Canadians can find plenty of information about CBD’s health benefits, but information about proper CBD oil dosage is a bit harder to come by. That’s simply because we haven’t done enough research on CBD to fully understand what optimal doses are. When thinking about CBD dosage, there are a few factors to consider. The dosage that works best for you may depend on what you’re treating. A dose that works well for chronic pain may not be effective for insomnia, anxiety, epilepsy or the myriad of other conditions we’re discovering CBD can help you with. Other variables to consider are your weight and your natural tolerance to CBD.
Full Disclosure: Linked products in this article point to items for sale in our shop. You’ll also find helpful product recommendations at the end of the article.
Will different CBD oil dosage cause different effects?
Yes! Part of the reason different ailments are affected differently by CBD is because CBD can bind to many different kinds of receptors in the body—over 65 in fact! At low doses, CBD binds with the receptors it has the highest affinity for. At higher doses those receptors get saturated and the excess CBD moves on to interact with other receptor systems, causing different effects.
Two important things to remember when using CBD is that CBD’s bioavailability changes depending on how you consume it, and that CBD is biphasic.
Bioavailability refers to the amount of CBD you actually absorb and it changes depending on how you’ve consumed it. If you consume it in pill or edible form, you should know that the liver is good at filtering CBD out before it reaches the bloodstream. If you’re taking CBD by smoking flower or vaping CBD, more CBD will get into your bloodstream compared to edibles. That’s not to say edibles aren’t effective, many people attest to CBD gummies helping them a lot, but the effects you feel might be different compared to a similar amount of CBD taken via vape or oil.
One of the most convenient ways to take cannabidiol is with a CBD oil, also known as CBD tincture. Most brand use glass vials with measured droppers that make it easy to measure out the dose you want. What’s more, when you drop the oil under your tongue and hold it for 30-90 seconds as is recommended, the oil comes in contact with blood vessels there and is absorbed almost directly into the bloodstream, skipping the digestive system. If you use a flavoured CBD tincture you get the added benefit of a flavour that masks CBD’s bitterness. If you are taking CBD oil drops, remember not to swallow the oil right away and to leave it under your tongue for 30-90 seconds.
Next, CBD is biphasic. That means a small dose of CBD will cause different effects compared to a higher dose of CBD. More isn’t necessarily better.
Confused? Just think of alcohol as an example. Alcohol is biphasic too. Below a certain level of blood alcohol content (BAC), alcohol is a stimulant that makes you feel energized, confident and sociable. But when your BAC gets too high, alcohol becomes a depressant that reduces cognition, coordination and can negatively affect mood.
Although CBD is biphasic, it doesn’t work the same way as alcohol does. It’s not a stimulant at one dosage level and a depressant at another. Just remember that changes in CBD oil dosage will change the effects you experience.
For newcomers to CBD, the general approach should be “Start Low, Go Slow.” Start with a low dose and gradually increase it until you find your CBD oil dosage “sweet spot” where you enjoy the most benefits. We highly recommend that you keep track of your daily dosage and the effects you experience by keeping a daily journal. Try to observe yourself and take note of your behavior, sleep patterns, pain levels, stress levels, appetite, anything you can think of.
Start with a low dose of 10-20mg. Take the same dose for a week and keep notes in your journal. After a week, increase your dose by 5-10mg depending on weight, and continue on that dose for another week. Follow this pattern, increasing your dose by a small amount on a weekly basis.
After a month or two, you can check your notes and determine which week/dose felt best. Remember, just doubling your dose doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll double the effectiveness. A larger dose might actually become less effective, that’s why increasing your dose gradually is the better way to go, there’s less chance you’ll miss finding your “sweet spot.”
How do I calculate my CBD oil dosage?
When you buy a bottle of CBD it might not be obvious how much you are supposed to take. We don’t have enough research yet to be able to accurately prescribe CBD. Additionally, the effects you feel will also depend on your body weight and the severity of the condition you’re trying to treat.
The chart below is a good starting point for figuring out your first dose according to your body weight. When using CBD for the first time, start with a lower dose and increase it gradually until you find that sweet spot where you’re getting the optimal effects.
There are quite a few different CBD oils out there—with a variety of volumes and potencies—so the formula below might come in handy when it comes time to calculate your dose. Have you got your calculator ready?
First, read the label on your CBD oil bottle to find the potency per 1ml dropper. It should look something like:
For a bottle with 250mg CBD: “1 full dropper is 1ml with 8.3 mg of CBD”
Now check the dosage chart above and divide it by 8.3 (or whatever your bottle yields per full dropper) and then you’ll know how many droppers you’ll need to get the dose you want.
So the formula goes: Your dosage on the chart (let’s say 18 mg), divided by the CBD in a full dropper, let’s say 8.3 mg, = 2.2 droppers.
This is about two and a quarter droppers – easy enough to measure out using the indicators on the dropper itself. Usually, droppers come with markings that show the one quarter, one half, three quarters and 1ml marks.
Just round up or down, whatever’s closest. A quarter dropper won’t likely have a drastic impact on your experience. However, doubling or halving your dose will—so don’t overdo it!
Find the potency of your CBD oil on the bottle label.
Check how much CBD in milligrams (mg) a full dropper contains.
Look up your suggested starting dosage for your weight and condition in the chart above.
Do some simple math.
Should I use CBD differently depending on what I am treating?
Some of the popular ways people are taking CBD in Canada include vaping, smoking flower, CDB edibles, CBD pills and capsules, topical CBD balms and lotions, CBD drinks and CBD tinctures. People use these different products for different reasons. For example:
First, think about the intended target of your CBD dose. If you’re targeting your brain or immune system CBD needs to travel through your bloodstream to reach its target. That means your best bet is to use a CBD oil, vaporizers or some sort of oral product.
If you’re targeting muscle, joints, skin or a mucous membrane (EG. vagina), you’ll want to try a topical or suppository. These allow you to deliver the highest concentration of CBD directly on the target area. It’s also quite common for people to combine products for best results. For example, you can use both a CBD topical and sublingual CBD oil to treat arthritis.
CBD dosage according to weight
This is another way to calculate your initial dose. The formula is 0.1mg per pound of body weight. If you weigh 100 pounds, start with 10 mg a day. If you weigh 200, start with 20 mg a day. After the initial dose, begin gradually increasing dosage as mentioned above until you reach your “sweet spot.”
What are the guidelines for other conditions?
The following are rough guidelines only and don’t represent medical advise or a prescription. These are completely safe dosages, but have been determined through inference, discussion and anecdotal evidence, not clinical study.
- Chronic pain: Take from 2 to 20 mg a day.
- Anxiety: Take from 10 to 20 mg a day.
- Epilepsy: Take from 200 to 300 mg a day.
- Glaucoma: Take from 30 to 40 mg a day.
- Insomnia: Take from 50 to 150 mg a day.
- Depression: Take from 2 to 10 mg a day.
What’s the best kind of CBD for me?
That really depends on what you are using it for. If you want to ensure you are getting only CBD and no THC, we recommend that you avoid Full Spectrum CBD oils and use a CBD oil made with CBD isolate—which will be 99.9% CBD. When CBD isolate is extracted, all THC, terpenes, waxes, oils, chlorophyll, cannabinoids are removed.
Another option is Broad Spectrum CBD. This is basically a Full Spectrum CBD that has had the THC removed. A broad spectrum product may be more beneficial than a CBD isolate product because some studies show other compounds in cannabis plants like terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids work together to create what’s called the “entourage effect.” Essentially, the entourage effect is what happens when different compounds work together to create better, or additional effects. If you want to experience the entourage effect without THC, then broad spectrum CBD might be best for you.
Still, Broad Spectrum CBD is not the same as Full Spectrum CBD. Full Spectrum CBD includes some terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids, and a small amount of THC as well. Some people find that they experience more benefits from a full spectrum product compared to a product without any THC. Typically, the full spectrum CBD distillate with which a full spectrum CBD oil is made contains between 0.3% to 1% THC.
Is it possible to overdose on CBD?
There are no instances of people overdosing on CBD. CBD is safe and humans tolerate large doses well. It’s possible to feel a few side effects if you take way, way too much—including diarrhea, appetite changes, and fatigue. However, people have been prescribed 1500 mg of CBD per day—the entire contents of a typical bottle—without any side effects. We don’t recommend taking an entire bottle of CBD at once of course! Typically, a bottle should last you 2-4 weeks.
One thing that is important to note is that CBD can interact with other medications. If you are on any prescription medications, you should talk to your doctor about taking CBD to make sure you don’t experience any unwanted drug interactions.
So there you have it. Now you are equipped and ready to begin improving your mental, physical and emotional health. Just use the guidelines for cbd oil dosage above, experiment a little and find your “sweet spot.” Soon, you’ll be enjoying the enhanced quality of life CBD is already bringing to millions around the globe.
CBD Oil Direct recommendations:
For fast acting relief from anxiety
RELIEVE Full Spectrum CBD Vape Pen – 0.5ml
Why choose to vape? CBD is more bio-available when inhaled through the lungs, and that means more gets to your endocannabinoid system, particularly the receptors in your brain. When you vape, you feel the effects much more quickly than with edibles. A Full Spectrum hemp-derived CBD, this formula includes peppermint with the soothing flavours of menthol and eucalyptus blended into premium organic MCT Oil.
For Post-Workout Muscle Aches
Topical CBD products are useful for treating a host of problems including inflammation, arthritis, muscular aches, and pains, sprains, tendonitis, nerve damage, rheumatism and minor burns. Just apply the creams, salve or balm directly onto the sore areas of your body, where the CBD can react with localized receptors.
In a 2019 CBDistillery customer survey, 89% of CBD users reported better sleep when using CBD. SleeBD’s capsules are formulated as premium herbal sleep aids. Infused with melatonin, chamomile, valerian root and vitamin B6 these capsules promote deep, tranquil sleep. CBD in edible form take longer getting to your endocannabinoid system, so take 1-3 capsules (20mg each) about 1 hour before bed.
For gradual CBD absorption over time
Sour CBD Gummies, 300mg pack – 20mg CBD per gummy
A staff favorite, one of the best CBD products in the edible category as far as we’re concerned. CBD gummies are one of the most discreet ways to consume CBD when you’re out and about. These delicious sour gummies (also available in “Sweet” and vegan “Wine O’clock flavours) slow-release CBD so you feel effects in a gradual way over a longer period of time. Superb quality, organic CBD from Canada’s West coast ensures you’re getting nothing but the best. Just take 1 gummy in the morning and 1 gummy in the evening for increased wakefulness and sleep quality. Relieves anxiety and neuropathic pain too!
For pain relief and inflammation
For effective relief with the “entourage effect.” Ethical Botanicals Full Spectrum CBD Oil is some of the highest quality CBD produced on Canada’s West Coast. This full spectrum oil offers the full complement of cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes naturally present in the hemp plant and is made organically without the use of any solvents. A reliable CBD oil for pain.
Medical disclaimer: This information does not constitute medical advice and it should not be relied upon as such. Consult with your doctor before modifying your regular medical regime.
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