CBD Dosage: How Much CBD Should I Take for What?

cbd dosage

Maybe you’ve just bought your first cannabidiol (CBD) product and you’re not sure exactly how much you should take.  Or, maybe you’ve been using it for a while but find that it’s just not doing what you think it should and not sure if or how you should increase your dosage.  Or maybe you want to use it for a specific set of symptoms.  The point is, we’re asked a LOT about CBD dosage. 

That’s why we’ve put together a quick and easy go-to guide to help you figure out why different types of CBD products need different dosages, how to figure out how much CBD is in a product and how much you should take for different types of uses, symptoms and conditions.

So without further ado, let’s go!


Bioavailability: Why Different CBD Products Require Different Dosages

When we take any kind of medicine or therapeutic agent, in order for it to work, it needs to be absorbed into our bodies before it can start doing its magic.  How much and how quickly this happens is what is termed as bioavailability.

Different methods of administration produce different levels of bioavailability because of the different routes the substance has to take to enter the blood stream.  So for instance, the bioavailability of CBD in its vaporized form is higher than when it is ingested in something like a gel cap because it has a more direct route into the blood stream. 

Why this is important is that for a CBD product with a higher bioavailability, less of it is needed to get the same results as you would for another type of CBD product with a lower bioavailability.  Similarly, the amount of time before you will begin to feel its effects as well as long how it lasts is also dependent on the CBD products bioavailability.  And taken together, all these things will help you to not only choose the right kind of product for your needs, but also your ideal CBD dosage.


CBD Oils & Tinctures

Administration: Sublingual

Bioavailability: 10% – 20%

Time of Onset: 20 – 40 min

Duration: ± 6 hrs

Sublingual administration is simply when you put the desired amount of drops under your tongue and hold it there for 60 – 90 seconds before its swallowed.  This allows for the CBD to directly be absorbed into the mucous membranes for higher bioavailability than oral administration for instance.


CBD Capsules, Teas & Edibles

Administration: Oral

Bioavailability: 4% and 20%

Time of Onset: 30 – 90 min

Duration: ± 7 hrs

When CBD capsules, teas and edibles are swallowed by mouth, the CBD has to go through the digestive system, then pass through the portal vein into the liver, with the liver only then being able to metabolise the CBD before it can enter into the blood stream.  But with this process, not only does the liver break down the CBD but it also reduces the amount of CBD that enters into the bloodstream meaning a reduction in  bioavailability compared to many other forms of administration.


Topicals & Beauty Products

Administration: Topical

Bioavailability: Unknown

Time of Onset: 60 – 90 min

Duration: ± 6 hrs

An increasingly popular way of taking CBD is applying it directly to the skin.  The idea behind this is that the CBD molecules enter the blood stream directly through the little capillaries and veins just underneath the dermal layers of the skin.  And although this hypothesis is sound, unfortunately there aren’t any specific studies so far that assesses the bioavailability of CBD via the skin.


Vape Products & Concentrates

Administration: Inhalation

Bioavailability: 2% – 56%

Time of Onset: 2 – 5 min

Duration: ± 3 hrs

Although not suitable or appealing to everyone, inhaling CBD is probably on of the most effective ways to get a dose of CBD.  This is because of the large surface area and high permeability of lung tissue, which allows for a lot of CBD to be absorbed very quickly directly into the blood stream. 

The deeper and longer the CBD is held in the lungs, the more CBD is absorbed with the average bioavailability being around the 40% mark.


CBD Dosage: Figuring Out How Much Is In Your Product

What constitutes a dose of CBD means different things to different people.  And what complicates things even further is that different products contain different concentrations, potencies and CBD extracts – all of which determine how much CBD is really in a drop, capsule or tea bag.

The amount or concentration of CBD in any given product is measured in milligrams, specifying the amount of CBD present that’s present in that particular product.  But the amount or concentration of CBD is something completely different from what constitutes a dose of CBD.  CBD dosage refers to the amount of CBD per serving (i.e. per drop/capsule/cup/gummy, etc.). 

To figure out how much CBD is in a single dose of your product you need to find out the amount or concentration of CBD in your product in order to calculate how much CBD is in one drop.  If your package or CBD bottle shows the amount of CBD in milligrams it’s relatively easy. 



Total milligrams of CBD in the bottle divide by bottle size in ml = CBD mg / ml


For example:

If you have a 30 ml bottle containing 1,500 mg of CBD

1,500 ÷ 30 = 50 mg / ml = 50 mg of CBD per drop

But quite often CBD packaging is only shows a potency percentage (% CBD). If that’s the case you need to convert that into milligrams as well as calculate the number of drops first.



1 milliliter = 1 gram = 1000 milligrams of CBD oil.


For example:

You have a 30 ml bottle of CBD with a concentration of 5% CBD

5% of 3,000 mg = 0.5 x 3,000 = 1,500 mg of CBD per bottle

1,500 ÷ 30 = 50 mg of CBD per drop = 50 mg of CBD per drop

Alternatively, you can always use a CBD dosage calculator like this one from ID Weeds or CBD Oil Users.


CBD Dosage: How Much Should I Take?

Unlike most other medications, there is no “right” CBD dosage that works for everybody. Everyone’s bodies interact differently with CBD and is dependent on a variety of factors such as overall health, body size and composition as well as how severe the symptoms are that you want to treat.


General CBD Dosage Guidelines

However, the general rule-of-thumb is to start low and go slow.   According to those in the know, the recommended starting dose should be a single dose of 25 mg of CBD taken twice a day.  From there you can slowly start increasing your dose by adding an additional 25 mg daily every 3-4 weeks until you experience symptom relief.  Conversely, if you find that your symptoms are getting worse, it is recommended that you incrementally decrease your dose by 25 mg every few weeks until you find a dose that works for you.


CBD Dosage Guidelines for Specific Conditions

If you’re looking for CBD dosage guidelines for specific conditions and symptoms, research and clinical trials suggest that certain conditions can benefit from the following guidelines:


Final Thoughts

The most important thing to remember is that, in the end everyone is different.  What might be an optimal dose for someone else might not be for you and although it can be difficult to begin with,  the best way to figure out how much CBD you should take, requires a bit of experimentation. If you listen to your body and take it slow to begin with, you will be just fine.



DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult with a physician if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. A doctor’s advice should always be sought before before embarking on any new treatment.


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