Cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming more popular every year, and for good reason. This safe, legal, non-psychoactive compound is a great option for people looking to get the health benefits of cannabis without the mind-altering effects.
However, one common point of confusion that remains is dosage – how much CBD should you take for your particular case?
There are many reasons why choosing CBD doses is difficult:
- Medical doctors do not receive training on cannabis in medical school, so they cannot make dosage recommendations
- Government regulatory agencies such as the FDA do not allow companies to make detailed dosage recommendations
- Research on CBD is still in its early stages, meaning there’s little evidence on which doses are best
- Different forms of CBD have varying levels of potency
- Everyone’s body is different and people have different goals when taking CBD
With all these factors in mind, it’s not surprising that many people struggle with finding the right CBD dosage after buying their product. So, how much CBD should you take?
New to CBD? Start Off Low
If you are new to CBD, the best piece of advice is to start with the lowest possible dose and increase until you achieve the desired effects. As cannabis expert Dr. Dustin Sulak suggests in his article on optimal cannabis dosing, “Start low, go slow, and don’t be afraid to go all the way.”
For most CBD products, this will mean starting out with doses of anywhere from 1 mg to 10 mg. If you don’t experience any effect, you can try a higher dose a day later. Use this method to find the lowest possible dosage that gives you the desired affects.
Consider CBD Product Recommendations
Another useful dosing tip is the information provided on your CBD product label. For example, most CBD oils list the recommended serving size, and many also have suggested use information on how much to take and how many times per day.
Although this information is only intended as a general guide, it can help give you an idea of where to start when combined with the “start low” method.
Key Factors That Determine CBD Dosage
It’s also helpful to keep in mind there are many factors affecting how much CBD you need to take, such as individual body chemistry, CBD form, type, and concentration. Let’s take a look at these factors in more detail.
Individual Chemistry and Body Weight
You may have already noticed that substances such as caffeine can affect you differently from other people. This is due to the fact that everyone has different body chemistry that affects how your body reacts to various substances.
There are many biological factors that differ among individuals, and one that is particularly relevant to CBD is the endocannabinoid system. Perhaps your endocannabinoid system is more sensitive to the effects of cannabinoids, so you will need to take less CBD to feel an effect, or perhaps it’s the opposite, and you will need to take more.
In addition to this, metabolism and body weight is another significant individual factor that will affect CBD dosing. Most notably, larger individuals may require larger doses than smaller people to feel the same effect.
Another key factor that affects CBD dosage is the type of product you’re taking. This is because different methods of taking CBD have varying levels of bioavailability – the portion of a substance that is absorbed into the bloodstream and so is able to provide a beneficial effect.
CBD oil has fairly good bioavailability because it is absorbed directly into the blood through capillaries under your tongue (sublingually), and is the standard form people judge appropriate dosing by. Similarly, CBD vape juice that is inhaled with a vaporizer pen has comparable bioavailability to CBD oil.
On the other hand, CBD capsules and edibles have low bioavailability because they go through the digestive tract and liver before they can enter the blood and start having an effect.
Current research estimates the bioavailability of cannabinoid capsules and edibles at anywhere between 6% and 15%, which means 85% to 94% of the CBD you take in this form will never reach the bloodstream where it can provide its beneficial effects.
Because of this, people who take CBD orally may have to take larger doses to feel the same effects as sublingual and inhaled CBD.
CBD Type: Isolate vs Full-Spectrum
Another factor that will affect CBD dosing is whether you’re using CBD isolate or full-spectrum CBD. Whereas isolate contains nothing but pure CBD, full-spectrum products also include the complete range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in cannabis.
Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD is more effective than isolate because of the entourage effect – the synergy between the many components of cannabis. In this sense, you will need to take higher doses of CBD isolate to reach the same level of effectiveness as full-spectrum products.
Even if you use the same type and form of CBD, the concentration of CBD in your product will also affect how much you need to take. For example, one drop of a CBD oil from one brand may contain only 1mg CBD, whereas another product may have 5 mg per drop.
In this sense, you have to be aware of how much CBD is present in a drop, capsule, edible, cream, or other product, and adjust your dosage accordingly.
Most Common CBD Dosage
As you can see, there are many factors that can affect your ideal CBD dosing regimen. Having said that, the vast majority of people who take CBD use 15-50 mg doses 1-3 times a day, typically in the form of CBD oil.
This explains why most CBD products recommend serving sizes that contain about 10-25 mg of CBD. In most cases, people take CBD as needed or at specific times of the day, such as the morning and evening.
Can you overdose on CBD?
Given the lack of information surrounding CBD dosing, some people are rightfully concerned about taking too much. Although there are reports of mild side effects such as dry mouth, drowsiness, lightheadedness, and diarrhea, on the whole, CBD is a remarkably safe substance. In fact, studies have demonstrated that even continuous daily doses of as much as 1500 mg are well-tolerated.
Choosing the Right CBD Dose
As described above, your ideal dose of CBD will depend on many factors, including your genetics, the form and type of CBD you’re using, as well as its concentration.
Ultimately, the best way to figure out the ideal CBD dosage for yourself is to start out low and increase until you feel the desired effects. For most people, doses of 15-50 mg taken 1-3 times daily are sufficient to support optimal health and well-being.
As one final concluding tip, keep in mind that the effects of CBD are not nearly as apparent as many other supplements. In this sense, you may feel like it’s not working. This is why it is important to pay close attention to your body and remain patient.
In addition, some people find that CBD does not work for them right away, and it was only after a few days or weeks of taking CBD that they notice a difference.