How much CBD oil to take

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It's probably the number one question on people's minds when they are trying to treat a health condition with CBD: how much of this stuff should I take?

And here's the totally dissatisfying answer: it depends.

Here are the factors that can influence how much CBD is required to achieve your desired effect.

How much CBD is in the product you are using

You may think that bottle of CBD oil you bought at is what it says on the label. The sad truth is, you could very well be using a black market CBD product that has little actual CBD in it. Many hemp-derived CBD oil products are actually illegal in Canada.


You also need to consider how much CBD is present per mL of oil. Some products have more CBD per mL than others, so 0.5mL of one oil could have 10-50% more CBD than another.

How long you have been taking the CBD

In our experience, it can take some time to for the body to respond to CBD, so we usually recommend staying at a particular dose for a few days before deciding to increase.

We also find that slowly increasing over days (sometimes weeks) gives us a better chance to find the lowest possible effective dose. Taking more would just be wasteful, and increase the chances of unwanted side effects.


What else is in the CBD oil

Did you know that THC provides pain relief? And you don't have to take so much that you feel intoxicated or high. CBD can actually counteract some of the negative effects of THC, too.

So if you're looking for pain relief some THC in the mix can definitely be helpful, particularly for neuropathic pain.

Depending on how the CBD oil is made (e.g. from hemp vs. marijuana), there may be some other potentially helpful molecules missing. CBD oil from Health Canada licensed producers usually contains additional cannabinoids, as well as terpenoids and flavonoids, which may have therapeutic benefits.

How you are taking the CBD

Most people are ingesting their CBD orally, by taking a gel capsule, edible, or a few drops by mouth. But taking CBD this way means the CBD has to pass through your liver before getting into your bloodstream. And only about 15% of the CBD taken this way gets past the liver.

Taking CBD oil sublingually (holding it under the tongue for 30-60 seconds can result in more CBD getting into your bloodstream directly, although some is still likely to be swallowed before it is absorbed.

If you inhale vaporized CBD, e.g. by using a vape pen, you will actually get about 50-60% of the CBD into your body, as it passes directly from the lungs into the bloodstream. Not only that, but the effects will kick in faster (although they may not last as long).

Your body weight

The more you weigh, the more CBD you will need to achieve the same effect as someone smaller.

Your body chemistry

How the CBD is absorbed is also affected by what else you've eaten recently, as well as the characteristics of your individual endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is likely that genetics play a role in the functioning of your ECS, which will determine what effect CBD has when it is introduced to your body. Researchers have yet to find a particular receptor for CBD—the prevailing theory is that CBD influences or regulates the effect of other cannabinoids such as THC.