The Right CBD Oil Dosage: How much should you take?
This article was reviewed for scientific accuracy by Dr. Leah Zitter, PhD.
CBD is a natural compound found in the cannabis and hemp plants that’s quickly taking over the wellness world. There is tons of empirical evidence that cannabidiol, known to most as CBD, has helped people of all ages remedy a wide range of ailments, from anxiety to seizures and many other diseases. Since the federal legalization of hemp and hemp derivatives (including CBD products) in 2018, there has been an explosion of new research and interest in CBD’s potential benefits, which are reported to include many of the same benefits as medical marijuana, without causing intoxication or impairment. With so much buzz around CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids, you might be wondering if CBD is right for you and your ailments. Before you get started with CBD, it’s important to know what’s in CBD oils, how to take CBD oils, and the right CBD oil dosage for your needs.
Why people take CBD
CBD is taken by people from all walks of life for myriad different reasons. The benefits of CBD, as reported by thousands of different users across the world, include better sleep, increased relaxation, decreased anxiety, reduced inflammation, and tons more.
The popularity of CBD has grown rapidly due to its therapeutic properties, which are reported to soothe disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, and epileptic seizures, thanks to its anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and antioxidant properties – among others. There is still much to learn about this natural treatment, but millions of people have found CBD to be a therapeutic solution that is less habit-forming and more natural than traditional drugs doled out by Big Pharma. People who regularly take CBD will attest to the positive effects, but due to lack of research there is not a medical consensus on CBD oil dosage. With no proper regulations, the consensus is to ease into it; begin with a low dose, and gradually increase the CBD dosage to find the right amount for your needs.
Because of the different bioavailability of various CBD products, the correct CBD dosage depends on the method of ingestion. For this guide, we’ll be focusing on CBD oils specifically, which are taken orally or sublingually. Bioavailability means, simply put, the amount of active ingredient that your body will absorb based on the way you take it – each method varies in terms of how much CBD will actually make it into your bloodstream. For example, CBD vapes have a much higher bioavailability than CBD edibles.
For the best results and highest bioavailability, we recommend taking CBD oils sublingually, meaning to hold it under your tongue for 30-60 seconds before swallowing it. You’ll get more active ingredient this way when compared to simply swallowing the CBD oil or adding it to food or drink.
The different types of CBD oil do play a role in the effectiveness of treating particular ailments. CBD is considered by many to work the best when taken in combination with other cannabinoids and compounds found in the hemp plant – this creates what is known as the “Entourage Effect,” which specifies that CBD works best when taken alongside other compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes. People who are hoping to treat severe or chronic symptoms may desire an oil that contains as many of the natural compounds found in CBD as possible.
Some people who are looking to take advantage of the calming effects of CBD, without any trace of THC, will most likely lean towards the isolate. If done correctly it consists of 99% pure CBD, with no traces of other cannabinoids. This is also the only form of CBD that ensures no failed drug tests, as it has no trace of the psychoactive compounds like THC. The powder form is the easiest to ingest, mixed in with food or liquids. CBD isolate is ideal for users who have sensitivity to THC, or who are worried about getting a false positive on a drug test.
How do I calculate my CBD dosage?
There are several variables to consider when calculating your CBD dosage, namely:
- Your body weight
- The severity of the ailment you’re trying to treat
- How concentrated the CBD is in the product you’re taking
- Your unique body chemistry
Because of these varied factors, and because there are not yet official guidelines from the FDA or the medical community, determining the right CBD oil dosage for you can be tricky. As with anything you’re taking for health reasons, your best course of action is to consult with your physician to determine the right CBD dosage for you. If you don’t have a CBD-friendly doctor, or aren’t comfortable asking them for this kind of advice, read on:
The lack of official consensus means each CBD user needs to do their due diligence – for starters, always begin with a small dose, then slowly increase it until you find the correct dosage. As a rule of thumb, we recommend starting with the smallest possible serving of the product you’re using, and increasing it gradually week-by-week. For example, if you’re using CBD gummies, and each gummy measures 5mg of CBD, start by eating just one each day (or even half of one!). Keep track of how you feel, and if by the end of the week you haven’t experienced the effect you’re looking for, increase the serving by one unit (another 5mg, in this case). This dosage guide will get most CBD users where they need to be, even if it takes a little bit of time.
To know how much CBD you’re taking at one time, you’ll need to learn how to read a CBD product label. Most CBD oils list the total CBD content for the bottle, and not the individual dose – so if you’ve got, for example, a CBD oil marked as 500mg, that means the entire bottle contains 500mg of CBD. Most CBD oil droppers will dispense 1ml of oil for a full dropper, and about 0.05ml per drop. The standard size of a CBD oil bottle is 30ml, but make sure to read the label to know for sure.
In this example, using a 30ml, 500mg bottle of CBD oil, each ml (one full dropper) will contain 16.66mg of CBD. That means to get a 5mg dose, you’ll want to take approximately ⅓ of a dropper at a time. Remember that you’ll absorb more by taking it sublingually vs swallowing it, so adjust accordingly.
In order to make sure you’re getting accurate CBD dosage, look for a CBD company that provides lab reports, so you know exactly what you’re getting when you take CBD.
What ailments could CBD oil help with?
CBD is used by millions of people around the world to address a number of different physical and mental health concerns. To date, anecdotal evidence has mainly pointed towards the relief of anxiety and pain. Thanks to new findings related to the endocannabinoid system, new research studies have been emerging more frequently. Studies are constantly being conducted on patients with an array of illnesses – some of which were believed to be incurable like Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, and Type 1 Diabetes. As the word is quickly spreading of all the positive benefits, participants are lining up to help with well-designed studies targeted for different specific mental and physical uses. To date, there are no known risks of consuming too much CBD, so there is not likely to be any risk associated with experimenting with CBD.
How much CBD oil should I take?
Start low, and go slow – start with the smallest possible dose of CBD oil, then increase gradually until you achieve the desired effects. As mentioned above, 5mg per day is a good place to start. Note that you might not feel the effects right away – that’s ok! CBD’s effects can be cumulative, meaning they take a while of consistent use to be effective, and you might also need to increase your dose. Take it one step at a time.
Is it possible to take too much CBD oil?
All current research and evidence shows that the average CBD user does not need to worry about overdosing. The biggest risk of taking too much CBD oil is developing a tolerance to it – if you take more than you need, your body will get used to it, and you’ll need more CBD next time to get the same effect. This is why we always recommend to start low, and go slow.
What are the possible side effects of CBD oil?
CBD is safe to use, but overconsumption can lead to some discomfort. Noted side effects listed in case studies include fatigue and lack of appetite. These are most likely to arise when stabilizing the right dosage – lowering the dose will decrease the undesired effects. A good quality CBD product should have little to no side effects, but if you find yourself getting drowsy or losing your appetite after taking CBD, consider reducing your dose.
As this article makes clear, many factors determine how much CBD oil is right for an individual. These vary from a person’s biological constitution to the form in which they are taking their CBD. The condition for which they are taking the oil is also an important factor. What these variances mean is that there is no one-size-fits-all CBD dosage. If the user is taking other medications, they should seek the counsel of a physician in determining how much CBD they should take, and when they should take it. If, on the other hand, a person is using CBD for general wellness, they can start by taking small doses and work their way up until they find the dosage that works best for them.