If you have ever heard of CBD you may know that cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive chemical in the cannabis plant. Unlike the chemical THC, CBD has medical benefits without the high. This is usually the extent of information that most people know about CBD. What most people do not know, is that it is exceedingly difficult to dose and measure CBD. You can’t go to the store, choose from a couple brands, and then look on the back of the box for a dosing chart. And then you see the CBD dosing dilemma.
CBD is not considered a medicine by the FDA, so there is much more work involved for the patient. First, a person must choose if they want to use CBD products from a dispensary or “over-the-counter.”
Over-the-counter products are easier to obtain, while CBD from a dispensary requires a medical marijuana card. (The main difference is the amount of THC that is contained in the product.) Then they have to choose what form of CBD they want to use. CBD products come in many different forms like: tinctures (a liquid extract), oils, flower, vaping, solids, pills, or edibles. On top of that there are hundreds of different brands to choose from, which all have varying levels of CBD. Buying CBD is nothing like buying an over-the-counter medication or going to the pharmacy to pick up your prescription.
CBD and Doctors
Sometimes doctor visits may even complicate matters. Normally, a doctor or pharmacist would tell you exactly which medicine to take, exactly how many milligrams to take, and when you should to take it. It is an entirely different process for CBD. Sometimes doctors don’t even know what CBD is, which is frustrating for patients. For doctors who do know what CBD is, they can’t prescribe it to you, they can only discuss options with you.
Occasionally they will recommend some brands that they like and they will try to give you some general guidance on dosing. The reason they can’t tell their patients exactly what dose to take is because there is a wide range of medical conditions that people use CBD for. On top of that, everyone has varying levels of severity for these medical conditions. This makes it difficult for doctors because there is not one single dose that they can recommend to everyone. Someone with mild anxiety would not be taking the same dose as someone with severe epilepsy. But how do we know how many milligrams of CBD someone with mild anxiety should take? Or someone with severe epilepsy should take?
CBD and the FDA
FDA standards say that the best way to know is by doing clinical research with CBD as a treatment for each of these conditions, which could take many years and possibly decades. So what do CBD users do while waiting for the FDA to figure out the correct dose for each medical condition? They go to the internet and do a search for CBD doses for their condition.
Scientific research papers are long and technical, so people go on people’s blog posts or social media to figure their dose. It is very easy for people to make up random numbers and put them on the internet. Many times, this results in contradictory numbers on multiple websites. One website may say to take 100 mg of CBD a day while another website says to take only 20 milligrams a day. This process of finding a dose is ineffective and unscientific, so is there a more effective way? Or do you have to spend hours and hours searching the internet for answers.
Everyone has a different severity of medical conditions and everyone reacts differently to CBD. There is only one way to know which dose is really best for you, and it is called microdosing. Microdosing is the process of starting with a small dose and gradually increasing your dose until you feel relief from your symptoms.
An example of this is to start with taking 1mg of CBD in the morning and see if you feel any better. If not, take 2mg that night. If you do not feel relief, increase the dose to 3mg the next morning. Continue this process until you’ve found relief from your symptoms. 8mg of CBD may work best for one person while 75mg may work best for someone else. This is because people metabolize CBD differently, so don’t change your dose just because someone you know takes more or less than you.
It should be mentioned that taking too much CBD may result in some side effects like low blood pressure (which can cause dizziness), feeling sleepy, or getting dry mouth. If you have severe conditions like epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease, be careful to not take too much CBD because some people have noticed that taking too much brings back some seizures or tremors.
When you use the microdosing technique, it greatly lowers your chances of experiencing these side effects and it could also help you save money since you wouldn’t be taking more CBD than you need.
Type of CBD
CBD tinctures and oils are the best forms of CBD for microdosing. This is because tinctures and oils tend to be less concentrated and they are in liquid form. One drop of tincture usually equals 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 1.5 mg, or 5 mg, so they are small enough to gradually increase your dose.
When you use CBD pills, edibles, and vaping, there is either too much CBD to be able to microdose in small amounts, or there is no way to measure what you are taking. CBD tinctures and oils allow you to measure small amounts of CBD, which is why they provide the best results for microdosing. It is easy to count drops and measure liquid from a syringe, but converting the dose from milligrams into a measurable amount like milliliters is difficult.
Let’s say you bought two bottles of CBD oil to try out and you decided to start microdosing with 1 mg of CBD. One bottle has 500 mg of CBD in a 10 mL bottle, the second has 1000 mg of CBD in a 30 mL bottle. A drop from the first bottle and second bottle would be different, so how are you supposed to know the number of drops that give you 1 mg? There is a lot of math involved and you must use the numbers provided on the bottle to figure it out.
Using a pre-filled syringe is a little easier when it comes to calculations compared to a dropper bottle. There are online resources available that walk you through the steps dividing and multiplying the numbers to figure out how many milligrams of CBD there are per drop or mL.
Where does it go from here?
As CBD becomes more popular, more people will start to encounter this dosing dilemma. The average CBD user can’t figure out their dose like a doctor, can’t do calculations like a chemist, and can’t measure medicine like a nurse. People just simply want to know what their perfect dose of CBD is, and they want it to be an easy measurement.
The market is gradually becoming more innovative and new technology companies are trying to solve the dosing issue. Accugentix is one of these technology companies. Accugentix currently has a CBD Hemp Oil Calculator app available on the App Store and Google Play Store. If you don’t want to try microdosing, the app provides you with a basic universal dosing chart to figure out your approximate dose. It helps you convert that dose into the number of drops and the amount of mL from a syringe.
Accugentix is also developing a Cannabis Doser system that will automatically measure, track your CBD and/or THC consumption, and help you find your optimal dose. It will be released in 2019 (to learn more go to Accugentix.com). With innovative technology in the market, hopefully this dosing dilemma will come to an end soon.