CBD Dosage Guide

Dropper Bottle

As a new cannabidiol (CBD) user, one of the toughest questions to answer is: how much CBD should I take? The answer to this question varies depending on the type of product you're taking, the results you're looking for, and a number of personal factors unique to each person. In this article, we will guide you through the basic steps associated with finding the right CBD dose for you.

If you're unsure about how much CBD you should be taking, please consult a licensed health adviser who can help steer you in the right direction. This is especially important for those with a history of alcohol or drug abuse, mental illness, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Understanding the Factors at Play

Before we get started, there are a number of factors at play that we need to discuss. These factors will all have an impact on the CBD dosage that you land on. Because of that, it's important to read over these and just have some awareness about them as you set off to find the right dosage for you.

Everyone's Physiological Makeup is Different

Everyone's physical makeup differs. Each person's endocannabinoid system is different. How CBD interacts with that system is different. Each person is different, so the following factors need to be considered when finding your ideal dosage:

  • Tolerance - to cannabis or other substances.
  • Weight - heavier people tend to require more CBD per dose.
  • Metabolism - faster may require more CBD per dose.
  • Diet

Your Reason for Taking CBD Products

CBD has such a wide range of potential health benefits, that the reasons for taking it can vary wildly between users. One person may simply take CBD for general health, while another uses it to improve the quality of their sleep, while another uses it to keep serious epileptic conditions at bay. Understanding the reason for taking the substance is the first step to discovering your correct dosage.

Type of Product, Method of Application & Bioavailability

In order for CBD to have an effect, it first must enter your bloodstream. When you take a measured amount of CBD, only a portion of the substance will be processed into your bloodstream. Bioavailability is the term used to describe the percentage of the applied amount of a substance that makes it into your system as intended.

For example, if you take a capsule containing 10mg of CBD and only 1mg makes it to your bloodstream, this method of ingestion is 10% bioavailable.

CBD products are grouped into categories based on 5 main ingestion methods. Each of these methods varies in bioavailability, the amount of time for the product to take effect, and the duration of the effect. By understanding the type of product you're getting, how it will be ingested, and the level of bioavailability you can adjust your estimated dosages.

The Biphasic Effect

To make things even more confusing, the compounds in cannabis display biphasic properties. This means that the effects at low and high doses can potentially display opposite effect. Since CBD can produce a wide range of benefits even at a low dose, there is even more reason to start with a low dose first. Because CBD has been shown to hold minimal side effects even at high doses, it may even be safe to try higher doses as well. Again, contact a health professional before continuing.

CBD Dosage Guidelines

Blurred Measuring Cup

Mild to chronic pain has been shown to be treated effectively in the 2-20mg CBD per day range, sleep disorders have been shown to be treated with 40-160mg daily, while serious conditions like epilepsy are treated with hundreds of milligrams of CBD per day. What this means for you is that finding the right dosage will be situational.

As a general rule of thumb, up to 25mg twice a day has been shown acceptable for general health. Starting low and working your way up to this type of dosage could be a great way to start. A death with the 'primary suspect of the death' due to cannabis use has never been recorded. (R) This may help you find comfort in experimenting with your own dosages.

How to Find the Correct CBD Dosage?

Now that you understand the factors at play and how wide the standard dosages can range, let's talk about how you can find the right dose for yourself. These general guidelines can be applied by anyone to work their way up to an ideal CBD dose.

  • Choose your method of application and find a product. Understanding this gives you a baseline understanding of how bioavailable the method of application is, and how long the effects will last. It will also help you understand how long the product will take before you feel the effects. This is important for self-observing.
  • Find a product containing the correct cannabinoid/terpenoid profile. By looking at lab tests for your product, you can understand what is in the CBD product your taking. Choosing a full-spectrum oil with a full cannabinoid profile can be much more effective than an isolate. Understand the entourage effect so you can know that the product you're getting has the best chance of being effective.
  • Ensure you understand the cannabinoid ratios and contents of your CBD oil. Often oils contain a certain amount of other components like an MCT oil carrier. In this case, you may find that per serving, there is only a small percentage of that which is actually CBD.
  • Consider the factors & estimate your dosage. Using everything we've talked about above and any independent research you may need to do for your condition, estimate your ideal dosage.
  • Begin taking CBD at a low dose. Starting well below your ideal dosage, begin taking CBD.
  • Spread out your doses. Rather than one dose all at once, spread them out over the course of a day.
  • Hold course. Continue with the same dosage for a few days and observe. Take note of how you feel.
  • Adjust accordingly. Once you establish a baseline, adjust up or down as needed. Remember less is more.

We hope this guide was helpful and you find the right CBD dosage for your needs!

Originally Published: June 2, 2018 | Last Updated: October 24, 2018

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