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CBD Oil Dosage: General Tips to Assess How Much CBD to Take

By and large, the acceptance and use of cannabidiol as a therapeutic, healing substance is in its infancy. Medical professionals and scientists are only now beginning to develop dosing schedules for medical marijuana, medicinal hemp, and their extracts (including CBD).

Even with the current wave of states legalizing medical marijuana, many physicians are hesitant to prescribe cannabinoids like CBD. This is for two reasons:

1 – Doctors cannot prescribe (only recommend) cannabinoids, because there’s no recommended daily allowance (RDA) or universal dose for all people.

2 – Most medical schools never cover CBD/cannabidiol therapy in their pharmacology courses (the drug curriculum revolves primarily around substances that can be patented).

Because there is no recommended dose, the information presented on this page is intended to serve only as an informational guide – a starting point of reference – and should never be considered medical advice.

When it comes to cannabinoids, there is one universal truth to keep in mind:

Everyone Is Different

There are countless variables such as weight, diet, metabolism, genetics, environment, product consistency, and more that make a universally prescribed dosage an impossibility.

While we wish we could provide the public with a mathematical CBD dosage calculator, it isn’t quite that simple – very rough estimates are about as good as it gets.

With these facts in mind, most people who are new to cannabidiol begin their journey by starting with the minimal suggested CBD dosage on any product, then gradually increasing the dose until they achieve the desired results.

We at CBD Oil Review (COR) have created an official COR Serving Standard through an extensive analysis of hundreds of CBD products.

The (COR) Serving Standard is 25mg of CBD, taken twice daily.

Additionally, our analysis suggests  increasing the amount of CBD you take every 3-4 weeks by 25mg until you attain symptom relief (inversely, decrease by 25mg if symptoms worsen).

Additionally, you might find it useful to record your daily experiences in a notebook so you can accurately narrow in on what works and feels best for you. With that understanding in place, it is now time to learn more about CBD oil and how to find the right CBD oil dosage for you.

How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?

Mayo Clinic suggests CBD dosages based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, and expert opinion. Cannabinoid dosages and duration of treatment depend mainly on the illness (and countless other factors).

The following chart from Mayo Clinic provides specific dosage recommendations for various illnesses:

  • Loss of Appetite in Cancer Patients: 2.5mg of THC (orally), with or without 1mg of CBD for six weeks. [S
  • Chronic Pain: 2.5-20mg of CBD [with or without THC] (orally). [S]
  • Epilepsy: 200-300mg of CBD (orally) daily. [S]
  • Movement Problems Due to Huntington’s Disease: 10mg of CBD per kg of body weight daily for six weeks (orally). [S]
  • Sleep Disorders: 40mg-160mg of CBD (orally). [S]
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) symptoms: Cannabis plant extracts containing 2.5-120 milligrams of a THC/CBD combination daily for 2-15 weeks. Patients typically use eight sprays within any three hours, with a maximum of 48 sprays in any 24-hour period. [S]
  • Schizophrenia: 40-1,280mg oral CBD daily. [S]
  • Glaucoma: A single sublingual CBD dosage of 20-40mg (>40 mg may increase eye pressure). [S]

Learn the Types of CBD Products

CBD hemp oil comes in seemingly endless forms, each with a different concentration of CBD and other phytocannabinoids. Determining how to use CBD oil first starts with choosing your route of administration – in other words, choosing the best way to take CBD oil for your needs and lifestyle.  

These include…

Ingestibles:

  • Liquid hemp oil, like CBD tinctures or CBD drops
  • CBD concentrated into a thick paste (often referred to as Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO)
  • Encapsulated CBD oil
  • Phytocannabinoid-rich sprays/spritzers (generally designed for application beneath the tongue)
  • Bottled water containing nano-sized CBD particles
  • CBD-infused chewing gum
  • On-the-go dissolvable powders containing CBD (oftentimes blended with other adaptogenic herbs)
  • Cooking oils (such as coconut oil or olive oil) with added cannabinoids
  • CBD-infused edibles (i.e., gummies, brownies, cookies, etc.; generally for individuals who are sensitive to smoking/vaping)

Smokables:

  • Crystalline isolates
  • Wax (similar to THC-containing marijuana concentrates called “shatter”)
  • CBD-rich eLiquids and/or vape cartridges (akin to an e-cigarette)

Topicals:

  • Transdermal patches with CBD (similar to a nicotine patch)
  • Cannabidiol-infused salves,balms, lotions, shampoos, or soaps (for topical use)
  • Bath bombs infused with CBD

Decide How to Use CBD Oil

While many options like chewing gum need no instructions, we have compiled these tips on how to take CBD oil:

Liquid CBD Oil/Tinctures/Extracts: Drops or tinctures should have a “suggested serving size” and the total milligrams of CBD listed on their packaging. From there, you can determine the amount of CBD you would like to ingest. Simply place the correct quantity of drops under your tongue using the dropper and hold the CBD oil in place for a minimum of 60 seconds. The 60 second hold allows for absorption via the blood vessels underneath your tongue – efficiently bypassing first-pass metabolism. Once 60 seconds has passed, swallow the CBD oil.

CBD E-Liquid/Vape Cartridges: Vaping is excellent for people looking for an immediate response, as inhalation is the fastest way to deliver CBDs to your brain and body. To use vape simply exhale gently the air from your lungs then inhale through the mouthpiece slowly for 3 seconds. Then fill your lungs the rest of the way with additional breath and hold for a few seconds, exhaling when ready. There are pre-filled, cost-effective vape pens and cartridges available as well as more expensive vaporizers that you can refill with CBD-infused e-liquid.

CBD Edibles: With edibles, the only required steps are open, eat, and enjoy! This method of consumption will result in more drawn-out effects that also take longer to kick in than some of the other options. Edibles are great for those seeking sustained effects, or for those who want to be subtle about their usage of CBDs.

CBD Isolates/Concentrates: Anyone familiar with smoking hash or other cannabis concentrates like wax and BHO will be no stranger to this delivery method. Simply sprinkle some into a vaporizer or water pipe, ignite, inhale, and enjoy! We find that this option is useful for individuals looking to elevate their regular consumption of CBD-rich cannabis flowers or other smokable herbs.

For quick reference, refer to this chart of ingestion methods for the pros and cons of each delivery method so can decide for yourself the best way to take CBD oil:

Delivery Method Pros Cons Time of Onset Duration of Effects Recommended if you…
Ingestibles (E.g. edibles; capsules; oil drops; drink powders) Convenient; Dosage control; Discreet; Familiar; Doesn't harm the lungs Slow to take effect 30-60 minutes Edibles/Capsules:4-6 hours; Tinctures/Drops: 2-4 hours Consider discretion a top priority and/or want more control over dosage
Smokables (E.g. Vapes; flower) Fast acting; Easy to use; Social; Familiar Non-discreet; Smoking/Vaping are illegal in many public settings; Can feel harsh on the lungs Instant 45 minutes-1 hour Are trying to quit cigarettes or need fast-acting relief
Topicals (E.g. Lotions; balms; gels) Can be applied directly to affected area; Bypasses liver metabolism; Long-lasting; Can be worked into daily hygiene routine Slow to take effect Varies widely due to factors like hair growth and amount of fatty tissue Typically 5+ hours Experiencing local pain of the skin or joints or into body care in general.
Transdermal Patches Longest lasting effects;Bypasses liver metabolism;Steady release of CBD into the bloodstream May take hours to feel effects Varies depending on amount of fatty tissue and hair on the skin 1-2 days Have chronic pain or will go a long period of time where the other delivery methods aren't available

Choose a CBD Brand with a Dosage You Can Trust

Figuring out how much CBD oil to take can feel like trying to navigate through a complicated maze. The sheer volume of CBD brands on the market can create confusion for consumers, and when you take a closer look, it’s not difficult to understand why. Not only do vendors use different source materials (CBD-rich cannabis vs. industrial hemp, different strains, etc.), but they also implement different extraction techniques .

Adding to the confusion, many vendors recommend excessive doses, while others suggest amounts that are a fraction of what experts would consider effective.

As with a fermented food like kombucha, slight natural variations are normal and to be expected in a product such as CBD oil because it is made from living plants. Changes in the weather, soil, and water can all impact the biology of the source material. While we verify Certificates of Analysis (and take many other criteria into consideration during our review process), even the most reputable five-star companies have no way to control for every variable in this organic process.

While perhaps not as ideal as a CBD dosage chart, we at CBD Oil Review (COR) have created an official COR Serving Standard through an extensive analysis of hundreds of products.

The (COR) Serving Standard is 25mg of CBD, taken twice daily.

Additionally, our analysis suggests  increasing the amount of CBD you take every 3-4 weeks by 25mg until you attain symptom relief (inversely, decrease by 25mg if symptoms worsen).

Consider Why Your Health Would Benefit from CBD

Cannabinoids such as CBD have a dizzying array of functions in the human body, influencing  everything from inflammation to anxiety and depression. You don’t necessarily need to have a serious illness to benefit from CBD; even healthy individuals can experience a remarkable increase in their quality of life with its use.

The following is a chart of illnesses/conditions that whose symptoms may be relieved by CBD:

Keep in mind that this CBD benefits list is in no way complete; we are only beginning to discover how cannabinoids can help.

Know You Cannot Overdose on CBD

There is no established lethal dose of CBD, and chronic use/high doses of up to 1500 mg per day (30x  MORE than the COR Serving Standard!) have been repeatedly shown to be well tolerated by humans.

As with any natural product, it is important to speak with your physician prior to beginning use. There are some slight risks associated with using CBD in high doses or for extended periods of time, including:

  • Mild Low Blood Pressure
  • Dry Mouth
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sedation
  • Reduced activity of T and B Cells
  • Decreased Fertilization Capacity
  • Reduced p-Glycoprotein activity
  • Reduced activity of Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) Enzyme

Keep in mind that these side effects illustrate worst-case scenarios with CBD, and are not necessarily typical.

There is one major exception to the “generally harmless” attitude about CBD and that is the negative effect cannabinoids can have on the functioning of the liver’s CYP450 enzyme.  Approximately 60% of all pharmaceutical drugs undergo metabolism by this enzyme, including:

  • Steroids
  • HMG CoA reductase inhibitors
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Antihistamines
  • Prokinetics
  • HIV-antivirals
  • Immune modulators
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Antiarrhythmics
  • Antibiotics
  • Anesthetics
  • Antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-epileptics
  • Beta blockers
  • PPIs
  • NSAIDs
  • Angiotensin II blockers
  • Oral hypoglycemic agents
  • Sulfonylureas

Before you start taking CBD, please read about drug interactions.

It is important to note that even something as benign as grapefruit juice can cause the same CYP450 enzyme inhibitory action as CBD.

The most important things to do before taking CBD (or any other herbal product) are research any possible drug interactions and talk with your physician to address any additional questions regarding CBD drug interactions or overdose concerns. You and your doctor together will always know best!  

Understand How Your Genetics Impact CBD Dosing

As if you didn’t have enough factors to consider when deciding your ideal CBD oil dosage, now you have to think about how your own genetics can impact this amount.  

Some individuals have been found to have mutations on the CNR1 gene, which is responsible for coding the CB1 receptor (a type of receptor in cells throughout your body that interacts with cannabinoids). Issues with the CNR1 gene can ultimately result in a poorly functioning endocannabinoid system, which is an important variable when figuring out how to use CBD oil.

Here are some other cellular-level factors that can affect how CBD is absorbed in your body:

Various substances can profoundly affect CB1 receptors. Certain lifestyle choices can impact how your body metabolizes CBD.

What does this mean? Well, for example, THC increases the activity of CB1 receptors [1], while ethanol (alcohol) increases its expression [2]. So, theoretically, smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol may increase the effects of CBD.

Morphine and epinephrine decrease the activity of the CB1 receptor [3],[4].

What does this mean? It may mean those currently using opiates could, with approval and guidance from their physician, find CBD useful in decreasing opiate use .

Exercise and nicotine both increase anandamide levels (while similar to THC – this is a cannabinoid that we naturally synthesize in our brains) which is a natural CB1 receptor activator [5].

What does this mean? Being active, as well as ingesting nicotine (while the latter is not recommended), might increase the effects of CBD.

DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) increases CB1 receptors [6].

What does this mean? Theoretically, those eating a diet rich in fatty fish would naturally need to use less CBD oil.

Prolonged elevated glucocorticoids (such as cortisol) reduce CB1 receptor density [7].

What does this mean? Those under high levels of chronic stress would potentially need higher CBD oil dosage to achieve the same effects achieved by people who are not chronically stressed.

We are only beginning to understand genetics, and as such it’s a good idea to take anything related to this emerging science with a grain of salt. As with any natural substance, consult with your physician about any questions and/or concerns you may have regarding CBD and how to use CBD oil.

Rest Easy Knowing CBD Oil Is Not Physically Addictive

People often ask us, “Can I get addicted to CBD oil?” This is a tricky question, and the answer ultimately depends on your school of thought.

Based strictly on chemistry, the answer is no. Cannabidiol is not physically addictive in the same way substances like heroin, cocaine, alcohol, opiates, benzodiazepines, and related substances can be. Further, CBD cannot produce any physical withdrawal symptoms in and of itself upon cessation of use.

(Interestingly, CBD is currently undergoing study for its ability to minimize withdrawal from drugs with severe cessation symptoms, like opiates.)

However, human beings can get addicted to just about anything that isn’t chemically addicting: exercise, music, sex, and food are great examples.

Those who take CBD daily to relieve symptoms of chronic illness and other severe conditions may find that their unpleasant sensations return shortly after they miss a dose. This is no different than one’s headache returning once the effects of ibuprofen wear off.

However, because CBD can alter the levels of essential liver enzymes, it is crucial to do your research, talk to your physician, and figure out the best way to take CBD oil for your specific situation. Information and education will be your allies in your quest for healing.

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

If you’ve been using CBD products for some time without verifying the potency through their vendors, it’s highly probable you’ve been using a minimally effective formulation that hasn’t been delivering as much CBD as you thought (or as much as you’ve paid for!).

This is why CBD Oil Review exists, why we’ve created our five-badge rating system, and why we’ve enlisted independent reviewers to verify that CBD companies are being ethical.

Becoming a CBD Oil Review member not only supports our mission, but members also get new deals on five-star brands only, delivered directly to their inbox. If you are looking for which brands to trust or which products to purchase, take a look at our buyers guides here:

  1. Top 10 Best Products to Buy
  2. Best CBD Products for Pain
  3. Best CBD Vape Cartridge

Consider a Cannabis Doctor to Answer Your Difficult Questions

Most doctors don’t specialize medicinal cannabis and CBD oil. This means they may not be able to help you as thoroughly as you had hoped and they may be unable to offer guidance when it comes to helping you decide how much CBD oil to take. It is also worth noting that many patients feel uncomfortable talking to their doctor about cannabis and CBD.

If you have detailed questions about how much CBD oil to take, how to take CBD oil, drug interactions, or just want to know what to do next, consult with a cannabis doctor today!

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280 responses to “CBD Oil Dosage: General Tips to Assess How Much CBD to Take”

  1. Avatar Justin says:

    It can also take time. Even though people are touting that cdb oil has immediate health benefits for sleep, your body has a 21 day renewal cycle!

  2. Avatar Don Booker says:

    Moderately differentiated sewmusical carcinoma.
    Bought 56 % cbd oil . Need to know dosage to start and
    continue with. have 4 tumors In bronchial tubes

  3. Avatar Buffy Crouch says:

    Hi. I suffer from severe neuropathy and arthritis. Amy advice on what dosage I should start out with? And what , if it sure be just cbd’s or a mix between cbd’s and thc? Thanks

  4. Avatar Christy says:

    Hi, Congrats on finishing chemo & radiation that’s awesome!! I wish you the best of luck!! I was actually wanting to know about dosage for cancer as well..My parents both have recently been diagnosed with cancer 4 months apart and are currently going thru chemo together. I have tried looking for the dosage info but can never find what i’m looking for..I want to try to help lesson the chemo side effects and hopefully kill some of the cancer cells. Can someone please help us?

    Thank You
    Christy

  5. Avatar daniel says:

    i have brain cancer, and i am trying to find exactly how much cbd mg wise i should use each day. i’ve already had radiation and 5 rounds of chemo, and i’m done with that. i just wonder how much i just use each day, because cbd is expensive.

  6. Avatar yolanda says:

    Please tell me where you get this. We are desperate for answers. My husband suffers from severe nerve pain from chemo.

  7. Avatar Mary says:

    My husband has RSD and we are considering CBD oil -= I would ask at Hempmed because the spray won’t have enough in it. Our dgt’;s friend has ovarian cancer and it is shrinking her tumors but the spray would never have been enough.
    I would get CBD oil and check with Hempmeds to see what they suggest. It isn’t cheap but it does work.
    LOW dose Naltrexone about 4.5 mg is very helpful for RSD and is usually used for getting people off of drugs but is working on turning off the glial cells that surround the nerve that is causing the nerve to scream in pain.
    We are also using PeaPure that is out of the Netherlands and we are seeing a response, even though small. His other leg touched the painful leg without causing more severe pain. That is progress.
    We also are using Poison Ivy Cream through Meadowlake Farms that has helped the burning surface pain.
    Change your diet and get rid of Gluten and Sugar, anything that causes inflammation.
    This is to allow your own body to work.
    Absolutely do not use any pain killers as it will turn up your pain. all the Hydrocodone, etc causes neural inflammation and so it will keep cascading higher your pain.
    Hope this is helpful.
    Mary

  8. Avatar Ctarl says:

    They have regular pheonix tears, high thc pheonix tears, and a equal part CBD/THC pheonix tears called- haleys commet pheonix tears.
    I believe it is roughly 215mg CBD and 215mg THC
    orallay active and works well with a little squirt in juice too

  9. Avatar Rainy says:

    I have Secondary Progressive MS and I have replaced Gabapentin with CBD capsules for nerve pain …. I have no way to know the mgs per capsule …one package says “cbd 7mg thc” and another says “2mg activated CBD” all I know is I take them between one and 3 times per day and nothing else has ever worked as well…I will never take Gabapentin again

  10. Avatar Mel says:

    I would use the oil, capsules, strips, tinctures. I have similar problems to u but many others. I used 50 mg. I had the best days I’ve had in 14 yrs.

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