How much CBD should you take?

Every question about CBD needs to be answered thoroughly so that consumers can navigate the CBD industry with the least amount of confusion possible. One of the most frequently asked questions is how much CBD should you take?

It seems like a simple question, but it’s deceptively complicated. There are a lot of factors to consider before deciding how much CBD to take.




  • The type of CBD product – edible vs topical vs oil, etc
  • Consumer weight
  • Symptom severity
  • CBD and cannabinoid tolerance

So the answer to the question, “how much CBD should I take?” is… it depends.

The first line of defense, as with anything consumers plan to ingest, should be speaking with a physician. But if anyone doesn’t have access to an open-minded doctor who knows about CBD, this will provide a good starting point.

What is CBD?

CBD is a phytocannabinoid that can be found in both hemp and marijuana. Unlike its well-known cousin THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. This essentially means that CBD does not have the ability to produce a high effect.

CBD starts out as CBDA. CBDA is a raw cannabinoid acid and the precursor of CBD. Once CBDA has undergone the process of decarboxylation, which is simply the process of being exposed to heat over an extended period of time, it is converted into CBD. The decarboxylation process can happen naturally through warm weather exposure or through heat exposure in a growing facility.

To learn more about CBD read our blog What is CBD Blog.

What is the product type?

Now that we’ve gone over what CBD is, let’s take a look at bioavailability. Different types of CBD products have different bioavailabilities, which means they get absorbed by the body in different amounts.

For example, topical CBD, like creams and lotions, have a bioavailability of up to 45%, whereas oral absorption (like an edible) clocks in between 6-15%. If someone took 10mg of CBD – taken as a topical, they would absorb up to 4.5mg total CBD. If they took a 10mg gummy, they’d absorb somewhere between 0.6-1.5mg CBD.

If someone’s target serving is 5mg, they’ll need a different amount of a topical as opposed to a gummy, and so on. Many people aren’t aware of bioavailability and so when they don’t achieve the results they’re looking for from a certain product, they automatically assume that CBD isn’t the right choice for them.

It’s important to look at the amount of CBD in a product but it’s also important to think about how much of it will be absorbed. Read our blog post on bioavailability to learn about this in further depth.

Consumer weight

The next thing to look at is the consumer’s weight. Someone that weighs 45 kg versus someone that weighs 90 kg may need very different amounts of CBD. This doesn’t only apply to CBD. Many other products that are health and wellness related also factor in weight. Different body sizes simply require different amounts of CBD to achieve the same results.

Symptom severity

Although CBD isn’t a cure for anything, it’s still important to factor in symptom severity. The amount of CBD someone with mild symptoms needs may be very different for someone that is suffering from moderate to severe symptoms.

For mild symptoms, it’s often recommended to have low doses of CBD whereas moderate to severe symptoms may require much higher amounts.

CBD and cannabinoid tolerance

Some people may simply be more tolerant of CBD and other cannabinoids than others. The easiest way to explain this is through the example of THC. Some people may need to take 5mg of THC to feel high while others may need 10mg or more to experience the same effects.

Some people use CBD and report feeling no change whatsoever even at extremely high doses. This may be because they are simply more tolerant of it than most people or it could mean that CBD isn’t the right match for them. Scientists haven’t figured it out yet. The only way to know if it’s the right choice is by adjusting the amount of CBD consumed.

Rule of thumb

The most important thing to keep in mind when trying CBD is: Start low, and go slow. We always recommended starting with the smallest possible recommended dosage and working up from there.

How to figure out how much CBD you’re getting in each serving

Once the CBD dosage needed is clear, next comes figuring out how much CBD is in each serving size. If the amount of CBD per serving isn’t clearly indicated on a product there’s a simple way of figuring it out.

Tinctures and oils: If the product contains 1000mg of CBD and 30ml of liquid you simply divide 1000 by 30 to find out the exact amount of CBD in one dropper. Ex: 1000 divided by 30 = 33.3mg of CBD per dropper

Gummies, capsules, and other: Similarly to oils and tinctures, if a bottle or package contains a total of 400mg of CBD and 40 gummies, each gummy contains 10mg of CBD.

Topicals: When it comes to topicals it can be a little more difficult to figure out the exact amount of CBD in each serving. The reason why is because everyone uses a different amount of the product. A typical serving size in topical products is considered to be around the size of a pea.

Unless the product is in a pump style bottle like Medterra’s Rapid Cooling Cream 750mg it’s impossible to know the exact amount of mg of CBD per serving that is provided by CBD topicals.  

Possible side effects of using too much CBD

Although everyone looking to try CBD is hoping for positive results, taking too much CBD can cause unwanted side effects.

Although side effects are rare, they can include:

  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Medication Metabolism Changes

In order to prevent side effects from occurring, start at a lower dosage, and work up from there. It’s also important to stick to the same dosage for at least a week before increasing it.

CBD can take from as little as one day all the way up to a week of time to start having an effect on certain consumers. It’s important to stay patient and remember that finding the right CBD dosage can be a process of trial and error.

Key Takeaways

When trying to figure out the right CBD dosage always keep in mind:

  • The type of CBD product – edible vs topical vs oil, etc
  • Consumer weight
  • Symptom severity
  • CBD and cannabinoid tolerance

We know that this is a lot of information to take in. That’s why we created a handy CBD Serving Size Calculator to help consumers figure out how much CBD to take.

Click here to head to our Dosage Calculator now. Our calculator provides dosage recommendations based on consumer weight and symptom severity. It doesn’t factor in product bioavailability or tolerance levels to CBD and other cannabinoids.

For any questions in regards to the information provided in this blog feel free to contact us by email, chat or phone.

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**This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately.

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