Maybe by now you’re convinced that CBD oil can be a transforming approach to natural medicine. Every day, more and more research is conducted on the many health benefits of CBD oil. So far we know that this cannabinoid has powerful therapeutic effects and can help to relieve issues including pain, anxiety, depression, nausea, seizures and maybe even cancer.
But if you’re like so many other consumers, you’re a bit confused about the best CBD oil dosage for your health concerns. You may not be comfortable deciding how and when to take CBD oil either. While there’s no one answer for these questions, as everyone reacts differently to cannabinoids, there is a simple way to responsibly determine the best dose for you, your loved one and your pets, too!
How to Take CBD Oil? First, Know Your Goals
Here’s the first thing you need to know before using CBD oil for its therapeutic value — what’s your goal? Are you using it to relieve pain, ease anxiety, reduce nausea, fight a headache or improve your sleep?
Knowing why you’re using CBD will help you to find the best dose for your needs. In a nutshell, the best CBD oil dosage for you depends on why you are taking it, the severity of your symptoms and the delivery method.
How do you know if the CBD oil dosage is working for you? Well, you know that you’ve hit the CBD dosage “sweet spot” if your symptoms have improved! That is, after all, the goal of using any type of CBD product, whether you’re trying to relieve anxiety, improve digestion or reduce chronic pain.
Use the way you felt before taking CBD as your baseline and measure how you feel after each trial dose. You may need to try a few different doses before pinpointing the best one for you and your needs.
Which Receptors to Target for CBD Oil
External cannabinoids, including CBD, target receptors in the endocannabinoid system. These receptors exist throughout the entire body, including your brain, nervous system and digestive system. CBD oil works by activating these receptor sites.
The problem is that most people have an overloaded or taxed endocannabinoid system, which can lead to issues like stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, inflammation and digestive problems. This is where CBD comes in — it works to calm the sympathetic nervous system or “fight or flight response.” In this state, your organs can’t function properly and your health begins to fail. But by activating receptors in the central nervous system, your body comes out of this overtaxed state and returns to homeostasis, where it can thrive.
Time Frame and Method
For most people, it takes about 30 minutes to feel the positive effects of CBD oil after ingesting it or applying it topically, but this may alter depending on the product’s concentration and potency.
The method you use to take CBD will also alter the amount of time it takes to feel the effects. One of the easiest and most effective ways to use the cannabinoid is to place CBD oil from a tincture under your tongue for about 30 seconds and then swallow it. The amount of oil you use depends on a few factors that are described below.
How to Choose Your CBD Oil Dosage
There is no official serving size for CBD, so figuring out the best dosage for your desired effects depends on a few factors. The first thing to know is that everyone reacts differently to external cannabinoids like CBD. Although many products recommend the best CBD oil dosage based on your bodyweight, this doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.
Some people may be more sensitive than others and would notice positive changes from a lower dose. In fact, taking more CBD than you need may actually be less effective. This is why starting with a lower dose and working your way up slowly is the best way to pinpoint how much CBD you need to meet your therapeutic goals.
How often should you take CBD? You can take one dose 1–3 times daily. This depends on your symptom severity. If you would describe your symptom severity as high or very high, you may benefit from taking three CBD doses in one day. If your symptom burden can be described as low or medium, taking CBD 1–2 times daily should be effective.
The time of day you take CBD will also impact its efficacy for your specific symptoms. A good rule of thumb is to take CBD about one hour before your symptoms typically become noticeable. For example, if you want to improve your sleep, take your CBD dose about one hour before bedtime. And keep in mind that the effects of a lower dose will last about three hours, while a higher dose will last about six hours.
CBD Oil Dosage Guidelines
- There is no official serving size for CBD — Everyone reacts differently to cannabinoids, so you need to determine what dose works best for you.
- Less is more — Taking more CBD than you need may actually be less effective. This is why starting with a lower dose and working your way up slowly is the best method.
- Use it daily — To fully experience the positive effects of CBD, it’s best to use it consistently. You can take one standard dose 1-3 times daily.
- Determine the dosage for you — To do that, follow these steps:
- Know your goals — establish what you are trying to achieve with CBD oil. What symptoms do you want to improve?
- Pinpoint your symptom severity — would you describe your symptom severity as low, medium, high or very high?
- Give it time — start with the lowest recommended dosage for your symptoms and weight. If you don’t notice positive effects within 3–7 days, increase your dose by 1–5 milligrams. Repeat this step until you find your personal optimal dose.
No matter what type of CBD product you decide to use, pure CBD oil has the same bioavailability, or ability to enter your bloodstream and produce beneficial effects. However, the potency and concentration of your CBD oil product will alter its effect.
Opt for products that are made with pure CBD oil and allow you to take control of the exact dosage. Plus, full spectrum products have shown to be even more beneficial because CBD has synergistic effects with other cannabinoids that are found naturally in hemp.
To enhance the absorption of oral CBD products from tinctures, let the oil sit under your tongue for about 30 seconds before you swallow it. Why? Because the sublingual gland under your tongue may allow more CBD to reach your bloodstream.
Ways to Take CBD Oil
As the CBD oil market continues to grow, you have more and more product options. There are a number of ways to take CBD oil, so you can choose the method that works best for you and your desired effect.
The best ways to take CBD oil include:
- Tinctures: Tinctures are CBD oils that come with a dropper. This is one of the easiest ways to take CBD because you are in control of the exact serving. Typically, one dropper is a serving, so make sure to read the label carefully to determine your CBD dosage.
- Capsules: This is another easy way to take CBD orally. You’ll find capsules available in several doses.
- Topical solutions: CBD lotions, balms and salves can be used topically for skin conditions or muscle and joint pain.
- Powders: Powders are another form of oral CBD. They can be added to your smoothies or just combined with liquid.
- Edibles: Another popular type of CBD is edibles, which are preferred by people who enjoy the ease and pleasant taste.
When choosing a CBD oil product, it can get confusing — so keep these tips in mind. First, go organic. The hemp plant is what’s called a “bioaccumulator,” which means that it’s capable of absorbing substances from the water, air and soil faster than the rate they’re lost. When the plants and soil are sprayed with pesticides and other substances, it will get into the product. Choosing an organic CBD oil will ensure that you aren’t also getting toxic chemicals.
Also, choose a product that is lab tested and has received a certificate of analysis, or COA. This means that the product is regulated, meets lab standards and has been tested for contaminants. And make sure the serving or dosage guidelines are clearly stated on the product label and that it’s not made with any fillers.
Research shows CBD is well tolerated and neither abuse nor dependence has been demonstrated in preclinical studies. According to a comprehensive review published in Pharmaceuticals, higher doses of oral CBD (150–600 milligrams per day) may have positive therapeutic effects for anxiety, insomnia and epilepsy, but it may also cause mental sedation.
- If there’s one major takeaway from this information, it’s that finding the best CBD oil dosage for yourself, a loved one or a pet depends on a few factors, but is primarily based on how the person responds to CBD. Everybody reacts differently, which is why it’s best to start with a lower dose of about 10 milligrams and determine whether or not that dose improved specific symptoms.
- If there’s no perceived therapeutic value after 3 days of use, increase the dosage by 10 milligrams until you find what amount works best.
Reference: Christine Ruggeri, CHHC 3/11/19