This is probably the #1 practical question on CBD and maybe the most misunderstood.
We can partly blame brands out there since there's lots of bad info on the market.
Let's lay out the dosage landscape based on actual research.
You may be surprised by the amounts of CBD that are pretty common there!
Beyond that, there are ways to squeeze the most out of the CBD that you can take advantage of and we'll cover those.
Let's get to it! The list:
- #1 Quantity matters
- #2 The tongue trick
- #3 After meals trick
- #4 How much is too much
- #5 Breaking up doses
- #6 Should CBD be pulsed?
- #7 Taking CBD around meds
- #8 Can you take CBD long term?
- #9 Cost per mg of CBD
- #10 Type of CBD matters
From the start!
#1 Quantity matters
There's a giant disconnect here.
Research shows the following on daily levels:
- 50mg - basic test level; wellness
- 160mg - aids sleep and pain
- 300mg - peak neurogenesis (brain repair - key to mental health and addiction long term)
- 600-800mg - more serious issues from public speaking to psychosis
Alright…now compare that with levels found in many products on the market.
250mg-500mg…in the entire bottle. Good luck with that!
You're better off drinking cheap olive or hemp oil.
The 300mg level (daily) is really our favorite one since neurogenesis (brain repair) is how SSRIs work for depression (till they stop due to tolerance). Long term, anxiety is a huge benefactor of this.
Start low (50mg) and adjust accordingly based on how you feel. Research on the 300mg level here.
Let's turn to tricks to get the most out of the CBD we do take.
#2 The tongue trick
If you hold CBD oil under your tongue for up to 60 seconds, it can boost the amount of CBD that gets into your bloodstream significantly.
There's a spot there called the sublingual gland which can directly absorb things we drink/eat.
This bypasses the gut which is notorious for eating up (in a bad way) what we consume.
We can bypass this altogether by holding CBD under the tongue and then swallowing it.
Combined with our next trick, we can boost the amount of CBD by 4x's!
Speaking of which…
#3 After meals trick
The liver is the primary processor of CBD.
This means that it breaks it down and keeps most of what you take from actually getting to work (besides the gut where it helps with inflammation).
It's a wrecking ball down there.
If we can take CBD after we eat meals…specifically meals with fat, more CBD will bypass the liver since it's busy breaking down fats.
That's partially why we use MCT oil from organic coconuts as a base for our CBD isolate.
It allows more CBD to get through!
Again, between the under the tongue trick and taking CBD after meals, we can boost CBD bioavailability by 4 times!
Is that too much? Let's go there.
#4 How much is too much
The research is between 600-800mg daily for more serious issues.
It has been tested up to 1500mg daily with a strong safety profile.
Interestingly, the safety profile is pretty comparable between 1500mg and 150mg.
How is that possible?
That's the beauty of CBD…it works like a feedback mechanism when key pathways levels are exhausted.
This effect is very different than THC (its cousin) which pushes in one direction which is why you can take too much (and it builds tolerance). See CBD versus THC for more.
We looked at how CBD works how CBD works in more detail (and research).
A deeper dive into CBD safety.
What about the schedule?
#5 Breaking up doses
Should CBD be taken all at one time or broken up?
Peak CBD is around 4-6 hours after taking it.
Based on this, breaking up CBD into 3 doses works great as that's a good general base throughout the day.
You can add a dose before sleep (see CBD and sleep) or in the middle of the night if sleep is an issue. Calming histamine is a key tool with insomnia. Luckily, CBD isolate calms mast cells where histamine is released.
It partially depends on why you're taking CBD.
For now, 3 times daily, after meals is a perfect plan barring medications taken throughout the day (more on that below).
#6 Should CBD be pulsed?
Does CBD dosage need to be cycled?
Meaning…do we take it for 3 weeks and take 1 week off or risk tolerance?
No. CBD doesn't build tolerance or cause addiction.
This is due to its feedback mechanism rather than just pushing key pathways in one direction.
Tolerance is a huge issue among pretty much every medication and many supplements.
Anything that's an agonist (boost) or antagonist (reduces) a pathway will probably build tolerance.
This means your natural levels go down (or up) with time. The wrong direction.
This is a huge win for CBD and the dose does not affect this.
#7 Taking CBD around meds
We mentioned above how the liver processes CBD which is pretty typical.
Roughly 60% of medications use the exact same liver pathway (called p450) to metabolize as well.
Taking CBD around meds that use the same pathway affects how those meds are metabolized which can:
- Causes the medication to linger longer
- Causes the medication to go away faster
So…what can we do?
The general rule of thumb is to take CBD 4 hours away from the medication and work with your naturopath/doctor.
In the schedule above (1 after each meal), we skipped the CBD for that meal when we took the med.
If a person wanted 300mg daily, they could take 150mg twice a day while skipping the meal when they take the med. Or move the 3rd dose to before bed (if 4 hours away from the med).
More on CBD with meds.
#8 Can you take CBD long term?
This is the tolerance piece.
You can't take benzos, SSRIs, THC, and 1000's of supplements/medications long term.
They build tolerance.
When a substance pushes a pathway in one direction, the body starts to push back.
For example, benzos boost GABA (our brain's "brake" pedal).
The body will then reduce GABA receptor numbers and sensitivity.
This means you need more benzos just to have the same effect which drives a further reduction.
It's a vicious cycle. Even supplements (GABA, 5HT, ashwagandha, etc) can do this.
Longer term, you can push pathways in one direction. We looked at tools that don't build tolerance for anxiety.
CBD is called an allosteric positive modulator of key pathways. A feedback mechanism!
In the benzo comparison, we don't see the sedation and even overdose effect with higher levels of CBD.
We looked at CBD long term here.
Let's turn to how we afford the higher dose levels.
#9 Cost per mg of CBD
The way to compare CBD is by cost per mg of CBD.
For example, our 6000mg bottle is 2-3 cents per mg of CBD BEFORE discounts up to 50%.
Many brands out there are much much more expensive.
For example, if a 250mg bottle costs $40 (not uncommon), that's 16 cents per mg!!
8 times more expensive! And probably without 3rd party testing (available top of every page) or quality controls.
We found CBD from a brutal perimenopause so we priced CBD so that people can actually get the levels that match research.
The two tricks up above can also save quite a bit by maximizing the amount of CBD that gets through.
One more point.
#10 Type of CBD matters
There's a difference between 100mg of CBD isolate and 100mg of CBD full spectrum.
First, the research is based on CBD isolate…CBD by itself.
More importantly, 40-60% of the population has histamine issues and that number goes up as we get older and for women (since progesterone drops by 50% by age 40).
We see very different responses (translation…bad) with full spectrum for these people.
Just look at the product reviews and see how people respond.
When we first started our CBD journey (and it was that), we tried 3 to 4 of the biggest CBD brands on the market…all full spectrum because…"it's better".
Nasty side effects. Stomach issues. Congestion. Coughing. Standard histamine response.
Our research shows that early trauma/infection can upregulate the immune system and histamine is part of this system. See research here.
The last thing we want to do is spur this into action.
CBD isolate actually calms histamine response while full spectrum can antagonize it.
Histamine is excitatory in the brain so this is bad for anxiety, sleep, pain, etc.
The exact reasons most people are taking CBD to begin with.
Dosage matters but the right type of CBD might matter more.
Okay…that's a wrap on our top 10 tips for CBD dosing.
If you have questions, please reach out to us directly via the chatbox to the right or email at firstname.lastname@example.org . We love helping people navigate CBD!
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.