A compound naturally produced by the Cannabis Sativa plants is called CBD or Cannabidiol. This phytocannabinoid has taken the world by storm in recent years due to its multiple potential health benefits.
Since the mid 70’s, studies suggest that it could be used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions effectively, including inflammation, chronic pain, epilepsy, depression, and anxiety.
A common question asked by people looking to start taking CBD is: “How much should I take?” Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer. There’s not enough knowledge of CBD for official dosages to have been released, and a multitude of factors come into play when calculating it for yourself. This article will provide guidance on how much CBD you should take.
Cannabidiol and the Body
Before you decide how much CBD to take, it’s important to understand how it interacts with the human body – and what it will affect. It’s therefore vital to inform yourself about the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex biological system found in the human body with the primary purpose of maintaining physical and emotional homeostasis (balance) throughout the body. It does this by using naturally produced endocannabinoids to regulate various biological and cognitive processes, such as mood, appetite, and sleep – as such, it is often referred to as “the bridge between the body and the mind.”
The ECS is also responsive to plant-based cannabinoids, such as those found in cannabis – which is where CBD comes into play. It acts as an antagonist to the body’s cannabinoid receptors, which are found throughout the entire body. It makes it harder for them to be over- or under-stimulated, plus boosts the production of endocannabinoids, which all helps your body to achieve homeostasis quickly and efficiently.
Due to the fact that CBD interacts directly with the ECS, its effects are potentially broad – in fact, studies suggest that the ECS is involved in the majority of bodily functions and processes. CBD is therefore becoming increasingly popular as a treatment for a variety of conditions, as well as a general health supplement.
So, How Much Should I Take?
Currently, CBD is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that there are no official recommended dosages. However, it’s possible to discuss dosing with your doctor or a medical professional, who may be able to give a recommendation. If not, you should base your decision on a few factors.
First is the condition or ailment you’re trying to treat and how serious it is. Someone with a mild skin irritation, for example, will probably need to use less CBD than someone with serious eczema. Equally, someone who is experiencing mild stress will more than likely have lower CBD requirements than someone who has frequent severe panic attacks.
Here’s a general guide to the recommended strength by ailment/condition:
- General health: low strength
- Nausea: low to medium strength
- Chronic pain: medium to high strength
- Anxiety: medium to high strength
- Sleep disorders: medium to high strength
- Cancer: high strength or pharmaceutical grade
- Epilepsy: high strength or pharmaceutical grade
- Migraines: low to high strength
Secondly, factors such as your body weight and general health comes into play – these can affect how quickly effects are felt and for how long, although research in this area is currently limited, so you’ll have to make your own judgment calls.
The general advice in the industry is “start low and go slow” – basically, start with a small dose for a while, see how your body reacts to it, and increase the dose by a small amount gradually until you reach the desired effects.
Here’s a general guide to help you decide where to start:
- Low strength: 1 mg CBD per 10 lbs of body weight
- Medium strength: 3 mg CBD per 10 lbs of body weight
- High strength: 6 mg CBD per 10 lbs of body weight
Can I Take Too Much CBD?
Current medical research shows CBD to be safe to use, with very little to no risk of overdosing or developing a physical addiction. So, if you do accidentally take a little more than intended during your “start low and go slow” introduction, there’s no need to panic.
According to the same research, CBD does have some recorded side-effects, but they are minimal and usually mild. They include tiredness, diarrhea, nausea, and changes in appetite and/or weight.
A Word of Warning
Although currently deemed to be an extremely safe treatment option for multiple conditions, there are some medicines that should not be mixed with CBD, including some sedatives and anti-seizure medicines. This is because CBD inhibits cytochrome p450 enzymes that are found in the body and impedes the metabolizing process.
Interestingly, grapefruit juice does exactly the same thing – and it’s commonly listed as something to avoid on prescription medication packaging. So, if a medication should not be consumed with grapefruit juice, it should not be consumed with CBD either.
It’s important to note that these findings are not conclusive – further, more in-depth research is required before we know the full extent of how CBD works in our bodies and interacts with other medicines. We would always strongly advise that you seek professional guidance before beginning any kind of CBD treatment, especially if you’re already taking prescription medicines.
It’s Different for Everyone
A variety of factors go into deciding how much CBD to take, but one thing is clear: what works for your family or friends won’t necessarily work in the same way for you. One study specifically showed that different people respond to different dosages of CBD – and in different ways, too. Therefore, finding your optimum dosage is largely down to you. Most of the human studies that have been conducted use dosages anywhere between 20 mg and 1,500 mg per day.
As with any new health supplement or alternative treatment, it’s best to consult with a medical professional before you start – if they can’t give you a dosage recommendation, remember “start low and go slow,” and you won’t go far wrong!