How Much CBD Should You Take?

December 9, 2023

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not intoxicating and provides various potential health and wellness benefits without the high associated with marijuana. As CBD has exploded in popularity in recent years, one of the most common questions asked is “How much CBD should I take?” Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal dosage, as many factors come into play.

How Much CBD Should You Take?

How CBD Works In The Body

To understand CBD dosage, it helps to first understand a bit about how CBD interacts with the human body. CBD works by stimulating the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex biological communication system critical in regulating an array of bodily processes like inflammation responses, relaxation, and even cognitive function.

When introduced into the body, CBD indirectly engages two key types of receptors; CB1 receptors predominantly located in the brain and central nervous systems, and CB2 receptors located within the peripheral nervous system and immune cells. By stimulating these receptor sites, various beneficial balancing effects may occur in the body dependent on individual endocannabinoid tone.

Factors That Influence CBD Dosage

Because everyone has a unique biology and reasons for using CBD, dosage quantity can vary widely between individuals. These key factors play a role in finding one’s optimum CBD dosage:


A person’s weight often impacts required CBD dosage, with heavier individuals possibly needing higher doses to experience noticeable effects. As a baseline, the general guideline for dosage is 1–6 mg for every 10 pounds of body weight based on condition severity. Start with just a few milligrams first before increasing dosage.

Reason For Taking CBD

The reason one takes CBD can significantly impact effective dosage size. Those managing severe symptoms may opt for a much higher dose than those looking to support general health and wellness. More is not necessarily better with CBD, and customers should avoid presuming a higher dose will lead to greater benefits in cases where therapeutic dosage levels are unknown.


For habitual CBD users, a phenomenon known as tolerance can occur when consistent dosage leads to reduced effects over time. This requires increased CBD dosage to achieve the desired benefits without unwelcome side effects. Those new to CBD supplements should not increase initial dosage too radically in a short window to avoid tolerance issues.

Delivery Method

There are various methods of taking CBD, including oils, edibles, capsules, and vaping. The delivery method impacts CBD bioavailability, or how much of the compound is absorbed into the bloodstream for active use in the body. For example, vaped CBD gets absorbed faster than eating CBD gummies, so less CBD can be used when vaping to get the desired therapeutic effects.

General CBD Dosage Guidelines

While many factors impact finding one’s best dose, some general dosage recommendations exist that can provide a starting point. These ranges reflect what the majority of casual CBD users report finding relief from conditions like anxiety, pain, inflammation, seizures, sleep problems, and more at the provided dose levels:

Low Dosage (1-5 mg per dose)

This modest dosage produces mild relaxing effects while allowing one to continue normal day-to-day activities without significant impairment. First time CBD users should start at the lower end of this range then gradually build up to identify positive effects and personal ideal dosage.

Medium Dosage (10-20 mg per dose)

This mid-range dosage creates a balance between mild and more pronounced CBD effects. Users may experience relief from multiple mild symptoms at the same time at this dosage, including relief of chronic inflammation and pain in addition to reduced anxiety and improved sleep.

High Dosage (40+ mg per dose)

At 40+ milligrams per dose, more powerful effects emerge that actively soothe severe symptoms and conditions requiring high-strength support. Strong anti-inflammatory, calming, and pain-relieving effects manifest, allowing relief from conditions including arthritis, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s tremors, and injury-related pain. Users should build up to this gradually while staying aware of potential side effects discussed below.

Finding Your Effective Dose

Determining one’s therapeutic levels involves listening closely to the body’s signals and fine-tuning dosage levels in response over an adjustment period. Follow these tips when finding your optimum CBD levels:

Start Low And Go Slow

Especially for new users, it’s important to start with a very low 2-3 mg dose of CBD and maintain that for several days, monitoring symptoms and adjusting in small increments if additional relief is desired. Using CBD daily at low levels allows the body to build ECS tone without overstimulating receptors initially.

Track The Effects

Keep a journal tracking symptoms before and after CBD usage, along with dosage taken. This quantifies results over time, allowing easier assessment of appropriate dosage size and when another small incremental increase makes sense based on present effects. Patience is critical; give each incremental dosage adjustment several days before making another increase.

Adjust As Needed

Expect to undergo an adjustment period over 2-4 weeks until reaching optimum therapeutic relief with minimized side effects. Make incremental CBD dosage increases every 4-7 days, tracking effects each time. Stay alert to the onset of unwelcome reactions described in the next section, reducing dosage or pausing usage if they emerge.

Side Effects Of Too Much CBD

While expanding CBD dosage can strengthen positive effects, using too much CBD can also lead to undesirable symptoms including:


Excessively high single doses of CBD may cause sudden tiredness or impaired motor function from severe relaxation effects. If experiencing lethargy, stay hydrated and reduce immediate dosage to assess if symptoms resolve.


Some users report loose stools and diarrhea when taking very high levels of oral CBD oil, likely from the oil carrying substance itself. Lowering dosage typically eliminates this reaction. Consider switching delivery methods if this persists.

Changes In Appetite

Both increased and decreased hunger levels may manifest with high CBD doses as the ECS plays a role in modulating appetite. Keep snacks on hand in case unusually strong hunger emerges.

Safely Determining How Much CBD You Should Take

When making CBD dosage adjustments, leverage these safe strategies:

Consult Your Doctor

Discuss incorporating CBD supplements safely under medical guidance, especially when taking prescribed medications that could interact. Never alter pharmaceutical drug regimens without consulting a physician.

Review Third Party Lab Tests

Reputable CBD providers share up-to-date certified lab reports detailing cannabinoid potency profiles and purity of products. Review to verify accuracy of CBD levels and ensure safety.

Start With Isolate Products

CBD isolate contains no THC, reducing risks of unexpected psychoactive effects that full-spectrum products can bring for sensitive users. Begin dosage determination with isolate formulations.

Methods Of Taking CBD

Ingestion method impacts required dosage due to differences in bioavailability. Consider these popular CBD delivery formats and average dose ranges:

Oils And Tinctures

CBD tinctures delivered under the tongue via dropper allow rapid absorption for fast relief. Dosages range from 15 to 25 mg per dose. Effects manifest within 5 to 20 minutes and last 2 to 4 hours.


CBD gummies and capsules need to pass through digestion before onset, taking 30 to 90 minutes. Oral CBD doses average 10 to 15 mg per serving with effects lasting 4 to 6 hours. Start with one gummy or capsule before increasing dosage.


Similar to edibles, capsules release CBD slowly into the digestive tract over a window of 30 to 90 minutes. Average single capsule doses fall between 25 to 30 mg each with effects lasting up to 8 hours for extended relief.


Inhaling vaporized CBD concentrate provides relief in as little as 30 seconds that lasts 1 to 3 hours. However, doses are hard to measure accurately when vaping. Start with one or two puffs and wait 10 minutes before increasing to avoid using more than necessary.

Ensuring Safe Use Of CBD Products

Adhering to safe buying and usage practices ensures an optimal CBD experience:

  • Verify sourcing from reputable eco-conscious brands.
  • Select products comprised of organic hemp and ingredients.
  • Ensure thorough independent lab testing for purity and potency.
  • Start slowly and consciously self-monitor changes.
  • Keep dosages small initially and make adjustments tentatively over time.

While determining ideal CBD dosage presents some challenges, listening carefully to your body’s signals makes settling at your therapeutic sweet spot attainable. Start low, stay patient, verify reactions, and incrementally ascend until you dial in just the right dose to enjoy CBD’s natural balancing benefits.

Key Takeaways

Finding your optimal dose of CBD to meet wellness goals takes some diligence, patience and experimentation. But by beginning with modest doses, journaling effects, and tuning dosage in small increments over time, you can safely land at just the right dose to support health needs without unwanted side effects. Coupling personal body awareness with reputable product sourcing ensures you experience the full benefits of CBD that empower you to simply feel better.

FAQs About Taking CBD

Q: Can you overdose on CBD?

A: It is highly unlikely. Studies show even doses over 1,500 mg per day appear safe. Overdosing typically leads to unpleasant side effects before dangerous toxicity levels can occur. Reduce or pause use if this emerges.

Q: When should you take CBD?

A: Timing depends on desired effects. Take morning doses for energy and night doses 30-60 minutes before bed for restful sleep. Consistently timed doses maximize therapeutic effects.

Q: How long do CBD effects last?

A: Duration varies by method and dosage. Vaping lasts 1-3 hours, oils/tinctures 2-4 hours, edibles 4-6 hours and capsules 6-8 hours typically. Higher doses tend to produce more extended relief.

Q: Can you take too much CBD?

A: Yes, unwanted side effects mentioned above can manifest if you surpass your optimal dose. Start low and go slow making small measured dose increases over several weeks until you find your best dosage.

Q: How much is too much CBD?

A: Unpleasant side effects serve as a benchmark for too much CBD based on your unique physiology and sensitivities. If pronounced sedation, diarrhea or appetite shifts emerge, reduce your dose and monitor changes.

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