Important Dosage Considerations

Determining the best CBD dosage generally depends on the following factors.

  • Concentration: Concentration, or strength, refers to the total amount of CBD in a given product. Concentration is measured in milligrams (mg). This is different from dosage, which indicates the amount of CBD per serving. For instance, let’s say a bottle of CBD tincture has a concentration of 1000 mg and contains 10 millilitres (ml) of tincture. There are roughly 200 drops per 10ml bottle therefore each drop is approximately 5 mg of CBD; the consumer is not ingesting 1000 mg with each dose.
  • Body weight: A person’s weight often plays a role in how much – or how little – CBD affects the body. Generally speaking, heavier people need higher doses to experience the calming effects of CBD; lighter people, on the other hand, may feel the same effects with a lower dose.
  • Desired effects: For many, the optimal dose comes down to the level of pain or discomfort they are experiencing. Someone with chronic pain or severe anxiety may need a higher dose to alleviate their symptoms, whereas a person with a milder condition may prefer a lower dose with less pronounced effects.
  • Tolerance: CBD consumers may develop a tolerance over time, which can result in reduced effects from the same dosage. Higher subsequent doses may be needed to achieve the desired results.

Using the criteria above, first-time CBD consumers should be able to determine a good starting dosage. Next, we’ll look at some typical starting doses for CBD consumers with different weights and desired effect levels.

  • Body weight: A person’s weight often plays a role in how much – or how little – CBD affects the body. Generally speaking, heavier people need higher doses to experience the calming effects of CBD; lighter people, on the other hand, may feel the same effects with a lower dose.
  • Desired effects: For many, the optimal dose comes down to the level of pain or discomfort they are experiencing. Someone with chronic pain or severe anxiety may need a higher dose to alleviate their symptoms, whereas a person with a milder condition may prefer a lower dose with less pronounced effects.
  • Measuring Dosage for Different CBD Products

    Thanks to a booming CBD market, consumers can choose from several different forms of CBD. These include:

    Oils and tinctures

    These forms of concentrated CBD oil are typically mixed in with food or applied sublingually (beneath the tongue). Oils and tinctures typically come in 15-mL or 30-mL bottles. These products vary significantly in terms of concentration, ranging anywhere from 100 mg to 5000 mg. The key to understanding tincture dosage is serving size, which is usually 1 mL per serving. A 5000 mg-strength tincture in a 30-mL bottle features 30 1-mL servings of roughly 166.7mg of CBD. A 100 mg-strength tincture in the same bottle contains 30 servings of roughly 3.3mg of CBD. These two servings will yield very different effects.

    For this reason, we urge first-time CBD tincture consumer’s to start with lower concentrations and gradually ramp up their dosage. It’s important to note that tinctures do not take effect as quickly as other CBD products (namely vape oils) and consumers may not experience the sensations right away; however, the effects can last for up to three or four hours. Those who take the tincture sublingually should hold the 1-ml serving under their tongue for approximately 60 seconds for best results.

    Vape oil

    Vape oil is CBD oil extracted from hemp that is formulated with a cutting agent, such as vegetable glycerine or propylene glycol. Vape oil is inhaled using a vape pen. The effects are almost instantaneous, and produce a relaxing sensation for up to an hour or so – though the duration of these effects typically depends on how long the consumer inhales from the pen and how long they hold the vapour in before exhaling. Many find that inhaling for up to three seconds and holding the vapour in for up to five seconds will produce the strongest, longest-lasting effects.

    In terms of concentration, vape oils are similar to tinctures. Most vape oils come in 10-mL bottles, with 1-mL to 1.5-mL per serving. Concentrations for vape oils typically range from 100 mg to 1500 mg, meaning that the serving size for most oils will range from 6.6mg to 50 mg. Many vape pens are designed to accommodate cartridges that house the vape oil; cartridges vary in terms of capacity but 1.5 mL is a common size.

    Edibles

    CBD edibles include capsules, gummies, and other products that are eaten. Like tinctures, edibles have a longer onset time because they are ingested orally, but the effects are also much more prolonged. Typically, edibles will take effect within one hour of consumption; the effects will last for up to four or five hours, depending on the strength.

    Calculating dosage is fairly easy with these products because each edible represents one serving size and the dosage is always listed in the ingredients. Most gummies have concentrations ranging from 5 mg to 100 mg. For higher-dosage edibles, consumers who prefer moderate doses find that breaking the edible apart yields the best results.

    Topical

    CBD topical include lotions and creams, balms and salves, therapeutic oils, and other products that are applied directly to the epidermis, or outermost layer of skin. Topical are unique, in that the substance never comes in direct contact with the body’s endocannabinoid system; rather, the cannabinoids in CBD topical bind with cannabinoid receptors in the epidermis. The result is a soothing sensation that is mostly isolated to the application area. People may use CBD topical to relieve muscle or joint pain, or alleviate discomfort from burns, stings, and other injuries. Many topical also contain antioxidants and moisturizers that can restore and replenish the skin.

    Calculating dosage with topical is tricky because the ‘serving’ size depends entirely on how much (or how little) is applied to the skin. Most CBD topical sold today range in concentration from 250 mg to 1500 mg. People with severe pain or discomfort typically find that high-concentration topical work best.

    The table below summarizes typical dosing methods and amounts for the CBD products detailed above.

    CBD PRODUCT

    DOSING METHOD

    SERVING SIZE

    TYPICAL CONCENTRATION RANGE

    TYPICAL DOSAGE PER SERVING

    Tincture

    Sublingually using a dropper or mixed in with food/drinks

    1 ml

    100 mg to 5000 mg

    3.3mg to 166.67mg

    Vape Oil

    Inhaled using a vape pen

    1 ml to 1.5 ml

    200 mg to 1500 mg

    6.6mg to 50 mg
    Varies by inhalation method

    Edible

    Ingested orally

    1 edible

    5 mg to 100 mg

    5 mg to 100 mg

    Topical

    Applied to the epidermis

    Varies by application preference

    250 mg to 1500 mg

    Varies by application preference