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The Only Way is Up: A Guide to Dosing CBD

Alphagreen Team

Table of Contents

What is CBD, and what does it do?

The endocannabinoid system’s role

Dosing CBD: the basics

Scouting out the right CBD company & products

Factors in dosing

What are the different ways to take CBD?

When do the effects begin? And how long do they last?

How does CBD interact with the endocrine system?

Can I mix different CBD products?

Not feeling any different? Here’s why

Onwards and upwards

Summary

We will be letting you in on the precise factors that dictate dosages, such as your body weight, age, metabolism and consumption method. We will be educating anyone who needs to know how to source a reliable and trustworthy CBD brand and product, as well as all the ways you can take CBD and the advantages of each. What’s more, we have the answers to why your CBD may not be working for you.

Introduction

Need a hand when it comes to dosing cannabidiol? You have our sympathy — CBD doses can be exceptionally hard to get right. With a little guidance, you will be well on your way with knowing how to dose this otherwise marvellous cannabis constituent.

What is CBD, and what does it do?

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is one of over 100 cannabinoids present in cannabis Sativa, a plant species consisting of two classifications — hemp and marijuana. We know, that’s a lot of information to receive in one sentence, so we’re going to dissect it further. A cannabinoid is a cannabis-derived compound. As we just said, CBD is one of many; there is also THC, CBC, CBG, CBN — you get the idea.

Of all those cannabinoids, our focus is on the second most abundant: CBD. “But why not focus on the most abundant?” you ask. Because the most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis is the infamous THC, which we will come to shortly.

CBD has become a hugely popular agent of wellness. Nowadays, you can find thousands of CBD-infused products, from topicals and patches you apply externally, to tinctures you administer under the tongue, and suppositories you insert down there. The CBD industry has shown that there are no limits when it comes to innovative consumption methods.

So what makes cannabidiol such a great wellness tool? The main reason for the growing popularity of the CBD is its seemingly endless therapeutic potential, paired with the fact that it is generally well-tolerated in the body. CBD has been known to have the potential to tackle chronic pain, manage our moods, relieve nausea, reduce symptoms of seizures and inflammation, enrich sleep, improve mobility and spasticity, and support many, many other aspects of our health. Cannabidiol has even been cited as a potential neuroprotector and has shown promise in bolstering quality of life among patients of Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and shows signs of performing antioxidant actions. The best part? CBD is non-addictive and non-psychotropic, so it will not make you high, regardless of the dose you take.

We appreciate that it all sounds too good to be true, but hear us out.

The endocannabinoid system’s role

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a cell-signalling biological network present in the bodies of basically all organisms. Its job is to maintain homoeostasis, or internal balance and harmony. Some of the functions it takes care of include our mood, appetite, sleep, cognitive performance, and so many others.

The system it’s made up of enzymes, endocannabinoids, and cannabinoid receptors. There are two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. These are found all over the body; CB1 receptors are mainly around the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are usually concentrated around the immune system, particularly in the spleen. Endocannabinoids are the body’s own cannabinoids. When we take a cannabinoid like CBD, it is thought to interact with the components of the endocannabinoid system. It is believed to work with our CB1 receptors, controlling processes and functions to do with our mental health and stress responses, and with our CB2 receptors to control things like inflammation and pathogens — all things to do with immunity and immunoregulation. CBD does not bind itself to our receptors as THC does; rather, it supposedly influences the way our endocannabinoids bind to our CB1 and CB2 receptors.

In summary, the endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in the effects we feel when we take CBD.

Dosing CBD: the basics

Calculating the right CBD dose may be a confusing prospect, especially for newbies to the world of CBD. Your unique dose is dependent on personal variables. Some examples of these variables are:

  • Physical health
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Metabolism
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Health Conditions
  • CBD format (capsule, tincture, etc.).

It isn’t only pharmaceutical medications that are dangerous to take in excess; this applies to many organic or plant-derived products as well. True, the organic elements found in CBD products are completely natural, but that does not give you the green light to take cannabinoids as liberally as you like. There can be side effects, and certain doses can be incorrect for you. With this in mind, it is important to carefully consider dosage before you just begin your CBD intake.

Scouting out the right CBD company & products

Here are some handy tips for when you’re surfing the web for the right CBD company and products for you.

  • Find a reliable CBD Brand

The first and main goal is to choose a reliable CBD company. The product(s) you choose has several criteria to meet: it must meet the legal requirements for your country, it must be of an impressive quality and standard, it must meet certain safety standards, and not contain any undesirable chemicals or additives. Also important: it must be exactly what you want!

Here at Alphagreen, we only feature reliable products and brands on our platform. Every single CBD-infused product is lab-tested for contaminants, which you can see for yourself from their attached certificates.

  • Always check the ingredients

Before you reach checkout, it is important to read what is actually in the product(s) you’re buying. Ensure your product has a detailed description of all the substances it contains, as well as a clear indication of the CBD concentration. Your product should contain a good amount of CBD, as you don’t want to fall for one that is mostly made up of other ingredients and has a mere sprinkling of cannabidiol.

The quality of the CBD plays a crucial role in delivering effective results, so you must make sure to choose a high-quality product with high CBD content.

  • Always check the percentage

When we refer to CBD percentages, these numbers generally refer to the number of milligrams of CBD per product.

If we take a tincture that contains 2.5% CBD, this generally means it contains 250 milligrams of CBD. If this percentage is 4%, the concentration of CBD equates to 400 milligrams, and so on and so forth.

As the percentage of CBD increases, so too does its concentration.

In a 10 ml bottle of 2.5% CBD oil, the buyer will receive about 200 drops, and each drop will contain 1.25 mg of CBD.

If you take a daily dose of 3–4 drops three times a day, this means that you will consume approximately 15 mg of CBD daily.

Those who take a regular dose of CBD are far more likely to reap its wonderful potential benefits than those who do not make a regular habit out of their CBD consumption. For maximum possible benefits, determining the right dose is important; yet many consumers are still uninformed on how much CBD would best suit them and their needs.

It is important to remember that everybody’s endocannabinoid system is different, meaning the dosage can vary per person. Some will find that 3 mg twice a day is sufficient to obtain a calming and relaxing effect. Those with severe chronic pain, on the other hand, may take doses approaching 200 mg per day. This is not recommended unless under specific medical direction.

The best way to find the most suitable dose for you is to start with small doses and gradually increase. For newbies, daily doses of 5 mg may be enough to feel relief. After a few days or weeks, try increasing your dose to 10 mg and ensure you note the change in your response. Repeat this ritual as appropriate to find the optimal dose for you. Once you have established the desired dose, keep it consistent.

Those who have experience of using cannabis extracts may need to start with a higher dose as you may have a higher tolerance. You could begin with doses of 15–25 mg per day and increase (or not) as you feel is appropriate. It is advised that if you are a healthy adult, you do not surpass 70 mg per day.

Factors in dosing

Some of the individual factors that need to be taken into account are:

One of the important factors in finding your CBD dosage is your body weight. This is because each person has different levels of tolerance and different metabolisms.

A good idea is to use a maximum dose of 6 mg CBD for every 5 kg (10 lbs) of your body weight. However, if the answer to this formula in your case produces more than 70 mg, it is advised to keep to doses below this quantity.

Your health or condition

The state of your health also plays a vital role in discerning the right dose of CBD for you. You may be suffering from a health condition which affects you with various symptoms; you may suffer from chronic pain, or perhaps you struggle to sleep at night. You may be the picture of health. All of this is important when it comes to assessing the appropriate strength for your CBD dosage.

If you are taking mainstream pharmaceuticals for a health condition, it is important to contact your doctor before self-medicating with CBD. The reason for this is that CBD may interact with your medication(s), so it is crucial to ensure that the CBD is not disrupting their effectiveness. Your doctor or healthcare provider will be able to help you in that regard.

Medication(s) may dictate your CBD dosage; that is to say, you may be permitted to take both, so long as your CBD dose is below a certain amount, in order to achieve a fine balance in the body between the CBD and the medication. Your medication(s) may also dictate the time at which you take your CBD; they may need to be taken at opposite ends of the day, for example.

The concentration of your CBD

Naturally, if you buy a CBD oil that boasts a concentration of 1000mg CBD, you will require fewer drops per day than if you buy a CBD oil of 250 mg CBD .

Take a look at the table below to see roughly how much CBD is present in every drop, for all the different CBD concentrations. Note that this table only refers to CBD oil.

1.25 mg CBD per drop

2 mg CBD per drop

2.5 mg CBD per drop

5 mg CBD per drop

10 mg CBD per drop

What are the different ways to take CBD?

There are various products on the market containing CBD: vape oils for your vaporiser, sublingual oils and tinctures, topicals for your skin, edibles, transdermal patches, and so many more.

Of all these options, there is no one that is objectively the best. This depends on one’s preferences, the CBD concentration and the bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to the amount of a substance (CBD, in this scenario) that can be used by your body, which has not been lost on the way to the bloodstream. As far as bioavailability and potency are concerned, studies say that the two best methods on this score are sublingually-taken CBD and inhaled CBD.

Let’s review the various ways to consume CBD, and see how we might dose them.

CBD vape juices, oils & e-liquids

THC-free, nicotine-free CBD electronic liquids (e-liquids), vape oils or vape juices are used in vaporisers and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). These CBD products are sold either in cartridges, liquid containers, or disposable vape pens, and, like regular e-liquids, they often come in different flavours.

What’s more, vaping CBD has one of the highest, if not the highest, bioavailability of any method. When you use a vaping device to inhale CBD via a vape oil or e-liquid, the bioavailability is so great because the digestive tract, with its powerful enzymes that degrade the potency of CBD, has no involvement. The other reason for its superior bioavailability is that the lungs have a thin lining, through which the CBD molecules seep directly into the bloodstream.

In terms of controlling and adjusting your CBD dose, vaping may not be the easiest way to do this, as it may be unclear how much CBD you’re taking in per draw. This could mean that vaping is the ideal delivery method for someone more experienced using CBD, who doesn’t necessarily need to think about their dose too rigidly.

To inhale CBD, all you need is one of these CBD e-liquids or vape oils as well as a vaporiser or an electronic cigarette.

CBD Sublingual Oils / CBD tinctures

Sublingual oils or tinctures are perhaps the most common method for consuming CBD. Why? They are highly commercialised products and marketed as the best way to take CBD. They are also often the foundational product of a company.

Depending on the format in which it is supplied, it can either be applied with a dropper/pipette or sprayed under the tongue.

Sublingual consumption is alongside vaping as the most bioavailable way of getting CBD into your system. This is another delivery method that retains the CBD’s potency and has a direct route to the bloodstream. Sublingual delivery involves dropping some CBD oil beneath the tongue and holding it there for up to 1 minute, allowing it to fully absorb into the sublingual gland. The bioavailability of sublingual consumption is 13–19%, though some have claimed it to be as high as 35%.

CBD oils will come in a carrier oil. Common examples of carrier oils are MCT coconut oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, and pomegranate seed oil. A carrier oil that boasts its own health-supporting benefits is always preferable. Some companies then add flavourings to their CBD oils for consumers who prefer to mask the earthy taste of CBD.

The number of drops or daily sprays will be indicated on the product packaging. If it is a 5% CBD oil, it is usually recommended that one does not surpass 28 drops per day.

CBD topicals encompass body oils, creams, lotions and salves. Cosmetics infused with CBD are becoming increasingly popular, even items such as CBD lipsticks.

Thanks to the therapeutic and anti-ageing potential of CBD, people look to cannabidiol topicals for targeted relief for many of their skin imperfections and blemishes. Not only can these products provide dermatological relief, but they can also work with joints and muscles that are inflamed or aching.

Symptoms of acne, psoriasis, eczema, chronic pain and rheumatoid arthritis are just some of the conditions that people use CBD topicals to manage. Each of them has visibly improved after CBD administration, according to multiple studies.

In terms of dosing, CBD topicals can be applied as liberally as you see fit unless otherwise stated by the product. They will prove especially effective when applied to an inflamed or sore area. One thing to note about CBD topicals is that, in contrast to other methods of consumption, their effects take place solely in the area of application. Topical CBD will work only with your local receptors on the skin, and will not enter the bloodstream. As a result, the bioavailability of topicals is low.

CBD Capsules, Softgels & Edibles

These are all trusty, conventional methods for taking CBD and perhaps some of the easiest in terms of maintaining a fixed dose.

Capsules, softgels, and edibles such as gummies or chocolate will come with a consistent dose of CBD per capsule. For instance, it may be 10 mg CBD per softgel or per gummy. These options are great if you don’t have the time to mess around calculating the optimal dose of drops.

The disadvantage? Research has demonstrated that orally-taken CBD products do not get absorbed in their full capacity. Indeed, by the time the CBD you consumed orally reaches your bloodstream, it is thought that only 6–20% of the CBD is used. This is because of the powerful enzymes throughout the digestive tract, which begin breaking down the CBD from the moment you swallow it. Your liver then metabolises it further in what is known as the “first-pass” effect.

CBD Patches and Suppositories are two emerging methods for consuming CBD. Both are said to have a high bioavailability, but neither have enough studies behind them yet to confirm this. One study found that rectal application can be 25% to 50% more effective than oral administration, with an average bioavailability of 13.5%. Equally, anecdotal reports claim that CBD patches have good bioavailability, as they travel through our veins through the bloodstream. A rodent study on transdermal patches reported efficacy in relieving symptoms of inflammation of the joints.

When do the effects begin? And how long do they last?

As for the time you may be waiting for the CBD to take effect, this will depend on the method of consumption you choose.

With a method like sublingual consumption or inhaling, you might only have to wait 20 minutes. Conversely, some CBD-infused edibles may take up to two hours to fully digest and reach the bloodstream.

Studies vary in reporting the duration of effects once the CBD is in your system. Some allege that effects may last up to 8 hours, while others claim much less.

How does CBD interact with the endocrine system?

When we take CBD, it eventually reaches the bloodstream (with the exception of CBD topicals). Once in the blood, CBD molecules are transported throughout the body by fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs). These proteins help lipids, such as CBD, pass through cell membranes.

Once inside the cell, CBD can activate specific receptors. It has been shown to act on CB1 receptors, CB2 receptors, serotonin receptors, GABA receptors, vanilloid receptors, and gamma receptors, among others. It has also been shown to temporarily increase the level of certain neurochemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, anandamide and others. CBD does this by inhibiting a process known as resorption, and is thus sometimes called a “reuptake inhibitor”.

It is also purported to regulate the production of our stress hormone, cortisol, and influence our adenosine receptors, both of which help to manage our moods and sleep cycles.

CBD can collaborate with the other compounds and nutrients found in cannabis and hemp, creating the “entourage effect”. Many scientists believe that this is the key to understanding the unique effects of cannabis and its compounds.

Dosage Recommendations

Dosing sometimes takes a great deal of trial and error, so here are some recommendations that may help you skip the error.

This is the universal standard for drug use, herbal or otherwise. Start with a low dose of CBD and gradually increase it.

For example, a person of moderate weight may take approximately 50 mg of CBD once a day, depending on his age.

We recommend starting with a small dose of 5 mg per day, just to observe your response to any CBD supplement used. From there, you can increase the pace to 2 daily doses of 5 mg. This is important, because CBD can cause side effects in some people. Although these side effects are mild and rare, it is always recommended to start with low doses to avoid these reactions.

Make sure you stick with each dose for at least a few weeks so that your body has time to adapt, before moving on to a stronger dose.

Some brands offer a CBD dose calculator. This will take into account various factors and then produce what is supposedly your optimal dose.

Whilst it may be accurate, you should take their recommendations lightly, as sometimes calculating a dose is beyond the scope of a robotic calculator.

Can I mix different CBD products?

CBD is well-tolerated and usually has few to no adverse effects, providing the consumer adheres to the recommended dosage and uses their products in a responsible way.

So long as you don’t exceed the recommended daily limit, then, most people can safely mix two or more CBD products in a day.

In general, high-speed CBD products offer faster and shorter effects, while slower-start products provide more stable CBD release over a more extended period. If these two types are combined, the consumer can maximise the potential of both products.

Not feeling any different? Here’s why

As we like to remind you, everyone is different. This could mean you are taking the same exact dose from the same CBD oil as one of your friends, but you are responding differently. In some cases, it might not have any effect on you, which is naturally frustrating and convinces you that you have been scammed and that CBD is a marketing fad. Before you reach any rash conclusions, it is important that you consider some of the following possible reasons why your CBD product might not be working for you.

You may be taking the incorrect dose

One of the most critical factors that determine the effect of CBD is the correct dose. If you are not taking the right dose, you are less likely to see any of the results we have promised.

When it comes to dosage, several sources suggest taking 10 to 40 mg of CBD per day; others suggest using 25 mg of CBD every day to see results.

Doses are not fixed, so remember you can increase your dose gradually if you aren’t seeing any results. If you feel a product you have bought does not have a strong enough dose for you, it may be an idea to purchase a stronger concentration, if you are willing to give CBD another chance.

Your dose may be inconsistent

You may be taking 5 mg one day, 10 mg the next and 5 again the day after. It is important that you keep doses consistent and take the same amount every day as you would with regular, mainstream medication.

You may not have waited long enough

Another possible reason why your CBD has not worked is that you have not given it enough time to have an impact on your body. While many users claim that they see immediate results, this is by no means the case for everyone.

Since CBD is not a medicine, but a dietary supplement, it may not always produce rapid results. A minimum of two to four weeks is required before you can expect to feel or see the benefits of the CBD.

If you have waited this long and you still aren’t seeing a difference, it may be time to increase your dose.

Absorption by fat cells

One thing that could prevent CBD from producing effective results is body fat. Cannabinoids attract fats. This means that oils absorb part of the CBD, and only part of it enters the bloodstream. If 60% of CBD is absorbed by body fat, only 40% of the dose is circulated. If oil absorbs 30% of CBD, then 70% of the CBD will circulate around the bloodstream and provide potential benefits.

Research has thus far only focused on certain properties of cannabinoids. There are few studies on fat cells absorption. Still, it is possible to compensate for the effect of fat absorption by increasing your CBD dose.

You may need to switch refinements

If you have been using a CBD isolate and you do not see any benefits, you might want to consider switching to a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD product, in order to get the most out of your CBD intake.

Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products possess a huge range of other cannabinoids and active plant nutrients, taken straight from cannabis.

These other active plant nutrients may include minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These compounds are believed to enrich the CBD user experience due to the prior-mentioned entourage effect, which sees the cannabis compounds working synergistically and enhancing the potential effects of one another.

Using a broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD, then, could help you see and feel more of the therapeutic effects offered by CBD products, by maximising the entourage effect.

You may be seeking the wrong thing from your CBD products

With CBD, it is important to manage your expectations. Some consumers may enter a CBD regime expecting the world; CBD is not a panacea and will not cure any illness. It may help to manage and temporarily dull various symptoms, but will not totally abolish them.

Perhaps if your CBD goods are not working for you, the problem is that you are expecting too much from them.

CBD will also never get you high, so if you are looking for a mind-altering euphoric sensation from your CBD use, you are looking in the wrong place! Cannabidiol is non-intoxicating, and will not produce a high like marijuana used recreationally would.

Precautionary measures

Despite the fact that research lauds how well CBD is tolerated in the human body, there is always the possibility of adverse reactions when we take CBD.

Hypotension (low blood pressure) may occur in those who are susceptible to this, because CBD may have a hypotensive effect. Measuring and monitoring blood pressure is recommended for people that are vulnerable to low blood pressure.

CBD may also cause:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in weight
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

If you encounter any of these reactions, do not continue to take CBD. If you are concerned about your response, contact a doctor.

For those who suffer from a condition to do with the digestive tract (stomach, intestines, colon), sublingual administration is recommended as the best way to take CBD.

CBD is fat-soluble. It thus works best when taken with a food that contains some fat (such as olive oil or coconut oil).

In terms of storage, CBD products should be kept where there is no direct sunlight and do not heat up. Some products may require refrigeration, such as edibles or suppositories. As for expiration dates, do not surpass them.

Key takeaways

It is fair to say there has been a metric tonne of information in this read, so we wouldn’t blame you if you needed a reminder of what we have covered.

  • CBD is a compound that comes from the cannabis Sativa plant species.
  • The endocannabinoid system is the control centre that is affected by the CBD you take.
  • The dosage depends on multiple factors unique to the individual.
  • When looking for a CBD product, always check the ingredients and look for a lab certificate (also known as a certificate of analysis, or COA).
  • CBD concentration is usually measured in milligrams or as a percentage. As the CBD percentage increases, so too does the concentration.
  • In terms of dosing, your BMI, health conditions, current medications and CBD format are all important to consider.
  • Always start with low doses of CBD and work your way to stronger doses.
  • CBD can be inhaled, consumed sublingually, taken orally, topically, or via the anus or the vagina.
  • Depending on how you take CBD, it may take up to 2 hours before you feel its effects.
  • Keep to concentrations of less than 70 mg per day.
  • If you stay within the recommended dosage per day, you can mix different CBD products.
  • You may choose to use an online dosage calculator. If you do, use it as a rough guide.
  • If you aren’t feeling any difference from your CBD consumption, you may be taking the incorrect dose, your dose may be inconsistent, you may not have waited long enough, your CBD may be absorbed by fat cells, you may need to switch to a different CBD refinement, or you may be looking for the wrong thing from your CBD products.
  • Adverse reactions may take place. If you are concerned, seek medical attention and stop taking the CBD.

Onwards and upwards

As you approach the end of this read, you’ll hopefully have the tools to confidently dose your way to a perfect CBD experience. If you feel you may need to revisit certain areas with which you don’t yet feel assured, this guide can be used for future reference for reminding yourself of the basics in dosing CBD.

Remember, dosing can be tricky! So don’t get frustrated if you initially can’t find one that works for you. Perseverance is key!

We will be letting you in on the precise factors that dictate dosages, such as your body weight, age, metabolism and consumption method. We will be educating anyone who needs to know how to source a…

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.

A bottle of CBD oil and a medicine dropper

Iryna Veklich / Getty Images

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.

Possible Benefits

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
  • Arthritis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Psychosis

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.

Research

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.

CBD Dosages

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.

Side Effects

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
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • 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.  

Safety

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.