What is the Right CBD Dosage?
CBD Dosage is one of the biggest unknowns for consumers who use marijuana-derived cannabidiol (CBD) for general health, insomnia, seizures, PTSD and many other conditions. It’s use has skyrocketed due to its effectiveness and that CBD is non-psychoactive (i.e. it won’t get you “high”), unlike THC.
The answer to the CBD dosage question isn’t clear, and it depends on the patient’s condition, weight, internal chemistry and other factors. Furthermore, a tangle of regulations from state to state, poor enforcement, unscrupulous testing laboratories and producers make it difficult to guarantee the CBD concentrations and general quality of CBD products sold.
CBD, often consumed as a spray under the tongue, as CBD oil or cooked in food, is the most potent non-psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana. It’s widely available in U.S. markets where CBD is legal, but the oil’s quality and concentration vary widely.
Be sure you know the incredibly important differences between Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration spot-checks CBD oil producers every year and sends out warnings about fraudulently labeled CBD products. In 2016, for instance, the FDA published warnings about 22 different CBD products from producers throughout Californa, Utah, Texas, Michigan and Oklahoma that contained hundreds of milligrams less cannabidiol than claimed, or even none at all.
Because the legal cannabis industry is still in its infancy, there are only a few independent labs qualified to certify the purity and concentration of CBD and other marijuana products. To find reputable testing labs, the Association of Commercial Cannabis Laboratories is a good place to start.
CBD Dosage: How Do I Know How Much CBD I Need?
Researchers are, bit by bit, hashing out (forgive the pun) the right CBD dosage for different patients and conditions.
In a historic move, the FDA approved the CBD-based Epidiolex in June, 2018. This drug is approved for rare seizure disorders in kids 3 to 5 years old. Dosage is set by the FDA according to the results of clinical trials. Doctors will start off with 2.5 mg twice daily and increase dosage to 20 mg per day if there are no serious side effects.
So, if you’re a toddler with a rare seizure disorder, you’re all set. But what about the rest of us?
According to the CBD summary on MedLine, published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine:
“Cannabidiol is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth or sprayed under the tongue appropriately in adults. Cannabidiol doses of up to 300 mg daily have been taken by mouth safely for up to 6 months. Higher doses of 1200-1500 mg daily have been taken by mouth safely for up to 4 weeks. Cannabidiol sprays that are applied under the tongue have been used in doses of 2.5 mg for up to 2 weeks.”
Of course, these dosages are based on available scientific data published in reputable journals as of 2018. For instance, CBD was shown to be effective for migraines, but only when the dosage was at 200mg or more. Rodent studies on OCD revealed a therapeutic effect from CBD at 54mg/lb. The classic case of Charlotte Figi, the little girl with Dravet Syndrome whose case popularized the high-CBD strain Charlotte’s Web, showed responded to only 4mg/lb. Results have varied based on glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, and many other disorders as seen in the chart below.
As one can see, dosages are generally much higher than what is seen in a lot of products hitting the market today (e.g. 5mg CBD water), which may negate the health benefits claimed by those manufactures, so be skeptical and do symptom-specific-research before spending money on low-dose products. This isn’t to say that higher or different dosages aren’t more or less effective or dangerous in other conditions. No one has ever overdosed on CBD.
But the MedLine guidelines are a good place to start when figuring out the right CBD dosage for you.
To complicate the issue further, the entourage effect (the interaction of many different cannabinoids with your endocannabinoid system at once) can change the effectiveness of CBD. For example, some studies find that CBD is effective at lower doses when in the presence of small amounts of THC.
You should work with your 420-friendly doctor to find a reputable, independently-tested CBD product. Then, start with a low dosage, then increase it slowly until you achieve the desired effect. As with any potent drug or substance, only ingest under the supervision of a medical professional.
Be sure to check out our article on the benefits and side effects of CBD Oil
The Easy Way: A CBD Dosage Calculator
Using a CBD Dosage Calculator is the easiest way to find the right dosage for your weight, experience, and form factor choice. There are a lot of variables that come into play depending on if you are taking a “puff” of a joint vs. taking an edible. All you need to do is enter your gender, weight, experience, and intended smoking method and the calculator will take care of the rest. It’s a great resource to bookmark as well!