CBD Dosage Simplified: How Much CBD To Take from Experts
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is gaining popularity as a beneficial dietary supplement. Historically, research in the United States was minimal regarding cannabis and hemp. Still, today, all around the globe, research is starting to prove the science behind the cannabinoid’s miraculous displays of health and wellness.
Yet, despite the growing interest from researchers and consumers alike, CBD dosing and how much CBD to take may still seem intimidating for many people. Although it’s not as simple as saying “take two and call me in the morning,” learning to dose CBD and how much CBD to take accurately doesn’t have to feel like rocket science either.
Learning a few basic guidelines can simplify the process of figuring out the right CBD dosage.
CBD Dosage: Find the Right Dose to Take
Everyone is Different
Despite being humans, each of us is unique. Our body chemistry, genetics, lifestyle, and environment make us all very different. Similarly, cannabidiol dosing can be different for every person. Finding the appropriate CBD amount is a personal, individual process, and as such, there is no “one-size-fits-all” CBD dosage.
You also have to consider:
- How your system responds to CBD
- Your goals and reason for using CBD
- Product type
Start Low and Increase Dose Slowly
CBD consumers must learn to use a process called titration or slowly increasing their dose over time until they get the results they desire. While high doses are well tolerated, less is more. We recommend trying our CBD Product Finder Quiz as we designed a straightforward and fast quiz in bringing the best product to you as if you called and asked.
CBD Dosing Schedule Example
- Day 1-3: 10mg
- Day 4-5: 15mg (feel it more than 10mg)
- Day 6: 20mg (feel it more than 15mg)
- Day 7: 20mg
- Day 8-9: 25mg (feel it more than 20mg)
- Day 10: 25mg (you feel it but a slightly less than Day 8)
- Day 11: 20mg (go back down to most optimal dose)
Try it Before Going to Bed
The best time to try CBD is probably 30-60 minutes before going to sleep because you can tell how much it affects your body. Be sure to note how well of a job it does in making you feel tired, drowsy and how well you slept throughout the night.
Too Little CBD
If you take too little CBD, you won’t notice any effects or results you were looking for. Then you’ll be wondering what all this hype about CBD is. This is no surprise since it happens to people often, and this is when we have to do our part in educating. To see results, we recommend increasing your dose by 5-10mg 1-2 days until desired effects.
Too Much CBD
Since you’ll be increasing your CBD dose, it’s essential to keep track of the symptoms and effects. As you take higher doses, you’ll notice that it’s very effective at one point, and next thing you know, you won’t feel much. That’s when you should cut down a little bit to be at the optimal dose.
You must take it consistently every day, so your body is always replenished with CBD. Cannabinoids enhance & replenish your CB1 & CB2 receptors to maintain homeostasis in your body, and continue taking it every day helps with constant support to achieve the results you want.
Keep a Journal
Some people find that keeping a journal is very useful in finding the best optimal dose of CBD because they’re tracking how they feel. Keep it simple and straight to the point. When you notice it was very effective and not as much anymore, then it means you’re building tolerance, so lower your dose slightly.
Three Tips on CBD Dosing
Understanding that finding the right CBD dosage requires patience is essential. Wait an hour after taking CBD to see if you feel a difference or even better, give it 1-3 days of consistent use.
Buy Quality CBD
Growing hemp, drying & curing the plants after harvest, extraction, and purification is not a straightforward process. When buying CBD products, you must make sure you’re buying quality CBD. The best CBD extracts are the ones that contain a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, & flavonoids with the least impurities. It’s essential to do your research and buy from a reputable company that shows transparency.
Less is More
When it comes to CBD or cannabinoids in general, there is something called Biphasic Effect, which we’re covering below. It’s the idea that at higher doses, cannabinoids have diminishing returns in effects and results.
This image shows the data we’ve collected & noticed from years of using CBD and also data from GW Pharmaceuticals.
Tolerance of CBD Dosage
When a person consumes CBD or THC for some time – from a few months to a few years – the body can get used to the medicine and build up a tolerance. Many people find that they, over time, need to raise their dose to maintain the same level of medicinal effect. At some point, people reach a “maximum effect,” which is when they increase the dose; it does not improve the effects. High levels of THC or CBD can desensitize the CB1 & CB2 receptors in the brain and nervous system.
If you notice it is less effective than before, do this:
- Take a tolerance break. Stop consuming CBD or THC for 3-7 days, every three months or so. When you stop taking CBD for a couple of days, fat tissues still store cannabinoids, which the body utilizes when you cut supply. The Endocannabinoid System resets when these “store supplies” are used up, bringing your tolerance down to normal levels.
- Lower your dose substantially, and then you can slowly start raising your dose.
Find Your Optimal Dose
The word biphasic means “two phases.” Cannabinoids have biphasic properties, which means as the dose increases, the effects do not necessarily improve. Higher doses can produce opposite or adverse effects. In general, smaller doses of CBD tend to stimulate the body much effectively than higher doses. That is why we recommend starting with our 300mg CBD Oil.
This graph is a representation of the Biphasic Effect and shows how less is more.
What is Microdosing CBD?
Microdosing is taking small or smaller doses than the standard amount of a drug when the full dose isn’t necessary to achieve the desired effects or not to experience any of the side effects if there are any. Microdosing is widely popular in psychedelics such as mushrooms, acid, and even marijuana to avoid the negative aspects that come with it.
In the case of CBD, side effects are very minimal, so that’s not a reason for someone to microdose. However, for healthy people looking for just overall health wellness, then microdosing is something to consider. Microdosing CBD is also great if you’re looking to take it during the day but not feel any effects of drowsiness, even the slightest.
Example of Microdosing CBD Schedule:
Day 1: 5mg 1-2 times per day
Day 2: 5mg 1-2 times per day
Day 3-5: 7.5-10mg 1-2 times per day
Day 5-7: 10-15mg 1-2 times per day
Day 8-10: 15-20mg 1-2 times per day
Does Weight Matter When It Comes to CBD Dosage?
While bodyweight does play a role in determining your optimal dosage, there are other factors, so the answer is no. This is mainly because everyone’s Endocannabinoid System is different regarding how sensitive your body is to cannabinoids. Some people may weigh less but have a high tolerance, while others might weigh heavier but have a lower tolerance.
Other important factors include:
- Type of severity of your conditions
- Your age
- Your body chemistry
- How you’re taking CBD & the type of CBD product
The Future of CBD Oil Dosing
Research and innovation continue to improve our understanding of herbal supplementation for health and wellness, including cannabinoid supplementation. As scientific knowledge of CBD expands, expect to see improved methods of delivery to increase bioavailability so that you can get the most out of your products. However, by making an informed, responsible approach to cannabinoid supplementation, consumers can quickly find their optimal dose of CBD by remembering three simple steps — start low, increase slowly, and less is more.
If you need help choosing what product is best for your needs, make sure to try our Product Finder Quiz. In less than 30 seconds, you’ll answer three simple questions that will show you products tailored to what you need.
Watch our YouTube Video on CBD Oil Dosage
Still Have Questions on How Much CBD to Take?
Questions about dosage and using CBD are common, especially to new users. You can always call us at (800) 563-0187, click the live chat button on the bottom right, visit our Help Center, or email us at [email protected] Whatever questions or help you need, we’re here for you.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. Our products and the information on this page are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.*
What Dosage of CBD Should You Take?
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Verywell / Madelyn Goodnight
CBD is available in a number of different formulations including creams, tablets, oils, and gummies. These can vary in terms of their ingredients as well as dosages, and there is not a great deal of research available on what dose might be beneficial or safe to treat certain conditions.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant cannabinoid found in marijuana. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not have psychoactive effects. Interest in the use of CBD for health purposes has grown tremendously in the last few years.
CBD is believed to have a range of positive physical and mental health effects. Because of this, it has become increasingly popular as a way to alleviate everything from anxiety to sleep disorders.
In order to determine if CBD is right for you, it is important to consider its potential benefits, side effects, and available research on safe dosages.
CBD is just one of hundreds of different compounds found in the cannabis plant. While cannabis has been used in holistic medicine for many years, only recently have researchers begun to explore some of the medicinal purposes for CBD and other cannabinoids.
While further research is still needed, there is some evidence that CBD may have some beneficial mental health effects. These include:
- Alleviating depression: Some research also indicates that CBD may be useful as a treatment for depression. Studies suggest that the cannabinoid might have an influence on how the brain responds to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood. People with depression sometimes have a low level of serotonin, so CBD may help the brain use available serotonin more effectively.
- Improving sleep: While the reasons are not entirely understood and require further research, CBD also appears to have potential as a treatment for sleep problems. For example, one study found that people who took CBD also reported improvements in the quality of their sleep.
- Reducing anxiety: Anxiety is one of the most common types of mental health conditions, affecting almost 20% of American adults each year. Research suggests that CBD may help alleviate acute symptoms of a number of anxiety-related conditions including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
In addition to the mental health benefits, CBD may also have therapeutic benefits for a range of other conditions. The World Health Organization suggests that CBD may have beneficial effects in the treatment of:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Multiple sclerosis
It is important to remember that these benefits have not yet been conclusively proven. More research is needed to determine the role that CBD might play in the treatment of different disorders and health conditions.
There have been a number of studies that suggest that CBD may have a number of different physical and mental health uses. However, more research is still needed to better understand the substance’s potential applications and possible long-term side effects.
A 2019 comprehensive review published in The Lancet Psychiatry looked at previously published studies. The review ultimately concluded that there was little evidence to support the use of CBD for mental health purposes and suggested that more research is needed in order to substantiate its use to treat symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
It is important to remember that this doesn’t mean that CBD isn’t effective. Many of the studies that were included in the review were small, had few participants, and were not randomized controlled trials.
This suggests that more research involving more participants and well-designed studies is needed in order to better understand if, how, and why CBD works.
While its effectiveness is still up for debate, one 2017 review found that it was a relatively safe option. While it is important to remember that there is still a great deal we don’t yet know about CBD and its effects, it is something that you might opt to try to see if you experience any benefits.
How Much Should You Take?
The dosages used in research studies vary and there is no consensus on how much should be used for specific conditions. If you do decide to try CBD, it is also important to note that there is no universally agreed upon dose. Research also suggests that people may respond differently to various dosages, so the amount that is right for your needs might vary.
Some dosages that have been used in research studies for different conditions include:
- Anxiety: 300 to 600 mg
- Bowel disease: 10 mg per day
- Cancer-related pain: 50 to 600 mg per day
- Parkinson’s disease: 75 to 300 mg per day
- Poor sleep: 25 mg per day
- Psychosis: 600 mg per day
One 2020 review of studies found that participants showed improvements in anxiety levels after single doses of CBD ranging from 300 to 600 mg. Such results indicate that the CBD may hold promise as a treatment to alleviate symptoms of acute anxiety.
It is important to remember that you should always talk to your doctor before using CBD if you have symptoms of a serious mental or physical health condition. CBD could potentially worsen symptoms or interact with other medications you are taking.
Looking at the dosage information for the CBD product that has been FDA approved can also be helpful. For Epidiolex, an FDA-approved cannabis-derived medication used to treat seizures in people with certain types of epilepsy, the starting dosage is 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. This dose can later be increased to 5 mg per kilogram of body weight twice a day.
Other CBD products are not FDA regulated and do not have officially recommended dosages. This can make it difficult to determine how much you might need, but there are some things you can consider that might help.
- Assess your sensitivity to CBD: Your individual ability to tolerate CBD can also play a role in determining how much you need. If you are very sensitive to the effects of CBD, you should take a small dose. Some people may find that they are not as affected by the substance, so they may need to take a larger dose to notice any beneficial effects.
- Consider individual factors: When you are trying to decide how much CBD to take, there are a number of factors you should consider. These include the formulation and concentration of the capsule, oil drops, or gummies you are taking, the symptoms you are treating, and your age, sex, weight, and overall health. Generally, people with heavier bodies need to take a little more to achieve the same effects. Men may need a larger dose, while older people may need less.
- Consider the symptoms you’re treating: The symptoms you are trying to alleviate can also play a role in the CBD dosage you need to take to see results. In one study, participants who took 25mg of CBD each day had improved sleep quality, although the results were not consistent. However, you might find that you need a lower or higher dose if you are treating another type of condition.
- Try a dosage calculator: Researchers note that while the variety of dosing strategies and formulations make it difficult to determine efficacy, there are a number of online “dose-calculators” available online (such as mydosage.com) that are designed to help people choose the correct dose. The accuracy of such calculators is difficult to assess, but it may be a good place to start.
Before you try CBD, discuss your plan with your doctor. They may be able to recommend a dose and help you better understand any potential risks, complications, side effects, or interactions you might experience.
Start With a Low Dose
Unless your doctor recommends a specific dose, start by taking 10 to 20 mg a day. Take this for a week to ensure that it is well-tolerated and that you don’t experience any unwanted effects or an allergic reaction.
If this dose does not have the desired effect, try increasing in increments of 5mg each week until the desired amount is reached.
In studies, amounts vary from as low as 20 milligrams per day to up to 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day. The World Health Organization reports that dosages in clinical research studies typically range between 100 and 800 milligrams per day.
Is It Possible to Take Too Much?
So what is the maximum amount of CBD you should take? Researchers have found that 600 mg per day appears to be safe, but one study suggested that doses of up to 1,500 mg a day are safe and tolerated well.
However, it’s important to remember that research is still in its infancy and experts do not yet fully understand the potential long-term impacts of CBD usage. For that reason, you should always discuss your CBD use with your doctor.
Starting at a lower dose and working your way up to the amount you need may be the best ways to avoid taking too much.
How to Take CBD
The amount of CBD found in a product may depend on different factors, including the formulation and method of administration. CBD products are available in a number of different forms including oils, capsules, tablets, nasal sprays, and gummies.
One of the most popular ways to take CBD is as an oil. Such products are made by combining CBD with some type of carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Some more recently developed products include dietary supplements, foods, beverages, lotions, salves, and cosmetics.
The type of CBD product you choose may depend on what you are trying to treat. If you are looking for general mood improvements, a dietary supplement might be a good option.
If you are targeting specific symptoms of a condition, taking an oil, capsule, or gummy might be a better way to obtain a higher, more concentrated dose.
Topical applications may produce localized effects, but they are unlike to have any mental health benefits.
What Kind Should You Take?
It’s also important to remember that many products don’t contain just CBD on its own. There are three types of CBD available:
- Isolate contains CBD and only CBD.
- Broad-spectrum contains CBD and other cannabinoids, but not THC.
- Full-spectrum contains CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids.
It may be helpful to take a broad-spectrum product since research suggests that CBD’s effects may be most beneficial when taken in conjunction with other cannabinoids, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. CBD may also help mitigate some of the effects of THC.
While CBD is generally well-tolerated, this does not mean that you won’t experience any side effects.
Some of the most common side effects that people experience when taking CBD include:
- Appetite changes
- Stomach upset
- Weight changes
Some recent research has generated concerns over the safety and potential long term effects of CBD. One study involved giving mice an equivalent of the maximum dose of the CBD medication Epidiolex, which is used to treat certain forms of epilepsy. The results indicated an increased risk for liver damage as well as concerns over its interaction with other medications.
It is also important to remember that CBD products are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some manufacturers make unproven claims about the uses and efficacy of their products. There is also concern about the quality and safety of the products themselves.
One report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that a number of people experienced negative unwanted side effects due to CBD products that contained synthetic CBD, although the products were not labeled as containing such ingredients.
Mislabeling appears to be a fairly common problem with CBD products. In one study, 70% of the CBD products that were sold online contained significantly more of the psychoactive ingredient THC than the label indicated.
Federal law prohibits the sale of products that contain more than 0.3% THC. States laws also vary, so you should always check with your state before buying CBD products online.
A Word From Verywell
If you do decide to take CBD to alleviate an acute or chronic condition, remember that the amount that you take will depend on a variety of factors. Finding the right dosage often takes some experimentation and adjustments. Starting with a low dose and then gradually increasing the amount you take until you achieve the desired effects is the best approach.