How to take CBD oil – CBD dose guide How to determine the correct CBD oil dosage and the different ways to take CBD oil You’ve looked into how to identify high quality CBD oil and chosen Your weight, tolerance and what you want to cure are some factors which determines how much CBD oil you should take. Check out our chart here. 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.
How to take CBD oil – CBD dose guide
How to determine the correct CBD oil dosage and the different ways to take CBD oil
You’ve looked into how to identify high quality CBD oil and chosen which brand you’re going to buy. Now it’s time to look into how to take CBD oil most effectively. This guide unpacks the different aspects of using different CBD products and how to get the most out of them. Remember, the first step in your CBD journey should be consulting your medical professional.
In this article:
CBD oil dosage – how much to take?
There are a couple of reasons why it’s difficult to get a straight answer to this question. Firstly due to the legal status of CBD oil, suppliers are not able to able to give medical advice so clear dosage instructions are harder to come by compared with other products.
Secondly, the ‘best’ or optimal CBD oil dose varies from person to person, based on a number of factors from size, how their system reacts to CBD supplementation, what conditions they are looking to alleviate and also the method of CBD intake.
The dose range for CBD is broad, that means it can be effective for different people at very different dosage amounts. Some individuals see effective results from very small doses, as low as 5-10 milligrams (mg) of CBD a day. Some take a number of 10-15 mg doses per day (we will look at dosage timing and frequency shortly). The following section outlines the best method for working out how much CBD oil is optimal for you.
Fortunately, experimenting with CBD dosage is low risk and those in clinical trials are exposed to very high doses in the 300-700 mg, though we certainly don’t recommend a dosage this high at home.
“CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile”
The World Health Organisation, November 2017
The CBD dosage that yields the best results will differ from person to person. The best way to find your optimal dose is to start out slowly, with very small dosages and slowly increase the amount taken from there.
What this small dose looks like will depend on which form of CBD you’re taking. For example, start with only a few drops from a tincture (depending on concentration of CBD) or ingesting a single low strength CBD oil capsule. Generally speaking, bigger people will have a higher optimal dose but the strategy for finding the right dose is the same, start off with small doses to see how your body reacts to the CBD before increasing dosage.
Finding your optimal CBD dose:
- Start with a low dose, a few drops (5-10mg) and see how your body reacts
- Take the same dosage for a few days to give your body time to respond
- Record and keep track of how much CBD you took, when, and how you were feeling before and after
- Adjust the dosage and experiment with slightly different amounts over 3 days to see how your body responds
- Don’t dramatically increase dose, the optimal dose is the minimum amount to feel desired effect
- If you feel any discomfort, reduce dosage
- Remember, CBD can have a subtle effect, there isn’t a ‘high’ or dramatically noticeable effect like THC (recreational cannabis)
When to take CBD oil and how often
Depending on how your body reacts will impact on when you may want to take CBD. If your feel relaxed and sleepy, it may best suit you to have CBD oil after your evening meal before sleep. If you find CBD energises or gives you a pick up, after breakfast or early afternoon may be a good option.
That being said, many users find they get the best results taking small amounts at various intervals during the day, as the effects of CBD last approximately for 4-6 hours depending on how you take it. You feel the effects faster with vaping and sublingual application, whereas the effects are slower and longer lasting when CBD oil is ingested.
Along with dosage amount, experiment with timing of dosage to see what suits you best. Another factor to consider when deciding what time of day to take CBD is dependent on the strain of cannabis that was used to produce the CBD you’re taking as this can impact the effect.
Consumers in Europe or Australia will most likely be using a product made from legally grown industrial hemp, a sativa strain of cannabis which is known for a stimulating and energising effect. Consumers in North America often have a choice of strain and may opt for an indica variety, known for its sedating effect.
CBD oil price comparison
Price comparison of popular CBD brands, breaking down the cost per dose and number of doses in different CBD oil products.
Should I take CBD daily or as I need it?
In clinical trials, participants are administered CBD daily. This is consistent with the anecdotal advice from CBD communities and suppliers, which claim that taking CBD daily produces the best results as it keeps a regular level of CBD in your system.
Some users utilise multiple forms of CBD products in their routine to get the best results for their particular needs. For example, taking CBD drops in addition to applying a topical to their skin is a particularly effective method to use as needed in localised areas.
CBD Safely Tip
We recommend keeping a CBD diary to keep track of dosage amount, timing and how you were feeling before and after, this will help in determining your optimal dose and routine without losing track.
Sublingual administration: Taking cbd oil the under tongue
Sublingual is latin for ‘under the tongue’. In this case it’s used to describe a method of drug administration where substances (CBD in our case) are absorbed into the bloodstream through thinner tissues under the tongue and through the gums.
Compared to ingesting a capsule or edible, this process is the faster and more effective way to take CBD. This is because more CBD is absorbed by the body, rather than passed through the digestive system, so therefore less is needed to feel the same effect. When swallowed and digested, CBD is broken down by enzymes in saliva and processed in the liver, which results in less ending up in your bloodstream compared to sublingual administration.
When taking CBD with a dropper / tincture, spray or concentrate, hold it under your tongue for at least 90 seconds to allow the CBD to be absorbed. You can also swish it around your mouth before swallowing as the gum tissue also absorbs the CBD.
How to take CBD oil with a tincture
Dosing CBD with a tincture or dropper is one of the most popular methods of administration and the most commonly sold form of CBD oil. Tinctures should be made of dark glass, as plastics and sunlight can damage the cannabinoids. Store your CBD oil tincture in a cool, dark place.
If you’re new to CBD, we recommend dropping CBD oil under tongue with a tincture. Based on our research it’s the most effective and accessible form of taking CBD and also allows the most flexibility with dosage amounts.
Use the discount code: HempCBDoil to get free U.S shipping and 5% off these trusted CBD tincture products
|Fast acting – absorbed into the bloodstream directly, much faster than digesting||Potentially more messy than other CBD products. Glass bottle and dropper are breakable|
|More effective than digesting – more economical use of CBD oil||Not as simple as taking a capsule or edible|
|Allows flexibility and control over dosage quantities||Many dislike the taste. Holding the oil under your tongue more tricky than other methods|
- Shake the bottle well before using. It’s normal for the contents to separate and important that you don’t consume an unmixed product
- Squeeze the top of the dropper to fill with desired amount of oil. If the oil seems too thick to fill or empty dropper, use your hands to gently warm the bottle
- Drop under your tongue and hold it there for 90 seconds or more before swishing around your mouth and swallowing. We recommend chasing it with some juice as the flavour is very strong and many dislike the taste. This method of administration allows the CBD to diffuse into the blood through tissues under the tongue and in the gums rather than being ingested
Complete CBD tincture guide
How to identify reputable brands, understand CBD labels, get good value for money and the best way to use a CBD tincture so that you get the most out of your product.
CBD oil sprays
Some suppliers sell CBD oil sprays rather than tinctures/droppers. Their reasoning is that it’s more easy and less messy to administer CBD oil under tongue. Even though these suppliers estimate CBD dose per spray, you have less control over dosing compared to a traditional tincture.
How to take CBD oil concentrate
Concentrates are a paste which contain a highly concentrated amount of CBD. They are sometimes 10 times the potency of tinctures and are recommended for those who are more experienced taking CBD products, because it is more difficult to calculate dosage sizes.
Place the desired amount of CBD oil concentrate, typically a drop the size of a grain of rice under your tongue, hold it there for 90 seconds or rub onto your gums with your tongue.
|It is fast acting and absorbed into the bloodstream much faster than ingesting it||Difficult to measure dosage sizes|
|More effective than ingesting it, making it a more economical use of CBD oil||Slightly more difficult to administer compared to other methods|
How to take CBD isolate crystals
CBD isolate crystals are the most pure form of CBD product, there is nothing else added or included. CBD isolate should look like pure white crystals
There are many advantages of using CBD isolate: Firstly, there’s many ways to dose – how to use CBD isolate . Secondly, exact dosages are easy to measure using sensitive scales. Additionally, you are able to use the pure product to make your own CBD consumables, from tinctures, to edibles, to creams.
|Pure form of CBD – no unwanted additives||It’s strongly believed that pure CBD is less effective than a ‘full spectrum’ alternative|
|Able to measure and take very precise dosages||Requires sensitive scales to measure dosage properly|
|Can be used to make a variety of CBD products at home to desired strength||If not using to make an oil or edible, requires a dabbing rig to administer directly|
CBD isolate crystals can be used to make
- CBD oil tincture – dissolve the desired amount of CBD isolate crystal in olive, coconut or hemp seed oil, before sealing and gently warming in a hot water bath for 10-15 mins
- Homemade e-liquid for vaping – dissolve crystal in preferred e-liquid and gently heat
- CBD topical (cream) – CBD isolates can be mixed with coconut oil, olive oil or shea butter to make a CBD infused cream
- Edibles – CBD isolate can be dissolved into fatty foods like butter or coconut oil, which can then be used in cooking
Some people use dabbing rigs to smoke CBD isolate crystals. Unless you’re familiar with and have experience with this form of smoking, we don’t recommend it as an effective method to dose CBD, particularly as a new user.
What is CBD isolate and how to use it
CBD isolate (crystal, slab or shatter) is the most pure form of CBD you can buy. CBD isolate benefits include being THC free, cheaper & able to be used to make DIY CBD products.
How to vape CBD oil
Vaping or vaporizing is a popular new activity which for many replaces smoking cigarettes. Vapes, vape-pens or electronic cigarettes are devices which heat up a special liquid (e-juice) to a certain temperature that produces a vapor, an inhalable gas which looks alot like smoke.
Vaping CBD is the same as normal vaping (you’re able to use normal vapes to do it) but with added CBD to the e-liquid. When vaped, CBD enters the bloodstream via blood vessels in your lungs.
Similarly to taking CBD oil under the tongue, vaping CBD is more effective and users feel the effects of it faster than swallowing and ingesting it.
|Fast acting – absorbed into the bloodstream much faster than ingesting||Little is known about the health implications of vaping the thinning agent in e-liquids, propylene glycol alternative|
|More effective than ingesting – more economical use of CBD oil||Difficult to measure and consume exact dosage|
|The act of vaping is enjoyable for many||Requires purchase of a vape, in addition to the CBD e-liquid|
Different options for vaping CBD:
- Disposable CBD vapes: These are thrown away after one use, making them less ecologically friendly, but they are a convenient way for new user try vaping without investing in a reusable vape
- Special CBD cartridges: These are designed for a specific vaping device, and need to be replaced once empty. These are easy and convenient to use, but also ties you to a particular supplier, offering less flexibility over the longer term
- Premixed CBD vape oil: This form of CBD can be added to any vape. Just like CBD oil tinctures, premixed vape oil come in varying strengths
- Make your own CBD vape oil by dissolving CBD crystal isolate in preferred e-liquid and gently heating it to combine the two. This method requires the most preparation and hassle, but it does allows you to keep using your favourite e-liquid.
You cannot vape normal CBD oil
CBD oils which are intended for oral consumption are not able to be vaped. You must use particular e-juice which has added thinning agents that allow it to be vaporized.
- Fill your vape pen with CBD vape oil the same way as you would with normal e-juice
- Follow your device’s user manual for steps to heat up liquid
- vapor for about 4 seconds, then fill your mouth with fresh air, hold for 10 seconds or more before exhaling, this maximises the amount of CBD absorbed
- Most users find 4 to 8 inhalations are enough for them to feel effect
- Similar to other forms of CBD administration, different users prefer different doses and dose frequency
Ingesting CBD oil
Ingesting CBD is a popular method of dosing with suppliers selling capsules, pills, drinks, CBD candy and an array of other different edibles. When ingesting CBD, the onset of effects take a lot longer, sometimes 30-90 minutes as the CBD is first digested before reaching the bloodstream. For this reason, less CBD is utilised by the body when ingesting compared to inhaling or taking CBD under the tongue and a higher dose may be required to feel the same effect.
|Most simple method of administration||Less effective than other methods, more CBD is required for the same effect|
|Variety of different products and flavours available||Takes longer to feel effects|
|Effects last for longer||If buying pre-made edibles, usually a more expensive option.|
Take CBD with food or an empty stomach?
Taking CBD oil with food increases the bioavailability of the CBD, that means that it makes it easier for your body to absorb and more will end up in your system.
CBD gummies, candies and edibles
How to dose with CBD gummies and edibles, their advantages over other methods and a review of the best CBD gummies for sale.
Smoking CBD-rich flowers
A new method of taking cbd is to smoke cannabis flowers or CBD bud which has been specially grown to contain a high amount of CBD and no THC (the chemical which causes the mild altering high).
This method of administration will not suit everyone as smoking plant matter can have negative effects on the respiratory system. However, it may suit those wishing to replicate the feeling of smoking cannabis without the psychoactive element and cognitive distortion that comes with it.
|More effective than ingesting CBD and is also fast acting||Smoking plant matter can have negative effects on the respiratory system|
|Ability to take CBD with no other added chemicals or agents||Difficult to calculate and take standardised dosages|
|Replicates the feeling of smoking cannabis||It is currently difficult to source CBD flowers in a lot of countries|
How to use hemp buds / CBD bud
CBD-rich strains of cannabis are an exciting product of the CBD and medicinal cannabis movement. Hemp buds offer an alternative to CBD oil as a source of CBD that can be smoked, vaped or used to make edibles and ingested.
Taking CBD using a dry herb atomizer
A dry herb vaporizer or atomizer is a vaping device that heats up a herb or CBD flower rather than e-liquids or oils. This method of administration is one of the most effective as CBD is absorbed via blood vessels in your lungs without the potential risks resulting from the thinning agents in e-juice.
The drawbacks of vaping CBD with a dry herb atomizer is that is requires investment in a vaping device, a supply of CBD-rich flowers and a more involved learning process.
|More effective than ingesting CBD and is also fast acting||Requires investing in a vaping device|
|Ability to take CBD with no other added chemicals or agents||Difficult to calculate and take standardised dosages|
|The act of vaping is enjoyable for many||Currently difficult to source CBD-flowers in many countries|
- Break apart or grind your CBD bud, use a herb grinder for best results, this increases the surface area exposed to heat
- Fill your dry herb atomizer with CBD flowers. Experiment with how much / how tightly you pack the chamber, don’t over pack and ensure the bottom of the chamber, closest to the heat source is covered with the ground flower. Your particular vape device may have more detailed instructions
- Follow your device’s user manual for steps to heat up. Again, vaping temperature is something you can experiment with, as it can affect the flavour as well as the intensity of its effects
- Inhale vapor for about 10 seconds in a slow controlled manner, then fill your mouth with fresh air and hold briefly before exhaling. This maximises the amount of CBD absorbed
- Similar to other forms of CBD administration, different users prefer different doses and dose frequency
- Keep the chamber, vapor path and screens clear of residue using a q-tip and cleaning alcohol
How to use CBD oil topicals
CBD topicals are creams, lotions, balms, massage oils and salves infused with CBD. They are applied directly to the body and once absorbed by the skin interact with the local CB2 receptors directly. CBD topicals are an unobtrusive way to treat localised pain points.
|CBD topicals are unobtrusive and allow users to target specific pain points||While suspected to be effective in treating many ailments, little clinical research has been done|
|Safe form of administration for those who are concerned with drug tests||It’s relatively unknown how much CBD is absorbed into the system|
CBD cream for pain
Regularly using a topical cannabidiol (CBD) cream is an effective source of targeted pain relief for many, especially for people suffering from multiple sclerosis, arthritis, or those who often have sore or inflamed muscles.
CBD Oil Dosage: How to Take Cannabis Oil and How Much You Need
You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of CBD, but how much should you take to feel those?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of over 60 active compounds in the cannabis plant. These active compounds, known as cannabinoids, affect your body in many different ways.
CBD isn’t psychoactive, which means you will not get high. Instead, there are several pieces of research that says it can help you:
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Improve sleep
- Reduce seizures in people with epilepsy
- Soothe pain and inflammation
- Improve heart health
- Improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
No matter what condition you’re trying to treat with CBD, giving yourself an accurate dosage is key, or it might not help against severe conditions like back pain.
Different ways of taking cannabis oil
You can buy different CBD products both online and from a shop, ranging from CBD oil, cookies, ice cream, massage oil and much more.
Depending on if you want to treat conditions like stress, anxiety or better sleep you want the oil to enter the bloodstream. Once the CBD is in your blood it interacts with certain elements to decrease your stress.
If you have knee pain it is better to massage the CBD directly to the knee to get the best effect.
The two most popular ways of consuming CBD is either under the tongue or massaging it onto the body.
Drops under the tongue
We recommend taking CBD oil under the tongue for the best effect, also called “sublingual application”. You simply drop the desired amount under the tongue and let it stay for at least 20 seconds, then swallow.
The longer the oil is under the tongue, the faster the effect comes for you.
The reason why you keep the oil under the tongue is that you have a lot of veins that quickly absorbs the oil into your blood system. If you take sublingual CBD you can expect to feel the effect within 15-45 minutes, depending on the disease you want to treat.
Further down you can read how many drops you need to take.
On the body
Apply topical products such as massage oils, creams and balms directly to the skin over a painful area. So-called “topical application”
Using CBD on the body works best if you have a specific area where you need CBD the most. It allows the cannabidiol compounds to work right where you apply the topical cream.
With CBD topicals, the effects are more concentrated because the oil never gets absorbed into the bloodstream and they aren’t spread thin throughout the entire body. This makes it a great choice for treating minor pain in muscles and joints, or soothing skin after being out in the sun.
Do not apply CBD oils that are designed for taking orally to the skin. They have nothing to keep them on the skin or make them work there because they are supposed to be in your blood.
Figuring out the right amount
Research from 2017 showed that there’s no universal dosage of CBD that a person should take. Everybody responds differently to CBD, but most people take between 20 and 100 mg per day.
Therefore, we always recommend starting small and gradually working your way up. The amount of hemp oil you take might not be the same as your girlfriend need.
The amount of CBD you should take depends on a range of factors, including:
- Your body weight
- The condition you’re treating
- Your individual body chemistry
- The concentration of CBD in each drop, massage oil or candy
We recommend starting by dosing 20 to 40 mg a day. After a week, increase this amount by 5 mg. Continue this until you feel that it’s effectively treating your symptoms.
If you are a heavy guy with severe back pain, we recommend starting with 40 mg. You take this on days when you’re in a lot of pain. After a week you can increase to 45 mg, and next week you use 50 mg. At this point, you might feel that your pain is tolerable.
How to calculate CBD oil dosage
Some products, such as Midnight CBD Oil tell you how much CBD is in a single bottle and serving. The product also comes with additional information on how much you should take for different ailments you want to treat.
However, sometimes it’s harder to figure out how much CBD is in one drop because the packaging specifies the total amount of CBD in the entire bottle, but not the amount that will be in a single drop.
The first thing you need to know is how many millilitres your bottle is. The next step is knowing how many ml a drop of liquid is (normally 0.05 ml). The final step is to see how much CBD your bottle consist of
Here’s an example:
- One drop – 0.05 millilitres (ml)
- Bottle size – 10 millilitres (ml)
- CBD in the bottle – 1,000 mg
The equation for taking 40mg of CBD oil:
Bottle size/one drop = Total amount of drops in your bottle
10/0.05 = 200 drops
CBD in the bottle/total amount of drops = How much mg CBD per drop
So, to have 40 mg of CBD oil, you should take eight drops.
CBD oil dosage from a ‘random shop’
Some products don’t come with a label on how much CBD they contain. Some even contain THC which is the product that will make you high.
Whether the product contains THC or not is dependent on which extraction method the producer has used. Make sure to ask the owner of the shop if the oil contains THC. If it does you will get high. This is something we have noticed when we have bought oil from our competitors online, but also smaller health shops in the countryside here in Thailand.
You can usually get two types of oil if you buy it from a random shop, which contains different levels of concentration:
- Pure CBD oil – Dark colour, sluggish, musk smell and tastes like a mix of soil and leaves. This oil is usually more expensive since it is very concentrated. We recommend starting with 1 drop of oil.
- CBD & Mixed oil – Yellow/white colour, runny, smells coconut and tastes coconut (or whatever its been mixed with). The CBD oil has been diluted with coconut/sesame/vegetable oil and you need to take a bigger dosage. Start with 4 drops.
Wait at least one hour. If you don’t feel any effects you may take an additional dosage of 1 drop of pure CBD oil or 4 drops of CBD & coconut oil.
Is it possible to take too much CBD?
Research shows that continuous use of CBD, even in high doses like 1,500 mg a day, is okay for humans.
To put 1,500 mg in perspective you need to take 2.5 bottles of Bloom’s CBD oil to reach this. Cancer patients take somewhere around 500 mg a day, so it is safe to say you cannot take too much CBD.
However, if you’re currently taking strong medications and would like to try CBD, it’s essential to discuss this with your doctor.
Avoid CBD if your medications have a grapefruit warning on the label. This warning indicates that people taking the medication should avoid consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice.
There are very few known side effects of CBD. When side effects do occur, they can be diarrhea, appetite changes, and fatigue. However, it usually goes over fast.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to buy CBD oil, you can find many CBD brands online. But make sure you research each brand before purchasing. While pure, genuine CBD is considered safe, fake and low-quality products can make you unintentionally high.
At Bloom, we only sell tested and legal premium CBD products. Whether you prefer taking CBD oil under the tongue or eating CBD infused popcorns, you can be sure to get a safe and relaxing experience with Bloom.
What Dosage of CBD Should You Take?
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Verywell / Madelyn Goodnight
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.
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