With so many treatable conditions associated with Cannabidiol (CBD) it is important to know what the research says about the various doses that have provided the best results. This article will outline the most current research conducted for each of the conditions presented. While there are many conditions and benefits that have been associated with CBD, the conditions listed below have all been well validated through multiple studies. It should be noted that research is constantly evolving and our collected knowledge is always changing and adapting to the latest discoveries. Cannabidiol research is cutting-edge and is by no means immune from scientific advancement. In fact, that is exactly what is wanted: continuous refinement in the accumulated wisdom borne out of rigorous and well designed research. With that said, always consult a healthcare practitioner to understand the developments on the therapeutic applications of CBD and to make sure you are always administering a safe and beneficial dose.
CBD Dosing General Trends
When it comes to determining a correct dose of CBD oil, it is important to keep in mind that each individual has a unique metabolism and physiology. This will result in a slightly different therapeutic dose for everyone. Further, it is necessary to understand that a dose refers to the concentration of a substance or medication, such as 500mg or 1oz, and the dosage refers to how frequent the dose should be administered, for example 2-3 times per day for 1 week. The information listed below is meant to serve as a starting guide to help begin your personal experimentation.
In general, research on the therapeutic benefits of CBD have demonstrated an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve. This means that relative low and high doses have no beneficial effect, while the greatest relief of symptoms is associated with a middle range dose. Doses up to 1,500mg/day have been well tolerated and are deemed safe . Each of the doses listed are typically given in a mg/kg ratio and are read as X number of milligrams for every kilogram the individual weighs. In order to determine the overall dose needed, convert your weight into kilograms (kg), then multiply the product by the dose listed. For example, a dose of 6.2mg/kg for a 180 pound person would be 506mg (e.g. 180lbs : 81.65kg x 6.2mg = 506mg).
CBD Dosing for Anxiety
Cannabinoid receptors within the Endocannabinoid System have been proposed as a potential therapeutic target for anxiolytic drugs . CBD has exhibited many actions related to anxiety disorders, such as anxiety, panic, compulsions, decreased physiological autonomic arousal, decreased fear response, enhanced cessation of fear, and a reduction in the damaging effects associated with chronic stress induced anxiety . The anxiolytic properties of CBD have been demonstrated to provide acute relief of subjective symptoms of anxiety at doses of 300mg, compared to doses of 100mg and 900mg . Other researchers using a mouse model determined a dose of 10mg/kg to be effective at producing anxiolytic benefits . Doses up to 20mg/kg have demonstrated anxiogenic properties , so definitely the axiom of “less is more” is clearly evident with CBD’s anxiolytic effects.
Summary: CBD doses should be in the range of 300mg to 600mg, starting with a lower dose and slowly increasing over time until symptoms subside.
CBD Dosing for Nausea & Vomiting
CBD has demonstrated a biphasic dose response in regards to nausea and vomiting. Low doses of 2-5mg/kg have reduced nausea and vomiting and higher doses of 20-40mg/kg have actually induced nausea and vomiting [5, 6].
Summary: CBD doses should be in the range of 2-5mg/kg, starting with a lower dose and increasing 1mg/kg each dosage until desired results have been achieved.
CBD Dosing for Seizures & Epilepsy
CBD has a broad spectrum of biological effects that act primarily on the central and peripheral nervous system resulting in the potential benefits of treating epileptic seizures as well as other neuropsychiatric conditions . Although its mechanisms of action are not fully understood, in preliminary research it has shown promising results for intractable conditions of epilepsy. Initial studies have been a little lacking for effective standards in CBD dosing and dosages. However, preliminary studies confirm that an extract containing at least 15:1 CBD:THC is ideal, with the highest being the Charlotte’s Web varietal at 30:1 . Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles surveyed of a group of CBD users to determine effective doses for reducing severity and frequency of seizures, finding the median dose to be 4.3mg/kg/day distributed over 2-3 dosages throughout the day .
Summary: CBD doses should be in the range of 2-6mg/kg with an increase in each dose until desired results are obtained. The most effective dose has been found to be close to 4mg/kg.
CBD Dosing for Inflammation & Arthritis
CBD is very effective at reducing inflammation due to its potent effects at reducing cytokine activity and proliferation as well as providing targeted immunosuppression to relieve symptoms . In addition, CBD has demonstrated the ability to provide protective functions in individuals with autoimmune disorders, cancer originated neuropathic pain and a reduction in tumor growth and inflammation . Researchers have found that transdermal application of CBD oil may provide better and quicker relief of inflammation and pain compared to oral ingestion of CBD oil, due to its poor absorption within the digestive tract . Utilizing a well accepted rat-based model of arthritis, researchers noted that the optimal transdermal dose of CBD to relieve inflammation, pain and swelling was 6.2mg/kg, with higher doses not providing any added benefit . Another study using a rate model found oral doses of 5-7.5mg/kg provided inflammatory relief for up to 6 hours . Oral doses of 25mg/kg were also demonstrated to provide effective arthritic pain relief .
Summary: CBD oil may be applied both transdermally (upon the skin) at doses of 6.2mg/kg as well as orally in ranges of 5-7.5mg/kg and up to 25mg/kg to relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
CBD Dosing for Pain
CBD oil has been determined to be an effective pain management alternative to opioids and traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . Using a well known rat model, researchers have found doses in the range of 2.5-10mg/kg to provide pain relief . The researchers also observed that in addition to providing pain relief, CBD administered in the aforementioned doses also exhibited direct antitumor properties in multiple types of cancer . Additionally, CBD provided neuroprotective effects against the development of chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy, a common side-effect of conventional cancer treatment [12, 13, 14].
Summary: CBD doses in the range of 2.5mg/kg, 5mg/kg/ and up to 10mg/kg have been demonstrated at providing pain relief, in addition to providing neuroprotective benefits against chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy.
CBD Dosing for Addiction
CBD oil helps to reduce drug-seeking behavior in individuals addicted to both heroin and cocaine, with results lasting up to 2 weeks after administration indicating potential long-term neural network changes preventing drug relapse . Additionally, CBD provided not only therapeutic benefits for nicotine dependence, but also for Cannabis withdrawal due to higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) . The research literature suggests a “yin/yang” balance between the effects of THC, which acts on the reward network of the brain and promotes drug dependency, and CBD, which produces low levels of pleasure and actually inhibits drug seeking behavior . Doses of 5mg/kg have demonstrated benefits of reducing drug-seeking behaviors . It has also been noted that even though THC may induce drug-seeking behavior, there may by a synergistic effect observed between low THC to high CBD ratio extracts, although more definitive clinical trials are needed to determine correct dose ratios .
Summary: CBD doses of 5mg/kg have demonstrated successful attenuation of drug-seeking behaviors as well as providing neuroprotective effects and reducing harmful effects of stress. Extracts containing low levels of THC in addition to CBD may provide additional benefits, although THC concentration should be low to prevent addiction promotion.