How much cbd oil for anxiety attack

What Dosage of CBD Should You Take?

Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Verywell / Madelyn Goodnight

CBD is available in a number of different formulations including creams, tablets, oils, and gummies. These can vary in terms of their ingredients as well as dosages, and there is not a great deal of research available on what dose might be beneficial or safe to treat certain conditions.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant cannabinoid found in marijuana. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not have psychoactive effects. Interest in the use of CBD for health purposes has grown tremendously in the last few years.

CBD is believed to have a range of positive physical and mental health effects. Because of this, it has become increasingly popular as a way to alleviate everything from anxiety to sleep disorders.

In order to determine if CBD is right for you, it is important to consider its potential benefits, side effects, and available research on safe dosages.

Possible Benefits

CBD is just one of hundreds of different compounds found in the cannabis plant. While cannabis has been used in holistic medicine for many years, only recently have researchers begun to explore some of the medicinal purposes for CBD and other cannabinoids.

While further research is still needed, there is some evidence that CBD may have some beneficial mental health effects. These include:

  • Alleviating depression: Some research also indicates that CBD may be useful as a treatment for depression. Studies suggest that the cannabinoid might have an influence on how the brain responds to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood. People with depression sometimes have a low level of serotonin, so CBD may help the brain use available serotonin more effectively.
  • Improving sleep: While the reasons are not entirely understood and require further research, CBD also appears to have potential as a treatment for sleep problems. For example, one study found that people who took CBD also reported improvements in the quality of their sleep.
  • Reducing anxiety: Anxiety is one of the most common types of mental health conditions, affecting almost 20% of American adults each year. Research suggests that CBD may help alleviate acute symptoms of a number of anxiety-related conditions including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

In addition to the mental health benefits, CBD may also have therapeutic benefits for a range of other conditions. The World Health Organization suggests that CBD may have beneficial effects in the treatment of:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Arthritis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Psychosis

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.

Research

There have been a number of studies that suggest that CBD may have a number of different physical and mental health uses. However, more research is still needed to better understand the substance’s potential applications and possible long-term side effects.

A 2019 comprehensive review published in The Lancet Psychiatry looked at previously published studies. The review ultimately concluded that there was little evidence to support the use of CBD for mental health purposes and suggested that more research is needed in order to substantiate its use to treat symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

It is important to remember that this doesn’t mean that CBD isn’t effective. Many of the studies that were included in the review were small, had few participants, and were not randomized controlled trials.

This suggests that more research involving more participants and well-designed studies is needed in order to better understand if, how, and why CBD works.

While its effectiveness is still up for debate, one 2017 review found that it was a relatively safe option.   While it is important to remember that there is still a great deal we don’t yet know about CBD and its effects, it is something that you might opt to try to see if you experience any benefits.

How Much Should You Take?

The dosages used in research studies vary and there is no consensus on how much should be used for specific conditions. If you do decide to try CBD, it is also important to note that there is no universally agreed upon dose. Research also suggests that people may respond differently to various dosages, so the amount that is right for your needs might vary.

CBD Dosages

Some dosages that have been used in research studies for different conditions include:

  • Anxiety: 300 to 600 mg
  • Bowel disease: 10 mg per day
  • Cancer-related pain: 50 to 600 mg per day
  • Parkinson’s disease: 75 to 300 mg per day
  • Poor sleep: 25 mg per day
  • Psychosis: 600 mg per day

One 2020 review of studies found that participants showed improvements in anxiety levels after single doses of CBD ranging from 300 to 600 mg.   Such results indicate that the CBD may hold promise as a treatment to alleviate symptoms of acute anxiety.

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.

Looking at the dosage information for the CBD product that has been FDA approved can also be helpful. For Epidiolex, an FDA-approved cannabis-derived medication used to treat seizures in people with certain types of epilepsy, the starting dosage is 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. This dose can later be increased to 5 mg per kilogram of body weight twice a day.

Other CBD products are not FDA regulated and do not have officially recommended dosages. This can make it difficult to determine how much you might need, but there are some things you can consider that might help.

  • Assess your sensitivity to CBD: Your individual ability to tolerate CBD can also play a role in determining how much you need. If you are very sensitive to the effects of CBD, you should take a small dose. Some people may find that they are not as affected by the substance, so they may need to take a larger dose to notice any beneficial effects.
  • Consider individual factors: When you are trying to decide how much CBD to take, there are a number of factors you should consider. These include the formulation and concentration of the capsule, oil drops, or gummies you are taking, the symptoms you are treating, and your age, sex, weight, and overall health. Generally, people with heavier bodies need to take a little more to achieve the same effects. Men may need a larger dose, while older people may need less.
  • Consider the symptoms you’re treating: The symptoms you are trying to alleviate can also play a role in the CBD dosage you need to take to see results. In one study, participants who took 25mg of CBD each day had improved sleep quality, although the results were not consistent.   However, you might find that you need a lower or higher dose if you are treating another type of condition.
  • Try a dosage calculator: Researchers note that while the variety of dosing strategies and formulations make it difficult to determine efficacy, there are a number of online “dose-calculators” available online (such as mydosage.com) that are designed to help people choose the correct dose.   The accuracy of such calculators is difficult to assess, but it may be a good place to start.

Before you try CBD, discuss your plan with your doctor. They may be able to recommend a dose and help you better understand any potential risks, complications, side effects, or interactions you might experience.

Start With a Low Dose

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.

If this dose does not have the desired effect, try increasing in increments of 5mg each week until the desired amount is reached.

In studies, amounts vary from as low as 20 milligrams per day to up to 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day. The World Health Organization reports that dosages in clinical research studies typically range between 100 and 800 milligrams per day.  

Is It Possible to Take Too Much?

So what is the maximum amount of CBD you should take? Researchers have found that 600 mg per day appears to be safe, but one study suggested that doses of up to 1,500 mg a day are safe and tolerated well.

However, it’s important to remember that research is still in its infancy and experts do not yet fully understand the potential long-term impacts of CBD usage. For that reason, you should always discuss your CBD use with your doctor.

Starting at a lower dose and working your way up to the amount you need may be the best ways to avoid taking too much.

How to Take CBD

The amount of CBD found in a product may depend on different factors, including the formulation and method of administration. CBD products are available in a number of different forms including oils, capsules, tablets, nasal sprays, and gummies.

One of the most popular ways to take CBD is as an oil. Such products are made by combining CBD with some type of carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Some more recently developed products include dietary supplements, foods, beverages, lotions, salves, and cosmetics.

The type of CBD product you choose may depend on what you are trying to treat. If you are looking for general mood improvements, a dietary supplement might be a good option.

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.

Topical applications may produce localized effects, but they are unlike to have any mental health benefits.

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What Kind Should You Take?

It’s also important to remember that many products don’t contain just CBD on its own. There are three types of CBD available:

  • Isolate contains CBD and only CBD.
  • Broad-spectrum contains CBD and other cannabinoids, but not THC.
  • Full-spectrum contains CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids.

It may be helpful to take a broad-spectrum product since research suggests that CBD’s effects may be most beneficial when taken in conjunction with other cannabinoids, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. CBD may also help mitigate some of the effects of THC.

Side Effects

While CBD is generally well-tolerated, this does not mean that you won’t experience any side effects.

Some of the most common side effects that people experience when taking CBD include:

  • Appetite changes
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach upset
  • Weight changes

Some recent research has generated concerns over the safety and potential long term effects of CBD. One study involved giving mice an equivalent of the maximum dose of the CBD medication Epidiolex, which is used to treat certain forms of epilepsy. The results indicated an increased risk for liver damage as well as concerns over its interaction with other medications.  

Safety

It is also important to remember that CBD products are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some manufacturers make unproven claims about the uses and efficacy of their products. There is also concern about the quality and safety of the products themselves.

One report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that a number of people experienced negative unwanted side effects due to CBD products that contained synthetic CBD, although the products were not labeled as containing such ingredients.

Mislabeling appears to be a fairly common problem with CBD products. In one study, 70% of the CBD products that were sold online contained significantly more of the psychoactive ingredient THC than the label indicated.

Federal law prohibits the sale of products that contain more than 0.3% THC. States laws also vary, so you should always check with your state before buying CBD products online.

A Word From Verywell

If you do decide to take CBD to alleviate an acute or chronic condition, remember that the amount that you take will depend on a variety of factors. Finding the right dosage often takes some experimentation and adjustments. Starting with a low dose and then gradually increasing the amount you take until you achieve the desired effects is the best approach.

CBD Oil for Panic Attacks: Can It Help Treating This Disorder?

The prevalence of anxiety disorders in modern societies is alarming. In recent years, the sales of books about anxiety have increased by 25, and the disorder affects around 284 million people.

Anxiety is like an invisible cage that many people feel trapped in. Being a ‘prisoner’ with no definable reasons can place a serious burden on one’s mental health.

Panic attacks, also known as Panic Disorder, are defined as an anxiety disorder that affects around 2.4 million people in the United States. Women are twice as likely to suffer from the condition than men, and half of all people with a panic disorder develop it by the age of 24.

Whether panic attacks directly stem from anxiety or are triggered by other stress factors, they are real, emotionally debilitating, and challenging to treat.

Doctors generally recommend a combination of pharmacology and psychological therapy. However, conventional anti-anxiety drugs can have severe side effects on both mental and physical health.

Recent research supports an alternative option that may be both effective and safe for panic disorders — without causing the said side effects.

This alternative has a very short name: CBD.

Today, we will reveal the health benefits of CBD for panic attacks. We’ll also take a closer look at how to take CBD for panic disorders for optimal results.

But first, let’s shed more light on panic attacks.

What You Need to Know About Panic Attacks

Panic attacks and anxiety attacks are two different things, although many people think of them as the same conditions.

Anxiety attacks usually have a stressor that triggers them. For example, a person may feel stressed or apprehensive about specific situations. Anxiety attacks disappear at the same time the stressor goes away. They are short-lived.

Panic Disorders, on the other hand, don’t relate to any stressor. Instead, it involves unexpected and recurring episodes of strong fear. They usually involve symptoms like heart palpitations, shortness of breath, abdominal discomfort, and dizziness. Sometimes, the signs of a panic attack may mimic the symptoms of a heart attack or another life-threatening event.

For this reason, Panic Disorder may require extensive testing.

People with Panic Disorder often feel intensely anxious between their episodes. In fact, a person suffering from panic attacks may eventually develop a phobia about a place or situation where a previous attack was triggered, such as a restaurant or shopping center.

Breaking Down the Progression of Panic Attacks

As panic attacks become more frequent, people tend to avoid situations where they believe another attack might occur, feeling afraid they may not receive immediate help. An isolated panic attack is generally short-lived, but it can take a serious toll on a person’s mental well-being.

The memory of fear experienced during a panic attack may compromise your self-confidence and negatively impact your everyday life.

Here are the most common symptoms of developing Panic Disorder:

  • Agoraphobia: back in time, this condition was linked exclusively to open and public places. Now, researchers believe that agoraphobia can develop after a panic attack. Although it may occur at any time, it usually shows up within a year of your first recurring panic attacks. The symptoms of agoraphobia include fear of having a panic attack in a place that is difficult to escape from. This, in turn, may lead to a fear of being in crowded places and enclosed areas.
  • Anticipatory anxiety: this condition can severely impact your daily life. Rather than feeling relaxed in the period between panic attacks, you feel anxious, tense, and nervous due to a fear of the next attack.
  • Phobic avoidance: this term refers to the avoidance of certain environments or situations because a person believes they resemble locations where you have experienced a panic attack. It is closely connected to agoraphobia.

Telltale symptoms of panic attacks include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains
  • Pounding heart
  • Dizziness
  • Chills
  • Tingling in various parts of the body
  • Fear of losing control
  • Fear of dying
  • Terror

What Causes Panic Disorder?

Doctors have yet to identify the reasons why certain people develop Panic Disorder, although it seems to stem from genetic factors. Other triggers could be traumatic life events and thinking in a manner that makes your body feel stressed.

Studies on humans and animals are trying to map out specific regions of the brain that could be involved in fear and anxiety signaling during a panic attack. There’s a complex structure deep within the brain known as the amygdala. This brain area could produce anxiety disorders as a result of abnormal activation.

Another reason why Panic Disorder may occur is a physical injury or a medical condition such as:

  • Withdrawal symptoms from drugs
  • Use of stimulants such as caffeine, cocaine, or methamphetamines
  • Mitral valve prolapse, which is a minor cardiac problem when one of the heart’s valves doesn’t close properly.

Can CBD Oil Help with Panic Attacks?

Humans have been using cannabis to relieve stress and anxiety for centuries. The cannabis plant has been mentioned in ancient pharmacopeias as well as in many sacred texts for its anxiolytic and antidepressant properties.

Recent studies have given us an insight into the mechanism of action behind the herb’s deeply relaxing effects.

For example, we know that THC may reduce anxiety and tension in low to moderate doses, especially when accompanied by at least 1% CBD. Not only can THC curb feelings of anxiety, but it also has a calming effect on the body. However, high doses of THC taken without considering a person’s tolerance to this compound may backfire and aggravate feelings of anxiety .

Recent studies have shown that a different cannabinoid, CBD , may also have significant benefits for panic sufferers. A study published in Neurotherapeutics analyzed CBD as a possible treatment for anxiety disorders. The authors concluded that preclinical trials suggest CBD’s effectiveness in lowering the levels of stress and anxiety (1).

The said study also pointed to CBD as the potential remedy for various anxiety disorders, such as PTSD, GAD, SAD, PT, and OCD. The researchers noted that the anxiolytic mechanism of CBD resulted from its interaction with CB1 receptors and 5-HT1A serotonin receptors in several brain areas. They also stated that further research into the additional CBD-receptor interactions is needed to uncover more positive effects of CBD on the brain.

According to preclinical discoveries, CBD has a minimal sedative effect and lacks anxiogenic (anxiety-provoking) properties. Furthermore, its safety profile is incomparably better than that of commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medications.

Latest Research into the Effectiveness of CBD for Panic Attacks

The majority of studies investigating the benefits of CBD for panic attacks and anxiety have tested acute CBD dosing in healthy people. This means that we need additional research to determine if consistent dosing is effective in the relevant clinical subjects.

One of the most recent reviews of studies on CBD and anxiety was published in 2017 by Soares and Campos in the Current Neuropharmacology journal. The review was titled “Evidences for the Anti-panic Actions of Cannabidiol.’ The authors of the paper underlined that SSRIs, the current treatment of choice for Panic Disorder, lack consistency and aren’t effective in the long run. They also pointed out that these medications carry a range of side effects that causes patients to give up the treatment (2).

At the same time, the researchers are touting CBD as a potentially effective alternative for Panic Disorder.

As we can read in the conclusion part of the paper:

“CBD seems to be a promising drug for the treatment of PD (Panic Disorder). More clinical trials involving patients with Panic Disorder are needed to determine the specific mechanism of action of CBD along with its safe and ideal therapeutic doses.”

In September 2018, Crippa and his team of researchers published a review in Frontiers in Immunology that analyzed the therapeutic potential of CBD. The paper was written to describe the efficacy of CBD in neuropsychiatry. The authors found CBD had anxiolytic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective properties — all of which may be helpful in treating panic attacks (3).

Clinical studies have also found that CBD offers relief from a wide range of mental disorders, such as PTSD, bipolar disorder, insomnia, Parkinson’s Disease, and social phobia. The researchers concluded that CBD was a “useful and promising molecule” that could be used as a safe alternative treatment for an array of clinical conditions. For example, one 2019 study found that a single dose of 300 mg of CBD caused a considerable drop in anxiety in people with a social anxiety disorder (4).

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How to Use CBD for Panic Attacks

There are several product types to choose from when it comes to using CBD for panic attacks. CBD comes in the form of oil, capsules, edibles, vapes, topicals, concentrates, and more. This section covers the most common formats that people take to manage Panic Disorder.

CBD Oil for Panic Attacks

CBD oil drops are hands down the most popular product right now. In this form, CBD is administered sublingually, meaning the user needs to place the desired dose under the tongue, hold it there for about 60 seconds, and swallow. The CBD will reach the bloodstream through the tiny blood vessels in your mouth, avoiding the first-pass metabolism in the liver. The effects of CBD oil are noticeable within 15–30 minutes after administration, lasting 4-6 hours on average.

CBD oil is good if you feel a panic attack is coming and you want to prevent it by calming your nervous system.

CBD Capsules & Edibles for Panic Attacks

Capsules and edibles (e.g. gummies) take the oral route of administration. They need to pass through the digestive system before being released into the bloodstream. For this reason, it may take anywhere between 30–90 minutes before the effects of capsules and edibles take hold. On the other hand, the effects last longer because the CBD is released gradually. Relief from anxiety may last 8–10 hours depending on your metabolism and the potency of your capsules/gummies.

CBD Vape Pen for Panic Attacks

Using a vape pen infused with CBD liquid is the most efficient way to deliver cannabidiol to your body. Vaporization allows the user to heat the CBD vape oil to the point where it releases CBD-rich vapor. This vapor is then inhaled through the lungs and absorbs into the bloodstream through the lung tissue. Vaping CBD provides the fastest effects; they usually appear within 5–10 minutes after inhalation. CBD vapes also deliver the highest concentrations of CBD to your system, as 56% of the inhaled compound ends up in the bloodstream. The only concern about CBD vape pens is their relatively short duration; relief from anxiety and stress usually lasts 3–4 hours.

CBD Dosage for Panic Attacks

If you’re planning to try CBD oil for your panic attacks, we advise you to consult a doctor experienced in cannabis therapies. A qualified professional should be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to the dosage and should be able to establish the right routine in order to avoid potential CBD-drug interaction if you take anti-anxiety medications.

In the aforementioned 2019 study, male participants took CBD before undergoing a simulated public speaking test. The research team found that an oral dose of 300 mg applied 90 minutes before the simulation was enough to significantly reduce the speakers’ anxiety.

The study involved three other groups: a placebo group and study subjects who receive 150 mg and 600 mg CBD. Each group saw little effect on their anxiety.

However, the study had its limitations. First, it tested pure CBD, which is considered inferior to full-spectrum extracts due to the lack of the entourage effect. The entourage effect occurs when all the natural compounds in hemp, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, act synergistically to enhance the potency of the main ingredients in CBD oil. There’s also a methodological concern, as the study only looked at 57 subjects — all of them were male.

More research, including studies on large groups that also include female subjects, is needed to determine an effective dosage range for people with panic attacks.

You can experiment with different dosages based on your weight, metabolism, and the severity of your panic attacks. The best approach is to start low and gradually make your way up to the amount of CBD that brings you the desired relief.

CBD vs Conventional Treatments for Panic Attacks

People who decide to go down the traditional route to treat panic attacks usually have two medications to choose from. The decision is based on a consultation with a psychiatrist, who should be able to adjust the therapy to the patient’s individual needs. Doctors will generally prescribe two types of medicine:

  • Anti-anxiety drugs (benzodiazepines) — using CBD over benzodiazepines like Xanax for panic attacks is a controversial subject among medical researchers. Although The American Psychiatric Association found positive evidence and state that doctors can prescribe benzodiazepines based on the individual patient’s medical record, The National Institute of Clinical Excellence has a different opinion in that regard. They claim that benzodiazepines are not an effective long-term treatment for panic disorder. According to the institution, benzodiazepines shouldn’t be used for longer than four weeks when it comes to panic attacks.
  • Antidepressants — these medications are less controversial than benzodiazepines. This is generally the go-to treatment recommended by doctors. Regular use of antidepressants results in the alteration of neurotransmitter configurations which help alleviate the symptoms.

Substances to Avoid for People with Panic Disorder

  • Alcohol — Alcohol is mistakenly believed to be a stress reliever, but in fact, it’s a toxin that results in more stress and can damage your physical and mental functions. This is a consequence of fluctuating serotonin concentrations in the brain. Alcohol also impairs the nervous system and can contribute to hypertension.
  • Artificial and refined sugars — Sugar is present in virtually everything we eat today, so it’s important to cut down on its intake whenever possible. Studies have linked excessive sugar consumption with a deterioration in anxiety symptoms.
  • Caffeine — Caffeine is a widely available stimulant. While healthy people can drink up to 4 cups of coffee with no remorse, it can trigger negative symptoms in people with Panic Disorder, including nausea, lightheadedness, nervousness, and jitteriness.
  • Trans fat — Also known as hydrogenated fat, trans fat is one of the worst ingredients in the Western diet. Studies have found that it can increase your risk of depression and may result in exacerbated anxiety-like symptoms.

Final Thoughts on CBD and Panic Attacks

Current research into CBD’s benefits for panic attacks and Panic Disorder has concluded that the cannabinoid can be a safe and effective alternative to the conventional treatment options. CBD is available in many different forms. The least processed form includes CBD-rich flowers, but this is also the least concentrated type of product.

If you’re looking for a potent form of CBD, opt for products like CBD oil, capsules, edibles, or vapes. You can experiment with different consumption methods and potencies to find the one that suits your needs.

Most CBD products available for sale are sourced from industrial hemp, which is legal to grow in the U.S. as long as it contains no more than 0.3% THC. With such an abundance of different CBD extracts, scientists have now more opportunities to evaluate the efficacy of whole-plant products and compare them with their isolate-based counterparts.

The studies we have discussed above back up any claims about CBD’s effectiveness for panic attacks, but it’s only a drop in the ocean of its potential health benefits.

As things stand, anecdotal evidence from CBD users also seems to support this form of therapy, although it’s not an officially acknowledged one. Since the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products, it’s important to do your research on any company that sells CBD oil online before handing out your hard-earned money. Look for reputable companies that make organic products tested in third-party laboratories for their potency and purity.

What is your experience with using CBD for panic attacks? Does it help? What dosage works best for you?

  1. Blessing, E.M., Steenkamp, M.M., Manzanares, J. et al. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics 12, 825–836 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
  2. Soares, Vanessa P, and Alline C Campos. “Evidences for the Anti-panic Actions of Cannabidiol.” Current neuropharmacology vol. 15,2 (2017): 291-299. doi:10.2174/1570159×14666160509123955
  3. Crippa, José A et al. “Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age.” Frontiers in immunology vol. 9 2009. 21 Sep. 2018, doi:10.3389/fimmu.2018.02009
  4. Linares, Ila M et al. “Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test.” Revista brasileira de psiquiatria (Sao Paulo, Brazil : 1999) vol. 41,1 (2019): 9-14. doi:10.1590/1516-4446-2017-0015
Livvy Ashton

Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.

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CBD Dosage: How Much to Take for Pain, Anxiety & Sleep

This article is going to blow the doors wide-open on dosing CBD.

You’ll understand the ins and outs of dosing cannabidiol, learn how to properly measure your CBD dose with different products, and learn the important differences between dosing CBD oil for different types of symptoms.

CBD Dosage: How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?

A one-size-fits-all dosage for CBD doesn’t exist. Even the FDA doesn’t provide a Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for CBD.

In simple terms, CBD doesn’t have an official serving size.

CBD acts on 60 different molecular pathways, meaning it has a very complex relationship with the body and the brain. It’s difficult to come up with a definite dosage guideline that would help any person regardless of individual physiology.

Some CBD manufacturers give you their own dosage recommendations, but they do so to provide new users with a general point of reference. It’s impossible to tell if a specific dosage is the right amount for a given person because it doesn’t address a few critical variables — which I’m going to discuss below.

Important Considerations For Dosing CBD

Finding an effective CBD dosage may depend on the following factors:

  1. The potency of the product
  2. The bioavailability of the chosen product
  3. Your unique biochemistry
  4. Prior experience with CBD
  5. Your weight
  6. Your metabolism
  7. The severity of your condition
  8. Other medications you’re currently taking

Nick Jikomes, an esteemed neuroscientist, says:

“As our body undergoes physiological changes, so do cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which are directly linked to the effects produced by CBD.”

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This means that your “best CBD dosage” can change throughout your life, so there will never be a universal or static amount that works for you.

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How to Calculate the Best CBD Dosage for Your Needs

There are steps you can take to find your ideal CBD dosage for your health goals. Let’s go over the process step by step.

1. Decide What Form of CBD to Use

Currently, the most common way to deliver CBD to your system is through CBD oil drops. They’re relatively easy to use and allow you to absorb CBD directly into the bloodstream as opposed to capsules and edibles.

However, pure CBD oil has a distinct earthy taste. Some find this flavor too harsh and somewhat bitter. If you don’t like the taste of CBD oils, something like a capsule, gummy, or vape oil may be a better option.

The above routes of administration are typically preferred by people who need fast relief from anxiety, stress, pain, or inflammation.

Other popular methods include CBD edibles, capsules, and topicals. Topicals are the better option if the area you’re trying to treat is on the skin, joints, or muscles.

Remember when I mentioned the importance of the chosen consumption method on your dosage regimen?

Here’s why it matters.

2. Check the Bioavailability of Your Product

Bioavailability refers to the percentage of ingested CBD that your body absorbs into the bloodstream.

Below you’ll find the bioavailability of 4 different delivery methods:

  • CBD topicals:
  • CBD capsules and edibles: 5-15%
  • CBD Oil drops: 20-30%
  • CBD vapes: ~56%

For example, if you consume 15 mg of CBD in oral drops, you’re going to end up with 4–6 times the amount of CBD in your body than you would with a capsule containing the same concentration.

The bioavailability of CBD topicals is measured at 0% because none of the CBD applied to the skin makes it to the bloodstream. Instead, CBD reaches the cannabinoid receptors in the skin and muscles.

3. Talk to a Physician

Before taking any CBD product, I advise you to consult with a physician. This is the best way to make sure the CBD or other supplements you’re taking won’t interfere with any medications you may be taking. It’s also the best way to rule out any major causes for your symptoms before starting supplementation.

4. Start With a Lower Dose than You Think You Need

Everybody has a different history with the use of certain substances, supplements, and medications. And since we’re all made differently, what works wonders for you, might not work for your friend — and vice versa.

The best way to determine your initial CBD dosage is to count it by your body weight. Experts recommend starting with 1–6 mg of CBD per pound. Low doses allow the user to monitor their body’s reaction more effectively.

This brings us to our last tip.

5. Gradually Increase the Dosage Until You Notice the Difference

Increasing the amount of CBD oil gradually is the best way to figure out the best CBD dosage.

I recommend lower CBD doses at first because if the dose is too high, it may trigger some unwanted effects, such as sleepiness, lowered blood pressure, lightheadedness, or diarrhea. Side-effects are a cue to dial your dose back to the last one that didn’t produce these effects.

On the other hand, if you continue to use a dosage that’s too low, you may not feel anything at all, so again — observation is key. Listen to your body, you’ll soon get a feel for how CBD works for you.

How to Measure Your CBD Oil Dosage

CBD oil drops come in dropper bottles. They’re easy to use and allow you to precisely measure out your serving of CBD.

All you need to do is squeeze the dropper so it draws the oil from the bottle, apply a few drops under the tongue, and hold it there for about 60 seconds. This way, CBD will absorb into the bloodstream through sublingual membranes under the tongue.

But how do you estimate your CBD oil dosage?

To answer this, you’ll need to know how much CBD a dropper holds. Typically, a dropper can carry 1 ml of liquid. If you know the total volume of your oil drops, you can do the math and calculate your CBD dosage using a simple formula.

[Total CBD in the bottle] ÷ [Number of milliliters in the bottle] = mg of CBD in a dropper.

For example, let’s say you have a 30 ml CBD oil that has 750 mg of CBD:

750 ÷ 30 = 25 mg of CBD per ml (per dropper)

How to Measure Your CBD Vape Oil Dosage

With CBD E-liquids, you’ll need to know how much CBD is in the product. As you vape your E-liquid throughout the day, watch the tank and see how long it will work without refilling.

Dosing vape oil is better using qualitative means. The effects appear much faster than from tinctures or edibles, so you can take little puffs at a time and wait about 5 minutes between another dose to see how it’s affecting you.

Once you start feeling the effects you’re looking for, this is your dose.

If you experience side effects, it means the dose is too high, so the next time you vape, useless.

Recommended CBD Dosage for Pain, Anxiety & Sleep

As mentioned, there are some general dosage guidelines for CBD that you can use for certain conditions. After studying CBD for several decades, scientists have finally created some kind of a framework for CBD dosage. This creates a relatively good point of reference for determining the effective amount of cannabidiol.

CBD Dosage for Anxiety

Most studies have investigated the use of CBD to treat social anxiety. One of the first studies, which was replicated many times since the initial publication, points to a dosage of 40 mg of sublingual CBD as an effective treatment for social anxiety. However, specific cases of anxiety disorders may call for an increase of up to 300 mg of CBD.

CBD Dosage for Different Levels of Pain

The optimal CBD dosage for people with chronic pain ranges between 2.5–20 mg of CBD when administered orally, alongside or without THC. Certain individuals may require higher doses, especially those with a greater body mass.

CBD Dosage to Improve Sleep Quality

CBD is known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety and mitigate both pain and inflammation.

These factors are important when it comes to maintaining proper sleep quality, but there’s also one more benefit you should be aware of. At higher doses, CBD may induce sleepiness, allowing the user to fall asleep faster without experiencing the stream of racing thoughts.

Depending on the frequency and severity of your symptoms, you may need between 25–175 mg of CBD daily to combat them.

CBD Dosage: FAQ

1. Is CBD Safe?

Yes, CBD is generally considered safe for human consumption, with no signs of toxicity at doses as high as 1,500 mg daily.

2. Can CBD Get You High?

No, CBD doesn’t act on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain as THC does. Therefore, this cannabinoid is non-intoxicating — it can’t get you high.

3. Can You Overdose on CBD?

Overdosing on cannabinoids is impossible because cannabinoids don’t affect the brain stem are responsible for respiration.

4. Does CBD Oil Have Any Side Effects?

CBD has a relatively short list of side effects, most of which are considered minor. However, in high doses, CBD can produce an array of unwanted reactions, such as:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
  • Sedation

It’s a small price to pay compared to the list of side effects caused by prescription medications.

5. What’s the Best Way to Consume CBD?

If by “the best” you mean the most efficient, then oil tinctures or vaping products will be your best options. That’s because they offer higher bioavailability than capsules and edibles.

6. Should I Take Full-Spectrum CBD or Isolate?

If you’re not subject to periodical drug tests at work, I would recommend a full-spectrum product because of something called the “entourage effect.” This term describes the synergy between all active ingredients in cannabis, including cannabinoids other than CBD and THC, terpenes, and other plant compounds. They’re believed to require less CBD than pure isolate to produce similar effects.

7. Can I Give CBD to My Dog or Cat?

Hemp-derived CBD products are safe for pets because they contain little to no THC, the intoxicating compound that produces toxicity in animals. Pets can benefit from CBD in similarly to humans.

Final Thoughts: What’s Your Optimal CBD Dosage?

The ideal CBD dosage that would work for everyone doesn’t exist. The nature of cannabidiol is very complex — so is the cannabis plant — and there are too many outside variables that can influence CBD’s absorption.

The potency of your product, its bioavailability, your weight, the severity of the condition, cannabinoid spectrum — they all matter.

You can use some general dosage guidelines for specific conditions, but always make sure you treat it as a point of reference, not the one and the only way to dose CBD.

So, what’s the best way to figure out the ideal CBD dosage?

Start low and gradually go up with the dosage until you experience the desired effects. The way you react to CBD can change over time, so you need to monitor the effects throughout your supplementation.

You should also ask a physician who’s experienced in using CBD or hemp extracts with patients to get professional guidance.

What CBD dosage is best for you? How much do you take daily? Let me know in the comments below!

Livvy Ashton

Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.

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