Cannabidiol (CBD) may be top of mind for you right now. Especially with the promising early research and anecdotes around the relief people are finding for anxiety, pain, menopause symptoms, insomnia and other health issues. You probably know there are tons of form factors from oil to gummies. But the question likely remains, “how much CBD oil should I take?”
CBD Oil Dosage – The Lowdown on Full Spectrum vs Isolate
When it comes to the different types of CBD on the market, people are typically referring to two different things: full spectrum hemp extract (high in CBD) and CBD isolate. This is significant when it comes to determining your CBD oil dosage because they interact with the human body differently.
Full spectrum hemp oil or “whole plant oil” contains high levels of CBD along with all the naturally occurring compounds found within the plant. This includes other cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils and other phytonutrients. CBD isolate, on the other hand, is the singular compound standing alone.
Many people believe that isolates provide a “pure” and therefore better substance. However, research indicates that isolate is only shown to be effective in high concentrations. In contrast, there are promising early indications that the plant is actually more effective for everyday use (and at lower doses) in a full spectrum oil form where all of the elements work together before the oil is further refined to isolate. This is because of a concept known as the Entourage effect.
CBD and the Entourage Effect
The Entourage effect is a concept suggesting that one isolated molecule from the hemp plant is not enough to grasp the entire potential. Instead, all of the compounds are magnified when they are extracted and presented together. This allows the seemingly “inactive” metabolites and other molecules to increase their own presence and effect. While the pharmacological industry strives to isolate the individual components of hemp, including the minor cannabinoids and terpenes provide a better result than one isolated compound does.
Think of it as having a salad instead of taking the chlorophyll pill!
This has been tested in many clinical settings with the consistent finding: isolated components do not vary greatly from the placebo whereas the whole plant extracts show a great statistical significance. For example, one meta analysis measured the effects of purified CBD compared to the effects of “CBD-rich” extracts containing other cannabinoids and terpenes. The Fischer Test was used to analyze 670 epilleptic patients, 447 of which took CBD-rich products and the other 223 took purified CBD products. The CBD-rich patients showed a 71% seizure reduction over the course of 3-12 months compared to the purified CBD patients who showed a 36% improvement. The CBD-rich patients also reported needing less dosage as well as describing it as a “better therapeutic profile” than the purified (isolated) CBD.
So how much CBD oil should I take?
Well, it’s important to note you’d have to take A LOT – we’re talking about ingesting almost 20,000 mg of CBD oil in a very short amount of time – before it would become toxic, according to a 2011 study published in the journal Current Drug Safety.
That said, we recommend that you should always start small. The reason for this is simple: everyone’s body is different so it’s a matter of trial and error to figure out what the perfect amount is for you.