CBD Dosage: How Much Should You Take?
Over the last few years, there has been a growing interest in cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD. CBD is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. There is a wide variety of CBD products available online, ranging from oils, supplements, and CBD gummies, to pure CBD extracts. Many are turning to CBD oil for pain and anxiety as a way of suppressing symptoms, but a lot of people are still confused about what the ideal CBD dosage is.
CBD is received in the human body by two receptors, the CB1 receptors, which are located mostly in the nervous system and brain, and CB2 receptors, which are mostly in the immune system. The location of these receptors means CBD can have both mental and physical effects. CBD is antipsychotic, meaning it won’t make you feel the high that is associated with smoking cannabis.
What are the Benefits of CBD?
With a sound safety profile, CBD is being explored for its potential to positively impact autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, inflammation-related conditions like arthritis, schizophrenia, fibromyalgia, and neurodegenerative diseases.
CBD has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. It has been well-tolerated by humans in studies conducted so far over extended periods.
Much of the evidence around the use of CBD is in its early days. In saying that, the World Health Organization claims it ‘may be a useful treatment for several other medical conditions’, besides epilepsy, for which it has already been proven effective (1).
Some of the research suggests CBD may support:
- Improved cognitive function, particularly for those with schizophrenia (2)
- Management of anxiety (3)
- Treatment of drug addiction (4)
- Successful cell transplants (5)
- Clinical benefits in people with inflammatory bowel disease – particularly active Crohn’s Disease (6)
In a medical setting, CBD works as an anticonvulsant and is used to treat some forms of epilepsy. Some small scale studies have proven its potential ability to reduce the number of seizures a person with epilepsy has (7, 8).
It is also regarded as a potential drug to be used in treating cancer side-effects and diabetes, though much more research is required in these fields. Animal studies have suggested it also has anti-nausea, pain management, sleep improvement, appetite stimulant, and antidepressant effects (9, 10).
Little is known for sure about exactly how much CBD you should take before you see some of these effects for yourself. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet outlined exact dosing recommendations, you can seek the help of a medical professional, or there are some ways to figure it out for yourself.
Research on CBD Dosage
Despite the increasing popularity of CBD, research to date specifically on dosing remains limited, which makes pinpointing an effective dose slightly difficult.
Most of the doses used in studies to date have ranged between 100 – 800 mg per day (11).
It has been suggested that at lower doses CBD has effects that promote and maintain health, for example as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and to help treat acne (12, 13). It is at higher doses that CBD has been used in the treatment of schizophrenia, dementia, diabetes, and nausea (14).
A review of 132 studies of CBD suggests that long-term use in doses up to 1500 mg per day has been repeatedly well tolerated by humans (15). The same review reported on studies in animals that have showcased side effects of CBD but these are yet to be witnessed in humans.
How Much CBD Should You Take?
There is no one dose of CBD that is correct for everyone. The optimal dose is described as one that affects without causing signs of intolerance.
The optimal dose for you will depend on:
- Bodyweight: Generally, the heavier you are, the higher the dose you will need. Lighter people may need a lower dose.
- Your tolerance levels: Some people are more sensitive to the effects of CBD than others. Those who take CBD supplements for longer may need to gradually increase their dose as the body can become more tolerant.
- The type and concentration of CBD product: Different types and concentrations of CBD can affect bioavailability and the effectiveness of CBD.
- Condition you are treating: The type of condition you’re using CBD for may affect how effective CBD is.
These factors can make the task of answering the question ‘how much CBD should I take?’ rather challenging. The process of finding your optimal dose will be a personal journey. Talking to your doctor about the right starting dose for you is also highly recommended.
If your doctor is unable to advise you, it’s recommended to start with a low dose between 20 – 40 mg and increase this gradually by say 5 mg every week until you get the desired effect without experiencing CBD side effects.
Medical conditions like epilepsy are likely to need higher doses to be controlled than CBD doses for anxiety. Treatment of severe pain may need to be started at 40 mg and once again, this can be increased 5 mg weekly until the desired effect is reached.
In studies to date the following doses of CBD have been used:
- CBD for anxiety: 300 – 600 mg orally
- CBD for IBD: 5 mg twice daily under the tongue
- CBD for diabetes: 100 mg twice daily orally
- CBD for cancer pain: 50 – 600 mg daily orally
Keeping track of how much CBD you’re taking and what effects you are experiencing at each dose is a good idea.
While these studies show us how much can safely be taken this doesn’t mean you should take 300 mg orally. Overall, an average person will do fine with a 25 mg dose. You can start with this dose and slowly increase the amount you take up to 100 mg if you’re finding 25 mg isn’t enough to help improve the symptoms you’re trying to treat.
How to Calculate Your Dosage
The best CBD dosage will depend on the product you are using.
Products listed below are likely to tell you on the packaging how much CBD is in each serve or capsule. For example, one CBD gummy might contain 25 mg of CBD.
- CBD Gummies
- CBD Capsules
- CBD tinctures
- CBD Pills
CBD also comes in oil form. The oil might be a pure isolated form of CBD in which case you might only need a couple of milligrams, and in other cases, you will be getting a full-spectrum CBD oil where your dose might be more like 100 mg daily. Check on the bottle and the label might specify how much CBD is in a single drop of oil. This will allow you to calculate how many drops you need.
One drop normally gives around 0.05 mL, therefore, a 60 mL bottle of CBD contains around 1200 drops. If the bottle of CBD says it contains 5000 mg of CBD then each drop will contain around 4.2 mg meaning you need around 6 drops, to get 25 mg of CBD.
How to Choose a Trustworthy High-Quality CBD Product
The relaxation of regulations in countries including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK has meant the number of CBD products available for purchase on the market is steadily growing. There is little regulation for the manufacturers of CBD products to ensure the content, labeling, and claims of their products are accurate.
It is expected to find minor differences in a product like CBD oil between different brands because it is a natural product made from plants. Look for a CBD oil that comes from a reputable brand.
It is advisable to stay clear of purchasing from companies that have reported a reported history of mis-selling accurate products. Ideally search for companies who have carried out third-party testing on their products, such as CBD tinctures and other products offered in Sunny Skies CBD’s shop.
Can You Overdose on CBD?
The short answer is no. CBD is considered to be non-toxic and the few side-effects that are produced are relatively minor (15).
The National Cancer Institute has said that as CBD receptors aren’t in the brainstem areas that control breathing, taking lethal overdoses of cannabinoids does not occur. In saying that, as with any substance, taking too much is likely to increase your signs of experiencing side effects.
Adverse side effects (typically accompanied by very high doses) can include tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), low blood pressure, eye redness, bronchodilation, muscle relaxation, and reduced gastrointestinal motility (16). It is also advisable not to take CBD if you also take medication that comes with a “grapefruit” warning, as negative drug interactions are possible.
The Bottom Line
The benefits of CBD are ever-increasing as new research is published every year. Hopefully in the next few years, more specific research will be published outlining specific guidelines on CBD dosage.
The optimal CBD dose you should take depends on several factors including your weight, intended use, and tolerance levels. In general, 25 mg is a good place to start, with increases in 5 mg increments until your desired effects are felt. Try discussing this with your doctor or a CBD medical specialist. Always start your dose low and slowly build up as tolerated until you reach your desired effect.
**Standard Disclaimer: CBD is not FDA-approved. We make no such claims that using our products will guarantee relief. Moreover, research regarding CBD is still ongoing and in the early stages.**
Why Choose Sunny Skies For Your CBD Needs?
At Sunny Skies CBD, we are committed to:
1) making high-quality products
2) operating in an open and transparent manner
3) building an independently-owned and operated family business