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cbd dosage

You may have noticed that there isn’t a whole lot of dosage information on CBD packaging and websites. Labels say the amount of CBD in the product and sometimes the serving size but not how much you should actually take to treat a given condition. CBD dosage for pain can vary between individuals. 

So why the lack of information? 

The lack of information has to do with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

The 2018 Farm Bill was signed on Dec. 20, 2018. The law removed hemp (and CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). With the plant now legal, CBD’s status as food, drug, and supplement fell under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration. 

The FDA had no pre-existing policy in place for hemp or CBD. The federal government considers hemp any variety of Cannabis sativa l. with THC concentration below 0.3% dry weight. I want to note not every type of hemp contains the same amount of cannabidiol, but the distinction for hemp classification is based purely on THC levels. 

The FDA immediately cited the need for clinical trials to assess “the safety and effectiveness” of hemp-derived supplements before allowing claims to be made on products brought to market. In early 2019, the agency held a public hearing to address concerns of the industry and consumers in formulating their future policy. 

During the hearing, they clarified “cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to [approval] by the FDA,” meaning that products in the category were free to use legal ingredients without fear of having their labels scrutinized as long as they made cosmetic, not health, claims.

They went on to make the statement, in which they referred to hemp and CBD under the blanket of the term cannabis:

“To date, the agency has not approved a marketing application for cannabis for the treatment of any disease or condition. FDA has, however, approved one cannabis-derived and three cannabis-related drug products. These approved products are only available with a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider.”

This is a questionable statement in a time when the media is continuously blamed for fake news.

The FDA Has Held a Patent on CBD for Multiple Conditions Since 2003

The FDA actually approved the first synthetic-THC drug in 1985. More interestingly, the US government’s own Department of Health patented CBD as an antioxidant for multiple uses, including head trauma, in 2003. The FDA’s statement that they lack evidence for the medical efficacy of CBD appears to be in opposition to their own research. CBD oil effects on the body are often not taken into consideration. 

The US Department of Health and Human Services’ 2003 patent US6630507B1 “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants” reads:

“Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant [properties.] Cannabidiol (CBD) is useful in the treatment [of a] wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.”

Much of this research was completed in 1998 and published in a groundbreaking report by the National Academy of Sciences. The study, authored by A. Hampson, M. Grimaldi, D. Wink and Nobel laureate J. Axelrod of the National Institutes of Mental Health would form the basis of the US government-held patent and show CBD effects. 

When the FDA approves drugs and supplements for treatment of a condition, the agency has evaluated whether they work, the proper dosage, how they could interact with other medications, and whether they have dangerous side effects or other safety concerns. These are all great reasons for FDA approval. The challenge comes when this level of regulation is used as a political or corporate tool and not one of public safety. 

The existing federal patent on cannabidiol illustrates its safety and efficacy for head trauma, neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and HIV dementia. The real issue lies in their loss of leverage of the now legal cannabinoids contained in hemp. 

With transparency now necessary, it’s clear more research is needed to properly implement CBD as a treatment for many conditions it helps. For decades, the government had successfully prevented the public from accessing cannabis-derived medicine, simultaneously delaying research that would prove both it’s safety and efficacy. It was a matter of not helping at all versus how to best help.

This year a federal court demanded the DEA move forward on studies which it had stalled for several years, failing to process a single application for research. Lawmakers have for the first time called for expedited treatment of CBD, acknowledging that the hemp industry is helping the country in more ways than one. 

It is Illegal for CBD Products to Claim to Treat Specific Conditions

Once the FDA releases their policy, there will be conditions that CBD makers can give approved dosages for treating. Off-label guidance will still be banned from marketing. Until then, it is only appropriate for me to discuss dosages that are referenced by peer-reviewed published experiments. These are not guidelines but rather arbitrary amounts that either did or did not improve the studied condition.  

According to WebMD, Cannabidiol (CBD) “in doses of up to 300 mg daily have been taken by mouth safely for up to 6 months. Higher doses of 1200-1500 mg daily have been taken by mouth safely for up to 4 weeks.” They note some reported side effects of CBD include dry mouth, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and drowsiness.

Dosages in Published Peer-Reviewed Studies

Here is a list of compiled dosages found useful in peer-reviewed scientific studies. This is not my recommendation. CBD dosage for pain does vary.  Instead, these are dosages used in peer-reviewed journals:

 

 

How to Dose a CBD Product

To make sure your dose is accurate, read the CBD product label carefully. The description will state the total amount of CBD in the product, the serving size, and the number of servings. 

For example, CBD drops are commonly sold in 1 oz tincture bottles containing a total of 1000 mg of CBD. The label will say the size of a serving and the number of servings. In a 1 oz bottle with 1000mg of CBD, one dropper will contain 1ml of liquid, and the label will state that there are 30 total servings. 

1000 mg divided by 30 servings equals 33 mg of CBD per dropper. If a user is aiming to take 150mg of CBD per dose, they will use 5 droppers of this product each time. 

Another example. A vape pen with 0.5 ml of oil will typically say the amount of CBD delivered in one draw. The label will say something like: “approximately 1-2 milligrams per 3-second puff.” If the user were trying to take 2.5 mg of CBD per dose, they would then take 2 draws from the vape pen each time they wanted to dose. 

Hopefully, this article will help you find a CBD dose that works best for you while we wait on the FDA to approve more comprehensive labeling for products. Be wary of companies or “experts” making claims of specific treatment protocols. Use lab-tested CBD products from reputable brands and keep an eye out for news of the FDA making some official recommendations in the coming months. 

References

 

“Cannabis Ingredient Can Help Cancer Patients Regain Their Appetites and Sense of Taste, Study Finds.” ScienceDaily. February 25, 2011. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222192830.htm.

“Effects of Ipsapirone and Cannabidiol on Human Experimental Anxiety.” SAGE Journals. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/026988119300700112.

Iffland, Kerstin, and Franjo Grotenhermen. “An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies.” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. June 01, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/.

Iffland, Kerstin, and Franjo Grotenhermen. “An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies.” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. June 01, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/.

Kluger, Benzi, Piera Triolo, Wallace Jones, and Joseph Jankovic. “The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids for Movement Disorders.” Movement Disorders : Official Journal of the Movement Disorder Society. March 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4357541/.

Kluger, Benzi, Piera Triolo, Wallace Jones, and Joseph Jankovic. “The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids for Movement Disorders.” Movement Disorders : Official Journal of the Movement Disorder Society. March 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4357541/.

Office of the Commissioner. “Public Health Focus – FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products: Questions and Answers.” U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm421168.htm#othercbdapproved.

Perucca, Emilio. “Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Epilepsy: Hard Evidence at Last?” Journal of Epilepsy Research. December 31, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5767492/.

Russo, Ethan B. “Cannabinoids in the Management of Difficult to Treat Pain.” Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. February 2008. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/.

Neuropsychobiology. March 25, 2016. https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/443890.

Shoval, Gal, Liat Shbiro, Liron Hershkovitz, Noa Hazut, Gil Zalsman, Raphael Mechoulam, and Aron Weller. “Prohedonic Effect of Cannabidiol in a Rat Model of Depression.” Neuropsychobiology. March 25, 2016. https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/443890.

Tomida, Ileana, Augusto Azuara-Blanco, Heather House, Maggie Flint, Roger G. Pertwee, and Philip J. Robson. “Effect of Sublingual Application of Cannabinoids on Intraocular Pressure: A Pilot Study.” Journal of Glaucoma. October 2006. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16988594.

Zhornitsky, Simon, and Stéphane Potvin. “Cannabidiol in Humans-the Quest for Therapeutic Targets.” Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland). May 21, 2012. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3763649/.

CBDinside is an independent, New York based CBD comparison platform. Many of the CBD products that appear on this site are from companies from which CBDInside receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CBDinside does not include all CBD companies or all CBD products available in the marketplace.

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