CBD DOSING GUIDE – How Much Should I Take? [UPDATED]
UPDATED March 2, 2021 – Ready to reap the benefits of CBD? Awesome. One of the things that is most important to understand how much CBD you should be taking and what a suggested dose is based on. Much of this is dependent on our individual bodies and there is not an official serving size, in this post we cover some dosing guidelines and suggestions to assist you. As you might guess, much of this is a function of our individual weight and metabolism and body chemistry. Dive in and see what is best for you so you can get the most out of your C+L supplements and improve your personal preparation, performance + recovery.
Let’s start by addressing some common misconceptions about CBD. First off: you can’t get “high” using CBD. In order to be legal for sale in the US, CBD can’t contain more than 0.3% concentration of THC, the psychoactive compound responsible for the sensation of “getting high”. In simple terms: virtually no amount of CBD could be consumed to trigger the psychoactive effects commonly associated with THC. Put another way, there’s small amounts of alcohol in toothpaste, but you’re never going to get drunk by swallowing tubes of Colgate. That said, it is important to figure out the right dosage for your needs.
How Much CBD Should I Take?
Dialling in the correct dosage for your body is an important part of getting the most out of your CBD supplements. Once you’ve found the right dosage you’re not only going to get the most benefits from your supplements and feel great, but you’re also going to guard against wasting money by using excess product.
As a baseline, our suggested dosage is 0.25mg CBD multiplied by your body weight in pounds on a daily basis. Therefore, a 120 pound person should take 30mg CBD daily (0.25 x 120 = 30), and a 200 pound person should take 50mg CBD daily (0.25 x 200 = 50). Ideally, split your doses equally between morning and evening. With this formula you can now easily figure out your suggested dose.
That said, there is no ‘official serving size’ or standard dose’ and it varies from person to person. Your ideal dosage will be based on a variety of factors including your weight, metabolism, the type of product you’re using (tincture, softgel, topical), and body type. For the best potential for success, we recommend some experimentation and consistent usage to determine the right dosage for you. It can take 2-3 weeks to determine the proper dosage, but once you witness CBD’s effects on your body you’ll be in a better position to decide how much to take and when to take it, so be patient and take your time.
- Tinctures – taking the correct amount of tincture can be confusing, so we are going explain it in detail. This is going to be easy using the information from the formula we introduced above. First, you need to be mindful of which strength of tincture that you purchased, 500 or 1000mg. Remember, our examples are based-on only using tinctures, so adjust accordingly if you are also using softgels, oral spray or topicals.
- Now, if you purchased a 500mg Tincture, the full bottle will contain ~600 drops worth of tincture and each drop will contain approximately 0.8mg of CBD. Now, if you recall from reading above, we suggest a dose of 0.25mg multiplied by your bodyweight in pounds. For example, if you are 120 pounds you should be taking 30mg CBD per day for best results. Here is our formula 0.25 x 120 = 30mg, and now to convert that into drops, we take 30mg and divide that by the 0.8mg per drop and you get ~35 drops (experiment with between 30-40 drops and see what works best for you). For a 200 pound person, our formula suggests a does of ~60 drops per day (experiment between 60-70 drops per day and see what is optimal).
- Let’s run through this same exercise using our 1000mg tincture bottle which also contains ~600 drops of CBD oil. It is important to note that since this product is 2x the concentration that each drop now contains ~1.6mg of CBD. For the same 120 pound person that we used as an example above, you would now take ~15 drops per day (experiment with between 15-25 drops per day to see what is optima)l. For the 200 pound person, they would take ~30 drops per day (experiment with between 25-35 drops per day and see what works best for your body). Check out our PREPARE Tincture for your morning routine or RECOVER Tincture in the evening or 60 minutes before bed.
In order to figure out the right dosage for you, here are some basic steps to start with:
- Start Small – We recommend starting with smaller doses and gradually increasing as needed. Although too much CBD won’t cause any harm, taking more than you need could waste product unnecessarily. If you’re a tincture user, start with 1/2 of our suggested dose for the first week of your PREPARE Tincture in the morning or one dosage of RECOVER Tincture in the evening 60 minutes prior to bedtime.
- Take Daily – Everyone’s body is different when it comes to CBD. Many people need to build up the substance in their system in order to start seeing benefits. If you don’t see results right away, keep up your daily doses for four weeks, paying close attention to the changes you sense in your body.
Once you’ve figured out your ideal CBD dose you’ll be able to feel confident as you start maximizing the positive benefits of your CBD routine and enjoy the effects it has on your personal preparation, performance and recovery.
CBD Dosage Calculator: What’s The Best CBD Dose
As the scientific and medical communities are quickly discovering, CBD is a potent treatment for many common illnesses. Despite CBD’s rise in popularity, questions about its use still remain. Chief amongst those questions is the amount of CBD that is right for each individual.
The experts at Honest Marijuana are here to help. We’ve created this guide to serve as a CBD dosage calculator so you can figure out where to start, how to increase, and what numbers work best for you.
But before we get to the CBD dosage calculator, let’s talk a bit about the health benefits of CBD.
Medicinal Benefits Of CBD
CBD can be used to treat a large number of medical issues. Here are just a few of the things CBD can do:
- Relieve pain
- Relieve anxiety
- Reduce inflammation
- Relieve psychosis
- Stimulate appetite
- Reduce nausea
- Reduce seizure/convulsion
- Prevent nervous system degeneration
- Suppress muscle spasm
- Manage blood sugar
- Treat psoriasis
- Inhibit cancer cell growth
- Reduce risk of artery blockage
- Increase bone growth
- Kill or slow bacterial growth
Specific disorders that CBD can treat include:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD )
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Chronic pain
- Neuropathic pain
Now that you’re familiar with all the amazing benefits you can get from CBD, let’s dive into our CBD dosage calculator.
Consult A Doctor First
As with any substance taken for medicinal purposes, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor or a trained medical professional. He or she can provide clinical information regarding your medical issue and make suggestions about the best form of treatment. It’s also important to keep in mind that the information in this article should not be considered medical advice.
CBD is still categorized as a “natural remedy” by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) , and there is sparse scientific data to support optimal dosing size. That’s not to say that CBD doesn’t work; it does. It simply means that the scientific community hasn’t caught up with what John and Jane Q. Public have known for some time now.
The nice thing about all this, as you’ll read in the side effects section, is that it’s nearly impossible to overdose on good quality CBD. Experimenting with CBD products is a low-risk endeavor, and you can find your own “best dosage” without the fear of side effects.
Before we talk about our CBD dosage calculator, though, let’s learn about the best method of delivery.
A Bit About Method Of Delivery
The cannabinoid CBD can be delivered into your body in a number of different ways:
But perhaps the easiest and most effective is CBD oil . CBD oil, or tincture , can be administered under your tongue, where it is absorbed directly into your bloodstream. This method of delivery bypasses the two systems in your body that can reduce the desired effects of CBD: the pulmonary system (lungs) and the digestive system.
Both systems mentioned above can filter out large amounts of the medicine you’re trying to get into your bloodstream, but the digestive system—most notably, the liver—is extremely effective at diluting chemicals that pass through it.
Because CBD oil can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream under your tongue and because these blood vessels are close to your brain, the CBD doesn’t pass through your lungs or your liver. And when CBD bypasses the liver and the lungs, it retains its original potency. That’s great news for those who want to get the most out of their medicine.
So for the purposes of this article, we will base our CBD dosage calculator on CBD oil taken under the tongue rather than the other delivery methods mentioned above.
Record Your Experience
The right CBD dosage is unique to each individual. What works for one person may not be enough for another person. As you’ll see in the next section, several factors can affect the amount of CBD necessary to achieve medical benefits.
Unfortunately, many of these factors can change from day to day, or even from hour to hour. What that means for you is that finding the best CBD dosage is going to take a bit of experimentation.
That experimentation shouldn’t be hit or miss. You don’t want to try one dosage on Monday and then an entirely different dosage on Tuesday. It shouldn’t be about picking random numbers out of a hat. Instead, record your experience down to the last detail until you’ve dialed in just the right dose for your circumstances.
We suggest purchasing a notebook or starting a spreadsheet on your computer or mobile device. In it, record such variables as your weight, what you ate, the amount of CBD oil administered, how you felt before and after, and anything else that you believe affects the experience.
Remember, this is about improving your life, so the more rigorous, vigilant, and detailed you can be the easier it will be to find the right CBD dosage.
Consider These Factors When Calculating Dosage
As we mentioned, a large number of factors affect the size of the dosage that will work for you. The quality and potency of the CBD oil will certainly affect what you feel, but other factors to consider include:
- Your weight
- Your metabolism
- Your diet
- The condition being treated
- The severity of your illness
- Your tolerance to CBD
We’ll provide some general guidelines regarding weight and suggested dosage, but keep in mind that your weight may change. This can cause the amount of CBD you need to change as well.
If you lose weight (because of a decrease in anxiety, depression, or psychosis), the CBD dosage may go down. If you gain weight (because of regaining your appetite or no longer being nauseated), the amount of CBD may increase. That’s why it’s crucial to record your progress so you can adjust things accordingly.
Other factors are not so easy to adjust. Metabolism doesn’t really change unless you make a drastic alteration in your habits (going from a sedentary lifestyle to an active lifestyle, for example). In addition, you can’t quantify your metabolism (assign a number to it), so it can be tricky to gauge the speed of your digestion. But, from experience, you probably know whether you have a fast metabolism or a slow metabolism.
Similarly, your tolerance level can have a major effect on the amount of CBD you need. Tolerance is particularly stubborn and often requires weeks, months, or even years to change.
All of these factors should be considered, tweaked, and recorded as you work through the CBD dosage calculator.
A Bit About CBD Side Effects
There are very few side effects associated with CBD (in any form). One of the only commonly reported issues is a tendency to experience dry mouth after taking CBD. In a world full of treatments with a long list of negative side effects — most of which are worse than the original problem — a bit of dry mouth is a small price to pay for a decrease in your symptoms.
The only other side effect of CBD is a decrease in your liver’s ability to process other drugs. So if you take a heart medication and add CBD to control your blood sugar, you could be doing more harm than good. Be sure to talk to a physician about whether CBD is right for your condition.
Can You Overdose On CBD?
It’s also important to note that it’s nearly impossible to overdose on CBD if you use it sensibly. The only repercussion one CBD user felt when he took a high dose was a sense of drowsiness. However, the tendency to want to sleep may not even be considered negative if you suffer from insomnia.
So what’s a high dose of CBD? We’re talking something like 50,000 milligrams of CBD. That works out to about 300 milligrams for every 2.5 pounds of body weight. There’s really no reason you would ever have to take that much CBD.
In fact, your average 180-pound male suffering from severe pain would only need to take 25 milligrams at most to feel relief. That’s a long way from 50,000 milligrams. To put that in perspective, 25 milligrams of CBD equals ⅛ teaspoon, while 50,000 milligrams equals about 33 tablespoons.
And that’s 33 tablespoons of PURE CBD. You’re not going to get that in any CBD oil on the market.
So it’s safe to say that even doses up to 1500 milligrams for an extended period of time (eg., 4 weeks) are safe and won’t cause any negative side effects.
CBD Is Biphasic
Another variable to think about when calculating your best dosage is that CBD is biphasic. That means that at certain levels, CBD provides a certain list of effects. At other — often higher — levels, CBD provides different effects.
This biphasic idea may be new to some readers, but it isn’t all that uncommon. Alcohol, for example, is biphasic. Below a certain blood alcohol content (BAC), alcohol provides a stimulating effect. Above that blood alcohol content, alcohol provides a depressant effect.
That’s not to say that CBD will act as a stimulant at one dosage level and a depressant at another, but the effects may change as the dosage increases. Again, that’s why it’s vital to record your experience so you can fine-tune what works for you.
CBD Quality Plays A Significant Role
Quality plays a significant role in determining the final CBD dosage that’s right for you. The cannabis community uses its own special scale to indicate the quality of any given strain.
Here’s how it shakes out:
- Regs — The lowest-quality form of cannabis
- Mids — As the name suggests, this is mid-quality cannabis
- Beasters — Low high-quality weed (it’s above the middle, but not quite top-shelf)
- Headies — High, high-quality weed (it doesn’t get any better than this)
When contemplating which strain to buy, opt for a high-CBD strain like Charlotte’s Web, Harlequin, Sour Tsunami, or Cannatonic. But don’t just stop with the strain. Factor in the quality of that specific product as well.
For example, if you’re faced with dropping dime for an ounce of Sour Tsunami regs or an ounce of Cannatonic mids, you’d be better off with the latter. Not because the strain is any better, but because the quality is better.
The same would apply if you had to choose between different qualities of the same strain. An eighth of Harlequin beasters is always a better choice than an eighth of Harlequin regs.
As long as you can afford it, always go with the better-quality product.
In fact, you might actually save money if you buy a small amount of high-quality CBD versus a large amount of low-quality stuff. Why? Because you won’t need as much of the high-quality product to feel the effects you need. As a result, you won’t go through your stash as quickly.
We’re not saying you can save money by spending more, but because you can stretch the high-quality CBD longer, it might not have as big an impact on your wallet as you think. It’s just painful parting with that much cash for beasters all at once even though you were spending the same on multiple trips to the dispensary to buy regs.
For a more in-depth discussion on CBD quality (and quality in general), check out these informative articles:
What Can You Expect To Feel After You Take CBD?
The right dose of CBD increases your focus and helps you avoid or dismiss distractions.
Factory workers who take CBD for a different problem find themselves better able to “put on their blinders” and block out the noise, movement, and social distractions that rage around them.
When they can focus in this way, their productivity and their job satisfaction improves.
CBD interacts with your brain and body in a way that makes you feel relaxed and calm…even in the face of high stress.
This is great news for those who can’t seem to “turn off their brain” at the end of the day in order to catch some shut-eye. CBD can help you fall asleep faster and wake up refreshed in the morning.
A dialed-in dose of CBD that’s just right for you can improve your mood without the overwhelming side effects that other antidepressants exhibit.
If you suffer from depression, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, psychosis, and other mental disorders, CBD can make you feel better fast.
4) Less Anxious
Anxiety takes many forms and can severely affect your life for the worse. CBD reduces anxiety so that situations don’t overwhelm you and make you want to curl up in a ball under a big pile of blankets.
When asked to describe their anxiety after taking CBD, some users report that they don’t react to the triggers that caused their anxiety before. They’re also able to recognize the irrationality of their triggers and let them go instead of dwelling on them.
5) Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes is a growing epidemic and millions of people deal with it every day. That worry hangs like a dark cloud over their lives and everything they do.
CBD can help stabilize blood sugar levels and make dealing with diabetes just a little bit easier. You won’t feel your blood sugar level itself, but you will feel the results of your blood sugar levels dropping.
When CBD brings your blood sugar back to normal, symptoms of hyperglycemia — like thirst, headache, tiredness, blurred vision, hunger, and trouble thinking or concentrating — disappear and your body returns to a state of equilibrium.
6) Decreased Nausea, Increased Appetite
CBD is very good at settling an upset stomach and preventing or reducing nausea. That alone will certainly make you feel better, but the decrease in nausea produces another benefit: increased appetite.
For those undergoing cancer treatment, loss of appetite due to nausea (and the resulting issues it produces) is a major problem. Finding the perfect CBD dose for your circumstances can return things to normal.
7) Reduced Swelling And Pain
If you suffer from pain and swelling — arthritis, menstrual cramps, headaches, psoriasis, dermatitis, or sore muscles — the right CBD dose can make you feel better.
CBD is well known for its analgesic properties, which is why CBD creams are becoming more and more popular every day.
CBD Dosage Suggestions
Below, we’ve produced a table of dosage suggestions based on your weight and the severity of your ailment (pain level). Use these as suggestions as a starting point and adjust your dosage up or down accordingly.
With these suggestions in mind, let’s move to our CBD dosage calculator.
CBD Dosage Calculator Method
Each CBD oil product will have a different dosage amount and a different percentage of CBD per dose. Thankfully, all it takes is a bit of simple math and you can use these numbers (along with the starting dosage recommendations listed above) to find how much CBD oil to take to get the right amount of CBD. Here’s how to do it.
First, read the label of your CBD oil of choice to find the serving suggestions. It will probably say something like:
Serving Size: X drops
Elsewhere on the label will be listed the amount of CBD (in milligrams) per serving. With that information, you can use our CBD dosage calculator method to find the dose that’s just right for you.
To help you in this regard, we’ll walk you through calculating your ideal dose using a hypothetical CBD oil.
Below is the serving size and amount of CBD per serving for our hypothetical CBD oil:
Serving Size: 10 drops
Amount Per Serving: 25 mg
From that information, we can write the following equivalency:
10 drops = 25 mg CBD
Now, let’s say you are a 180-pound male with mild pain. Your starting dosage per the chart above would be 18 mg. Rather than take too much too soon, we can figure out how much CBD each drop contains by dividing 25 by 10.
25 divided by 10 = 2.5
So each drop of CBD oil contains 2.5 mg of CBD.
Now, we can take our starting dosage from the chart (18 mg) and divide it by 2.5 mg to find out how many drops we need.
18 divided by 2.5 = 7.2
It takes 7.2 drops to administer 18 mg of CBD. It’s going to be nearly impossible to give yourself 0.2 of a drop, so round this number to 7. If the number after the decimal is five or higher, consider rounding up instead of down.
So all you need to do is:
- Find the serving size for your CBD oil (in this case, 10 drops).
- Find the CBD in milligrams (mg) that serving size contains (in this case, 25 mg).
- Determine the suggested starting dosage for your weight and condition.
- Do a little simple math.
No complicated formulas. No fancy tools necessary.
General Guidelines For CBD Dosage Calculators
To find just the right dosage for your situation, we highly recommend starting small. Remember, the least amount of medicine you can take to feel relief from your symptoms the better.
Experiment with a certain dosage for three days to give your body time to react to the medication. Adjust the dosage up or down accordingly for the next three-day period. If you feel any discomfort from a dosage, decrease it immediately the next time you take the CBD oil. You can always increase gradually from there.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, CBD can be very useful in the fight against many chronic and debilitating diseases, but the medical community is still catching on. Until they come out with their own set of dosage recommendations, you can calculate your ideal number with a bit of experimentation and some simple math. What are you waiting on?
For more information on all things cannabis, and to check out our 100 percent all-natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.
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.
Condition Dose* Anxiety 300mg–600 milligrams a day  Linares, Ila M. et al. Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test . Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry. 2019;41(1):9-14.  Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients . Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011;36(6):1219-1226. Select forms of epilepsy Starting at 2.5 milligrams per kilogram of the person’s body weight twice daily  EPIDIOLEX- cannabidiol solution. DailyMed. Accessed 7/4/2021. Central neuropathic and cancer-related pain A maximum of 30 milligrams a day (or 12 sprays)  Sativex Oromucosal Spray – Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) – (emc). Datapharm. Accessed 7/4/2021. Opioid addiction 400 or 800 milligrams a day  Hurd YL, Spriggs S, Alishayev J, et al. Cannabidiol for the Reduction of Cue-Induced Craving and Anxiety in Drug-Abstinent Individuals With Heroin Use Disorder: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2019;176(11):911-922. Arthritis A maximum of 30 milligrams a day (or 12 sprays), or 250 milligrams applied topically  Sativex Oromucosal Spray – Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) – (emc). Datapharm. Accessed 7/4/2021.
*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.