How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?
Here’s the quick skinny on a new natural product you may have heard of recently:
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a type of chemical compound known as a cannabinoid, which is abundant in cannabis plants such as hemp and marijuana. (The human body also creates cannabinoid compounds, known as endocannabinoids. You’ll see why this is important a little later). Unlike marijuana’s other famous cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD oil doesn’t contain any psychoactive properties, so it won’t get you high.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped CBD oil from experiencing a surge in popularity. Indeed, the very fact that this compound is non-psychoactive is likely a major reason why so much research is being done to determine its safety and efficacy as a natural pharmacological therapy for many chronic health conditions. A few examples include epilepsy, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, acne, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
These days, everyone from high level athletes to doctors are touting the health benefits of CBD oil—if not for disease management, then at least as an effective lifestyle enhancer. But this relatively new product—available in inhalable, ingestible, and topical forms—faces several legal constraints, and currently has no recommended daily allowance (RDA) nor a set dosing schedule. As such, physicians can’t “prescribe“ CBD so much as they can recommend it (to the extent that they are aware of CBD and keep up with the latest research, that is).
As for people who want to experiment with CBD oil on their own, they often end up feeling left in the dark about how much to take. And at least until CBD research develops past these early stages, determining a minimum effective therapeutic dose for the broader population is difficult, if not impossible.
In other words:
What’s the right dosage of CBD oil required to obtain a maximum benefit? More specifically, what’s the right dosage of CBD oil for you?
Reported Benefits of CBD Oil
What is the right CBD dosage for me? If you’re wondering this, we can take it on good faith you already believe this supplement can positively impact your health. Just in case you need a refresher though, here are a few of the top reported benefits of CBD as seen in the science:
- It can alleviate acute and chronic pain, both by reducing inflammation and by modifying the perception of pain mediated by the central nervous system
- It can reduce anxiety and depression and boost your mood
- It can help you relax and get better sleep
- It may help reduce nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy
There’s even evidence to suggest CBD oil can prevent cancer cell proliferation and even promote cancer cell death. Plus, unlike many other anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs, CBD oil has little to no side effects, and these effects (like fatigue and diarrhea) are mild if present at all.
Additionally, CBD oil is virtually impossible to overdose on—doses of up to 1,500 milligrams per day have been shown to be well-tolerated. In the face of the current opioid epidemic gripping the country, this benefit simply can’t be overlooked.
But how does it work? It appears that CBD oil triggers your body to produce more of its own endocannabinoids, which then bind to specific receptors in the body and brain. These receptors play a role in a wide range of physiological roles, including movement, coordination, mood, emotions, pain perception, appetite, cognition, memory, immune function, and more.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?
So far we’ve seen that CBD oil is safe, effective, has a low risk of side effects, and offers a wide range of beneficial effects for the body and mind. Now, understanding that the following information cannot be construed as medical advice but is intended for educational purposes only, these parameters should help you answer the question, How much CBD oil should I take?
First, realize that what you need may be significantly different than what someone else needs for an optimal therapeutic dose (e.g., the dose at which desirable effects occur). Many factors will determine this dose, including your weight, diet, genes, and metabolism, as well as environmental factors and the type and purity of your chosen CBD product.
Secondly, there is at least some consensus on dosing requirements for the management of specific health conditions. For instance, a dose of 200 to 300 milligrams per day has been suggested for people with epilepsy, whereas a dose of up to 1,280 milligrams per day has been suggested for people with schizophrenia. To be clear, however, more studies need to be done to further clarify ideal dosing for specific diagnoses.
But let’s say you’re interested in testing CBD oil as a natural wellness enhancer even if you don’t have a diagnosed medical condition. In this case, your best bet is to start small and gradually build up your dose over a period of a few weeks. A general—and yes, gradual—strategy for people taking CBD oil sublingually is:
- Day 1-7: half a dropperful once per day
- Day 8-14: three quarters of a dropperful twice per day
- Day 15 and beyond: 1 dropperful or more twice per day, until you notice the desired results
Your exact dosing schedule will depend on the concentration and delivery method of your chosen product (sublingual, vapor, topical balm, or edible), and, of course, how you’re responding to the dose. Therefore, it’s important to understand your specific product and adjust accordingly.
For instance, many CBD oil tinctures comes in a 30 mL bottle. Let’s say the bottle contains 1,500 milligrams of CBD oil. Since one dropperful contains about 1 mL of fluid (around 20 drops), that means one dropperful contains about 50 milligrams of CBD.
Ultimately, your goal is to work up to the daily dose of CBD oil over the course of weeks to months until you achieve the desired effects. This is typically anywhere from 1 to 20 milligrams of CBD oil per 10 pounds of body weight per day. As an example, a 150 lb person could reasonably expect to find his or her “sweet spot“ at anywhere between 15 to 300 milligrams per day (or around 0.5 to 6 dropperfuls per day, using the above hypothetical CBD tincture product).
Clearly, not all the CBD products on the market are the same; some are higher quality than others, and some may work better for you than others. This is why you need to treat your ramping up period scientifically: take note of how you’re feeling and responding to the CBD oil. What’s your energy like? Your skin quality? Your training recovery or pain level? Your sleep quality, anxiety, and mood? Adjust (increase or decrease) your intake as needed to optimize effects. When in doubt, start small and keep your incremental increases small, too.
Additional CBD Blogs about Recommended Dosage to Review:
- How Much CBD Should I Take?
- How Much CBD Should I Take for Pain?
- Will CBD Show Up In A Drug Test?
- Effective Dose of CBD
- CBD Dosing for Adults & Children Podcast