How to find your perfect CBD dosage
For most people, finding their perfect cannabidiol (CBD) dosage can be challenging. Unlike with most prescription drugs, CBD doesn’t come with standard dosage instructions beyond a serving size recommendation. What complicates matters is that we all have different metabolisms, body compositions and health requirements, each of us will react differently to cannabinoids like CBD. Add to that, that CBD itself present with different effects at different blood concentration levels, finding the perfect CBD dosage for you and your needs will require a certain amount of experimentation. In this article, we will demystify the various aspects of how you can find your perfect CBD dosage.
Factors Influencing CBD Dosage
Finding the right CBD dosage is an important part of successful symptom management. But as mentioned, finding it can be much more complicated than expected, not only because of a wide range of physiological and metabolic variables but also because of how CBD works in the body.
Different Dosages Illicit Different Effects
CBD is what is known as a bi-phasic compound. In other words, a compound that have different effects as its blood concentration levels increases.
An easy way to explain this bi-phasic effect is to draw on alcohol as an example. When you have your first couple of drinks, the effects of the alcohol are most often energizing and stimulating - conversations are animated and you feel good. However, as you drink more at some point the opposite starts to happen. You become lethargic - you start slurring your words, and alcohol's sedative effects become apparent. This ability of alcohol to stimulate at lower, and sedate at higher amounts, is because of its bi-phasic effects.
Cannabinoids such as CBD are also bi-phasic in nature. And just like with alcohol, it means that CBD will work differently at different blood concentration levels. So, when CBD is taken at different dosages, its effects will be different. One simple example of this is that CBD can be used to help you feel focussed and energized at one dosage, but at the same time also help induce sleep at another dosage.
CBD’s bi-phasic effects are primarily due to the way in which it interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD has the ability to affect and modulate a wide variety of different pathways and do so in very distinct ways. It is this property, that also allows CBD to activate conflicting pathways that result in what we can perceive as contradictory effects (e.g., having both stimulating and sedative effects, or gastrointestinal soothing and irritant properties).
More Does Not Mean More
However, these apparent contradictory actions are not the only considerations to bear in mind when it comes to the bi-phasic effects of CBD. It also has an important implication for dose-response relationships, a central concept in toxicology and refers to the measurable effect that is proportional to the amount of the substance received.
For instance, several studies on the dose-response relationship of CBD in relation to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) induced anxiety and paranoia have shown that more does not mean better. This is because the anxiolytic effects of CBD illicit a wide range of complex biological responses, all of which occur at different dosages. The result of this is that excessive amounts of CBD could be less effective for treating anxiety than smaller dosages.
CBD’s Effectiveness is Bell-Curved
Similar to its effects, CBD’s effectiveness is also no linear. This is because the efficacy of CBD runs along a bell-shaped curve. What this means is that the effectiveness of CBD steadily increases as dosage increases up to a certain points. Once it has reached its maximum efficiency rate, CBD’s effectiveness reaches saturation levels and start decreasing until it reaches zero, ultimately resulting in wasted product. When taken together, it means that there is no single dosage that will work for everyone and every condition, all the time. In the end, you will have to monitor how you respond to different CBD dosage amount when trying to find your perfect dosage to get your particular desired effects. It also means that a little CBD often goes a longer way than larger dosages, so it’s important to start low, and gradually increasing dosage until you find relief.
General CBD Dosage Recommendations
Despite what we’ve discussed so far and saying that there is no single CBD dose for everyone and every condition, there are some general CBD dosage recommendations that can help you when trying to find yours. These include:
- Body weight and composition are important factors regarding effective CBD dosage with larger bodies and higher BMI’s needing higher dosages
- Different conditions respond better to certain CBD dosages (see below).
- Individual body chemistry, genetics and metabolism affect efficacy and are highly individual.
- The recommended starting dosage is between 20 mg and 40 mg of CBD, take twice daily.
- If the starting dose is ineffective, then gradually increase the amount of CBD until you find symptom relief. Dosage increases are an additional 25 mg every three to four weeks.
- If symptoms worsen, decrease CBD dosage by 25 mg.
Determining CBD Dosage
Now that we know the different factors influencing CBD dosage, we can start looking at how to determine the perfect CBD dosage for you.
Most high-quality and reputable CBD companies provide a recommended serving size for each product that is printed on the label. However, these are pretty generic and aren’t very helpful for anyone who is using CBD for more than general health and wellness reasons.
When you want to determine a CBD dosage that will work for you and your situation, you will need to know and understand a few additional key factors, include things like CBD labeling, potency as well as the basics of calculating the dosage for a specific CBD oil.
How to Calculate CBD Dosage for Specific Products
When shopping for a CBD oil, you would have been confronted with a variety of potencies and concentrations. This means that the CBD dosage in a single 1 ml serving size in one CBD oil, will not be the same as in another CBD oil of a different strength. In other words:
The actual CBD dosage is generally considered as the amount of CBD in weight (e.g., milligrams) per volume (e.g., milliliters).
Calculating CBD Dosage with Weight
If the CBD oil label is labeled with the amount of CBD in milligrams, it’s relatively easy to calculate CBD dosage. If this is the case for your CBD oil, the following formula applies:
Total milligrams of CBD in the bottle divide by bottle size in ml = CBD mg / ml
If a 30 ml bottle contains 1,500 mg of CBD
Then 1,500 ÷ 30 = 50 mg of CBD per 1 ml
Calculating CBD Dosage with Percentage
However, CBD oil labels often only shows the percentage of CBD in which case the percentage needs to be converted into milligrams first. If this is the case for your CBD oil, the following formula applies:
1 milliliter = 1 gram = 1000 milligrams of CBD oil.
If a 30 ml bottle of CBD has a concentration of 15% CBD
Then 15% of 3,000 mg = 1.5 x 3,000 = 4,500 mg of CBD per bottle
And then 4,500 ÷ 30 = 150 mg of CBD per 1 ml
CBD Dosage Recommendations for Specific Conditions
In addition to the general dosing guidelines mentioned above, we can also draw some conclusions regarding dosage for specific condition from experimental CBD studies and clinical trials. However, it is still important to understand that effective CBD dosages for different disease states are not that well understood yet, and research is limited.
Regardless, what we do know still allows for a basic understanding of the active ranges of CBD dosages for several common medical conditions.
CBD Oil Dosage for Pain & Inflammation
Depending the underlying cause, CBD dosage for treating pain and inflammation can vary greatly. For example, some studies found that relief from chronic pain can be achieved with as little as a 0.4 mg/kg of CBD per day when used as and adjunct therapy to pain medication. When used alone however, the usual dose recommendation is anywhere between 20 mg and 200 mg of CBD per day.
CBD Oil Dosage for Anxiety & Depression
Data from animal and human studies have shown that single CBD dose of between 300mg and 900mg can significantly reduce anxiety. Similarly, dosages as low as 0.6 mg/kg per day, up to 6.7 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg per day produce positive results for treating anxiety and depression, resulting in the reduction of symptoms and improving quality of life, while also increasing sleep quality and duration, as well as decrease anxiety secondary to PTSD.
CBD Oil Dosage for Sleep Difficulties & Insomnia
An early study examining the effects of CBD on sleep difficulties and insomnia showed that people who do not suffer from sleeping disorders, needed very high doses of around the 600 mg CBD to find relief. Conversely, diagnosed insomniacs only needed doses of a 150 mg to 160 mg of CBD to induce sleep. Therefore, it is suggested to start off with a dose of 40 mg, gradually working up to anywhere between 150 mg to 600 mg until you find that your symptoms become manageable. This is a perfect example of the bi-phasic, and its dose-response relationship to different conditions.
Finding your optimal dosage with Mydosage algorithm
While the variety of dosing strategies and formulations make it difficult to determine efficacy, together with our research team we developed an advanced algorithm to help users find their optimum dosage. MyDosage AI helps all users find their optimum dosages, based at the newest available studies. In order to find your starting dose, you just need to enter some basic info and answer less then ten key questions. Along the way, the app continues to ask for feedback, adjusting your dosage to match your needs. Start an assessment with Mydosage AI It’s personalization, taken one step further.