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How Much CBD Should I Take? Essential CBD Dosage Info You NEED 

By Cheri Sicard
January 29, 2019

Dear Cheri,

 How much CBD should I take?  In other words, how much is a good CBD dose for a beginner as I am new to all of this?

Like everything associated with cannabis dosing, both THC and CBD, there simply is no one answer to that question that works for everyone. And being a “beginner” has little to do with it.

So in order to figure out a good CBD dose, know these important points before we begin, because when you ask a question like this, you are really asking the wrong questions:

  • There is no such thing as a single recommended dose for CBD or THC that fits everyone.
  • Everyone’s cannabis dosing needs, both THC and CBD are different, and not just a little bit different, oftentimes drastically different.
  • Everyone responds differently to cannabis, both THC and CBD, and not just a little bit differently, sometimes drastically differently.
  • Cannabis is bi-phasic, meaning that large doses and small doses can sometimes create completely opposite effects!

Let's Explore.

Of course, it’s easy to tell when you have had too much THC by how high you feel, but this is not the case with CBD. As CBD does not cause an uncomfortable too high reaction, people think that dosing is not so important and they can just take a lot of it.

Well technically they can, but that doesn’t mean they should.

It is true that taking “too much” THC or “too much” CBD is not inherently harmful. Too much THC or CBD is never fatal, and will not shut down your organs or cause other systemic harm.   However, when it comes to getting the most out of cannabis, more is not always better. Even with CBD, which does not make you feel high.

I learned this the hard way a couple of years ago when High Times Magazine gave me an assignment to write about CBD edibles.  Prior to this I had read article after article touting CBD’s benefits for depression, a condition I suffer from, so I was looking forward to this assignment.

But within a day of starting work and sampling the edibles, I found my depression symptoms were getting much worse, and they got even worse with each day after until I begged out of the assignment less than a week later.

A few months later, I was interviewing Project CBD’s Martin Lee, one of the world’s foremost CBD experts. I took advantage of the opportunity to ask him why pure CBD products seemed to make my depression symptoms worse when all the articles I read said CBD helps with anxiety and depression.

Martin said my CBD dose was likely too high, especially since I was using CBD in conjunction with also taking THC (The products I was testing were pure CBD but I was still using cannabis.)

Lee says that people need far lower doses of CBD, sometimes as little as 2.5 mgs, IF there is also THC present in the system. Those using CBD products that are free of THC, on the other hand, will require a far larger dose of CBD to achieve the same therapeutic benefits, in some cases as much as a gram or more.

Cannabis is Bi-Phasic!

The other important takeaway from my conversation with Martin Lee is the fact that cannabis is bi-phasic, meaning that small doses and large doses can create completely opposite effects.

Let me repeat that!

High and low doses of cannabis can produce completely opposite effects!

Anyone using CBD needs to keep this important, but wildly under-reported fact, in mind. Especially if you are not getting the symptom relief you are looking for. It explained why my depression symptoms reacted negatively to sudden large doses of CBD.

I share this personal story to graphically illustrate the fact that everyone, even experienced marijuana users like me, responds differently to both CBD and THC.  I also share it to show you that it will take some personal experimentation on your part in order to find the optimal dose and the best ratio of CBD to THC that works for you and your symptoms and conditions, if indeed you are also also using THC.

But even those who are not using THC will need to experiment to find what brings them the best results. Sometimes this will mean increasing the dose, but it other cases, it will mean using less. That’s right, in some cases you can save money by using less cannabis to get more medicinal benefits.

And keep in mind what works best for you will not necessarily be what works best for your spouse, or your friends. Everyone is different when it comes to cannabis.

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How to Determine Your ideal CBD Dose:

Project CBD's Martin Lee recommends CBD users take a few small doses over the course of the day rather than one big dose, even after you have determined your ideal CBD dose.  

If you’re just starting out, use the same dose for several days, before you evaluate the results.

The same goes if you are using THC with CBD (the way it works best, as discussed in this article). Use the same THC to CBD ratio for several days before adjusting upwards or downwards.  Consider adjusting your CBD downwards first, especially if you are using THC in conjunction with CBD.

A good place to start would be at about 2 to 3 mg CBD dose taken two or three times a day. Repeat for 3 or 4 days then evaluate how you feel and adjust up or down accordingly (and if one does not work, try the other, remember what I said about cannabis's bi-phasic properties).

Also be aware that those ideal doses and ratios can and do change as your body heals and evolves, so know that this is an ever-ongoing process for medical marijuana patients.

I wish it was easier to recommend a CBD dose, but it's simply not that simple. 

To get the most out of CBD consider these takeaways:

  • Finding a proper CBD dose is not always about increasing the dose, sometimes less is more, especially with CBD.
  • Be prepared to adjust your dosages and medicine choices as you progress and your body heals and tolerances build.
  • Be sure you are using a quality CBD product made from phytocannabinoid-rich hemp and not industrial hemp, as this can make the difference between relief and not.

(This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase, I get a commission, which in turn, helps me keep this site running. However, know that I NEVER endorse products I don’t personally use and like.)

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About the author

Cheri Sicard is the author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women, and The Easy Cannabis Cookbook.  Her online courses at have educated 1000s of students about marijuana, cannabis cooking for home cooks, and making infused topicals.

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