CBD stands for Cannabidiol. It is an organic compound found in plants of the cannabis family, which includes hemp. It affects a body system found in mammals called the endocannabinoid system. This is the system that regulates the way you perceive mood, sleep quality, appetite and ability to feel pain.
CBD is often confused with the compound THC, which is the active chemical in some plants of the cannabis family that gives you a high or produces a hallucinogenic effect. CBD does not produce the psychoactive effects as THC and is not present in high enough levels to cause symptoms in hemp-based products.
Medical and wellness-related conditions that can be helped with CBD through hemp oil include:
- Insomnia and low sleep quality
- Nausea and low appetite
- Chronic stress, pain and anxiety
- Mood disorders
- Immune and autoimmune related conditions
While these treatments may assist in making some conditions like pain more bearable, there is still much to learn. The long-term effects of CBD have not been extensively studied and the mechanisms by which CBD interacts with the body are not well known. For some, there may be side effects that can cause other health-related issues like a drop in blood pressure or a slowing of digestion. For most, however, CBD has been deemed safe and is now available over the counter following the deregulation of hemp products, nationwide in 2018.
Important Dosage Considerations
Here are four questions to ask yourself when deciding how much CBD oil or hemp oil to take:
- The potency of the product
Potency, or concentration, is the first thing to consider when looking at CBD. Potency concentrations are typically expressed in milligrams per container, typically ranging from 250mg CBD per ounce up to 2500mg CBD per ounce. However, many CBD oils are mislabeled and the concentration levels not expressed accurately, therefore the trustworthiness of the producer is paramount. The potency of CBD required to treat various presenting issues is individualized however adding to confusion is that most CBD concentrations are expressed in MG whereas most dosage measurement devices are expressed in ML.
- Your size
Your weight, your muscle to fat ratio and metabolic rate will all have an effect on how CBD works with your body. Larger bodies will need a higher dose than those with smaller bodies. Those with a higher metabolic rate require higher concentrations and more frequent doses.
Consistency is important however tolerance to CBD oil may develop over time. While you may need a smaller dose at first, you may need to increase the amount you take over time to receive the effect you desire.
- Your health or wellness goal
The amount of CBD oil you need to take is directly related to the problem you are treating. Higher levels of pain and anxiety may require a higher level of CBD than a good night’s sleep.
The Best Dosage
Best dosages typically begin with two factors, your weight and your desired level of effect.
- Typically, people weighing 130 pounds or less can take 6-10mg for mild effects, 10-15mg for moderate effects, and 15-25mg for stronger effect.
- Typically, those weighing 130-200 pounds can take 15-20mg for mild effects, 25-30mg for medium effects and 30mg or 40mg for a stronger effect.
Additional factors to consider include the source, purity of the oil. Timing and dosage methods can also affect how CBD works best for you.
When experimenting to find the best dosage, it is recommended to begin at lower range and incrementally work your way up every 2 or 3 days to the level that works for you. Be consistent in the timing of your CBD, generally is morning, noon and bedtime works well for most people.
Measuring Dosage with Different CBD Products
Tinctures and Oils
Oils and tinctures can provide the most accurate dosages and they pass into the bloodstream at the fastest rate when taken sublingually (dripped under the tongue). Blood vessels are close to the surface of the tissue therefore when administered under the tongue, the CBD passes quickly into the bloodstream and effects last 3-4 hours on average.
Vape oils are inhaled from a specialized pen designed to aerosolize the oil. You need special cartridges to fill and place in the pen for each dose. The effect is almost instant and can last for about an hour. Your concentration and the amount of time you hold the vapor before exhaling will have an effect on this duration.
CBD oil and hemp oil have been added into gummies and other food-based products. Edibles may take an hour before any effects are first felt. Dosages are not easy to calculate and many companies do not provide accurate concentration levels nor is it certain how or if the CBD is assimilated by the digestive system.
These products allow you to apply CBD products directly to your skin. Lotions, balms and salves all may contain CBD as an ingredient. These products are used more for localized treatment; however there is question whether the active ingredients ever find their way into the endocannabinoid body system.
Can You Overdose on CBD?
CBD is safe in almost all cases because the chemicals in the product do not interact with the brain region that controls respiration. As a rule, cannabinoid compounds like CBD oil are not addictive. That said, little research has been done on the long-term effects of hemp oil and other products because they have been so recently introduced to the market.
Typical problematic issues with CBD have been found to have either been linked to synthetic CBD products or reactions with unlisted ingredients in the product.