What Dose of CBD Is Actually Effective?

It is obvious that people are going crazy right now for CBD since it is finding its way into practically every imaginable product, from sleep aids, fitness recovery tools, nutritional supplements to pet products. This makes it hard for consumers to determine what products actually produce the effects they are looking to spend their hard-earned money on. Are consumers actually paying for tangible health benefits or is the label that says “Contains CBD” just another marketing gimmick. Do buyers actually know what dose of cannabidiol will get the job done?

This article will seek to gather the latest known information on CBD to shed light on the topic of effective dosage. Unfortunately, double-blind placebo-controlled studies (the gold standard in scientific studies) on CBD are relatively scarce and vastly outweighed by anecdotal evidence at present.

These are things that consumers should seriously take into account before trying CBD.

CBD Dose For Anxiety

In one study 1, students were given either placebo, Clonazepam, an anti-anxiety med or CBD in the amounts of 100mg, 300mg, or 900mg. Students were given these meds before giving a speech and anxiety was measured using the Visual Analog Mood Scale while their heart rate and blood pressure were measured. Students that were dosed with 300mg felt the anxiolytic effects of CBD as opposed to those who were dosed with 100mg and 900mg. The placebo group did not receive a significant effect. The anti-anxiety medication Clonazepam did have an effect but it also had the undesired effect of a sedative. It seems that for anxiety, taking the right amount and not too much of CBD can assist with anxiety relief. This study also shows that more isn’t always better when using CBD because of its biphasic effect. More information on this effect can be found in Top 10 Myths Surrounding CBD Debunked.

The effective dose taken in the study was 300 mg.

CBD Dose For a Sleep Aid

If CBD helps with anxiety, it’s not a long jump to assume there could be benefits in improving sleep quality as well. There have been some studies 2 that show that a proper CBD dose improves sleep if taken regularly over a certain period of time. In the particular study’s case, the time period was a month. There are also studies that show CBD helps people fall asleep faster, known as sleep latency. Other studies 3 show no effects on the sleep-wake cycle. Anecdotally, many people I’ve spoken to noticed a calming effect when taking CBD which could attribute to better sleep patterns.

The CBD Dose in the aforementioned study: 25 milligrams (mg) of CBD in capsule form each day.

CBD Dose for Pain Relief / Physical Training Recovery

For serious athletes and those looking to optimize health, using sleep optimization in recovery from training should come as no surprise. Gains are made during recovery sleep and not while pushing weights at the gym. Because CBD helps with sleep and muscle relaxation, a lot of athletes are now including it in their supplement intake.

Other means of recovery is reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Although inflammation is a useful healing and growth process your body undertakes after training, chronic inflammation, or inflammation to surrounding areas may be unwanted. The proper CBD dose can help with this process. Using it as a cream can be more effective than over the counter drugs like Aspirin or Tylenol which are known to have side effects.

Because of the lack of actual studies about CBD use in athletes or those who train regularly, it’s hard to make a recommended dose. Pain is both very personal and differs from person to person, as well as very dependent on other factors that may have less to do with physical inflammation and injury the individual minds. The noticeable effects of CBD are also very wide-ranging 4. Some people notice the effects with 1mg while some only notice the effects with 2000mg. Others do not experience any benefits from using CBD. That being said, almost all sources recommend starting from the smallest amount of CBD and increasing it until the desired effect is achieved.

By using the smallest effective cannabidiol dose you can save money (CBD is quite expensive) and eventually find the optimal dosage amount that fits your needs.

Difficulties in Determining Dosages in CBD

At present, consumers have to rely largely on manufacturer information and other anecdotal sources to determine dosage. The problem is that most manufacturers also use anecdotal data, such as competitor and industry data and various studies that wouldn’t normally pass rigorous scientific scrutiny. Fortunately, CBD is safe and does not cause any dangerous short-term side effects. The long term effects of heavy CBD use has yet to be studied.

Relative Safety of CBD 

While the studies on the safety of CBD are scant, none show that CBD is toxic to both animals and humans. This may be the reason why manufacturers can arbitrarily determine the dose amount based on the market and perception rather than what is actually effective.

It’s likely that studies regarding CBD safety will increase as its popularity grows. However, the CBD industry can expect the FDA to continue its vigilance. This can mean that it is unlikely that any other CBD product aside from Epidiolex will be approved soon. The only thing that can probably change this is the passing of legislation from the federal government favoring of cannabis. The FDA has already issued many warnings and passed laws regarding CBD. 5

As always, the best advice on CBD will come from medical professionals that are well-acquainted with cannabis. Therefore, it is advisable to take all available information online on CBD with a grain of salt.

  1. Zuardi, A.W. et al. (2017 May 11). Inverted U-Shaped Dose-Response Curve of the Anxiolytic Effect of Cannabidiol during Public Speaking in Real Life. Frontiers in Pharmacology. https://qz.com/quartzy/1597088/does-cbd-work-a-comprehensive-look-at-its-most-popular-uses/.
  2. Shannon, S. et al. (2019 Jan 7). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30624194.
  3. Linares, I.M.P. (2018 Apr 5). No Acute Effects of Cannabidiol on the Sleep-Wake Cycle of Healthy Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study. Frontiers in Pharmacology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29674967.
  4. Hammell, D.C. (2015 Oct 30). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European Journal of Pain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/.
  5. (2019 Nov 25). What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-need-know-and-what-were-working-find-out-about-products-containing-cannabis-or-cannabis.

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