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Cannabidiol (CBD) is available in so many forms including infused oils, capsules, topical creams and lotions, and smokables. The ideal CBD dosage for you may depend on the frequency of use and what form you take it in.
There is limited research on CBD dosages and medical applications, so medical professionals have yet to confirm dosage guidelines for certain illnesses or if CBD has any FDA-approved applications beyond helping manage seizures.
In this post, we’ll be talking about
- What CBD can do
- CBD’s potential uses
- And, how to calculate your own CBD dosage.
What Is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the more than 100 known cannabinoids produced by the hemp plant. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning that consuming it won’t make you feel intoxicated or “high.”
Because CBD doesn’t make users feel intoxicated or “euphoric,” the World Health Organization has stated that “…CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…” meaning that as far as we know, it’s not possible to become physically addicted to CBD.
So what exactly does CBD do?
CBD’s Uses and Dosages
So far, the United States Food and Drug Administration has only approved the use and prescription of one CBD-derived product called Epidiolex. It can only be prescribed to people diagnosed with severe types of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome, or to people diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis complex.
Epidiolex is a basic CBD oil tincture, much like the ones Sunset Lake CBD sells via its store, the only difference between them being that Epidiolex uses sesame seed oil as opposed to our tincture’s MCT oil and Epidiolex is strawberry flavored.
The dosage for Epidiolex CBD oil is:
- 2.5 milligrams per kg of body weight (1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds) twice daily, for a total of 5mg/kg each day. For example, a 150-pound person would take 341mg per day.
- After one week, if 2.5mg/kg per day is insufficient, Epidiolex’s dosage can be increased to 5mg/kg twice daily for a total of 10mg/kg/day. Using our previous example, a person taking 341mg per day would now be taking 682mg per day.
- Patients who tolerate Epidiolex at 10mg/kg/day and are still experiencing further seizures may benefit from doubling their dosage to 20mg/kg/day. There is a greater chance of experiencing adverse reactions at this dosage level.
CBD’s Potential Benefits
While CBD has only been FDA-approved for use in Epidiolex, there is a lot of research that suggests that Cannabidiol may help:
- Reduce anxiety
- Improve sleep quality
- Reduce seizures in people with more common forms of epilepsy
- Soothe inflammation
- Improve heart health
- Improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
What Studies Say About CBD Dosages
A few clinical studies have looked at CBD to treat a limited range of ailments. Researchers have used oral (edible) CBD dosages ranging from 100-800mg/day.
|Bowel Disease||5mg twice daily|
|Type II Diabetes||100mg twice daily|
|Pain Caused by Cancer||50-600mg per day|
|Parkinson’s disease||75-300mg per day|
|Poor Sleep||25mg per day|
|Psychosis||600mg per day|
This wide range of experimental dosages signals to us, the reader, that there isn’t a scientific consensus on how much CBD you should use for any ailment. In fact, some research suggests that people may respond differently to various dosages, so it may take some experimentation to find the right dose for you.
It’s also important to remember that you should consult your doctor (if you have access to one) if you have symptoms of a serious mental or physical health condition. CBD could interact negatively with one of your medications or potentially worsen one of your symptoms.
How Much CBD Should You Take?
Finding the right amount of CBD for you depends on:
- Your weight
- Your previous experience with cannabis products
- How long you’ve been taking cannabis/ CBD products
- Your individual body chemistry
- The type of CBD you’re taking
In other words, there are a lot of factors that go into deciding what your ideal dosage is. If you’re new to cannabis or CBD products, be sure to talk to your doctor about any prescription drug interference it may cause.
If your doctor doesn’t want to provide you with a recommended dose but gives the okay on prescription interference, it’s a good idea to start with a low dose and work your way up. At Sunset Lake CBD always recommend starting with a 25mg per day dose, sticking with that amount for at least a week, and gradually increasing the amount you take by 5 milligrams per week.
Finding Your Ideal CBD Dosage:
Assess how you react to CBD
Your individual ability to tolerate CBD will play a role in determining how much you’ll want to take. If at 25mg CBD you feel sluggish, unwelcome changes in your appetite, or just downright unpleasant, you’ll want to reduce your CBD dosage. If you feel nothing at all, you may need to take more.
Assess how CBD affects your symptoms
If you choose to use CBD to treat a specific condition or host of ailments, notice how you feel an hour after taking the CBD. How did it affect your symptoms?
Are you a regular cannabis user?
If the answer is yes, you may already have a built-up tolerance to CBD and may not notice smaller doses. That’s okay. Gradually increase your dose until you achieve your desired results.
Full-spectrum CBD vs. Isolate
Consider other individual factors
When trying to find your ideal CBD dosage, consider your body first. Generally, people with heavier or larger bodies will need to take more CBD to achieve their desired effects. Similarly, men may need to take larger doses than women to achieve the desired effects.
How to Determine the Dosage of Your CBD Product
The potency of your CBD product plays a huge part in how much you’ll want to take. For example, a CBD oil containing 1500 milligrams of CBD per ounce will require five times less oil to reach a given dose of CBD than a lower potency oil with just 300 milligrams per ounce.
Sometimes CBD oil producers will make determining dosage easy and advertise the concentration of CBD per milliliter of oil on the label. Sometimes you may have to do a little math to figure out your product’s serving size dosage.
Here’s what you’ll need to know before you determine the dosage:
You can use the following equation to calculate the potency:
(Milligrams of CBD) / (Total milliliters of oil in the bottle) = CBD in mg/mL
Let’s use our 3000mg CBD Oil Tincture as an example. Bigger than our 750mg and 1500mg, our 3000mg tincture contains 60mL of oil. Now for the equation.
3000mg / 60mL = 50mg/mL. There are 50 milligrams of CBD in every 1 milliliter of oil.
Now that we know how potent the oil is, we can determine how much oil we’ll need for a specific dose.
Convert the Dose into Drops
To make nailing your CBD dosage easier, you can convert your desired dose into drops of oil next. This too will depend on how potent your oil is.
Knowing the dosage per drop is useful when using high-potency CBD oil or when you’re using CBD to treat your pets. Because of their lower weights, even a slight change in dosage can make a big difference.
To determine the dose per drop we need to know:
- The CBD potency per mL
- There are roughly 30 drops of oil per mL of oil.
Sticking with our example above— 3000mg of CBD per 60mL oil (50mg/mL)— let’s calculate the milligrams of CBD per drop.
(50mg per mL) / (30 drops per mL) = 1.66mg/drop
Now let’s say that you’ve found you’re using this oil (1.66mg/drop) and also determined from prior CBD use that your preferred dosage is 34mg of CBD in the morning. To find the number of drops you’d need to divide your preferred CBD dosage by the potency to get your dose in drops.
(Target dose) / (Potency of CBD oil) = CBD dose in drops
34mg / (1.66mg per drop) = ~20 drops.
If You Don’t Know Your Ideal CBD Dosage
Start With A Lower Dose
Unless otherwise directed, start your CBD dosage journey off slowly. Start by taking 25mg a day and stick with this regimen for a week to make sure your body can tolerate CBD and you don’t experience any unwanted side effects.
If after a week’s time, a 25mg dose does not have the desired effect, try increasing your CBD dosage by 5mg per week until you experience desired effects.
If you feel at all off, lower your dosage by 5mg continuously until you feel comfortable, and if you ever feel downright bad, stop your CBD regimen and consult a health professional.
Is It Possible to Take Too Much CBD?
Is it possible to overdose and take too much CBD? What is the maximum amount of CBD you should take?
Technically speaking, yes it is possible to overdose on CBD, though doing so would be very difficult and would likely not be life-threatening. Someone who overdoses on CBD would likely just be very uncomfortable for a few hours and have to deal with some minor side effects.
Researchers have yet to fully understand CBD, so there is yet to be an advised maximum CBD dose. Some studies have found that 600mg per day seems to be safe, while others suggest that a dose as high as 1,500mg is safe and tolerable.
CBD’s Side Effects
While CBD is generally well-tolerated by most, this doesn’t mean that you won’t experience any side effects. Some of the most commonly reported side effects are:
- Change in appetite
- Upset Stomach
- Weight change
It should be noted that the side effects listed above are from short-term use. Because of CBD’s relatively short-lived prominence, we have yet to observe any side effects from long-term use.
If you decide to start a CBD regimen for a specific condition, remember that your dosage will depend on a variety of factors. Finding the right dosage for you may take some experimentation and adjustments. Starting with a low dose and gradually increasing as needed is highly advisable.
- “Epidiolex .” RxList.Com, WebMD, 12 Nov. 2020, https://www.rxlist.com/epidiolex-drug.htm#description.
- Shannon, Scott et al. “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series.” The Permanente journal vol. 23 (2019): 18-041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041
- Fasinu, Pius S., et al. “Current Status and Prospects for Cannabidiol Preparations as New Therapeutic Agents.” Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy, no. 7, Wiley, July 2016, pp. 781–96. Crossref, doi:10.1002/phar.1780.
- Blessing, Esther M et al. “Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders.” Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics vol. 12,4 (2015): 825-36. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
- Jadoon, Khalid A et al. “Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabivarin on Glycemic and Lipid Parameters in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Pilot Study.” Diabetes care vol. 39,10 (2016): 1777-86. doi:10.2337/dc16-0650
- Good, P., Haywood, A., Gogna, G. et al. Oral medicinal cannabinoids to relieve symptom burden in the palliative care of patients with advanced cancer: a double-blind, placebo controlled, randomised clinical trial of efficacy and safety of cannabidiol (CBD). BMC Palliat Care 18, 110 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-019-0494-6
- Peres, Fernanda F et al. “Cannabidiol as a Promising Strategy to Treat and Prevent Movement Disorders?.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 9 482. 11 May. 2018, doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.00482
- Fasinu, Pius S et al. “Current Status and Prospects for Cannabidiol Preparations as New Therapeutic Agents.” Pharmacotherapy vol. 36,7 (2016): 781-96. doi:10.1002/phar.1780