CBD is a potent natural substance that has been found to have many healing properties. However, before you dive into the wonderful world of CBD, there are some things you should know about CBD dosing.
This article will explore the dosages and forms of CBD and how to find the correct amount of CBD for you.
The first step in taking any new supplement like CBD is determining your correct dosage. There are different types of doses: high dose, low dose, microdoses etc.
Furthermore, it's necessary to determine what form of CBD would work best for your lifestyle; edibles vs capsules vs tinctures etc., can all provide unique benefits and have different drawbacks.
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is a potent natural substance that has been found to have many healing properties.
Cannabidiol is found in cannabis plants (marijuana and hemp). One of the most important benefits of CBD is that it doesn’t produce euphoric properties, which means you can consume CBD without any negative psychoactive effects on your mental state.
CBD has been found to help with inflammation, anxiety, depression, and more. CBD can also provide relief for chronic pain patients and those who suffer from seizures.
Other benefits include CBD easing anxiety, reducing nausea during chemo treatment, and fighting cancer cells, among other things.
CBD is the second most abundant compound in marijuana after tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. CBD doesn't have THC's psychoactive properties; it is non-intoxicating and won't make you feel high. CBD also does not contain any addictive properties, which make CBD perfectly safe to use as needed.
Understanding CBD dosing
There are a lot of CBD products available these days. CBD comes in many forms and from many different sources. CBD is commonly found in oil form that needs to be taken orally but can also be found in capsule form or CBD gummies.
Figuring out the correct dose of CBD is not an easy task for beginners because there are so many options.
CBD is measured in milligrams (mg), and the correct CBD dosage will vary depending on your weight, metabolism, symptoms, etc. You can take CBD with or without food, so it's best to experiment and see what works for you.
CBD also has a cumulative effect which means CBD needs time to build up in your system before you notice any benefits; that being said, some people take CBD every day, while others take CBD sporadically.
CBD dosing for beginners
The general rule of thumb for dosing CBD is to start at a low dose and gradually increase as needed. We do this not only to reduce the chances of negative side effects but also to find out what dose works for us personally.
CBD is safe for almost all CBD users at low doses, and CBD can help a great deal in small and large quantities.
However, CBD works on a bell curve scale - take too little, and you won't really notice anything; take too much, and the effects start to diminish. So it's all about finding that "sweet spot" - the amount that works well for your individual health concerns but doesn't unnecessarily waste product.
Start by taking 5-10mg of CBD twice a day and increase after a few days, only if needed. After that, you can increase by 5mg at a time to find what works best.
Feel free to experiment with different doses and ingestion methods. CBD is well tolerated in adults even up to 1500mg a day - there really is no right or wrong approach.
Different factors that affect CBD dosing
Many things factor into how well CBD may work for you: your weight, metabolism, CBD oil strength, when you take it, CBD dosage and more.
CBD is non-addictive and perfectly safe to experiment with; however, it’s important to know that CBD works best when taken consistently and not sporadically.
Factors that may affect the dosage of CBD:
The heavier someone is, the higher dose they may need to feel the effects of CBD.
How fast or slow your metabolism is will affect how CBD is metabolized. For example, it will only start working after the liver has metabolized CBD. In people with a fast metabolism, the effects will be felt much faster.
People who suffer from chronic conditions such as epilepsy, severe pain, or cancer may need higher CBD doses than others with less severe symptoms.
CBD products can also vary in CBD strength or concentration, which means CBD dosage will vary depending on the product you take. For example, a 30ml bottle of CBD oil that contains 500mg of CBD is 1/2 as potent as the same bottle with 1000mg of CBD.
Form of CBD
CBD is available in many forms - oils, edibles like capsules or gummies, CBD vapes, topical products, and many more.
Some of these products are more effective than others due to the bioavailability of a product.
Bioavailability means how much CBD actually absorbs into your body and is put to use. For example, CBD oils are more bioavailable than CBD edibles, while vaping CBD is the most bioavailable form overall (though more controversial).
Type of CBD
There are three different types of CBD - Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and CBD Isolate. CBD
CBD Isolate is CBD that has undergone a process to remove all other compounds, making CBD Isolate CBD the purest form of CBD.
Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum products contain CBD and other cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, & more, as well as terpenes and flavonoids.
Broad Spectrum does not contain any THC, however, as is the same with CBD Isolate.
Full Spectrum CBD only contains minute traces of THC, not nearly enough to produce any psychoactive effects in users.
Full Spectrum CBD is typically recommended for maximum benefits. This is due to the Entourage Effect, a term used to describe the synergistic effects of using cannabinoids in tandem - these effects are stronger when used together, rather than as separate components.
Different forms of CBD
Remember that everyone is different and will have varying factors that impact how well a product may or may not work.
CBD oils and CBD tinctures are CBD that has been dissolved in either a carrier oil, like MCT oil or hemp seed oil. CBD oils come in many different strengths, and CBD concentrations vary depending on the product.
CBD tinctures are taken orally with a dropper under your tongue (sublingual method) and absorbed through the blood vessels and sublingual glands there.
CBD oils can come with as little as 250mg all the way up to 7500mg, depending on the bottle size. The amount of CBD listed on the bottle is the amount that the whole bottle contains. They also usually come with a cap that has a measured dropper attached for accurate dosing.
Oils and tinctures, when taken sublingually, come with a bioavailability rate of up to 30%. The reason for the higher rate is that the CBD absorbs immediately through the sublingual glands in the mouth into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system.
CBD edibles (capsules, gummies)
These types of CBD have a lower bioavailability rate, only about 6-10%.
CBD capsules and gummies come in jars, packages, or bottles, and the container will typically list two numbers - the amount of CBD in the whole container and the amount of CBD per capsule or gummy (5, 10, 15 - all the way up to 100mg per individual item).
Because these types of products are swallowed and have to make their way through the digestive tract to the liver to be processed before it hits the bloodstream, the bioavailability rate is lower.
Topical CBD products don't normally enter the bloodstream unless they contain transdermal ingredients specifically meant to cross the skin barrier.
They have a very low bioavailability rate because of this but instead, interact with the many receptors that are found on the skin's surface.
CBD topicals are great for general aches and pains, arthritis and joint issues, and any other external problems. They are even more effective when used in conjunction with another CBD product like an oil or vape.
Topical products will list the CBD mg amount for the whole container. These are typically "use as needed" products that don't rely very much on accurate dosing amounts. Instead, apply a generous amount to the affected area.
CBD vape products include CBD e-juice, CBD vape oils, CBD distillates, CBD vape cartridges, etc. These CBD products are used with vaporizer pens or e-cigarettes.
They offer an extremely high bioavailability rate, up to 60%.
The CBD is heated into a vapour and then inhaled so the body's lungs can quickly absorb it. This method of CBD usage is felt almost immediately, though the effects generally don't last as long as other methods (up to 2-3 hours for vaping vs 6-8 with sublingual oils, for example).
The cartridge or bottle will list the entire CBD mg amount, and getting an accurate dose will be more difficult due to many factors such as the different concentrations and vaping styles of users (for example, some people may draw on a vape for 1 second, while others might draw for 3 - resulting in completely different amounts administered. Therefore, it is helpful to measure out and add in a specific amount and judge by the amount you go through in a day).
Can you take too much CBD?
CBD has a very low toxicity rate, and CBD overdoses are extremely rare. For example, a study found that one would have to ingest 20,000mg of CBD in a short amount of time for it to be considered toxic; not only extremely unlikely to happen but also extremely expensive.
However, CBD can interact with many different medications and should be discussed with a doctor beforehand if you currently take any.
Taking large doses of CBD increases your risk of experiencing negative side effects.
Side effects of CBD
Side effects of CBD may include diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, headache, dry mouth and changes in appetite/weight. These are typically mild and tend to dissipate the longer you use CBD.
CBD is not addictive and should not be confused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound in marijuana that causes a high.
As there are no current studies on the subject, CBD should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women or those with liver problems (CBD is metabolized and processed in the liver).
CBD lowers blood pressure, so those who have hypertension or are on blood pressure medication should consult their doctor before using CBD products.
Final thoughts on CBD dosage
There are no one-size-fits-all approaches to dosing CBD because everyone processes it differently depending on their weight, metabolism, etc. Still, there are some general guidelines to follow.
Experiment with your dose of CBD by starting at a lower amount and increasing slowly until you reach the desired effects.
CBD is generally well-tolerated, though there may be some side effects at larger doses.