CBD Oil Dosage Guide

What Is CBD Oil Used For?

CBD has become very popular, mainly because it has some amazing effects for a wide range of conditions, with minimal side effects.  There are a few surveys of CBD users that show what the most popular use cases are, and for just how many things CBD is used.

Study 1

 

 

 

Study 2

 

 

 

How Much CBD Should I Take?

Many places will recommend that you use CBD based on body weight. This seems like a practical method to go by, but in reality it’s actually pretty flawed. 

It’s kind of like how using Body Mass Index (BMI) to assess body composition is flawed. It uses measures of weight in relation to height to assess obesity risk, but fails to account for whether the weight is composed of muscle or fat. It’s practical and a good rule of thumb, but ultimately inaccurate. 

Going by body weight alone fails to account for genetic differences in your Endocannabinoid system and metabolism, which strongly influence the effects CBD may have.

Your recommended CBD dosage will depend on:

  • Metabolic activity of liver enzymes (CYP) which metabolize cannabinoids
  • Nutritional Status (omega 3:6 consumption notably) 
  • Endocannabinoid Genetics
  • Past exposure to Cannabis (Cannabinoid Tolerance)
  • The severity of the condition you are treating
  • The type of CBD you are using

Since there is no easy way to establish most of the things above, there are a few ways which we can go about this. 

What CBD Dosage Do Others Use?

Doses vary quite a bit based on who is using the CBD oil, and what their requirements are. But to give you a general idea of the range, we have provided results from a UK survey of 387 CBD users (*)

Dose of CBD per day in mg        373 People
0–24 110 (29.5%)
25–49 93 (24.9%)
50–99 69 (18.5%)
100–149 25 (6.7%)
150–199 11 (2.9%)
≥ 200 27 (7.24%)
I do not know 38 (10.2%)

 

The majority of users (66%) have been using CBD oil for 3-12 months, with the remaining majority using from 1-5 years. Higher doses are likely used by those who have been using the longest (>49mg/day). 

CBD Dosage By Intuition

Generally the right dose is the one that alleviates symptoms to your level of satisfaction. You can tell if the CBD is working because you can FEEL it working. This is especially true for things like sleep, mood, pain, energy, migraines and feelings of general well-being. 

A reduction in inflammation may also be apparent from a greater sense of wellbeing. However, when it comes to addressing underlying mechanisms of disease, it can be a little harder to tell how much to take since these cannot be felt so much.

CBD works for everyone differently. This is a guide to help you find out how to take CBD to meet your unique needs.

Everyone is different, with different genetics, biochemical uniqueness and body compositions. All of these factors influence how quickly CBD is absorbed, used, stored and disposed of in a persons body.

These factors will determine:

1)  How long you need to take CBD for until you feel a noticeable difference in your symptoms

2)  How much CBD you need to take to ‘feel something’

Therefore, there is no one size fits all dosing recommendations.

Instead, we’ve devised a protocol which you can use to find your own personal sweet spot when it comes to using CBD.

This guide is designed for the use of CBD oral drops.

You can also use this for capsules, but if you are new to CBD its best to start with oral drops and move onto capsules.

When using capsules you will have to up the dose according to the capsule concentrations. Eg in increments of 10mg (+1 capsule each time).

CBD Dosage Chart

The CBD dosage chart is split into three phases:

  1. Acclimation (for new users only)
  2. Discovery (current users start here)
  3. Maintenance

Acclimation

If you’ve never used CBD or cannabis before, the first step is to introduce your body and your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to CBD. This is a delicate introduction that is almost like a first date. You play it cool, and slowly get to know each other. You don’t go all in right away, because that would be overwhelming. The same is true for the introduction of CBD to the endocannabinoid system.

So, CBD is introduced to the ECS at very low doses to start, and slowly and gradually increased in dose over a series of 2 weeks.

 The above is for 500mg strength oral drops. If using 1000mg, just half the amount of specified drops above.

Just to manage your expectations appropriately, don’t expect to feel a significant difference to your symptoms or ailments at this stage. That comes later in dose discovery. You are simply introducing yourself to CBD, and sensitising your ECS to its presence.

CBD is powerful stuff, so you want to ‘start low and go slow’ before ramping things up. Be patient. Trust the process. It’ll prime you for a great future relationship with CBD.

Dose Discovery

This phase is exactly how it sounds. You are discovering your ideal dose. This is an iterative process whereby you use yourself as a sounding board for how your doses are impacting your symptoms and quality of life.

The process is easy, simply dose and track your experience to start. Keep increasing dose, and tracking your response until you find a dose which gives you sufficient relief from your symptoms.

The lower the dose the better, as you’ll save money on CBD in the long run.

If you need more, no sweat. The idea is to find the lowest possible dose that provides you the maximum effect. So you don’t waste CBD, but also get the most out of it.

CBD Dose Instructions

The discovery phase is all about feeling out your therapeutic window. Your therapeutic window is the space between the smallest dose which produces a meaningful effect, and the point where your response starts to plateau – the Lowest dose that provides maximum effect.

The point of the discovery phase is so you can find that sweet spot just before you reach your ceiling, as you will be wasting your CBD if you were to increase the dose any higher.

As you can see in the illustration above, you begin by tracking how your symptoms respond to taking 22.5mg/day (for users that have completed acclimation, or who have already used CBD/ cannabis).

Tracking is a very important part of this process, because it allows you to reflect and observe on how your symptoms change in response to taking CBD.

Using our tracking sheet, each day note down how you are feeling. This will help you gauge whether your current CBD dose is working for you, and whether you need to increase it or not.

Its also important to note down other significant things in your day that could impact how you are feeling, so you can reasonably assess what factors are at play in addition to the CBD.

You can also use the tracking sheet to gauge how topical CBD like muscle balms and massage oils are working. Simply write down how many pumps/fingertip units (FTU) you use each time, and what response you get.

If you have any questions, please don’t be shy – drop us a message.

Maintenance

This is exactly what it sounds like. Once you have found a dosing sweet spot, it is important to not exceed that dose if it is not entirely necessary. The idea is to keep using the same dose which provides your desired effects, until those effects no longer hit the mark.

This is for two reasons:

  1. You don’t use more CBD than you need, saving you money.
  2. You don’t risk developing a quicker tolerance to CBD, reducing its effectively too quickly.

Once you find a good dose for your symptoms, stick to it for as long as possible.

CBD Dosage for Severe Conditions

When it comes to dosing CBD for more severe conditions where disease progression can only be measured by lab tests, and not so much felt, shooting for higher doses is generally the route most people take. 

Since everyone is unique, there are really no set or recommended doses for certain conditions or diseases. 

For example, two people who both have Crohn’s disease may need entirely different doses. This may be because their general body composition is different, one has a slow metabolism whereas the other a fast one. They may also have vastly different levels of inflammation, and require that their Endocannabinoid systems are balanced to different degrees. 

If you have a severe condition, then you are likely working with your Doctor or other healthcare provider and having markers related to your condition measured at regular intervals. 

In this case, since you can dose based on body weight as a starter, and choose to increase or reduce dose based on how the CBD is affecting for example your inflammatory and disease specific markers. 

  Low Strength      Medium Strength    High Strength
Weight (kg)

2 mg every 10 kg

(0.2 mg/kg)

7 mg every 10 kg

(0.7 mg/kg)

13 mg every 10 kg

(1.3 mg/kg)

As an example if you weigh 70kg, you simply multiply the mg/kg based on what strength you wish to use:

  • Low = 70 x 0.2 = 14mg CBD/day
  • Medium = 70 x 0.7 = 49mg CBD/day
  • High = 70 x 1.3 = 91mg CBD/day

*The above doses apply to whole plant full spectrum CBD

CBD isolate (purified CBD) is not something we would recommend using, as it is less effective and generally requires a much higher dose to get the same level of effects as the ‘good stuff’ does. 

You can read more about the differences here. 

What Strength CBD should I Use?

Choosing a strength of CBD is very simple, as it depends really on just one thing. How long you want the CBD to last. 

Once you have established what dose you need (based on a bit of trial and error), let’s say that’s 20 mg/day, then it really doesn’t matter what strength oil you get that 20mg of CBD from. 

If you were to buy a 500mg (5%) strength CBD oil, or a 2000mg (20%) CBD oil, you still take a 20mg dose regardless, it just means that you take more drops of the 5% than you would for the 20%. 

5% = 2.5mg CBD/drop = 8 drops for 20mg

20% = 10mg CBD/drop = 2 drops for 20mg

So you can see the strength of the oil really doesn’t matter, because you still dose 20mg regardless. The only reason you would choose a 20% over a 5% is if you are an experienced user who needs to take higher daily doses. This means the oil will last longer, and potentially save you a few £££ (since higher percentages tend to be cheaper in relative terms). 

As a general guideline, here’s what strength to choose based on your expected daily doses:

  • 5mg CBD/day – 500mg Strength
  • 10mg CBD/day – 500mg Strength
  • 20mg CBD/day – 500mg Strength
  • 30mg CBD/day – 500-1000mg Strength
  • 40mg CBD/day – 1000mg Strength
  • 50mg CBD/day – 1000mg Strength
  • 60mg CBD/day – 1000mg Strength
  • 70mg CBD/day – 1000-2000mg Strength
  • 80mg CBD/day – 2000mg Strength
  • 90mg CBD/day – 2000mg Strength
  • 100mg CBD/day – 2000mg Strength

To most accurately dose CBD, knowing how much CBD in mg/drop can help you find your sweet spot with plenty of room for exploration.

Working out mg from %

When a product refers to CBD in percentages, it highlights the concentration of CBD present as a percentage of the entire bottle.

Lets say you had an oil which was 5% CBD and was 10 ml in volume. That leaves 95% of the 10ml which will contain the carrier oil (usually coconut), a few other cannabinoids (not THC) and some other phytochemicals from Hemp or Cannabis.

Straight CBD = 5% of 10 ml (10 ml equates to 10,000mg)

You can convert ml to mg using a conversion tool:

5% of 10,000 = 500mg

Within a 10ml bottle, you’re looking at 200 drops.

So 500 mg/200 drops, should provide ~ 2.5 mg/drop

Working Out mg from ml

To make life a little easier, some oils tell you how much total CBD is contained in mg for a whole bottle.

This makes it easier to establish how many mg are contained within 1 drop of oil. Mg allows you to gauge your intake, and find a snug therapeutic window.

A typical dropper will contain 1ml of oil. So if you have 10 ml which contains 500 mg total CBD, then 1 ml = 50 mg.

So Total CBD in mg / Total ml = CBD for 1 ml

The dropper (1 ml) may give you somewhere between 20 and 25 drops:

50 mg/25 drops = 2 mg

50 mg/20 drops = 2.5 mg

What works for you is going to be completely subjective, so start low and increase incrementally to find your therapeutic window.

CBD Dosing for Conditions

I have provided information below on CBD dosage based on conditions, because a lot of people request this information. 

However, since no two people (even who share the same condition) are the same, it is not the best way to go about dosing. 

Don’t treat the condition. Treat the PERSON with the condition. 

Therefore, you may be better off going by dosing intuitively, or by body weight. Nonetheless, below is what kind of CBD has been used, at what dose and what results it had for given conditions. 

CBD Dosage for Migraines

Study: (*)

Outcome: 40% reduction in migraine attacks; 43.5% reduction in pain intensity

Type of CBD: Whole Plant Full Spectrum

CBD Oil Dosage: 18.5mg/day

Method of Administration: Capsule

CBD Dosage for ADHD

Study: (*)

Outcome: Mild (non significant) improvement in inattention, impulsivity and cognition

Type of CBD: Whole Plant Full Spectrum (1:1 THC | CBD)

CBD Oil Dosage: 10-20mg/day

Method of Administration: Sublingual spray

CBD Dosage for Sleep

Study: (*)

Outcome: Improved sleep after first month of use

Type of CBD: Not specified

CBD Oil Dosage: 25mg/day

Method of Administration: Capsule

CBD Dosage for Inflammation

There’s no set dose of CBD for inflammation, as it occurs to different degrees for different people. 

Since inflammation is a biological process that underlies symptoms and conditions, it is hard to measure. Therefore, it’s easier to gauge doses based on what you can FEEL makes a material difference to your symptoms or condition. 

Inflammation can occur in almost any disease. There’s been evidence of CBD reducing inflammation in many studies for different diseases. But the doses are dependent on the characteristics of the individual, not the disease itself. 

CBD Dosage for Anxiety

Study: (*)

Outcome: Improved anxiety scores

Type of CBD: Not specified

CBD Oil Dosage: 25mg/day

Method of Administration: Capsule

CBD Dosage for Pain

Study: (*)

Outcome: No change (dose too low/method of administration less effective)

Type of CBD: Whole Plant Full Spectrum

CBD Oil Dosage: 18.5mg/day

Method of Administration: Vapourised

 

Study: (*)

Outcome: Significant improvement in pain

Type of CBD: Whole Plant Full Spectrum

CBD Oil Dosage: 22.5mg/day

Method of Administration: Sublingual spray

 

Study: (*)

Outcome: Significant improvement in pain

Type of CBD: Whole Plant Full Spectrum

CBD Oil Dosage: 25-30mg/day

Method of Administration: Sublingual spray

CBD Dosage for Depression

Study: (*)

Outcome: Improvement in Beck Depression Inventory Scores

Type of CBD: Whole Plant Full Spectrum (CBD, THC + CBD)

CBD Oil Dosage: 25-30mg/day

Method of Administration: Sublingual spray

Can You Take Too Much CBD?

The short answer is yes you can. 

But when we talk about taking too much CBD, we’re not referring to any dangerous or negative effects. No, were talking about using CBD economically, to get the optimal results for you as an individual. 

Taking more CBD than you need simply results in the possibility of slightly stronger effects, until a ceiling effect is reached. There comes a point where taking more CBD stops producing a stronger effect, and that’s called the ceiling. 

You might be curious though, what happens if you take too much CBD?

The ceiling is within a very safe range of dosing. However, it is possible to dose significantly above where the ceiling occurs. If you have too much of anything, even water there can be fatal consequences. The same is true for CBD, which does in fact produce acute toxicity and organ failure at doses. Those doses however, are:

  1. a) Inaccessible to most people 
  2. b) Just cost an Individual too much

Here’s what has been found in studies in the case of CBD overdose

In monkeys, acute doses of 18000mg purified CBD/day produced toxicity, and organ failure (*).

Just to put that into perspective, the highest daily doses of purified CBD that humans have safely ingested is around 1000mg (*)

The average daily doses for whole plant CBD are significantly lower, in the range of 25-200mg. 

Because whole plant CBD has a diverse range of other cannabinoids and terpenes, the dose needed to produce beneficial effects is much lower than with purified CBD. 

Optimizing your use of CBD means finding your ceiling, and dosing just underneath it. That also helps to avoid developing tolerance to CBD too quickly. 

This may address another question you may have – Can you build CBD tolerance?

First of all, let’s define what tolerance is. According to the following study, they defined tolerance as the need to increase the dose by ≥30% due to reduced treatment efficacy (*)

After 7 months of using CBD, 25% of the study participants had shown signs of developing a tolerance (needing to increase their dose to get the same effects). 

So not everyone builds a tolerance, and that may be impacted by several individual factors such as the severity of a person’s condition, their genetics etc. 

However, other studies suggest that users of CBD don’t develop a tolerance to its effects (9). This may be due to the fact that users were only taking CBD for ~ 90 days, which feeds into the next question – How Fast does CBD tolerance Build?

It appears, from the limited studies we are working with, that tolerance is evident from 3-7 months of use. But this may also vary depending on what kind of CBD is used.