CBD Dosage: Figuring Out How Much CBD to Take

Cannabidiol or CBD[1] is one of over 400 cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant, but it doesn’t have the psychoactive effects for which tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is known. Though the effects of CBD are still being studied, scientific evidence suggests it may be beneficial for a variety of concerns ranging from pain and anxiety to epilepsy. 

When it comes to taking CBD, it’s all about finding the right dosage. Dosing CBD can be tricky because each product has its own concentration of CBD. When using CBD, you need to consider both the amount of CBD in the product and your desired dosage to figure out how much to take. Here’s what you need to know.

Why Do We Need to Calculate Doses?

Calculating the proper dosage is important no matter what you’re taking. Whether it’s a pharmaceutical drug or dietary supplement, the dose determines the effect[2]. You want to strike the right balance between finding a dose that is high enough to be therapeutic but not so high it becomes toxic or causes unwanted side effects. 

When it comes to CBD, different conditions may require different doses. For example, anxiety disorders may benefit from a low dose of CBD while more serious conditions like epilepsy may need a higher dosage of cannabidiol to achieve the desired effect. 

Unfortunately, there is no standard dosage for cannabidiol because research into the benefits of CBD is ongoing. Individual reactions can vary as well, so it’s generally best to begin with a low starting dose and gradually increase the amount of CBD as needed until you see the desired effect. You’ll want to follow your doctor’s medical advice to do this properly.

Why aren’t CBD Oil Dosages Standardized?

To put it simply, CBD oil dosage isn’t standardized because research is still ongoing. There is a lot to be learned about cannabinoids like CBD and THC, especially when it comes to medical applications. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved one cannabis-derived drug: Epidiolex[3], for the treatment of refractory epilepsy. Until more research is completed to determine therapeutic levels of cannabidiol for different medical conditions, dosing recommendations will remain general.

CBD Dosage: Figuring Out The Right Amount For You

There are a lot of variables that go into determining how much CBD you should take per day. To determine how much CBD to get started with, you need to consider the following factors:

  • The person’s weight
  • The severity of  your condition
  • The individual’s body chemistry
  • The various methods of consuming CBD
  • The potency of the CBD supplement

Remember, the amount of cannabidiol you start with may not be the ideal dosage – you’ll need to go through some trial and error to find what works for you.

The Person’s Weight

Each person responds differently to various substances, but bodyweight is one of the most important determining factors. When it comes to the dosage of CBD, there is no standard so the best way to decide how much to start with is to use your body weight as a guide. Starting with your bodyweight, determine the appropriate dosage of CBD depending on whether you want a low, medium, or high dose. Again, it’s always best to start with a low dose and gradually increase. 

Here is a helpful chart to help you determine the best starting dose according to your weight:

Weight (lbs)Low StrengthMedium StrengthHigh Strength
100 lbs (45kg)10 mg30 mg60 mg
125 lbs (56kg)13 mg38 mg75 mg
150 lbs (68kg)15 mg45 mg90 mg
175 lbs (79kg)17 mg52 mg105 mg
200 lbs (90kg)20 mg60 mg120 mg
225 lbs (102kg)22 mg67 mg135 mg
250 lbs (113kg)25 mg75 mg150 mg

In addition to your body weight, you need to consider the medical condition you’re trying to treat along with its severity to determine the best CBD dosage. 

The Severity of Your Condition

Sound medical advice suggests you start with a low amount of CBD to see how your body responds and whether the dose is effective. From there, you can make adjustments as needed. 

For example, if you want to use CBD for pain management, you might start with a low dose of 10mg per 100 pounds of bodyweight. If you weigh 200 lbs, that’s about 20mg. After a few weeks, you may find that your pain has improved but you still haven’t reached the desired degree of pain relief. From there, you might increase your dose by 5mg per week and reevaluate at 40mg. If you still need more, you might work up to a medium-strength dose of 60mg. Always talk to your doctor before increasing your dosage. 

CBD Dosage for Anxiety

Some people take CBD for occasional anxiety and others use it on a daily basis. Your doctor can help you determine whether to use cannabidiol products as a daily supplement or whether it can be added to your existing treatment protocol on days when your symptoms become more severe. The recommended dosage will vary from one person to another, but oral doses up to 1,500mg[4] per day have been well tolerated for the treatment of anxiety. 

CBD Dosage for Different Levels of Pain

When taking CBD for pain, the dosage will likely correspond with the severity of your pain. It may also depend on what form of CBD you take. A study of CBD for pain related to rheumatoid arthritis[5] utilized a combination of 2.7mg and 2.5mg CBD in the form of an oral spray called Sativex. The dosage varied from one to six sprays per day and resulted in significant improvements in pain. Numerous studies showed stronger analgesic effects when CBD and THC were used in combination. Some suggest the pain-relieving benefits of CBD are related to its anti-inflammatory properties. 

CBD Dosage to Improve Sleep Quality

Different cannabinoids seem to have different impacts on sleep, so the dosage may depend on the type of product you choose. In one study[6], THC was found to have a short-term sleep benefit but long-term use was associated with a less pronounced circadian rhythm. On its own, CBD administered in a lower dose had a stimulating effect while medium and high doses of cannabidiol increased the total amount of sleep in test subjects. 

In a study related to CBD for anxiety and sleep, sleep scores improved in over 66%[7] of patients within the first month of treatment but fluctuated over time. 

CBD Dosage for Epilepsy

The benefits of CBD for reducing seizure frequency and severity have been more studied than many of the other potential therapeutic uses. An observational meta-analysis[8] of pure CBD versus cannabinoid-rich extracts as a treatment for epilepsy revealed doses ranging from 1 mg/kg to 50 mg/kg daily. While over two-thirds of patients reported improvements in seizure activity, more people who were receiving the cannabinoid-rich extract experienced improvements than those receiving the purified CBD. Patients taking purified CBD also experienced more and more severe side effects than patients given the CBD-rich extract.

For Adults

There is no standard dosage for adults taking cannabidiol, so you’ll need to talk to your doctor about how much to use. The type and severity of your condition will come into play along with your weight. Refer to the chart above to determine how much to try when you first get started. If your condition is severe, you may need to increase the dose but do so slowly – about 5mg per week. As you increase your dose, you may need to switch to a different product that contains a higher mg of CBD per serving. Liquid CBD products are available in a wide variety of concentrations and are generally the easiest option for higher doses while CBD edibles work well for doses under 25mg. 

For Children

Though cannabis products have been tested fairly extensively in adults, testing in children is much more limited. Significant research has been conducted regarding CBD for seizure disorders in children[9] and a few studies of the anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol have involved pediatric patients[10]. Without standardized dosage, however, it’s difficult to say how much CBD should be given to children, especially considering their bodies react differently than an adult’s. 

Talk to your pediatrician about using CBD products for children and start with a low amount. To use Epidiolex as an example, the starting dosage[11] is 2.5 mg/kg (about 1.1 mg/lb). Keep in mind, however, that Epidiolex is intended to treat serious seizure disorders – minor conditions like anxiety may not require such a high dosage.

The Individual’s Body Chemistry

Though bodyweight is an important consideration, two people of the same weight could react to cannabidiol in very different ways. Your individual body chemistry plays a role in determining how CBD affects you and how much it takes to achieve the desired effect. Unfortunately, you may not be able to tell much about your individual body chemistry without extensive testing. If you have an existing liver or kidney disorder, however, you might have some clues about how your body tends to react to the medication[12] and supplements. 

The Various Methods of Consuming CBD

The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 changed the way the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates cannabis and cannabis-derived products. Hemp-derived CBD products are now legal as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC. Now that CBD products are legal to use and sell, there are a wide variety of options to choose from.

Oral – Swallowed

Type: CBD oil, tonics, edibles, capsules, powder
Pathway to targets: Edible CBD products go through the digestive system before being absorbed into the bloodstream. 
Time-frame:  Variable. The concentration and form of CBD will impact how long it takes for you to feel the effects. Higher concentrations may be noticed more quickly.
Other considerations: Various oral CBD products contain different amounts of CBD and the form of CBD used in the product matters. Some products use hemp extract while others use water-soluble CBD. 
Recommended if you don’t like the taste of CBD oil. 

Oral – Sublingual or “Buccal”

Type: CBD oil, tonics
Pathway to targets: CBD oil is absorbed by tiny capillaries under the tongue, so it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system.
Time-frame: Short. Because the CBD is directly absorbed into the bloodstream, the effects may be noticeable very quickly.
Other considerations: CBD oils come in a wide variety of concentrations, so pay close attention to how much CBD the product contains per ml. A full dropper is usually 1ml.
Recommended if you have stress, anxiety, or chronic pain.

Inhalation

Type: Vape pens, dabs, high-CBD cannabis
Pathway to targets: By inhaling CBD oil, you’re absorbing it directly into the bloodstream through the lungs, bypassing the digestive system.
Time-frame: Short. The CBD is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream through the lungs, so the effects may be noticed very quickly.
Other considerations: Though CBD is generally safe, the effects of vaping are still being studied. Make sure you choose a product that contains pure CBD without any other chemicals or additives.
Recommended if you have stress, anxiety, inflammation, or chronic pain.

Topical

Type: Creams, oils, lotions
Pathway to targets: The CBD is absorbed directly into the skin but generally won’t be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Time-frame: Variable. The CBD is directly absorbed into the skin on the area to which it is applied, so the time frame might depend on the potency of the product.
Other considerations: Topical CBD products generally only work for the area to which they are applied. Scientific testing is limited for topical CBD.
Recommended if you have pain, inflammation, or skin problems.

The Potency of The CBD Supplement

The potency of a CBD product refers to the amount of CBD per serving. Liquid cannabidiol products like oils and tinctures tend to be more potent than edibles like gummies. To determine the potency of a CBD oil, divide the total mg in the bottle by the volume of liquid. For example, a 30ml bottle of 300mg CBD oil contains 10 mg per ml of cannabidiol.

Type 1- Titrating THC

When it comes to the use of CBD, every person responds a little differently. If you want to find the right dosage for your specific medical condition, you’ll need to do some experimentation. Talk to your doctor about whether CBD alone is likely to provide the desired effects or whether you might benefit more from a combined CBD and THC product[13]. In either case, you’ll need to go through the process of trial and error to find the right dosage and the right combination of compounds that works for you – this is called titration. 

Depending on the condition you’re trying to treat, your doctor might recommend a product that is more THC-dominant or more CBD-dominant. It’s important to go slow and gauge the effects day by day before you start using higher doses. 

Note: While CBD is legal as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC by weight, THC is still a controlled substance. If you don’t live in a state where marijuana is legal[14], you’ll need to obtain a medical marijuana license. 

Type 2 – THC and CBD: The Power Couple

Though cannabidiol has the benefit of delivering benefits without the high associated with THC, there is significant evidence to suggest that the combination of these two cannabinoids enhances the effects of both. This is called the entourage effect.[15] 

The results of a 2010 study[16] demonstrate the entourage effect. Patients were given either a pure THC extract or an extract containing near-equal levels of THC and CBD. Whereas patients given the THC extract showed similar improvements to the placebo, patients given the THC/CBD combination showed a pain reduction greater than 30%. 

The entourage effect is about more than just THC and CBD, however – it also involves other plant compounds like terpenes. In a medical review[17], neurologist and pharmacologist Dr. Ethan Russo comment that terpenes share a precursor with THC and they offer unique therapeutic benefits that might contribute meaningfully to the entourage effect of THC and CBD.

Type 3 – Full-Spectrum CBD-Rich Extracts

If you want to experience the full benefit phytocannabinoids have to offer, consider a product made using a full-spectrum CBD-rich extract. Full-spectrum CBD products contain not only CBD but other hemp-derived cannabinoids including THC. Extracts from which THC has been removed are called broad-spectrum extracts while CBD products formulated to contain a single compound are called CBD isolates. 

Steps to Finding the Perfect Dose of CBD Oil

Step #1: Find Your Optimal CBD Dose

The first step in finding your optimal dose of CBD is to calculate using your weight. Use the formulas below and plug in the desired strength of your dosage based on your doctor’s recommendations and the condition you’re trying to treat. 

How To Calculate Dose From Your Weight
[YOUR WEIGHT IN POUNDS] x [DESIRED STRENGTH (0.1, 0.3, or 0.6 mg)]= [YOUR DOSE IN MG CBD]

If you prefer metric, the formula changes only slightly:
[YOUR WEIGHT IN KG] x [DESIRED STRENGTH (0.2, 0.7, 1.3 mg)] = [YOUR DOSE IN MG CBD].

Step #2: Determine the Potency of Your CBD Oil

Next, determine the potency of the CBD product you’ve chosen. We’ll use CBD oil as an example because it is the most straightforward option.

Here’s What You Need to Take Into Account:

  • Bottle size (in mL)
  • Amount of CBD listed on the bottle (300 mg, 600 mg, 1000 mg, etc.)

Use This Formula to Calculate Potency:
[CBD IN MG] ÷ [BOTTLE SIZE IN ML] = [CBD IN MG/ML]

Reference Chart for CBD Oil Potencies:

Bottle Size300mg CBD Oil600mg CBD Oil1000mg CBD Oil1500mg CBD Oil
15 mL20 mg/mL40 mg/mL66 mg/mL100 mg/mL
30 mL10 mg/mL20 mg/mL33 mg/mL50 mg/mL
50 mL6 mg/mL12 mg/mL22 mg/mL30 mg/mL
CBD Oil Potencies

Step #3: Convert the Dose into Drops (Optional)

Once you have your desired dosage and you’ve calculated the potency of the product, you might need to convert it into drops. You might only need to do this with lower doses – for larger doses, you might use a full dropper or you can refer to the measurements on the dropper.

Here’s the formula:
[CBD POTENCY PER ML] ÷ [30 DROPS] = [MG/DROP]

Common CBD Oil Doses By Drop (Assuming the Dropper Provides 30 Drops per mL):

Bottle Size300mg CBD Oil600mg CBD Oil1000mg CBD Oil1500mg CBD Oil
15 mL0.7 mg/drop1.3 mg/drop2.2 mg/drop3.3 mg/drop
30 mL0.3 mg/drop0.7 mg/drop1.1 mg/drop1.7 mg/drop
50 mL0.3 mg/drop0.3 mg/drop0.5 mg/drop0.8 mg/drop
Common CBD Oil Doses By Drop

How to Find the Number of Drops of CBD Oil You Need Based On Your Target Dose:
[TARGET DOSE OF CBD] ÷ [POTENCY OF CBD OIL PER DROP] = DOSE OF CBD OIL IN DROPS

Quick Reference Chart For Finding The Number of Drops Per Dose For Common CBD Oil Potencies:

Dose300 mg600 mg1000 mg1500 mg
5 mg15 Drops7.5 Drops4 Drops2 Drops
10 mg30 Drops15 Drops9 Drops 4 Drops
15 mg45 Drops22 Drops13 Drops5 Drops
20 mg60 Drops30 Drops18 Drops7 Drops
25 mg75 Drops37 Drops22 Drops9 Drops
30 mg90 Drops45 Drops27 Drops11 Drops
35 mg105 Drops52 Drops31 Drops13 Drops
40 mg120 Drops60 Drops36 Drops14 Drops
45 mg135 Drops67 Drops40 Drops16 Drops
50 mg150 Drops75 Drops45 Drops 18 Drops
55 mg168 Drops82 Drops49 Drops20 Drops
60 mg180 Drops90 Drops54 Drops22 Drops
65 mg195 Drops97 Drops58 Drops23 Drops
70 mg210 Drops105 Drops63 Drops25 Drops
75 mg225 Drops112 Drops67 Drops27 Drops
80 mg240 Drops120 Drops72 Drops29 Drops
85 mg255 Drops127 Drops76 Drops31 Drops
90 mg270 Drops135 Drops81 Drops32 Drops
95 mg385 Drops142 Drops85 Drops34 Drops
100 mg300 Drops150 Drops90 Drops36 Drops
Number of Drops of CBD Oil You Need Based On Your Target Dose

Step #4: Tweak The Dose To Match Your Body

After calculating your dosage, the final step is to give it a try. Take the time to research your options and choose a CBD product from a trustworthy company. Make sure you choose a product that has been tested by a third party for purity and potency and check to see where the CBD is sourced and the product is manufactured. Refer to the dosing instructions on the package to make sure they line up with your calculations, then get started!

Depending on what dosage you begin with and what you’re trying to treat, you could notice the benefits of the CBD quickly or it might take a few days or weeks to develop. Keep a journal to note your symptoms and track your improvements to determine whether you need to adjust the dosage. Wait a few weeks before you start making changes, and then increase the dosage slowly, only 5mg of 10mg at a time. Once you find the right dosage for your body, you simply want to keep up with it. 

Is it Possible to Take Too Much CBD?

In 2018, the World Health Organization[18] reviewed the evidence surrounding CBD and determined that it has a good safety profile and is generally well tolerated. That being said, it’s important to exercise caution with any medication or supplement because individual reactions may vary. Any side effects of cannabidiol[19] use tend to be mild with the most common complaints being drowsiness, diarrhea, and changes in weight or appetite. 

Though no standard dosage has been determined, medical research suggests[20] that doses as high as 1,500mg CBD per day are well tolerated. You are unlikely to take too much CBD if you follow the dosing recommendations on a legal CBD product. 

Just to be safe, however, it’s wise to talk to your doctor before starting it, especially if you’re taking medication or have an underlying health issue. As a general rule, you may want to avoid taking CBD if you’re taking a medication that has a grapefruit warning. Certain chemicals in grapefruit inhibit enzymes that help the body metabolize medications and the same is true for CBD. The FDA has identified[21] over 85 drugs that interact with grapefruit. 

Summary

Cannabidiol is not a miracle drug, but it does have the potential to improve certain symptoms. Though many people have experienced positive effects with CBD, individual reactions vary and it can be tricky to find the right dosage. When using CBD, you should get started with a low amount and give your body time to adjust before increasing the dosage. Make adjustments slowly and pay attention to your body to determine the benefit and look for side effects. 

It’s important to remember that current scientific research doesn’t support claims that CBD can cure or prevent any disease. Though CBD has shown therapeutic potential for the treatment of common concerns like anxiety, chronic pain, and inflammation, more research is needed to determine the efficacy and to establish standardized doses. For now, it’s best to follow your doctor’s advice and use caution when taking CBD products. 

If you’re looking for high-quality CBD products, check out some of our recommendations. We’ll help you find the perfect CBD product based on your needs. 

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

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Kate Barrington, Health Expert
Written by:
Kate Barrington, Health Expert

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.