Dosing CBD: How To Find The Best CBD Dosage For You
Despite the fact that cannabidiol (CBD) has been a big topic on the tongues of doctors, scientists, herbalists and researchers, the medical community still hasn’t identified a standardized dose.
This was attempted by GW Pharmaceuticals, the pharmaceutical company currently investing in hemp-derived medicines such as Epidiolex and Sativex. To satisfy the rigorous criteria for clinical trials, GW Pharmaceuticals had to identify a safe and standardized dose.
However, GW Pharmaceuticals’ approved clinical trials were conducted primarily on those with epilepsy. It was essentially a maintenance dose to prevent seizures. But CBD dosing for anxiety maintenance, depression, or chronic pain has not been scrutinized this way yet.
So where does that leave everybody who is using CBD for something other than epilepsy?
Well, accurate CBD dosing is still tentative. That’s why consumers should take their time learning their dose and observing the effects at different doses. Because CBD can be used by so many different people, and for so many different reasons, there’s no “one size fits all” for CBD. Let’s have a look at how to hone in on your perfect dose.
Learning at what dose CBD becomes unsafe
Overall, CBD has an incredibly good safety profile. This is especially true in comparison with many of the pharmaceutical alternatives that people may already be using. For example, the side effects of anxiety and pain medication are far more pronounced than those of CBD. In fact, CBD has very few side effects, and none that are severe.
However, recently, a team of researchers at the University of Arksanas began investigating the dosage at which CBD might cause hepatotoxicity. As per usual, the subjects being tested were furry rodents, and the team chose the maximum human maintenance dose prescribed by GW Pharmaceuticals (20mg/kg). Researchers concluded that at the maximum dosage, there were clear signs of hepatotoxicity. However, no other research has ever replicated these results, and alas, the rodent liver is not the same as the human liver.
This was also the maximum dose suggested by GW Pharmaceuticals. For an average, 80kg man, this would equate to a dose of 1,600 mg of CBD. There are very few CBD users consuming such a large dose, if any, so this can’t be considered an “average” dose of CBD.
Signs that you may have used too much
Part of learning at what dose CBD becomes unsafe is to watch the reaction that your body has to your dose. Side effects of CBD are short lived and not serious, and they can usually be mitigated simply by reducing the dose. Here are some of the signs that the dose you’re using is too high for you:
- Digestive discomfort such as cramping or even diarrhoea
- Drowsiness and sleepiness
Though CBD is sometimes used as a sleep-aid, daytime consumers should not experience any drowsiness or sleepiness after using CBD. If you have, you can simply reduce the dose until it does not cause sleepiness. The same is true for diarrhoea. These symptoms don’t last long and don’t cause any long-term side effects.
Different doses for different people and health complaints
Determining the correct dosage for you depends on multiple factors:
- Your body weight
- Your individual body chemistry
- What you’re using CBD for
Those who are using CBD as a nutritional supplement may suffice by consuming only 10 mg of CBD per day. However, those using CBD to treat acute health complaints such as pain may require a higher dose.
The following are dosage guidelines for different health conditions. Please note that these are general guidelines that have not been outlined by any organization, but rather have been compiled from research and the experience of CBD users.
Users are urged to start at the lowest recommended dose and then alter their dosage. It is also important for users to know that at high doses, CBD has a soporific or hypnotic effect (it makes you drowsy). Refrain from high dosing during the day unless completely necessary. Consumers should also note that dosing is weight-dependant. For a larger person, a higher dose may be necessary, while for smaller frames, a lower dose may be required.Pain management
For mild pain, use up to 12 mg.
For moderate pain, use up to 15 mg.
For severe pain, use up to 20 mg.Anxiety
For maintenance, it is best to use CBD at intervals throughout the day. Thus, lower doses are required. Start at up to 5 mg per dose, up to 3 times per day. For acute anxiety attacks, vaping is the preferred method as it takes effect immediately.Depression
Those with depression should consume very low doses of CBD. This is because at high doses, CBD is depressant — it causes drowsiness. This should be avoided by those with depression. Dosing can begin at as little as 2 mg, and can be increased incrementally. Doses higher than 10 mg can be avoided.Insomnia
To assist with sleep, a high dose of CBD should be taken a couple of hours before bed. A dose of up to 20 mg can be used for insomnia.Crohn’s Disease or IBD
For moderate Crohn’s disease, take up to 30 mg. Some Crohn’s sufferers may use up to 84 mg of CBD. For treatment of Crohn’s, it is best to split up dosages throughout the day, in between meal times.Migraines
For the treatment of migraines, use between 12 mg and 35 mg of CBD depending on severity.
Your dose changes with you
You might find that after a couple of weeks of continuous CBD use, you do not require as high a dose as you previously did. The CEO of Genius Labs, a world-recognized extraction facility in northen California, says that "You might also find that over the course of your treatment with CBD, your dose may change and fluctuate". It’s important to remember that herbal remedies don’t work the same way that pharmaceuticals do. As your body changes and responds to herbs, it’s important for you to change the dosage, and sometimes even to change the herb!
Don’t treat CBD the same way you might treat a pharmaceutical high blood-pressure medication. Pharmaceuticals and plants are fundamentally different in the ways that they work in our bodies. Don’t be surprised that if after some time of using CBD for pain, it’s time to switch to a different dose or even a different herb all together.