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CBD Dosage: Things to Consider

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many compounds derived from the cannabis plant, beaming with medical and health benefits. Whether you are looking to try CBD for the first time or are wanting to mix up your CBD routine and try something new, determining the appropriate dosage is important.  

In today’s article we’ll talk about the recommended CBD dosage, what the benefits are, how much is too much, and the potential side effects of CBD. 

Let’s dose!

What is CBD?

CBD is the non-psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant. It won’t get you “high” or have you feeling “stoned”. 

Of the 100+ phytocannabinoids present, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most well-known. The biggest difference between the two compounds? THC is a psychoactive compound and CBD is not. 

CBD is derived from the hemp plant, which contains less than 0.3% THC. Whereas CBD that is derived from the marijuana plant, which may contain THC (greater than 0.3%). 

Does CBD Get You High?

In short, no. CBD won’t necessarily have you feeling “high” or “euphoric”. 

Let’s start from the beginning and trickle down the endocannabinoid system, we’ll refer to it as the ECS for short. The ECS is our endocannabinoid system, this system helps keep homeostasis and balance within our bodies. Each and every one of us has an ECS that is constantly working, without us even realizing it. 

Within the ECS, our cannabinoid receptors connect CBD to our body’s receptors. Two of the most important cannabinoid receptors are: cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). Cannabidiol is non-psychoactive because it binds indirectly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Tetrahydrocannabinol is psychoactive because it binds directly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. 

You can think of CBD as having all of the beautiful benefits, without the associated high. Cool stuff, right?

What are the Benefits of CBD?

The benefits of CBD are gaining major attention across the globe, impressing medical professionals everywhere. 

CBD has been investigated for its therapeutic effects dating back to the 1970s. Research has suggested that CBD may help:

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Reduce depressive symptoms
  • Reduce seizures in epilepsy
  • Improve sleep
  • Improve heart health
  • Improve gut health
  • Reduce pain 
  • Improve muscle recovery

This benefit list can go on and on, so I’ll stop there (for now). No matter what condition or ailment you’re working through, CBD may be a viable and safe option to assist you on your journey. 

Are There Side Effects of CBD?

Virtually, there are no side effects of taking CBD. A recent 2020 study published in JAMA, described CBD as being “well tolerated” and “generally safe”.

Possible side effects that users may experience may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Fatigue

A critical report published by the World Organization of Health (WHO) described CBD as being “well tolerated in patients, with no signs of toxicity or serious side effects”. 

A 2011 study also looked at chronic use of high doses of CBD (1,500 mg/day) and reported that  it was well tolerated in humans. Researchers suggested that cannabinoid administration may be safe in humans and animals. 

What is the Right CBD Dosage? 

Speaking of benefits, here’s the research backing CBD and it’s amazing benefits.

Since CBD is not yet regulated by the FDA, there is no “certain” recommended dosage set (yet). However, researchers have recommended dosages that may produce therapeutic effects for individuals. 

The right CBD dosage really depends on a couple factors: your body weight, type of CBD, quality of CBD, administration method, your metabolism, and the frequency that you take it. 

Here we go!

1. CBD and Your Body Weight 

As you can guess, some individuals weigh more than others and may need a higher dose of CBD to feel its effects. Same may go for smaller individuals needing a lighter dose of CBD to feel its effects.

In a general sense, “low and slow” is a great approach to starting your CBD dosage.  

2. Type of CBD 

The type of CBD you choose to use may have a lot to do with which dosage to take. Not all CBD products and dosages are equal. Thus, dosage may vary depending on the type of CBD you choose to use. 

For instance, if you’re trying a CBD topical product, such as our Body Butter, the dosage may not necessarily be a specific milligram recommendation. The recommended dose may be 2 swipes across the chosen area or surface or a dollop of CBD lotion rubbed thoroughly over the area. 

If you’re wanting to try a CBD tincture oil, such as our 500mg Isolate Oil, the recommended dosage may be more direct and numeric. For example, we recommend taking 1 full dropper (1.0 mL) of CBD oil sublingually, holding it in your mouth for 90 seconds. 

Again, CBD is not yet FDA approved, so CBD dosages are not examined or yet finitely defined. We recommend starting with a low dosage and increase from there, if needed.

3. Quality of CBD

The quality of your CBD is so important! A lower quality CBD may equate a lower CBD concentration, thus, you may need to take a higher CBD dosage to feel its effects. 

If you have a high quality CBD product, such as our 1000mg Full Spectrum Oil, you may receive a higher potency of CBD, thus, you may not need to take as high of a dose to feel the beautiful effects sooner. 

This may not always be the case, but the quality of your CBD shouldn’t be something you compromise when searching for a CBD product. 

You should be able to ask the company for a certificate of analysis - this will show you each and every compound in the CBD oil as well as the concentrate amount of CBD. 

4. Administration Method of CBD

Like I mentioned above, different types of CBD will have different administration methods and doses recommended. 

If you are taking an oral CBD capsule, such as our 750mg Isolate Gel Caps, we recommend taking one softgel per day, which contains 25 mg of high-quality CBD.

If you take CBD sublingually, topically, or orally, just note that your method of taking CBD may change the dose you need/desire. 

5. Your Metabolism and CBD

Your metabolism plays a big part in how your CBD dosage may affect you. For instance, if you typically have a fast metabolism, you may feel the effects of CBD faster. Also, your metabolism may affect how intensely you feel the effects of the CBD. 

If you are sensitive to medications or trying new supplements, take knowing that into consideration when deciding on your CBD dosage.

6. Frequency of Taking CBD Matters

How frequently you take or want to take CBD does make a difference with it comes to your CBD dosage. 

If you are frequently taking CBD you may need to increase your dosage over time, as you may need more CBD over time to feel the great effects. 

What is the Right CBD Dosage?

There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach here. Your CBD dosage depends on you and what your goals are. We highly recommend talking with your healthcare provider prior to starting a CBD regime. 

We recommend starting with 5 - 10 mg of CBD per day. Typically, the CBD product will have a recommended dose on the label. 

Even if the recommended dose isn’t labeled with specific mg measurements, they may say “take one full dropper” or “take one CBD capsule” or “apply one swipe of CBD topical”. 

Again, consult your physician about your CBD dosage prior to starting any. 

What the Research Says: CBD Dosage

A 2019 systematic review reported that there was a significant improvement in anxiety and psychotic symptoms, with dosing ranging between < 1 and 50 mg/kg/day. 

This systematic review contained 23 studies, highlighting the CBD potential for a wide range of activity in several pathologies. 

Another systematic review, published in March 2020, found that CBD doses of 5 - 1,000 mg single dose per day supported a positive effect for social anxiety disorder, psychotic disorders, and substance use disorders. 

Overall, this study demonstrated that CBD administration was well tolerated with minimal to mild side effects. 

CBD Dosage: Final Thoughts

All in all, the appropriate CBD dosages are still very dependent on the user and the factors we mentioned above. CBD may affect different users differently. We highly recommend talking with your physician prior to starting a CBD regime, with an appropriate dosage fit for you, specifically. 

Remember, starting with a small dose is a great start! You can always increase the dosage over time, or decrease it if necessary. 

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Sources:

Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RHC, et al. Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a cannabis sativa constituent. Curr Drug Saf. 2011. 

Larsen C, Shahinas J. Dosage, efficacy and safety of cannabidiol administration in adults: A systematic review of human trials. J Clin Med Res. 2020. 

Millar SA, Stone NL, Bellman ZD, Yates AS, et al. A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2019.

-- Written by Kirsten Thornhill

Human Physiologist | Content Writer | Lifestyle Medicine Advocate
Kirsten Thornhill was born and raised in a small town in Northern California. She graduated with her Bachelors from CSU Stanislaus in Turlock, CA in Kinesiology Exercise Physiology and her Masters from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA in Kinesiology Exercise Physiology. Kirsten is very passionate about human physiology and the metabolic and nutritional adaptations that occur in athletes. She has specialized in teaching clinical and practical exercise and rehabilitation applications. She enjoys educating and informing people on the importance of lifetime movement, holistic and lifestyle medicine, and health research and development. Her passion for alternative medicine enables her to strive when promoting health and education.

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