CBD Is Biphasic

CBD Is Biphasic

How to make CBD work for your health expectations

With CBD all around us, we often hear anecdotes about how it can help with various issues, from occasional inflammation and pain to dealing with sporadic stress and insomnia. So many aspects of our well-being does CBD touch upon, that someone may justifiably wonder how it can possibly affect so many and varied health functions.

A reason behind CBD functionality seems to be that this cannabinoid is biphasic. This means that it affects the body differently, depending on the dose. Low and high doses deliver different, often opposite, results and influence the body in diverse ways.

CBD is hardly the only compound that’s biphasic. Think of alcohol: a glass of wine may help you feel more relaxed, open, and chatty. Beyond a certain threshold, though, alcohol becomes a sedative and leads you to sleep. Likewise, a little coffee is stimulating and helps you stay alert and productive. Too much coffee, however, may cause mood swings, nausea, and anxiety.

Thanks to CBD’s biphasic nature, consumers can choose how much CBD they want to take and the method that best fits them. Because CBD is non-addictive and non-psychotropic, even larger doses can be easily managed by the body and produce the desired effect.

What does biphasic mean?

The term biphasic means that a compound has opposite effects, depending on the dosage.

CBD is biphasic. For example, it is stimulating and helps you stay alert in small quantities. In larger quantities, it is sedative and helps you sleep.

How does CBD work in two modes?

CBD may work in a biphasic way because it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for regulating and balancing many bodily functions like appetite, mood, reproduction, pain perception, and inflammation. The ECS works with human cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors.

CBD is very similar to one of the human cannabinoids and appears to modulate the ECS into working better. This indirect interplay with the ECS is how CBD delivers differing effects, depending on the dosage.

Recent trials and studies have shown that CBD interacts with brain neurotransmitters, namely GABA and GABA receptors. The dosage of CBD appears to affect the GABA balance and how it interacts with other neurotransmitters in the brain.   

How much CBD for my expected health goals?

The question of how to calculate your CBD dosage is a tricky one because there is no recognized recommended daily dosage from the NHS or any other health body. The NHS simply recommends that healthy adults should take a maximum of 70mg/day.

The general advice you will hear is that you should start with a low dosage of CBD and increase it slowly, while keeping track of the effects on your body.

How much is a low dosage? It is accepted that a low CBD dosage ranges between 10 and 15 mg of CBD per day. At such low doses, CBD should have the stimulating and energizing features it is assumed to deliver.

CBD consumption and dosage depend on many features and it seems that CBD adjusts to each body differently. However, there are some general aspects that can give us a better picture of how much CBD will work for you.


Body weight affects how CBD enters and stays in the body, as CBD is lipophilic and binds to fat cells. Obviously, heavier people have more fat cells, so for them, a little CBD will go a long way as it will take some time for it to be metabolized by the liver. If these people take a lot of CBD, they will reach sooner the stage where CBD is a sedative rather than a stimulant.

Conversely, leaner people might get away with higher CBD doses without feeling its calming effects. They will experience the invigorating features of CBD because their body holds on to it less. 

Metabolism and activity levels

People who are very active burn calories fast. If you like to exercise and workout, your body is used to a high metabolic rate. The CBD you take will stay with you less as the body burns through it. It will take large doses to reach the calming and relaxing stages of CBD for people who are always on the go.


Your diet also affects how CBD stays in your system and for how long. This will in turn influence the effect of CBD on your body.

A healthy diet based on healthy fats will help CBD stay in your body longer, again because it will attach to fatty tissues. Avocado and vegetable oils, full-fat milk and dairy products, and fatty fish are excellent food sources and contain healthy fats. If you add CBD to a bowl of guacamole, for example, its effect will be stronger.

CBD dosage and microdosing

Another way that CBD’s biphasic nature materializes is through the dosage routine you adopt.

A large dose before bed

A large dose once a day will deliver the full CBD potential. This can easily produce the sedative and relaxing effects of CBD. People who take CBD to improve their sleep patterns can adopt a large-dose method before going to bed so that they experience the full effect of cannabidiol in one go.

A small dose early in the morning

Alternatively, it might be a better idea to take a small dose of CBD early in the morning, when you have to face a busy and active day ahead of you. A larger dose could make you too relaxed and laid-back when you actually need to be active and alert.


Some people choose to microdose with CBD. The idea is that through microdosing you have a constant dosage of CBD in the body, without peaks and troughs. The human ECS gets used to having a consistent CBD level in the bloodstream and works with that towards overall balance.

With microdosing, you can take a small dose of CBD every 4 to 6 hours. The effects will be felt throughout the day without extremes.

Biphasic CBD and method of consumption

The method of consumption also affects how CBD reacts and acts in the body and ultimately influences the biphasic effect of CBD.

Edible CBD

For example, ingestion takes longer to take effect and delivers a slow release of CBD for a few hours. If you want an instant CBD boost, then pills, capsules, and edibles might not be what you are looking for. However, if you want to keep your bloodstream CBD levels constant, you can take a few edibles throughout the day to keep you going and have that energizing effect you need.

You can take a CBD pill, edible, or capsule at the beginning of the day to help you focus through your activities and be productive. You can then take a larger dose a couple of hours before going to bed to fully benefit from the biphasic nature of CBD.

Vaping CBD

Vaping enters the body almost immediately and gives a CBD boost to the body. The effects take place quickly and are remarkable. As CBD enters the bloodstream through the lung capillaries, you benefit from its full potential. When it comes to CBD’s biphasic nature, vaping it can help you achieve the effects of larger doses faster.

Sublingual CBD

Likewise, sublingual CBD bypasses the digestive tract and enters the body through the tongue capillaries. Taking CBD oil under the tongue can give you its full benefit in one single dose. When you want CBD to help you sleep, you can take a CBD tincture an hour before bed and get the full effect in one dose. Again, you are making the biphasic features of CBD work in your favour.

CBD is naturally biphasic

CBD is naturally biphasic because of the way it interacts with the human endocannabinoid system and how it works its way with the brain neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitter sensitivity depends on the quantity of CBD at any given time, hence the varying effects of CBD depend on the dose taken.

In small doses, CBD is stimulating and helps you focus. In larger doses, it is relaxing and helps you unwind.

It’s good to know that there is practically no CBD dose that can be harmful. At worst, you will experience side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, and dry mouth.

To make the biphasic nature of CBD work with your health expectations, adjust the method of consumption and the time of day you take it. Larger doses should be taken when you want to relax and calm down. Smaller ones are better when you want to stay active and focused.

An important thing to remember is that CBD adjusts to the body and is influenced by diet, weight, and metabolism levels. A ‘small’ dose for one person might be a significant one for another one. It’s best to fine-tune your CBD routine to your needs and modify it regularly to match more pressing needs.

Finally, make sure to buy high-quality CBD products to make sure you get the right dosage. Read our CBD UK store reviews and check out a product’s reviews and its Certificate of Analysis to choose the best CBD oil in the UK.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Nicholas Rossis, PhD is a specialized, NSF-trained writer who has written hundreds of posts on CBD and nutritional supplements. His work combines critical acclaim with the analysis of the latest news, studies, research, and legal developments in the world of CBD, providing readers with valuable data and insights.

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