Cheef Botanicals

Is My CBD Oil Not Working? [How You Can Tell]

It’s safe to say that CBD is now mainstream this leaves many doubters wondering “does CBD oil really work?” There are online blogs and forums where users believe their CBD oil is not working but is that truly the case? If you have a headache and take one Tylenol pill, and it does not fix the headache, does that mean the medicine doesn’t work? Of course, it doesn’t.

How Does CBD Oil Work?

There are several factors that may affect how CBD oil works with your body. These factors may include your weight, stomach contents, the severity of the condition, dosage, and the method in which you are taking the CBD oil. Before we discuss how to discern whether CBD oil will work for you, let’s dive into what exactly CBD is and how it may affect your body. 

CBD Will Not Get You High

The discovery of CBD is somewhat new. It is 1 of over 120 cannabinoids found in hemp. Up until this past decade, THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) is the cannabinoid that has received the most research. THC may offer many therapeutic benefits but it also gets users high. CBD provides many of the same benefits as THC but CBD will not get you high. Therefore, many people prefer taking CBD.

Cannabinoid Receptors

Although CBD does not get you “high,” it can still affect you. Cannabinoids work by attaching to different receptors in the body. The human body produces cannabinoids naturally, subsequently, we have receptors that release neurotransmitters when they interact with them. Humans have CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors, both of which bind with cannabinoids.

CB1 receptors are mainly located in the brain, although they do exist throughout the body. They mainly affect mood, fear, sleep, and many other emotions and activities linked to the brain. CB2 receptors are found mostly in the immune system and the gut, but they also have a presence in the brain. They have a great effect on how the body deals with inflammation and pain. 

THC typically interacts with CB1 receptors, while CBD was once believed to bind with CB2 receptors. Now, many researchers are finding the CBD does not bind to either receptor. Instead, CBD appears to stimulate the endocannabinoid system (ECS), or the body’s natural method of producing its own cannabinoids. By invigorating the cannabinoid receptors, CBD can boost the production of natural cannabinoids.

holding cheef bottles fall lifestyle shoot

Can CBD Complement The ECS?

Recent studies have found that the endocannabinoid system responds to external cannabinoids such as CBD. As a result, many professionals believe CBD can complement and possibly improve the functionality of the ECS. More research is needed to fully understand how cannabinoids affect the ECS but advancements are being made. In fact, in 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the prescription use of Epidiolex, a purified form of CBD oil, for treating two forms of epilepsy.

How Do You Use CBD Oil?

The four most popular ways of taking CBD are: topically, sublingually, consuming, or inhaling it. Deciding which method to use depends on user intent or preference.


CBD topicals are applied directly to the skin. They are best suited for targeting soreness and certain skin conditions. CBD topicals typically come in the form of lotions, creams, bath bombs, shampoos, and patches.


Sublingual CBD is placed under the tongue. This method is known to give users the quickest results, other than smoking. Sublingual CBD usually comes in tinctures, sprays, and lozenges. Sublingual CBD is commonly used to promote joint mobility, healthy digestion, and overall wellness.


If you aren’t into the sublingual method, smoking CBD flower or vaping CBD is the fastest way to feel the same results. Hemp plants that contain less than 0.3% THC, are legal under the Farm Bill. When smoking, the CBD directly enters the bloodstream. Within minutes of smoking, users absorb 34% to 56% of the CBD.


Edibles are currently the most popular method of taking CBD. It can take one to two hours for CBD to be partially broken down in the digestive tract and delivered to the body. While being digested, CBD is impacted by the first-pass effect. However, a bonus of consuming CBD is that the effects last the longest in comparison to the other products. CBD edibles come in a variety of forms such as gummies, mints, spreads, hard candies, and liquids. 

Different Types of CBD

One other important factor that separates CBD products is the type of CBD they contain. There are full-spectrum CBD oils and broad-spectrum CBD oils. Full-spectrum oils contain all cannabinoids in cannabis, including CBD, THC, and terpenes (or terpenoids). Terpenes control the taste and smell of the plant and are believed to have their own benefits as well.

Broad-spectrum oils contain many cannabinoids and terpenes, but they don’t include THC. Some researchers believe that taking the full-spectrum oils will have a greater effect than broad-spectrum oils because THC, CBD, and terpenes together can target a wider range of issues. The concept of these compounds working together for a better outcome is called the “entourage effect.”

Besides full and broad-spectrum products you can also try CBD isolate products. CBD isolate is pure CBD. It contains no other terpenes or cannabinoids besides CBD. It definitely will not get you high and there is no “entourage effect”. However, some people who have to take drug tests prefer to take isolate products (or broad-spectrum) because there is no THC.

Always Choose an Established Brand

Many people who report CBD does not work for them sadly represent customers of shady companies. It’s not that their CBD is not working, rather, the problem is they bought a bunk product. It is best to do your research and only buy from established brands.

Since CBD has become extremely popular, there are several fraudulent companies pushing out the product in compromised forms. This has created somewhat of a placebo effect, where users believe they are being treated but aren’t really using CBD. Unfortunately, these shady companies make a profit while tarnishing CBD’s name.

Since CBD products aren’t currently regulated by the FDA, users should always make sure what they are purchasing has been lab-tested. Never purchase CBD that hasn’t been lab-tested. Online companies should proudly offer their lab result to the public. For the cleanest product, buy organic! This may ensure that you avoid hurtful chemicals such as pesticides.

How Much CBD Oil Should You Take?

In order to verify if a product is working for you or not, you must be sure that you are taking your correct dosage. How much CBD you should take depends on many factors, such as weight, condition severity, your personal health history, and the concentration of the CBD product you are taking.

Calculate Your Dosage Amount

Usually, CBD dosage is calculated using your body weight and the severity of the problem but if you are new to CBD you may want ease your way up to a full dose. For beginners, it is best to start small and gradually work your way up if the ailments are not subsiding.

New users can start with 20 to 40 mg a day. After a week, try to increase the amount by 5 mg. Gradually continue to increase the amount on this weekly schedule until you feel the effects you desireYour optimum dose is the dosage amount that works best for you. Work your way up in dosage to find your “optimum dose”.

Want more information regarding CBD dosage? Take a look at our CBD dosage chart to help you determine your correct dosing size.


Can You Take Too Much or Too Little CBD?

Some people may have concerns about taking too much or too little CBD. It is possible to take too little CBD. If you take too small of a dose it’s likely that you will feel little to no effects.

On the other hand, taking too much CBD is impossible. According to the National Cancer Institue “cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur.

While overdosing on CBD appears impossible, taking too much CBD may have rare side effects. Although mild, adverse effects may include increased heart rate, dizziness, diarrhea, drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, and changes in appetite. Most often these side effects are temporary, it’s just the body getting used to CBD. Once your body’s acquainted, mild side effects normally subside.

Some withdrawal symptoms have also been noted by researchers. Mild cases of irritability, insomnia, restlessness, hot flashes, nausea, and cramping may accompany withdrawal. These symptoms usually disappear after a few days.

Is Your CBD Oil Working?

How do you know if your CBD oil is working? This can be a tricky question to answer, especially for those new to CBD. The effect of CBD depends on your dosage, body type, and method of use. For example, inhaling CBD may affect you differently than an edible would. You may feel the effects stronger and more sudden from inhaling CBD. 

Comparison Tests

The easiest way to know if it’s working is if you have something bothering you like soreness or nervousness. When you are feeling this way take a dose and measure the effects. For example, you may feel less nervous in awkward situations. One test some people try is to work out without CBD and note your soreness so you can compare it to when you do a workout with CBD.

Improved Mood

If you are feeling just fine and want to take CBD proactively or as a preventative measure, it can be hard to realize or sense the effects. In general, CBD may positively boost your mood. Some participants report a euphoric sensation. Other people report an increase in focus. They feel sharper and can concentrate easier on the task at hand. Full-spectrum may offer greater effects overall, therefore, they may offer more sensation due to the “entourage effect”.

Switch It Up

If users do not feel relief in their symptoms within 30 days of starting CBD use, try a different method. Some bodies are more receptive to sublingual use, while others may benefit more from vaping. Trying a different product is also a great idea. Remember, CBD is not being regulated by the FDA, so there are many fake products out there. If you don’t see any results, try switching brands. 

Lastly, changing your dosage may also help. It is recommended that users speak with a doctor before blindly upping their CBD dosage. Using caution, such as the gradual increase method, is always better than just dramatically increasing your dosage. 

Can You Improve the Efficiency of CBD Oil?

Many new studies are showing that there are foods that can help improve the efficiency of CBD oils. The importance of food in relation to CBD intake ties directly to bioavailability and the first-pass effect. Bioavailability is defined as “the proportion of a drug or other substance which enters the circulation when introduced into the body and so is able to have an active effect”.

To simplify, bioavailability is how much CBD enters the bloodstream. As discussed earlier, the first-pass effect is when portions of a substance become lost in the process of digestion. According to new studies, consuming CBD with food may circumvent the first-pass process, thus improving its overall bioavailability.

using cbd oil in the woods smiling

Bioavailability & Fatty Foods

One study from the University of Minnesota breaks down how CBD was affected by food in adult patients with epilepsy. Results from the study determined when CBD is taken with fatty foods, the amount recorded in the body was four times higher than when patients were intermittent fasting. In fact, there are many reports indicating that CBD becomes more available if ingested with healthy fats.

“The type of food can make a large difference in the amount of CBD that gets absorbed into the body. Although fatty foods can increase the absorption of CBD, it can also increase the variability, as not all meals contain the same amount of fat,” study co-author Angela Birnbaum said in a university news release

Before You Give Up

Before you give up and say “my CBD oil is not working,” make sure to do your due diligence. Is your dosage high enough? Are you taking it on an empty stomach? How are you taking the product? These are all factors that may contribute to the amount of relief you feel when taking CBD products.

Of course, the most important question these days is, “can you trust the company you are buying from?” Is your CBD from a reliable brand and is it a quality product? With CBD, it’s important to do your research. Low-end products usually provide low-end results

Try Cheef Botanicals

Cheef Botanicals was founded by a group of health-conscious cannabis enthusiasts with over 25 years of combined experience in the organic food industry. Cheef’s CBD oils are organic, plant-based, lab-tested products. They contain only the best organic vegan ingredients.

All our are products are cruelty-free, non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free. We use only pure wholesome ingredients, no artificial flavors or colors. If you are looking for the best in CBD products, you have come to the right place.