Thinking about using hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) for the first time? Trying something entirely new can feel risky – especially when you don’t understand exactly what the experience will entail. Stepping into the unknown may feel frightening, but it is often worth the leap.
Even though CBD has surged in popularity in recent years, it is still surprisingly difficult to get solid information about the most basic topics – such as how to take it. Part of the reason for this inconsistency is the newness of the product. Scientists have made a lot of progress in understanding how CBD produces calming, pain-reducing, anti-inflammatory effects in the body – but there’s still more to learn. Although each person’s experience will be unique, we can provide some basic guidelines as you begin using CBD oil as a tool to address issues such as anxiety, sleep, and long-term pain management. The information presented here is intended to be an informational guide – a starting point of reference – and should never be considered medical advice.
First things first – always consult your doctor before you begin taking a supplement like CBD. She will be able to tell you if CBD is likely to help your circumstances, and can alert you to the possibility of medication interaction, which can be serious. It is recommended that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding not use CBD.
There are many variables such as weight, diet, metabolism, and genetics that make a universally prescribed dosage difficult. People new to cannabidiol begin starting with the minimal suggested CBD dosage, then gradually increasing the dose until they achieve the desired results. Plan to take the least amount of CBD oil that works for your circumstances. Be consistent with dosage and timing to give your body a chance to adjust. And finally, make any changes to your dosing gradually so that you can understand what effect it will have on your body, and give it a chance to work.
Dosing guidelines for 250mg strength in a 30ml (1oz) bottle would begin as follows: Take 3.3mg (30 drops or 1 dropper full) one or two times per day. Hold the drops under your tongue for 60 seconds before swallowing (this allows for absorption via blood vessels underneath your tongue, bypassing the first-pass metabolism). Time your dose away from other medications to avoid interactions. Maintain this dose for one full week or longer.
At the end of one week, evaluate how you feel. You might find it helpful to record your daily experiences in a notebook so you can narrow in on what works and feels best for you. Do you notice any changes? Are you sleeping better, feeling less anxiety, or experiencing less pain? If your experience has been positive, maintain this level. If you haven’t felt any effect from this level of dosing, increase it to 6.6mg (slightly more than ½ tsp, or two droppers full) for the next week.
Maintain this new dosing for at least a full week before reevaluating. Do you notice any changes in how you feel? Are you achieving the results you want, or do you need to adjust the timing or dosage? If, at the beginning of the third week, you feel you need a higher dose, increase the dosage to 9.9mg (slightly less than one teaspoon, or three droppers full). Maintain this level for at least one week and reevaluate … but don’t overdo it. Adverse reactions from taking too much CBD may include feeling overtired or overstimulated. Too much CBD can make it hard to sleep, especially when taken late in the day, or make your irritable. If you experience any of these, back off the dosage until you find a comfortable level.
If you are taking a mood-altering medication and your symptoms get worse, stop taking CBD immediately. And if you are evaluated with drug testing, talk to a healthcare professional before using any hemp product – although the trace amounts of THC found in CBD oil cannot make you high, there is still a possibility that they can show up on a drug testing evaluations.