Ask a Marijuana Doc: Recommended CBD Oil Dosage
Are you still confused as to how much CBD oil you should be taking?
Uncertain about all the claims about CBD having “life altering” health benefits but still don’t know what your dosage should be or what product you should buy to see how it works for you?
You’re not alone. Fortunately, you'll know how much CBD you should take after reading this post.
The good news is that our sister company, THC Physicians, a medical marijuana clinic in Florida that provides medical marijuana recommendations for patients with debilitating medical conditions, has shared information with us that helps to shed some light on the recommended CBD dosage.
Below, you’ll understand exactly how much CBD you should take.
Before we get into that, it is important to know why, when the topic of dosage comes up, the whole CBD industry seems to operate like the Wild West and every other article you read about CBD tells a different story about dosage.
What Factors Affect CBD Dosage?
The science of doses, or posology (Greek for posos = how much, and logos = science), is how medicinal drugs, their effects, and directions for use, are derived. These pharmacopoeia, or book of directions for medical compounds, are published by governments or pharmaceutical or medical societies.
Because marijuana-derived products like CBD are still illegal at the federal level, no such official dosing recommendations exist.
However, and as we will get into later, given the significant amount of patient data we have from THC Physicians, we are able to provide what we feel to be some of the most relevant, scientific, and accurate CBD dosage information on the internet.
Regardless of the above, it is important to understand a little more about drug dosage and how that may influence the dosage amount of CBD you take.
“Usual adult doses”
In the medical world, the following definitions are used when talking about doses:
Therapeutic dose- The therapeutic dose is the average amount normal adults need to get a desired therapeutic effect.
Dosage range- The dosage range refers to the minimum amount of a drug and the maximum amount of a drug that a patient is required to take to produce the desired effect.
According to one study, the amount of CBD that is “well tolerated” is up to 600 mg per day.
Primary Factors Influencing Dosage
The age of the patient is one of the most common factors that influences drug amounts. Infants and children require much less than adults, while the elderly can require either more or less, depending on condition and the drug involved.
Weight may be the most direct factor in determining dosage, as it can easily be plugged into a calculation for various weights.
Due to the presence of additional body fat, females may require smaller dosage than males.
Severity of ailment
Whereas a small headache sufferer may find relief with one aspirin tablet and a severe headache with 2-3 tablets, not all drugs have this effect. Many drugs will have the same effects no matter the dosage because of the limit to which they can be absorbed into the body.
Some patients have higher tolerance limits than others. This can be increased as a result of repeated administration.
Simultaneous administration of two or more drugs
Addition: When the same resulting effect is produced by combining two or more drugs is compounded by the algebraic sum of their individual effects.
Synergism: When the effect of the drugs is greater than the algebraic sum of their individual effects.
Antagonism: When two (or more) drugs have an opposite effect.
Route of Administration
The route of administration is an important aspect of dosage because different routes can mandate different doses. From left to right, the following showcases the absorption rates from highest to lowest:
Intravenous > Intramuscular > Subcutaneous > Oral
For example, a larger oral dosage would be needed to have similar effects as a normal dosage of intravenous administration. These routes of administration are related to the bioavailability of the drug, which we will touch on more below.
Time and frequency of administration
The length of action in which a drug is in action is known as its half life. Half life is the amount of time required for the drugs concentration to be reduced by one-half.
For example, if you were to say that the half-life of CBD taken orally is 24-hours, then 50mg of the drug should be taken every 12 hours after the initial dose of 100mgs.
CBD Bioavailability: Important Factors on Absorption into Your Bloodstream
Another extremely important factor that plays into the amount of CBD you should take is bioavailability.
Bioavailability is the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream.
In short, the more bioavailable the delivery method, the less of the drug you have to take to get the desired effects. We mentioned above that the absorption rates from highest to lowest are: Intravenous > Intramuscular > Subcutaneous > Oral
Here’s some information on the bioavailability of these routes of administration and references to articles on the topic.
Bioavailability of Vaporized CBD: up to 56%
Vaporized, or smoked, CBD has a bioavailability of up to 56%. However, this number varied as low as 2% due to “uncertainty in dose delivery” as there were variations in test subjects in regards to “the number, duration, and spacing of puffs, hold time, and inhalation volume, or smoking topography.”
CBD products that use this method include vape pens or vaporizer devices.
Bioavailability of Sublingual CBD: up to 35%
Under the tongue tinctures or sprays are a very popular administration method for CBD. Higher quality under the tongue CBD oils can provide bioavailable rates as high as 35%, whereas others were only 12%, according to one study.
Sublingual administration is absorbed directly to the sublingual gland, which gets absorbed directly to the bloodstream.
Products that utilize this route include tinctures, lozenges, and sprays.
Bioavailability of Oral CBD: up to 20%
Oral administration is the slowest of the methods listed here, with lower, more delayed peak concentrations. The previously mentioned study found that orally ingested bioavailability was 4 to 20%.
Products containing CBD that are taken orally include foods or drinks.
Other Administration Methods
There are other administration methods but they are not as popular as those mentioned above. One such includes transcutaneous, or application on the skin or via a dermal patch. Another such application is rectally, which we just don’t see anyone trying anytime soon.
The other, and most bioavailable method, is direct to the bloodstream through the intravenous route. While this is the most bioavailable option, there are not too many people who would opt for this delivery method.
What are the Minimum and Maximum Dosage Amounts of CBD I Can Take?
Before you can take the recommended amount of CBD, which tends to be represented in terms of milligrams, you have to also understand that there are varying potencies, or concentrations, of the product available to you.
For example, a 1,500mg concentration of CBD oil in a 30mL bottle has half the concentration of CBD as 3,000mg in the same 30mL bottle. At Hemp Healthy, a typical adult recommendation is a half dropper per serving of the 3,000mg bottle -- 50mg -- two times a day for a total intake of 100mg.
The study we referenced above said that up 600mg of CBD is well tolerated by the body within a one day time period. While you could certainly try to take that much CBD everyday, the fact is that would get pretty expensive.
Thus, it pays to get some clarification on the minimum and maximum dosage you can take that also provides the desired therapeutic effect.
Patients report the best results when taking about 1.5 to 2.5 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight divided into two daily doses, one in the morning and one in the early evening
Weight may the simplest method to calculate dosage. Given the data of over 2,000 patients seen by medical marijuana practice THC Physicians who have been treated with CBD, they have found that 1.4 to 2.7 mg per kilogram of body weight, divided into two daily doses, provides the best self-reported effects.
Here is a simple graph to help you determine the potential range of CBD to take based on weight based on the recommendations of THC Physicians.
Recommended CBD Dosage by Weight
* Recommended to be divided into two daily doses, morning and night
FDA-Approved Recommendations for Epidiolex
The FDA has approved Epidiolex, the first and only FDA-approved prescription cannabidiol (CBD) for Dravet and LGS. It is also the first FDA-approved medicine available for Dravet.
As it is the only FDA-approved medication that we have to compare, it may be worth mentioning the dosage recommendations provided by the manufacturer. Before getting into those, we have to mention that this drug is intended for a specific genre of patients and the dosage recommendations provided by Epidiolex are not intended to be a dosage recommendation for CBD products in general.
Epidiolex Dosage Recommendations from the FDA website:
- The starting dosage is 2.5 mg/kg twice daily (5 mg/kg/day).
- After one week, the dosage can be increased to a maintenance dosage of 5 mg/kg twice daily (10 mg/kg/day).
- Patients who are tolerating EPIDIOLEX at 5 mg/kg twice daily and require further reduction of seizures may benefit from a dosage increase up to a maximum recommended maintenance dosage of 10 mg/kg twice daily (20 mg/kg/day), in weekly increments of 2.5 mg/kg twice daily (5 mg/kg/day), as tolerated.
Anecdotal Evidence for CBD Dosage
It is worth mentioning that the above is anecdotal evidence from our access to over 2,000 patient testimonies on the effectiveness of CBD. THC Physicians came to the above conclusions by examining numerous scientific journals and by documenting ongoing feedback from their patient base.
Still, anecdotal evidence is not from medically-reviewed journals and we will be the first ones to observe the credibility from those sources of information. The accounts of personal testimony, while considered to be informal, are still valuable because they do derive from the medical community, yet are not subject to the scientific method as are medical journals.
Unfortunately, given the Schedule I status that cannabis-derived products fall under, it still means that CBD research in the US is limited. However, with the FDA’s recent approval of CBD-based drug Epidiolex and its advisement to remove CBD from the Schedule I classification, more research should be forthcoming. Until then, anecdotal evidence is what we have to work with.
Finding Your CBD Dosage Sweet Spot
Now you know that there are varying reasons for dosing recommendations for medication. And you have our recommendations for the milligrams you should take per day.
Still, like anything that may influence the way you feel, it doesn’t hurt to start small, say 25mg-50mg per day, and work your way up to upwards of 200 mg per day.
What you may find is that a small dosage gives you a noticeable, desirable effect, or you may find a small dosage has essentially no effect. Our recommendations generally come from patients with debilitating medical conditions, and thus may require stronger dosing than the average person looking to curb some minor anxiety.
What we do know is that when taken in high doses as is such with some epileptic patients, CBD is tolerated at extremely high levels.
Side Effects of CBD
When you compare the side effects of CBD to other drugs used for the treatment of certain medical disorders, what research has found is that CBD has a very high safety profile and minimal side effects.
The most commonly reported side effects are:
- Changes of appetite/weight
What are your experiences with CBD dosing and how much do you take? Please let us know in the comments.
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