How To Calculate Your CBD Oil Dosage According To CBD Format And Condition
UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) recently published its guidelines for using cannabidiol (CBD). Among its suggestions is a top dose of 70mg a day—or about 28 drops of 5% strength CBD oil. But there is still no official recommended daily allowance (RDA) for people taking CBD.
Consumers experimenting with CBD usually ask their doctors for the dosage best suited for them. This is an important and helpful instinct. Apart from medical advice from your GDP, you can find below some data regarding CBD oil dosage as a general guideline as well as the suggested dosage for various conditions.
However, before trying CBD you should always discuss it with your doctor, especially if you are on any kind of medication. CBD sold over the counter is not considered a medicine but a supplement. So, please bear in mind that all information below is not offered as medical advice but only as informational guidance.
How much CBD should I take?
There is no one-size-fits-all guideline regarding CBD.
Because of its interaction with our endocannabinoid system, CBD acts in various and differing ways on people. The general rule is that you should “start low, go slow.” Start with a low dose (no more than 10mg per day). After a few days, increase it incrementally until you reach the desired effect. Keep in mind FSA’s guideline of a top dose of 70 mg per day.
There is no point in taking too much CBD if a lower dose will have the exact same effect.
Besides saving you money, lower doses have fewer chances of triggering any side-effects from CBD.
With that in mind, what are the main factors that influence the CBD oil dosage you should take?
The necessary CBD oil dosage depends on body weight. Heavier people may require bigger doses compared to lighter people. Also, the dosage that a heavy person can absorb may be too high for someone with a lower weight.
Level of pain or discomfort
This is a highly subjective issue because people perceive pain differently and have a different threshold for pain. However, as a general rule, a mild level of pain will require lower doses of CBD compared to high levels of pain or debilitating symptoms.
Concentration of CBD
The concentration of a CBD product a person takes is crucial in determining the potential outcome. A stronger CBD concentration will have a stronger, immediate effect compared to a smaller concentration.
Are you looking for immediate relief or for a steady and slow release of CBD?
The potential effect of CBD will vary according to the dosage and frequency it is taken. A large dose will have a faster effect compared to micro-doses spread throughout the day.
People who have a high metabolism burn food and energy faster compared to other people. This could imply that people with a high metabolism (e.g. athletes or people exercising a lot) may require larger doses than more sedentary consumers.
CBD oil dosage calculator
Below you can find a helpful table with suggested doses according to body weight and levels of discomfort or pain. Please remember that the following are guidelines and do not constitute medical advice.
|Weight||Mild pain||Medium pain||High pain|
|Light||11 mg||12 mg||Up to 17 mg|
|Average||18 mg||19 mg||Up to 27 mg|
|Heavy||24 mg||29 mg||Up to 45 mg|
Different ways to consume CBD and bioavailability
An important issue to remember regarding doses is that the way you take CBD affects its subsequent bioavailability in the body—i.e. how much of it ultimately enters your bloodstream.
When CBD is ingested, e.g. with CBD capsules or edibles, it is digested and broken down in the stomach before entering the bloodstream. This decreases the bioavailability but can produce a longer-lasting effect.
Taking CBD sublingually (under the tongue) means that it enters the bloodstream immediately, as it bypasses the digestive system and gastrointestinal tract. This increases bioavailability and speed of absorption.
Vaping CBD is fast-acting and offers maximum bioavailability. However, vaping in general has been linked to potential health hazards.
Topical creams have to cross the skin barrier, the largest and most effective protective barrier of the human body. For CBD in topical creams to reach the bloodstream, it has to cut through all seven layers of the human skin, meaning that its bioavailability is pretty limited. That is why topical CBD creams are best used locally.
The table below shows the various CBD formats according to the time they need to act and their ultimate bioavailability in the body.
|Method||Time to reach the bloodstream||Bioavailability|
|Sublingually||Usually 30 minutes||Up to 40%|
|Vaping||A few minutes||Up to 50-60%|
|Oils and tinctures||A couple of hours||Up to 20%|
|Topical creams||Varies but is usually||Low, up to 10%|
|Edibles like gummies||Usually an hour||Up to 20%|
People usually take CBD for specific health conditions. CBD oil dosage varies depending on the severity of the condition and the expected pain relief.
How much CBD should I take for anxiety?
CBD may help alleviate anxiety. Indeed, people suffering from anxiety are an important group of CBD consumers. Research shows promising results regarding the effect of CBD on anxiety. Depending on the severity of the condition, CBD doses vary from 10 mg per day to 70 mg per day. The usual dose is between 40 and 70 mg per day.
How much CBD should I take for depression?
Apart from anxiety, depression is another condition that CBD researchers have focused on. Again, the dosage depends on the level of depression and the desired effects.
The suggested CBD oil dosage for depression is similar to the one for anxiety, i.e. they vary from 10 mg per day to 70 mg per day. The usual dose is between 40 and 70 mg per day.
How much CBD should I take for chronic pain?
Chronic pain can be debilitating and can affect people’s quality of life. It often leads to depression. Chronic pain sufferers turn to CBD in an attempt to reduce or manage their pain.
The suggested CBD oil dosage for chronic pain management extends from 17 mg to 70 mg per day, depending on the severity of the pain and the pain threshold of the patient.
How much CBD should I take for sleep problems?
Insomnia can lead to a decreased quality of life and can have major repercussions on people’s lives. Insomnia sufferers are trying CBD because sleeping pills tend to be addictive and have serious side-effects.
The suggested dosage of CBD for insomnia and sleep problems varies from 15 to 70 mg per day, to be taken a couple of hours before sleep.
How much CBD should I take for inflammation?
Due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, the correct CBD oil dosage may have a positive effect on inflammation: our endocannabinoid system is responsible for keeping in balance inflammation in the body. Research is still ongoing regarding CBD and its potential for alleviating inflammation.
People trying CBD to alleviate the symptoms of inflammation can take from 10 to 50 mg per day, depending on the level of inflammation and their pain threshold.
How much CBD should I take for arthritis?
Arthritis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation of the joints, which leads to chronic pain and difficulty in moving, walking and using one’s muscles and joints. The medical community is investigating the potential of CBD for treating arthritis. It is hoped that the interaction of CBD with the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for inflammation in the body, may help.
People suffering from arthritis could try CBD, with the doses extending from 15 mg to 70 mg per day.
Can you overdose with CBD?
An appealing feature of CBD is that it is almost impossible to overdose with it. This makes people feel more secure when they try it. The World Health Organisation issued a report in 2017 on drug dependence with reference to CBD. According to the WHO report, CBD is
“well tolerated with a good safety profile… In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”
These findings are identical to other studies that have shown neither major safety issues with regards to CBD nor any overdose risk. A 2017 study found that “the often described favorable safety profile of CBD in humans was confirmed and extended by the reviewed research.”
The consequences of taking too much CBD—even in doses larger than 1,500 mg per day, as opposed to FSA’s recommended maximum dose of 70 mg—were relatively minor side-effects such as nausea, diarrhoea, and sleepiness.
Studies on CBD
There is a lot that remains unknown regarding the effects of CBD and its potential effectiveness in treating specific conditions. Due to its categorisation as a forbidden substance for many decades, there was very little research undertaken.
Now that CBD has become legal in many countries, an increasing number of research labs and medical communities are producing studies on how CBD works.
Is CBD biphasic?
A curious finding regarding CBD is that it appears to be biphasic. This means that its potential effects vary according to the dosage: CBD may have one effect at a low dose and its opposite at a high one.
For example, CBD in low doses seems to cause alertness and give you energy. In large doses, however, it may relax you and cause drowsiness.
In this, CBD is similar to other popular substances such as alcohol: a little alcohol can cause relaxation and stimulation, while in large quantities alcohol leads to sedation.
So, people looking to taking CBD for relaxation may need to take a large dose, a couple of hours before sleeping. In contrast, people taking CBD for alertness and a boost of energy may prefer to take smaller doses.
While it remains to be seen how this biphasic nature impacts other ailments or conditions, it is worth keeping it in mind when determining the right CBD oil dosage for you.
Determining the right CBD oil dosage through microdosing
Some CBD consumers try CBD in microdoses. When microdosing, people take a small dose of CBD (usually 1 mg) at 45-minutes intervals.
After each 45-minute interval, they check for any beneficial (or not) effects. If they see no change, they increase the dose by 1 mg and check again in 45 minutes.
Once the expected effects appear, they count how much CBD they have consumed in the last four hours (this is the time CBD stays in the body, on average). This way, they determine the dosage that has an effect on their body.
Taking smaller doses of CBD throughout the day rather than one big one is theoretically beneficial for people looking for long-term relief. Instead of having peaks of CBD effectiveness, the body has a steady release of CBD.
CBD vs. THC
An important observation when it comes to CBD is that people buying CBD products off the shelf should be careful about the potential THC content, THC being the hallucinogenic and psychedelic substance of marijuana
CBD products in the UK are legal as long as they contain less than 0.2% of THC.
However, due to a lack of regulation and efficient control, some CBD products in the market contain noticeable traces of THC. This means that higher doses can have unexpected side-effects.
That is why it is always best to purchase CBD products from reputable producers who can produce a certificate of analysis displaying the THC content.