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CBD Dosage: How Much Should I Take

Janet Miller

Janet Miller

Last updated: October 29, 2019

CBD-dosage-image

A CBD dosage is the correct amount to take based on an individual need. In other words, it varies according to product, body weight and the health results expected.
There is not an FDA recommended amount. The burden is on the user to figure out the right amount to take.
With this simple guide, it will be possible to determine the correct dosage of CBD based on several factors.
After reading, the question “How many drops of CBD oil should I take?” will be answered.
It can be confusing to read. Any cannabis-based product is.
Armed with the right information, it becomes easy to zero in on the right quantity.

Important CBD Dosage Considerations

One thing to keep in mind is that there is no correct amount. What an individual should be taking is based on several criteria for everybody. Think about pain, for instance.

Pain is subjective to different people. It would be a challenge to assign a specific amount for pain just as it would be for any prescription drug.
Another thing to consider is that the body will react differently to how the CBD is consumed. Eating an edible products is going to feel much different than vaping it, for instance.
Here are some other factors to consider before reading about how to know how much to take.

  • Concentration – This refers to the body strength, meaning how much CBD there is present in the product and not THC. It differs greatly from dosage as that is how much to take. What the dosage is will be determined by what the concentration is. Further down in this article, you will find how to determine how much to take in more detail.
  • BodyWeight – A generality is that the heavier people are, the more they need to take just as it would be with taking cannabis. It highly depends on several other factors and is not entirely accurate. It is a good starting point, however.
  • Effects – Taking CBD does not get a person high since it doesn’t contain THC. Rather it is meant to treat things like anxiety, chronic pain or discomfort, insomnia, and other ailments. Once ingested a certain mellow feeling will happen, which can sometimes be mistaken for being high. How high a dose is required depends on the desired effect.
  • Tolerance – Over time, many people will develop a tolerance. It may mean increasing the dosage is necessary. It won’t affect anybody negatively.

Figuring out the right CBD amount for you

It should be noted that people should consult with their physician before taking any products. A doctor can recommend the proper CBD dosage.
Just use this article as a general guide to understanding how to be responsible with CBD for good health.
Here are some guidelines on how to know the right CBD dosage:

1. Estimate your dosage based on your bodyweight

There currently are two schools of thought when it comes to how dependent on body weight the CBD dosage should be.
One school says that it is irrelevant. That it reacts with the cannabinoid receptors on the brain, making bodyweight a nonissue.
The other school says that bodyweight is relevant since it has to travel through bodily tissue to reach the brain, so it has an effect.
Neither is written in stone, so it makes sense to at least suppose that bodyweight plays a part with the right CBD dosage and move forward with that in mind.


Here is a chart to be used as a guideline:

Weight Mild effects Moderate effects Strong effects
0-130 lbs11 mg or less12-14 mg15-187 mg
130-230 lbs18 mg or less19-23 mg24-27 mg
230+ lbs23 mg or less24-30 mg31-45 mg

2. Start small and increase gradually

It makes sense to assume that a lighter person will need a smaller CBD dosage, as the above table shows. It is recommended to start with the lower dose according to the table.
If after taking that dosage, it doesn’t have the desired effect, then gradually increasing the dose is the best way forward.
If the recommended CBD dosage is, say, 12mg for a moderate effect, but it feels more like a mild effect or none at all, then an increase of 5 milligrams is probably best. Give it some time and then increase by 5 mg until you get the desired result.
The amount highly depends on how extreme the pain or health problems are and how persistent they may be.
Also, the proper CBD dosage may not always be the same. On days when the health problems or anxiety are more intense, then a higher amount should be taken. During good days, it can be scaled back accordingly.
Use the least amount needed to get the desired effect. There is the issue of tolerance taking more CBD than what is required will lead to higher doses use.
Spreading out the CBD dosage use may also be a good idea. Make a schedule to take throughout the day rather than one time in the morning or evening.

3. Consult your physician

Generally, CBD oil has minimal side effects and plays well with other medications. When taking prescriptions, it is recommended to let the doctor know about the plan. It will be easier for the doctor to recommend the best CBD dosage when knowing what other drugs are also present.

Going in with the proper information will help determine the questions to ask of the doctor. Knowing the concentration of the CBD oil and what the health reasons are for taking it will help the doctor help with recommending the proper amount to take.
Unfortunately, there are not many doctors who are well versed in cannabidiol oil therapy.

You may need to find the right doctor. If the doctor doesn’t know about the correct CBD dosage, then ask him about a doctor that does.

A good doctor that doesn’t have much information about CBD treatments will not tell a patient not to take any. Instead, they will insist on monitoring their health throughout the time they plan to use the therapy as they should with any drug. Though some doctors do get CBD and cannabis confused. Just as many people confuse THC with CBD.

Measuring Dosage for Different CBD Products

There are going to be different concentrations across the board for the different products available.
Because of that, it is challenging to understand how to determine the CBD dosage.
Here are the most common ways to consume oil and how to measure the correct CBD dosage.

Each type of product is going to cause different reactions just as any prescription drug would. Some will feel stronger than others.
The smart play when starting with a new hemp product is to take it in small doses. Then when the effects present themselves, it will become clear what the proper CBD dosage is.

Oils and tinctures

Usually, a bottle of oil or tincture will have the total amount of CBD present on the label. It can be tricky to figure out how much the best dose of these products is, however.

The trick is to take a look at the dropper and see what the total volume is. Most of the time, a dropper will be 1 milliliter.

If it is, then divide the total CBD in the bottle by the number of milliliters of the container. This information gives you the milligrams of CBD per dropper.
Next, determine how many oil drops are in a dropper and then divide the total mg of CBD by the number of drops that dropper contains.

That total is how many mg are in an oil drop. With this number in mind, then you can accurately determine how many drops of the tincture are necessary for the CBD dosage required.

It generally takes longer for the effects of oils and tinctures to be felt. It can usually take up to ten minutes.
It is important to go easy and wait for a few minutes before taking more than it would be easy to take too much.
Once it kicks in it, the relief will last for hours and can usually last longer than with some other products like vaping.

Vape oils

Once the total milligrams per ml are determined, it becomes easy to measure the right CBD oil dosage for vaping. Each tank has an ml total. Once filled, then that is how many milligrams per tank the dosage is.
The amount consumed per puff is more challenging to determine. With a box mod that gives a puff count, it can be much easier to figure out how many puffs it takes to get the desired result. Then it can be increased or decreased accordingly.
The CBD dosage is determined by how often the tank is refilled.
Do not confuse CBD with cannabis. It is possible to vape both for different uses. For this article, we are focusing on cannabidiol and not cannabis.

Edibles

These are the trickiest products to properly determine the CBD dosage. It takes the longest amount of time to feel the hemp effects. The oil will have to enter the stomach and then the digestive tract. Digestion can take at least 30 minutes, in which time the oil will finally start to take effect.
Once it takes effect, it can last several hours. The intensity depends on the concentration of the CBD, but effects can feel rather potent in some people.
The most common types of edibles are:

  • Cookies, brownies and protein bars for baked goods
  • Gummies
  • Fruit chews
  • Granola
  • Smoothies

The labels on the edibles should be read carefully. The manufacturer commonly lists the amount of recommended CBD dosage per serving size. Make sure that the serving size is clear before eating. Also, check that the edible is made from cannabidiol and not actual cannabis. The point is not to get high, it is to reduce anxiety or chronic pain and other issues unrelated to the THC present in cannabis.
When creating a recipe using the oil itself, it pays to make sure all the measurements are understood. The serving size is the amount needed for treatment or relieving the pain.
It is also easy to take too much of a CBD dosage when dealing with edibles. That is because they can be very tasty. Moderation is a key taking care to pay attention to how much was eaten is the smart way to go. Treat the edible like a drug for best results.

Topicals

A topical can be in the form of lotions, creams, balms and salves, and therapeutic oils. They are applied directly to the skin of the area where there is pain or discomfort. If anxiety or epilepsy is the problem, then topicals are not the right products.
These topical solutions don’t enter the bloodstream but will affect the area once they reach the cannabinoid receptors under the surface of the skin. Think of them as you would any other topical drugs.
Typically, using the right CBD dosage with topicals can be a bit tricky. It depends on how acute the pain is.
Many topicals come with a use of concentration of 250mg to 1500mg. The CBD for topicals is difficult to judge at first. It is a good idea to go with a moderately high concentration to see how much is needed to use, especially for people with serious pain that need quick relief in a concentrated area.
A bonus of using a topical oil is that they can also bring antioxidants and moisturizers. After using the skin is left healthy and soft.

How Much CBD Is In a Single Drop?

It would be very helpful if the label of the bottle of the tincture or oil had the exact information with milligrams of CBD per drop listed as they would if it were a drug. The fact is that not all of them do. It pays to be accurate, so attention is required.
A drop is in the neighborhood of 0.05ml. When a bottle is 15ml, then that would equal 300 drops — taking a hypothetical concentration of 100mg of CBD per 15 ml that would equal a dose of 3mg per oil drop. Look at the chart shown higher up in the article to see what the recommended cannabidiol dosage is by bodyweight to get an idea of how many CBD drops would be best to start out with.
The formula, then, is to use the milliliter total of the bottle and divide it by 0.05. Then divide that number by the concentration of the CBD in milligrams. Use this number with the chart above to find the proper CBD dosage as a starting point.

Can You Overdose on CBD?

It is a legitimate question to wonder if there are serious consequences to taking too high a CBD dosage.
The reality is that it is nontoxic and any side effects are not serious. The National Cancer Institute has started doing some CBD studies and found only no life-threatening side effects. Incidentally, this is also true of THC from marijuana.
The receptors in the brain are not the same as opioid receptors. Opioid receptors are in the part of the brain that also controls respiration. Cannabinoid receptors are not located in the brainstem.
It is also not very likely to ever get addicted to CBD. It does bear reporting that there have been few long-term hemp studies. Hemp production only became legal in the US in 2018, allowing researchers to devote resources to its study.
Developing hemp tolerance is the best possibility, which will require higher and higher CBD dosages. Withdrawal is usually very mild when treatment is stopped or paused.

Possible side effects

Though overdosing is not a concern, there is such a thing as taking too much of a CBD.
The most commonly reported side effect for body is lethargy and drowsiness.
Other less common side effects from cannabidiol use can range from diarrhea to dizziness.
Some changes in appetite and weight may also be noted.

One potentially serious side effect is the possibility of an increase in the permeability of the placental barrier in pregnant women body from even low CBD dosages.

The fetus is at risk of being exposed to certain substances. Pregnant women should consult with their physician before starting any CBD therapy.
Anyone else should simply monitor and listen to their bodies. Since CBD side effects are generally not serious, some of them are simply tolerable for the body benefits they are receiving.

Reducing anxiety and chronic pain is enough of a benefit for some to tolerate occasional side effects.

Conclusion

Still asking the question after reading, “How many drops of CBD oil should I take?” The best answer to that question, unfortunately, is it depends.

There is no guarantee that any amount of cannabidiol will work since it is unregulated. It may come down to a simple trial and error to find the right product and the right dose. Hopefully, this article about the right CBD dosage has cleared up any confusion.
Of course, any questions will be answered, so please leave a comment in the box below if there are still some concerns on what you read.

Author

Janet Miller

Janet Miller

Janet is a medical specialist with 10 years of experience as a physician and writing passion. She aims to help people and expand humans mindset. Chat with Janet on Twitter @Janet_Miller_MD or via our contact page.

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