How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?
The amount of CBD that you should take to achieve the best results varies by individual. Each person’s optimal dosage or serving size is based on a variety of factors. These include body chemistry, genetics, weight, and physical condition.
The purpose of this dosing guide is to give you tips on where to start and how to go about finding your optimal or “sweet spot” dosage. The CBD dosage calculator on this page is also a useful tool for converting dosage levels, which are commonly expressed in milligrams of CBD, into milliliters of liquid or drops, so you know how much to take.
The 3 Basic Principles of CBD Dosing
Before we talk about the process for finding your optimal dose, it’s important to understand the 3 basic principles of CBD dosing.
Rule #1: There is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to how much CBD you should take. Some users get their desired results from as little as 1 milligram of CBD daily, whereas others find that they need over 100 milligrams per day. Finding your personal “sweet spot” dosage will involve some experimentation and adjustments over time.
Rule #2: Getting the dosage right is critically important to achieving success with CBD. Its importance is often overlooked or understated. Taking too little or too much is the #1 mistake made by new users. Some of them just give up in frustration and declare that CBD doesn’t work for them. In reality, it may have worked if they had followed a process to find their optimal dose.
Rule #3: It is typically best to start low and gradually increase the dosage over time until you find your “sweet spot” where you experience the desired results. Less is often more when it comes to CBD dosing. Patience is also essential during the process. While some people get results immediately, many report not seeing results for weeks or even months.
The Importance of Finding Your Optimal Dose
Taking either too low of a dose or too high of a dose will not give you the best chance of success with CBD. If your dose is too small, you may not feel any effects at all. And if your dose is too high, you may experience undesirable results such as headaches, nausea or a general worsening of symptoms.
The bell curve graph below is a visual representation of dosage levels and expected benefits from CBD. The obvious goal is to find your optimal dose that gives you the highest benefits. The green vertical line expresses this point in the center of the graph.
How to Calculate the Potency of CBD Oil Drops
Before you start the process of finding your optimal dose, it’s a good idea to know the potency of the product that you’ll be using. The potency of CBD oil drops (tinctures) varies widely and is commonly expressed in terms of milligrams (mg) of CBD per milliliter (ml).
Generally, a product with less than 15 mg/ml is considered low-potency, a product with between 15-49 mg/ml is regarded as standard potency, and a product with 50 mg/ml or more is considered high-potency. You’ll need to take more of a low-potency product compared to a high-potency one to achieve the same dosage level.
To calculate the potency of your product, just divide the total number of milligrams of CBD in the bottle by the total amount of liquid in milliliters. Both of these numbers can be commonly found on the product label or the company’s website. You can use this handy calculator to do the calculation for you.
Process for Finding Your Optimal Dosage of CBD Oil Drops
There is no “right” way for you to find your optimal dosage. We’ll discuss 2 different options that have been used successfully and recommend that you choose the one that best fits your needs. These suggestions are based on feedback from users in our CBD Oil Users Group on Facebook and should not be construed as medical advice.
Regardless of the method that you choose, you can expect that you’ll need to do some experimentation and make adjustments to your dosage over time. This includes experimenting with how many times a day and what time of day you take it. Our CBD oil dosing log can be a useful resource to help you track your doses and progress towards finding your optimal dose.
Option 1: Microdosing
The most popular and cost effective method for finding your optimal dose is called “microdosing.” This method requires a high level of time, attention and patience for 2 or 3 days in most cases so it isn’t for everyone.
You start by taking a single drop (not dropper-full) of your CBD oil. You then assess how you feel after 45 minutes and take another single drop if you haven’t felt any effects. Repeat this process until you feel a difference.
The combined number of drops that you’ve taken in the last 4 hours to reach the point of feeling a difference is your optimal dosage. You can then switch to taking that number of drops in a single dose and make adjustments as needed.
It’s worth noting that if you are using a lower potency product, it can take a considerable amount of time to find your optimal dosage using this method. You can speed up this process by taking a couple of drops at a time rather than just one, or by switching to a high-potency product.
For more detailed instructions on microdosing, please refer to our article CBD Microdosing to Find Your “Sweet Spot” Dose.
Option 2: Start Low and Increase Slow
This method is recommended for those who don’t have the time or patience for microdosing. It involves choosing a starting daily dosage based on general guidelines and then slowly increasing your daily dosage every 3-4 days until you get the desired results. The daily dosage needed to achieve the results you’re looking for is your optimal dose.
The first step in this method is choosing a starting dose. We recommend starting with one-half of the dosage suggested in the following CBD dosage chart based on your weight and severity of your health concerns:
CBD Dosage Chart
The dosage level that you choose to start with is a personal decision. Some companies recommend just starting with between 10-25 milligrams of CBD. A higher starting dose will increase the chances of taking too much which can result in symptoms such as headaches, nausea or a general worsening of symptoms. If you experience any adverse symptoms when starting to take CBD oil, we recommend that you reduce your dosage and increase it again slowly until you find your optimal dose.
CBD Dosage Calculator
Once you’ve decided on a desired dosage to start with, you can use our dosage calculator to convert that dose in milligrams of CBD to milliliters or drops.
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How To Measure CBD Oil Drops
We recommend that users measure their dose by milliliter instead of by drops. This is because dosing by milliliter is generally both easier and more accurate than counting individual drops.
It’s commonly said that 20 drops of CBD oil are equal to 1 milliliter, but that’s not always the case. You can test this yourself by taking a variety of droppers and counting out the drops. We have found that the number of drops per milliliter can vary anywhere from 20 drops all the way up to 55 drops. Even when a company explicitly states how many drops are in their droppers, there can be discrepancies. One bottle may be 25 drops per dropper-full while another may be 30 drops in a full dropper.
CBD oil drops can have concentrations as high as 5 milligrams of CBD per drop. So discrepancies in drop counts can cause someone to take considerably more or less than they intended. While some users are not concerned about exact dosing, many are.
The CBD oil drops of some brands include graduated droppers with markings to help you measure milliliters. If your product has a graduated dropper, then you should be able to trust those measurements. Graduated droppers and calibrated oral syringes can often by found at your local pharmacy. Some pharmacies will even give them to you for free. You can also find them for purchase on Amazon and other online marketplaces.
How Many CBD Gummies or Capsules Should I Take?
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 straightforward. 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.
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.
How Much CBD Should I Vape?
Getting the right dose when vaping CBD 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 dosage. 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.
Does Weight Matter When It Comes to CBD Dosage?
Some dosage instructions recommend using a general guideline of 2.5 milligrams of CBD for every 10 pounds of weight. Following this guideline, someone who weighs 150 pounds would take 37.5 milligrams of CBD per day. Unfortunately, finding the dosage that will work best for you just typically isn’t that easy.
While weight can impact your optimal dosage, there are many other factors that are considered more important. The type and severity of your conditions, your body chemistry, how you’re taking CBD, how often you plan on taking CBD, and the type of CBD that you’ll be using (full spectrum, broad spectrum or isolate) are also essential factors.
Generally, we have found that weight alone is not an accurate estimator of how much CBD someone should take for the best results. Recommending certain dosages based on weight can result in feeling no effects from taking too little or adverse effects from taking too much.
Still Have Questions About CBD Dosing?
Questions about the CBD dosage calculator and the process for finding the optimal CBD dosage are very common, especially from new users. Our CBD Oil Users Group on Facebook is an online community where you can ask questions and share experiences with others.
We also recommend that first-time users of CBD consult with their physician, especially if they are taking prescription medications.