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Best CBD Oil for Back Pain: How Does It Help?

Although back pain can affect different people regardless of age, gender, or lifestyle, the range of medicinal products available is quite limited.

Cannabidiol (CBD) in recent times has been identified as an alternative option for the treatment of different types of pain, particularly back pain.

CBD oil has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for pain; however, research shows that applying CBD oil topically has helped reduce certain types of pain (including back pain) and inflammation.

This article sheds more light on the use of CBD for back pain. We explore the potential benefits, the risks, and share our tips on finding high-quality CBD products.

Best CBD Oil for Back Pain: Top 10 Brands for 2022

    – Best Full Spectrum CBD Oil for Back Pain – Best Organic CBD Oil for Back Pain
  1. Green Roads – Runner Up
  2. Tasty Hemp Oil – Best Flavor
  3. CBDfx – Best Variety
  4. cbdMD – Good Value
  5. Charlotte’s Web – Most Popular Brand
  6. PlusCBD Oil – Strongest CBD Oil
  7. Medterra – Best for Daytime Use
  8. Joy Organics – Best Customer Service

1. Royal CBD – Best Full Spectrum CBD Oil for Back Pain

Technical Details
Total CBD Content 250 – 2500 mg
Available Flavors Natural, Mint, Vanilla, Berry
Potency 8.3 – 83.3 mg/mL

Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.

Royal CBD shows great dedication to quality, taking their job very seriously. The color, flavor, and consistency of its CBD oil are spot-on, indicating that we’re dealing with a premium product.

The oil is relatively inexpensive for the quality and potency of CBD it offers. It comes in a full range of strengths, from 250 mg to 2500 mg of CBD. Moreover, the company uses full-spectrum CBD, so you can benefit from the entourage effect created by the other cannabinoids and terpenes.

It’s by far the best CBD oil for back pain we’ve tried. After using the 2500 mg strength for just over a week, we’ve noticed an improvement in overall physical discomfort as well as in the back pain after spending several hours behind the desk.

If you don’t like the natural flavor of CBD oil, Royal CBD has you covered with three delicious flavors, including mint, berry, and citrus.

Pros:

  • US-grown organic hemp
  • Extracted with CO2
  • Contains full-spectrum CBD
  • Up to 2500 mg of CBD per bottle
  • Lab-tested for quality and safety
  • Great natural flavors
  • Free shipping

Cons:

  • No physical presence (only available online)

2. Gold Bee – Best Organic CBD Oil for Back Pain

Gold Bee makes hands down the best CBD oil for back pain formulated with organic ingredients. The company combines its premium California-grown hemp with organic honey sourced from Brazillian Rainforest.

Although these oils aren’t available in such a broad range of potencies as the products from Royal CBD, the 1200 mg strength is a good pick for both beginners and experienced users alike. It carries enough CBD to combat moderate back pain, so if you live with physical discomfort that makes it difficult for you to get through the night without waking up, we highly recommend this product.

On top of 40 mg of CBD in every milliliter, the extract contains supportive cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and traces of THC. And, if you dislike the natural flavor of CBD oil, the company still has a few other formats to choose from, such as its delicious gummies and CBD-infused honey sticks.

Pros:

  • Organic hemp
  • Infused with superfoods
  • 1200 mg of CBD per bottle
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Lab-tested for potency and purity

Cons:

  • Only one strength is available

3. Green Roads

As reported by the Brightfield Research Group, Green Roads is one of the largest CBD suppliers in the USA. The company offers a wide range of pharmaceutical-grade products, such as oils, capsules, gummies, topicals, and even products for pets.

The company boasts a broad selection of CBD oils in different strengths, flavors, and cannabinoid spectra. You can choose from the following potencies:

The strongest version provides a hefty dose of 50 mg of CBD. You can buy these oils in a broad-spectrum or full-spectrum variant depending on your preferences around the THC content. They are available in three flavor variants: Natural Kiwi Bliss, and Mint Freeze. You can also order sample packs that carry “daily doses” of 25 mg of CBD per syringe.

We’ve found the 1500 mg strength to be the best effective option for moderate to severe pain, but for milder pain and lightweight users, the lower potencies may be just as effective.

Pros:

  • Pharmacist-formulated products
  • A diverse range of CBD products
  • Third-party tested
  • Available as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate

Cons:

  • No specific information about the source of hemp
  • Limited potency options

4. Tasty Hemp Oil

Tasty Hemp Oil is a Michigan-based company providing a wide range of CBD products from domestically-grown hemp plants.

The Tasty Hemp Oil line is formulated with full-spectrum CBD, including its raw version, CBDA. The extract has been enhanced with synergistic terpenes for added efficacy against back pain; the terpenes come from plants such as hemp and clary sage.

Similar to Green Roads, Tasty Hemp offers three strengths of CBD oil: 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 1500 mg. You can also choose between different flavors, such as Natural, Spearmint, Vanilla, and Berry.

Pros:

  • US-grown hemp
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • 3 flavored options
  • Up to 50 mg of CBD in every milliliter
  • Enriched with terpenes
  • Lab-tested for quality and safety

Cons:

  • No high-strength oils
  • A bit more expensive than competitors

5. CBDfx

CBDfx was founded in 2014 during the boom on CBD. Over the last several years, the company has grown to a large manufacturer in the CBD sector, hiring over 100 employees across the country.

The CBDfx CBD oil tincture has been created for helping users feel calm and relaxed. It comes infused with CBN for an extra sedative effect to help you sleep better if you suffer from chronic back pain.

This is a full-spectrum extract, so you will enjoy more compounds than in isolates or broad-spectrum versions. Having several strengths in its assortment, CBDfx caters to different types of CBD consumers. They include 500 mg, 1000 mg, 2000 mg, and 4000 mg of CBD per bottle.

Pros:

  • Non-GMO hemp
  • Available in different cannabinoid spectra
  • Up to 4000 mg of CBD per bottle
  • Third-party tested for quality and safety

Cons:

  • Scarce information about the company
  • Strict return policy

6. cbdMD

cbdMD is another popular brand that offers a broad selection of CBD products, from oils to gummies to capsules to topicals, sleep aids, bath bombs, and pet products.

The company boasts a wide range of pure CBD oils, with up to 7500 mg of CBD per bottle. The strongest version provides a whopping dose of 200 mg of isolate-derived CBD suspended in MCT oil for better absorption and smoother taste. cbdMD also has some flavored oils in its collection, including Mint, Berry, and Orange.

The reason why we didn’t place cbdMD higher on our list of the best CBD oils for back pain lies in their cannabinoid spectrum. These are pure CBD oils, meaning you won’t find any supportive cannabinoids or terpenes in them. The higher strength may not translate into higher efficacy as a result.

On a positive note, cbdMD is a very transparent company. The team broadly describes its production process from farming to testing — also providing up-to-date certificates of analysis for its products.

Pros:

  • US-grown hemp
  • CO2 extraction
  • THC-free
  • Up to 7500 mg of CBD per bottle
  • Up-to-date lab reports

Cons:

  • No entourage effect
  • The 7500 mg strength is overkill for most users
  • Flavored options could taste better

7. Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web is a company that doesn’t need an introduction, but in case you didn’t know, this is one of the pioneer brands in the American CBD industry. Founded by Stanley Brothers, the company has earned a reputation of a trustworthy manufacturer by helping Charlotte Figi treat her rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. Despite receiving a few warning letters from the FDA throughout its activity, Charlotte’s Web remains one of the most reputable companies in the country.

Charlotte’s Web CBD oil comes in several strengths: 200 mg, 500 mg, 1500 mg, and 1800 mg of CBD per bottle. The highest concentration provides 60 mg of full-spectrum CBD per milliliter. You can choose from two sizes: 30 mL and 100 mL. There are also flavored versions, including Orange Blossom, Lemon Twist, and Mint Chocolate.

Unfortunately, the company uses a slightly old-fashioned extraction method, which involves olive oil as a solvent. So, these products may not offer the highest bioavailability, not to mention that they have a bitter taste (even in the flavored versions) due to the presence of olive oil.

Pros:

  • One of the most established names in the industry
  • US-grown hemp
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Up to 1800 mg of CBD per bottle
  • Two sizes available: 30 mL and 100 mL
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity

Cons:

  • Non-organic hemp
  • Suspended in olive oil (tastes bitter)
  • The company received two warning letters from the FDA in the past regarding inappropriate health claims

8. PlusCBD Oil

PlusCBD oil has multiple options for its CBD drops, including 250 mg, 300 mg, 750 mg, 1500 mg, and 3000 mg of CBD. These oils are available in different flavors, such as peppermint, lemon ginger, dark chocolate, and unflavored.

The Maximum Strength Formula features full-spectrum CBD extracts sourced from organic hemp grown on local US farms, although the company doesn’t specify the exact locations.

Unlike many products on the market, this CBD oil doesn’t come with a pipette. Instead, it uses a pump that allows the user to better schedule their dosage according to the instructions on the bottle. Another advantage of PlusCBD oils is that they’re sweetened with monk fruit instead of aspartame or sucralose, which only adds to the overall quality.

Unfortunately, the company doesn’t offer any formulations that would be targeted specifically for back pain, such as additional anti-inflammatory terpenes or cannabinoids such as CBN or CBDA.

Pros:

  • Non-GMO hemp
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Up to 3000 mg of CBD per bottle
  • Flavored with natural ingredients

Cons:

  • Some of the products only come with basic lab reports
  • No information about the exact source of hemp
  • Some consumers have been complaining about poor customer service

9. Medterra

Medterra started out as a small artisan company from California. The brand offers high-quality CBD oils in different cannabinoid spectra, including full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate.

Each spectrum is available in different potencies, from 500 to 3000 mg of CBD. Aside from the unflavored version, there are two flavored options: Chocolate and Citrus.

The company prides itself on making the real full-spectrum CBD because each bottle of its full-spectrum CBD oil comes with 2 mg of THC, which enhances the health benefits of CBD for back pain. However, this version is only available in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. If you’re looking for products that are legal on a federal level, your choice is limited to full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.

10. Joy Organics

Joy Organics is one of the most esteemed companies in the CBD space. The brand was founded by a woman named Joy Smith, who has been using CBD oil to manage her problems with back pain and sleep. After witnessing the health benefits of CBD, she decided to run her own brand and share her passion for hemp with other people who need relief from their ailments.

The company offers a wide range of broad-spectrum CBD products from certified organic hemp. It has many positive reviews on third-party websites and hasn’t received any warning letter from the FDA regarding health claims — which is becoming more common even among industry’s veterans.

The Joy Organic CBD oil is available in a narrow potency range, from 450 mg to 900 mg of CBD per bottle. Both strengths come in three refreshing flavors: SUmmer Lemon, Fresh Lime, and Tranquil Mint. The strongest option contains 30 mg of broad-spectrum CBD per mL, which is a standard dose for most people who take CBD oil as a daily supplement.

That being said, people with stronger back pain may need more CBD in their daily routine, making these oils cost-prohibitive in the long run. In 2018, one of the company’s flavored oils was found to contain a fungicide that is commonly added to citrus fruit during third-party lab testing. Fortunately, Joy Organics quickly withdrew the product after this incident and applied a new third-party testing system to ensure no flaws like this appear in its next products.

Pros:

  • Non-GMO, US-grown hemp
  • CO2 extraction
  • THC-free
  • Delicious flavors

Cons:

  • A bit expensive for broad-spectrum CBD
  • No high-strength CBD oils for severe back pain

What is CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid — a compound derived from cannabis plants. It is extracted alongside other cannabinoids like the more notorious tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound responsible for the feeling of euphoria.

CBD has no intoxicating properties because it doesn’t bind to the same receptors as THC. Some CBD types such as full-spectrum CBD have trace amounts of THC; however, this isn’t enough to cause any tangible feelings of euphoria.

How Does CBD Oil Work for Back Pain?

Although the research on CBD does not exactly detail the specific effects on back pain, studies on general pain have been very promising. A review in 2018 showed how effective CBD was for reducing chronic pain which is best for fibromyalgia treatment, neuropathic pain, and cancer pain relief.

It was also found out that CBD had fewer side effects when compared to other pain-relieving drugs such as opioids.

In 2019, a study linked the use of CBD with a reduction in chronic pain as a huge majority of participants saw a marked amelioration in their conditions with little or no side effects.

A trial in 2020 showed that CBD may be useful in reducing severe and sharp pains when applied topically. It was also shown to lessen cold and itchy conditions.

The Arthritis Foundation posits that there is evidence suggesting that CBD reduced pain levels in arthritis patients, although it can’t ascertain currently if the topical products reached the site of the pain.

CBD reduces pain mostly by targeting inflammation. It can also change the way pain signals are transmitted to the brain, not to mention relief from anxiety caused by chronic physical discomfort. Simply put, CBD uses a multi-faceted approach to treating pain.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

It depends on the source of CBD.

Marijuana-derived CBD oils are legal in certain states, but they are still illegal at a federal level. Hemp-derived products, on the other hand, are federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.

You don’t need a prescription to buy CBD oil in the USA as long as it comes from hemp.

However, there are certain limits when it comes to presenting CBD in the media — be it online or through traditional channels.

Currently, marketing CBD as a dietary supplement or as a food additive is illegal according to the FDA.

The only approved CBD drug is Epidiolex, an anti-seizure prescription medication. The absence of data on the safety of CBD and possible risks that can be encountered is the main reason for the non-approval of more CBD products.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of CBD Oil?

CBD has a very decent safety profile; however, some people may experience minor side effects ranging from fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, and even diarrhea.

CBD can also interact with a lot of medications by compromising your liver’s ability to process them. That’s why consulting a doctor is required if you take any medication and are considering adding CBD oil to your daily routine.

What Kinds of CBD Products Are There?

CBD is used in a wide range of products although most are not yet approved by the FDA. Some of these products include:

Types of CBD

The three main types of CBD are so classified based on their cannabinoid profile:

Full Spectrum CBD

This type of CBD has a good number of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and traces of THC. While this is not enough to give a high associated with consuming cannabis, it increases the therapeutic profile of the end product. This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect and is the main reason why full-spectrum CBD is considered superior to other formats.

Broad Spectrum CBD

The broad-spectrum type of CBD also contains other cannabinoids, except for THC. This is certainly more suitable for people who would like to benefit from the entourage effect but want to avoid even trace amounts of THC showing up on a drug test.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. It is usually odorless and tasteless and comes in a powder or crystal form. However, it may be less potent overall due to the lack of the entourage effect.

Types of Back Pain

Back pains are typically described based on location, cause, and duration. During prognosis, knowing these details could help the doctor diagnose the type of back pain and recommend a possible treatment.

Usually, back pains manifest as either acute back pains or chronic back pains. Generally, acute back pains only last for a few days, and most of the time, they are resolved without the need to use medication. On the other hand, chronic back pains can last for weeks and even months if the proper medication is not used.

Certain causes of back pain include:

  • Injuries
  • Sprains
  • Nervous system problems
  • Spinal cord issues
  • Kidney stones
  • Pregnancy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Tumors

Certain lifestyles, habits, and body physiology can also cause pains in the upper and lower back regions. This includes old age, bad posture alignment, heavy lifting, and other medical conditions.

Summary: Should You Use CBD Oil for Back Pain?

The limited research around CBD oils and their effect prevents scientists and regulatory agencies from making absolute statements about the effectiveness of CBD oil for the treatment of back pain.

Although CBD has not been fully accepted into the health community, the findings from the current research, as well as positive reviews from its users suggest that it can be a safe and effective treatment for different types of pain.

If you’re considering adding CBD oil to your supplementation plan, make sure to consult a holistic doctor experienced in cannabis use. Doing so will help you figure out the best dosage to start with — not to mention that a consultation with a qualified professional can help you avoid negative CBD-drug interactions.

Do you take CBD oil for back pain? Let us know if it helps you by leaving a comment in the section below!

References:

  1. Bruni, N., Della Pepa, C., Oliaro-Bosso, S., Pessione, E., Gastaldi, D., & Dosio, F. (2018). Cannabinoid delivery systems for pain and inflammation treatment. Molecules, 23(10), 2478.
  2. Cather, J. C., & Cather, J. C. (2020, July). Cannabidiol primer for healthcare professionals. In Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings (Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 376-379). Taylor & Francis.
  3. Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain‐related behaviors in a rat model of arthritis. European Journal of Pain, 20(6), 936-948.
  4. Nitecka-Buchta, A., Nowak-Wachol, A., Wachol, K., Walczyńska-Dragon, K., Olczyk, P., Batoryna, O., … & Baron, S. (2019). Myorelaxant effect of transdermal cannabidiol application in patients with TMD: a randomized, double-blind trial. Journal of clinical medicine, 8(11), 1886.
  5. Eskander, J. P., Spall, J., Spall, A., Shah, R. V., & Kaye, A. D. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of acute and chronic back pain: A case series and literature review. Journal of opioid management, 16(3), 215-218.
Nina Julia

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

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CBD Dosage: How Much Should You Take?

Commissions we earn from partner links on this page do not affect our opinions or evaluations. Our editorial content is based on thorough research and guidance from the Forbes Health Advisory Board.

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 [1] 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. [2] 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 [3] EPIDIOLEX- cannabidiol solution. DailyMed. Accessed 7/4/2021. Central neuropathic and cancer-related pain A maximum of 30 milligrams a day (or 12 sprays) [4] Sativex Oromucosal Spray – Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) – (emc). Datapharm. Accessed 7/4/2021. Opioid addiction 400 or 800 milligrams a day [5] 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 [4] 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.

Partner Offers feature brands who paid Forbes Health to appear at the top of our list. While this may influence where their products or services appear on our site, it in no way affects our ratings, which are based on thorough research, solid methodologies and expert advice. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services

Medterra Isolate CBD Oil

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 [7] 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 [8] 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.

CBD Dosage: How Much to Take for Pain, Anxiety & Sleep

This article is going to blow the doors wide-open on dosing CBD.

You’ll understand the ins and outs of dosing cannabidiol, learn how to properly measure your CBD dose with different products, and learn the important differences between dosing CBD oil for different types of symptoms.

CBD Dosage: How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?

A one-size-fits-all dosage for CBD doesn’t exist. Even the FDA doesn’t provide a Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for CBD.

In simple terms, CBD doesn’t have an official serving size.

CBD acts on 60 different molecular pathways, meaning it has a very complex relationship with the body and the brain. It’s difficult to come up with a definite dosage guideline that would help any person regardless of individual physiology.

Some CBD manufacturers give you their own dosage recommendations, but they do so to provide new users with a general point of reference. It’s impossible to tell if a specific dosage is the right amount for a given person because it doesn’t address a few critical variables — which I’m going to discuss below.

Important Considerations For Dosing CBD

Finding an effective CBD dosage may depend on the following factors:

  1. The potency of the product
  2. The bioavailability of the chosen product
  3. Your unique biochemistry
  4. Prior experience with CBD
  5. Your weight
  6. Your metabolism
  7. The severity of your condition
  8. Other medications you’re currently taking

Nick Jikomes, an esteemed neuroscientist, says:

“As our body undergoes physiological changes, so do cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which are directly linked to the effects produced by CBD.”

This means that your “best CBD dosage” can change throughout your life, so there will never be a universal or static amount that works for you.

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How to Calculate the Best CBD Dosage for Your Needs

There are steps you can take to find your ideal CBD dosage for your health goals. Let’s go over the process step by step.

1. Decide What Form of CBD to Use

Currently, the most common way to deliver CBD to your system is through CBD oil drops. They’re relatively easy to use and allow you to absorb CBD directly into the bloodstream as opposed to capsules and edibles.

However, pure CBD oil has a distinct earthy taste. Some find this flavor too harsh and somewhat bitter. If you don’t like the taste of CBD oils, something like a capsule, gummy, or vape oil may be a better option.

The above routes of administration are typically preferred by people who need fast relief from anxiety, stress, pain, or inflammation.

Other popular methods include CBD edibles, capsules, and topicals. Topicals are the better option if the area you’re trying to treat is on the skin, joints, or muscles.

Remember when I mentioned the importance of the chosen consumption method on your dosage regimen?

Here’s why it matters.

2. Check the Bioavailability of Your Product

Bioavailability refers to the percentage of ingested CBD that your body absorbs into the bloodstream.

Below you’ll find the bioavailability of 4 different delivery methods:

  • CBD topicals:
  • CBD capsules and edibles: 5-15%
  • CBD Oil drops: 20-30%
  • CBD vapes: ~56%

For example, if you consume 15 mg of CBD in oral drops, you’re going to end up with 4–6 times the amount of CBD in your body than you would with a capsule containing the same concentration.

The bioavailability of CBD topicals is measured at 0% because none of the CBD applied to the skin makes it to the bloodstream. Instead, CBD reaches the cannabinoid receptors in the skin and muscles.

3. Talk to a Physician

Before taking any CBD product, I advise you to consult with a physician. This is the best way to make sure the CBD or other supplements you’re taking won’t interfere with any medications you may be taking. It’s also the best way to rule out any major causes for your symptoms before starting supplementation.

4. Start With a Lower Dose than You Think You Need

Everybody has a different history with the use of certain substances, supplements, and medications. And since we’re all made differently, what works wonders for you, might not work for your friend — and vice versa.

The best way to determine your initial CBD dosage is to count it by your body weight. Experts recommend starting with 1–6 mg of CBD per pound. Low doses allow the user to monitor their body’s reaction more effectively.

This brings us to our last tip.

5. Gradually Increase the Dosage Until You Notice the Difference

Increasing the amount of CBD oil gradually is the best way to figure out the best CBD dosage.

I recommend lower CBD doses at first because if the dose is too high, it may trigger some unwanted effects, such as sleepiness, lowered blood pressure, lightheadedness, or diarrhea. Side-effects are a cue to dial your dose back to the last one that didn’t produce these effects.

On the other hand, if you continue to use a dosage that’s too low, you may not feel anything at all, so again — observation is key. Listen to your body, you’ll soon get a feel for how CBD works for you.

How to Measure Your CBD Oil Dosage

CBD oil drops come in dropper bottles. They’re easy to use and allow you to precisely measure out your serving of CBD.

All you need to do is squeeze the dropper so it draws the oil from the bottle, apply a few drops under the tongue, and hold it there for about 60 seconds. This way, CBD will absorb into the bloodstream through sublingual membranes under the tongue.

But how do you estimate your CBD oil dosage?

To answer this, you’ll need to know how much CBD a dropper holds. Typically, a dropper can carry 1 ml of liquid. If you know the total volume of your oil drops, you can do the math and calculate your CBD dosage using a simple formula.

[Total CBD in the bottle] ÷ [Number of milliliters in the bottle] = mg of CBD in a dropper.

For example, let’s say you have a 30 ml CBD oil that has 750 mg of CBD:

750 ÷ 30 = 25 mg of CBD per ml (per dropper)

How to Measure Your CBD Vape Oil Dosage

With CBD E-liquids, you’ll need to know how much CBD is in the product. As you vape your E-liquid throughout the day, watch the tank and see how long it will work without refilling.

Dosing vape oil is better using qualitative means. The effects appear much faster than from tinctures or edibles, so you can take little puffs at a time and wait about 5 minutes between another dose to see how it’s affecting you.

Once you start feeling the effects you’re looking for, this is your dose.

If you experience side effects, it means the dose is too high, so the next time you vape, useless.

Recommended CBD Dosage for Pain, Anxiety & Sleep

As mentioned, there are some general dosage guidelines for CBD that you can use for certain conditions. After studying CBD for several decades, scientists have finally created some kind of a framework for CBD dosage. This creates a relatively good point of reference for determining the effective amount of cannabidiol.

CBD Dosage for Anxiety

Most studies have investigated the use of CBD to treat social anxiety. One of the first studies, which was replicated many times since the initial publication, points to a dosage of 40 mg of sublingual CBD as an effective treatment for social anxiety. However, specific cases of anxiety disorders may call for an increase of up to 300 mg of CBD.

CBD Dosage for Different Levels of Pain

The optimal CBD dosage for people with chronic pain ranges between 2.5–20 mg of CBD when administered orally, alongside or without THC. Certain individuals may require higher doses, especially those with a greater body mass.

CBD Dosage to Improve Sleep Quality

CBD is known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety and mitigate both pain and inflammation.

These factors are important when it comes to maintaining proper sleep quality, but there’s also one more benefit you should be aware of. At higher doses, CBD may induce sleepiness, allowing the user to fall asleep faster without experiencing the stream of racing thoughts.

Depending on the frequency and severity of your symptoms, you may need between 25–175 mg of CBD daily to combat them.

CBD Dosage: FAQ

1. Is CBD Safe?

Yes, CBD is generally considered safe for human consumption, with no signs of toxicity at doses as high as 1,500 mg daily.

2. Can CBD Get You High?

No, CBD doesn’t act on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain as THC does. Therefore, this cannabinoid is non-intoxicating — it can’t get you high.

3. Can You Overdose on CBD?

Overdosing on cannabinoids is impossible because cannabinoids don’t affect the brain stem are responsible for respiration.

4. Does CBD Oil Have Any Side Effects?

CBD has a relatively short list of side effects, most of which are considered minor. However, in high doses, CBD can produce an array of unwanted reactions, such as:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
  • Sedation

It’s a small price to pay compared to the list of side effects caused by prescription medications.

5. What’s the Best Way to Consume CBD?

If by “the best” you mean the most efficient, then oil tinctures or vaping products will be your best options. That’s because they offer higher bioavailability than capsules and edibles.

6. Should I Take Full-Spectrum CBD or Isolate?

If you’re not subject to periodical drug tests at work, I would recommend a full-spectrum product because of something called the “entourage effect.” This term describes the synergy between all active ingredients in cannabis, including cannabinoids other than CBD and THC, terpenes, and other plant compounds. They’re believed to require less CBD than pure isolate to produce similar effects.

7. Can I Give CBD to My Dog or Cat?

Hemp-derived CBD products are safe for pets because they contain little to no THC, the intoxicating compound that produces toxicity in animals. Pets can benefit from CBD in similarly to humans.

Final Thoughts: What’s Your Optimal CBD Dosage?

The ideal CBD dosage that would work for everyone doesn’t exist. The nature of cannabidiol is very complex — so is the cannabis plant — and there are too many outside variables that can influence CBD’s absorption.

The potency of your product, its bioavailability, your weight, the severity of the condition, cannabinoid spectrum — they all matter.

You can use some general dosage guidelines for specific conditions, but always make sure you treat it as a point of reference, not the one and the only way to dose CBD.

So, what’s the best way to figure out the ideal CBD dosage?

Start low and gradually go up with the dosage until you experience the desired effects. The way you react to CBD can change over time, so you need to monitor the effects throughout your supplementation.

You should also ask a physician who’s experienced in using CBD or hemp extracts with patients to get professional guidance.

What CBD dosage is best for you? How much do you take daily? Let me know in the comments below!

Livvy Ashton

Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.

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