The CBD UK market has exploded in recent years thanks to 2018 legislation that legalized the sale and consumption of CBD products made from hemp plants.
CBD (cannabidiol) has been shown by numerous studies and anecdotal evidence to provide wellness benefits that may reduce pain, increase appetite, optimize sleep patterns, and lessen attacks and frequency of anxiety disorders.
But how much CBD do you need to take to reap these benefits?
The answer to this question can vary significantly depending on several factors, and this guide will explore some of the most important considerations that can influence CBD dosage recommendations.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, known colloquially as CBD, is one of the main constituents in the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and then processed into CBD oil, edibles, tinctures or capsules for easy consumption.
In addition to the numerous health and wellness benefits CBD users and clinical trials have boasted, CBD’s biggest attraction for many is its non-psychoactive effects. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not produce the “high” that is commonly associated with cannabis use as it does not have an affinity for binding to endocannabinoid receptors that cause euphoria, extreme relaxation or altered perception and cognition.
How CBD dosage is determined
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for cannabidiol dosage, as the ideal amount can vary significantly from person to person. The best way to determine the correct dosage for you is to start with a small amount and then increase gradually until you experience the desired results. Some of the key factors that can influence dosage recommendations include:
- Your body weight and size
Larger or heavier individuals may need a higher amount of CBD to achieve the desired effects than smaller or lighter individuals. CBD is metabolized differently in different people, and those with more mass may require more CBD to experience the same results.
- The potency of the CBD you are using
CBD is made in many different concentrations and potencies. Low-dose CBD is considered anything under 10mg per serving, while high-dose CBD is 50mg per serving or more. Therefore, the CBD concentration you’ll need to take will be primarily determined by the potency of the product you are using. For example, if the bottle of CBD you have purchased contains a high concentration of CBD, you will only need to take a small amount to achieve the desired effects. Many of the best CBD oils in the UK come in high strengths and concentrations.
- The type of CBD you are using
CBD supplements in the UK include oil tinctures, edible gummies, capsules, topical creams, and even CBD vape liquids. The CBD product you choose will play a significant role in determining the appropriate dosage, as CBD is absorbed differently depending on how it is consumed.
For example, if you decide to use CBD capsules, each capsule will have a specific CBD concentration. Based on your desired dosage and body weight, you’ll need to read the label and determine how many CBD capsules you should take. The same is true for the best CBD gummies and other ingestible CBD products.
If you are taking a CBD oil tincture, which typically absorbs with greater speed and efficiency than CBD capsules, you may need to take a smaller dosage using the dropper or pipette included with the bottle. The CBD oil tincture bottle will indicate the concentration of CBD, which should help you determine how much CBD oil tincture you need to take.
If you prefer to avoid doing the math to figure out how much CBD you should be taking, you can always opt for a CBD vape liquid. Vape pens offer easy, discreet dosing as you need it so that you can get your CBD fix without having to worry about calculating the amount of CBD you should be taking.
- The severity of your symptoms or health condition
Symptom severity also plays an intricate role in determining the correct CBD oil dosage for your specific chronic or acute conditions. When your symptoms are most severe, you may find that you need to take a higher dosage to achieve relief.
Additionally, you may find that as your symptoms lessen, you can reduce your dosage of CBD or frequency of CBD usage without losing the efficacy of CBD.
For certain conditions such as chronic pain, arthritis, or other severe inflammatory conditions, CBD has been shown to be more effective in higher doses. However, the optimal amount of daily CBD intake for relief from other conditions such as anxiety, depression, or insomnia may vary and should be determined on an individual basis.
- Your personal CBD tolerance
If you already consume other forms of cannabis products – which are still illegal in the UK – you may have unintentionally built up a CBD tolerance. CBD is a natural cannabinoid that is found in hemp and marijuana (both are members of the Cannabis sativa family) along with varying amounts of THC. If you are a regular user of marijuana, you may find that you already have a high tolerance for CBD and will need to take a higher dosage to achieve desired effects.
Additionally, you might find that if you are switching from CBD oil to CBD edibles, for example, dosing may need to be adjusted. This is because CBD edibles are metabolized differently in the digestive system than when taken orally, meaning that you may not need as much (or may need more) to achieve the same results.
- Other medications you are taking
Pharmaceutical prescription or over-the-counter medications may also affect the best CBD dosage for your needs. For example, if you are taking a pain reliever such as ibuprofen, you may be able to take a lower amount of CBD than someone who is not taking any other medication.
CBD can also interact with medications you are taking for other health conditions. As a result, CBD may increase or decrease the potency of these medications. Therefore, it is vital that you get medical advice from a licensed healthcare professional before beginning CBD supplementation to determine if the supplement will affect any medications you are currently taking.
What happens if I take the wrong dose of CBD?
The general consensus from the medical community is that CBD has no severe side effects if taken at the wrong dosage. CBD is considered a very safe supplement with a wide range of potential therapeutic health benefits.
With that in mind, some minor side effects of CBD may occasionally occur should you take too much in one serving. These side effects are common (especially for first time users), usually dissipating within a few days or by taking a lower dose. The most common minor CBD side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Changes in appetite
- Issues with digestion
Ultimately, listening to your body is essential to determine the ideal amount for your needs. Whether you are new to CBD or have been using CBD for years, it is important that you take the time to find the dosage that works for you and your specific health condition or needs.
How to dose CBD
When it comes to dosing, most products are pretty self-explanatory. In the case of CBD edibles or capsules, the recommended dosage is typically 1-2 capsules or gummies per day. These forms of CBD are super convenient and have a premeasured dosage that makes it easy to know how much CBD you are taking.
CBD oil is a bit more complicated as it does not come with set CBD dosages. CBD oil bottle labels will tell you how many milligrams (mg) of CBD are in each bottle, but they won’t tell you how much CBD to take. In this case, you’ll need to do some calculations to understand how much CBD is contained in each drop of oil tincture to dose correctly.
If you don’t know how much CBD oil your dropper contains, don’t worry! There are a number of online dosage calculations that let you input the specifications of your CBD oil to give you a rough estimate of how much each drop will contain.
The most complicated product to dose will be CBD topical creams, balms, and lotions. Since these products don’t come with CBD content per serving listed on the label, it’s difficult to determine how much CBD is in each application.
As a general rule of thumb with topicals, start with a small amount and increase over time until you find an application amount that meets your wellness needs.
It can take some experimentation to find your ideal dosage, but once you do, CBD can be a safe and effective way to manage a variety of health conditions and symptoms.
What is the difference between CBD concentration and dosage?
Concentration refers to the amount of CBD in a product, whereas dosage refers to the amount of CBD you should take. Both are important factors to consider when choosing a CBD product.
The CBD concentration will be listed on product labels as a percentage or ratio of the total cannabinoid content. For example, if a 10mL bottle contains 1000 mg of CBD, it is 10% CBD concentration and will offer 100 mg of CBD per 1mL dropper.
On the other hand, the dosage is the amount of CBD you should take at one time. CBD doses are usually counted in drops, with each drop containing a certain amount of CBD. A one mL dropper contains approximately 20 drops. So, expanding on the concentration example above, if you have a 10ml bottle of CBD that contains 1000mg and you need to take 20mg CBD a day, you would need to take four drops per day.
Note that these dosage estimates will vary if your dropper is larger than 1mL or the bottle of CBD you are taking is larger than 10mL, but by understanding how to calculate CBD concentration and CBD dosage, you can easily adjust the amount of CBD you take to meet your needs.
Manufacturing factors that affect CBD dosage
One final consideration for dosing CBD properly to meet various health and wellness needs is its manufacturing process. CBD in the UK is sourced from CBD-rich hemp plants and can be manufactured using a variety of methods.
CBD isolate, for example, is CBD that has been isolated from all other cannabinoids and compounds found in the plant. This pure CBD can then be added to other products or taken on its own. Pure CBD isolate can be incredibly potent, so it is crucial to start with a low dose when using CBD isolate products and increase as needed.
Full-spectrum CBD, on the other hand, contains all of the cannabinoids and compounds found in the hemp plant, including trace amounts of THC. This means that full-spectrum CBD can provide the entourage effect, where the CBD and other compounds work together to provide more incredible wellness benefits.
Because full-spectrum CBD contains a host of other beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, you may find that you need a lower dosage thanks to the Entourage Effect, which enhances CBD’s effects.
Broad-spectrum cannabidiol products contain all of the compounds found in the hemp plant except for THC. Like full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD can provide the entourage effect and may require varied dosages to achieve the desired results depending on which cannabinoids have been left in the CBD product.
Finally, the extraction method used to make high-quality CBD supplements can also impact the amount of CBD you need to take daily. CBD is most efficiently extracted using a supercritical CO2 process, but CBD can be isolated through a variety of means, including distillation and chemical solvents. As a result, CBD may be more potent or less potent depending on the extraction method used, so it is important to consider this when choosing your dosage.
Dose CBD correctly to get the best results
Dosing CBD to meet your specific health and wellness needs can be a bit complicated, but understanding CBD concentration and dosage will help you find the right balance for your needs.
Furthermore, consider CBD edible and capsule products if you need more precise CBD dosing. Alternatively, you can choose broad and full-spectrum CBD oil tinctures to take advantage of the entourage effect that provides enhanced benefits from your CBD routine.
Always be sure to start with a small dose and gradually work your way up until you find the right CBD dosage for you. Visit our CBD marketplace to buy CBD oil products.
1. Rock EM, Parker LA. Constituents of Cannabis Sativa. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33332000/#:~:text=There%20are%20more%20than%20550,well%20as%20other%20receptor%20systems.)
2. Atakan, Zerrin. Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology vol. 2,6 (2012) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/)
3. Brown, Joshua D, and Almut G Winterstein. “Potential Adverse Drug Events and Drug-Drug Interactions with Medical and Consumer Cannabidiol (CBD) Use.”
4. Blessed CBD: Available in UK (https://blessedcbd.co.uk), Germany (https://blessedcbd.de) & USA (https://blessedcbd.com)
Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.