People use CBD as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments, from chronic pain and inflammation to sleep disorders and anxiety. If you’re thinking about giving it a shot, you may have questions about what kind of CBD to use and how large of a dose to take.
Effective dosing varies from person to person. There’s no single dose that works for everyone. Also, since CBD is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an official recommended dose doesn’t exist.
As a result, figuring out the proper dose entails some trial and error. In general, you’re going to want to start small and work your way up gradually. Microdosing can help you do this. With that said, some experienced users choose to microdose their CBD as well.
Let’s take a look at this method and its benefits.
What is microdosing?
When you microdose a substance, you ingest a smaller-than-normal amount of it, typically several times a day. Compared to taking a single large dose, this technique has several advantages.
First, it gives you a greater degree of control. For example, if you know how much CBD you need in order to feel relief, microdosing allows you to maintain that baseline level consistently throughout the day. It’s akin to an extended-release capsule that slowly delivers a drug over a prolonged period of time.
This, in turn, can help reduce or prevent side effects, since there are no sudden fluctuations in the amount of a substance in your body. (On that note, CBD is well-tolerated by most people; side effects are relatively mild.)
Microdosing and cannabis
Most research into microdosing has focused on psychedelics. However, scientists have also begun to look into the effects of microdosing cannabis. A 2017 study, for instance, found that microdoses of THC may help reduce stress and anxiety levels—and may in fact be more effective than higher doses.
This corresponds to the many anecdotal reports about the benefits of ingesting small amounts of cannabis. Generally speaking, users microdose marijuana when they want symptom relief without the intense effects associated with high doses of THC.
How to microdose CBD
If you want to microdose CBD, your best bet is to purchase it in oil or tincture form. With oil drops, assuming you bought a good product, you’ll know precisely how much CBD you’re taking—right down to the milligram. The same can’t be said of edibles, which are more ambiguous as to the level of CBD contained.
Normally, CBD oil comes in a 30ml bottle with a 1ml dropper. To pinpoint your dosage, check the label to see how many total milligrams of CBD are contained in the oil. Once you have that number, all that remains is a simple math problem.
Suppose you buy a 1000mg CBD oil (a good concentration for microdosing). To find the quantity of CBD per dropper, just divide that number by 30. We end up with 33.33, meaning each dropper contains 33.33mg of CBD.
Next you have to figure out the number of drops per dropper. This part you’ll have to do manually. Fill the dropper and slowly empty it back into the bottle, counting the drops along the way.
Let’s say you count 20 drops. Dividing 33.33 by 20 we get 1.66—so there is about 1.7mg of CBD per drop of oil.
Now you’re ready to microdose. A good place to start is 5-10mg. So, given that each drop contains 1.7mg of CBD, you should take somewhere between three and six drops.
Administer this dose at regular intervals throughout the day, paying close attention to how the CBD is making you feel. After doing this for a few days, you should have a pretty good idea of how that particular dose affects you. Adjust up or down accordingly.
One final thought. It’s imperative that you get your CBD from a reputable company that provides test results from a third-party laboratory. That way you can be sure the oil actually contains the quantity of CBD printed on the label. Needless to say, if the product is mislabeled (as many inferior CBD products are), it’s impossible to calculate an exact dose.