If you’re using CBD, or cannabinoids of any kind, consistency is essential. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when taking CBD is expecting an immediate fix. (For simplicity’s sake, cannabinoid preparations of any kind are all hereafter referred to as CBD.)
Often, people take CBD and expect it to work like a drug: noticeably and immediately. But CBD is less like Tylenol and more like a good exercise regimen — it can take a while before you notice a difference.
And, like with any good supplement, using CBD regularly is the key to experiencing its benefits. If you’re using CBD and you’re not sure why you haven’t noticed a difference yet, here are some things to consider.
You Need to Use CBD Consistently
If you’re using CBD (or cannabinoid preparations of any kind), consistency is essential. The majority of successful studies on CBD involve giving the participants a daily dose of CBD, not a once-off dose. Often, these studies span weeks or months.
Most experts advise that CBD takes a while to build up in the system. For this reason, you can’t expect immediate results after a single dosage.
What does this mean for you? In order to reap the benefits of CBD, it’s best that you use CBD on a daily basis. We recommend using your CBD product every day, around the same time every day, in order to notice a difference.
How Long Will it Take for CBD to Work?
Most of our customers — and, anecdotally, most CBD users we know — start noticing a difference after a minimum of five days of regular use. Some people use it for three weeks before they fully feel the benefits of CBD.
Some people do claim that they notice an immediate effect. Although this might be the case for you, it’s more likely that you’ll need to give it a while.
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You might find it best if you use CBD around the same time every day. You can take it several times a day — say, morning, night, and during your lunch break — if you prefer. This can give you a consistent dosage throughout the day.
How Much CBD Do I Need to Use?
If you’ve used CBD consistently for over a week and don’t notice any differences, it might be that you’re using too little.
If you’re an experienced cannabinoid user, we always suggest to start with the higher recommended milligrams, however, if you’re totally new to using CBD or cannabinoids, it’s best to start with a low dosage and slowly increase it. Although it’s pretty rare, some people experience side effects from CBD (such as nausea and fatigue). If you do experience these side effects, you might want to try taking it with a meal, decrease your dosage or stop taking it altogether.
We recommend experimenting a little — try a higher dose if you’d like. But remember that when it comes to benefiting from CBD, time and consistency is more important than dosage.
Tips for Boosting the Effects of CBD
If you want to make the most of your hemp tinctures, we recommend using CBD with a high-fat meal. A 2016 study found that fat helps us absorb more CBD, increasing the bioavailability from less than 10% to around 30%. In other words, fat helps your body absorb and use CBD.
For a bonus, add a little black pepper. An animal study found that CBD levels in the bloodstream were six times higher when it was taken with piperine, which is found in black pepper.
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Lastly, we recommend keeping a dosage journal. Whether you write it down on a piece of paper or use your Notes app, try to record your daily dosage of CBD. When you’re new to CBD, this can help you learn what your body needs while you figure out your ideal dosage. Since no two bodies are alike, only you can hear what your body is saying.
The Best Things in Life Are Slow
We’re used to instant gratification. We pop pills for relief from pain and headaches, we click a single button and have thousands of movies at our fingertips, we place online orders and receive them the next day.
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While this is convenient, it’s important to remember that the best things in life often come slowly. Consistently sticking to healthy habits, like exercising, eating well, taking supplements or using CBD, might not give us instant results, but it sure can improve our lives for the better. Slow, sustainable changes might be just what your body needs.
This article originally appeared on Astraea.com and has been reposted with permission.