In recent years, hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) has emerged as a popular and natural remedy for a variety of issues. From anxiety and chronic pain to sleep disorders, many individuals are turning to CBD to find relief.
However, for most people finding the right dosage of CBD that works can be challenging because CBD is also not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so there is no official dosage recommendation yet.
Additionally, the wrong dosage generally does not lead to any benefits and this always makes people wonder if CBD is just a hoax. It’s not.
CBD is effective, but it works differently for each person; you just have to find your ideal CBD dosage.
For an average adult, CBD can be effective from anywhere between a dosage of 10 mg to 600 mg a day depending on various factors including metabolism, gender, body weight, type of CBD product, and the focus of usage.
In this guide, we will delve into the factors influencing CBD dosage and provide practical insights to help you find your ideal dosage.
What does the research say about CBD dosage?
While no universal research exists when it comes to dosing CBD, many controlled studies have provided valuable insights.
A study conducted in 2011 explored the impact of 600 mg CBD doses on anxiety levels in 24 students facing a stressful public speaking assignment.
The study showcased that a 600 mg dose effectively reduced anxiety within that specific context. However, it doesn’t establish 600 mg as a universal therapeutic threshold; rather, it highlights its efficacy within the study’s parameters.
A 2017 study that researched the safety and side effects of CBD, found that CBD is safe and effective in humans within the dosage of anywhere between 20 and 1,500 mg per day.
Another 2019 study observed 103 adults with sleep and anxiety problems, with 72 participants reporting anxiety as their primary concern. Results indicated that anxiety scores decreased in 80% of participants, particularly with doses ranging from 25 to 50 mg/day.
This aligns with common therapeutic CBD dosage practices, suggesting that even moderate doses of 25 mg a day can offer relief from sleep and anxiety-related issues.
Why is the right CBD dosage important?
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) currently does not regulate the CBD space, hence there are no proper guidelines or an official recommended daily intake (RDI) value that governs and standardizes the CBD space. Without an RDI, there’s no officially regulated serving size for CBD.
There is only one CBD product with a proper dosage that is approved by the FDA, called “Epidiolex” which can be used to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome, or Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.
However, most CBD companies generally assign a dosage guideline for their products, which is effective in most cases, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.
As a result, self-titration is required to figure out the ideal CBD dose for you.
Why is CBD dosage different for everyone?
The effectiveness of CBD at any particular dosage varies greatly from person to person because CBD exhibits a biphasic effect, meaning, the graph of the benefits to dosage ratio of CBD is not straightforward (1).
For example, when you start using CBD and don’t feel the effects, you can increase the dose and experience benefits; but, if you cross a certain threshold and increase the dose further, the benefits can decrease.
This benefit and dosage relationship of CBD forms a bell-shaped curve also known as the biphasic effect.
In the image, you can see that as the dosage of CBD increases, the benefit also increases, and gives the max benefit at the optimal dosage. But with further increases in dosage, the benefit of CBD started to decline.
Now this optimum dosage can be different for everyone. So, it’s going to take proper understanding and trial and error to find your correct CBD dosage.
How to find the right CBD dosage?
There are no one-size-fits-all dosing recommendations for CBD because it works by regulating our body’s ECS (endocannabinoid system) and every person’s ECS is different, hence the amount of CBD needed to feel an effect varies from person to person and condition to condition.
The best thing you can do is seek the advice of a healthcare practitioner. They can provide personalized advice based on your medical history, current medications, and specific requirements.
Nevertheless, to find the right CBD dosage, “Start Low and Go Slow”. Meaning, begin with a low CBD dose (typically 10 to 25 mg) and observe its effects, if you don’t feel any effects then gradually increase the amount every couple of days (not more than 10 to 20 mg/day) till you feel its effect.
Do this until you start experiencing diminished or adverse effects, then go back to the previous acceptable dosage. This is most likely your ideal CBD dose.
Keep track of how much CBD you take and also track the date and what time of day you’re taking it. On each day, take notes on your overall symptoms, mood, pain levels, digestion, and how well you’ve slept. and titrate accordingly.
If you are looking to use CBD for general wellness, you can consider the below dosage chart as the starting point of your CBD intake.
100 lbs – 120 lbs
10 mg – 12 mg
25 mg – 30 mg
50 mg – 60 mg
120 lbs – 150 lbs
12 mg – 15 mg
30 mg – 38 mg
60 mg – 75 mg
150 lbs – 170 lbs
15 mg – 17 mg
38 mg – 42 mg
75 mg – 85 mg
170 lbs – 200 lbs
17 mg – 20 mg
42 mg – 50 mg
85 mg – 100 mg
200 lbs – 220 lbs
20 mg – 22 mg
50 mg – 55 mg
100 mg – 110 mg
220 lbs – 250 lbs
22 mg – 25 mg
55 mg – 62 mg
110 mg – 125 mg
250 lbs – 300 lbs
25 mg – 30 mg
62 mg – 75 mg
125 mg – 150 mg
30 mg +
75 mg +
150 mg +
Weight is a major deciding factor that gives us a basic idea about optimal CBD dosage. However, the type of CBD product, the method of intake, individual sensitivity, and metabolism also play a crucial role in this.
If your metabolism is slow, you will likely experience an extended effect even after taking the lowest dose. If you are a fast metabolizer, you may need a larger dose for the same desired effects.
How do the types of CBD affect the dosage?
CBD products come in three extract types and the perfect dosage is going to vary for each of them.
- For full spectrum CBD, you may need a much lower dose to be effective, because it contains a wide range of cannabidiols including less than 0.3% of THC, which acts in synergy and leads to an entourage effect within the body resulting in a wider therapeutic window.
- With broad spectrum CBD, you will require a little more dose of CBD as compared to full spectrum. Although the broad spectrum contains other cannabidiols, it lacks THC. This diminishes the therapeutic effects of CBD, hence the dosage increases.
- CBD isolate, on the other hand, requires a very high and precise dose as compared to full-spectrum and broad-spectrum to be effective due to the lack of entourage effects.
How do different CBD products affect the dosage?
CBD products come in many forms including oils, tinctures, edibles, gummies, topicals, flowers, drinks, and vapes, each has its unique dosage guidelines.
However, despite the wide range of products, CBD can only be taken in four ways, and each delivery method influences the onset and duration of CBD’s effects, such as:
CBD oil and tinctures can be administered sublingually, this is one of the quickest and most effective ways of administering CBD. This process requires holding the CBD oil and tincture under the tongue for a minute before swallowing.
This provides fast relief for the symptoms. However, the dosage needs to be manually calculated depending on your body’s response.
These are one of the easiest and safest ways to take CBD because it comes with exact dosage guidelines which can also be easily titrated and properly administered. For example, if you want to take 15 mg of CBD daily, you can take a 15 mg gummy and you’re done.
Smoking can be the ideal option for situations where you need fast-acting relief because, with this method, the CBD metabolizes the fastest providing quick effects.
Topical administration of CBD can help reduce pain and inflammation, however, the CBD does not enter the bloodstream so it only works on the site where it’s applied.
The topical dosage does not need to be adjusted for the body weight. So start with the low amount, coat the entire affected area, and see how your body reacts to it, then go from there.
What happens when you take too much CBD?
As we previously discussed, CBD is non-intoxicating and is safe even at a dosage of 1500 mg per day. However, taking excessive amounts may lead to side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, or diarrhea.
Additionally, a study also shows that you can’t build a tolerance to CBD. So there is no issue if you take too much CBD but there is no benefit to it either.
While you can always take additional CBD, if you don’t feel the desired benefits, taking more than required will only be heavy on your pocket and will not provide you with any extra benefits because of CBD’s biphasic effects.
CBD dosage guidelines:
CBD dosage is different for everybody: Many factors influence the optimal amount of CBD for a person, including weight, age, gender, sex, genetics, quality of CBD, and purpose of use.
So the dose that works for your friend doesn’t necessarily work for you. Have patience, keep an open mind, and titrate till you find your dose.
CBD’s absorption improves when consumed with food: Like most supplements, CBD works best when taken with food, this increases the bioavailability and CBD absorption by at least threefold when compared to taking on an empty stomach.
CBD isolate requires a high dosage compared to full-spectrum CBD to exhibit similar benefits: Full-spectrum CBD contains a wide range of plant terpenes and cannabidiols including THC that exhibit an entourage effect within the body, giving you a multitude of benefits even at a lower dosage, as compared to CBD isolate that contains pure CBD only.
CBD takes time to work: CBD is “lipophilic”, meaning it builds in your system to give you the best result, so when you start taking CBD it’s best to stay at a dose and take it every day for at least 7 to 15 days before making a judgment.
Less CBD is often the best: If you are using CBD for general wellness, and not really into titrating to find the perfect dose, then follow the above weight chart guideline and take the lowest acceptable dosage of CBD, at least till your body adjusts to it.
Quality of CBD products is important: There are a lot of CBD companies in the market and not all make quality CBD products, it’s best to buy CBD from a reputable brand that employs third-party labs and provides an authentic certificate of analysis (COA) of their products.
Consult a doctor: It’s always best to consult a relevant healthcare professional about your dosage guidelines, especially if you are planning to take CBD for the first time.
In the realm of CBD, finding the right dosage is a personal journey. It requires patience, self-awareness, and a willingness to adjust.
By considering factors such as body weight, the severity of the condition, and individual sensitivity, you can embark on a CBD regimen that suits your unique needs.
Remember, the key is to start low, go slow, and seek professional advice to ensure a safe and effective CBD experience.
Is CBD legal?
The information in this article is intended for general use only and may not always be appropriate for everyone’s needs. Your health and wellness are unique to you, so before acting on anything we say, seek personalized advice from a medical professional.
We value the accuracy and editorial integrity of all our articles, and we strive to ensure that the content we publish is accurate and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge.