How much CBD-enriched hemp oil should I take?


The amount of CBD-enriched hemp oil that an individual needs is dependent on multiple factors:

  1. The weight of the individual (the volume of distribution of CBD within the body is greater than the total weight/size of the body, meaning it is distributed throughout all the body and concentrated in certain cells, including fat cells)
  2. The location of the symptom (if the symptoms are relatively superficial, a superficial application may be adequate; if the symptoms are deeper or systemic, then a systemic application would be needed)
  3. The location of the cause of the symptom (some symptoms are felt superficially but are due to injuries located deep inside the person, i.e., diabetic neuropathy: it is felt on the periphery but the cause is inflammation within the spinal cord.  In this disease, both superficial and systemic therapy is needed; superficial resolves discomfort quickly but the pain returns, only the systemic therapy will produce any long-term reduction in the pain and this takes some time)
  4. The status of the patient’s own endocannabinoid system
    • Some diseases seem to be caused by a breakdown or deficiency within the person’s endocannabinoid system, such as, fibromyalgia.  In this case micro dosing may be more effective than intermittent dosing.)
    • Different people need different amounts of CBD because of the way their body metabolizes, uses, and stores CBD and because of their own body’s ability (or lack thereof) to produce endocannabinoids.
  5. The biphasic nature of cannabinoids. In multiple animal studies and some human studies, cannabinoids (including CBD) has been shown to produce an effect at a low dose, then start to lose the effect at a higher dose, then re-produce the same effect at an even higher dose.  Sometimes the lower dose effect is greater than the highest and sometimes, vice-versa.  Often a higher dose produces other effects, some of which may desired and some which may be undesirable.  The actual amounts to produce this biphasic response varies from individual to individual and is probably influenced by #4, above.
  6. The desired outcome of the patient. Some patients only want to sleep better, some want pain relief, etc.  Once the patient’s outcomes are met there is no need for them to take more, unless they change their desired outcome.
  7. For some diseases, the starting doses for physician-prescribed,specific disease treatment of CBD and/or THC has been published, but this is for that particular drug and that drug alone. Whether this dosage is useful for CBD-enriched hemp oil products is not known.

In practice, I usually start someone out on a relatively low to moderate dose initially and gradually build up or down until they are getting the desired result.  I find that people who use topical CBD-enriched hemp oil and are helped, usually do even better when it is combined with a systemic administration (sublingual or oral).  I have found that the water soluble, full spectrum hemp oil from CBD American Shaman is excellent and recommend it first for almost everyone that has a need for systemic therapy because of its clinically seen fast rate of absorption and high blood levels.  A few individuals will have adverse side effects to the water soluble (usually headache, “hang-over”, mental disorientation, or fatigue) and I switch them to sublingual which just about everyone can tolerate.  When using sublingual, I have them take 2-3 drops several times a day.  Any more than 2-3 drops doesn’t help much more because no one can hold it under the tongue for long enough to get that much absorbed without swallowing.   Most of my patients end up on systemic therapy but that’s the nature of my practice (allergy and immunology).  If someone had a practice with lots of muscular/ligamentous/tendon injury (like a chiropractor), they may find that the topical is adequate for most of their patients.  However, I have found that those who like the topical, usually like their feeling of well-being they experience when they take a systemic form of CBD-enriched hemp oil, also.  

Bottom Line: 

The amount of CBD-enriched hemp oil that an individual needs and the method by which it is administered vary greatly and is influenced by a host of factors.  Most seem to start by taking a low to moderate amount and vary the amount up or down depending on how they are responding.  Micro dosing seems like it may be helpful in individuals with endocannabinoid deficiency diseases and/or systemic inflammatory disease.