What is the right dose of CBD oil?
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From acne to weight loss, scientific research on CBD is only increasing; and for good reason! The cannabinoid now features in the daily lives of millions, with innumerable products catering to a vast range of customers.
While the non-psychotropic cannabinoid has been deemed “well tolerated” by the World Health Organisation (WHO), guidelines for proper dosing have yet to be formally established. Like with anything else, taking the proper dose is crucial to reaping CBD’s full array of benefits. And while it’s not an exact science, you can estimate your ideal dose based on a variety of factors.
FINDING THE RIGHT DOSE OF CBD OIL STARTS WITH THE ECS
By understanding how CBD interacts with the human body, it’s easier to appreciate the nuances of dosing. CBD is one of many cannabinoids within Cannabis sativa; these chemical compounds are chiefly of interest for how they interact with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The endocannabinoid system is essentially a network of neurotransmitters (endocannabinoids) and receptors (CB1 and CB2) that modulate a wide array of physiological functions. When the ECS isn't functioning correctly, our health suffers. While endocannabinoids are primarily responsible for keeping the ECS in check, phytocannabinoids (from cannabis) are believed to influence the system in equally compelling ways.
WHICH FACTORS AFFECT CBD OIL DOSAGE?
Because each of us is unique, so too are our endocannabinoid systems. As such, dosage will vary from person to person. Let’s review which factors are most relevant in determining what dose of CBD oil to take.
As you might expect, a person's weight can play a pivotal role in how CBD affects the body; as a rule of thumb, if you have a larger body, you will need a larger dose. However, your ideal dose also depends on why you are using CBD oil in the first place, and your experience with the cannabinoid—so it is by no means the only factor to take into account.
Your metabolism influences the speed with which CBD interacts with your system. If you have a speedy metabolism, you're likely to feel the impact much sooner than somebody with a slower metabolism, but may also last for less. CBD oil, for instance, is usually taken in drops under the tongue and is relatively fast-acting, but your metabolism will ultimately dictate how quickly (and how much) you feel the impact.
Have you ever noticed that some people can just run faster than others? Or are taller, or have more hair? Genetics play an integral part in how we interact with the world, and it's safe to say that CBD dosing is no exception.
Bioavailability measures the amount and rate at which a dose of CBD is actually absorbed by the body. In general, if you are taking a highly bioavailable dose, you will need a smaller amount of it. With CBD oil, one way this is explained is with percentages—you would need less of a 20% CBD oil than you would of a 5% CBD oil, for example.
HOW TO CALCULATE THE IDEAL DOSE OF CBD OIL
It's important to remember that dosing is by no means a precise art, and there has not been enough research into the long-term effects of CBD use to justify making any hard conclusions. As with any substance, it's better to start low and slow with your dosing.
Typically, a low daily dose of CBD oil is around 20–40mg. Starting with this amount will allow you to fine-tune your dosing. If you don't feel the benefits after a week or two, try increasing the amount by 5mg, then repeat as necessary after a couple more weeks.
It can be helpful to use an app or keep a diary of how you feel when taking CBD oil so you can easily modify and update your regimen as needed.
CAN YOU TAKE TOO MUCH CBD OIL?
In short, it is unlikely.
A 2011 study on the safety of CBD revealed that continuous high doses of up to 1500mg/day appeared safe for humans. The safety of CBD oil was further reinforced by a 2017 study that confirmed the safety of CBD for human consumption.
To put you even more at ease, the WHO described CBD as having a “good safety profile”. However, large doses are rarely needed. In some cases, high doses are also reported to cause minor side effects such as dry mouth, drowsiness and diarrhoea. So it's best to start low and find the dose you need - its also much more cost-effective.
CONSIDER ASKING YOUR DOCTOR FOR ADVICE
Self-dosing, done carefully, is pretty easy, and most people will find that they're comfortable enough to do this by themselves without seeking out any extra help.
However, it's worth noting that CBD can have unwelcome interactions with certain medications, such as slowing their breakdown. While CBD's side effects are generally mild, it's essential to talk to your doctor if you are considering taking CBD oil alongside prescribed medication. In general, if you feel nervous about experimenting with CBD, you should discuss this with your doctor.