Finding the Sweet Spot: The Crucial Art of CBD Dosage and Achieving Optimal Health Benefits

If you’re interested in trying CBD for the first time or have had trouble dialing in your CBD dosage previously, you might be wondering how much you should take.. and, while we’d love to give you a simple answer, the truth is that finding the right dose can be a bit of an adventure. But don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through!

When it comes to taking any kind of supplement, finding the right dose can be a bit of a challenge. This is especially true for cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plant. Unlike traditional medicines that come with a prescribed dose, CBD doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all dosage. Also, with no regulation and varying degrees of quality in the marketplace, it can be hard to know exactly how much CBD to take in order to experience its full benefits as consumer reports may vary widely from one another.

Factors such as your weight, body chemistry and composition, and the severity of the condition you’re treating can all play a role in determining the ideal dosage.  Additionally, other factors such as age, metabolism, and overall health can also play a role.

The key is to find the right dosage for you and then maintain a steady schedule of at least 30 days.

In this article, we’ll explore some general guidelines for CBD dosing, so you can feel confident about finding the right dose for you. So, just how much CBD should you take?

General Recommendations

Determining the appropriate dosage of CBD – “How much CBD should I take?” – is a question frequently asked, and a nuanced one to provide universal recommendations for, given the multitude of factors at play.

Ultimately, the answer to this question is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, but is rather dependent on the unique physiological makeup of each individual, including the variability of their endocannabinoid system. In light of this, we recommend that you read the full article, apply thoughtful consideration, start with a conservative dosage, gradually increase over time, and endeavor to discover your own optimal dosage, tailored to your particular needs.  We recommend consulting your healthcare provider before starting any CBD regimen, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or are taking medications that may interact with CBD.

Warnings Aside

For most recreational use cases, such as mental clarity, improved wellness, general health, and relaxation, and treating anxiety, stress, or depression, and relieving low-to-medium threshold chronic pain, we typically suggest ~33mg, 1-3 times per day (as needed). As such, our 1,000mg CBD oil provides this exact dose per 1mL of oil (a full dropper) and have these recommendations baked onto the label.

We encourage you to stick with a daily routine for at least 30 days so that you can accurately assess your mental and physical state and the benefits that CBD is providing.

Generally, the consensus for adults is (all from 1-3 times per day):

  • ~2.5-10mg for routine microdosing 
  • ~5-15 mg for routine wellbeing and health maintenance, bowel disease, or digestive issues
  • ~15-40mg for reducing anxiety and stress, mental clarity, relaxation, boost in mood, and treating depression (as well as recreational uses for promoting a calming sense of well-being)
  • ~15-40mg for low-to-medium threshold chronic pain, migraines, inflammation ailments (such as arthritis, joint swelling, or post-workout injuries), period cramps, menopause, or any nerve or neuropathic pain
  • ~15-40mg for promoting sleep (1-1.5 hours before bed), getting a better night’s reset, and increasing REM sleep and potentially brain regeneration
  • ~40-150mg for high-tolerance users of any of the aforementioned tiers
  • ~75-300mg for Parkinson’s disease symptoms
  • ~150-600mg for high-threshold chronic pain, neuropathic pain, or pain cause by cancer or cancer treatments
  • ~150-600mg for extreme cases of anxiety or some forms of psychosis

Anything beyond the aforementioned is treated as a special case – chronic or habitual CBD users, severe forms of psychosis or anxiety, and select forms of epilepsy.  For example, the FDA-approved CBD solution to treat seizures associated with select forms of epilepsy suggests dosing:

  • Starting at 2.5mg/kg of bodyweight up to 5mg/kg

Onset Times: When’s the best time to take CBD?

It’s important to understand when you will feel the effects of CBD so you can find the right dosing times for you. Each CBD product has a peak time for absorption in your system. This will help time your doses for the best experience.

Onset time for edible dosage (gummy, beverage, etc.): typically ~1-1.5 hours on an empty stomach (may vary with food, food – especially fat – is recommended for increased absorption); effects last for 4-6 hours

Onset time for sublingual dosage: typically 15-45 minutes, with a heightened peak ~1-1.5 hours of swallowed; effects last for 2-6 hours

Onset time for inhalation dosage: typically 10-15 minutes; effects last for 40 minutes to 2 hours

When just starting with CBD, we suggest taking your dose and waiting for 2-3 hours before taking another. Once you know how your body reacts to CBD, you can explore larger doses and experiment with your timing. It’s helpful to get a baseline before taking different doses at different times.

For best results, we encourage you to stick with the same CBD routine for 30 days.

The amount of CBD in each serving is the amount that could be entering your body. The entire amount will never reach your system, but there are ways you can help increase the amount of CBD that will be absorbed. Each method has tips for optimal ingestion of CBD, ensuring you can get the most out of your serving.

CBD Bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream and able to produce effects in the body. With CBD, bioavailability can vary depending on the method of consumption and each method has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.  Curious as to how long the effects of CBD last?  Here’s a breakdown of the bioavailability of some common methods of consuming CBD:

  • Oral / Edible: through edibles, tinctures, capsules, or beverages, oral consumption is the most typical way that CBD is consumed.  Using this method, CBD reaches the blood stream only after passing through the digestive system and liver.  The onset of effects can take 30-90 minutes, on an empty stomach, or longer with a full stomach, and typically last 4-6 hours.
    • BIOAVAILABILITY: Oral consumption has a lower bioavailability than sublingual or inhalation, with estimates ranging from 6-20%.  This is because of the journey it takes through the body, which can result in some of the CBD being metabolized and eliminated before it reaches the bloodstream.
    • It’s best to consume edibles with a fat, as CBD is fat-soluble – the more fat consumed, the better the absorption (hence, why all our oils use organic coconut oil as a carrier!)
  • Sublingual: commonly used by those who want to get the most out of their CBD oils and tinctures.  It involves placing a dose of CBD oil or tincture under the tongue and holding it there for 30-60 seconds before swallowing. This method allows for fast absorption of CBD into the bloodstream through the capillaries under the tongue, typically producing effects within 15-45 minutes.
    • BIOAVAILABILITY: Sublingual consumption is one of the most effective methods of delivery, with a reported bioavailability of 12-35%.  This is because the CBD is absorbed directly into the blood stream.
      • As a bonus, the oil or tincture can be swallowed to double down on the sublingual AND oral consumption methods.. allowing you to get even more out of your product.  This is why ALINE cannabis’ first line of products are CBD oils.
  • Inhalation: CBD can be inhaled by smoking or vaping CBD-rich flower or oil. Inhalation offers fast onset of effects, typically within a few minutes, but the duration of the effects is relatively short-lived compared to other methods.  Since it is absorbed through the lungs, CBD can rapidly reach the bloodstream and begin circulating in the body.  The effects peak within 10-15 minutes can last from around 40 minutes to 2 hours.
    • BIOAVAILABILITY: Inhalation has the highest bioavailability of approximately 34-56%, making it one of the most efficient methods of delivery.  However, inhalation comes with the obvious downside of introducing foreign matter into the lungs – which isn’t worth the risk for some.
  • Topical: CBD-infused topicals, such as creams, balms, and lotions, are applied directly to the skin for localized relief of pain, inflammation, and other issues. Topicals are typically non-psychoactive and do not produce systemic effects like other methods of consumption, as the CBD cannot reach the blood stream.  Instead, the compounds interact with the ECS cannabinoid receptors located on the surface of the skin.
    • BIOAVAILABILITY: very low / unknown.  Since the CBD does not enter the bloodstream and is instead only absorbed locally in the skin, the systemic bioavailability is null and the local bioavailability is simply unknown.

Can I microdose CBD?

Yes, you can certainly microdose CBD! In fact, many people find that microdosing is an effective way to experience the benefits of CBD without the risk of overdoing it. Microdosing involves taking a very small amount of CBD, typically between 2.5-10mg, several times throughout the day. This allows you to maintain a consistent level of CBD in your system, which may provide more sustained relief from symptoms.

Microdosing CBD can be particularly helpful for promoting a feeling of calmness and relaxation, increasing vitality, increasing mood, boosting creativity, and managing conditions such as anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. It can also be a useful strategy for individuals who are new to CBD and want to gradually introduce it into their routine. Keep in mind that while microdosing may be effective for some people, others may require higher doses of CBD to achieve the desired effects. It’s important to experiment with different doses and find what works best for you.

When it comes to microdosing CBD, it’s also important to choose the right product. Look for CBD products that are clearly labeled with their CBD content, and consider starting with a low-potency product to make it easier to control your dose. Additionally, be sure to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking medications that may interact with CBD. With some experimentation and careful consideration, microdosing CBD can be a safe and effective way to incorporate the benefits of CBD into your daily routine.

I tried CBD and didn’t feel anything.. now what?

The effects of CBD may not be immediately noticeable for everyone, as its effects are quite subtle.  It’s not akin to drinking a cup of coffee or taking a shot of alcohol, or even eating a marijuana (THC) edible.  The onset not intoxicating.. meaning, no matter how much you take, you’re not going to feel cerebrally “high” or “significantly different”.  If you’re seeking a dramatic, mind-altering effect, or looking to “feel something extra”, you may be disappointed by what CBD has to offer or think that it’s not working.. and likely require an adjustment to your expectations.  CBD is stuck in a weird fog due to its relationship to THC / marijuana / getting high.

While CBD is subtle, when you know what to look for, it will have a powerful effect on your quality of life.  It’s less about what you feel and more about what you don’t feel (aka, the stress, anxiety, depression, feelings of ever-impending doom, pain, insomnia, etc.).

Think of CBD more like a supplement than a “way to get high”.  If you’ve ever taken creatine, the level of input and output are very similar.  On creatine, it is suggested that one increase the saturation of creatine in the body.. and then maintain a steady dose, daily, over time to maintain a that level of saturation.  You don’t get high from creatine; you don’t “feel” the effects of creatine in any way.  However, a quick Google search will return thousands of studies on its effectiveness in promoting muscle recovery (and indirectly muscle growth) along with millions of consumer reports.  CBD is extremely similar but, instead of promoting muscle growth and recovery by affecting the muscles, it affects the your body’s entire endocannabinoid system which can stimulate a wide array of effects (both mental and physical).

Some people may feel the effects within minutes; others may not notice anything for several days, or potentially weeks. This is because CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which can take time to saturate and fully balance.

It’s a weird phenomenon, but many users don’t realize what CBD has done for them, for the first time, until *after* they stop taking it and all the uneasiness of the world, their stress, anxiety, etc. come rushing back into their lives.  Keep adjusting your dose and ensure you stay consistent for at least 30 days – and if you still don’t notice anything, break for 10 days to evaluate yourself back to baseline to determine if you can decipher the magic then.

The best way that I can describe it is like noticing a subtle sound blanket being placed over the anxious / panicky parts of me – and an aura of calmness that encapsulates me alongside an enhanced feeling of vitality and a better sleep (specifically waking up in the middle of the night).  Other consumer reports have described it as everything from an overwhelming sense of calm, their pain (and even fear) melting away and evaporating into the air to simply helping them think more clearly in the office and focus on tasks that need to be done rather than worrying about the external noise.

And remember, our bodies and minds are different.. so you will inevitably react differently to CBD than myself, or your friends and family, or your coworkers.  There is no one-size fits all approach to CBD.  

Also, ensure your CBD source is quality and tested!

The dietary supplement industry is like the wild west.  There is no government regulation or enforced standards of this stuff.  Not all CBD products are created equal, and you need to be an educated consumer in order to separate the good stuff from expensive imposters.  Continue to educate yourself and ensure that you understand what a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) is and how to read one.  ALINE cannabis’ products are all third-party lab tested for quality and potency.


Can I overdose on CBD?

It is highly unlikely to fatally overdose on CBD, and no fatal overdose cases have been reported in scientific literature to date.  A potentially toxic dose reported at 20,000mg (2,000 bottles of our 1,000mg strength!) of CBD in one sitting is still not considered to be lethal.

According to the National Cancer Institute, CBD is well-tolerated and has a good safety profile, even at extremely high doses. In fact, a study published in Current Drug Safety found that CBD had a better safety profile than many commonly used pharmaceutical drugs, indicating that CBD is generally well-tolerated by most people.

However, it’s important to note that taking excessive doses of CBD can cause some mild side effects, such as dry mouth, drowsiness, fatigue, or general discomfort. Therefore, it’s always best to start with a low dose and gradually increase until you achieve the desired effects, and to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any CBD regimen.


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