The CBD industry is relatively new and, as such, it’s still full of question marks. One question is on the mind of veteran and newbie CBD users the most – what’s the best CBD oil dosage?
This is not an easy question to answer, to be honest. That’s because there are still no recommendations out there when it comes to CBD dosage. Most supplements that are available have an RDI number (Recommended Daily Intake). However, the FDA didn’t assign one to CBD, which makes things a bit more complicated.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t any CBD dosage guesstimates. There are. And, they are rooted in actual years-long experience of using CBD. But, before we dive into them, it’s important to talk a bit about the bioavailability of the compound in question. Only when you understand that will you be able to calculate the correct CBD oil dosage for yourself.
Knowing all this will help you take just enough CBD vape juice — you’ll get the benefits, but you won’t waste money.
What Is The Bioavailability of CBD?
Wikipedia defines bioavailability as “a subcategory of absorption and a fraction of an administered dose of unchanged drug that reaches the systemic circulation”.
Sounds a bit scientific, right?
That’s perfectly fine — I have a hack for that.
Just think of bioavailability as the proportion of a drug that enters the bloodstream and is able to have an active effect on you.
Bioavailability of every drug depends on the method of administration – oral, inhalation, sublingual, intravenous, rectal, and topical. When talking about CBD, all the methods are available except the intravenous one (at least, I’ve never heard of anyone taking CBD through an IV). This is a shame since only IV administration is considered to reach 100% bioavailability. All other methods of administration are compared to it and expressed as a percentage of that possible perfect score.
Bioavailability of a method of administration of CBD is not only important to establish the correct CBD dosage you should take. It also helps you determine the most cost-effective way to take your medicine. So, let’s take a look at the methods available and compare them before we move on to the ways of establishing how much CBD you need to take on a daily basis.
Oral CBD Administration
Oral CBD administration is by far the most common one. Think capsules and edibles such as gummies, butter, chewies, and so on. This is understandable because the oral method of administration is by far the easiest one.
Unfortunately, the bioavailability of orally taken CBD is not the best. One study concluded that it’s around 6%, which means that a whopping 94% of CBD went to waste and never reached the bloodstream of the study participants (the edible in question was a 40 mg CBD chocolate cookie). Another study came up with a slightly different average of 15%. However, this study was done on dogs, and we know that animal and human oral bioavailability can’t be easily compared.
Oral bioavailability of CBD is low because the compound needs to go through the gut and the liver, and the absorption rates on the way are not the best. In fact, certain enzymes in the liver have a strong effect on CBD, and break it down (fast) on more than 100 different metabolites.
Still, if you prefer to take your CBD through edibles or capsules, don’t despair – there are several ways you can improve its bioavailability. The best way is to add your CBD powders or butter to foods rich in long-chain fatty acids, such as oils, fish dishes, and things like that. This allows some of the CBD that would otherwise be lost to bypass the liver as it gets access to the bloodstream via the intestinal lymphatic system.
CBD Administration Through Inhalation
When compared to the oral administration, CBD inhalation is a hands down winner. Although more studies have been done on THC inhalation than CBD inhalation, we can draw relevant conclusions because two compounds have the same lipophilicity (dissolve in fats in a similar ratio).
One specific study that looked into the inhalation of CBD found that its mean bioavailability with this route was around 31%. This is just slightly less than triple than the most optimistic predictions for oral administration.
The high bioavailability seen with this route of administration is due to the fact that the lungs have high permeability, a large absorptive surface area and a good blood supply for CBD to enter the systemic circulation. So if you need high doses of CBD — and you need them to act fast — your best bet is investing in a quality CBD vape pen.
Sublingual CBD Administration
When it comes to ease and comfort of use, the sublingual (under the tongue) administration is up there with the oral one. Think about it – there’s nothing difficult about dropping a few drops of tincture or oil under your tongue and holding it there, is there?
Sublingual CBD bioavailability is substantially higher than the oral one, but it also depends on many factors. Although it bypasses the first-pass metabolism (the gut), you need to be able to hold the CBD tincture under your tongue for as long as possible before swallowing. This way, you allow the mucous membrane under the tongue to absorb the bulk of the CBD that’s administered.
Rectal CBD Administration
Rectal CBD administration is not something that most of us would opt for, that’s for sure. Suppositories are never pleasant but, unfortunately, they are a reality and a necessity for people with certain conditions. Rectal administration is the preferred route of administration when a patient has trouble swallowing or vomits frequently, both of which can be side-effects of certain diseases.
Right now, we don’t have much data about CBD’s rectal bioavailability. However, some studies have been done on THC that put it at around double that of oral administration, which is a number that seems about right for CBD as well. For example, this particular study puts rectal bioavailability of THC at 13.5%.
Another highly relevant study looked into the effects of orally and rectally delivered CBD in mice induced with the inflammation of the colon. The results showed that CBD delivered rectally significantly reduced inflammation in the rectum, while CBD delivered orally had no effect. The authors of this study suggested that CBD could protect against colitis locally through the rectal route. It’s a highly promising treatment that still needs to be fully explored.
Topical CBD Administration
Topical bioavailability of CBD is extremely low – so low that it’s hard to detect any of it in the blood if it was applied topically. That’s because the skin has very low permeability, meaning that it blocks a lot of substances from passing through. We can expect some of the CBD to enter the bloodstream only if we applied the ointment very liberally.
However, this doesn’t mean that topical application is useless. Various skin layers are also a part of the endocannabinoid system, which means that there are cannabinoid receptors present there. CBD will interact with these receptors in particular and work its magic. Topical application is an ideal method of cannabinoid administration for various skin conditions, such as psoriasis.
What’s The Best Route of CBD Application?
This isn’t the best question to ask in this case. A better one would be, ‘What’s the best route of application for my condition’? And the answer is – it depends on your condition. In most cases, inhalation is the prefered administration route for CBD. It’s fast-acting, and a big chunk of the active matter ends up in your bloodstream. If you suffer from a condition that requires immediate attention (high level of pain, anxiety attack, depression), you will want to vape CBD.
That said, both oral and rectal administration have their advantages. If you can’t vape, or you have a condition that requires small doses and a prolonged period of release, you can use capsules and edibles. However, the rectal route of administration can provide local anti-inflammatory effects, which could be pivotal in treating various colonic diseases, and it is definitely something worth exploring.
Now that you’ve learned a bit more about the bioavailability of CBD, it’s time to gauge how much CBD you should take for your specific condition.
What Does Your Perfect Daily CBD Amount Depend On?
There is no such thing as the best CBD dosage. Despite what you read on forums and hear from friends who take CBD, a one-size-fits-all approach is not helpful in this case. How much CBD to take will depend on several things for you.
Some of those things are:
·Your body weight
·Individual body chemistry
·Severity of the condition
·Potential interactions with other medications
Determining an individual dose will require some trial and error, especially because your body’s physiology will change once you start taking CBD. As it starts interacting with CBD receptors, your endocannabinoid system will react to it. That means that the optimal CBD dosage will change as your treatment progresses.
However, there are things that you can take into account to estimate that starting dose. Let’s dig in and find out what those are.
Body Weight Determines The Dose of CBD Oil
This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. A lot of times, a doctor will look into the patient’s body weight to determine the dosage of any treatment. The same is true when it comes to determining the CBD dosage. The heavier your, the more CBD you will need to treat a condition. Generally, we look to the level of pain in addition to body weight to come up with a workable number. For most people, the dose will be 1-6 mg per every 10 pounds.
Always Start Small & Work Your Way Up
With CBD dosage, you really need to be tuned into your body and listen to what it’s telling you. You can’t go off of something that someone tells you because your body chemistry works differently. Take the weight measurement as a starting point and see if that is doing the trick. If you feel that the dose is numbing you far too much, decrease it gradually until you find something that works. If it’s not doing enough for you, increase it to a point where it takes away your pain or helps with your specific condition.
Talk To Your Doctor
You would be surprised to learn how many doctors are well acquainted with the benefits of using CBD oils. If you’re in doubt about anything, ask them – you might be in luck and your doc is part of the growing number of physicians who are taking this approach to medicine seriously.
Another reason to consult with them is to check whether there might be some possible interactions between the CBD and the medicine you’re already taking. While it’s uncommon for a serious interaction to occur, there’s plenty of medication out there whose effect will be either increased or decreased thanks to CBD. These include steroids, antibiotics, antivirals, prokinetics, antiepileptics, and others.
Be Ready to Experiment to Get to Your Ideal Dose
In the end, I can harp on about bioavailability and effective doses all I want here, but CBD is not a one-size-fits-all type of solution.
The truth is that you’re going to have to experiment for a bit to find your perfect dose.
Use the chart below as a starting point…
but be prepared to tweak it on a daily basis until you get the relief you’re looking for.