By Op-Ed Blogger Quinton Charles
How do I know how much to take?
CBD is an amazing chemical compound. Our bodies produce similar compounds naturally, and our bodies have an entire system devoted to its use (see my blog on the Endocannabinoid System)! Sometimes, however, our systems need a little boost; this boost comes in the form of extra CBD that we can take via tincture, gummy, softgel, or any of the other numerous options on the market today. But how much should someone take? I’ll be covering the details of that in this blog; hopefully, by the end of it, you’ll be ready to start with CBD, or you’ll have a better understanding of what you’re taking now!
How much do I start with?
One of the main questions that we are asked is how much someone should take at the beginning. We usually recommend that, when someone is beginning to regularly take CBD, they should start with 10-15 mg daily. Give it a week and if they don’t feel that the starting serving sizes is having any effect, increase it by 5-10 mg. That gradual increase can repeat weekly until benefits are found. Keep in mind that when you increase a serving size, you have to keep it consistent. This advice holds true across all the different package types of CBD out there. I prefer to take softgels, as they are easier to take in the morning for me and I maintain a constant serving size, however, some prefer tinctures. The great thing about tinctures is that the serving size is so flexible. It’s very easy to take just a little bit more or less.
What if you have been taking CBD for a while?
Not a beginner? Similar advice applies to those who have been taking CBD for a while. If you increase the amount that you’re taking, you have to stay consistent. If you take a lot some days, and then only a small amount on others, you’re not going to have a consistent reservoir of CBD. When you do not have that reservoir you won’t see the benefits you are hoping for on those days when you reduce your serving. Serving sizes is all about how much you need to see desired results. Not how much your mom or your neighbor needs. Our systems process differently and we are often looking for different benefits. Some may only need 15mg daily, others might need five times that. It isn’t about taking a certain amount, but rather being mindful of how much you do need in order to see results. Keeping your daily serving size consistent is essential.
Serving sizes recommendations and different products
As each product has a different amount of CBD per serving, it is crucial to pay attention to milligrams per serving. A perfect example of this difference can be found in two products: Bluebird Hemp Extract Classic Concentrated Tincture, and a MedOil by MedTerra CBD Tincture. Both of the tinctures come in a 3000mg option, but there are a few differences. The MedTerra is a 1 fluid ounce bottle and the Bluebird Classic is 2 fluid ounces. These vastly different sized bottles have the same amount of CBD, the Bluebird tincture just has more carrier oil. The second difference is content: the MedTerra is an isolate, while the Bluebird is a full-spectrum cannabidiol blend. The other difference, and this is what you want to be mindful of, is the amount of CBD per serving on the label. The Bluebird tincture contains about 25mg of CBD per recommended serving size while the MedTerra tincture contains around 100mg per serving size. (Note that Medterra is an isolate and often you need to take more product to see the same benefit as a full spectrum). If you didn’t pay attention to the amount of CBD per serving, you could accidentally wind up taking more (or less) CBD than you had wanted. Those serving sizes noted on the labels are a recommendation – not a requirement. You can absolutely adjust the amount you’re taking to your best fit – but you may have to do a little math (or call us to do it!) to determine what that is. As I mentioned above, you want to stay consistent with CBD, and your body will come to require a certain amount in order for it to have an effect. Think of it as a sort of tolerance. If you’re consistently taking more CBD than you think that you are, your body is going to become accustomed to that amount and will require it in order for the CBD to be effective. This could become expensive, especially if a lower serving size would have sufficed!
What about the bottle?
I talked a little bit last week about how serving size can be confused for the total size volume of the bottle; you always want to pay attention to how large a serving is, and base your serving size on that (not off of the total size of the bottle). When you’re looking at the serving size, also note how much CBD is contained in each serving. The CBDfx softgels that we carry have a box that says “750 mg hemp-based cannabinoids.” This total mg is the entire bottle. Taking an entire bottle of pills daily would not be ideal. Each bottle contains 30 softgels, so we know that 750mg/30 softgels = 25mg per softgel. Their serving size is also a bit confusing. When one looks on the back, they see two serving values: hemp extract and Cannabinoids. The amount of hemp extract per serving sizes is printed as 50mg/serving, and the amount of Cannabinoids per serving is printed as 25mg/serving . While the manufacturer is working to provide as much information as possible on the label (thank you, CBD Fx), it can be confusing. One could easily confuse the serving size as 50mg of CBD, and not 25mg (which is the correct value). The other 25 mg listed on the bottle labeled as aerial parts is inclusive of terpenes and other plant matter that is beneficial. Keep in mind that, as a standard, lab test results have a 10% margin of error.
How should I take CBD?
I already mentioned that tinctures allow for a bit more flexibility in serving size, but what about effectivity? There are many ways to add CBD to your daily routine and see its effects; the two most common methods that are either sublingually as a liquid tincture or a capsule/edible that is eaten. While both methods process through our digestive system, the tincture can get to work a little more quickly when absorbed under the tongue. The second way seems easy to understand; if you eat it, it falls into that category. Not only does this include gummies, coffee, and any other sort of CBD snack, but it also encompasses softgels or any swallowed CBD capsules.
So what is the difference between the two? Other than the serving size differences which I covered above, edible CBD often takes longer to have an effect; it has to pass through the digestive system and be metabolized before it can make its way to your Endocannabinoid System. CBD that is taken sublingually, on the other hand, enters your bloodstream much faster, and can offer the desired effect faster. This ceases to become much of an issue once CBD is taken consistently. You’ve got that reservoir build-up in your system that ensures that you’ll keep seeing those benefits consistently over time.
A little note on daily values
On most (if not all) CBD products, you will see a disclaimer that states “Daily Value (DV) not established.” There is no need to panic. What this means is that the FDA, which sets the standards for daily values, has yet to regulate CBD or any cannabinoids. As I stated before, there is no set number of milligrams at which one should see the desired effects of CBD; it is entirely dependent on the individual and their needs. Your daily value should be what you need to function and at what amount you see the desired results.
Not sure where to begin?
As always, we are more than happy to help with any questions that you may have. We have a tab under “shop” called “shopping assistant” on our website that can help guide you through the different types of products and how to use them. Keep in mind, even when you want to jump straight to the big guns, that it’s best to start small and work up only if you need to. We all want to feel benefits with the least amount of product possible.
As always, please feel free to shoot us an email, send us a message on social media, or just call us in the office with questions or for product and serving sizes suggestions. We would love to tell you how we take our CBD, how much, and what we started with!