How to Dose Cannabis—Especially CBD

CBD is everywhere these days. From the menus of cocktail bars and coffee shops, to the shelves of bougie grocery stores and posh day spas, cannabis’ most famous non-psychoactive cannabinoid is having a moment (to under state it) and a lot of people now see it as a way to deal with relief from inflammation, sleep issues, stress, and even epilepsy.

But people aren’t talking enough about dose. Let’s be real: Things can go wrong if you’re not paying attention to where—and how—you’re getting your CBD. With dosing, more isn’t necessarily better, and just like sunshine, soup, and sex, the law of diminishing returns applies to this substance.

It’s easy to take too much without realizing it, and suffer side effects like decreased appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and fatigue. 

In fact, some studies show a bell curve in response to CBD. Which is to say, at a low dose, you don’t see the intended effect. At a moderate dose, you do see the intended effect. And at high doses, you go back to seeing no effect. Dosing comes down to what you’re treating, your method, and what else is in the product.

There still isn’t a whole lot of research regarding CBD dosage. So just like starting a new any new health regiment, we have to make some judgement calls: It’s on us to listen to our bodies.

Here are our fail-safe tips for getting your dose just right.

Read up

CBD isn’t the same in every circumstance. Be sure to educate yourself on the various methods of CBD extraction, the “entourage effect,” and look for full spectrum CBD so you have the cannabis plant’s full profile of terpenes and cannabinoids, working alongside the CBD to increase its effects.

Different states may have different regulations on extraction, so it’s important to know what you’re putting in your body before you do it. There are many sources (like Miss Grass, hello!) that can help you find the right products.

Identify the goal

Do you want to treat chronic pain? Are you trying to help with a specific condition like psoriasis? Maybe it’s just to re-balance your body? Regardless of the intent, make sure you know what you want out of your CBD.

It’s not a miracle cure, but it can be a great asset to your usual self-care routine if used responsibly. If you want CBD to help you out with sleep, it’s useful to experiment with the time of day, along with the dose, to achieve the best results. CBD will not work the same way for everyone—so experiment.

Start low, go slow

You don’t necessarily have to dive right into a what might ultimately be your preferred dose. Using a new skincare or makeup product requires the same kind of trial and error, like putting a dab on your skin before applying the whole thing.

Start with a 10mg dose and work your way in 10mg increments. Many people find 30mg a day to be a good dose, but you might need less or more.

Keep a journal

It can be really beneficial to write down the different variables that go into your CBD ritual, so you can keep track of the results. Things like brand, purity, CBD concentration, the presence of other ingredients, time of day, and how close you consume it to meals.

Think of it like your period tracker, or a vitamin diary—you’re identifying patterns, as it were. 

Embrace the fats

Under most circumstances, CBD doesn’t absorb all that well when digested by mouth. Ingesting it with fats helps the body break down the compound and distribute it into your system.

CBD tinctures can usually help with the process, as most are made with MCT or coconut oil. And it’s always good to hold your tincture under your tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing.

Mind the time

CBD is a popular tool for getting a good night’s sleep, but that doesn’t mean it’ll work for you that way. In fact, for some people, CBD has an alerting effect, like having had too much coffee.

For others, it’s sedating or calming. You could try consuming it midday, or even morning, to see how it makes you feel. If you’re not wired and bouncing off the walls then you can start taking it for bedtime purposes. Easy!

Apply it topically

Topicals are a great CBD starting point. Dose doesn’t matter nearly as much when applying CBD in the forms of lotions, balms, and serums. You could bathe in a tub of CBD lotion if you really wanted, but you know, it might get a little expensive.

Consider the big picture

It’s always good to chat with your healthcare provider before including CBD into your routine, in case there may be issues with existing medications or conditions.

Find a doctor you trust with this information. You don’t need us to tell you the importance of a reliable, non-judgement medical professional though, right?