CBD oil can be used as a drug or a food supplement. But no matter what, it is still an herbal extract.
THIS factor not only makes this substance unpredictable in certain ways, but it also means there is no specific dosage.
Different people react to CBD oil differently. Its dosage is also not specific to any individual or disease. It depends on many more variables:
- Kind of Illness or Issue,
- The Intensity of the Problem,
- Past or Current Cannabinoid Use,
- Overall Physical Condition, like body weight
- Tolerance to the Substance,
- Actual Composition and Potency of the Product, and
- Route of Administration.
Like most other herbal remedies, a lot depends on trial and error.
Nonetheless, first-timers should consider consulting a doctor before trying out CBD oil.
Like any other cannabinoid, cannabidiol – an important chemical compound of cannabis plants – attaches to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system to influence some of the key physiological functions of our body, like mood, pain, sleep patterns, immunity, cell multiplication, etc.
While studies into the inner workings of the endocannabinoid system are still ongoing, it is safest to start with a small dose and go up from there to find the “right” dose to treat the problem effectively.
But, what is the right starting point?
While some find 1-3 mg/day as the most comfortable dosage, others may need 20 – 30 mg twice a day to manage their symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no specific starting point for everyone.
To determine the starting point, you need to consider these factors.
Key Factors for Determining Dosage: Explained
Unlike some other cannabinoids, like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD isn’t a psychoactive substance that tends to lead to dependence. Still, it is always advisable to consume any cannabinoid in a measured way.
So to determine the exact amount of any CBD (ml) product that you should start from, you need to keep these variables in mind while measuring the right amount:
- Concentration determines potency: Not all products are made the same way, nor do they have the same composition. Concentration or strength of CBD present in any product is the total amount of CBD (in milligrams) in every milliliter of the product. For instance, a bottle of CBD oil, containing 30 ml of tincture, has 1500 mg of CBD. In that case, a 1-ml serving would mean consuming approximately 50 mg of CBD. The higher the CBD concentration, the more potent is the medication.
- Body weight decides the minimum weight of CBD to be taken: The next step is to assess how much CBD in weight (mg) is right for a person, of say, 46 kg. A person with higher body mass generally requires more CBD to take effect, while a person with lighter body weight can feel the same effect with a much lesser amount of CBD.
- The Extent of Effect: For most CBD users, the dose depends on how much is needed to reduce their discomfort to a manageable level. A light headache may require much less quantity of CBD (in weight) compared to a kind of chronic pain experienced by the same person.
- First-time vs. long-time user: Sometimes, irrespective of the body weight of a person or the intensity of his pain, the same amount of CBD will not consistently keep helping a person trying to manage his pain. With continued use, the body starts to experience a reduced effect, if taken in smaller doses. In other words, the body develops a level of tolerance to the substance. In such cases, higher doses may become necessary to achieve the desired effect.
The CBD Sweet Spot – How To Calculate Dosage That’s Right For You?
Keep in mind that the idea is to start with the smallest CBD oil dosage needed for your body weight to gauge your tolerance and then work your way up.
So, you can start with around 3-5 mg once daily and then slowly graduate to 10 – 20 mg twice a day. While chronic pain may require a 10-mg first dose, patients of anxiety and depression should preferably start with 5 mg.
Again for those experiencing chronic or acute pain, a 5-mg dose in the morning may not be sufficient. You may need another 8-10-mg top-up sometime in the afternoon or evening.
Unlike THC, CBD is less likely to lead to tolerance. Nonetheless, it is best to use a CBD calculator to get a better idea of how much CBD to consume for which disease.
For instance, many patients looking for pain relief find 10 to 20 mg 1-2 times a day the most suitable. At the most, they may need a third dose sometime in the night if the pain is too severe.
However, people with psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety or mood swings, needn’t be given more than 2 mg once a day.
Site/Route of Administration & Dosage
No matter how you take your CBD, most companies print the amount of CBD (per mg) present in the bottle on their labels. However, how much of it actually reaches the bloodstream depends on the way it is consumed.
CBD products are available in different forms – indigestible oils, edibles and capsules, liquids for use in tinctures, vaporizers, and oral sprays.
The route or site of administration decides not only the CBD bioavailability of the product, but also its cost, convenience of use, duration and onset of its intended effects, and sometimes, its side effects.
In the case of inhaled or vaped CBD products, the effect starts to kick in within 1 or 2 minutes and its active life (visible effects) lasts for around 2 hours.
However, indigestible CBD takes around within 30 to 90 minutes to take effect, but it lasts for over four hours.
The reason for this difference lies in the route taken by each type of product.
Inhaled CBD goes through the pulmonary system (lungs), while indigestible CBD has to pass through the digestive system (stomach, liver, etc).
The thin inner surface of the lungs allows the cannabinoid to get absorbed into the bloodstream much faster than the digestive system.
In the digestive system, the CBD not only goes through a longer route to reach the bloodstream but the enzymes in the liver also weaken the strength of the substance.
Tinctures and oral sprays are better options than edibles, as the sublingual gland under the tongue offers a faster route than the digestive system. So, do the topical creams.
The types of products that have higher CBD bioavailability also have higher potency, and hence can be taken in lower doses.
For example, a small dose of CBD tincture is more effective than a slightly higher dose of CBD gummy.
CBD oil has gained much popularity among a large section of people who are suffering from chronic pain and anxiety.
But, given the fact that this is not a regulated drug and it is an herbal extract, it is difficult to specify a dosage for different ailments.
While no specific dosage can be recommended for people suffering from any particular disease or disorder, it’s still safe to say that you don’t run the risk of overdosing on CBD.