What Dosage of CBD Should You Take?
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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CBD is available in a number of different formulations including creams, tablets, oils, and gummies. These can vary in terms of their ingredients as well as dosages, and there is not a great deal of research available on what dose might be beneficial or safe to treat certain conditions.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant cannabinoid found in marijuana. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not have psychoactive effects. Interest in the use of CBD for health purposes has grown tremendously in the last few years.
CBD is believed to have a range of positive physical and mental health effects. Because of this, it has become increasingly popular as a way to alleviate everything from anxiety to sleep disorders.
In order to determine if CBD is right for you, it is important to consider its potential benefits, side effects, and available research on safe dosages.
CBD is just one of hundreds of different compounds found in the cannabis plant. While cannabis has been used in holistic medicine for many years, only recently have researchers begun to explore some of the medicinal purposes for CBD and other cannabinoids.
While further research is still needed, there is some evidence that CBD may have some beneficial mental health effects. These include:
- Alleviating depression: Some research also indicates that CBD may be useful as a treatment for depression. Studies suggest that the cannabinoid might have an influence on how the brain responds to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood. People with depression sometimes have a low level of serotonin, so CBD may help the brain use available serotonin more effectively.
- Improving sleep: While the reasons are not entirely understood and require further research, CBD also appears to have potential as a treatment for sleep problems. For example, one study found that people who took CBD also reported improvements in the quality of their sleep.
- Reducing anxiety: Anxiety is one of the most common types of mental health conditions, affecting almost 20% of American adults each year. Research suggests that CBD may help alleviate acute symptoms of a number of anxiety-related conditions including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
In addition to the mental health benefits, CBD may also have therapeutic benefits for a range of other conditions. The World Health Organization suggests that CBD may have beneficial effects in the treatment of:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Multiple sclerosis
It is important to remember that these benefits have not yet been conclusively proven. More research is needed to determine the role that CBD might play in the treatment of different disorders and health conditions.
There have been a number of studies that suggest that CBD may have a number of different physical and mental health uses. However, more research is still needed to better understand the substance’s potential applications and possible long-term side effects.
A 2019 comprehensive review published in The Lancet Psychiatry looked at previously published studies. The review ultimately concluded that there was little evidence to support the use of CBD for mental health purposes and suggested that more research is needed in order to substantiate its use to treat symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
It is important to remember that this doesn’t mean that CBD isn’t effective. Many of the studies that were included in the review were small, had few participants, and were not randomized controlled trials.
This suggests that more research involving more participants and well-designed studies is needed in order to better understand if, how, and why CBD works.
While its effectiveness is still up for debate, one 2017 review found that it was a relatively safe option. While it is important to remember that there is still a great deal we don’t yet know about CBD and its effects, it is something that you might opt to try to see if you experience any benefits.
How Much Should You Take?
The dosages used in research studies vary and there is no consensus on how much should be used for specific conditions. If you do decide to try CBD, it is also important to note that there is no universally agreed upon dose. Research also suggests that people may respond differently to various dosages, so the amount that is right for your needs might vary.
Some dosages that have been used in research studies for different conditions include:
- Anxiety: 300 to 600 mg
- Bowel disease: 10 mg per day
- Cancer-related pain: 50 to 600 mg per day
- Parkinson’s disease: 75 to 300 mg per day
- Poor sleep: 25 mg per day
- Psychosis: 600 mg per day
One 2020 review of studies found that participants showed improvements in anxiety levels after single doses of CBD ranging from 300 to 600 mg. Such results indicate that the CBD may hold promise as a treatment to alleviate symptoms of acute anxiety.
It is important to remember that you should always talk to your doctor before using CBD if you have symptoms of a serious mental or physical health condition. CBD could potentially worsen symptoms or interact with other medications you are taking.
Looking at the dosage information for the CBD product that has been FDA approved can also be helpful. For Epidiolex, an FDA-approved cannabis-derived medication used to treat seizures in people with certain types of epilepsy, the starting dosage is 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. This dose can later be increased to 5 mg per kilogram of body weight twice a day.
Other CBD products are not FDA regulated and do not have officially recommended dosages. This can make it difficult to determine how much you might need, but there are some things you can consider that might help.
- Assess your sensitivity to CBD: Your individual ability to tolerate CBD can also play a role in determining how much you need. If you are very sensitive to the effects of CBD, you should take a small dose. Some people may find that they are not as affected by the substance, so they may need to take a larger dose to notice any beneficial effects.
- Consider individual factors: When you are trying to decide how much CBD to take, there are a number of factors you should consider. These include the formulation and concentration of the capsule, oil drops, or gummies you are taking, the symptoms you are treating, and your age, sex, weight, and overall health. Generally, people with heavier bodies need to take a little more to achieve the same effects. Men may need a larger dose, while older people may need less.
- Consider the symptoms you’re treating: The symptoms you are trying to alleviate can also play a role in the CBD dosage you need to take to see results. In one study, participants who took 25mg of CBD each day had improved sleep quality, although the results were not consistent. However, you might find that you need a lower or higher dose if you are treating another type of condition.
- Try a dosage calculator: Researchers note that while the variety of dosing strategies and formulations make it difficult to determine efficacy, there are a number of online “dose-calculators” available online (such as mydosage.com) that are designed to help people choose the correct dose. The accuracy of such calculators is difficult to assess, but it may be a good place to start.
Before you try CBD, discuss your plan with your doctor. They may be able to recommend a dose and help you better understand any potential risks, complications, side effects, or interactions you might experience.
Start With a Low Dose
Unless your doctor recommends a specific dose, start by taking 10 to 20 mg a day. Take this for a week to ensure that it is well-tolerated and that you don’t experience any unwanted effects or an allergic reaction.
If this dose does not have the desired effect, try increasing in increments of 5mg each week until the desired amount is reached.
In studies, amounts vary from as low as 20 milligrams per day to up to 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day. The World Health Organization reports that dosages in clinical research studies typically range between 100 and 800 milligrams per day.
Is It Possible to Take Too Much?
So what is the maximum amount of CBD you should take? Researchers have found that 600 mg per day appears to be safe, but one study suggested that doses of up to 1,500 mg a day are safe and tolerated well.
However, it’s important to remember that research is still in its infancy and experts do not yet fully understand the potential long-term impacts of CBD usage. For that reason, you should always discuss your CBD use with your doctor.
Starting at a lower dose and working your way up to the amount you need may be the best ways to avoid taking too much.
How to Take CBD
The amount of CBD found in a product may depend on different factors, including the formulation and method of administration. CBD products are available in a number of different forms including oils, capsules, tablets, nasal sprays, and gummies.
One of the most popular ways to take CBD is as an oil. Such products are made by combining CBD with some type of carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Some more recently developed products include dietary supplements, foods, beverages, lotions, salves, and cosmetics.
The type of CBD product you choose may depend on what you are trying to treat. If you are looking for general mood improvements, a dietary supplement might be a good option.
If you are targeting specific symptoms of a condition, taking an oil, capsule, or gummy might be a better way to obtain a higher, more concentrated dose.
Topical applications may produce localized effects, but they are unlike to have any mental health benefits.
What Kind Should You Take?
It’s also important to remember that many products don’t contain just CBD on its own. There are three types of CBD available:
- Isolate contains CBD and only CBD.
- Broad-spectrum contains CBD and other cannabinoids, but not THC.
- Full-spectrum contains CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids.
It may be helpful to take a broad-spectrum product since research suggests that CBD’s effects may be most beneficial when taken in conjunction with other cannabinoids, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. CBD may also help mitigate some of the effects of THC.
While CBD is generally well-tolerated, this does not mean that you won’t experience any side effects.
Some of the most common side effects that people experience when taking CBD include:
- Appetite changes
- Stomach upset
- Weight changes
Some recent research has generated concerns over the safety and potential long term effects of CBD. One study involved giving mice an equivalent of the maximum dose of the CBD medication Epidiolex, which is used to treat certain forms of epilepsy. The results indicated an increased risk for liver damage as well as concerns over its interaction with other medications.
It is also important to remember that CBD products are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some manufacturers make unproven claims about the uses and efficacy of their products. There is also concern about the quality and safety of the products themselves.
One report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that a number of people experienced negative unwanted side effects due to CBD products that contained synthetic CBD, although the products were not labeled as containing such ingredients.
Mislabeling appears to be a fairly common problem with CBD products. In one study, 70% of the CBD products that were sold online contained significantly more of the psychoactive ingredient THC than the label indicated.
Federal law prohibits the sale of products that contain more than 0.3% THC. States laws also vary, so you should always check with your state before buying CBD products online.
A Word From Verywell
If you do decide to take CBD to alleviate an acute or chronic condition, remember that the amount that you take will depend on a variety of factors. Finding the right dosage often takes some experimentation and adjustments. Starting with a low dose and then gradually increasing the amount you take until you achieve the desired effects is the best approach.
CBD holds promise as a treatment for a range of conditions, but how much should you take? Learn more about CBD dosages for different purposes.
CBD Dosing Calculator – CBD Dosage for Anxiety – How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?
What Dosage Of CBD is right for me?
How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?
The Calculator That Shows You How to Properly Dose CBD
One of the most common complaints we hear about CBD is not that doesn’t work, but that figuring out the right dose can be a real pain. So we created a CBD dosage calculator that figures it all out for you and makes dosing incredibly easy. Make sure that when you are entering in your information that you only enter numbers. If you enter letters (oz, mg, lbs), then you will not get a reading and it will say Naan.
Our calculator will show you:
- Your suggested minimum, average, and maximum daily dose based on your weight.
- How much CBD is in a single drop and how many drops you’ll need for the above doses.
- The concentration of your CBD bottle and how many drops your bottle has in total.
All you need is three easy to find numbers, and in three steps you’ll be on your way:
- The first step is to input the size of your bottle in ml.
- Second step you’ll want to enter the total mg of CBD that is in the bottle.
- Last, you’ll need to enter your weight.
If you’re not sure what your weight is, that’s completely fine as long as you have a general guesstimate and preferably are using full spectrum CBD oil.
Dosing with full spectrum CBD oil allows you to work within a ballpark, so even when your dosage is off, you’re still rewarded with numerous therapeutic benefits.
Welcome to better health with CBD oil.
What dosing with CBD looks like?
There are so many ways people use CBD, and much of it comes down to personal preference and experimenting around to find what best works.
You can apply CBD in a number of ways, with different dosages for different medical conditions and it can really make your head spin. So let’s break it down in simple steps.
Use these steps as jumping-off points and feel free to customize any step for better CBD therapy. How much CBD you take and when, really comes down to what works best for you.
If that’s 5 mg for preventive health, that’s wonderful. If it’s 30 mg multiple times a day, that’s just as awesome.
Step 1. If you’ve never used CBD before try our Full Spectrum PurCBD+ Oil . This form offers a few extra benefits and makes up the bases for most other forms of CBD.
Step 2. Use our CBD dosage calculator and start in low dosing tier once or twice a day for the first week. Low tier = 0.022mg/lb or 0.05.mg/kg
Step 3. After week 1, feel free to increase your dose as needed. You can experiment by doubling or tripling your first-week dosage. You’ll likely find a certain amount were taking more CBD doesn’t really help that much more.
Pretty simple right! We recommend the oil form for first timers because when you hold it on or under your tongue for 30-60 seconds, you greatly speed up the rate when effects are felt.
This is great for judging how CBD is working for you. Plus, you can slowly increase your dose in small increments.
We always recommend using our CBD dosage calculator whenever changing your CBD dosage.
However, we don’t recommend this because of the dangers associated with high dosages.
Instead, we find that most people like having a few different dosages that they take depending on the severity of their medical condition on any given day.
For example, they may take a 15 mg CBD dosage for anxiety to help prevent it. However, if they are experiencing an anxiety attack, they may use 30 mg or more.
What happens if you take too much CBD?
The most likely thing that will happen is just a more potent and relaxing CBD session. There is a good chance you may feel tired if you go over 100 mg, but this isn’t a guarantee, and no harm comes from this side effect.
If your body isn’t used to taking CBD, throwing a lot at it can make your stomach upset. This is a normal biological response whenever something foreign enters the body the first few times, and once the stomach realizes CBD isn’t an irritant, nausea should pass.
CBD is a known inhibitor of CYP450 enzymes
This is the one side effect of concern and it only applies when taking a prescription drug metabolized in the liver. CBD inhibits CYP450 enzymes. Kale and turmeric can inhibit these same enzymes, along with grapefruit , red wine, and St John’s Wort.
When you inhibit CYP enzymes, you risk delaying the breakdown of drugs metabolized in the liver — about 50% of prescription pharmaceutical. By delaying their breakdown you raise their potency.
This is the one side effect of concern, and it only applies when taking a hepatic drug (metabolized in the liver).
How much CBD for anxiety, pain, epilepsy, and more?
This is one of the most asked questions we get, and we have an easy answer.
After your first week using a low tier dose of CBD, you’ll have a much better idea of how CBD works and feels. From here, many with chronic health conditions will jump up to a medium tier dosage and find that it equally helps with their anxiety, inflammation, appetite, etc. A generic average dose is 15-30 mg a day.
If you’re looking to treat chronic insomnia that isn’t related to external sleep disturbances — like pain, mood, etc. — a strong tier dose is recommended.
For the average person, this is anywhere over 100 mg — if you describe yourself as petite or are on the shorter/skinner side, you may feel tired with doses lower than 100 mg.
Remember, unless you’re on dosage sensitive drug metabolized by CYP enzymes, you will likely not run into any side effects even when taking several hundred milligrams of CBD a day.
Does dosing change when using different versions of CBD?
Yes, and no. The amount of CBD you find works best for you will likely not change when jumping between tinctures, capsules, or edibles.
The tincture can absorb into the bloodstream through the mucous membrane of the mouth — this greatly speeds up CBD start time and looks like it increases its bioavailability.
The former advantage is why many go with tinctures. The latter works in principle, but most people don’t seem to notice an issue with their dosage when changing to a version that passes through the digestive tract first like capsules.
When it comes to choosing which CBD is right for you, it really comes down more to personal preference. So let’s see which of our CBDs works best for your needs.
Choosing Which CBD is Right For You
Tinctures ( Full Spectrum PurCBD+ & PurCBD+ Isolate )
If you want precision dosing and fast relief, you want the original and standard CBD oil. You may feel CBD working with 5-20 minutes, and you can easily dose at whatever amount you prefer — be it 1 mg or 73 mg.
Full Spectrum: Right off the bat, if you’ve never used CBD before and don’t consider yourself a very picky eater we recommend Full Spectrum PurCBD+.
Full spectrum dosing works like climbing stairs — take more, and you’ll feel more. With the next form, you have to hit within a dosing window, which is unique to you and this takes trial and error.
We offer our Full Spectrum PurCBD+ in three different concentration sizes, and our CBD oil dosage calculator will help point you in the right direction. If you’re looking for just a bit of CBD go for a smaller size.
If you need to take a lot, grab a more concentrated version so you’re not consuming a lot of oil. Here is a chart to see how CBD is in each version.
How many mg in a drop of CBD:
- PurCBD 250 MG: 1 drop = 0.18 mg CBD
- PurCBD 750 MG: 1 drop = 0.54 mg CBD
- PurCBD 1500 MG: 1 drop = 1.08 mg CBD
Nano-enhanced CBD Isolate: U nlike full spectrum, CBD isolate doesn’t have the other molecules found in hemp that increase CBD’s bio-absorption.
We’ve nano-enhanced our CBD Isolate oil to improve CBD’s absorption in the body so unlike other isolates you have a much better chance at feeling CBD’s full effects.
It can still be tricky so we suggest full spectrum first because as long as you take enough, you’ll always feel it helping.
However, in rare cases, some people feel tired with full spectrum CBD at even with lower doses — the thought is they are more sensitive to one of the other phytocannabinoids in full spectrum.
Isolate provides you with two ways to avoid this:
- First, you can just take CBD isolate on its own which is only CBD.
- Second, you can boost the ratio of CBD to other cannabinoids by taking both isolate and full spectrum together.
Capsules (PurHemp Gold Extra Strength)
If you hate the taste of oils, capsules offer a great way for you to still enjoy CBD. Their biggest pro is they are flavorless and easy to take. A disadvantage is capsules will offer a one-size-fits-all dose at 15 mg per capsules.
But a majority of people don’t mind this at all and many find 15 mg and 30 mg perfect amounts for both mild and severe chronic conditions, respectively. In fact, this is why you see most CBD capsules on the market contain 15 mg a piece.
In our opinion, the only big negative is they can take up to an hour before providing relief. However, with an empty stomach, effects can be felt in just 30 minutes.
This is just like taking an over-the-counter medication in pill form, so most have no issues waiting up to an hour.
Topicals (CBD Skin Care)
Here’s where you can pretty much forget about how much CBD to take. Topicals will directly target the area they are applied to, and relief can happen within 10-20 minutes. Simply apply more CBD cream if needed.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Take? The Calculator That Shows You How to Properly Dose CBD One of the most common complaints we hear about CBD is not that doesn’t work, but that figuring out the right dose can be a real pain. So we created a CBD dosage calculator that figures it all out for you and makes dosing incredibly