The Complete CBD Dosing Guide:
How Much CBD to Take?
If you’re new to CBD or trying out a new product for a specific use, you may be wondering, “How much CBD should I take?” This is a very common question and it’s important to recognize that there is no universal CBD dosage guide. There are many variables to consider when determining the right amount for you, including:
1) The type of CBD product you’re taking
2) Your delivery method of choice
3) The condition you’re addressing
4) Your desired level of effects
5) Your body weight
Important Steps for First Time Users
First-time CBD users should start with a small dosage. If you aren’t able to perceive your desired effect, it’s safe to slowly increase the milligram amount per serving for the subsequent dosing opportunities. It may be helpful to track your experience per dosage amount, type of product, and method, noting any changes as you adjust the variables. You can use a personal journal, an organized symptom tracking log, or even explore the option of an app that helps you track your experience directly on your phone for extra convenience. Every person’s body and endocannabinoid system is unique, so “start low and go slow” is a good adage to be mindful of as you begin.
If you are currently taking any pharmaceuticals or over-the-counter medications and you’re considering trying CBD for the first time, talking to your doctor first is an important step to confirm that it won’t cause any drug interactions, unintended interferences, and that it can safely metabolize in your body.
How to Identify the Right Delivery Method of CBD
For targeting a specific localized issue on the body, applying a CBD topical, such as a balm, massage oil, salve, spray, cream, or lotion, would be best suited. The skin’s surface absorbs the CBD, which interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the epidermis and subdermal areas, and may be a safer option for those who take certain prescription medications. Topical methods do not allow the CBD to reach your bloodstream, unless it’s a transdermal product. Transdermal products, often patches, employ technology for deeper sustained penetration that reaches the bloodstream.
A topical product can be complemented with other botanical extracts and essential oils to enhance the efficacy and may benefit you beyond the localized issue.
The popular category of products known as CBD tinctures offer a sublingual delivery method. Drops of CBD-rich hemp extract are placed under your tongue and held there for at least 10 seconds, and up to 60 seconds, before swallowing. This delivery method is an efficient one, as some of the compounds in the CBD hemp extract will be directly and rapidly absorbed into the mucous membranes in the mouth, allowing it to reach the bloodstream without being broken down by first pass metabolism. The remaining compounds are swallowed and will pass through the digestive tract on its way to the bloodstream. CBD tinctures also offer the user versatility, as they can also be used to infuse CBD into your meals, beverages, or desserts, depending on the endless flavor options available.
CBD Vaping & Smoking
For an immediate, short-term effect on the body and mind, some users that are comfortable with inhalants and have determined a trusted source may choose between a CBD vape pen, an inhaler, or smoking a hemp flower pre-roll. These inhaling methods bypass the liver and digestive tract, allowing the CBD to be absorbed through the thin membranes that line the air sacs of the lungs, called alveoli, and then directly into the bloodstream.
Ingesting CBD by eating or drinking a CBD product, such as a CBD chocolate bar, beverage, or capsule will take about 30 minutes for it to take effect, since the CBD must first pass through your digestive system in order to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Your experience with this method will depend on the type of edible, the product’s potency, and your digestive state. CBD is fat-soluble, so an edible with a natural fat content, like a CBD chocolate bar or a dessert infused with drops of an MCT oil-based CBD tincture, will increase the absorption rate in the body and offer more consistency in your dosing experience. You can also opt to take your CBD with a high fat food or meal, but this can increase the variability since different meals will contain varying levels of fat. A University of Minnesota study, published in Epilepsia, found that “when compared to fasting, taking CBD with food increased the amount of CBD in the body by four-times and the maximum amount recorded in the participants’ blood by 14-times.” If you’re taking a CBD capsule, which won’t offer any substantial fat content on its own, it’s best not to take it on an empty stomach. Try pairing it with a healthy high-fat food or beverage like slices of an avocado, a bowl of coconut chia pudding, or an evening Golden Milk Latte.
Dark chocolate infused with CBD-rich hemp extract has increased efficacy as a CBD edible since it’s the most anandamide-rich plant food in the world. Known as the “bliss molecule”, anandamide is a neurotransmitter that’s naturally produced in the brain. This neurotransmitter is normally rapidly broken down by an enzyme in the body called Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH), but CBD inhibits this enzyme’s activity, prolonging the blissful effects of anandamide in your system. It’s no wonder why eating CBD chocolate feels so good!