You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of CBD, but how much should you take to feel those?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of over 60 active compounds in the cannabis plant. These active compounds, known as cannabinoids, affect your body in many different ways.
CBD isn’t psychoactive — meaning it won’t get you “high.” Instead, research suggests that it may help:
- reduce anxiety and depression
- improve sleep
- reduce seizures in people with epilepsy
- soothe pain and inflammation
- improve heart health
- improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
No matter what condition you’re trying to treat with CBD, giving yourself an adequate dosage is key — or it might not work for you.
It can be tough to figure out how much CBD you should take, as CBD isn’t currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and there are no official recommended dosages.
Here’s what you need to know about figuring out how much CBD to take.
CBD has been the subject of a lot of discussion and research over the past few years.
As this 2017 reviewTrusted Source shows, a great deal of research has found that it’s a relatively safe treatment. The studies analyzed in that review didn’t show that there’s one universal dosage of CBD that everyone should take. Instead, it underscored the fact that different people (and, in the animal studies, different animals) respond to different dosages of CBD. Most of the human studies use dosages anywhere between 20 and 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day.
It’s worth remembering that there’s still a lot about CBD that we don’t know. As the cannabis industry grows, researchers will likely conduct more studies on cannabis, including marijuana and hemp, and its derivatives.
The amount of CBD you should take depends on a range of factors, including:
- your body weight
- the condition you’re treating
- your individual body chemistry
- the concentration of CBD in each pill, capsule, drop, or gummy
In other words, there are a lot of variables that go into deciding how much CBD to take. Before trying CBD, be sure to talk to your doctor about an appropriate dosage and any potential risks. If your doctor tells you how much to use, stick to their recommendation. This is especially important if you’re taking a prescription medication that contains CBD, such as Epidiolex, a form of seizure medication.
If your doctor doesn’t provide a recommendation, it’s best to start with a smaller dosage and gradually increase it. This could mean starting with 20 to 40 mg a day. After a week, increase this amount by 5 mg. Continue this until you feel that it’s effectively treating your symptoms.
For example, you might start off with 40 mg to treat severe pain. You can take 40 mg on days when you’re in a lot of pain. After a week, you increase it to 45 mg, and after a second week, you use 50 mg. At this point, you might feel that your pain is bearable.
It might be wise to keep track of how much CBD you’re taking and whether your symptoms are getting better. Write it down on paper or in a notes app on your phone.
How to calculate dosage
Some products, such as CBD gummies, capsules, or pills, tell you how much is in a single serving. For example, the packaging on a bottle of CBD capsules might indicate that there are 5 mg of CBD per capsule. This is important to note when determining your level of CBD dosage. When using some CBD products, can you cut this serving in half due to its presentation. However, gel tabs and capsules cannot and should not be cut up.
If you’re using CBD oil, it’ll likely come in a dropper bottle. The packaging might specify how much CBD is in a single drop. Suggested usages should be clearly marked and this will give you a good idea on where to start.
Sometimes it’s harder to figure out how much CBD is in one drop because the packaging specifies the total amount of CBD in the entire bottle, but not the amount that will be in a single drop.
One drop is about 0.05 milliliters (mL). In simple terms, this is literally just a single drop, not the full dropper.
This means that a 10-mL bottle of CBD oil contains 200 drops. And if the packaging for that 10-mL bottle says that the bottle contains 1,000 mg of CBD, each drop will contain about 5 mg of CBD.
So, to have 20 mg of that type of CBD oil, you should take four drops.
A 2011 reviewTrusted Source on the safety and side effects of CBD found that continuous use of CBD, even in high doses like 1,500 mg a day, is tolerated well by humans.
A 2017 updateTrusted Source to this review also confirmed this. However, a 2019 study done on mice did raise some safety concerns about CBD’s potential for liver damage and its interactions with other medications.
If you’re currently taking medication and would like to try CBD, it’s essential to discuss this with your doctor.
There are very few known side effects of CBD. When side effects do occur, however, they may include diarrhea, appetite changes, and fatigue.
When it comes to working out which dosage of CBD you should use, talking to your doctor is your best bet. While not all doctors will be able to provide information on CBD — depending where you live — some may be able to help recommend dosages or high-quality brands. Speak with your doctor before trying CBD, especially if you’re currently taking any medications to ensure best dosing and medical decisions.