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CBD Dosage Calculator: How Much CBD Should I Take?

The optimal dose of CBD depends on your weight and the potency of the oil you’re using.

Learn how to find the perfect dose using our CBD dosage calculator.

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Everybody’s been talking about CBD oil and its long list of health benefits. You’ve shopped around and found a high-quality CBD oil to start yourself off with and you’re ready to get started.

How much do I take? Can I take too much?

In this article, we’re going to talk about dosing CBD oil. We’ll cover how dosing can vary depending on factors like weight, age, the condition you’re treating, the potency of the oil you’re using, and more.

You’ll learn how to find the best dose for your body, and what to do if you experience side effects.

To make dosing as easy as possible, you can also use our CBD oil dosage calculator — which estimates your optimal dose based on your weight, desired strength, and potency of the CBD oil you’re using.

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

Updated on January 08, 2021

Table of Contents
  • CBD Oil Dosage Calculator
  • What’s the Normal Dose of CBD?
    • CBD Dosage For Anxiety
    • CBD Dosage For Pain
    • CBD Dosage For Sleep
    • CBD Dosage For Depression
  • Calculating the Dose of CBD Based on Your Weight (How This Calculator Works)
    • CBD Dosage Chart by Weight & Strength (in mg)
  • What CBD Strength Should I Use?
    • Recommended Strength by Condition
  • Dosing CBD: 4 Steps to Finding the Perfect Dose of CBD Oil
    • Step #1: Find Your Optimal CBD Dose
      • Here’s the General Rule of Thumb for CBD Dosing According to Weight & Strength:
      • How To Calculate Dose From Your Weight
      • Here’s an example of this in practice:
    • Step #2: Determine the Potency of Your CBD Oil
      • Here’s What You Need to Take Into Account:
      • Use This Formula to Calculate Potency:
      • Reference Chart for CBD Oil Potencies:
    • Step #3: Convert the Dose into Drops (Optional)
      • Common CBD Oil Doses By Drop (Assuming the Dropper Provides 30 Drops per mL):
      • How to Find the Number of Drops of CBD Oil You Need Based On Your Target Dose:
      • Quick Reference Chart For Finding The Number of Drops Per Dose For Common CBD Oil Potencies
    • Step #4: Tweak The Dose To Match Your Body
      • Every time you try a new brand of CBD, the dose can change due to factors such as:
  • Pro Tip: Match the Potency of the Oil With Your Estimated Target Dose
  • Top-Rated Best CBD Oils for 2021
  • Key Takeaways: How Much CBD Should I Use?

CBD Oil Dosage Calculator

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What’s the Normal Dose of CBD?

The most common dose of CBD is 20 – 40 mg per dose. Some people take much less (as low as 1 mg), others take much higher (up to 100 mg).

Depending on the strength of the product you’re using, this could be anywhere from a few drops to several milliliters of oil. It could also involve anywhere from 1 – 5 capsules or gummies per dose.

The truth is that the optimal dose of CBD is different for everybody.

It’s common for two people with identical weight to respond very differently to the same dose of CBD. One person may find the ideal dose for them is 30 mg of CBD, while the other responds better to just 10 mg.

The ideal dose of CBD for you depends on a variety of factors, including:

  1. Your size and weight
  2. The severity of the condition you’re treating
  3. Your tolerance to CBD
  4. Your individual body chemistry
  5. The potency of the CBD oil, capsules, gummies, or other CBD products you’re using

The best way to find the right dose for your body is to start with a very low dose (2 mg, for example) and increasing by 2-5 mg per dose until you find what works best for you.

CBD Dosage For Anxiety

The effective dose of CBD oil for anxiety or chronic stress usually falls on the moderate to heavy range of the spectrum.

However, some people with anxiety disorders find they’re especially sensitive to CBD may only need a small dose.

When using CBD oil to manage anxiety levels, it’s best to start with a mild dose first to see how you respond. If you don’t see any improvement, move up to the moderate dosage next. Most people notice improvement with the moderate or heavy dosage according to their weight.

For best results, take CBD oil first thing in the morning, and repeat around lunch time. Many people will take a mild “booster dose” about 30 to 60 minutes before engaging in activities that trigger their anxiety.

CBD Dosage For Pain

The dose of CBD oil for pain can vary significantly. For mild pain, such as low-grade arthritis, mild PMS pain, or low back pain — a mild or moderate dose of CBD oil will usually do the trick.

For more severe pain, nerve pain, or treatment-resistant multiple sclerosis or cancer pain — you’ll likely need to use a heavy dose of CBD oil.

Some people experience the painkilling benefits of CBD oil immediately, others need to take the oil for a few days or weeks before noticing any improvement.

The time it takes to notice improvement depends on the underlying condition that’s causing the pain.

Inflammatory pain, cancer pain, or pain from endometriosis can take a long time — while arthritis pain, digestive pain, muscle pain, and PMS pain usually improve within a few hours of taking CBD oil.

For arthritis or joint pain, you can get faster effects by using a CBD pain cream alongside your CBD oil.

CBD Dosage For Sleep

CBD oil has been shown to improve both the quality and duration of sleep — but studies have shown the effective dose of CBD oil for sleep is higher than other conditions. Aim for the heavy dose of CBD oil if the goal is to improve your sleep.

Low doses of CBD (less than 10 mg) can have a stimulating effect, while higher doses (20 mg or higher) are generally much more sedative. The more CBD oil you use, the stronger the sedative effect.

Certain types of CBD extracts also tend to have a stronger impact on sleep. For example, CBD oils that contain sleep-supportive terpenes such as linalool, bisabolol, lavandin, or myrcene have the strongest sedative action.

You can also find CBD oils that contain melatonin to make the oil even better for promoting sleep.

CBD Dosage For Depression

CBD oil is useful for managing symptoms of many mood disorders — including depression.

Finding the right dose of CBD oil for depression can take some trial and error. The underlying processes that cause depression don’t happen overnight, and they won’t disappear overnight either. It can take several weeks or months of steady CBD oil supplementation — along with other lifestyle modifications — before you can expect any real improvement.

It’s best to start with a mild or moderate dosage of CBD oil for a few weeks before graduating to the heavy dose once you understand how CBD affects your body individually.

Calculating the Dose of CBD Based on Your Weight (How This Calculator Works)

While the dose of CBD is unique for everybody, there is a general rule of thumb that can be used to determine an estimated dose based on your weight and the strength of effects you’re looking for (low, medium, and high strength).

cbd dosage

Our dosage calculator is based on the calculations listed below. These doses are estimates and should not be used to replace professional medical advice regarding dosage.

I recommend you start with the low-strength dose when using CBD for the first time and increase the dose slowly over time. When you find a dose that works, you’ve found the right dose for your body. If you experience side effects, you’ve found your upper limit. Reduce the dose to the last amount that didn’t produce side effects.

Calculating the Dose of CBD By Weight & Strength:
  • Low strength → 1 mg CBD per 10 pounds (2 mg per 10 kg)
  • Medium strength → 3 mg CBD per 10 pounds (7 mg per 10 kg)
  • High strength → 6 mg CBD per 10 pounds (13 mg per 10 kg)

It’s important to note that this measurement is in pure CBD, not CBD oil.

We’ll go over calculating how much CBD oil this dose works out to later on. Once you know how much CBD you should be using, you can find the equivalent amount of CBD oil depending on the potency of the oil you’re using.

CBD Dosage Chart by Weight & Strength (in mg)

The optimal dose of CBD depends on the combination of your weight and desired dosage.

A smaller, 90 lb woman is going to need a much smaller dose than a large 250 lb football player — for example. And someone looking for mild relief from stress or anxiety isn’t going to need a high dose like someone looking to treat persistent pain.

You can use this CBD dosage chart to visualize how the dose of CBD changes according to your body weight and desired strength of effects.

The optimal dose of CBD depends on your weight and the potency of the oil you're using. Learn how to find the perfect dose with our CBD dosage calculator

The Health Benefits of CBD Oil

This cannabis extract may help treat nerve pain, anxiety, and epilepsy

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Cathy Wong is a nutritionist and wellness expert. Her work is regularly featured in media such as First For Women, Woman’s World, and Natural Health.

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Lana Butner, ND, LAc, is a board-certified naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist in private practice in New York City .

CBD oil is an extract of Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa—the same plants that, when dried, make marijuana. CBD oil is believed by some to treat pain, reduce anxiety, and stimulate appetite in the same way that marijuana does, but without its psychoactive effects. CBD has also shown promise in treating certain types of seizures.

CBD is the short name for cannabidiol, one of the two chemicals—among the dozens in cannabis—that have the most health benefits. The other, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is what gets people “high.” CBD oil generally does not contain THC, although some trace amounts may be present in products sold in certain states.

CBD oil contains CBD mixed with an inert carrier oil, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. The bottled oil, called a tincture, is sold in various concentrations. There are also CBD capsules, CBD gummies, and under-the-tongue CBD sprays.

Conditions that CBD oil may help to improve

Health Benefits

CBD’s exact mechanism of action is unclear. Unlike THC, CBD has a relatively low affinity for cannabinoid receptors in the brain. These are the molecules to which THC binds to elicit its psychoactive effects.

Instead, CBD is thought to influence other receptors, including opioid receptors that regulate pain and glycine receptors involved in the regulation of the “feel-good” hormone serotonin.

Proponents claim that CBD oil can treat a wide variety of health problems, including:

  • Acne
  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Drug addiction and withdrawal
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle spasms
  • Parkinson’s disease

Despite the growing popularity of CBD use, CBD oil remains sorely under-researched. As such, some of these claims are better supported by studies than others.

Here is just some of what the current evidence says.

Anxiety

CBD shows promise in the treatment of anxiety disorders, suggests a 2015 review of studies in the journal Neurotherapeutics.   According to the investigators, CBD demonstrated potent anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) effects in animal research, albeit with counterintuitive results.

In all but a few studies, lower doses of CBD (10 milligrams per kilogram, mg/kg, or less) were better able to treat symptoms of anxiety. Higher doses (100 mg/kg or more) exhibited virtually no effect.

Part of this response could be explained by the way that CBD acts in the brain. In many cases, CBD works as an agonist, meaning that it triggers an opposite response when binding to a receptor. It is possible that low doses can elicit a positive agonist response, while high doses overwhelm the brain and trigger a compensatory effect to fight CBD’s effects.

Among the few human trials evaluating CBD’s anxiolytic effects was one published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry in 2019.   For this study, 57 men were given either CBD oil or a placebo before a public-speaking event. Anxiety was evaluated using physiological measures (such as blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) and a relatively reliable test for mood states known as the Visual Analog Mood Scale (VAMS).

According to the investigators, men provided 300 mg of CBD exhibited less anxiety than those given a placebo. Interestingly, those provided 100 mg or 600 mg of CBD oil did not.

Addiction

CBD oil may benefit those with drug addiction, suggests a 2015 review of studies published in Substance Abuse.

In an analysis of 14 published studies (nine involving animals and five involving humans), scientists with the University of Montreal concluded that CBD “showed promise” in treating people with opioid, cocaine, or psychostimulant addiction.

However, the effect of CBD on each addiction type was often very different. With opioid addiction, for example, CBD showed little effect in minimizing withdrawal symptoms in the absence of THC. By contrast, CBD on its own appeared effective in minimizing drug-seeking behaviors in users of cocaine, methamphetamine, and other psychostimulant drugs.

There have also been suggestions that CBD may aid in the treatment of cannabis and nicotine addiction. Further research is needed.

Nerve Pain

Medical marijuana is frequently prescribed to people with intractable (treatment-resistant) pain, including those with terminal cancer. There is some evidence that CBD contributes to this benefit.

According to a 2012 study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, rats injected with inflammatory chemicals in their hind feet experienced less inflammation and neuropathic pain when treated with an oral dose and spinal injection of CBD.  

Scientists believe that CBD reduces nerve pain by binding to glycine receptors in the brain that regulate the speed at which nerve signals pass between nerve cells.

Human studies evaluating the use of CBD in treating chronic pain are lacking. Those that do exist almost invariably include THC, making it difficult to isolate CBD’s distinct effects.

Heart Health

CBD oil may reduce the risk of heart disease by alleviating hypertension (high blood pressure) in certain people, suggests a 2017 study in JCI Insight.  

For this study, nine healthy men took either 600 mg of CBD or the same dose of a placebo. According to the researcher, those treated with CBD had lower blood pressure before and after exposure to stressful stimuli (including exercise or extreme cold).

In addition, the stroke volume (the amount of blood remaining in the heart after a heartbeat) was significantly reduced, meaning that the heart was pumping more efficiently.

The findings suggest that CBD oil may be a suitable complementary therapy for people whose hypertension is complicated by stress and anxiety. However, there is no evidence that CBD oil can treat hypertension on its own or prevent hypertension in people at risk. While stress is known to complicate high blood pressure, it cannot cause hypertension.

Seizures

In June 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, a CBD oral solution used for the treatment of certain rare forms of epilepsy in children under 2—Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.   Both are exceptionally rare genetic disorders causing lifelong catastrophic seizures that begin during the first year of life.

Outside of these two disorders, CBD’s effectiveness in treating seizures is uncertain. Even with Epidiolex, it is uncertain whether the anti-seizure effects can be attributed to CBD or some other factor.  

There is some evidence that CBD interacts with seizure medications such as Onfi (clobazam) and “boosts” their concentration in the blood. This would not only make the drugs more effective but extend their half-lives as well. Further research is needed.

Possible Side Effects

Clinical research has shown that CBD oil can trigger side effects. Severity and type can vary from one person to the next.   Common symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in mood
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

CBD oil may also increase liver enzymes (a marker of liver inflammation). People with liver disease should use CBD oil with caution, ideally under the care of a doctor who can regularly check blood liver enzyme levels.

CBD oil should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding. A 2018 study from the American Academy of Pediatrics warned women to avoid marijuana during pregnancy due to the potential risks to a baby’s development.   Although it is unclear how CBD contributes, CBD is known to pass through the placental barrier.

If you are thinking about using CBD oil to treat a health condition, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider to ensure that it is the right option for you.

Since some CBD oils contain trace amounts of THC, you should avoid driving or using heavy machinery when taking CBD oil, particularly when first starting treatment or using a new brand.

Interactions

CBD oil can interact with certain medications, including some drugs used to treat epilepsy. CBD inhibits an enzyme called cytochrome P450 (CYP450), which certain drugs use for metabolization. By interfering with CYP450, CBD may either increase the toxicity or decrease the effectiveness of these drugs.

Potential drug-drug interactions with CBD include:

  • Anti-arrhythmia drugs like quinidine
  • Anticonvulsants like Tegretol (carbamazepine) and Trileptal (oxcarbazepine)
  • Antifungal drugs like Nizoral (ketoconazole) and Vfend (voriconazole)
  • Antipsychotic drugs like Orap (pimozide)
  • Atypical antidepressants like Remeron (mirtazapine)
  • Benzodiazepine sedatives like Klonopin (clonazepam) and Halcion (triazolam)
  • Immune-suppressive drugs like Sandimmune (cyclosporine)
  • Macrolide antibiotics like clarithromycin and telithromycin
  • Migraine medications like Ergomar (ergotamine)
  • Opioid painkillers like Duragesic (fentanyl) and alfentanil
  • Rifampin-based drugs used to treat tuberculosis

Many of these interactions are mild and require no adjustment to treatment. Others may require a drug substitution or the separation of doses by several hours.

To avoid interactions, advise your doctor and pharmacist about any drugs you are taking, whether they are prescription, over-the-counter, herbal, or recreational.

Dosage and Preparation

There are no guidelines for the appropriate use of CBD oil. CBD oil is usually delivered sublingually (under the tongue). Most oils are sold in 30-milliliter (mL) bottles with a dropper cap.

There is currently no known “correct” dose of CBD oil. Depending on who you speak to, the daily dose can range anywhere from 5 mg to 25 mg.

The tricky part is calculating the exact amount of CBD per milliliter of oil. Some tinctures have concentrations of 1,500 mg per 30 mL, while others have 3,000 mg per mL (or more).

How to Calculate CBD Dose

To determine an exact dose of CBD, remember that each drop of oil equals 0.05 mL of fluid. This means that a 30-mL bottle of CBD oil will have roughly 600 drops. If the concentration of the tincture is 1,500 mg/mL, one drop would contain 2.5 mg of CBD (1,500 mg ÷ 600 drops = 2.5 mg).

To use CBD oil, place one or more drops under the tongue and hold the dose there for 30 to 60 seconds without swallowing. Capsules and gummies are easier to dose, although they tend to be more costly. CBD sublingual sprays are used mainly for convenience.

What to Look For

Aficionados of CBD oil will tell you to buy full-spectrum oils over CBD isolates. Unlike isolates, which contain CBD only, full-spectrum oils contain a variety of compounds found naturally in the cannabis plant, including proteins, flavonoids, terpenes, and chlorophyll. Alternative practitioners believe these compounds offer more substantial health benefits, although there is no clear evidence of this.

Remember, because CBD oils are largely unregulated, there is no guarantee that a product is either safe or effective.

According to a 2017 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, only 30.95% of CBD products sold online were correctly labeled. Most contained less CBD than advertised, while 21.43% had significant amounts of THC.  

Here are a few tips to help you find the best CBD oil:

  • Buy American. Domestically produced CBD oil tends to be safer because of better growing and refining practices.
  • Go organic. Brands certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are less likely to expose you to pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
  • Read the product label. Even if you choose a full-spectrum oil, don’t assume that every ingredient on the product label is natural. There may be preservatives, flavorings, or thinning agents that you don’t want or need. If you don’t recognize an ingredient, ask the dispenser what it is or check online.

Are CBD Oil and Hemp Oil the Same?

Not necessarily. Although some people use the terms synonymously, they may also be referring to hemp seed oil, which is primarily used for cooking, food production, and skincare products. CBD oil is made from the leaves, stems, buds, and flowers of the Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa plant and should contain less than 0.3% THC. Hemp oil is made from the seeds of Cannabis sativa and contains no TCH.

CBD oil is made from cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating extract of marijuana, and is believed to treat pain, anxiety, and seizures.