Oils and Capsules and Drops oh my! — Mar 22, 2019

March 22nd, 2019 by Cara Oorbeck

Oils and capsules

How much CBD should I take?

I’ve written about CBD and the aging process before, though only focusing on ailments common in aging bodies. I want to discuss something that could present a problem to anyone using CBD: dosage or as we know it in the CBD industry serving size. Often, I hear that people are unsure of what amount of CBD that they should take for this or that. Maybe they want to “supplement their mood”, try to “fix their insomnia”, or attempt to “lessen the effects of the natural process of age,” or any number of other issues that people choose to try CBD.  In most cases, we find people are unsure where to start in terms of serving size for CBD.

CBD bottles have recommended serving sizes

The short answer that I can give is to look at the recommended serving on the bottle or box that your product came in. Usually, it will have an amount, typically in drops for oils (one of the more common types of CBD products on the market), that is supposed to elicit the desired effect. Most starting serving sizes on bottles begins between 10 and 15 mg.  That’s a great mid-range place to start.  We usually recommend people start at that 10-15 mg and work up, only if they need to.  Many people do really well at a low serving size and don’t need to step it up.  It generally takes between 5 to 7 days for the full effect of CBD to be felt. If the desired effect is not felt we recommend increasing the serving size by doubling the amount for another 5 to 7 days. Keep adjusting, as needed, allowing your body that 5 days or so to adjust between changes.

Doctors do not prescribe

We are not doctors and we do not prescribe here at Green Wellness Life. That’s the short answer.  The more complicated, extensive answer regarding serving sizes can depend on many factors including your body chemistry, other supplements you’re taking, etc. This is one of the reasons that, even with the current wave of states legalizing medical marijuana, many physicians are hesitant to prescribe cannabinoids like CBD. Other reasons include:

1 – Doctors cannot prescribe (only recommend) cannabinoids, because there’s no recommended daily allowance (RDA) or universal dose for all people.

2 – Most medical schools never cover CBD/cannabidiol therapy in their pharmacology courses (the drug curriculum revolves primarily around substances that can be patented).

One size does not fit all

Since one’s serving size is based on highly variable factors, there is no “one size fits all,” which means, as a CBD user, one is going to have to do a bit of extra work. Now, don’t panic, I’m not assigning a science fair project (no need to buy posterboard and baking soda for a cool, but labor-intensive paper mache volcano). Just like when determining if something in your diet is bothering you, all you’re going to need is a small notebook and a pen. Track those servings and how you’re feeling for at least a week so that you can see the patterns. Don’t let the leg work discourage you.  The goal is to find those results that you’re looking for with the minimum amount of any supplement. “At the end of the day, the majority of CBD users will take a daily dose between 10 and 75 mg, with fairly effective results.”

If you were to google search “how much CBD should I take?” you will find varying responses. I found one website conveniently recommends starting at “25mg of CBD, taken twice daily.” If it does not produce the desired effects, they recommend “ increasing the amount of CBD you take every 3-4 weeks by 25mg until you attain symptom relief (inversely, decrease by 25mg if symptoms worsen.

Another site states “Considering the endless amount of variables that are at play, it would be naive to dish out some random number (say 25 mg oral CBD taken twice daily), and say that that amount will be effective for everyone.” Yikes, I know it seems like everybody is saying different things and it can be confusing!  That is why we at Green Wellness Life recommend starting small and increasing over time until you are seeing the benefits that you’re looking for.  This can also keep your cost down because you may not need a lot of CBD to see results. So, we know we’re a broken record here, but start with that 10mg-15mg and hang with it for 5 to 7 days.  Double the serving size next week, ONLY IF YOU HAVE TO, and continue to step it up until you see the desired effect.

Can I become tolerant of CBD?

This is a good rule for starting out, but what about tolerance over time? Will I become more tolerant of CBD as I continue to use it, lessening its efficacy? Once again, there is no easy answer to these questions as there is not enough current research available to definitively say whether or not tolerance builds up in all cases; while one person experiences an increase in tolerance, requiring more CBD over time to elicit the same response, another may never need to increase the amount that they’re taking.  There are three main types of tolerance, which can occur in reaction to prescription drugs and other supplements, such as CBD:

  • Cellular level: (Pharmacodynamic tolerance) where receptors become desensitised through constant interaction or there is a reduction in receptor density.
  • Metabolic level: (Pharmacokinetic tolerance) Affects the process of metabolising a drug or substance, it results in less amounts of a substance reaching the site it affects. Metabolic or pharmacokinetic tolerance is most evident with oral ingestion.
  • Behavioral level: Where the individual becomes used to substance-induced impairment with repeated use. Behavioural tolerance is seen with the use of certain psychoactive drugs.

The World Health Organization has found in a 2017 peer review that “ no tolerance was observed at any of the doses of CBD administered.” There will be more studies, that shed light on the exact effects of CBD, and these studies will include analysis of tolerance. Right now, there is no documented evidence of CBD tolerances being built up in the body. This might change, or not reflect one’s personal experiences. The recommendation that I gave earlier, that each person should watch their own progress over time (break out that notebook!) and make adjustments based on personal experience is the best that we can offer at this time. And, of course, as always, everything should be used in moderation.


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