The buzz surrounding CBD (short for ‘cannabidiol’) and cannabis therapeutics has probably left you intrigued while scratching your head at the same time. As a beginner, you’re likely confused about what product to start with and at what dosage. It is important to note that the therapeutic use of cannabis is a personal journey and process so results will vary from individual to individual. There is no one strain, product, dosage or frequency that will work best for everyone. Our aim, however, is to answer key questions you may have in order to help you to make informed, safe and effective decisions regarding CBD use.

Despite the astounding amount of news and discussions leading up to the legalization of cannabis in Canada, not all health professionals are caught up on the subject. CBD, a naturally occurring compound found in the flowers of cannabis plants, has been widely researched and applied in medical use for serious health conditions such as epilepsy and chronic pain. The fact that CBD is non-psychoactive (does not alter brain function to produce a ‘high’) is an attractive option for those seeking relief associated with a medical condition, or those who simply want to relax and loosen up on Friday night! Interested in starting off your weekend by swapping that glass of red wine for a dose of CBD? Keep reading to learn what dosage or product may best suit you.

It’s important to start off with a CBD product and dosage that won’t produce any unwanted side effects. The key in starting off with any cannabis product is always to start low and go slow.

Methods of Consumption

Besides ground dried cannabis flowers for smoking or vaping, many attractive products exist including oil concentrates, vaporizer liquids, topical treatments, nasal sprays, and edibles (lozenges, beverages, tea, gel caps, tinctures, or cannabis infused alcohol). CBD vaporizer liquids may be vaped similarly to tobacco e-liquids CBD oil products can be taken orally (edibles) or sublingually, meaning under the tongue. The oral pathway is the most ‘efficient’, as absorption occurs directly into the bloodstream. The duration and onset of effects vary based on the product and administration.

Consumption Method When Effects Could Begin How Long Effects Could Last
Inhalation (Smoking, Vaping) A few seconds to minutes Up to 6 hours
Edibles (Food, Capsules) 30 to 90 minutes Up to 12 hours
Sublingual (Under the Tongue) 5 to 30 minutes Up to 12 hours

*Note that some effects could last up to 24 hours 

Finding the Right Dosage

Beginners should experiment with doses as low as a few milligrams (mg) of CBD oil. An effective dosage can start at just few milligrams and range to a gram or more. Daily users of CBD may take 10 – 20 mg once or twice daily, while those seeking to relieve severe pain may increase this to three times a day, or may up the dosage to as much as 30 mg. There is no right or wrong answer, as some find relief from 1 – 5 mg doses regardless of whether they are treating chronic pain or using recreationally.

Start slowly, by experimenting with small dosages of varying concentrations of both CBD and THC. Starting off with a high CBD/low THC oil is recommended, as the intoxicating effects of THC may be unpleasant for some. Always keep track of how much CBD you’re ingesting and be aware of the labels denoting the concentrations within each product.

Tips for finding your ‘sweet spot’:

  • Start slow and opt for consistent small doses rather than one large dose
  • Observe the effects after each dose as this will help you make informed adjustments
  • If you overdo it, remember that CBD has no adverse side effects and the uncomfortable feelings will pass with time

The goal any cannabis or CBD user is to personalize a dose that works best for you. It’s important to listen to your body as effects may vary each time. CBD is a fantastic alternative medicine for treating health conditions or even for recreational purposes. Knowing the facts will allow you to safely enjoy the many appealing benefits of CBD.