by Dr. Bill Rawls
Posted 4/1/19

Confused about how much CBD oil you should take to experience benefits like pain reduction, improved sleep, increased tolerance to stress, and more? You’re not alone. Below, Dr. Bill Rawls explains why the dose can vary depending on the reasons you’re using it. You can also check out our essential guide to CBD here »

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Video Transcript

Question: How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?

Hello, this is Dr. Bill Rawls with a CBD (cannabidiol) question. What’s the correct dose, or how much CBD should you be using? And the answer really depends on what you’re using it for.

What I’m finding — personally, and when using it with customers and patients—is that you get different effects with different dosages. So if you’re looking for just enhancing wellness during the day-to-day grind of getting through the day, a really small dose of 10 to 20 milligrams, maybe just a half a dropperful of most preparations, is enough to give you what I call an adaptogenic effect.

In other words, it’s helping you deal with stress. It’s helping you to become more buoyant. It’s keeping your immune system pumping, and that’s all you’re going to need.

The science is showing that CBD from hemp, or the hemp form of cannabis, boosts the normal receptors in the body for what we call endocannabinoids, the neurotransmitters or signaling agents in our body. So we’re boosting the receptors, and we’re boosting the natural substances in our body with CBD. If you take a little bit, you get that enhancement on a daily basis. It seems to be that the longer you use it, the more benefit you get, and of course, that’s going to level off at a certain level.

If you’re trying to treat a situation involving pain, like chronic back pain, chronic joint pain, or recovering from a chronic illness, you may need a good bit more CBD, and the thing to do is titrate your dose up. Start with a lower dose of 10 to 15 milligrams, and increase it from there. Some people are going to need upwards of 300 milligrams a day, and the only downside of that is that it just starts getting expensive. But it’s a really nice substitute for narcotics and other pain relievers, because it doesn’t really have any negative side effects.

It does not appear that you can get habituated to CBD, and one of the really important effects is that you can’t really hurt yourself badly with CBD, unlike narcotics, and unlike benzodiazepines like Valium, or even alcohol. It’s hard to overdose with CBD, because it doesn’t cause respiratory or cardiac depression. You know, if you take too much of a narcotic, or if you drink too much, it can stop your heart and stop you from breathing.

Cannabis, all the different forms of cannabis, will not do that. Higher doses may make you feel agitated or just not feel good, but they can’t do any long-term harm to you. For most people it’s going to be in the dosage range of 10 to 15 milligrams once a day, up to three times a day, on up to 50 to 100 milligrams three times a day. Some people are probably going to have to use higher doses than that.

I think really what’s important to know here is that we’re talking about the form of cannabis called hemp. So you’re not getting just CBD. You’re also getting other cannabinoids, and you’re getting terpenes, which enhance the effect of the CBD so you don’t need as much, and that’s something that’s really interesting.

There are CBD drugs out there now that are isolated CBD. All that comes in the drug is the CBD without all the other [compounds from hemp], and what they’re finding with the drugs is that most people need high doses of 750 to 1,500 milligrams a day to get any effect at all.

So all those other things that come in cannabis, the whole full-spectrum herb, appear to be really important to get the full effect, which you’re just not going to see with some of the purified versions of CBD.

Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls’ new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme.
You can also learn about Dr. Rawls’ personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.