What is CBD Reverse Tolerance?

cbd reverse tolerance

Have you ever heard of CBD reverse tolerance? It’s something to consider if you use CBD on the regular (like, every day), which many, many people do.

But you might hear tolerance and think – great, I’ll eventually need more.

Wait! That’s not what this is. CBD reverse tolerance is, in our view, way, way better! Let me explain.

What is CBD Reverse Tolerance?

When you take or use something on a regular basis, many people build up a tolerance over time. This means that, after extended use, you may need more of a certain substance to get the same effects that you did when you first started. If your body develops a tolerance to a medication you’re taking, for example, it means the medication at your current dose won’t work as effectively as it once did.

Building up a tolerance to something is quite common.

Note – tolerance is not the same as dependance or addiction. While the 3 are often used interchangeably, they are all different.

Reverse tolerance, however, is the opposite of that.

Also known as sensitization, reverse tolerance is when repeated exposure to the same dose of a particular drug, or a specific behavioral, physiological, or cellular response, increases, rather than decreases, over time.

That means that your tolerance decreases over time, rather than increases.

So your body actually needs LESS to get the same results. Yes, you read that right – LESS!

How is that Possible?

According to the research, long term, regular use of THC results in a tolerance because of how it binds to receptors. In particular, THC binds strongly to the CB1 receptor in the brain and chronic THC users have fewer cannabinoid receptors over time. This is why you need more to feel the same effects.

In contract, CBD doesn’t work by binding to the cannabinoid receptors in the same way. Instead, CBD boosts the binding ability of specific cannabinoid receptors and encourages the production of endocannabinoids. This means it actually promotes increased receptor activity and produces more endocannabinoids in the body. The more endocannabinoids available, the less CBD you need to feel the benefits of a well-functioning endocannabinoid system.

So, while THC may decrease the effectiveness of your CB receptors over time, CBD actually has the reverse effect by promoting increased activity. That’s why more and more people are reporting that, with long term use of CBD, smaller doses are need to get the same results. 

Is Reverse Tolerance a Problem?

Only if you like spending money!

No, seriously.

We do get asked this question though, mainly because of how reverse tolerance works with certain drugs.

For example, with certain pharmaceutical or illicit drugs, continued drug intake that may result in increased sensitivity to the neurobiological effects that possibly contribute to increased propensity for intake, abuse, and relapse. 

However, CBD doesn’t have those same effects. Even at high doses, over long periods of time, CBD has been shown to be safe, with no abuse potential. So, with CBD reverse tolerance, those negative effects are not something you have to worry about.

If you notice that, over time, you need less CBD to get the same results, that’s great! Or you can always try reducing your dose after a while to see if you’ve developed a reverse tolerance and adjust your regular dose accordingly.

So, honestly, the only thing you have to worry about with developing a reverse tolerance over time is potentially needing less CBD to get the same effects.

And that’s never a bad thing!