What is the optimal dose of CBD? Higher doses do not translate into greater benefits

Dosage of CBD oil drops

CBD, a prominent non-psychoactive cannabinoid, has burst onto the wellness scene with unstoppable force. Among people looking for natural alternatives to improve their quality of life, buying CBD online is an increasingly popular option.

In this post you will find the optimal CBD doses studied, and we will address one of the most important topics on cannabinoid dosing: the CBD bell curve effect, or CBD biphasic effect, fundamental to CBD dosing efficacy. Because, sometimes, more is not always better.

We remind you that this is an informative article that is not intended to prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. Its content can complement, but never replace, the diagnosis or treatment of any disease or symptom. Cannactiva products are not medicines and are intended for external use. Consult your doctor before using CBD.

What is the optimal dose of CBD?

The cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound present in the cannabis plant that has effects on the body related to pain relief, anxiety and sleep improvement, among others. It acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is like the body’s “control center”, in charge of maintaining the body’s balance or homeostasis, and of promoting an adequate response of the organism to a situation of discomfort.

CBD dosage table

Many people look to a standard dosage chart for guidance in determining how much CBD to use, however, cannabinoids are compounds that act in a personalized way.

Finding the optimal dose of CBD that works for a given need is essential to maximize its effects, for this we can mention some dosage ranges reported in scientific studies. This information is not prescriptive: do not use CBD without professional advice.

Daily doseTimes per day
Chronic pain15 to 60 mg (5)1 o 2 *
Anxiety, acute moments300 mg (8)1, for isolated events
Anxiety, long term25 or 50 mg (9)1 o 2 **
Dream25 or 50 mg (9)1 o 2 ***
Table of CBD dosages being investigated for different conditions.

Table: * Chronic pain: 7.5- 30 mg in the morning and evening. ** Anxiety: 12.5- 25 mg in the morning and evening. *** Sleep: Full dose in the evening or 12.5-25 mg in the morning and evening.

An important feature is that each person reacts differently to CBD, due to factors such as metabolism, weight, tolerance and history of cannabinoid consumption and other personal particularities.

Forms of CBD consumption

The form of consumption of CBD plays a key role in the effectiveness and speed with which you experience its effects. Different methods of administration have varying absorption rates and may influence the optimal dose required to achieve the desired results. Here is an overview of common methods of using CBD and how they affect dosage:

  • CBD oil are used topically or can be administered by placing a few drops under the tongue. The sublingual method tends to be more efficient in terms of bioavailability, although you should keep in mind that oral CBD is not legal in many European countries, including Spain. There are different concentrations, we recommend the guide to choose CBD oil. Cannactiva products are legally intended for external use.
  • CBD Vaping Vaping: this method provides rapid absorption through the lungs. The effect is fast, but disappears gradually.
  • CBD creams are applied directly on the skin to treat muscle aches and pains. The dosage here relates more to the amount of product used than to the concentration of CBD itself.
How much CBD to take
Cannactiva CBD Products

How to find the optimal CBD dosage?

Determining the optimal CBD dosage should be a personalized process guided by a professional, as it depends on several factors. Here are some general guidelines:

Total Time: 15 days

Start with low doses and increase gradually

Start with a low dose and increase it progressively until you find the point where you feel the desired effects. We recommend that you maintain the initial dose for 15 days before increasing it, to observe the effect of CBD on the body.

Listen to your body

Pay attention to how you feel at different doses and how your body responds.

Consider your weight and health condition

Your body weight and individual needs may influence the optimal dosage.

Product quality

Be sure to use reliable, high-quality CBD products for consistent results. In Cannactiva we guarantee the best quality in CBD oil. All our oils are analyzed by third party laboratories to guarantee their quality and cannabidiol content.

Biphasic effect of CBD: bell-shaped dose-response curve

A basic aspect of endocannabinoid science is the “bell curve effect” or “biphasic effect” of cannabinoids, which explains the concept of optimal cannabinoid dosage.

Two-phase dose-response effect of CBD - Bell-curve effect
Two-phase dose-response effect of CBD – Bell-curve effect

The CBD bell-shaped effect, also known as the CBD biphasic effect or inverted U-shaped curve, is a dose-dependent pattern of response in which the efficacy of CBD increases as the dose increases, but only to a certain extent.beyond which, increasing the dose of CBD leads to a decrease in the effects.

The curve that follows the effect of CBD as a function of the dose is like a bell. The optimal dose of CBD will produce beneficial and desirable effects. But using too much CBD, or too little, loses effectiveness.

The biphasic effect of cannabinoids refers to the fact that, depending on the dose, two types of response can be obtained, positive or negative, it being understood that the “negative” CBD response generally means that it has a null response or diminished effectiveness.

Why does CBD have this biphasic effect?

The cannabinoid bell effect, or biphasic effect of CBD, occurs due to the complex interactions between cannabinoids and their respective receptors within the endocannabinoid system. This effect has been mostly described for CBD and THC or tetrahydrocannabinol (1, 2, 3), however, it has been suggested to occur with other cannabinoids as well.

Some research teams continue to study the biphasic effect of cannabinoids, and even on endocannabinoids (which are the cannabinoids produced by our own body) as it appears that endocannabinoids such as anandamide can manifest a bell-shaped response when administered from synthetic sources (4).

Why is it important to understand the biphasic effect when using CBD or other cannabinoids?

The bell-shaped or biphasic effect of cannabinoids is crucial to optimize the therapeutic potential of CBD and thus maximize its benefits. A very high dosage could generate a lack of response or desired effect, where relief will most likely be found with a lower CBD dosage.

The biphasic effect of CBD emphasizes the importance of personalized doses, as factors such as metabolism, weight and some medical conditions can vary the response of CBD interaction with the endocannabinoid system. A CBD dose that is too low may benefit one person, and the dose that would be considered “high” for that same person may be a low dose for another.

Optimal CBD dosage used in studies and its potential benefits

Finding the right CBD dosage is key to obtaining maximum therapeutic benefits. Here are some of the optimal dosages that have been researched for CBD in different conditions:

* We remind you that this is an informative article that is not intended to prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. Its content may complement, but never replace, the diagnosis or treatment of any disease or symptom. Cannactiva products are not medicines and are intended for external use. Consult with your physician before using CBD. *

CBD dosage for chronic pain relief

Chronic pain is a disabling cause for many people in the world. CBD at low doses seems to have better results for pain. One study evaluated patients with chronic pain using a CBD dose of 15 to 60 mg per day, with favorable results in pain reduction. The range of CBD dose was due to each patient having a personalized dose at which they found relief (5). While no other doses were evaluated in that study, relatively low doses of cannabidiol were used, reminding us of the relevance of CBD dose customization. Other studies have reported CBD’s effectiveness in treating pain related to arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis.

CBD dosage for the reduction of inflammation.

The importance of CBD dosage appears to be significant for the control of inflammation. In vitro studies have shown that CBD has a strong anti-inflammatory effect by reducing the release of pro-inflammatory substances; however, higher doses of CBD can lead to a completely opposite effect (6, 7).

Although the biphasic effect of CBD for inflammation has not been proven in humans, caution should be taken not to use high doses. You can expand this information in our post about CBD as an anti-inflammatory CBD as an anti-inflammatory .

CBD dosage for anxiety, stress and depression

One of the benefits of CBD is to counteract anxiety, which is one of the most common psychiatric disorders that is exacerbated by the stresses of modern life.

In a study that evaluated the anxiolytic effect of CBD in a simulated public speaking test, public speaking stress was reduced in people who took a CBD dose of 300 mg. However, this effect was not observed with CBD doses of 150 mg and 600 mg. Which means that, to reduce anxiety and stress acutely, the optimal dose of CBD is right in the middle, i.e. 300 mg CBD (8). You can find more information in our posts about CBD for anxiety and CBD for depression .

CBD dosage for sleep, sleep enhancement and restful sleep

The effect of CBD on the quality and duration of sleep in adults has been observed with some doses, and is partly due to the anxiolytic effect it produces.

In a study that evaluated the long-term effect of CBD sleeping doses of 25-175 mg per day, it found excellent results in producing improvements in sleep quality and decreased anxiety (9). In this study they explain that they did not use the doses of CBD reported in the literature ranging from 200 to 600 mg per day (10, 11), based on their clinical experience on the effectiveness of low doses of CBD.

According to the clinical experience of the researchers, low doses of CBD can also be effective.

This research on sleep and anxiety is another example of the biphasic effect of CBD and the importance of dose customization. As some patients received 25 mg per day, while others received 50 mg or more, depending on the response and needs of each patient.

This study evaluated the sleep quality and anxiolytic effect with long-term doses of CBD as the CBD dose was administered over several months. Whereas, in the study mentioned in the previous point, on anxiety, where CBD was used at a dose of 300 mg, it was a single dose.

You can find more information in our post about CBD for insomnia .

Potential to act as a neuroprotectant

Cannabidiol has the ability to act as a protector of neurons due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. These two properties have been documented to occur in a dose-dependent manner (12, 6, 7), suggesting the possibility of a biphasic effect as well.

Although there is no standardized dose to induce the neuroprotective effect of CBD, excessive amounts could result in effects opposite to those desired (13), while a low dose exhibits neuroprotective properties. These applications are used in research on CBD for Alzheimer’s and CBD for Parkinson’s, although most studies are in early stages. Some other neurological disorders for which CBD is used are as an adjunctive treatment for autism and as a medication for epilepsy.

CBD dosage for pets

The use of CBD is not limited to humans; it has also become popular for relieving anxiety and other problems in dogs and cats. Regarding the use of CBD in cats there is little scientific information. Instead, we have a very comprehensive article on CBD for dogs .

Adverse effects of excessive CBD doses

While CBD is generally safe and well tolerated, excessive consumption can have unwanted side effects. Some possible adverse effects of CBD include:

  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort

Conclusions

It is essential to understand that in order to obtain an adequate effect of CBD, higher doses do not translate into greater benefits.

The biphasic effect of CBD is a fascinating phenomenon that reminds us of the importance of starting with low doses and finding the right dose for each person, where the therapeutic benefits of CBD are maximized.

As science continues to explore cannabinoids and their medical applications, we can expect CBD to continue to play a crucial role in people’s overall well-being. Remember to always consult with a professional before incorporating CBD into your routine to ensure safe and effective use.

We remind you that this is an informative article that is not intended to prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. Its content can complement, but never replace, the diagnosis or treatment of any disease or symptom. Cannactiva products are not medicines and are intended for external use. Consult your doctor before using CBD.

Referencias
  1. Calabrese, E. J., & Rubio-Casillas, A. (2018). Biphasic effects of THC in memory and cognition. European journal of clinical investigation, 48(5), e12920. https://doi.org/10.1111/eci.12920
  2. Taylor, D. A., & Fennessy, M. R. (1977). Biphasic nature of the effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol on body temperature and brain amines of the rat. European journal of pharmacology, 46(2), 93-99. https://doi.org/10.1016/0014-2999(77)90244-8
  3. Katsidoni, V., Kastellakis, A., & Panagis, G. (2013). Biphasic effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol on brain stimulation reward and motor activity. The international journal of neuropsychopharmacology, 16(10), 2273-2284. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1461145713000709
  4. Sulcova, E., Mechoulam, R., & Fride, E. (1998). Biphasic effects of anandamide. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior, 59(2), 347-352. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0091-3057(97)00422-x
  5. Capano, A., Weaver, R., & Burkman, E. (2020). Evaluation of the effects of CBD hemp extract on opioid use and quality of life indicators in chronic pain patients: a prospective cohort study. Postgraduate medicine, 132(1), 56-61. https://doi.org/10.1080/00325481.2019.1685298
  6. Jan, T. R., & Kaminski, N. E. (2001). Role of mitogen-activated protein kinases in the differential regulation of interleukin-2 by cannabinol. Journal of leukocyte biology, 69(5), 841-849.
  7. Chen, W., Kaplan, B. L., Pike, S. T., Topper, L. A., Lichorobiec, N. R., Simmons, S. O., Ramabhadran, R., & Kaminski, N. E. (2012). Magnitude of stimulation dictates the cannabinoid-mediated differential T cell response to HIVgp120. Journal of leukocyte biology, 92(5), 1093-1102. https://doi.org/10.1189/jlb.0212082
  8. Linares, I. M., Zuardi, A. W., Pereira, L. C., Queiroz, R. H., Mechoulam, R., Guimarães, F. S., & Crippa, J. A. (2019). Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test. Revista brasileira de psiquiatria (Sao Paulo, Brazil : 1999), 41(1), 9-14. https://doi.org/10.1590/1516-4446-2017-0015
  9. Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente journal, 23, 18-041. https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/18-041
  10. Zuardi, A. W., Rodrigues, N. P., Silva, A. L., Bernardo, S. A., Hallak, J. E. C., Guimarães, F. S., & Crippa, J. A. S. (2017). Inverted U-Shaped Dose-Response Curve of the Anxiolytic Effect of Cannabidiol during Public Speaking in Real Life. Frontiers in pharmacology, 8, 259. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2017.00259
  11. Zhornitsky, S., & Potvin, S. (2012). Cannabidiol in humans-the quest for therapeutic targets. Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland), 5(5), 529-552. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph5050529
  12. Mould, R. R. R., Botchway, S. W., Parkinson, J. R. C., Thomas, E. L., Guy, G. W., Bell, J. D., & Nunn, A. V. W. (2021). Cannabidiol Modulates Mitochondrial Redox and Dynamics in MCF7 Cancer Cells: A Study Using Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy of NAD(P)H. Frontiers in molecular biosciences, 8, 630107. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmolb.2021.630107
  13. Rey, A. A., Purrio, M., Viveros, M. P., & Lutz, B. (2012). Biphasic effects of cannabinoids in anxiety responses: CB1 and GABA(B) receptors in the balance of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 37(12), 2624-2634. https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2012.123

Masha Burelo
Investigadora en cannabinoides | Doctoranda en Neurociencia

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