How Much CBD Should You Take?

by Jane Meggitt

You’re eager to try CBD for pain relief, anxiety, insomnia or any of the other conditions it can help improve, but you have one basic question: “How much CBD should I take?” The answer: It depends. CBD dosage depends on different factors for each person, including their age, gender, weight and whether they are also taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. The good news is that most people do not experience side effects from CBD, and taking too much, while not recommended, will not result in long-term harm.

Start Slowly

If you’re not familiar with CBD, start slowly and work your way up to an effective dose. Once you find the amount that offers symptom relief, stick with that. You’re aiming for the minimum effective dose, but that will vary with the type of relief you seek. For example, most people using CBD to boost mood and relieve anxiety and depression will not require as much CBD as those looking for pain relief.

If you want to elevate your mood, consider starting out with an initial serving of 1 mg CBD per day and increase the amount throughout the week until anxiety or depression dissipate. If chronic pain is the primary issue, start out with 5 mg and see if that has any effect. If not, increase the dosage the next time you use CBD to determine whether a higher dose offers pain relief. It’s wise to take notes on your CBD consumption and its effects so you have an accurate record of the minimum effective dose. The amount of CBD your body needs may also change over time, so you may need to decrease or increase your dosage.

Chronic Pain and CBD

Many people with chronic pain find that taking between 10 and 20 mg, divided into several doses over the course of the day, effectively manages their discomfort. Taking the entire amount at one time relieves pain, but the effects will wear off in a few hours. Dividing the doses offers continuous pain relief.

Much depends on a person’s weight and the severity of their pain, however. A person in mild pain who weighs 125 pounds may do just fine on 10 mg per day, while someone the same size but in severe pain may need up to 30 mg daily. Someone in mild pain weighing 230 pounds or more may require 30 mg daily for symptom relief, while a person of the same weight who’s in severe pain may need more than 50 mg per day.

Insomnia and CBD

If you want CBD to help you sleep, expect to take a higher dosage than for other therapeutic reasons. An average-sized person may need at least 40 mg of CBD each night to make them sleepy, while a larger individual may require as much as 160 mg.

Mayo Clinic Recommendations

The renowned Mayo Clinic recommends basic dosages of CBD for those with certain diseases, although this is based on a medical cannabis protocol. For anxiety disorders, the dosage ranges from 2.5 to 10 mg. For those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, the Mayo Clinic recommends an effective dose tailored more to response.

Oral vs. Topical CBD

The information above focuses on oral use of CBD, but some may choose to use a vaporizer to reach an effective dose. Vaporization is the fastest way to obtain symptom relief. For topical pain relief, you can also start small and see if your pain goes away. However, it’s usually advisable to apply a generous amount on the area affected, rubbing it in well. Wash your hands before applying and afterward. Arthritic and other types of chronic pain won’t necessarily disappear completely, but you should find the pain diminishing.

Jane Meggitt’s work has appeared in dozens of publications, including USA Today, The Alternative Daily, nj.com, The Houston Chronicle and The Nest. She is a graduate of New York University.