Probably one of the questions we get most is, “How much CBD should I take?”. After the FSA's recent decision to slash the Recommended Daily Allowance to just 1/7th of it's former recommendation, it's a question we're being asked more than ever. We've put together our own dosage guide to help and there's also a handy online dosage calculator to better help you find what might work for you.
How to find your CBD dosage
Unfortunately the answer to this is not clear cut as CBD comes in so many different forms, concentrations and product types, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. But the good news is that, by taking the factors we discuss below into consideration, you will find your ideal dose in no time.
The thing is, CBD is a highly complex molecule. And how it reacts and interacts with you body, is going to be unique to you. What’s more, the way you will experience its effects will also be different to that of someone else!
CBD Dosage Considerations
1. CBD Concentration
CBD concentration is simply the amount of CBD that’s in the product and is measured in milligrams.
Side Note: CBD concentration is different from CBD dosage. The latter refers to the amount of CBD in weight (e.g., mg) per volume (e.g., fluid oz or ml).
2. Body Weight
Body weight and composition also plays a role in how much or how little CBD is needed. Generally, the more you weigh and the higher your BMI, the more CBD you will need.
3. Symptom Severity
Lastly, the more severe your symptoms, the more CBD you’ll probably need. For instance, if you want to treat some mild aches and strains, you will need less CBD than someone suffering from a severe, chronic pain condition.
4. Bioavailability and Product Type
Whenever you ingest any therapeutic substance, your body first needs to absorb it before it can start doing its job. The efficacy at which it's absorbed into the bloodstream is called its bioavailability.
The bioavailability of a substance is very much dependent on the way you take it. For instance, the bioavailability of CBD oils that you put under your tongue is different to edibles or gel caps that get swallowed, or vapes that get inhaled because of different routes each of them have to take before they can reach the bloodstream.
To show you the differences between different CBD products, we’ve put together the table below.
|Method of Administration||Bioavailability||Onset||Duration|
|Oral||4% - 20%||30 - 90 min||± 7 hrs|
|Sublingual||10% - 20%||20 - 40 min||± 6 hrs|
|Topical||Unknown||60 - 90 min||± 6 hrs|
|Inhalation||2% - 56%||2 - 5 min||± 3 hrs|
General CBD Dosing Guidelines
The rule of thumb is always: “Go low and start slow…”
This means starting with a small dosage and then working your way up until you find a relief of symptoms. Consistency is key so after 10-14 days if you feel that you’re not quite getting the relief you want, you can slowly increase your CBD dosage until you’re happy with the effects.
The FSA recently cut the RDA of CBD from 70mg to only 10mg per day, which left many experienced CBD users (and businesses) puzzled as to why and how this decision was reached. Due to the previous recommendation being significantly higher, many people were already taking doses well over 10mg and seeing results without adverse reactions.
The FSA based this new recommendation on a single study of CBD isolate in rodents, somehow overriding the mass of scientific research and real-world data in humans which proves otherwise. Many of the brands affected by this controversial new advice have undergone their own rigorous testing to ensure the best quality product and to rule our long-term safety concerns.
It's also worth pointing out that many brands (including Otherside) don't use CBD isolate in their products, but rather broad-spectrum or full-spectrum extracts to harness what is known as the "Entourage Effect". Using a more complete extract enables the body to better absorb and make use of the cannabinoids present.
CBD Dosing Guidelines for Specific Conditions
Although we said earlier that there is no one single correct CBD dose, we can read between the lines when looking into the data from CBD research and clinical trials. From doing so, the following general guidelines to start dosing for certain conditions have emerged:
- Anxiety: 10-30 mg x 2 (orally) daily
- Chronic Pain: 2.5-20 mg CBD (orally)
- Any Form of Epilepsy: 200-300 mg of CBD (orally) daily
- Sleep Disorders: 40 mg-160 mg CBD (orally)
- Schizophrenia: 40 mg - 1,280 mg CBD (orally) daily
* But please, before doing any kind of self medicating, please consult your doctor first. CBD is a powerful ally when used correctly. But it can also cause serious problems when combined with other pharmaceuticals it doesn’t play well with.
Calculating your CBD Dosage
As we said earlier, CBD dosage is the amount of CBD per serving, or amount of CBD per serving/1ml. Most reputable CBD brands will have this information available on the product label, and you can use this to calculate your CBD dosage.
Calculating CBD Dosage by Weight
If the CBD oil label shows the amount of CBD in milligrams, it’s relatively easy. All you need to do is take the total milligrams of CBD in the bottle and divide it by the bottle size in ml.
30 ml bottle containing 1,500 mg of CBD
→ 1,500 ÷ 30 = 50 mg of CBD per 1 ml
Calculating CBD Dosage with Percentage
Sometimes CBD oil labels only show the percentage of CBD. If this is the case for you, you first need to convert this percentage to mg.
30 ml bottle of CBD with a concentration of 15% CBD
→ 15% of 3,000 mg = 1.5 x 3,000 = 4,500 mg of CBD per bottle
→ 4,500 ÷ 30 = 150 mg of CBD per 1 ml