Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids are known to be non-toxic, with no known fatal overdose levels ever reported. The previously mentioned study from 2011 indicated that chronic use and high doses up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD are reportedly well tolerated in humans. The Department of Health and Human Services states, ‘no signs of toxicity or serious side effects have been observed following chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers (Cunha et al., Pharmacology 21:127-185, 1980), even in large acute doses of 700 mg/day (Consroe et al., Pharmacol, Biochem, Behav. 40:701-708,
Shortly after Rafael Mechoulam, the ‘father of THC,’ isolated THC and elucidated the entire cannabidiol structure, he was curious about how the THC molecule would affect different people. Thus, one evening he invited over a few of his friends for some cake, which little did they know, was laced with 10mg of pure THC. A few of his friends felt ‘strange, in a different world,’ while some couldn’t stop talking or giggling. While the scientist now understood that cannabis compounds, do, in fact, cause different reactions, it wasn’t until years later that we would figure out why. Here is a look as to why all cannabis (marijuana or hemp derived) products affect people differently.
About 20% of the population has good endocannabinoid genetics. These people were born with a genetic mutation that increases the level of endocannabinoids and levels of anandamide (the so-called bliss molecule) naturally occurring in their system. As a whole, the endocannabinoid system is partially responsible for regulating sleep, appetite, mood, motor control, immune function, pleasure, pain, reproduction and fertility, memory and temperature regulation. When someone consumes cannabis, the cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, replace the naturally occurring endocannabinoids in your body. Thus, if you are among the lucky few that have this genetic mutation, you are most likely less inclined to feel the effects of CBD because your body already naturally produces a similar result.
Men vs. Women
Cannabidiol products affect males and females differently. Research shows that estrogen makes women more sensitive to cannabis. That time of the month? Washington State University found that women are impacted more by THC a day or two before ovulation, because of the peak in estrogen levels.
Biochemistry, the study of chemical substances and vital processes occurring in living organisms is yet another explanation as to why people react differently to CBD products. No two individuals have the exact biochemistry makeup, which affects the way substances metabolize throughout our system. The health of one’s endocannabinoid system plays a significant role in this. As previously mentioned, the human body naturally produces endocannabinoids. Things like diet, stress, and overall lifestyle influences endocannabinoid levels. When consuming cannabis products, you are increasing endocannabinoid levels. For individuals who have deprived levels, cannabis consumption will most likely produce a favorable experience, whereas someone with healthy endocannabinoid levels might not “feel” the effects of CBD or other marijuana products.
Someone who is using cannabis products to treat symptoms for a disease or disorder is going to have a very different experience than someone using cannabis recreationally. When someone is fighting off an ailment or illness, that individual’s biochemistry and endocannabinoid levels are altered. Thus, when someone with Parkinson’s disease uses a product like CBD oil, the outcome may be feeling “normal” because endocannabinoid levels are replenished. The average person, on the other hand, may use the same product and feel nothing at all or very different effects.
It is relatively well-known that over time and continued use, one will most likely build a tolerance to THC. Yet, in one study conducted in 2011, findings suggest that one may not build a tolerance to CBD. However, more research needs to be done to prove this theory.