food intake. This is true for herbs, prescription drugs and compounds like CBD. People often expect immediate results when they start taking CBD, but it can take weeks to reach the level of CBD in your system that delivers the desired results. Each person is unique. For example, a 2017 study found that some people may naturally produce an above-average level of endocannabinoids due to a genetic mutation. They experience less tension, but CBD does not work as well.

10 Reasons CBD Might Not Work: Personal Characteristics

2. Not Following Dosage Recommendations

Every CBD product has a recommended dosage based on things like CBD potency and the number of times a person may take the product in a single day. When you do not follow the dosage recommendation, CBD may not work.

Here is the chart which helps to calculate CBD dosage in one full dropper of the 30-ml bottles with different CBD concentrations: 500 mg, 1000 mg, 1500 mg and 5000 mg of CBD:

For example, taking too little CBD or skipping days limits the ability to sustain the CBD level in your system. To experience the full effects of CBD, you need to allow the CBD to build up. Over time, it is possible to develop a tolerance to CBD. If CBD works for a while and then stops working, you may need to increase the CBD potency and number of dosages.

3. Allergies Develop

Some people have discovered they have allergies to CBD or other botanicals or ingredients in the product, like sesame oil.

Some CBD products come with a warning that it contains grapefruit. The reason is that grapefruit has a compound called furanocoumarins. The compound combines with various enzymes in the digestive system and neutralizes the enzymes. One of them is the CYP3A4 intestinal enzyme which assists with breaking down and removing drugs in your system. When your medications do not break down properly, they reach the bloodstream and can lead to a dangerous buildup.

CBD products come with a warning that it contains grapefruit

4. Using a Low-Quality Product

There are plenty of low-quality products sold today because the CBD market remains unregulated. Low quality means the CBD product does not have the amount of CBD claimed on the label, or there are potentially harmful contaminants in the product. Harmful contaminants include mold, pesticides and heavy metals. You think CBD is not working or is making you sick. It is always important to buy high-quality products from reliable retailers in CBD stores or online. Only buy products from retailers that provide a Certificate of Analysis made by an independent lab.

A CBD Certificate of Analysis (COA)

5. Experience Side Effects from CBD

Some people do experience side effects from CBD. They include diarrhea, fatigue, dry mouth, light-headedness and reduced appetite. These side effects are based on various studies and consumer reviews.

6. Using the wrong CBD Product

Each CBD product type is intended for specific uses. For example, a topical product will not produce the same effects that you will experience by taking CBD oil or gummies. Maybe you believe CBD oil doesn’t work for relief but are disappointed in the expected effects. You may need to switch from taking CBD gummies which go through the first-pass metabolism process, to CBD tinctures in which the CBD enters the bloodstream quickly without loss of CBD to the digestive process.

7. Symptoms are Too Severe

You could take CBD because you hope it will help reduce tension, only to discover it does not deliver the expected results. One reason may be your medical condition or symptoms are too severe. CBD is not intended to act like a powerful prescription medication. Some people set their expectations for CBD results too high.

8. Potency is Too Weak or Too Strong

CBD products are sold in various potencies. You may find that 10 or 25 mg per serving is insufficient and can increase the potency to 30 mg per serving. There are also high-potency CBD products. Generally, products with 50 mg or more CBD per serving are labeled as high potency.

Cycling Frog capsules by Lazarus Naturals contain 200 mg CBD per serving

9. Not Intended to Make Up for a Low-Quality Lifestyle

CBD is not a substitute for a low-quality lifestyle. You may have poor sleep habits, for example, and not follow professional recommendations for getting a good night’s sleep. The Sleep Foundation recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. CBD cannot overcome bad habits like regularly getting four hours of sleep because you enjoy staying late. Lack of sleep can eventually cause many health issues that CBD will not address.

10. May Interact With Certain Medications

CBD may interact with other drugs and herbal supplements, doubling their effects. The Penn State College of Medicine evaluated various prescription CBD drugs containing some THC. After narrowing a list of medications, the study found potentially serious drug interactions when CBD was combined with blood thinners, seizure medications, thyroid medication and heart rhythm medication.

Is CBD Not for Everyone?

Does CBD work for everyone? No, it does not. So you may ask: How do I know if CBD is working? CBD does not work immediately. It must interact with the endocannabinoid system first, and the speed at which that happens depends on the CBD potency and product form and your biology. For example, the bioavailability of CBD gummies is lower than the bioavailability of CBD tinctures. You will know if the CBD is working when you experience any effects, like feeling more alert or more relaxed or believing your discomfort is reduced.


  1. https://www.singlecare.com/blog/news/cbd-statistics/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5690672/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556048/
  4. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/grapefruit-juice-and-some-drugs-dont-mix
  5. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2661569
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7759277/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8223341/
  8. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
  9. https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/507998


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