Many factors, such as your body mass index (BMI), specific health condition(s) you have, medications you take, your health history, and the form of CBD you plan to use can influence how much CBD you may need to treat your symptoms. Although CBD is different than medical marijuana — which contains CBD as well as THC, an intoxicating ingredient — a doctor who’s well-versed in cannabis (marijuana) is probably the best person to help you help you sort it out.
When it comes to CBD in topical form (creams, lotions, and salves), you’ll probably see the total amount of CBD in the container listed on the label. You’ll then have to divide that total by the number of millimeters in the package to determine how much is in each milliliter. For example, if you have a 50 ml jar of salve that contains 200 mg of CBD, there’s 4 mg per ml. You should then use a metric measuring spoon to scoop out 7.5 ml to get a 30 mg dose of CBD.
2. Do some math
No two patients respond to CBD in the same way. You and your doctor will probably need to adjust the dose either up or down until you hit the right balance of benefits without side effects. “A lot of it depends on your biochemistry and the way your liver breaks down these chemicals. There’s a wide variety of factors that come into play,” says Dr. Patel.
Let’s say you and your doctor settle on a dose of 30 mg of CBD per day. Now what? The answer depends on which form of CBD you take.
3. Expect some trial and error
Take a look at the label on any over-the-counter pain reliever and you can easily figure out how much you’re supposed to take for your symptoms. Finding the right dose of cannabidiol (CBD) for pain relief, however, isn’t that simple.
Unless your doctor recommends a specific dose, start by taking 10 to 20 mg a day. Take this for a week to ensure that it is well-tolerated and that you don’t experience any unwanted effects or an allergic reaction.
Some of the most common side effects that people experience when taking CBD include:
It is important to remember that you should always talk to your doctor before using CBD if you have symptoms of a serious mental or physical health condition. CBD could potentially worsen symptoms or interact with other medications you are taking.
Is It Possible to Take Too Much?
It is important to remember that these benefits have not yet been conclusively proven. More research is needed to determine the role that CBD might play in the treatment of different disorders and health conditions.
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
Topical applications may produce localized effects, but they are unlike to have any mental health benefits.
If you are targeting specific symptoms of a condition, taking an oil, capsule, or gummy might be a better way to obtain a higher, more concentrated dose.