How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?
Rule #1: there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to determining the “right” serving size. The effective serving size for each person is different based on body chemistry, severity of concern, weight, concentration of the product, etc. One or two drops may be effective for one person but another person may need several drops of the same product.
Rule #2: it is typically best to start low and gradually increase serving size over time until you experience the desired result. Patience is key. While some people get results immediately, most report not seeing results for weeks or even months.
This page gives input on where to start and how to find your personal “sweet spot” serving size. But know that it will likely take some time, patience and experimentation for you to find the serving size that is right for you.
Why Do We Say CBD Oil Serving Size Instead of CBD Oil Dosage?
Per U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines, CBD oil products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. CBD oil products are dietary supplements. As such, they are a type of food product and serving size is the appropriate term instead of dosage.
Step 1: Decide How You Want To Take Your CBD
CBD oil drops that you place under your tongue and allow to absorb directly into your bloodstream are the most popular way that people take CBD. Vaping is the second most popular and generally preferred by those looking for quick relief from anxiety, panic attacks and migraines. Other popular methods include oral capsules/gummies and topicals and transdermals that are applied to the skin. All of these delivery methods are explained in more detail in our article “What’s The Best Way To Take CBD Oil?”
Step 2: Consider How Your Chosen Delivery Method(s) Impacts Serving Size
As explained in the article linked above, bioavailability refers to the actual amount of CBD that gets into your bloodstream. Estimated bioavailability by delivery method: 20-30% for drops, 30-40% for vaping and 5% for oral capsules and gummies. So for example, consuming 25mg of CBD in sublingual drops will deliver an estimated 4-6 times the amount of CBD to your body than a capsule with 25mg of CBD. This is another reason that starting low and experimenting with serving size is key.
Step 3: Formulate A Plan For Finding Your Optimal Serving Size
No matter what delivery method(s) you choose, it’s important to understand that too low of a serving size or too high of a serving size will not give you the best chance of success. If your serving size is too low, you may not feel any effects at all. And if your serving size is too high, you may experience undesirable results such as headaches or a general worsening of symptoms.
Thus the recommendation is to start low and slowly work your way up the left half of the bell curve until you find your optimal serving size. You can also expect to need to make adjustments over time to remain in the “optimal” range. This is why experimentation is key.
Now let’s discuss different methods that people use to find their optimal serving size by delivery method.
Sublingual Drops – How Many Drops of CBD Oil Should I Take?
There is no “right” way for you to determine your optimal serving size. Here are a few methods that people have used successfully. These are merely suggestions based on what we’ve heard from users and should not be construed as medical advice.
- Follow the instructions of the company from whom you purchased the product. Some, but not all, companies give dosing guidance to their customers. If instructions weren’t included with the product when you received it, you can contact them by phone or email to ask what they suggest. Figure 2 is an example of dosing instructions from Charlotte’s Web. But keep in mind that potencies can vary significantly across brands and products. You’d need far fewer drops from a 30ml bottle with 2500mg of CBD than you would from a 30ml bottle with 100mg to achieve the same serving size.
- Microdosing. This method involves taking very small amounts of CBD on a regular schedule. Depending on potency, this can mean taking as little as 1 drop every 45 minutes until you feel a difference. Microdosing requires a high level of time, attention and patience. A full explanation of the microdosing method is in our article “CBD Microdosing to Find Your Sweet Spot Serving Size.”
- Decide on a target serving size based on number of milligrams of CBD. The chart in Figure 3 below suggests daily serving size in milligrams of CBD based on severity of concern and weight.
Once you’ve determined the target serving size of CBD oil for you, you need to figure out how many drops are needed to get that serving size. Click here for a CBD Oil Drops Calculator that can help you calculate the number of milligrams in each drop and the number of drops required for your desired serving size.
It’s typically recommended that people start low (maybe 1/2 of what is suggested above per day) and then slowly increase every 3-4 days if necessary until the desired result is achieved. The “right” serving size is different by person and product so once again you will need to experiment to find what works best for you.
Vaping – How Much CBD Oil Should I Vape?
Getting the right serving size when vaping is even harder than sublingual oils. With the sublingual oils, you can do a calculation of how many drops are needed to achieve a desired serving size. But vaping is much different since you have to fill a vape pen or tank with e-liquid and then take “hits” from it.
With vaping, it’s generally recommended that you take one or two “hits” and then wait a few minutes. If you haven’t gotten any relief, then you can take another one or two “hits” and repeat the process until you do.
Oral Capsules and Gummies – How Many CBD Oil Capsules or Gummies Should I Take?
As mentioned earlier, the bioavailability of oral capsules and gummies is much lower than that of vaping or sublingual drops. But on the bright side, figuring out how many milligrams of CBD you’re consuming is much easier. With capsules and gummies, you know exactly how many milligrams you’re taking because the packaging will tell you how many milligrams of CBD are in each gummy. The typical range is between 10 – 25 milligrams of CBD per capsule or gummy.
Once again, you should start slow with no more than one capsule or gummy. Edibles can take anywhere from 30 minutes to well over an hour to “kick in” since they go through your digestive system. It is recommended that you not take more than your initial dose until at least 2 hours later given the delayed effect.
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