Finding Your CBD Form and Amount
The beauty of cannabidiol (CBD) is that it’s completely customizable. Which is refreshing since we’re not all exactly alike. And neither are our health needs. Currently, there is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for CBD. But even if there were, the fact would remain that there’s no blanket dose with CBD; how much you take and what method you use will be unique to you.
We’re all different. Depending on certain criteria, like age, weight, diet, metabolism, and the tone of our endocannabinoid system (ECS), we all process CBD differently. (Learn more about the ECS, the master regulatory system that oversees our central nervous system, immune system, and various organs.) Therefore, target CBD doses vary from person to person.
So how are you supposed to figure out where to start with CBD dosing? It’s as easy as knowing the condition (and its severity) that you want to address. In this post, we’ll show you how to take that information and head down the path to your CBD sweet spot.
CBD is Safe
Compared to most prescription meds and even a lot of OTC medications, CBD is known to have a safe profile. There is no established lethal dose of CBD. While safety studies of CBD in human clinical trials are limited, those that have been performed in humans and animal models confirm the “often described favorable safety profile of CBD in humans”.
CBD Side Effects
The side effects associated with CBD are pretty tame. Often people don’t experience any adverse effects. But there are some and you should know what to possibly expect. They include:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Drowsiness when taken in high doses
- Inhibition of hepatic drug metabolism (cytochrome p450). Be cautious of taking CBD with a prescription drug that says not to take it with grapefruit.
CBD and the Liver Toxicity Elephant in the Room
Some limited studies have shown that very high doses of CBD taken orally, like in the University of Arkansas CBD extract mouse study and in the Epidiolex clinical trials, can cause liver toxicity. Keep in mind, many drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol), alcohol, and even Vitamins A and niacin can cause liver toxicity if too much of them are consumed. (Notice we said CBD taken orally, because there are other forms of CBD that bypass the liver … like liposomal CBD, CBD hemp flower, topicals, and, for the most part, sublinguals).
In both of these studies, large doses of CBD, beyond the normal therapeutic range (.05 mg/kg to 20 mg/kg of CBD per day—the mice got the human equivalent of 200 mg/kg per day), were the cause of high levels of liver enzymes.
While it is important and common for science to push thresholds to know what the limits of a product are, we also know that this side effect is manageable. CBD, overall, and unlike many drugs humans take on the regular—e.g., benzodiazepines, NSAIDs, and ADHD drugs—has a good safety profile.
As you will see from our charts below, most people on a CBD regimen take a much lower dose than what was used in the above instances. And again, you don’t have to route CBD through your liver.
Format Absorbency from Most to Least
The bioavailability (absorption into your bloodstream) of your CBD will vary, not only because of your personal biology, but also because of its formulation. As we mentioned above, not all formats are processed the same. Here we give you a quick rundown on forms from highest to lowest absorbency.
Liposomes: These are sometimes known as “nano” products, and their efficacy is somewhat controversial. However, we know of one product on the market that has up to 85% bioavailability: Puffin Hemp Liposomal CBD. How do we know this? Well, we know the award-winning chemist who created Puffin Hemp (he’s been studying liposomes for nearly two decades), and he has peer-reviewed research to prove it. These liposomes bypass digestion and the liver, protecting CBD from the harsh environment of your gut as they deliver it into your bloodstream. It works great for immediate, powerful relief from pain and anxiety, but also works wonders as a daily maintenance for things like keeping your blood sugar in check.
Vape/Smoking: Inhaling raw hemp flower that is high in CBD and CBG will get you 30-50% absorbency. This form bypasses digestion by taking the lung route to your bloodstream. This form will peak more quickly than an oral form, but it will not last as long, about 45 minutes to an hour. It works great for immediate relief from pain, anxiety, and sleeplessness.
Sublingual: This is an oral form, but instead of swallowing directly into your stomach, you hold it under your tongue or swish it in your mouth for 30-90 seconds. More of the CBD will then absorb through glands in your mouth. These have an absorbency of 12-35% and last 2-4 hours. Sublinguals can be in the form of tinctures, oils, sprays, and lozenges. Sublinguals are fast-acting and are also great for daily preventative health.
Oral: Oral forms of CBD include edibles, capsules, drinks, and oils. Because these are processed through digestion, they have the lowest bioavailability—about 5-20%. But the effects of oral CBD stay around for 4-6 hours. Keep in mind, the effects of swallowed CBD increase on a full stomach. CBD is fat-soluble and its absorption increases 3-fold when taken with healthy fats. High-quality full spectrum CBD like Ananda Hemp CBD Oil Softgels contains MCT oil, which is brilliant at escorting CBD through digestion. Despite their low bioavailability, oral forms are great for a daily regimen that aims to maintain chronic pain, chronic anxiety, sleep patterns, appetite, and overall mood. Think of it as a daily squirt of oil to help smooth your ECS funtions.
Quality and Full Spectrum Absolutely Make a Difference
Please keep in mind that our recommended doses are for high-quality CBD and full or broad spectrum products. We believe that when you have a full spectrum CBD product, you don’t have to take as much as you would with a so-called pure isolate CBD. Full spectrum CBD retains the beneficial cannabis plant compounds like cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals, that work together to heighten your CBD with what experts call the entourage effect.
But we don’t simply “believe” this. We’ve seen the evidence.
In a study done with Puffin Hemp Liposomal CBD , just a 10 mg dropper a day for 30 days normalized the blood glucose lever of all five participants who started out with high levels. That’s a pretty low dose of CBD to have such substantial results!
Dosing CBD—Ease in with a 7-Day Regimen
Below you will find charts recommending how to begin dosing CBD to find your sweet spot. Once you find it, stay with it. Taking more CBD than necessary could lessen effects. Whether you decide to microdose or standard dose, try to stick with a dose for several days before changing up.
Microdosing can clue you into how very specific doses of CBD throughout the day can make you feel, and what the resulting cumulative effect is at the end of the day. People who practice microdosing believe that the less CBD used, the more effective it is.
Standard dosing is a single amount of CBD once per day. This is for those who want to pop it like a vitamin and get on with their day.
Maintenance or Immediate Relief (You Can Do Both)
You are not going to OD on CBD. However, you need to find out first how it affects you and where the sweet spot is. More is not always better with CBD. It tends to work better with regular use. In fact, if you start taking a lot more than you need, it could actually become less effective.
Consider what you need CBD for and how you want it to work for you. Then choose a form accordingly. Again, we recommend only high-quality, full or broad spectrum CBD. At The Hemp Haus, we recommend taking Ananda Hemp Softgels for a baseline of full spectrum hemp in your system. Then, we recommend fast-acting forms like Puffin Hemp Liposomes, Ananda Hemp Tinctures sublingually, or inhaling hemp flower for any breakthrough issues.
For example, if you have chronic pain, you can find your sweet spot of oral CBD by dosing with the charts above, and then using Puffin Hemp Liposomes for any breakthrough pain, say post workout.
If you suffer from regular anxiety, you can find your dose of CBD softgels by using the chart above. But let’s say you have an extra stressful day or feel some social anxiety coming on … you can vape some CBD hemp flower or hold some Ananda Hemp Tincture under your tongue to take the edge off immediately.
With some forms of CBD, like CBD gummies or hemp flower, it’s difficult to dose. With hemp flower, CBD amounts vary. And if you cook or bake with cannabutter, which is made from raw hemp flower, the same variance exists. The good news is, when you purchase hemp flower, you will be able to see the amount of CBD it contains, and go from there. If you use these forms, whether they are your go-to or a supplement to another form, you can experiment with different strains to see what works for you. Just remember two things: 1) Start low and go slow until you know, and 2) Edibles take a lot longer to produce effects than inhalation. So give each CBD form’s effects the proper time to show up before you take more.
Helping people find their CBD sweet spot is what we do at The Hemp Haus. All of our team members use our high-quality CBD brands. We only have a select few because we do not carry products that we would not put in our bodies. Also, we are not high pressure. If you have questions about what form of CBD to take for your need and how to begin dosing, we would love to talk you through it. We’re here to make CBD easy for you!
The Nature’s Breakthrough educational resource is just one of the ways The Hemp Haus practices its sincere commitment to and passion for educating people about CBD and helping them find the right, high-quality product based on their needs.