Dosage Guide

 

ProMED Biosciences
PATIENT'S GUIDE
TO CBD

An Abstract

To date, the FDA have only approved one cannabis-derived product, which is called Epidiolex, and it is only available by prescription. This approval covers the treatment of seizures in people with severe types of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

The dosage for Epidiolex, a form of CBD oil, is as follows:

  • The starting dosage is 1.25 milligrams per pound of body weight (mg/lbs.) twice daily, making a total dosage of 2.5 mg/lbs. each day. For 180 lbs. individual it would amount to 450 mg per day total.
  • After 1 week, people may increase the dosage by a factor of 2 per day.

The dosage that a person takes will depend on the method of administration that they are using and the specific product. Methods of administration include:

  • CBD oil solutions
  • CBD capsules
  • tablets that a person places under the tongue (sublingual)
  • nasal sprays

Research into CBD therapy is still in its early days, and scientists need to conduct many more research studies to determine the benefits and risks of CBD products. Importantly, researchers need to work out the ideal CBD dosages that are both safe and effective for each condition.

As a therapy, CBD oil has gained a high level of research interest. At Medical News Today, we have covered what the research to date has shown about the role of CBD in the following conditions:

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, research has suggested that CBD oil may also have therapeutic benefits for the following conditions:

A Bit About Method of Delivery

The cannabinoid CBD can be delivered into your body in a number of different ways. But perhaps the easiest and most effective is CBD oil. CBD oil, or tincture, can be administered under your tongue, where it is absorbed directly into your bloodstream. This method of delivery bypasses the two systems in your body that can reduce the desired effects of CBD: the pulmonary system (lungs) and the digestive system.

Both systems mentioned above can filter out large amounts of the medicine you’re trying to get into your bloodstream, but the digestive system—most notably, the liver—is extremely effective at diluting chemicals that pass through it.

Because CBD oil can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream under your tongue and because these blood vessels are close to your brain, the CBD doesn’t pass through your lungs or your liver. And when CBD bypasses the liver and the lungs, it retains its original potency. That’s great news for those who want to get the most out of their medicine.

So, for the purposes of this article, we will base our CBD dosage calculator on CBD oil taken under the tongue rather than the other delivery methods.

CBD Is Biphasic

Another variable to think about when calculating your best dosage is that CBD is biphasic. That means that at certain levels, CBD provides a certain list of effects. At other — often higher — levels, CBD provides different effects.

This biphasic idea may be new to some readers, but it isn’t all that uncommon. Alcohol, for example, is biphasic. Below a certain blood alcohol content (BAC), alcohol provides a stimulating effect. Above that blood alcohol content, alcohol provides a depressant effect.

That’s not to say that CBD will act as a stimulant at one dosage level and a depressant at another, but the effects may change as the dosage increases. Again, that’s why it’s vital to record your experience so you can fine-tune what works for you.

Research into dosage

As the FDA have only approved the use of CBD for specific forms of epilepsy, doctors know little about what dosage people should take when they use it for other reasons. As with any drug, the appropriate dosage is one that provides a therapeutic effect and is well-tolerated.

In clinical studies, researchers have used various oral dosages of CBD, ranging from 100–800 mg per day.

Some studies use even higher dosages. According to a review, an individual reported an improvement in psychosis after taking 1,200 mg per day for a few weeks. In another study, people with schizophrenia reported benefits after taking increasing dosages of 40–1,280 mg per day for 4 weeks.

In a study into the effects of CBD in people with Parkinson’s disease and psychosis, six participants showed significant improvement in symptoms with a dosage of 150 mg per day of CBD.

The following table lists the method of administration and dosage of CBD that researchers have used to study its therapeutic effects on different medical conditions.

Medical condition

Dose of CBD

Form

anxiety

300–600 mg

oral

bowel disease

5 mg twice daily

sublingual (olive oil drops)

type 2 diabetes

100 mg twice daily

oral

pain due to cancer

50–600 mg per day

oral

Parkinson’s disease

75–300 mg per day

oral

Huntington’s disease

Up to 12 sprays per day

Sativex nasal spray (contains CBD and THC in 1:1 concentration)


CBD is still categorized as a “natural remedy” by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), and there is sparse scientific data to support optimal dosing size. That’s not to say that CBD doesn’t work; it does. It simply means that the scientific community hasn’t caught up with what John and Jane Q. Public have known for some time now.

The nice thing about all this, as you’ll read in the side effects section, is that it’s nearly impossible to overdose on good quality CBD. Experimenting with CBD products is a low-risk endeavor, and you can find your own “best dosage” without the fear of side effects. To find out whether a CBD product is safe and to determine the effective dosage, people should consult a doctor.

Factors that may influence dosage

Several factors may influence the dosage that people can take. Depending on the medical condition or the reason why a person is taking CBD, they will need a different dosage.

Some people need high dosages to control epilepsy, whereas smaller dosages may be effective for anxiety.

Another factor that people should consider before using CBD is their weight. In many clinical trials and when using Epidiolex, doctors calculate a dose per kg of body weight. People who weigh less should, therefore, take lower dosages than people who weigh more.

Alcohol and other central nervous system depressants may increase the sedation effect of CBD. People who use other medications that can cause drowsiness should avoid or lower their dosage of CBD. Before mixing alcohol and other medications with CBD, a person should ask their doctor whether it is safe.

Also “Take one dropper of CBD per day,” is one of the most common dosage recommendations we hear. While this can definitely be a dosage, there’s no way to tell if its the right dosage for the given individual as it doesn’t take into account important factors such as:

  • The concentration of CBD
  • The weight of the individual
  • The individual’s body chemistry
  • The severity of the condition being treated

With that being said, there isn’t a “one size fits all” dosage, and there will be some trial and error while gauging your proper dosage.

Neuroscientist Nick Jikomes over at Leafly, explains that, as our body’s physiology changes, so do the receptors in our Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which are directly responsible for interactions with CBD. 

Estimate your dosage based on your body weight

As with most substances, individuals with more body mass will require more CBD to experience its effects. With that being said, a good rule of thumb to determine your starting proper CBD dosage is to take 2–10MG of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight based on the individual’s level of pain.

For example, 40MG would be a great starting dosage for a 200 lb patient, while 30MG would be best for another who weighs 150 lb.

So, we suggest the following dosage based on the research above for a 180 lb. individual:

                                     Start with                     Settle with

For relaxation:              25mg / day                    60mg / day

For Pain:                      50mg /day                     180mg / day

For sleep:                     75mg / day                    216mg / day

Each of Promed’s tincture droppers has 1 ml or 20 drops per dropper.

For 500mg tincture, each drop has 0.85mg of CBD and each dropper has a total of 17mg of CBD

For 1000mg tincture, each drop has 1.7mg of CBD and each dropper has a total of 34mg of CBD

For 1500mg tincture, each drop has 2.6mg of CBD and each dropper has a total of 51mg of CBD

For 3000mg tincture, each drop has 5.2mg of CBD         and each dropper has a total of 102mg of CBD

Sample Calculation

Below is the serving size and amount of CBD per serving for our CBD oil:

Serving Size: 20 drops (each dropper has 1ml or 0.05ml/drop)

Amount Per Serving: 33 mg (for 1000mg oil)

From that information, we can write the following equivalency:

20 drops = 33 mg CBD

Now, let’s say you are a 180-pound male with mild pain. Your starting dosage per the chart above would be 18 mg. Rather than take too much too soon, we can figure out how much CBD each drop contains by dividing 33 by 20.

33 divided by 20 = 1.65

So each drop of CBD oil contains 1.65 mg of CBD.

Now, we can take our starting dosage from the chart (18 mg) and divide it by 1.65 mg to find out how many drops we need.

18 divided by 1.65 = 11

It takes 11 drops to administer 18 mg of CBD. If the number after the decimal is five or higher, consider rounding up instead of down.

So, all you need to do is:

  1. Find the serving size for your CBD oil (in this case, 20 drops).
  2. Find the CBD in milligrams (mg) that serving size contains (in this case, 33 mg).
  3. Determine the suggested starting dosage for your weight and condition.
  4. Do a little simple math.

What dosages are safe?

Although data in humans remain limited regarding the effects of taking pure CBD, researchers suggest that it has relatively low toxicity.

In monkeys, CBD does not affect bodily functions or behavior unless the animals receive dosages higher than 30 mg/kg orally (66mg/lb) each day for 90 days or 150 mg/kg (345 mg/lb) intravenously.

In a human physical dependence study, researchers gave people 1,500 mg per day of CBD for 4 weeks. The study participants did not go through withdrawal after the 28-day trial. Another study found that doses up to 1,500 mg per day were well-tolerated.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also report that people usually tolerate CBD well. CBD does not cause a “high,” and it does not have the same potential for abuse as cannabis.