Can Taking Too Much CBD for Pain Relief Make You Feel Numb to It?

A lot of people use CBD specifically for pain relief. Being a cannabinoid, CBD (aka cannabidiol) works on cannabinoid receptors that regulate pain response and inflammation levels, which is why it can be so effective at providing relief. At the same time, CBD is nontoxic and nonintoxicating, making it an attractive alternative to a number of treatment options that are around these days.

Most people seeking out the highest form of relief from CBD take the cannabinoid on a daily basis, whether it be via gummies, tinctures, vapes, etc. The question is, can taking it every day cause you to eventually become numb to its effects, because of an increase in tolerance, the same way we can build up a tolerance to certain substances like caffeine, alcohol, and so on? Let’s find out.

The Basics on Tolerance and Why It Happens
Before we answer the question, let’s briefly touch upon what tolerance is. Tolerance occurs when the body gets used to taking a certain substance on a frequent basis, and so over time, we need a larger and larger dose to get the same effects that we once did.

Alcohol is a great example. For most of us, the first time we had a drink, we felt pretty tipsy. But, if you consume alcohol frequently throughout the week, it’s likely that you need multiple drinks to feel a buzz as your tolerance has increased with regular consumption.

Different substances can cause tolerances for different reasons. But the general thing that’s happening in the body is the same. Basically, over time, the body gets so accustomed to a certain substance that it desensitizes itself to it.

Can You Build Up a Tolerance to CBD, and Is it the Same as a THC Tolerance?
So, what does this mean for CBD? CBD is a cannabinoid, and we know that the way in which it demonstrates its effects, once absorbed into the bloodstream, is by attaching to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body that regulate different physiological responses. All cannabinoids behave in this manner, including THC.

Any longtime THC user will tell you that building up a tolerance to the cannabinoid’s intoxicating effects is very common – to the point that “tolerance break” is a common part of a cannabis user’s vernacular. That’s because the CB1 receptors that THC attaches to become less sensitive with time. But, CBD is not THC, and CBD is nonintoxicating.

Well, the answer is actually pretty surprising. It’s widely agreed that you cannot build a tolerance to the effects of CBD, which means that even if you take cannabidiol daily for years to manage pain, you’ll get the same results without having to up the dosage.

Keep in mind that CBD works cumulatively. In other words, the more consistently you take it, the more the cannabidiol builds up in the endocannabinoid system, making it more effective as time goes on. This same principle applies to vitamins and minerals. Think of magnesium, for example. A person who’s deficient in magnesium may find relief from taking it daily, but it can take a few months to correct a deficiency, so the more significant effects take time before you can experience them.

But, there’s another, more compelling factor at play. It looks like CBD creates a “reverse tolerance” effect, in that the longer and more consistently you take it, the less you need over time. And, that’s certainly good news for anyone who gets substantial relief from it. Basically, CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in a way that’s different from THC, because CBD seems to actually improve the mechanism involved in cannabinoids’ process of binding to cannabinoid receptors. Basically, what this means is that taking CBD regularly makes cannabinoid receptors more sensitive to cannabidiol, rather than less sensitive.

So, what does this mean in practical terms for a daily CBD user seeking out pain relief? It means that you can keep taking the same dose daily, as long as you’re using a dosage amount that works for your needs, body weight, and metabolism, and it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll ever need to increase the dosage in the future – that is, unless you simply want to, because you’re seeking out stronger effects.

Keep Taking CBD for Pain Relief, and Don’t Worry About it Losing its Efficacy Over Time
CBD doesn’t just stay effective without causing a tolerance – it can lead to a reverse tolerance, so that you can continue getting results with relatively low doses after repeated daily use. What this means is that anyone using CBD for pain relief can rest easy, knowing that they won’t have to keep upping their dose as time goes on, as one has to with many other types of substances out there, including THC.