CBD Dosage Guide: How Much CBD should I Take
CBD is one of the youngest industries in the U.S., but it is growing at an exponential rate. And even though CBD is federally legal, it’s still a divisive topic due mostly to its close association with marijuana. For the ﬁrst time in history, the majority of Americans are in favor of marijuana legalization. While CBD and marijuana are often grouped together, the two are signiﬁcantly diﬀerent.
When people ﬁrst explore CBD, they often have anxiety and confusion about CBD. Some people think CBD will get them high (it won’t), and some get overwhelmed by what type of CBD to use, how much to take at a time, and how to decide what form of CBD to take (edibles, tinctures, topicals, etc.).
This guide is intended as a resource to provide you with information that will answer all of your CBD questions and help you incorporate CBD and its numerous beneﬁts into your life. Keep reading to get an in-depth understanding of what CBD is, its numerous beneﬁts and applications, how to take it, and what to expect from CBD in the future.
Plus, we’ve included a special bonus for readers at the end of this ebook to give you an easy path forward towards adding CBD into your health and wellness routine.
How is CBD different from Marijuana?
Cannabidiol (CBD) and marijuana are closely related, but each has unique properties. CBD is a phytocannabinoid that can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp. However, CBD does not have the psychoactive eﬀect of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana that gets people ‘high.’
Instead, CBD oﬀers numerous medicinal beneﬁts for users, in other words, CBD is used to treat pain, illness, and inﬂammation while THC is generally used for recreation — although THC can also be used to treat pain and illness.
Another major diﬀerence is legal standing. Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states. Recreational marijuana is legal in 11 states. But pot is still illegal on a federal level. CBD, on the other hand, is federally legal.
As a result, CBD can be found in just about any corner store in the U.S. You can ﬁnd CBD in various forms including: oils, tinctures, pills, tablets, topical creams, balms, and edibles like brownies and gummies. While this is convenient, it comes with a cost.
There is so much CBD available to consumers that it’s diﬃcult to regulate, which means that many of the products can be inferior, and potentially so diluted and low quality that the products can be completely ineﬀective, and in extreme cases do more harm than good. Fortunately, this guide explains how to identify quality CBD products from a sea of imposter options.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD aﬀects the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is one of the systems in our body that signals cells made up of receptors and various chemicals. The ECS regulates many physiological and neurological processes. These processes include:
|Sleep||Appetite & Digestion|
|Motor Control||Pain and Pleasure Perception|
|Immune Response||Reproductive Functions|
|Learning and Memory||Muscle Formation|
|Stress||Skin and Nerve Function|
THC is also processed through the ECS. But THC interacts with diﬀerent receptors than CBD, speciﬁcally cannabinoid receptors called CB1 and CB2., CBD on the other hand, engages non-cannabinoid receptors. It’s a simple but important diﬀerence.
When you take CBD, it is processed through the ECS and carried throughout your body and acts as a mellow, natural pain killer. CBD is also widely acknowledged as an alternative to prescription drugs for a variety of ailments, including epilepsy, anxiety, glaucoma, and many, many more.
The Benefits of CBD
There’s no end to the millions of people who have touted CBD’s physical and mental health beneﬁts. These are people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. They use CBD in their daily lives to treat pain, sleep better, and reduce stress and anxiety. Their stories and personal experience may all be diﬀerent, but just about all of them have one thing in common; they are strongly in favor of CBD. And many of those claims are backed by scientiﬁc research. CBD research is still a new ﬁeld, so we still know relatively little. But what we do know indicates massive potential for CBD as a medical tool for treating and curing numerous illnesses. We’ll take a quick look at some of CBD’s common uses. If you’re looking for more resources CBD’s uses and benefits visit the CBD.io Marketplace Blog for more informative articles.
CBD’s Natural Pain Relief and Anti-Inflammatory Properties
In scientiﬁc terms, CBD binds to receptors in the brain that heal inﬂammation and pain. Studies are still ongoing, but researchers have veriﬁed that CBD can treat and prevent a wide range of conditions that cause inﬂammation.
We’re not just talking about bruises or bug bites. CBD can treat many conditions we don’t even think about. Take acne for example. Several studies have concluded that CBD can safely treat acne by preventing an inﬂammatory response in the skin and minimizing oil production in your glands. Plus, according to ongoing animal and test-tube studies, CBD can reduce inﬂammation in cells that leads to degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease. That means that CBD could help treat these conditions.
When combined with THC, CBD is eﬀective as a natural painkiller for illnesses including multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and ﬁbromyalgia, among numerous others. Yet, even on its own, CBD is the go to option for millions of users who see it as a safe alternative to prescription pills or medications. And thanks to the numerous forms that CBD is available in, like tinctures and oils, it’s convenient and eﬀective for any situation. And it can be especially useful for extremely old and young people who may have trouble chewing edibles or gummies.
Overcoming Addictive Substances
Taking an addictive substance releases feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine in the body and the brain. This repeats every time you take the substance until you reach a point of reconsolidation — when serotonin and dopamine are no longer produced by the brain.
That is, unless your body gets the addictive substance.
That’s when addiction kicks in. Cravings start and you need the substance to produce those chemicals within your brain and body.
And when we associate certain people, places, or things with that pleasure, they turn into triggers that can signiﬁcantly increase the desire for that addictive substance. It’s a vicious cycle.
Fortunately, CBD is helping countless addicts get clean.
When CBD was used to treat addiction instead of common practices studies have shown that it drastically lessens cravings for cigarettes, heroin, and alcohol. CBD disrupts the pleasure-reward-memory circuit in the brain, which gives addicts better impulse control when they’re tempted to relapse.
CBD for Fighting Cancer
Cancer is an awful disease with diﬃcult treatment options. Treating cancer is generally extremely painful for the patient, and conventional methods like chemotherapy have diﬃcult side eﬀects like nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Patients are generally in so much pain that they often turn to prescription medications. Unfortunately, these drugs are not always eﬀective, forcing them to look for alternative treatments.
However, studies conducted over the last few years have shown promise for treating pain and side eﬀects from cancer. This relief was signiﬁcantly stronger when patients combined CBD with THC. This combo was especially helpful for patients in treating nausea from chemotherapy.
CBD and Epilepsy
CBD was only recently considered as a treatment for epilepsy and seizure disorders but the American Epilepsy Society is hopeful that it can help people with epilepsy. Researchers are still conducting tests and have no full understanding yet of how it really works.
One study from 2016 that gave 2 to 5 mg of CBD per day to over 200 people with epilepsy over the course of three months showed that participants had 36.5% less seizures each month. However, 12% of the participants experienced adverse eﬀects.
In June 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex, a CBD solution for two kinds of epileptic syndromes (Lennox-Gaustat and Dravet). It was tested a month before its approval where 149 people were given the drug twice a day for 14 weeks. Those who were given 20 mg and 10 mg of Epidiolex reduced their seizures by 41.9% and 37.2%, respectively. However, seven of those participants had to back out because of side eﬀects.
CBD and Anxiety
CBD enhances the reception of serotonin (a feel-good chemical) in the body and anecdotal evidence from numerous users suggest that it is eﬀective in reducing general anxiety. They note that they feel more relaxed after they’ve gotten the hang of ingesting CBD.
It may also beneﬁt people who have diﬀerent forms of anxiety like social anxiety disorder (SAD) and post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and treat anxiety- induced insomnia too.
One study from 2011 — where participants with SAD were given an oral dose of 400 mg of CBD or a placebo — showed that those who were given CBD experienced much lower anxiety levels. In another study, a 600 mg dose helped participants with social anxiety overcome their fear of public speaking. A 2016 case study found out that CBD could reduce the symptoms of PTSD and anxiety-induced insomnia in a child with traumatic experiences. It reduced her anxious moments and helped her sleep.
CBD and Diabetes
Diabetes is primarily characterized by the body’s resistance to insulin, which can increase inﬂammation levels in the body. Diabetics are also more prone to many other degenerative conditions if their condition is left unchecked.
CBD is a strong remedy against the inﬂammation that occurs in diabetic complications. In 2017, researchers found out that it positively aﬀected certain identiﬁers of inﬂammation from high glucose levels. This study also considers that it may reduce the damage in blood vessels caused by diabetes.
And even if studies on mice and rats aren’t always guaranteed to work on humans, the results are promising. Researchers found that CBD can:
|Help lower high blood sugar levels||Cut down LDL (“bad fat”) cholesteraol levels|
|Increase insulin production||Relieve pain and swelling from nerve damage|
|Promote HDL (“good fat”) cholesterol||Boos the ability to use glucose|
CBD for Alzheimer’s and Other Neurodegenerative Disorders
Neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis are caused by brain cells and nerves that deteriorate over time. CBD combats these diseases by reducing oxygen buildup, stimulating the nerves, and protecting the neurons (i.e. brain cells).
According to an Australian study done in 2011, the researchers found out that CBD promotes the development of brain cells and slows down the deterioration of brain cells. California’s Salk Institute conducted a similar study in 2017 and yielded similar results — it can help remove dementia and enhance the neural pathways of the brain. Both studies validate the ability of CBD to treat illnesses of the nervous system.
And from the user’s perspective, CBD lowers stress and anxiety levels as well as boosting memory retention and other mental processes. It acts as an antioxidant that brings down destructive levels of oxygen and reduces overall inﬂammation in the brain.
CBD can ‘disagree’ with other medications. If you take other medications, it’s recommended that you ﬁrst consult a doctor before using CBD. When taking CBD, youhave numerous options. CBD comes in a variety of forms, including:
|CBD Gummies||CBD Oils|
|CBD Bath Bombs||CBD Topicals – Lotions, Balms, Salves|
|CBD Oral Breath Strips||CBD Vapes|
When shopping with a high quality CBD provider, you can even ﬁnd CBD bath bombs!
This list is just a fraction of CBD forms, but these are generally the most popular options. When choosing which is right for you, just go with whatever feels right for you. Keep in mind that some delivery systems act faster than others. For example, a tincture or spray that you take orally absorbs in your membrane signiﬁcantly faster than an edible that you have to digest ﬁrst.
What’s really important is the quality of the CBD. Ideally, you’re looking for Good Manufacturing Practices certiﬁed products to ensure you’re getting the best product available. These products will most likely not be at your local corner store. Quality is important because some low quality CBD products have even been found to contain dangerous synthetics that can cause sickness, so always read the label. We’ll review proper CBD dosage below.
Why Take CBD?
We already covered some of the many illnesses that CBD can treat. But CBD is also shown to improve overall health. Recent research has shown CBD to be good for the heart and circulatory system, and can even lower blood pressure (which is linked to strokes and heart attacks). So how much should you take?
CBD Dosage Strength
CBD strength depends on your weight, metabolism, and other personal factors. That means that CBD can affect different people in different ways. What’s strong for one person may not even affect another.
Here’s a shortlist of recommended dosage strength for some common conditions:
|General Health = Low Strength|
|Anxiety = Medium to High Strength|
|Cancer = High Strentgth or Pharmaceutical Grade|
|Chronic Pain = Medium to High Strength|
|Epilepsy = High Strentgth or Pharmaceutical Grade|
|Migrains = Medium to High Strength|
|Sleep Disorders = Medium to High Strength|
Now, CBD has a technical dosaqe formula, listed here:
|CBD STRENGTH||CBD DOSAGE (Based on Body Weight)|
|Low Strength||0.1 mg CBD per lb.|
|Medium Strength||0.3 mg CBD per lb.|
|High Strength||0.6 mg CBD per lb.|
Multiply your weight by the strength of your CBD to ﬁgure out the exact amount you should start with. That number refers to pure CBD, which should be on the label of any CBD product you purchase.
When in doubt, or trying CBD for the ﬁrst time, just take half the recommended serving. If using topicals or bath bombs, simply pick a low dosage to start. And if you are still unsure of how much to take, just ask a doctor or expert. Keep in mind that you can always eat more but you can’t eat less.
In other words, start slow. And give the CBD time to hit you before taking more (we recommend one hour).
What’s the next step of your CBD Journey?
The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 legalized industrial hemp in the United States. That gave CBD products an even bigger market. You can ﬁnd CBD just about anywhere, from drug stores to gas stations to designer CBD boutiques and marijuana dispensaries.
CBD research continues to move forward, and could potentially be the key to curing numerous diseases and medical conditions.
And CBD is even becoming a hot investment vehicle!
As CBD grows in popularity, consumers will have an ever-increasing pool of products to choose from. It’s more important that ever to check for quality in your CBD products.
If we missed anything or you have follow up questions, email us at [email protected]
Enjoy, and welcome to the ﬂourishing world of CBD!
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CBD Dosing Guide
Ever since I’ve started talking more about CBD here on the blog and on instagram, I’ve gotten the same questions over and over — what brands do I like, and what are the CBD dosing guidelines?
Before we get started, please check out the Healthy Crush medical disclaimer. This is a personal blog, intended to share information and resources – not to be taken as medical advice.
You probably know by now that my favorite CBD brand is Supherbals — I know them personally, I order from them again and again, and I’m really impressed by their dedication to making the highest quality CBD products possible, and their celebration of the cannabis plant. As the co-founder of the company, Greg Prasker, says: “the cannabis plant demands respect!” I couldn’t agree more. Check out their site to order CBD online, and use code JENNY15 for a discount.
If you’re not familiar with why I got interested in CBD, you can read about that here:
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis. It’s one of over 100 chemical compounds called “cannabinoids,” found in various breeds of cannabis plants. THC (the psychoactive compound that makes you feel high) and CBD (non-psychoactive and considered to be therapeutic) are 2 of the most widely used cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids from cannabis bind to receptors in our body’s endocannabinoid system to produce therapeutic effects.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system in our body (just discovered in the 1990s) contains cannabinoid receptors, or “locks,” and cannabinoids are the “keys.” Cannabinoid receptors are found in the immune system, the central nervous system, the brain, organs, connective tissue, and glands. Our body produces endocannabinoids, and the cannabis plant produces similar compounds called phytocannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system maintains and restores balance and homeostasis in the body and can affect inflammation, pain, mood, energy, brain health, the nervous system, hormone balance, sleep, disease and more.
What is the difference between CBD from marijuana and CBD from hemp?
Hemp and marijuana are 2 different plants within the cannabis family. CBD from hemp (which contains .3% THC or less) is currently being sold in many US stores and online. CBD from the marijuana plant (often formulated with higher levels of THC) can only be purchased at dispensaries in states with medical or recreational legal use. The CBD molecule is virtually identical from each plant, but some report more significant effects from marijuana-derived CBD vs. hemp-derived CBD (as the marijuana plant often contains higher levels of other cannabinoids, contributing to the “entourage effect” — the presence of more cannabinoids strengthens the effect of the others).
What are the main reasons people use CBD?
I got this image from Vital Leaf, and I love it. They put it together based on a study by HelloMD and Brightfield on CBD Usage (link opens a pdf), which is a very cool and interesting read.
According to the study, the top reasons people use CBD are: anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, depression, tension, headaches, and pain.
So, how much CBD should you start with?
The first thing to remember is that the ideal CBD dosage will differ for everyone, there’s no “one size fits all” type of scenario here. So if you’re curious about CBD, you’ll have to experiment a little bit. (Disclaimer, I’m not a doctor – so don’t take any of this as a personal recommendation, please! This is for informational purposes only.)
I asked my friend Greg from Supherbals to weigh in on this, and here’s his answer:
“When it comes to dosing, everyone is different. Some people could take 15 mg a day and be totally fine, some people may need 50 mg for more severe conditions. With our CBD, we usually suggest people start with 20-25 mg and see how they feel. That may be enough, but they may need more. You start somewhere, and you add more, and you find out what works for you. A lot of people say, ‘yeah, I take CBD but I don’t know if it’s working.’ If you’re taking our CBD, you’ll know it’s working. The fact is, if you’re taking CBD, you should absolutely know…this is working.”
That quote is exactly why it’s important to start low, and experiment with how your body reacts. CBD dosing is not a “more is better” situation. In fact, you’re looking for the minimum effective dose of CBD for your condition, because some people actually report the opposite of their desired effect when they take too high of a dose (i.e. feeling wired instead of sleepy, or feeling more anxious instead of less).
According to Charlotte’s Web (another great CBD brand – I love their mint chocolate flavor):
- Take the product consistently, every day.
- Notice the time of day.
- Consider your setting. Do what you can to be in a relaxed place, for better observation of your personal health response.
- And remember, if you “don’t feel anything,” don’t feel frustrated. This just means that you haven’t found your ideal concentration level yet.
I put together a CBD dosing chart with information from the book CBD: A Patient’s Guide To Medical Cannabis (which is an incredible read, by the way). If you really want to learn everything you need to know about CBD, read this book. It’s a gold mine.
It’s very important when it comes to experimenting with cannabis products to remember the mantra, “start low, and go slow.” If you’re just starting out with CBD, start with the lowest dosage in your weight range for the condition you’re hoping to alleviate.
Take the smallest dose for a few days and see if it helps with what you’re looking for. If you don’t feel a difference, move up to a higher dose, and take that for a few days. Keep a record of how much you’re taking, and notice when you hit the “sweet spot” where the dose really works for you.
These are the dosing ranges based on body weight only. These are DAILY doses (i.e. the total mg of CBD you will take throughout the day — either in one dose, or dosed throughout the day, depending on what condition you’re treating).
Please keep in mind there are many things besides body weight that contribute to the ideal dosing for CBD — the most important factor being your personal sensitivity to the cannabis plant, which you’ll need to experiment with to figure out.
This CBD dosing guide is separated into 3 categories of doses — a micro dose of CBD, a standard dose of CBD, and a macro dose of CBD.
From the book CBD: A Patient’s Guide To Medical Cannabis.
These are very general guidelines – everyone is different! Please consult your medical provider before starting any CBD regimen.
CBD DOSING CHART (by body weight)
Micro doses of CBD are often used for sleep, headaches, mood, nausea, PTSD, and stress.
Standard doses of CBD are often used for pain, inflammation, autoimmune disorders, lyme disease, anxiety, depression, arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, IBS, autism, and weight loss.
Macro doses of CBD are often used for cancer, epilepsy, seizure disorders, liver disease, and other severe conditions.
How do you know how much CBD you’re taking?
Most CBD products should tell you the total mg of CBD in the entire product, as well as how many mg of CBD are in a dose.
With tinctures, for instance:
Let’s say you have a bottle of CBD oil that has 850mg of CBD total (in the whole bottle), like the one from Supherbals.
If the bottle is a 30ml bottle, and 1 dropperful is equal to 1 ml, 850mg total divided by 30ml means each dropperful would have 28mg of CBD in it.
So if you want to take about 15mg of CBD, which is on the higher end of micro-dose for a 150lb person, you’d take 1/2 a dropperful of that particular tincture and see how you feel.
Most tinctures that you purchase will tell you on the label how many mg of CBD are in 1 serving, dropperful, or number of drops — so you can carefully measure out your dosage. Every one is different, so check your labels and contact the company if you aren’t sure!
If you are taking capsules, the bottle should clearly tell you how many mg of CBD are in 1 capsule.
With vaping, it’s a bit more difficult to say, but from what I hear, you generally get about 1-2mg of CBD per “pull” (or inhalation) from the vape – but this varies, so check your product.
If you’re eating CBD edibles, like chocolates, they’ll usually tell you how many mg of CBD are in one square of chocolate (5 or 10mg per serving, for instance).
My experience with CBD dosing:
The first time I tried CBD oil, I took only about 10mg in the form of a tincture before bed — and I was amazed by how deep my sleep was. I had been having a hard time sleeping for awhile, and it made a huge difference for me. Since then, I take anywhere from 10-30mg for sleep, anxiety, or just to chill out or take the edge off. So somewhere in the micro to standard dose range for a 125lb person usually works well for me.
When my dad started taking CBD, he was taking 2 30mg capsules per day (so 60mg total), which is in the standard dose range for a 200lb person, and he noticed almost immediately that his joint pain had completely gone away when walking up the stairs!
Methods of CBD Delivery (a few examples):
Inhalation: vaporizer. Onset: immediate. Duration: 2-4 hours.
Ingestion: edible, in food or liquid. Onset: 30 mins – 2 hours. Duration: 6-8 hours.
Oral: tincture, under tongue. Onset: 15-60 mins. Duration: 4-6 hours.
Topical: Balm, lotion. Applied to skin (local pain relief). Onset: 15 mins. Duration: 2-4 hours.
Transdermal: Patch. Onset: 15 mins. Duration: 12 hours.
Buy my favorite CBD tinctures, vapes, and roll-ons here and use discount code JENNY15.