How Much CBD Should I Take? CBD Dosing Explained

    by John Reid / January 22, 2019

    Today there is no perfect science, per se, when it comes to CBD dosage. Broadly speaking, there is a wide dosing range – some people do really well with low doses and others require a very high amount.  Frankly, there is no way to know exactly how much CBD to take because we as individuals have such varied responses to CBD as medicine. However, there are effective ways to approach taking CBD that can optimize the experience and increase the opportunity for positive results. So don't fret - through known scientific research, anecdotal evidence, and a little common sense, Relief Scout has come up with a simplified way to experience the benefits of CBD. 

    Personalized CBD Recommendation CTA

    Start with an intention

    First and foremost, before taking CBD set a goal. What you’re seeking to gain from CBD? The more specific and measurable the goal, the better. Let’s say you’re taking CBD to improve sleep quality. Before taking CBD set an intention about what better sleep looks like. A good goal might be to take CBD with a focus on decreasing stress during the day to improve sleep at night. The more specific, measurable, and memorable the better. The next day, take a moment to note if CBD made a difference in your daily to routine compared to a CBD free day. After a few days of noting, you should have a good sense if CBD is making a difference based on your intentions.

    Everyone is different

    Recommending the “right amount” of CBD to everyone is like suggesting everyone should drink the same amount of coffee or tea in the morning and get the same effect. The same principles brought together by the Human Genome Project in personalized medicine apply to CBD. Each individual has a different optimal dose based on factors not limited to genetics, weight, age, and symptom state. The effects may vary as well. Personally, CBD helps me to “take the edge” off on stressful days, while others anecdotally share they feel an increased energy or focus. Having the “right” experience with CBD leads many to go back to the same CBD brand to repeat the experience. While the right experience may result from a particular brand, just like coffee or tea, the experience of CBD will remain relatively the same, regardless of brand, if dosage is optimized.

    How to optimize your dose

    Start small and build from there until you see less benefit. According to data gathered from anecdotal research evidence, as little as 2.5mg of CBD can have a therapeutic effect. If a small amount of CBD is not working, you can gradually increase your dosage until the desired effect is met. This is rather important to note because more CBD does not necessarily mean increased benefits. It’s counterintuitive but taking more CBD may actually create a less positive effect. Every individual should have a clear understanding of the biphasic and triphasic effects to take right amount of CBD.

    The biphasic effect graph shows the relationship between dosage and benefits of CBD. biphasiceffectTo find the optimal dose start with a small, low dosage amount. Over a few days or even weeks, you should increase the dosage to the point where less benefit is recognized. Then decrease your dosage as your gain more benefits.triphasiceffect

    The triphasic effect occurs when a very high dose starts to create the opposite desired effect. Reported side effects of CBD include drowsiness, dry mouth, and decreased blood pressure. CBD is proven to be a generally safe compound but taking more CBD with less than optimal results will burn an unnecessary hole in your pocket. Simply stated, you might get more effect by taking less CBD. Certain methods of taking CBD offer better control over the CBD experience than others, so make sure you find the right method for you.

    NOW, Do you want the bad news or the good news first?

    ...Right, always take the bad news first…

    Bad news is that your optimal dosage will change as you age.

    ...oh, and you are always aging :)

    Good News? That may mean taking less CBD!

    Optimal dosage is a moving target over time. One interesting study found that mice (taking a similar compound, THC) found different effects depending on the age of the subjects. Based on this and other studies, we recommend starting small and taking inner inventory to understand when CBD starts to take effect. If you have been taking CBD and noting it’s not working, stop taking it for a day and actually take less the next time. Personally, I have also found simply taking a day without CBD is a good opportunity to decide if it’s meeting the intended goal or not.

    Create a setting for a consistent experience

    Finally, after knowing the intention you want to meet and taking CBD, creating a consistent environment helps to better understand the benefits of CBD. Try taking CBD around the same time of day, first thing in the morning or an hour before bed to effectively measure results. CBD may not be for everyone, but it has been effective for many. With more research to reveal the true potential of CBD, we do know according to a HelloMD survey in partnership with the Brightfield group that 42% of CBD users said they stopped taking medications like Tylenol, pain relievers, or prescription drugs like Vicodin…. 80% said they found the products to be “extremely effective.” Only 3% or less found the product to be ineffective or only slightly effective.” So, from what we gather, finding the optimal dosage for you is critical to meeting the same benefit 80% of CBD consumers have found.

    Are you ready to begin optimizing your CBD dosage?

    Based on your weight and symptom state, use the table below to reference the amount of CBD, in milligrams, to safely and effectively begin:

    CBD Level by Symptom State


    What is a symptom state?

    Not sure how to measure mgs?

    What about The Weight? Take a load off…

    Try the Relief Scout questionnaire to learn more about the symptoms we help and get your customized CBD product recommendation and starting dosage in less than one minute.

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    John Reid

    John Reid

    John has over 13 years of experience in finance and consulting. John has joined the industry-wide mission to educate and introduce people to the value of this often misunderstood component of the hemp plant. When not working with the Relief Scout vendors, you can find John and his wife enjoying the great outdoors and surfing in San Francisco. And if you ever want to talk music, John is all ears.


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