CBD Dosage: How Much Should You Take?
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Table of Contents
- Determining the Best CBD Dosage for You
- How to Calculate CBD Dosage
- How to Take CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is growing increasingly popular, thanks to its many purported health benefits and non-intoxicating properties (most CBD products contain less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC). In fact, 60% of U.S. adults have tried CBD at some point and believe it has medicinal benefits, according to a recent Forbes Health survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll. As research evolves and sheds light on CBD’s efficacy, especially for pain relief, more and more people are adding it to their daily wellness regimens.
Consumers can choose from a variety of CBD products, from oils to gummies to vapes to capsules. But figuring out the safe and effective CBD dose for an individual is a complex decision.
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Here’s how to find the right CBD dosage for you and how to consume it safely.
Determining the Best CBD Dosage for You
With the exception of one CBD product, a prescription drug used to treat seizures associated with particular syndromes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate the use of CBD. (In fact, it’s illegal to market CBD as a supplement or add it to food.) Therefore, it’s best to consult a doctor with experience in CBD administration to determine your ideal dosage.
Expressed in milligrams (mg), CBD dosage largely depends on the conditions and symptoms you’re trying to treat and your unique endocannabinoid system, which is associated with motor control, behavior, emotions, the nervous system and homeostasis. CBD dosage remains an area of active research—more large, high-quality studies are needed in different populations to determine appropriate dosing, efficacy and safety guidelines.
“It’s best to start small and gradually increase your dose up to a level that gives you the desired effect,” says Cheryl Bugailiskis, M.D., a cannabis specialist at Heally, a telehealth platform for alternative medicine. Your starting point might look like half a CBD gummy or a drop of oil. Ideally, navigate this process under the guidance of a qualified physician.
If you’re still not sure where to start, mydosage.com offers a questionnaire and CBD calculator to help you based on your specific symptoms and usage goals.
How to Calculate CBD Dosage
When you consume CBD gummies, capsules or softgels, dosage is typically expressed per unit. For example, there may be 50 milligrams of CBD in each individual gummy. These products don’t offer much dosage flexibility since you can’t split up capsules easily. For instance, if one softgel capsule didn’t provide your desired result, you would have to take another full capsule, doubling the total dose.
CBD oil, on the other hand, makes it easier, to begin with a small dose. But calculating CBD oil dosage can be less straightforward. Oils and tinctures tend to come in a dropper bottle and, typically, only the total liquid volume and CBD contents are listed on the label. For example, the label might simply state there’s 1,500 milligrams of CBD in the 30-milliliter bottle.
But what does 1 milliliter look like? Due to the current lack of regulation of CBD, this calculation can be tricky. Start by figuring out the volume of a single drop in your dropper, which is usually 0.05 milliliters, according to Dr. Bugailiskis. If you’re unsure, ask the company.
Here’s where math comes in. Let’s continue with the 30-milliliter bottle with 1,500 milligrams of CBD and 0.05 milliliters in a single drop as our example.
1500mg÷30mL = 50 mg/mL
This bottle contains 50 milligrams of CBD per milliliter. Let’s see how many milligrams are in a drop:
50mg/mL ×0.05mL/drop = 2.5mg/drop
Each drop contains 2.5 milligrams of CBD.
Next, you can calculate how many drops you need to reach your goal dosage. Let’s say you want to consume 25 milligrams each day.
25mg÷2.5mg/drop = 10 drops
10 drops ×2.5mg = 0.5mL
With this CBD oil dosage calculator as your guide, you would find that you needed to consume 10 drops, or 0.5 milliliters, to reach 25 milligrams. And if you intend to consume 25 milligrams daily, you can expect this particular bottle to serve as a 60-day supply.
Some CBD products do some of this math for you and illustrate how many milligrams are in a milliliter, some even marking these points on the dropper so you know exactly what you’re taking.
CBD Dosage for Different Ailments
Without FDA approval, there is little guidance in the U.S. on how much CBD a person should consume for various conditions.
In many medical studies on CBD, you see administered doses reach hundreds of milligrams a day, which sounds severe compared to our starting dosage example of 25 milligrams. However, Steven Phan, founder of Come Back Daily, a CBD dispensary in New York, points out that patients in these studies are often dealing with serious flare-ups and pain-inducing conditions compared to everyday dispensary customers.
Below are clinically-studied CBD dosages based on different ailments and conditions. Note: Some of the formulations studied contained THC as well—not all available dosage research sticks strictly to CBD.
*Dosages are based solely on small, short-term clinical study results where CBD proved significantly successful over placebo. Much larger studies are needed to further strengthen the evidence.
FDA-approved Epidiolex administers CBD orally as a liquid to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome and tuberous sclerosis complex. The dosage of Epidiolex is determined by taking the patient’s weight in kilograms (kg) into account.
Several countries, including Canada and those in the U.K., have approved the use of Sativex, an oral spray with equal amounts of CBD and THC, to treat pain stemming from multiple sclerosis. Canada has also approved it for treatment of cancer pain.
The medical and research community still has a long way to go before figuring out what dose works best for each condition. At an individual level, consumers can experiment with caution until they find what works best for them.
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How to Take CBD
Popular ways to take CBD include:
- Oils and tinctures (extracts of plant material dissolved in ethanol): A liquid that comes in a bottle with a dropper
- Gummies: A soft, chewable candy that’s often fruit-flavored
- Sprays: A liquid that comes in a bottle with a nozzle for spraying into the mouth
- Capsules: Tablets or softgels that are ingested by mouth
- Vapes: CBD oil that’s heated without ignition, resulting in an inhalable vapor
- Flower: Dried hemp plant that’s often ignited and smoked
- Edibles: Any food that CBD oil has been added to, such as brownies or chips
- Drinks: Any beverage that’s infused with CBD, often in the form of hemp extract
Your CBD product of choice will largely depend on your personal preferences, as well as your budget since prices vary depending on the potency of ingredients and manufacturing processes. Different mediums also offer varying levels of bioavailability—or how much of what you take is actually absorbed into your bloodstream to have an effect. For example, if you ingest 10 milligrams of CBD via 1 milliliter of liquid, your body might absorb about 60% of it, or about 6 milligrams.
Cannabinoids generally have a low bioavailability compared to other substances, according to Jordan Tishler, M.D., a physician specializing in cannabis treatment in Massachusetts. However, “products that contain emulsifiers like egg yolk (brownies) or lecithin (some gummies) do better,” he says.
With that said, ingesting CBD via gummies or other edibles may take longer to take effect since the CBD has to travel to your digestive system to be broken down and absorbed.
Can You Take Too Much CBD?
Like with any substance, you can take more CBD than your body can handle. Studies show doses up to 1,500 milligrams a day have been well-tolerated, but every person is different  Bergamaschi MM, Costa Queiroz RH, Zuardi AW, Crippa JAS. Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Current Drug Safety. 2011;6(4):237-49. . Ingesting too much CBD can cause unpleasant side effects, such as dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, drowsiness, lightheadedness and general disorientation. While rare, liver damage can also occur.
What’s more, CBD can have serious interactions with certain medications. In evaluating available information on five prescription CBD-based medications, researchers found 139 medications could have a potential drug-drug interaction with CBD  Kocis PT, Vrana KE. Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol Drug-Drug Interactions. Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids. 2020;3:61–73. . People who take certain blood thinners, heart rhythm medications, thyroid medications and seizure medications need to be particularly careful.
At the end of the day, not all supplements are created equal, which is why it’s important to work alongside a health care provider when adding CBD to your wellness regimen and research reliable brands. And while emerging research and anecdotal evidence is promising, more large, randomized-controlled trials are needed to further understand the benefits of CBD and its dosing.
Just How Often Can You Take CBD Oil?
Determining just how often you can take CBD oil will be dependent upon the condition that you’re addressing. Whichever is your goal with CBD will dictate just how much of it you will need to consume in order to offset your symptoms. The timing of consumption is also dependent mostly upon three factors: your weight, age, and, sometimes, your body chemistry. Different people with different stats on those areas will react to CBD differently.
It’s also worthy of note that there are different forms of CBD from edibles, gummies, oils, and tinctures. Your body processes each form differently, so you will also want to know which might be the most advantageous for your particular situation. Which presentation of CBD better suits you will also affect just how often you can take CBD oil or whichever other presentations you choose. Finally, remember that your dose and frequency should be the one which gives you the most benefits only and few side-effects. Now, let’s talk a little more about CBD first.
Understanding the Different Forms Of CBD
When it comes to CBD oil and tincture, you take this by putting them directly into the mouth underneath the tongue. They will enter the body rather fast and begin to deliver their effects.
Edibles, on the other hand, you have to ingest. They also must first pass through the digestive system. Due to it requiring digestion, it will take a significantly greater amount of time for them to take effect, usually around two hours. Also, due to digestion, the liver breaks down and absorbs part of the compound, so you will lose an amount of CBD. As a result, the effects of edibles are less potent in the end.
Finally, salves, lotions, and creams are applied directly to the skin. The compound will penetrate the skin, and the muscles or joints absorb it, great for those afflicted with soreness and chronic pain. They also belong to the faster-acting types of CBD as well.
When Should You Choose CBD Oil?
If you want your CBD to take effect fast, you’re going to want to use an oil, tincture, or, if you are treating your skin, a cream. Edible forms are just too slow due to the breaking down of the ingested compound by the liver.
When it comes to CBD oil, you get a fast-acting effect through an easy application. Even better its that the bioavailability, the amount of CBD that gets in the blood. It’s pretty good when using CBD oil. Overall, if you are looking for the fastest-acting way to take CBD besides smoking or vaping, which are tricky, CBD oil is.
Timing of Taking CBD Oil
The timing of taking CBD oil may be dependent upon the reason that you’re taking it. If you’re taking it to help you move easily despite sore joints or muscles, better take it in the morning. Take it after your morning coffee and breakfast or even before it.
This is also true for those who are seeking a more energizing day. If that is the goal, then CBD in the morning it is. Conversely, if you feel during the lagging mid to late afternoon often, then you might want to take CBD at that time then.
CBD affects everyone; differently, a dosage that energizes one person may be more sedating to another. Coincidentally, the dosage that sedates you it’s something insomniacs could appreciate and, thus, should take that CBD dosage around bedtime.
Of course, there are also those which dosage doesn’t let them notice effects, either way, other than simply feeling better. They’re neither energized nor sedated. Those people can take their dosage whenever they feel like it to experience their subdued effects.
Just as regular pharmaceuticals might be best suited to a specific time of day, so will your CBD. The first thing you’ll want to do is to determine why you’re going to be taking CBD. Once established that purpose, determining how often you can take CBD oil it’s much easier.
Frequency of Taking CBD
As mentioned, the answer to this question ties directly into the reasons why you are taking CBD. Taking it to unwind and for more sedation purposes? Then you’ll be taking your CBD oil closer to bedtime or in the late evening or at night to help you unwind.
If you’re planning to take CBD oil to help energize you, you’ll be taking it in the mornings or mid to late afternoon to pick you up. In this case, you may need to take it both in the morning and the afternoon to help keep you energized.
One special case in which to take not CBD oil but CBD topical creams and balms is when it comes to chronic inflammation. For sore muscles, using CBD in the morning or right after a workout that might leave you sore is fine. For chronic inflammation, however, you will use it every time that you experience a flare-up. Usually, that means applying it around two times a day at most. The same principle applies if you are taking it to get relief from injury or physical trauma.
PTSD is also a reason that many will take CBD products. The CBD will likely be taken when a person with PTSD encounters a trigger for their trauma, and an episode is imminent. Since CBD oil might help ease their reaction, they should take it as soon as they sense it triggering. That could be two or more times a day or none on a quiet day, a take it as you need basis if you will.
Understanding how often to take CBD oil may seem complicated at first. However, the more you understand about CBD, the easier it will be to know with certainty frequently to take it.
How Often Can You Take CBD Oil And How Much?
All sources from a doctor with knowledge of CBD and alternative medicine advocates will tell you the same thing. It’s best to start taking your CBD in low doses and work up from there. The point of this is to let you find the sweet spot where you get the most benefits without any side-effects. Doing it by gradually increasing the dosage slowly lets you get the most control over your final reaction to CBD. If anywhere on the label of your product does indicate two or more dosages, always choose the lesser one. From there, work your way up.
Keep in mind that different products have slightly different ways of administering them. Read the label and make sure that you’re following the instructions on the label carefully. Every time that you re-purchase a CBD product re-read the label. Labeling often changes as research advances, and you don’t want to under-dose yourself or overdose yourself.
Sometimes products are slightly changed, and the dosages will change with the composition of these changes. You’ll want to watch for this as companies update their products to comply with new regulations, which happen quite often.
Some forms of CBD are stronger than others. This is true of oils and tinctures, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re reading the label and following the instructions closely. Tinctures and oils often come with a dropper that shows you the dosage levels directly on them.
Should I Take My CBD With Food?
For convenience, some people think of taking their CBD with their food. Taking your CBD with food will increase the bioavailability of the CBD. In short, this means that the food will help to increase your body’s absorption rate of the CBD. Thus, you will process the CBD better than if you took your CBD without food.
Some people prefer to take a light snack with their CBD, and others will prefer to take it before or after a meal. You may need to experiment with this a few times to determine which way the CBD works best for your body. Not everyone is going to process the CBD the same. Don’t surprise yourself if you have to take after a meal one day and on an empty stomach on the other, and the results are the inverse of what you expected. It’s a matter of experimenting.
This will also be determined by the reason that you’re taking CBD. If you’re using it, for example, on sore muscles, it’s not going to matter if you massage sore muscles with a cream, lotion, or salve before or after a meal. In this case, you can use CBD as often as you need it.
How Often Can You Take CBD Oil – The Takeaway
Understanding how often to take CBD will help you in taking CBD at the optimal time for the best results. It will be trial and error at first. You’ll have to do a bit of experimentation to fully determine the best time and the best dosage of CBD for you.
This can also change according to the reason that you’re taking CBD. If you’re taking it for sore muscles one day and to energize you another day, these times are going to be different. Your doctor or alternative medical practitioner may also have specific recommendations as to how much, how frequent, and which type of CBD product you should take for your needs.
Always discuss your CBD with your doctor or alternative medical practitioner. They’ll tell you which product is best for your needs and how frequently you should be using it. Understanding how often you can take CBD oil will go far in helping you to determine the best time for your needs.
How to Take CBD Oil: CBD Drops, Coffees and Cocktails
So, you’ve read all about cannabidiol (or CBD as it’s more commonly known) and now you’re thinking of giving it a whirl. It makes sense. The food and wellness industries are buzzing about this natural chemical compound, which is said to help with anxiety, arthritis, pain relief, menopause symptoms and insomnia to name but a few.
You’ve decided you want to try it, so what’s next? When it comes to how to take CBD oil, you’re spoiled for choice. From tinctures and topicals to smoothies and coffee blends, there’s an overwhelming amount of options out there. Unsure where to start? That’s where we come in – here’s our CBD oil guide to help you decide how best to take CBD oil.
How to take CBD Oil?
While there are many ways to take CBD oil, it depends on the strength of the oil. With our 250mg CBD Oils (a great starting point), you put five CBD oil drops under your tongue and hold them there for 30-60 seconds, and do that three times a day. You can, however, freestyle, putting your drops into a smoothie, juice or even your morning cuppa. CBD is said to take the edge off coffee too.
Which brings us to…
9 Ways to Take CBD Oil at Home
1. In a tincture
In layman’s terms, a tincture is a concoction you take by dropper or spray straight into your mouth. You can take CBD oil by putting it directly under your tongue (that part of the mouth is a capillary-rich area and so the CBD will reach your bloodstream quicker). Try dropping a dose of CBD under your tongue and holding it there for a minute before swallowing.
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2. In a capsule
CBD oil also comes in a capsule form, which can be a good option for people who want to maintain a consistent amount of the compound in the body. However when CBD is ingested it passes through the digestive tract which means you might have to wait upwards of 30 minutes before experiencing any effect.
3. In a smoothie
Some blends of CBD oil can have a pungent, earthy taste. It’s not for everyone, which is why many people like to mask the flavour with other – more delicious – ingredients. Another way to take CBD is by adding half a teaspoon of CBD oil to your morning smoothie for a calm start to the day. If you’re after some smoothie inspo, head over to the 5 Best Self Care Smoothies With Hemp .
4. In coffee
If only there was a way to capture the energy of coffee without its associated jitters. Oh wait… there is! There are an increasing number of CBD coffee brands popping up, who claim that when coffee beans are infused with CBD, they take away the anxiety that caffeine consumption can cause. This makes the ‘up’ that your coffee gives you a little smoother; it takes the edge off. Or use a dairy-free milk that’s infused with CBD to easily control your dosage and allow you to continue using your favourite coffee blend.
5. In a salad dressing
Now we’re talking the same language, right? Try incorporating a little CBD oil into your daily cooking routine to get a bunch of health benefits without much effort at all. For a delicious and nutritious salad dressing, start with three to four tablespoons of olive oil, then add two teaspoons of CBD, the juice of half a fragrant lemon and salt and pepper. Here’s 5 hemp oil friendly recipes for starters.
6. In a vape pen
Okay so this one might sound a little scary, but vape pens are easy to use and can go undetected because they produce little smoke. The plus side of taking CBD in a vape pen is that when CBD is inhaled, it enters the lungs where it rapidly passes into the bloodstream. However, it’s important to note that the long-term safety of vaping is still unknown.
7. In sweet treats
The beauty of CBD is that it can basically be baked into anything, which is why you’ll find everything from cookies and brownies to gummies and caramel candies infused with it. Sweets are easy to take along with you in a bag on the go, while baked goods might need to be kept refrigerated to keep the CBD fresh (or just eat them quickly before they go off?).
8. In a topical rub or balm
In balm or rub form, CBD is often blended with fragrant coconut oil or beeswax, which makes it easy to spread on the skin (and makes your bod smell great too). When used topically, CBD can reach local targets, like sore muscles or joints. We’ve also heard it works wonders for period pain.
9. In a cocktail
If you’re feeling fancy go on the hunt for a CBD cocktail. We’ve heard reports that over in San Diego you can order The Mr Nice Guy – that’s a vodka and mezcal mixed drink that includes CBD. More proof, if any were needed, that CBD can be imbibed alongside any other food or drink, and that you’re going to be seeing a whole lot more of it soon.
How Much CBD Should I Take Each Day?
We always suggest starting the day with a few drops – it just sets the tone, you know? But you can top up throughout the day, no problem. Everyone will have an amount that works for them, just play around with it and see what feels good. We recommend starting with 5mg doses, 3 times per day and increasing your dosage incrementally over the course of a few weeks, ensuring you always stay below 70mg each day.
Check out our guide to CBD dosages for detailed advice.
Should I Refrigerate CBD Oil?
No, you shouldn’t. It’s best kept in a dark place like a pantry or cupboard so that it stays cool without getting too cold.
Should I Drink CBD Oil or Rub it Into My Skin?
Whichever you prefer! As outlined above, you can add CBD oil to a variety of different drinks or rub it into your skin as a topical balm. However, rubbing it into your skin tends to be better for sore joints or muscles.
What Does CBD Oil Under the Tongue Do?
This is one of the many ways the body can absorb CBD oil – as we mentioned above, your tongue is capillary-rich, meaning this method will allow the CBD to reach your bloodstream quickly.
How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work on Joint Pain?
It depends on a variety of factors, such as how strong the CBD oil is (the stronger the concentration, the faster you will feel its effects) as well as how you are consuming it. For example, if you are taking CBD oil by placing a few drops under your tongue, it should take effect in around 15 to 45 minutes , while a topical application may take longer.
How Often Should I Take CBD Oil?
This varies from person to person and, when in doubt, you should always consult a doctor. However, we recommend starting with one of our 250mg bottles of CBD and taking five drops three times a day. After you begin to learn how this affects your body, you can better decide whether you should scale your dosage up or down (as long as you don’t exceed 70mg of CBD per day!).
Should I Take CBD Oil in the Morning or Evening?
Again, this is up to you and how CBD oil affects your body. People who find that CBD oil makes them feel energised, awake and clear-headed may prefer to take it in the mornings (or afternoons when they need a bit of a boost), while those who find that CBD oil helps them unwind and relax may prefer to take it in the evenings.
Can CBD Keep Me Awake at Night?
It can, but it probably won’t. While some people do feel that CBD oil makes them feel more alert, preliminary studies have shown that CBD oil is an effective way to treat insomnia.
Have we caught your attention? Now that you know how to take CBD oil, are you interested in trying it out for yourself? Check out our range of Pure CBD oils and start experimenting with your smoothies, baked goods and more!