by Jay Hartenbach
August 28, 2020
How to master your CBD dosage throughout the day to maximize your benefits.
Cannabidiol oil, or CBD, has become incredibly popular in the last few years thanks to its wide-reaching therapeutic effects on its users’ sense of mental and physical wellbeing.
Whether you’re one of the millions of people experienced with using natural CBD supplements, or you’re curious about getting started, pinpointing the ideal formulation, quantity and schedule for taking your CBD is one of the keys to maximizing the benefits.
CBD comes in a lot of different forms, strengths and targeted uses, and every person’s body will react somewhat differently to the substances one consumes.
But don’t fret! Figuring out the perfect regimen of CBD for your own specific goals and needs is easier than you might think. Let’s take a closer look.
The concept of microdosing may be familiar to some readers. It means taking very small amounts of a drug or supplement in order to test or benefit from its effects, while also avoiding harmful or unpleasant side-effects. Sounds good, right?
Similarly, in medicine, titration means finding the dose of a drug that offers the maximum benefit with minimum adverse effects. Well, lucky for us, CBD has extremely limited and mild known side-effects and has been found to be non-toxic in humans in doses up to 1,500mg/day. But the concept of titration, and more specifically self-titration, is still helpful in guiding CBD users.
Start with a microdose — how little can you take to feel any positive effect at all? Does increasing the dose from there cause improved results? And beyond what point do you no longer notice improvements? If you can answer these questions, you’re well on our way to optimizing how you use CBD in your daily self-care regimen.
Before any attempt to establish your ideal personal daily dose of CBD, it is crucial to understand the difference in concentrations and bioavailability between the common delivery methods that are out there. We’re talking topical, sublingual and oral.
When it comes to precise control, the clear choice is sublingual delivery in the form of a tincture. First, the dropper allows you to administer a specific quantity of CBD. Some quick math (or reading the label) will help you figure out the strength per serving.
For example, a 1,500mg strength tincture in a 30mL bottle will have roughly 30 1mL servings of 50mg each. Fractional markings on your dropper or counting individual drops allows for even greater precision.
Tinctures tend to have good bioavailability (the percentage of a substance that enters circulation when it is introduced to the body so as to have an active effect) of around 13% – 19%. For consistency and effectiveness, remember to use your tincture correctly by holding the oil under your tongue for at least 30 – 60 seconds before swallowing. This delivery method should produce effects within about 30-45 minutes or so, with effects lasting from 4 – 6 hours.
Oral (capsules or gummies) delivery of CBD has lower bioavailability than a tincture (around 10% – 20%), but offers other benefits like ease-of-use and potentially longer-lasting effects. When you consume CBD orally, it has to pass through your digestive system before taking effect, which can take one to two hours.
Though lowered bioavailability may mean less CBD ultimately gets to your bloodstream, the effects may last longer (roughly 4 – 8 hours), making this a great delivery method for formulations targeted at aiding sleep, for example.
Unlike sublingual and oral products that enter the bloodstream through your mouth or stomach, topical CBD like lotions and creams act primarily on the endocannabinoid receptors found in the body’s peripheral nervous system.
The result is that they can provide targeted, specific feelings of relief for the user’s body. Researchers believe that with topical CBD, bioavailability is very low. Which is to say that if you find CBD creams and lotions effective, you should feel confident using it as often as needed.
Which brings us to the final piece of the puzzle: you. Yeah, you! If you’ve read this far, you must have some goals — the things you want to accomplish by incorporating CBD into your self-care routine.
Be clear about these goals first — what kind of psychological state do you want to promote (or prevent)? What type of physical challenges do you need to overcome in your day-to-day? How do you want to feel when you go to sleep at night, or wake up in the morning? There are various CBD supplements and formulations targeted at these fundamental wellness goals — choose what’s best for you.
Next, plan how best to distribute your supplements throughout your day and week. Do you need a boost in the morning? Sustained focus through the afternoon doldrums? Help getting to sleep? Make a schedule and stick to it. Daily consistency is believed to contribute greatly to CBD’s effectiveness.
Finally, using what you learned today, dial in your specific dose. Start small and find that key amount where you say, “ahh, there it is!” Continue to build from there while asking yourself if the benefits increase as well. If the benefits plateau or fall off, then step it back a notch. It might take a little patience and experimentation to find the perfect, individualized regimen, but the reward will be well worth the effort.
Most people seeking to maximize their benefit from CBD use various products and delivery methods throughout their day to establish a “loading dose” of CBD early on in the day–and then maintain it by grazing with different consumption methods throughout the day.
This strategy has the benefit of keeping levels of CBD relatively high throughout the day, so benefits can be experienced over a 24-hour period. For example, some athletes may take a sublingual tincture to start the day, and then top up with gummies or caps mid-morning or around lunch time.
Of course, we are all mindful of our immune system these days, so Immune Drops + CBD are a helpful addition to the daily CBD stack to enhance immune response with natural support compounds.
To wind down or recover from a busy or active lifestyle, many athletes like to treat themselves to a soothing topical cream combined with sleep-oriented products like our CBD + Melatonin capsules for sound rest.