“How much CBD oil should I take?” This is easily one of the most common questions that we get asked here at MarijuanaBreak, though it’s not always the easiest one to answer.
The simple fact is that people use CBD for all sorts of ailments and disorders, and there’s no one single dose that works for everyone — factors such as age, sex, weight, and whether or not you’re taking other medications need to be taken into consideration before using CBD for the first time.
That being said, the range of common CBD doses that most people take is relatively consistent. And the good news, of course, is that CBD is an incredibly safe and virtually risk-free therapy:
- It has minimal side effects
- There have been no known hospitalizations due to contraindications
- There has never been a single case of CBD overdose (at least that we’re aware of)
In this article, we break down some common CBD doses that seem to work for the majority of people seeking relief from a variety of ailments. If you’re not exactly sure what to do with that new bottle of CBD oil you’ve got, fret not — we’re here to help.
First things first: How do you take CBD oil?
For medical/therapeutic purposes, the majority of CBD users tend to prefer to administer an oil tincture sublingually (under the tongue) with either a spray or dropper bottle. This is because CBD is most efficient and versatile when absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
You’ll hear a lot of people arguing that CBD vapes are more potent than oil tinctures, but what they don’t realize is that inhalation provides a different internal mode of delivery than sublingual absorption. When you place medicinal tinctures under your tongue, they’re absorbed directly into the blood by capillary beds; the digestive route (through the intestine, liver, gut, etc) is entirely bypassed.
This is contrary to what a lot of people claim when talking about oral ingestion.
Also, it’s important to understand that CBD oil tinctures and CBD vape liquids are two different things; if you’re vaping CBD, you need to make sure that you’ve got a product that’s been extracted and produced specifically for inhalation. Sublingual CBD tinctures are different than “vapable” e-liquid, and may contain fragments (like dangerous cuticle waxes) that should NOT be inhaled.
That being said, we’ll mostly be talking in this article about CBD dosing with sublingual drops, because as we’ve said, this is generally the most common method for people seeking medicinal/therapeutic relief.
Either way, you’ll be dosing by milligrams (mg), so whether you’re vaping, putting drops or spray under your tongue, taking capsules, eating CBD edibles, or even smoking CBD cannabis flower, you can (and should) always keep track of how much CBD you’re ingesting at any one time.
“How do I know how much CBD oil to take?”
In a perfect world, this would be a question that you would ask your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. If you’re obtaining CBD product from a dispensary or professional healthcare setting, by all mean,s don’t be afraid to ask questions!
That said, we realize that a lot of people do not have access to a physician, let alone one they can talk to about cannabis use.
If this is the case, you should find the following general guidelines relatively helpful, at least in terms of providing a jumping off point. (Though keep in mind these are by NO means professional recommendations).
Also, bear in mind that cannabis (CBD included) is still not approved or regulated by the FDA – thus, there are no clinical data or official guidelines in terms of safety or dosing recommendations. None of the following information should be taken as medical advice.
CBD Dosing: The Breakdown
In general, you’ll want to start your doses out small, and move up from there. The majority of frequent (daily) CBD users find that a dose between 10 and 20 mg (administered once or twice daily) is enough to provide effective relief from a variety of ailments. However, a lot of people out there will find fantastic relief with as little as 1-3 mg per day. Most patients simply take a dose in the morning, and then another one about 12 hours later in the evening.
In any regard, you’ll want to start off with a significantly small dose. While we’re certainly not aiming to provide ANY kind of recommendations or personal suggestions, a lot of people who take CBD for anxiety or depression will start off with an initial dose of 1 mg. If you’re treating acute or chronic pain, an initial dose of 5 mg may be more appropriate.
Either way, these are decent jumping off points that will allow you to systematically gauge where to go from there.
If you take a 5 mg dose in the morning, for instance, and notice little to no positive effects, then up the dosage to perhaps 8 or 10 mg in the afternoon/evening, and see where that takes you.
Also, keep a keen eye on how long the effects of the CBD actually last. A lot of people find that a single daily dose is more than enough to provide relief, so they have no need to take an additional afternoon or evening dose.
Using the least amount of CBD possible is good not only for obvious financial reasons, but it also eliminates the potential of building up a tolerance to the active compound. (Although it’s generally regarded that CBD is less prone to tolerance buildup than THC).
For pain, as we mentioned earlier many patients will find a “sweet spot” somewhere between 10 and 20 mg, taken once or twice a day (or perhaps even three times a day if the pain is severe). For psychological disorders like anxiety or depression, smaller doses (often less than 5 mg) are typically required.
That being said, many people take multiple CBD doses well in excess of 30 mg a day, without noticing any adverse side effects. Like we mentioned, it’s really just a matter of listening to your body, maintaining due diligence, and implementing a systematic dosing pattern in order to find the maximum efficiency for you personally.
(And one other thing of note, it’s safe to say that CBD for epilepsy and seizures typically requires much higher doses than do other conditions – depending on the severity of the seizures, up to 300 mg per day is often required).
How do I know how much CBD is in a single drop?
The majority of CBD oil tinctures come in dropper bottles – whichever brand you end up using, the label should tell you how many mg are in each drop. And the same goes for spray bottles – the label should say what the dose is in mg for each single shot (1 spray) under your tongue.
However, CBD oils come in all sizes and concentrations. You may have a 15 mL bottle that contains 500 mg of CBD, for example, or you may have a 15 mL bottle that only contains 100 mg of CBD.
For general reference, a single drop equates to roughly 0.05 mL. So if we use a 15 mL, 100 mg bottle of CBD as an example, 20 drops of oil would give you a 7 mg dose of CBD (20 drops = 1 mL = 7 mg).
On the other hand, if you’re using a highly concentrated product (say for example a 1,500 mg 15 mL bottle), 20 drops would equal 1 mL, which would equal 100 mg of CBD.
When you’re placing the drops under your tongue, you generally need to hold them for roughly 60-90 seconds to allow for full absorption before swallowing (again, it should specify on the product how long to hold for).
What’s the best CBD dose (for dogs and humans)?
Any bottle of CBD oil that you buy should clearly state both the amount of CBD that is contained in milligrams (mg), and the total amount of liquid that’s in the bottle (in mL).
In order to figure out how much CBD you’re actually getting with each dropper, here’s a simple equation you can use:
[Total CBD in Bottle] ÷ [Number of mL in Bottle] = Total milligrams (mg) CBD in Dropper
For example, let’s say you have a 30mL CBD tincture with 1,500mg of CBD:
1500 ÷ 30 = 50mg of CBD per dropper
*[To clarify, a full standard-sized dropper contains 1mL of liquid. So in the above example, ½ dropper would equal 25mg CBD, ¼ dropper would equal 12.5mg CBD, and so on].
Here is a general table to keep in mind when it comes to figuring out the best dose for CBD oil. (By using the specific weights, the table may be applicable to both dogs and humans).
|<25 lbs||25-50 lbs||50-100 lbs||100-150 lbs||150-230 lbs||230+ lbs|
*None of the above information should be taken as medical/clinical advice.
What do doctors have to say about how much CBD oil to take?
Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Peter Grinspoon recently wrote an article for Harvard Health Publishing about the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD. In it, he points out that one of the most difficult aspects of understanding CBD dosing is that the compound is not currently recognized as a medicine.
Because of this, most products are forced to be marketed as “supplements,” which the FDA does not regulate. Dr. Grinspoon says:
“[Because many products are sold as supplements], you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label.”
“In addition,” he goes on, “the product may contain other (unknown) elements … [for these reasons], we don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.”
“…[for these reasons], we don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.”
-Dr. Peter Grinspoon, Harvard Medical School
The only condition for which CBD is currently approved by the FDA for is intractable epilepsy, and even this only covers two rare forms of the disease: Dravet’s syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Epidiolex (whose active ingredient is cannabidiol) is the pharmaceutical label that the FDA approved back in June of 2018, and for this label, there are indeed specific dosing recommendations mapped out for physicians via an official Prescribing Information document.
But without further government involvement and advanced clinical trials for independent labels, the majority of CBD products will likely continue to be sold as supplements (rather than medicine), in which case the majority of individuals will have to self-medicate and come to terms with the best CBD dose that works for their specific condition and lifestyle.
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