Finding the best dose involves using numero uno as a guinea pig, or an n=1 experiment if you like. This takes you through how you can accurately measure different doses, and how you can track your way to finding your ideal therapeutic window.
How To Take CBD
One of the most popular ways to ingest CBD is by using a tincture preparation/oil. These typically come with a glass pipette which administers CBD with a carrier oil in small droplets.
Alternatively, you can get caps which are already pre-dosed so taking fixed doses consistently is easier. Caps tend to come in ranges from 10-50mg, so experimenting with doses is slightly less flexible. It might be easier to play around with tinctures at first as you can increase and decrease the dose with more flexibility, but with a little less precision.
However, if you are using a spray then those doses may be more accurate to clock, so you can have a play around with an accessible form.
You may have noticed that CBD can be referred to as a percentage as well as in milligrams (mg). Confusing, right?
Whilst knowing the percentage is handy to assess the general potency you are getting, measuring doses in mg is more practical. This way you can also go by doses used in research as well, as CBD is mostly referred to in mg.
To most accurately dose CBD, knowing how much CBD in mg/drop can help you find your sweet spot with plenty of room for exploration.
Working Out MG/Drop From % CBD & Millilitres
When a product refers to CBD in percentages, it highlights the concentration of CBD present as a percentage of the entire bottle.
Lets say you had an oil which was 5% CBD and was 10 ml in volume. That leaves 95% of the 10ml which will contain the carrier oil (usually coconut), a few other cannabinoids (not THC) and some other phytochemicals from Hemp or Cannabis.
Straight CBD = 5% of 10 ml = 0.5 ml
Now convert ml to mg using a conversion tool:
- 0.5 ml = 500mg per bottle
- Within a 10ml bottle, you’re looking at ~ 200 drops.
- So 500 mg/200 drops, should provide ~ 2.5 mg/drop
Working Out MG/Drop From Total Milligrams & Millilitres
To make life a little easier, some oils tell you how much total CBD is contained in mg for a whole bottle.
This makes it easier to establish how many mg are contained within 1 drop of oil. Mg allows you to gauge your intake, and find a snug therapeutic window.
A typical dropper will contain 1ml of oil. So if you have 10 ml which contains 500 mg total CBD, then 1 ml = 50 mg.
So Total CBD in mg / Total ml = CBD for 1 ml
The dropper (1 ml) may give you somewhere between 20 and 25 drops:
- 50 mg/25 drops = 2 mg
- 50 mg/20 drops = 2.5 mg
Going By Body Weight
This seems like a practical method to go by, but in reality its actually pretty flawed.
Its kind of like how using Body Mass Index (BMI) to assess body composition is flawed. It uses measures of weight in relation to height to obesity risk, but fails to account for whether the weight is composed of muscle or fat. Its practical, but inaccurate.
Going by body weight alone fails to account for genetic differences in your Endocannabinoid system and metabolism, that influences the effects CBD may have.
Even if you share the same body weight as someone, you could have a totally different effect from CBD.
Your individual response varies because of your unique body composition and:
- Metabolic activity of liver enzymes (CYP) which metabolise cannabinoids
- Nutritional Status (omega 3:6 consumption notably)
- Endocannabinoid tone (synthesis, degradation and signalling of Endocannabinoids)
- Sleep (also impacts EC tone)
- Stress (impacts EC tone)
Finding Your Own Sweet Spot
There’s another way to go if you choose not to go by body weight or doses used in research.
You may have heard the saying start low and go slow. This refers to activating your endocannabinoid system, gently introducing it to CBD.
If you’ve never taken CBD (or cannabis) before, then your endocannabinoid system hasn’t been fully ‘woken up’ yet. So gently wake it up, starting with small doses at first, and gradually increasing them over time.
This helps establish your optimal dose of CBD, so you can find your therapeutic window. Your therapeutic window is the space between the smallest dose which produces a meaningful effect, and the point where your response starts to plateau.
Start with a low dose, say 2-5mg. If this doesn’t provide any meaningful effect for you, increase your dose until you find it does. You’ve now found your minimum viable dose.
You may choose to explore higher doses for greater effects beyond your minimum viable dose. This way you can explore if more is necessarily better for you, or just ends up wasting your oil. This is a valuable experiment you can conduct on yourself to truly understand how your oil is working for you.
What works for you is going to be completely subjective, so start low and increase incrementally to find your personal ‘goldilocks zone’ (thats juuuuust right).
CBD has no official Tolerable Upper Limit (maximum safe dose), but is generally well tolerated. Thats why its a good idea to have some idea from the literature just to be safe.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) suggests taking a daily dose of 70mg CBD.
Some people may require higher doses based on their individual needs. Cannabis Pharma have recommended their food supplement for adults at a daily intake of up to 130 mg or 1.86 mg CBD per kg body weight.
Tracking Your Way To Success
Once you have established your relationship with CBD, you can play around with it, and start to track how you respond to different doses, and establish whether its best to:
- Dose in response to symptoms
- Dose periodically throughout the day
- Dose with food
- Dose Morning or Night
Get your free Gaia Guru tracker here.