Dr. Will Cole on Making CBD Work For You
- Written By:Dr. Will Cole
It seems like every wellness brand is taking advantage of CBD’s rise to fame. With the amount of stand-alone and CBD-infused products on the market, you have no shortage of options to choose from. In my telehealth functional medicine clinic, I often recommend it to my patients as a natural tool for alleviating stress, anxiety, and aiding in sleep quality.
But sometimes, even the most hyped up therapies don’t work. Does that make them overrated? Not at all! In functional medicine we understand that bio-individuality is a very real thing, and what works for one person doesn’t always work for the next. That is why we first look at the underlying reasons why something might not be working before throwing in the towel too soon. If you’ve tried CBD and don’t think it’s for you, consider these factors before moving on to something different.
You’re taking the wrong dosage
With any sort of supplementation, if you aren’t taking enough it won’t work. Since everyone’s biochemistry is different, dosage isn’t always as straightforward as other supplements either. That is why I typically suggest starting out small and slowly working your way up to find out your perfect dosage. However, a lot of people don’t work their way up the right way and end up plateauing at a much lower dosage than ideal for their body.
I’ve also noticed that when it comes to supplementation, a lot of people want a quick fix and don’t necessarily want to put in the time it takes to work their way up to the right dosage. But just because you aren’t seeing results right away doesn’t mean it’s not for you. I always tell my patients that it can take up to 3 months of consistent supplement use to begin seeing a difference.
Your product is poor quality
It’s important to vet the brand you are purchasing your CBD product from for its level of quality to ensure maximum bioavailability. Due to the fact that the FDA hasn’t regulated CBD products that can be purchased without a prescription, brands aren’t held to as high of a standard. This can lead to a discrepancy when it comes to what is stated on the label versus what is actually in the product. For example, the CBD content may not be as strong as advertised which can hinder your judgement on dosage. Always look at customer reviews and third-party lab testing.
Additionally, you’ll want to be aware of any additives or preservatives in your product that can negate some of the benefits you are looking to achieve. Gummies are one product that can contain sugar which can further perpetuate stress and anxiety that you are looking to alleviate through taking CBD in the first place.
You’re using the wrong product
Gummies, tinctures, and pens are just some of the delivery methods of getting CBD into your system. But they aren’t all created equal when your biochemistry is involved. Certain products are going to be more bioavailable than others, so if one method isn’t working it may just mean you need to try a different product. Oils for example can be more bioavailable since they enter your bloodstream sublingually.
You’ll also want to consider what you are looking to achieve with CBD. If you are interested in helping alleviate a skin problem like psoriasis, topical creams may be a better choice, whereas a pen will be better if you are looking to help with anxiety.
Your genetics aren’t a match
Ultimately, it could still be possible that CBD isn’t optimal for you. Certain individuals actually have a genetic variation that causes them to produce more endocannabinoids. This can be a good thing in some regards, but since CBD works to stimulate endocannabinoids in the body, CBD might have little to no effect on you. A genetic test can give you further insight into whether or not this mutation could be playing a role in your health case. If so, you can focus on one of the many other wellness tools and supplements out there that compliment your specific genetic makeup.
If you are new to CBD or have tried it to no avail, make sure you are taking these above factors into consideration. They may help you unlock the benefits everyone is raving about for yourself.