Cannabidiol, or CBD, has become a household staple in terms of dietary supplements for a healthy lifestyle. It is one of the most promising natural products on the market today, with many clinical trials offering insight to this molecule’s therapeutic potential.
Popularized for its pain relief and anti-anxiety effects, while not inducing psychoactive effects like its cousin, THC. Now consumers can seek the benefits of medicinal cannabis without the intoxicating effects.
But just like any new compound, there is still a lot to learn about dosing and safety. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here is everything you need to know before trying CBD for the first time.
We do our best to provide up-to-date information but this is not medical advice. Please consult a physician for specific CBD questions/concerns or before trying CBD. Some of the links on this website may be affiliate links which means we may earn commission (at no extra cost to you). This helps keep our website ad free and pay our awesome team to keep researching and creating content for you.
All Bodies Are Different
When understanding CBD dosing, it’s important to remember that every individual may experience CBD differently. In the same way that our bodies digest sugar and store energy at varying rates, we also metabolize cannabinoids differently from one person to the next.
This could be based on genetics, lifestyle, and desired treatments you are looking to explore, like stress relief vs. anti-inflammation. Ultimately it all comes down to how our nervous system responds to CBD.
The human nervous system is a network of communication systems that include the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the primary part of the body that is influenced by cannabinoids. CBD activates the ECS in your nervous system, indirectly influencing a channel of receptors that can be found in your brain, spinal cord, organs, and immune system.
CBD acts as a communicator in your body to help signal the brain to adjust bodily functions and restore them to a healthy and regulated state. Through this process, CBD works as a primer for nerve endings, enabling effective communication between your brain and the rest of the body. This is why short term effects of CBD are typically more subtle, while long term, consistent use can provide more noticeable benefits.
The part of the nervous system CBD interacts with also influences serotonin receptors in your body (the feel good hormone). Serotonin is both a hormone and neurotransmitter responsible for regulating memory, mood, reproductive health, and a number of other bodily functions. Meaning, CBD can influence how you might experience appetite, nausea, emotions, and stress.
Trying CBD For The First Time
It could take weeks to comb through all of the anecdotal forums and articles on how to begin using CBD, and it’s likely a lot of the content may be contradictory. The easiest way for new consumers to succeed with dosing CBD is to start your dose low, and go slow. New users should start with a dose around 10mg and increase by 5mg-10mg increments every three days until satisfied with the effects. By taking your time with finding your ideal dose, you will avoid any of the risks of unwanted side effects or wasting your CBD products.
The average onset of effects for most CBD products can range from 15-30 minutes. CBD can offer long lasting relief, but even if you wish to re-dose CBD is completely safe as there is little to no risk in overdosing.
Is CBD Safe To Use?
Although you are safe from overdose and other forms of toxicity when consuming CBD, there is still a possibility of developing side effects due to high dosing of CBD. Most people find their optimal dose somewhere between 10mg-500mg.
High doses of CBD can lead to the build up of tolerance, meaning your body will require increasingly higher doses to maintain desired effects of CBD. This can be mitigated by simply taking a tolerance break to allow your body time to reacclimate its sensitivity to CBD again. A tolerance break typically lasts anywhere from seven days to three weeks. This is especially important if you want to avoid unwanted side effects, as an ineffective high dose will put you at risk for adverse effects.
In the unlikely case that you experience side effects from CBD, they are typically mild and will subside in a short period of time. Some consumers have experienced drowsiness, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, dry mouth, and decrease in appetite when experimenting with high doses of CBD. If this happens to you, don’t sweat it! Just make sure to stay hydrated and keep your blood sugar stable to alleviate the side effects. Most people claim to have experienced any of these side effects within the first two weeks of trying CBD for the first time. However, with proper care in dosing, these effects go away quickly.
There are known drug interactions that may be dangerous when some pharmaceuticals are combined with CBD, so it’s important to consult your doctor if you are currently taking any of the following medications:
- Blood Thinners
Dosing CBD Based On Desired Effects
Beyond milligram measurements and onset timing, you can get pretty creative with CBD dosing based on what targeted effects you are looking to achieve. Depending on your goals with CBD, some products will get you better results! Let’s break it down by product type.
CBD Oils, Extracts, Tinctures
These products are ideal for mood stability, antispasmodic aid, and overall inflammation relief. Dosing under the tongue allows for best results as it will absorb into the mouth’s capillaries quickly. This will take roughly 15-30 minutes to take effect.
Topical and transdermal CBD is best suited for surface level injuries or localized pain relief, as these products will not typically reach your bloodstream in high enough concentration for mental and emotional related effects. The best tip when using a topical is to apply it twice, dosing five minutes apart to optimize bioavailability. This will allow for a deeper penetration into the body’s tissue, especially in applications to treat joint related pain. On average it will take 10-20 minutes to take effect.
CBD Edibles & Capsules
A great choice for mood stability, inflammation, and post-workout recovery. Since edible products are ingested and processed exclusively in the liver, this means a longer wait for onset of effects, but also means long lasting relief. Edibles take up to 30-45 minutes for effects to start.
Inhalable products are one of the most diverse categories of products in the United States, with some products available in Canada. There is a vast range of potency, flavors, and pricing for these products. CBD inhalers are ideal for acute symptoms that require immediate relief, as it is the fastest acting option for CBD. It should take about 2-5 minutes for effects.
Let CBD Enhance Your Wellbeing
Have fun with your CBD, and remember that there is no right or wrong way to pair your CBD products, so long as you’re mindful of dosing and possible drug interactions. You can combine topicals, tinctures, and capsules depending on your targeted use.
Whether you’re looking to reduce inflammation in your joints, or unwinding after a stressful day (or maybe both), there is a CBD product perfect for you.
Any statements made in this post are not intended to replace advice from a medical professional. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any CBD product.