CBD holds promise as a treatment for a range of conditions, but how much should you take? Learn more about CBD dosages for different purposes. CBD oil dosage is key for getting results you want. Also referred to as a “CBD tincture” or “CBD drops,” CBD oil is taken under the tongue from a dropper bottle so you can adjust your dosage easily as needed. Learn more about how much is right for you.
What Dosage of CBD Should You Take?
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
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CBD is available in a number of different formulations including creams, tablets, oils, and gummies. These can vary in terms of their ingredients as well as dosages, and there is not a great deal of research available on what dose might be beneficial or safe to treat certain conditions.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant cannabinoid found in marijuana. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not have psychoactive effects. Interest in the use of CBD for health purposes has grown tremendously in the last few years.
CBD is believed to have a range of positive physical and mental health effects. Because of this, it has become increasingly popular as a way to alleviate everything from anxiety to sleep disorders.
In order to determine if CBD is right for you, it is important to consider its potential benefits, side effects, and available research on safe dosages.
CBD is just one of hundreds of different compounds found in the cannabis plant. While cannabis has been used in holistic medicine for many years, only recently have researchers begun to explore some of the medicinal purposes for CBD and other cannabinoids.
While further research is still needed, there is some evidence that CBD may have some beneficial mental health effects. These include:
- Alleviating depression: Some research also indicates that CBD may be useful as a treatment for depression. Studies suggest that the cannabinoid might have an influence on how the brain responds to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood. People with depression sometimes have a low level of serotonin, so CBD may help the brain use available serotonin more effectively.
- Improving sleep: While the reasons are not entirely understood and require further research, CBD also appears to have potential as a treatment for sleep problems. For example, one study found that people who took CBD also reported improvements in the quality of their sleep.
- Reducing anxiety: Anxiety is one of the most common types of mental health conditions, affecting almost 20% of American adults each year. Research suggests that CBD may help alleviate acute symptoms of a number of anxiety-related conditions including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
In addition to the mental health benefits, CBD may also have therapeutic benefits for a range of other conditions. The World Health Organization suggests that CBD may have beneficial effects in the treatment of:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Multiple sclerosis
It is important to remember that these benefits have not yet been conclusively proven. More research is needed to determine the role that CBD might play in the treatment of different disorders and health conditions.
There have been a number of studies that suggest that CBD may have a number of different physical and mental health uses. However, more research is still needed to better understand the substance’s potential applications and possible long-term side effects.
A 2019 comprehensive review published in The Lancet Psychiatry looked at previously published studies. The review ultimately concluded that there was little evidence to support the use of CBD for mental health purposes and suggested that more research is needed in order to substantiate its use to treat symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
It is important to remember that this doesn’t mean that CBD isn’t effective. Many of the studies that were included in the review were small, had few participants, and were not randomized controlled trials.
This suggests that more research involving more participants and well-designed studies is needed in order to better understand if, how, and why CBD works.
While its effectiveness is still up for debate, one 2017 review found that it was a relatively safe option. While it is important to remember that there is still a great deal we don’t yet know about CBD and its effects, it is something that you might opt to try to see if you experience any benefits.
How Much Should You Take?
The dosages used in research studies vary and there is no consensus on how much should be used for specific conditions. If you do decide to try CBD, it is also important to note that there is no universally agreed upon dose. Research also suggests that people may respond differently to various dosages, so the amount that is right for your needs might vary.
Some dosages that have been used in research studies for different conditions include:
- Anxiety: 300 to 600 mg
- Bowel disease: 10 mg per day
- Cancer-related pain: 50 to 600 mg per day
- Parkinson’s disease: 75 to 300 mg per day
- Poor sleep: 25 mg per day
- Psychosis: 600 mg per day
One 2020 review of studies found that participants showed improvements in anxiety levels after single doses of CBD ranging from 300 to 600 mg. Such results indicate that the CBD may hold promise as a treatment to alleviate symptoms of acute anxiety.
It is important to remember that you should always talk to your doctor before using CBD if you have symptoms of a serious mental or physical health condition. CBD could potentially worsen symptoms or interact with other medications you are taking.
Looking at the dosage information for the CBD product that has been FDA approved can also be helpful. For Epidiolex, an FDA-approved cannabis-derived medication used to treat seizures in people with certain types of epilepsy, the starting dosage is 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. This dose can later be increased to 5 mg per kilogram of body weight twice a day.
Other CBD products are not FDA regulated and do not have officially recommended dosages. This can make it difficult to determine how much you might need, but there are some things you can consider that might help.
- Assess your sensitivity to CBD: Your individual ability to tolerate CBD can also play a role in determining how much you need. If you are very sensitive to the effects of CBD, you should take a small dose. Some people may find that they are not as affected by the substance, so they may need to take a larger dose to notice any beneficial effects.
- Consider individual factors: When you are trying to decide how much CBD to take, there are a number of factors you should consider. These include the formulation and concentration of the capsule, oil drops, or gummies you are taking, the symptoms you are treating, and your age, sex, weight, and overall health. Generally, people with heavier bodies need to take a little more to achieve the same effects. Men may need a larger dose, while older people may need less.
- Consider the symptoms you’re treating: The symptoms you are trying to alleviate can also play a role in the CBD dosage you need to take to see results. In one study, participants who took 25mg of CBD each day had improved sleep quality, although the results were not consistent. However, you might find that you need a lower or higher dose if you are treating another type of condition.
- Try a dosage calculator: Researchers note that while the variety of dosing strategies and formulations make it difficult to determine efficacy, there are a number of online “dose-calculators” available online (such as mydosage.com) that are designed to help people choose the correct dose. The accuracy of such calculators is difficult to assess, but it may be a good place to start.
Before you try CBD, discuss your plan with your doctor. They may be able to recommend a dose and help you better understand any potential risks, complications, side effects, or interactions you might experience.
Start With a Low Dose
Unless your doctor recommends a specific dose, start by taking 10 to 20 mg a day. Take this for a week to ensure that it is well-tolerated and that you don’t experience any unwanted effects or an allergic reaction.
If this dose does not have the desired effect, try increasing in increments of 5mg each week until the desired amount is reached.
In studies, amounts vary from as low as 20 milligrams per day to up to 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day. The World Health Organization reports that dosages in clinical research studies typically range between 100 and 800 milligrams per day.
Is It Possible to Take Too Much?
So what is the maximum amount of CBD you should take? Researchers have found that 600 mg per day appears to be safe, but one study suggested that doses of up to 1,500 mg a day are safe and tolerated well.
However, it’s important to remember that research is still in its infancy and experts do not yet fully understand the potential long-term impacts of CBD usage. For that reason, you should always discuss your CBD use with your doctor.
Starting at a lower dose and working your way up to the amount you need may be the best ways to avoid taking too much.
How to Take CBD
The amount of CBD found in a product may depend on different factors, including the formulation and method of administration. CBD products are available in a number of different forms including oils, capsules, tablets, nasal sprays, and gummies.
One of the most popular ways to take CBD is as an oil. Such products are made by combining CBD with some type of carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Some more recently developed products include dietary supplements, foods, beverages, lotions, salves, and cosmetics.
The type of CBD product you choose may depend on what you are trying to treat. If you are looking for general mood improvements, a dietary supplement might be a good option.
If you are targeting specific symptoms of a condition, taking an oil, capsule, or gummy might be a better way to obtain a higher, more concentrated dose.
Topical applications may produce localized effects, but they are unlike to have any mental health benefits.
What Kind Should You Take?
It’s also important to remember that many products don’t contain just CBD on its own. There are three types of CBD available:
- Isolate contains CBD and only CBD.
- Broad-spectrum contains CBD and other cannabinoids, but not THC.
- Full-spectrum contains CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids.
It may be helpful to take a broad-spectrum product since research suggests that CBD’s effects may be most beneficial when taken in conjunction with other cannabinoids, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. CBD may also help mitigate some of the effects of THC.
While CBD is generally well-tolerated, this does not mean that you won’t experience any side effects.
Some of the most common side effects that people experience when taking CBD include:
- Appetite changes
- Stomach upset
- Weight changes
Some recent research has generated concerns over the safety and potential long term effects of CBD. One study involved giving mice an equivalent of the maximum dose of the CBD medication Epidiolex, which is used to treat certain forms of epilepsy. The results indicated an increased risk for liver damage as well as concerns over its interaction with other medications.
It is also important to remember that CBD products are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some manufacturers make unproven claims about the uses and efficacy of their products. There is also concern about the quality and safety of the products themselves.
One report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that a number of people experienced negative unwanted side effects due to CBD products that contained synthetic CBD, although the products were not labeled as containing such ingredients.
Mislabeling appears to be a fairly common problem with CBD products. In one study, 70% of the CBD products that were sold online contained significantly more of the psychoactive ingredient THC than the label indicated.
Federal law prohibits the sale of products that contain more than 0.3% THC. States laws also vary, so you should always check with your state before buying CBD products online.
A Word From Verywell
If you do decide to take CBD to alleviate an acute or chronic condition, remember that the amount that you take will depend on a variety of factors. Finding the right dosage often takes some experimentation and adjustments. Starting with a low dose and then gradually increasing the amount you take until you achieve the desired effects is the best approach.
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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CBD Oil Dosage: How Much Should You Take?
There’s no doubt that out of all of the different types of cannabidiol-based products available on the market, CBD oil remains one of the most commonly used. CBD oil, also referred to as a “CBD tincture” or “CBD drops,” is an oil-based product that comes in a dropper bottle which is most frequently administered to the sublingual tissue under the tongue for fairly fast absorption. Because it’s available in a wide range of strengths and flavors, this makes it an awesome choice for anyone who might be looking to make cannabidiol part of their daily health and wellness routine.
Finding high-quality CBD oil is important, but that’s only half the battle. It’s crucial to come up with a daily routine that will best give you the results you desire, especially if you have a particular goal in mind when using hemp.
What is CBD?
- Motor Control
- Learning and Memory
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a fairly simple formula that has become extremely popular because of how easy it is to use. The cannabidiol compound is present in the flowering buds of the hemp plant, which also possess a vast array of additional cannabinoids as well as terpenes, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, and other compounds deemed desirable. CBD oil relies on a hemp extract, which means that the hemp flowers have been run through an extraction process to produce an oil-based concentration. Then, the extract is mixed into a carrier oil that is considered perfectly safe for human consumption such as hempseed oil, MCT (coconut) oil, or olive oil.
How to Use CBD Oil
CBD oil can be used in a few different ways. The most popular way to use CBD oil is as an oral tincture. Tinctures are products that are absorbed through the sublingual tissue in the mouth. The dosage is placed under the tongue using a dropper where it is then absorbed through the tissue and into the body fairly quickly. In order for effective absorption, the oil should be held under the tongue for about one minute before being swallowed. The cannabidiol should peak within 15 to 45 minutes and can remain effective for up to four hours.
But that’s not the only way you can use this type of product. CBD oil can also be added to food or applied topically if needed. Keep in mind that the oil will not be as effective if it is added into food or drink. For the best and strongest effect, CBD oil should be taken directly into the body. You may have noticed that some brands also produce CBD oil products for dogs and cats. This is because mammals also have an endocannabinoid system that utilizes cannabinoids to promote wellbeing and equilibrium throughout the body. However, you should not give your pet a cannabidiol product intended for humans, as THC can be harmful to animals. Instead, look for one that’s formulated specifically for your pet’s breed and body weight.
CBD Oil Types
There are three main specific types of CBD oil products that can be found on today’s market. These types are full-spectrum oils, broad spectrum oils, and CBD isolates. The differences in each are discussed in further detail below.
Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
The term full-spectrum refers to the type of extract used to make the product. Full-spectrum hemp extract is an extract that has retained the full chemical composition of the hemp plant’s flowers. When hemp is extracted, the resulting concentrate naturally boasts the full chemical makeup of cannabinoids, terpenes, phytonutrients, and vitamins and minerals. Some manufacturers may isolate and remove specific compounds to alter the composition of their formula. These products are not considered to be full-spectrum CBD oils. Full-spectrum CBD oils have not had any compounds removed, which means that it does contain a trace, non-psychoactive amount of THC that naturally exists in hemp. By law, all full-spectrum products must contain less than 0.3% THC.
Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
Broad spectrum CBD oil is an alternative to full-spectrum oil, as it does not contain any THC. All traces of the THC have been removed via advanced isolation and purification techniques.
CBD Isolates are products that have had everything but the cannabidiol in them removed. Isolates are considered to be the purest form of CBD on the market, as they only contain 99% pure CBD and no other compounds, terpenes, or phytonutrients.
Flavors and Strengths
Along with the different oil compositions, CBD tinctures can also come in an array of strengths and flavors. The flavors you choose will depend on your personal tastes, while the strengths you select will largely be dictated by your health needs and wellness goals.
CBD Oil Flavors
CBD oil comes in a wide variety of flavors. Unflavored options do exist as well. Some oils are flavored by terpenes, which are natural compounds that give hemp its flavor profile. Some brands, however, use flavoring additives. In doing your research, you should only purchase oils from a brand that uses natural and organic flavorings in its CBD oils.
CBD Oil Strength
CBD oil comes in a uniquely wide-array of strengths that are measured by the milligram. Every bottle should clearly state the milligram (mg) strength. This number usually reflects the total milligrams of CBD in the bottle, which can then be divided by the number of milliliters to determine how many milligrams are in each dose.
What Milligram Strength is Right for You?
Well, it depends on why you’re using CBD, and what your ultimate goals are. Most people start out with a 1000mg formula because this is a standard strength for a 30ml bottle. This means that each dose contains 33 milligrams, which is not too low and not too high. Remember that CBD is nontoxic, so higher strengths should be perfectly fine. You can always consult with your primary care physician or specialist to see if they recommend a higher or lower strength. The strength of CBD oil is important to pay attention to because it has everything to do with whether or not your experience is effective. The strongest CBD oil is ideal for those with more severe issues and those with higher body weights, while lower strengths work well for those who simply want to maintain or boost their overall health and wellness.
Where to Find CBD Oil Online
- First, cannabidiol products are widely available online.
- You can look for a CBD distributor that offers a solid variety of high-quality products from top-rated brands, as here you’ll find the widest selection available.
- You can also opt for buying directly from a brand’s website.
- Always look for third-party lab reports, as these indicate that the brand has their hemp thoroughly tested by an unbiased, independent laboratory for quality and purity.
Where to Find a CBD Store in Your Area
You’re most likely to find CBD oil in vape shops and wellness stores. Always thoroughly research a brand before buying its CBD oil. Even though there are a multitude of brands on the market, not all of their CBD products are created equal. Indeed, some CBD oil that you come across may not have the level of quality that you need because the products may be of poor quality and lacking in purity, strength, and effectiveness. Even though it’s easy and convenient to take a trip to the vape shop down the street, it might not be that easy to find all of the information on a CBD oil that you’re interested in. When you purchase products online from a reputable brand like ours, you can take all the time you need to search through our products, examine independent third-party lab reports, read through verified customer reviews, and spend some time thinking about what CBD oil flavor and strength will be best for your needs. You will not be able to do this when you visit a local brick and mortar retailer. In light of this, online brands are the best way to go.
CBD Oil Dosage Has More Meanings Than You Can Imagine
Overall, CBD oil is an incredibly versatile product that provides you with all of the unique properties found within cannabidiol. If you have questions or concerns about beginning a health regimen with CBD oil, feel free to talk with your doctor or specialist about how to incorporate the oil into your daily routine. You may find that the simple act of taking CBD oil every day takes your wellness regimen to the next level while helping you finally reach your goals. Figuring out the best dosage for CBD doesn’t have to be tricky or confusing. In fact, a great rule of thumb when it comes to finding the right dose is to start low and go slow. Since dosing is different for everybody, the journey to finding the right dose will look different for everyone. But what happens when you’ve found your right dose and it doesn’t seem to be working for you anymore? If that’s the case for you, then it’s time to learn when you should consider increasing your CBD dosage.
Different CBD Oil Doses for Different Bodies
As stated earlier, there really isn’t one set dose that’s a perfect fit for everyone when it comes to CBD. Since everyone’s body is different, a dose that works best for one person might not work that great for another. Therefore, when it comes to finding the right dose, it’s best to take time and slowly increase as needed while carefully observing how you’re feeling and how your body is reacting to the current dose you’re on. When you are trying to find the right CBD dosage for yourself, the first thing you need to do is choose the CBD oil strength that will work best for your health goals and overall wellness needs. Typically, higher strength oils like 1200 mg and 2400 mg oils are needed to help handle tougher health issues, while middle and lower strength oils like 600 mg and 300 mg may help boost general health.
Once you find the right strength that works best for you, then you need to find the right dose that works best for your overall health and wellness goals. When it comes to CBD oil, your body needs time to get used to both the CBD oil as well as the dosage. So, if you have opted to go with a 600mg bottle of CBD oil, begin by taking a half a dropper full once a day. This will roughly equal 10 mg of CBD a day. Stay at this dose for one week, then check in with yourself to see how you are feeling. If you feel that you need more CBD oil, increase to a half a dropper full twice a day. This will now equal 10mg twice a day, or 20 mg a day. Stay with this dose for yet another week before checking in with yourself again. Keep using this method until you’ve found the right dose for your needs.
Too Much, or Too Little: Why it Matters
We all know that taking too little CBD oil can be ineffective. But did you also know that taking too much CBD oil can be just as ineffective? First, if you’re worried about overdosing on CBD oil, rest assured, you cannot overdose with the small amounts you will be taking every day within our dosing guidelines. Consuming too much CBD when you first start taking CBD oil will cause you to build up a tolerance . This, in turn, will cause you to have to take more of the oil in order to achieve the same effect over time. If you find that this is happening to you, try taking a break for a few days before beginning again at a lower dose. This is why we say to start low and go slow. When it comes to taking CBD oil, you need to start gradually so that you can eventually find that sweet spot where you will be able to receive all of the benefits that CBD has to offer. Taking too much or too little CBD will cause you to miss out.
Consistency is Key
When you begin to take CBD oil, you should take it at the same time each and every day. Consistency is key when taking CBD oil because when you take the oil at the same time each day, you’re creating a more reliable testing environment so you really know if it’s the CBD that’s helping or if it’s other factors. When you take CBD oil, you should drop it under your tongue and hold it there for about 60 seconds. In doing this, you are allowing the CBD to enter into the bloodstream after it passes through the thin membrane under the tongue. As far as eating or not eating with CBD is concerned, you should take CBD oil on a relatively empty stomach.
When you take your CBD oil after eating, it’s getting diluted and broken down through the digestion process. That means if you’re taking CBD oil after a big meal, then you are simply missing out on the compound’s potency.
CBD Carrier Oils Matter
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Sesame Oil
When Should You Change Your CBD Dosing?
The simple answer to that question is that you should change your dosage if you no longer feel the effects you desire from your CBD oil. Having said that, you should stay on your current preferred dose for a good length of time before changing your dose in order to avoid building up a tolerance too quickly. You should always be checking in with yourself to see how you are feeling as well, as that will also help you to determine whether or not you need to change your dose. If you are unsure whether you should be increasing your dosage, you can always consult with your primary care doctor or medical specialist.
- The content, quality, and potency of the CBD oil
- The method of consumption
- The dose you are taking
- Your overall health and wellness goals
- Your weight, your genetics, your overall body makeup, liver performance, immune system function, medical history, and age
Closing Thoughts on Changing Your CBD Dosage
CBD can be a wonderful and beneficial part of your everyday health regimen. As with starting any supplement or medication, your body needs time to get used to both the CBD as well as the dosage. One way to do that is to begin using a small amount of CBD oil each day and then increasing both the frequency and the dose slowly to give your body time to adjust. In doing this, you are also ensuring that your body will not build up a tolerance to the CBD too quickly, which will ultimately cause you to use more CBD over time.
Since there is not one perfect dose that will work for everyone, it’s imperative that you check in with yourself to see how you’re feeling while you are on each new dose of CBD oil. Your body will be your best guide in letting you know if and when it’s time to increase your dose of CBD oil. As always, you can always reach out to your primary care doctor or medical specialist for help with establishing and/or increasing the dose of your CBD. Incorporating CBD oil into your healthcare regimen takes patience, time, and a little research in order to ensure that it is working optimally for you. Only then will you find the right dosage and delivery method that works best for your health and wellness needs.