Guest article by Macey W
Maybe you’ve tried CBD and didn’t get the results you expected. Or perhaps you’ve found great success with the compound but your friend is not seeing any results despite taking the same dose as you.
Like most things relating to the human body, not everyone reacts to CBD in the same way. Factors like lifestyle, age, weight, and even the type of CBD you use and how you take it can all influence the way your body reacts to the compound.
Still, 14% of Americans say they use CBD products, according to a 2019 survey by Gallup. It’s a popular choice for several conditions from pain and anxiety to insomnia and arthritis. The effects of cannabidiol tend to vary from person to person, though.
So let’s dive a little deeper into some of the ways CBD affects everyone differently.
CBD users come from all walks of life. There are busy mothers, athletes, people with chronic conditions, and many others in between using CBD for specific reasons. Their individual reactions are influenced by individual lifestyles and reasons for taking CBD in the first place.
Take diet for example. The foods you eat can influence endocannabinoid system activity. If your diet is high in essential fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6, you may experience fewer effects from taking CBD.
Healthy ratios of Omega 3 and Omega 6 can boost activity in the endocannabinoid system. If you eat a lot of hemp, flax, or chia seeds, eggs, walnuts, or other fatty acids, you may already be signaling the endocannabinoid system, resulting in less of an effect when you take CBD.
On the other hand, if your diet lacks a solid ratio of these fatty acids, you may experience a heightened reaction to CBD because your body doesn’t have a built-up concentration of these essential acids.
Similarly, if you are someone with chronic anxiety or stress, you may take CBD primarily for relief from persistent worry or related symptoms. CBD may be useful in treating anxiety according to preliminary studies, particularly because of its impact on the endocannabinoid system and its influence on receptors that contribute to our experience of anxiety, such as TRP and 5Ht1A receptors.
However, just because CBD provides relief and relaxes you does not mean it will relax everyone. If you give it to a friend who doesn’t experience a lot of stress or anxiety, they may not feel any impact from taking CBD because their stress is already at an appropriate level.
Differences in biological sex and genetic makeup can play a huge role in the way CBD affects individual people.
Hormones are an important factor in the way CBD reacts with the body. There is some promising research pointing to estrogen’s role in enhancing cannabinoid sensitivity. If your biological sex is female, you may experience heightened sensitivity to CBD, potentially requiring less to get the same effects as someone who is biologically male.
Perhaps the biggest factor in CBD efficacy is our genetic makeup. Endocannabinoid systems can vary in size and some people may just have more receptors than others. With 11 mutations on a gene responsible for breaking down cannabinoids, FAAH, and seven mutations in the Cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor, there are bound to be differences in the way our bodies react to CBD.
There’s plenty of evidence suggesting that CBD works differently for everyone based on many factors. Genetics, biological sex, and lifestyle all can influence how CBD affects users.
It’s also important to consider the type of CBD used. CBD tinctures will work differently than CBD topicals, for example. Whether the CBD is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate will also impact how CBD works for you. And of course, the amount of CBD you take is also a factor in how it affects you along with how you administer it.