CBD Dosage Guidelines: Proven Safe & Effective Doses

Last Updated on December 31, 2023 by Richard

The search for the right (cannabidiol) CBD dosage is a complex problem that many people are confronted with.

This is a common question for all new users of CBD products.

Even as CBD is being used more and more as an alternative medicine, there are no “official” CBD dosage guidelines.

This is partially due to CBD being fairly new as an alternative option, and it is partially due to the new research that is being published very rapidly.

Since cannabis as a form of medicine is a new concept, most mainstream medical doctors do not have any experience using CBD products.

Very few people have access to any medical professionals who are experienced with CBD therapy.

So, the common solution is to ask your friends, or spend days searching forums, and then still just making your best guess.

Obviously, that isn’t the best way to determine the right dose, but that’s what most people do.    

Unlike other types of medicines, where serious health concerns could result from any experimentation, it is fairly safe for experimentations to be done with CBD oil.

It is lacking in major side effects, so there are no possibilities of a CBD overdose.

However, if you are taking other opioid pain killers, you must know that CBD will increase the effects of the opioids.  In other words, you will need less of the opioids when using CBD.

Practically the only people who had side effects were in lab trials. They were given very high doses.  Much higher than you should even consider taking.  Higher than a doctor would prescribe to you.

However, even though CBD oil has low risk associated with its use, I’m sure you still want some guidance.  I will give you the best suggestions I can, but it is still just a suggestion. Get your Doctor’s opinion before starting usage.

Note: Your body and medical condition is different than everybody else.  Everyone is unique.  We are all humans, but even identical twins are different from each other.  That’s why no medicine has a 100% cure rate.  That means that the dose you need may be vastly different from everyone else.

This article is my attempt to offer some rough CBD dosage guidelines for many common illnesses.  It gives you a general outline to help you properly determine the perfect CBD dose for you.

I have done the research to know what CBD dosages other people are using and what has been published in the medical studies.  So, that is what I am offering.  It’s my compilation of the information I have found.

Generally, there are three main dosing guidelines for guiding you through your own dosing discovery process. 

3 Essential CBD Dosage Guidelines

Whatever you are planning to use CBD products to treat, there are three essential CBD dosage guidelines to keep in mind. 

Start out slowly by taking the minimal dosage amount, and then increase the CBD dosage a little at a time.

Keep notes to track your results.  Write down the dosage amount, the time of day, and your symptoms.  Also, write down any changes in your symptoms and health.  That is how you will know when you have found the right dosage for you.

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1. Begin Small

When you are starting on CBD therapy, the best thing to do is to begin with whatever the minimum recommended dosage is.

If you are only 5 feet tall and weigh 100 pounds, your first CBD dose should be less than the minimum.  However, if you weigh 300 pounds, you still want to take the minimum CBD dose.

Also, anyone who has had a strong reaction to any other medication should also take less than the minimum dose.

Taking too much is a waste of money.  So, take small doses and increase the amount over a few days or even weeks.  That’s the best way to determine the best CBD dosage for you.

2. Be Patient Before Increasing Your CBD Dosage

It is entirely possible that you will notice immediate results.  However, many people are going to take a while to notice any definite results. 

Before you assume the CBD doesn’t work, or that the dose is too little, stick with it for as long as three days.

If after three days you don’t notice any results, then you should increase your dose.

3. Slow and Steady

Everybody wants fast results, but going too fast isn’t a good idea.

Every time you take a CBD dose your body immediately starts making little adjustments to every part of your body.  Those little adjustments are easier for your body to adapt to than big changes would be.

Once you have had three days of little adjustments, your body is now able to handle some bigger changes.  Don’t go nuts now with your dosage, because just a little dosage increase can have a big impact.

It can take a few weeks to determine the right dosage through gradually increasing it.  Yes, this can be a little overwhelming, but it’s important to determine the best CBD dosage for your needs.

NOTE: Laboratory CBD Dosage Amounts Are Misleading

The dosage amounts reported from lab studies are misleading.  That’s because they often use only pure CBD or only pure THC which are called isolates. 

The isolates do not have the other cannabinoids to produce the Entourage Effect. 

Therefore, you need much higher amounts of isolates to get the same results you could get from a much small amount of full spectrum CBD oil.

Recommended CBD Dosage Guide For What Ails You

Illnesses Listed In Alphabetical Order.

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ADD and ADHD

One study of ADHD used a combination of 27 mg THC and 25 mg CBD that resulted in minimal improvement in symptoms. [21]

For sedation (Not attention) THC 2.5 mg doses. [34]

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Dosage for inflammation: CBD 160 mg up to 600 mg per day.  Dosage for sedation: THC 5-10 mg per day. [34]

Anorexia Nervosa

2.5 mg of THC taken three times per day, with a maximum of 30 mg THC per day. [30]

Anxiety CBD Dosage Amounts

An oral spray is convenient and might be more immediately effective.  You can expect to feel cumulative effects over time.

Note that low doses of THC will provide anxiety relief, but higher doses will cause more anxiety. [1]

Do not use THC and CBD together.  Use one or the other. 

Use a low dose of 1-3mg of THC     or      2.5-10 mg of CBD.  [34]

One study reported effective CBD dosages of 300 to 600 mg per day. [1]

Some clinical studies have used 200 and 800 mg of CBD per day [18]

One trial used a single dose of 400 mg of CBD (cannabidiol), and a different study used 600 mg of CBD in one single dose. [30]

Also see PTSD.

Arthritis

In one animal study, topical application of 6.2 mg CBD isolate was rubbed into a 3.5 x 3.5 cm (1 3/8 x 1 3/8 inch) area of skin. [2]

A study using mice were given 25 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight per day. [26]

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 

An Israeli study used a 20 to 1 ratio of CBD and THC.  The CBD dosage was 16 mg/kg of body weight, with a maximum of 600mg per day.  The THC dosage was 0.8 mg/kg of body weight with a maximum dosage of 40 mg THC per day.

In another study 60 children were treated with CBD and THC at a ratio of 20 to 1.  The maximum CBD dosage per day was 10mg per kilogram of body weight. [24]

A study of 188 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder were started with one 0.05ml drop of full spectrum CBD oil, three times per day.  Each drop contained 15 mg CBD and 0.75 mg THC.  Dosages were increased as appropriate for each child.  Final dosage amounts ranged from 1 drop 3 times per day, to as much as 20 drops three times per day.

From forum research:  A doctor with 11 patients said that CBD oil was used – no dosage amounts were mentioned.  About half or more of the patients had better sleep and less aggression.

See also Seizures and, Anxiety as these are common symptoms of autism.

Bipolar Affective Disorder (BAD)

Two people were started on 600mg CBD and progressed up to 1200 mg per day with no improvement. [33]

Blood Pressure

One 600mg dose of CBD reduced resting systolic blood pressure by 6 points. [31] Obviously, you would have to continue taking CBD every day to keep the blood pressure down.  Although, (I’m guessing now) you could probably lower the dose until you find the minimum amount needed.  Or starting low and building up would be even better.

Cancer

A combination of THC and CBD is more effective as a pain reliever than THC by itself.  Up to 10 doses per day with each dose containing 2.7mg THC and 2.5mg CBD. [34]

For Cancer nausea and vomiting: Take 10-18mg THC one or two hours before chemo therapy.  Repeat 2-4 times per day. [34]

For chronic cancer pain, this study used 5, 10, 15, and 20 mg THC.  The 15mg and 20mg doses were the most effective.  At those levels there were side effects including sedation and mental clouding. [6]

Another cancer pain study used 2.7 mg THC and 2.5 mg CBD per dose, with a maximum daily dosage of 43 mg THC, and 40 mg CBD. [27]

Lung cancer cell invasion has been prevented by obtaining a blood plasma CBD concentration between 6 and 11ng/ml.  This was accomplished by orally taking 10 mg per kilogram of body weight per day for six weeks. [29]

Chronic Pain

Unfortunately, most lab studies have focused on the use of THC for pain relief.  From my study of available research, I can say that low doses of THC have been shown to relieve pain, and that higher doses do not.  Also, the higher the doses of THC used, the more side effects you will encounter.

Chronic pain is a catch-all for any injury or illness that causes pain.  I suggest you check the CBD dosage guidelines in this article for your specific medical condition.

CBD increases the effect of other opioid pain medications.  So, start out with a small dose and see how that affects your condition. 

Be sure to consult with your doctor to approve lowering the amount of opioid medication you’re taking.  One of the benefits of using CBD to reduce opioid medications, is the reduction of the opioid side effects.

Recommended method: Under the tongue or use the pain cream and rub it into where it hurts.

The suggested dose is around 2.5-20 mg of CBD daily for chronic pain.

You might not get immediate pain relief when taking CBD orally, but you will notice gradually increasing pain relief.

You should expect more immediate relief if CBD is applied directly to the skin where the pain occurs.  See Arthritis.

A study involving nerve pain used a 50/50 mix of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).  The dosage was 2.5-120 mg per day. [3]

Another THC study showed that 10mg THC did relieve pain, but was sedative and had some other side effects.  A dosage of 20mg of THC was deemed un-safe to use because of dangerous side effects. [7]

The German Narcotic Drugs Act permits prescriptions of THC containing daily doses of 5-30mg. [9]

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

A single dose from 35mg of vaporized and inhaled cannabis, with 18.2%THC and less than 0.1% CBD, had no effect on the COPD symptoms. [36]

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs):

  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Behçet’s Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Twenty Crohn’s patients took 10mg CBD twice per day for 8 weeks.  There was no improvement in symptoms. [17]   I would suggest (I’m NOT a doctor, talk to your doctor first) trying a higher dosage as the study also noted that there were no side effects either.

A clinical trial at the University of Illinois at Chicago that has not yet reported its results used one 25-mg capsule of CBD per day. [20}

Diabetes

Mice were given by, Intraperitoneal injection, 5mg CBD per kilogram of body weight, as a daily dose to prevent the occurrence of Autoimmune Diabetes. [32] Intraperitoneal injection is NOT how you are going to take this dosage.  Therefore, you would NOT multiply your body weight times 5mg to get a dosage.  Instead, and I am just guessing here, you might start with 5mg (total dose) per day, and see what results you get.

Epilepsy

The recommended method is sublingually

For severe epilepsy, the suggested adult dosage is around 200-300 mg daily.

It is recommended to consult with your medical professional particularly when children are being treated. 

In a combination of four trials that totaled 48 people, the Cannabidiol (CBD) dosage was 200 to 300 mg daily. [8]

In another study, eight patients that had secondary generalized epilepsy were given a daily dose of 200-300 mg of CBD.  The trial period was for 18 weeks. [10]

A number of U. S. A. epilepsy trials of children used a cannabidiol (CBD) dosage of 2-5 mg per kilogram of body weight per day. [11]

A university survey of 150 parents averaged out the dosages used: CBD dosages of 0.5 mg to 28.6 mg CBD per kilogram of body weight, and THC dosages of 0.0 mg to 0.8 mg of THC per kilogram of body weight per day. [19]

Glaucoma CBD Dosage Amounts

A very small study of six glaucoma patients with ocular hypertension (high eye pressure) were treated:  5 mg of THC significantly reduced eye pressure.  Whereas, 20 mg of CBD had no effect, and 40mg CBD temporarily increases eye pressure.  [14]

Another study concluded that THC reduced Intraocular Pressure (IOP) and that CBD did not.   Also, that CBD reduced the effects of the THC. [15]

Despite what those two studies say, there is evidence that taking a full spectrum CBD oil may be effective in treating or preventing glaucoma.  That’s because the other ingredients in full spectrum CBD oil provide neuroprotection and lower eye pressure.  I will write more about that in another article.

Taking 20-25 mg of THC lowers eye pressure for ten hours, but there are severe side effects [34]

Huntington’s Disease

A dosage of 5mg of CBD twice per day showed no improvement in Chorea (involuntary movement). [30]

Another study also showed no improvement over six weeks at an average CBD dosage of 700mg per day.  The trial amounts were based upon using an oral CBD dose of 10 mg CBD per kilogram of body weight per day. [37]

Headaches and Migraines

For tension headaches take 2.5-5 mg THC and also 2.5 mg of CBD. {34]

However, for migraines, take 2.5mg – 10 mg of THC when symptoms begin (10mg if vomiting).  [34]

For severe symptoms take 25mg of THC to reduce vomiting and for sedation. [34]

Young woman with a headache.  What is the best CBD dosage for headaches and migraines? FullStrideHealth.com

Insomnia And Sleep

Higher amounts of CBD are effective for treating insomnia, with doses starting at 160mg per day. [39]

In a sleep study of young adults, a dosage was taken at bedtime.  A dose of 15mg THC acted as a sedative.  However, 15mg of CBD caused more alertness during the sleep cycle. [12]

I do not recommend the use of THC for anyone under the age of 25, because of its negative side effects on a maturing brain.  The human brain is not fully developed until about age 25. [13]

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

The suggested dosage for treating MS varies quite a bit, depending upon how progressed the disease is.  The bigger doses need to be divided up and given as smaller treatments.  As the study below indicates, the suggested dosage is 2.5-120 mg of CBD oil.

One study used equal amounts of (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), with varying doses from 2.5-120 mg of each per day. [4]

Another study used 2.5mg CBD sprayed under the tongue up to six times per day. [5]

An oral spray that contained 2.7 mg THC and 2.5 mg CBD per spray was used up to 12 sprays per day. [9]

For MS and movement disorders take small doses that add up to 20-25 mg of THC per day. [34]

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea caused by chemo therapy was treated with 5–15 mg THC taken by mouth. [18]

One medical marijuana product contains 27 mg THC and 25 mg CBD per ml and is used as an oral spray.  The maximum dosage is 8 sprays over a 3-hour period, which is 48 sprays over a 24-hour period. [18]

See also: cancer.

Nerve Pain

In a mouse study 2.5 and 5 mg per kilogram of body weight of CBD prevented paclitaxel-induced (chemo therapy) neuropathic pain. [28] That doesn’t mean that it would stop the nerve pain once it was caused by the chemo therapy, although IMHO it will certainly help. 

A study involving variously caused nerve pain used a 50/50 mix of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).  The dosages used during the study were 2.5-120 mg per day. [3]

See also Chronic Pain and Cancer

Parkinson’s Disease

In a study of only six people with psychosis from Parkinson’s Disease:  an initial oral dose of 150 mg of CBD/day was adjusted as needed over a 4-week period.  This resulted in a lower total score on the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale.

Another 6-week long study gave a dose of either 75 mg/day of CBD or 300 mg/day of CBD.  There was no difference between the two dosages on the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS).  However, the 300mg dose did show improvement on the 39-item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire. [30]

Psychosis

A number of clinical studies have used 200 and 800 mg CBD per day. [18]

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A pre-teen girl took 25 mg of CBD before bed to help her sleep. 

She also took 6-12 mg of CBD as a sublingual spray during the day for anxiety.  Her ability to sleep improved quite a bit over five months, so that she could sleep in her own room.  Her anxiety was reduced so that she was doing well in school. [35]

In a study concerning the consolidation of explicit fear extinction, 32 mg of CBD was used. [35]

Another study used 5mg of THC twice per day.  This was in addition to their other medications. [35]

Also see Anxiety.

Schizophrenia

During a month-long trial, 42 people with Schizophrenia were started with 200 mg of CBD per day.  With a maximum of 200mg CBD four times per day. [30]

Tourette Syndrome

Both obsessive-compulsive behavior and tics were reduced by taking THC.  The THC dose varied by body weight from 5-10mg THC, in one dose per day. [30] [1] Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders.  

Do This To Find Your Perfect CBD Dosage Amount

Please, only buy organically grown CBD oil that has a Certificate of Analysis that shows exactly how much THC and CBD is in the product. It should also be processed with CO2 extraction in order to be free of toxins.

Then when you start using the CBD oil, start with a lower dose than what you may have seen in this article.

You want to see how your body performs, and build up the amount slowly if needed.

This is because CBD oil can be much more effective than the pure CBD used in the scientific studies. Don’t use more than what is effective for your needs.

References and Sources

[1] Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders.  

[2] Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis.  

[3] A preliminary controlled study to determine whether whole-plant cannabis extracts can improve intractable neurogenic symptoms.

[4] Do cannabis-based medicinal extracts have general or specific effects on symptoms in multiple sclerosis? A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study on 160 patients. 

[5] Initial experiences with medicinal extracts of cannabis for chronic pain: results from 34 ‘N of 1’ studies.   

[6] Analgesic effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

[7] The analgesic properties of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and codeine.

[8] Cannabinoids for epilepsy. 

[9] Cannabinoids in Pain Management and Palliative Medicine An Overview of Systematic Reviews and Prospective Observational Studies.

[10] Chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers and epileptic patients.

[11] Could Cannabidiol be a Treatment Option for Intractable Childhood and Adolescent Epilepsy? 

[12] Effect of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on nocturnal sleep and early-morning behavior in young adults. 

[13] Maturation of the adolescent brain.  

[14] Effect of sublingual application of cannabinoids on intraocular pressure: a pilot study. 

[15] Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol Differentially Regulate Intraocular Pressure.

[16] Oral Cannabidiol Use in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Treat Related Symptoms and Co-morbidities.  

[17] Low-Dose Cannabidiol Is Safe but Not Effective in the Treatment for Crohn’s Disease, a Randomized Controlled Trial.  

[18] Cannabinoids for treating inflammatory bowel diseases: where are we and where do we go?

[19] Cannabinoids in Pediatrics. 

[20] Cannabidiol Usage as an Adjunct Therapy for Crohn’s Disease.  

[21] Cannabinoids in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A randomised-controlled trial.

[22] Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder A Case Report.  

[23] Cannabidiol for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson’s disease. 

[24] Cannabidiol Based Medical Cannabis in Children with Autism- a Retrospective Feasibility Study (P3.318). 

[25] Real life Experience of Medical Cannabis Treatment in Autism: Analysis of Safety and Efficacy.

[26] The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis.  

[27] Pharmacotherapeutic considerations for use of cannabinoids to relieve pain in patients with malignant diseases. 

[28] Cannabidiol inhibits paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain through 5-HT1Areceptors without diminishing nervous system function or chemotherapy efficacy.

[29] Cannabidiol as potential anticancer drug. 

[30] A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Medical Cannabis for Psychiatric, Movement and Neurodegenerative Disorders.  

[31] A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study.  

[32] Cannabidiol Arrests Onset of Autoimmune Diabetes in NOD Mice.  

[33] Cannabidiol was ineffective for manic episode of bipolar affective disorder.

[34] Medical Cannabis. 

[35] Preliminary, open-label, pilot study of add-on oral Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.  

[36] Effect of Vaporized Cannabis on Exertional Breathlessness and Exercise Endurance in Advanced Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. A Randomized Controlled Trial.

[37] Controlled clinical trial of cannabidiol in Huntington’s disease. 

[38] Cannabidiol enhances consolidation of explicit fear extinction in humans.

[39] Hypnotic and antiepileptic effects of cannabidiol.

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