Glass bottle and dropper CBD OIL, THC tincture and cannabis leaf on background. Laboratory Production of cosmetics with CBD oil.

CBD Dosage Chart: How Much Do You Need?

Learning how to dose CBD is kind of like learning how to ride a bicycle. There are a few key steps involved before you can get rolling safely. And like bicycle brands, there are many CBD products available, and each one must be tweaked for the individual. There is no "one-size fits all" for either bicycles or CBD. Things like height, weight, age, what you're using the CBD for, experience level, and even your gender can make a difference. All of these factors influence the kind of CBD you choose and how it feels.

When comes to the appropriate CBD dosage per individual, science hasn’t established formal guidelines yet. This can make things confusing and even intimidating for anyone looking to try CBD for the first time. To avoid potential side effects, the common phrase “start low and go slow” is true for all cannabinoids, including CBD. Outside of prescription CBD, modern research needs to catch up on what doses and methods work best for different people. At this point in cannabis research, instructions on dosage are more like general suggestions rather than strict rules.

Different glass bottles with CBD OIL, THC tincture and cannabis leaves on yellow background.

Factors that Impact CBD Dosage

CBD is generally safe and well-tolerated, but it is possible to take too much 1 Cannabidiol Critical Review Report World Health Organization. (2018). Cannabidiol Critical Review Report. Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/CannabidiolCriticalReview.pdf World Health Organization . Some uncomfortable but temporary side effects include drowsiness, diarrhea, reduced appetite, nausea and vomiting, and tiredness 2 An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 139–154. Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F . However, these are mild when compared to over-the-counter medications, and there are no known cases of fatal results from taking too much CBD 3 The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: The current state of evidence and recommendations for research National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017). The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: The current state of evidence and recommendations for research. The National Academies Press. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine . Still, it is important to learn how medications interact with CBD– even if these drug interactions don’t pose much risk 4 A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations Millar, S. A., Stone, N. L., Bellman, Z. D., Yates, A. S., England, T. J., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2019). A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 85(9), 1888–1900. Millar, S. A., Stone, N. L., Bellman, Z. D., Yates, A. S., England, T. J., & O’Sullivan, S. E. . You should always talk to your doctor before and during CBD use, especially if you have a liver condition. People with hepatitis or any other illness that puts a strain on this vital organ need to be especially careful, use small doses, and only take CBD under medical supervision.

The way you’re built and the way your body operates change the way CBD is absorbed.

  • Size: In general, people who are smaller in height and weight will need lower doses – and vice versa.
  • Age: As we age, two things happen, our metabolism slows down and many of us start taking medication for chronic illnesses, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis. Older adults and anyone on prescription medications should be more cautious about drug interactions and take small doses.
  • Gender: What gender you’re born with makes a difference too. Due to the hormone testosterone, people born as males have a faster metabolism than those born as females. Men or people on gender-affirming, masculinizing hormone therapy (FTM) will likely need higher CBD doses than women to feel the same effects.
  • Experience: Of course, more experienced CBD users – or those taking CBD for specific conditions – can also tolerate higher doses. Any beginner should start with small doses before moving up.
  • Product Type: Another factor that changes the effects of CBD is the type of product you use. Walk into any dispensary or click on any CBD website and you’ll see that there are topical creams, edible, and vapes available. But which one is right for you?

Methods of Taking CBD

In today’s market, cannabidiol is available in countless forms, from creams to gummies to infused oils. So how does that affect dosage? Well, each type of CBD goes into your system at different rates, which means how quickly you feel the effects of CBD and how long they last varies.

Topical CBD

This kind of CBD is popular for arthritis and pain on a specific part of your body because the CBD can be applied and absorbed directly into the affected area. One of the advantages of topical CBD is that it isn’t digested and broken down by your stomach, allowing more of the molecule to act on a particular area. This method may take one or two applications per day over the course of a few weeks for you to really experience any changes. For things like chronic pain, CBD patches can release a steady supply of CBD over a few hours – but they are costly, and their efficacy is unclear. Topicals provide a direct approach to pain relief; however, the benefits are limited to the application areas.

CBD Ingestion 

CBD can also be taken as oral droplets of tinctures, sprays, and oils. This is called sublingual CBD because these forms are meant to be placed under the tongue for at least 30-60 seconds for absorption. Tinctures are alcohol-based and aren’t as easily absorbed by your body as oils. CBD oils are composed of a CBD extract mixed with a carrier oil, like olive oil or other plant oils, and they are absorbed more rapidly and effectively. Lozenges and lollipops are other fun ways to take CBD. Suck on these yummy candies, and you’ll get a low but steady dose. Since your mouth can absorb various chemicals (like sugar), using CBD sublingually is effective. These tinctures, oils, and candies are great for beginners looking to use CBD for general wellness.

Edibles with CBD are generally most effective when taken regularly over a few weeks. If you’re new to CBD oil, make sure you’re taking the same dosage each time. It’s also a good idea to take CBD at the same time each day so you don’t skip a dose. Research studies show that CBD is best taken with food – increasing the amount absorbed by your body by at least threefold 5 A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans Millar, S. A., Stone, N. L., Yates, A. S., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2018). A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, 1365. Millar, S. A., Stone, N. L., Yates, A. S., & O’Sullivan, S. E . The trade-off is that it can take a few hours to kick in, but the effects will be longer and stronger.

Edible CBD consists of gummies, chocolates, and any other type of food or snack. Do you notice that a lot of these edibles are oily or fatty? This is because CBD dissolves easily in oil. You can think of the oil like a delivery vehicle that helps shuffle CBD from your intestines into your bloodstream. One problem with edible CBD is that your gut digests most of it, which means you may only be getting about 13-19% of the amount of CBD written on the label 5 A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans Millar, S. A., Stone, N. L., Yates, A. S., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2018). A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, 1365. Millar, S. A., Stone, N. L., Yates, A. S., & O’Sullivan, S. E . This is normal and doesn’t mean you should drastically increase the amount you eat to match your expectations. Just go by the labeled dose for consistency and easy dosing.

Inhaling CBD

Inhaling CBD – whether by smoking, nebulizing, or vaporizing – is the strongest and most efficient delivery method available. Most experienced users also prefer it. If you’re a beginner, you should know that this method is not for everyone because it’s challenging to gauge the CBD dosage per puff you inhale. Once vapors or smoke are inhaled, your body absorbs about 31% of the CBD 5 A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans Millar, S. A., Stone, N. L., Yates, A. S., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2018). A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, 1365. Millar, S. A., Stone, N. L., Yates, A. S., & O’Sullivan, S. E . Within 3 minutes, you’ll start to feel the effects, but because CBD is flushed out of your system quickly, these effects won’t last nearly as long as eating edibles. Some people find that smoking CBD can irritate their throat and lungs. It’s not uncommon to find yourself in a coughing fit after inhaling a big breath of CBD smoke. Using a vaporizer or nebulizer makes it easier to inhale because fewer impurities are irritating your airways. Inhaled CBD should be reserved for the most experienced users or patients needing strong, rapid relief of symptoms.

How Much CBD Should I Take?

Finding the appropriate dosage means knowing and listening to your body. Currently, there is no official CBD dosage guide, unless you’ve been prescribed the only FDA approved CBD drug, Epidiolex. Guides like this one, contain informal suggestions and are not meant to be taken as an official medical recommendation. Remember that CBD dosing is not an exact science – talk to your doctor first. Always start low and go slow.

If you are new to CBD and your doctor has cleared you to try it, then a good starting dosage would be about 10-15 mg. Increase the doses by 10-15mg every 2-5 days until you’ve hit the lowest recommended dosage for your weight. If you’re only using CBD for general wellness, then start with the lowest recommended dosage. Once again, if you’re unsure about the amount you should be taking, talk to your doctor!

One question people have is, “Can I overdose on CBD?” There’s good news. If you accidentally take more than the highest recommended dosage (1500mg/day), it’s okay. Studies suggest that CBD is probably safe even at super-high doses. However, taking giant doses of CBD is not recommended for everyday use 6 Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent Bergamaschi, M. M., Queiroz, R. H., Zuardi, A. W., & Crippa, J. A. (2011). Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Current drug safety, 6(4), 237–249. Bergamaschi, M. M., Queiroz, R. H., Zuardi, A. W., & Crippa, J. A . The bottom line is, you should aim for the lowest possible dose to achieve your health goals. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of CBD without experiencing unpleasant side effects.

Yes, you read that right. Some people do experience not-so-fun side effects when they take CBD. If that’s you, then reduce your dose by 10-15mg every 1-2 days until the adverse effects disappear.

CBD Dosage Chart

You’re probably thinking, “Okay, all this information is great, but how much CBD should I take?”

Below is a table for recommended CBD dosages based on body weight. You can use this CBD dosage chart to figure out exactly how many CBD-infused gummies or chocolate squares to eat.

Weight Low Strength (0.5mg/kg) Medium Strength (1 mg/kg) High Strength (1.5mg/kg)
100-125 lbs 20-25 mg 45-55 mg 65-85 mg
125-150 lbs 30-35 mg 55-65 mg 85-100 mg
150-175 lbs 35-40 mg 70-80 mg 100-120 mg
175-200 lbs 40-45 mg 80-90 mg 120-135 mg
200-225 lbs 45-50 mg 90-100 mg 135-155 mg
225-250 lbs 50-55 mg 100-115 mg 155-170 mg
>250 lbs 55+ mg 115 mg+ 170 mg+
*Estimated for general wellness with doses lower than clinically indicated Epidiolex. Not intended to prevent, treat, cure, diagnose, or mitigate any disease. These statements do not constitute medical advice and have not been reviewed by the FDA.

Notice that the table above is in mg of pure CBD, not in mg of CBD oil. To figure out how many milliliters (ml) of CBD oil you can take, use this simple CBD dosage calculator below:

(desired dose in mg from the table above) ÷ (concentration of the oil on your bottle of CBD oil (mg/mL))

CBD Dosage General Rules and Tips

Whether you’re a CBD-newbie or grizzled veteran, always make sure to pick quality, independently tested products. In a recent study of CBD products sold online, a whopping 70% of them were mislabeled 8 Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online Bonn-Miller, M. O., Loflin, M., Thomas, B. F., Marcu, J. P., Hyke, T., & Vandrey, R. (2017). Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online. JAMA, 318(17), 1708–1709. Bonn-Miller, M. O., Loflin, M., Thomas, B. F., Marcu, J. P., Hyke, T., & Vandrey, R. . Avoid these potentially dangerous products by making sure the website has easily accessible, third-party lab test results. Links to the testing report should be visible, and you shouldn’t have to dig around for hours on a website to find them. Trusted brands like Myaderm and Penguin CBD don’t shy away from publicly posting detailed lab results, covering both CBD potency and potential contaminants.

Why is it so important to look at the report? And why can these products be potentially harmful? The main reason is because the CBD market is new and underregulated in many places. Checking lab results is one of the best ways to ensure that your product is correctly labeled and free of contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, and unintended THC. If you’re in a state or country that has legalized cannabis products, then dispensaries are your best bet. Out of all the CBD stores out there, they are the most highly regulated and carry reliable, lab-tested CBD products. Don’t be afraid to go in and ask for these test results! Any reputable seller would happily pull these out for their customers.

Stay away from places like gas stations, stores, or websites that don’t display lab test results for their cannabidiol products. Furthermore, avoid buying CBD products from overseas, since the regulation of these products are often looser and more relaxed than FDA guidelines.

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