If you’re new to CBD, understanding the available products and their dosages can be overwhelming. You may have no idea where to start, what to buy, or how to find your ideal dose of CBD.
Choose your CBD
There are lots of ways you can get CBD into your system, so the first thing you’ll need to decide is how you’ll consume it.
Inhalation is the quickest way to get CBD into your bloodstream. If your state has legalized cannabis or has CBD-only dispensaries, you may be able to find CBD flower or “bud” with little to no THC.
If smoking isn’t your jam, CBD vapes are also fast-acting and offer a legit advantage in convenience and discretion. However! Be super-duper diligent about buying vaping products from a legal dispensary.
Black market vapes have been found to contain stuff you shouldn’t be inhaling, like vitamin E acetate. (And let us be clear: Vaping is still bad for your lungs.)
Oils and tinctures
If you thought oils and tinctures were the same thing, guess again:
- Oils tend to be more concentrated with CBD (i.e., more potent) and may have a weedy taste.
- Tinctures are alcohol-based, less potent, and the better-tasting of the two. They may be mixed with other herbs and flavorings.
Both products work by sublingual absorption (sub-what?). That means if you hold the liquid under your tongue for a bit before swallowing, some CBD will absorb through the membranes in your mouth. That makes it enter your bloodstream more quickly.
Edibles, Gum, and drinks
The vast array of CBD capsules, CBD edibles, and CBD-infused drinks (hello, CBD coffee!) work similarly. They travel through your digestive system and start getting absorbed 30 minutes to 2 hours after you’ve swallowed them.
Creams, lotions, and lube
Yep, you read that right — lube! Topical CBD refers to creams, ointments, and lotions. These may be a good choice for localized pain and inflammation, while transdermal patches may deliver more of a sustained, long-term release.
And there are even CBD lubes that may help ease pain and get you in the mood.
How much CBD should I take?
If you’re smoking or vaping CBD, it’s hard to measure your intake in milligrams. But the nice thing about inhalation is that you get pretty instantaneous feedback. If a couple puffs on a CBD vape leaves you feeling relaxed but not too relaxed, that’s probably your happy spot.
The different varieties of CBD may also require different dosages. For instance, you may need to take more of a CBD-only isolate compared to a full-spectrum product. If your stuff is CBD-only, Lee recommends 25 milligrams to start. You can always go up or down from there.
How much CBD should I Take for shoulder pain?
What’s the Normal Dose of CBD?
The most common dose of CBD is 20 – 40 mg per dose. Some people take much less (as low as 1 mg), others take much higher (up to 100 mg).
Depending on the strength of the product you’re using, this could be anywhere from a few drops to several milliliters of oil. It could also involve anywhere from 1 – 5 capsules or gummies per dose.
The truth is that the optimal dose of CBD is different for everybody.
It’s common for two people with identical weight to respond very differently to the same dose of CBD. One person may find the ideal dose for them is 30 mg of CBD, while the other responds better to just 10 mg.
The ideal dose of CBD for you depends on a variety of factors, including:
- Your size and weight
- The severity of the condition you’re treating
- Your tolerance to CBD
- Your individual body chemistry
- The potency of the CBD oil, capsules, gummies, or other CBD products you’re using
The best way to find the right dose for your body is to start with a very low dose (2 mg, for example) and increasing by 2-5 mg per dose until you find what works best for you.
|Weight (lbs)||Low Strength||Medium Strength||High Strength|
|100 lbs||10 mg||30 mg||60 mg|
|125 lbs||13 mg||38 mg||75 mg|
|150 lbs||15 mg||45 mg||90 mg|
|175 lbs||17 mg||52 mg||105 mg|
|200 lbs||20 mg||60 mg||120 mg|
|225 lbs||22 mg||67 mg||135 mg|
|250 lbs||25 mg||75 mg||150 mg|
How will I know when the CBD is working?
If your anxiety quiets down, you’re sleeping better, or you’re experiencing less pain, that’s a win!
The time it takes for CBD to work varies based on how you consume it. It could range from a few moments (with vaping/smoking) to several weeks (like when you’re slowly increasing your CBD oil dose for therapeutic effects).
CBD isn’t psychoactive, so you won’t feel stoned. But some people report getting a fairly quick response where stress melts away and their mood is ever-so-slightly lifted.
If you’re taking CBD for therapeutic effects (like for sleep, anxiety, or inflammation), you’ll probably have to take it for a longer time before reaping all the benefits.
CBD can be used for?
People are using CBD to address a wide variety of conditions. Lee tells us that an extensive survey of CBD users showed anxiety, depression, and pain as the top-reported uses. Some people are also using CBD alongside conventional cancer treatments, he says.
Here’s what some of the research says about potential uses:
- Anxiety: A study from 2019 found that 79 percent of people with anxiety showed improvement when taking 25 to 75 milligrams of CBD daily.
- Insomnia: More research is needed, but a 2017 review of existing studies found that CBD “may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia.”
- Depression: A 2010 study on mice found that CBD could have antidepressant effects. These results haven’t yet been fully replicated in people, but nevertheless, plenty of people report symptom relief.
- Pain and inflammation: A 2017 study on rats found that CBD may be effective in reducing pain. Once again, human studies still need to be done on this.
- PTSD and nightmares: A small 2019 study found that 10 out of 11 participants with PTSD found some relief with CBD. Some also reported relief from nightmares associated with PTSD.
- Nausea: THC is better known for helping with nausea, such as from chemotherapy. But CBD may have some benefits too. Many people report an improvement in nausea symptoms with CBD, and a 2010 study seems to back that up
CBD in hemp vs. CBD in marijuana
CBD can be derived from hemp plants, which contain 0.3 percent or less THC, or from marijuana plants, which contain a higher concentration of THC.
If THC is legal in your state, consider buying a product with mostly CBD and a wee bit of THC. Research suggests these two cannabinoids may work better together than apart.
A word of caution, though: The CBD market isn’t well-regulated yet. For real — a 2017 study found that the dosages of a majority of consumer CBD products were actually mislabeled.
Things You should know about CBD
- CBD may interfere with certain prescription meds, so check with your healthcare provider before using it.
- It’s a good idea to try CBD for the first time when you don’t have anywhere to be. That way, if you just don’t feel like yourself, you can sleep it off.
- If you’re specifically looking for help with sleep, try taking your CBD about a half-hour before bed.
- If anxiety is kicking you around, try taking your dose earlier — like before the day really ramps up.
- While some people like a little CBD in their cocktails, skip the alcohol when you’re first trying CBD so you can really zero in on the effects.
- If you’ve titrated up to a large dose of CBD (like 50 milligrams or more daily), you’ll probably want to space out your doses a bit to avoid any GI issues.