why cbd isnt working

I have met a few people that have claimed ‘CBD doesn’t work for me’, which is completely fair and might be true. However, a lot of the times when I’ve asked questions, the answers have hinted to why it might not have worked for them.

Before presuming your CBD oil isn’t working, look at the following reasons below and see if any resonate with you.

1) Small Dosages

The issue might not be your fault, as I do find the recommended dosage on CBD oil packaging wildly different at times and it must be very confusing for consumers.

Some will recommend taking a single drop, while others will recommend taking drops three times per day, some may say a couple of drops at a time while others will recommend taking a 1ml dropper. The difference in the dosages (considering the quantity of CBD and size of the tincture) can mean they might be recommending 2mg of CBD or 40mg of CBD.

Without pointing fingers, I remember testing a CBD oil out back in 2019 and the recommended dosage on the packaging was 2mg per day, which personally I don’t feel would make any difference at all.

To compare, I started out taking 20mg of CBD per day, whereas I increased my dosage over time as my tolerance built, eventually reaching 40-50mg of CBD per day.

You wouldn’t take a fraction of a paracetamol if you had a headache, the same can be said here.

2) Not From A Reliable Company

The reason I started CBD Sloth was because there were a lot of cowboy brands back in early 2019, refusing to show their lab reports, utilising hemp grown in China which didn’t use organic methods and were just after a quick buck.

The cannabinoid profile in your CBD oil can vary drastically to another CBD oil. There has also been a couple of TV shows where they lab tested a few brands products and found significantly less than the stated dosage on the packaging.

This is why it is important not just to check the lab reports, but to ensure it matches the batch code for the product you’ve received.

If a brand ever refuses to provide a lab report, run to the hills, as you shouldn’t trust them. These lab reports are third party tested. They also can cover details such as whether it contains pesticides, microbials or heavy metals.

3) Giving Up After One Dosage

While you might notice a positive effect from your CBD oil on the first night, in general it is recommended to be patient, as you should see a continued improvement, as the effects aren’t often instant, requiring consistent dosing.

By taking a daily dosage, you will have a continued supply of cannabidiol into your system. Instead of giving up, I’d recommend trying it out for a period of time and record how you felt each day and what effects it had for you.

Many people I’ve spoken to found that it took around two weeks before they really felt the optimal results from taking CBD oil.

This article by Healthline highlights a common myth that people have when they believe it doesn’t work after giving up too early (myth four).

4) Heightened Expectations

When I discussed with a friend what I largely use CBD oil for, I highlighted that it helps me to sleep. But it doesn’t work like traditional sleep treatments, it won’t make you feel drowsy and tired. Instead, it can help clear the mind of stress and anxiety, meaning you can potentially fall asleep quicker.

However, if you’re going in thinking this is the cure-all treatment for everything then you will be disappointed. It’s not a quick fix, you should be trying to have a healthy life and focusing on removing stress from your life. It’s why I try to highlight that CBD oil should be accompanied by a focus on personal wellbeing.

5) Use A Different Consumption Method

I personally prefer CBD oil, but everyone’s body is different and what works for one person might not work for someone else.

I’m not a huge fan of vaping in general, however I also have to admit that I felt the results of vaping CBD much quicker than any other consumption method.

While vaping can offer a quick solution, some people prefer gummies for the taste and ease of taking them.

Alternatively, if you’re focused on a certain body area, you may be taking a cream or muscle recovery balm.

6) Not Holding Under The Tongue For Long Enough

I watched a YouTuber who launched his own CBD brand and he was showing how to take CBD oil on a video and he just swallowed it whole. I was perplexed, he ran his own CBD brand and he didn’t even understand about sublingual consumption.

So anyway, once you drop the CBD oil into your mouth, you should hold the liquid under your tongue, so it can be absorbed into your bloodstream, before swallowing the rest.

When I started in the industry, every CBD brand had ’20 seconds under the tongue’ written on their packaging. One of the things I’m most proud of is that I have largely got that to change throughout the CBD industry.

When reading studies on other products, they recommend holding the liquids under your tongue for 1-2 minutes for optimal results. I have therefore been recommending this with CBD oil and now the packaging on virtually all the big brands has changed to this figure.

One of the biggest mistakes I made when providing my friends with CBD oil was forgetting to tell them to drop it under the tongue and when discussing later, they admitted they just poured it straight down their throat, oops.

7) Tolerance Levels Too High

Ok, one group could be people who happen to take cannabis in another form (I won’t go into this, but you can imagine what I mean).

However, some people are simply genetically built to have a higher tolerance level and you may require a different quantity than people around you. As always, rather than jump it up, the recommendation is to go low and build slowly until you find your ‘magic point’.

8) It Doesn’t Work For Everyone

Ok, this is a tame reason, but it’s also 100% true. This might not be the solution for you and it could be worth looking at alternative options.

I wanted to highlight the other reasons before giving up and looking at alternatives, but the reality is CBD oil won’t work for everyone.

If you’re in a high stress job, then you might find no quantity of CBD oil will help you sleep until you deal with the issues around your job.


The regulations on CBD brands is improving with time and that has helped to push out the cowboys. Brands are more actively highlighting their lab reports, which you can read through, while the quality standards are constantly improving.

CBD won’t work for everyone, but before you give up on it, ask yourself if any of the above is true, or whether you can make any changes. It could be that you need to try a different brand, or a different dosage.

By Tom Bourlet

Being based in Brighton, I have directly witnessed the CBD industry grow and prosper, albeit witnessing the difficulties around legislation and the lack of transparency. I therefore decided to become a neutral viewpoint offering genuine reviews, advice and guidance.

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