CBD microdosing is a low-dose technique for taking CBD, that is intended to help you reap the most health and wellness benefits.
Instead of taking one large dose of CBD each day, microdosing allows you to break the dosage into several smaller ones you consume throughout the day.
This piecemeal dosing strategy works well with several different forms of CBD but is more popular with CBD oils and tinctures because they make it super easy to measure the exact dosage.
If you prefer to microdose on a more discreet, portable and convenient form, you may want to try vaping CBD.
No matter the type of CBD product, microdosing is a great way to tailor your dosage to match your needs, style, and condition.
There are plenty of other reasons why this is a growing trend within the CBD community.
What exactly is CBD microdosing? How does it work? What is the recommended dosage? Are there any health benefits to microdosing?
As a novel technique, there is little information and much confusion about CBD microdosing, especially for someone starting out.
To help make more sense of it, we have put together this handy guide detailing everything you need to know about CBD microdosing.
What Is Microdosing CBD Oil?
The vast majority of CBD products are sold in the form of a rich, often tasty oil. CBD oil may contain flavoring agents, essential oils, herbal blends, and other cannabinoids.
Boatloads of CBD oil products have made their way into the wellness and therapeutic market, and with great reason. They are fairly easy to administer, and the CBD in the oil can be absorbed into the body in a snap.
CBD oil can be taken orally, sublingually, applied topically, smoked or even vaped. You can bake the oil into a cake, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, or any of your favorite baked foods. Some people prefer to add the oil to their coffee, tea, cereals, salads or beverages.
Microdosing is the latest technique for consuming CBD oil, and has already gained tremendous traction with both CBD providers and users.
An example may help paint a more vivid picture of how CBD microdosing is practiced:
Let’s assume that each morning you have been consuming 30 mg of CBD for your insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain or other condition.
With microdosing, you may break down your full day’s dosage of 30 mg into five individual 6 mg doses that you take in the morning, at lunchtime, in the middle of the afternoon, with supper, and right before you retire to bed.
Note that the eventual dose doesn’t actually change because you are still delivering 30 mg CBD into your body by the end of the day. The biggest difference can be seen in the effects you will feel.
Usually, if you take the whole day’s dosage of 30 mg in the morning, the effects will start wearing off sometime in the afternoon.
What happens to your pain, anxiety, epilepsy or muscle spasm during the rest of the day?
The active life of CBD oil – the period during which you will genuinely experience the effects of cannabidiol – ranges from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the method of consumption.
By this logic, when you microdose on CBD oil, you will spread the therapeutic effects of CBD over the day.
It is worth noting that different people experience different degrees of effectiveness when they consume CBD. That is why it is recommended that you do a bit of trial and error to figure out your ideal microdose of cannabidiol.
In some cases, you could eventually take more CBD when you microdose than when you single-dose. Or, the opposite can happen, which would be convenient and easier on your bank account, too.
Why Microdose on CBD?
Informally, people usually microdose on intoxicating drugs like THC (the active chemical that causes psychedelic effects when someone smokes marijuana).
By doing this, they can prevent the psychoactive effects of the substance from taking over their lives, allowing them to continue with their daily activities as usual.
This isn’t the reason why CBD users microdose.
First of all, CBD is not intoxicating, neither does it produce any psychoactive effects when taken in either small or large doses. Instead, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in your brain, a biological system which is made up of endocannabinoids, enzymes, and cannabinoid receptors.
In a biological sense, ECS is responsible for keeping several vital organs and body systems in check, creating a subtle equilibrium that is essential for your health and well-being.
More specifically, the endocannabinoid system helps regulate hormonal balance, sleep, temperature, heart rate, mood, pain sensation, appetite, pleasure response, memory, and a plethora of other cognitive processes.
If anything interferes with the endocannabinoids responsible for mood or hormonal activity, for instance; you will tend to be moody, stressed out or anxious.
Endocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors. These are proteins and biochemicals found throughout the central nervous system (CNS). Your brain is a major component of the CNS.
Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are, in almost every manner, closely similar to endocannabinoids, but they are produced outside the body. In fact, the prefix “endo” implies that endocannabinoids are endogenous cannabinoids, which means they are made internally by the body.
Because of this, cannabinoids like THC also bind to cannabinoid receptors, notably to CB1 and CB2.
Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t bind directly to cannabinoid receptors. Instead, it influences the ability of cannabinoid receptors to interact with endocannabinoids, which is how it interacts with the ECS.
When you take CBD oil, it causes the levels of endocannabinoids to go up, helping to treat pain, anxiety, epilepsy, and other brain-related symptoms.
Unfortunately, the endocannabinoid levels start to subside over time as more CBD is used up.
This is where microdosing CBD oil comes into play. When you microdose on CBD rather than take one single dose, your body will tend to maintain consistent levels of endocannabinoids, enabling you to enjoy its health and therapeutic benefits throughout the day.
Research into CBD microdosing is ongoing, but there is a consensus in the scientific community that breaking up the daily CBD dosage into smaller doses has no significant downside.
In a study published in 2012, researchers found that pain was substantially reduced when patients who had previously not responded well to conventional pain drugs microdosed with cannabis oil.
How Do You Make Sure You Microdose on CBD Safely?
As previously stated, CBD is non-toxic, won’t get you high, and the WHO has found it to be effective and safe. The best news?
Taking too much CBD doesn’t have any serious side effects, meaning you can’t technically overdose on CBD.
Nevertheless, you need to stick to a CBD dose that will deliver optimal results. Remember that the optimal dose of CBD for microdosing is not the same for everyone.
Generally, how you respond to CBD depends on several distinct factors, including your genetics, body fat percentage, metabolism, overall weight, tolerance level, method of consumption, and more.
When it comes to determining what dose is safe and right for you, the trick is to start low and ease into it. In other words, start with a small dosage, assess the effects and results, and slowly increase your intake.
Figuring out your personal ideal CBD microdose might require a bit of trial and error. Self-experiment at first, gauge how you feel, and go slow.
Here are a few simple steps you may take to establish your safe personal CBD microdose:
Step #1: Start Small. Commence your microdosing by consuming only 1 mg of CBD. You can start at 2 mg if you have more body fat percentage.
Step #2: Monitor the Effects. In the course of the next one or two hours, make sure to keep a tab on how you feel. Don’t forget that CBD manifests differently in different people, depending on the factors we mentioned.
Even though CBD is not intoxicating, it’s not uncommon for the user to experience a sense of soothing calmness, relaxation, and “increased peace of mind.” Other people may feel mentally energized, awakened or reinvigorated.
Step #3: Adjust the Dose as Needed. Increase the serving size by 1 mg if you have not felt any effects after 1-2 hours. Now you’re on a 2 mg microdose. Once again, remember to monitor the effects and how you feel after the dose increase.
Repeat this routine over the next 3-5 days, making sure to note how you feel. Monitor your overall wellness in the course of the day, and track your sleep pattern during the night.
Always increase the dosage by 1 mg if you don’t notice any tangible feelings until you hit your sweet spot. Some people have reported experiencing effects sooner after using CBD oil for two or three days.
This step-by-step process will help you figure out the ideal dose for your CBD microdosing, but the total daily recommended dosage will depend on the product itself and your target condition (more on this ahead).
Overall, users have discovered that their ideal CDB microdoses fall in the range of 1 mg to 10 mg, so yours should be somewhere in between.
As a general rule of caution, always use a high-quality CBD product from a reputable vendor.
Given that the CBD industry is largely unregulated, some ill-reputed producers are known to include potentially harmful chemicals and additives, such as 5F-ADB and dextromethorphan (DXM).
The THC content of any product you use is another major factor to keep in mind. If you are targeting a condition like autism spectrum disorder, for instance; it may be best to choose a product with a significant amount of THC.
CBD Microdosing: How It Works and Recommended Dosage
By now, you should have a rough idea of how CBD microdosing works.
It’s simple: rather than take your daily recommended dosage of CBD once a day, you can take a microdose regularly throughout the day until you meet your total recommended dosage.
So, there are two kinds of doses you need to take into account when microdosing: (1) your ideal microdose and (2) the recommended daily intake.
We’ve already covered how to determine your perfect CBD microdosing dose. To figure out your recommended daily dosage, however, you need to keep the following key factors in mind:
1. The benefits and therapeutic effects you want to get from using CBD
This step often boils down to identifying the severity of the condition you want to heal, manage or target with CBD.
After all, the recommended dosage for mild anxiety may be totally different from what you need for epilepsy, severe depression, or chronic pain.
At this point, you may find it prudent to consult with your physician or doctor to figure out what dosage of CBD will get you the best health outcome.
Although there isn’t much medical research on proper dosage out there, your doctor at least knows how your body and condition will respond to CBD — and will give you a professional recommendation.
2. Your body weight
Both your body weight and fat percentage play a key role in how CBD will affect your body.
The general rule of thumb when figuring out your daily intake is to consume 1 to 6 mg of CBD per 10 lbs of your body weight with each dose, depending on the severity of your condition.
If you weigh 100 pounds, take 10-20 mg for a mild condition, 21-49 mg for moderate effects, and 50-60 mg for acute symptoms. Similarly, someone who weighs 250 pounds should take 27-54 mg, 51-124 mg and 125-150 mg for mild, moderate, and strong effects respectively.
Refer to the table below for starting the recommended dosage based on both your body weight and what effects you want to achieve:
=== insert table ===
Lightweight (<135 lbs.) take <11 mg (mild effects), 12-14 mg (moderate effects), and 15-17 mg (severe effects)
Medium weight (135-235 lbs.) take <18 mg (mild effects), 19-23 mg (moderate effects), and 24-27 mg (severe effects)
Heavyset (>235 lbs.) take <23 mg (mild effects), 24-30 mg (moderate effects), and 31-45 mg (severe effects)
3. Type of CBD product and method of consumption
How long you have to wait to feel the effects, as well as the duration of those effects, relies heavily on the type of CBD product and how you take it.
Oral, sublingual, inhalation and transdermal applications are the most common methods of consumption.
The method of consumption also determines how long CBD continues to work. You also need to decide which form of CBD you want to consume.
Highly popular, CBD oils and tinctures are usually blended into food, drinks, and edibles. They can also be applied sublingually, topically or swallowed directly.
CBD oils and tinctures typically come in tiny 15ml or 30ml tinted bottles with droppers for dosing, varying in potency from 100 mg all the way up to 5,000 mg.
The trick is to know the smallest effective dose, usually 1ml per dropper. Because they allow for very precise dosages, tinctures and oils are great for microdosing CBD.
Alternatively, you can microdose through vaping/inhalation. Although highly controversial, vape e-cigs and pens deliver the quickest effects, making them perfect for instant relief and acute symptoms.
Although the consumer usually feels the effects within minutes of vaping, they usually last for a shorter period.
For instance, the onset period for oral ingestion via capsules or drinks is normally between 30 minutes and 90 minutes, and the effects last 4 or more hours. So it is likely, you will need a higher CBD dosage.
The effects of taking a tincture sublingually, however, will only take 5-20 minutes and can be expected to last for 2-4 hours. In light of that, a lower dosage is recommended.
Vaping and direct topical application deliver the quickest results, with the effect kicking in after 1-3 minutes, depending on the concentration of the CBD product. The effects will last 2-3 hours and 4-6 hours for inhalation and transdermal consumption respectively.
4. The concentration of CBD in the product
CBD tinctures, oils and isolates are usually very potent, meaning they have a high concentration of CBD. The more concentrated the product, the higher the bioavailability of CBD.
Ultimately, you will have to figure out your optimal micro dosage and timing depending on the form of CBD product, the half-life of CBD, your body weight, and the concentration of CBD.
Benefits of Microdosing CBD
Microdosing CBD comes with an array of advantages, including:
(a) Consistent Results
As you may already know, CBD helps support the endocannabinoid system. When you microdose on CBD, you will keep consistent endocannabinoids levels.
Consuming several small doses of CBD regularly may enhance the therapeutic effects of the product. That is because CBD is continually stimulating and interacting with the ECS, promoting its function to keep the body and biological systems in better equilibrium.
(b) Works Well with Different forms of CBD
Whether you prefer to consume CBD isolates, oils, tinctures, edibles, vapes, topicals, or suppositories, microdosing will get you the results you desire.
(c) Reduces CBD Tolerance
When you develop CBD tolerance you will tend to consume more of the product. With continued usage, this means you will have to go deeper into your pocket to get the desired effects.
With microdosing, on the other hand, you will be taking lower doses, which means you will be more careful about the effects of CBD in your body. In doing that, you will reduce your chances of developing tolerance to CBD.
Enhanced sensitivity is particularly helpful for CBD newbies who started directly with microdosing.
(d) Hassle-Free Introduction to CBD
CBD can have varying effects on different people. That’s why some people are apprehensive about trying it for the first time. Thankfully, microdosing is designed to make your CBD journey effortless and hassle-free.
Why do People Microdose for CBD When Experiencing Pain?
CBD oil has become an increasingly popular alternative treatment for people suffering from chronic pain.
This is especially true for patients ailing from neuropathic pain. Preliminary research shows that CBD stops the problem at the very source: pain centers in the brain.
In one 2018 systematic review of CBD trials for fibromyalgia, cancer pain and neuropathic pain, researchers looked at studies carried out from 1975 to 2018.
They concluded that CBD seems to be effective in general pain management, but is more helpful in alleviating neuropathic pain.
The best form of CBD for treating pain will likely depend on the severity and frequency of the pain. For example, if you are in constant pain, you may benefit from microdosing ingested CBD.
If you suffer from sporadic attacks of pain, on the other hand, you may respond better to vaping since inhaled CBD delivers instant relief, with the therapeutic effects kicking in in less than 3 minutes.
Why do People Microdose When Experiencing Insomnia?
Insomnia is a chronic form of sleeplessness.
According to medical literature, this can be caused by a variety of factors, including caffeine, medication, environmental factors, physical pain, and other health complications.
Perhaps the most notable causes are mental health problems like depression, stress, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and anxiety.
If your insomnia is caused by these mental health disorders and related conditions, CBD may help treat it. There is a growing body of medical research that seems to concur.
In one study published in 2018, researchers concluded that CBD is not only effective at treating sleeplessness but also has fewer side effects than its cousin THC.
All of the conditions are associated with disturbances to the sleep-wake cycle, nightmares, and overall poor sleep.
Additionally, research has shown that CBD doesn’t interfere with the normal sleep-wake cycle – a big plus over prescription drugs for insomnia, such as benzodiazepines, Ambien and Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
No matter how you look at it, microdosing CBD is a great way for insomniacs to get a good dose of sleep.
There are essentially two forms of insomnia — sleep-maintenance insomnia, which is characterized by waking up in the middle of the night; and onset insomnia, in which the person has trouble falling asleep.
While microdosing may come in handy for both forms, those suffering from onset insomnia may benefit more from a larger dose of CBD a few hours before going to bed.
The bottom line is that insomniacs microdose because CBD has been proven effective in treating grogginess, excessive daytime sleepiness, and major causes of insomnia like anxiety, depression, etc.
Why do People Microdose When Dealing With Cancer?
People suffering from cancers are often in constant pain, which is why microdosing CBD can be particularly useful.
In a 2018 study published in the journal Cancer Medicine, the scientists confirmed that CBD seems to have anti-cancer potential.
However, the researchers couldn’t pinpoint how well it interacts with other existing treatment options, for which cancers it works, and exactly how effective it is.
According to NCI (the National Cancer Institute), CBD might be helpful in alleviating not only cancer symptoms but also side effects associated with conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy.
Why Do Some Athletes Microdose CBD?
In recent years, CBD use has gained a following in the athletic community. More athletes are using CBD products before competitions and workouts to help their boost performance and quality of training.
They can also take CBD right after heavy workouts, long match-days, and training to encourage balance, reduce muscle pain, and speed up recovery.
When the athlete’s internal body system is in equilibrium, this is the perfect recipe for peak performance.
Microdosing CBD allows athletes to keep injuries at bay, gain an added edge, and recover faster for the next bout of vigorous activity.
Besides, CBD is safe and current sports drug tests don’t screen for CBD metabolites.
Optimal CBD microdosing is a nifty method of consuming CBD, whereby the user takes small servings of CBD several times throughout the day, rather than one wholesome dose once per day.
Microdosing, which was once a reserve for illegal substances, is quickly going mainstream, thanks to CBD users who are trying to squeeze the most therapeutic benefits from their products.
A microdose of CBD is usually 1/4 to 1/10 of the normal dose, or 1 to 10 mg of cannabidiol, depending on the conditions and effects the person wants to achieve.
Because the effects of CBD vary from person to person, microdosing is more or less a trial and error method.
Ultimately, the ideal microdose of CBD depends on your body fat percentage, genetics, tolerance to CBD, and method of consumption.
It’s recommended that you start low, preferably at 1 mg and walk your way up to the ideal dose. Talking of body weight, the recommended dosage is 1-6 mg of CBD per 10 pounds weight, depending on the effects you want.
Why microdose with CBD? There are plenty of benefits of this low-dose approach, including the fact that it provides more consistent support for the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
It also helps curb CBD tolerance in long-term users, while increasing CBD sensitivity, especially for newbies.
Ultimately, microdosing is a great way to find your “sweet spot” when it comes to CBD dosage, not to mention that it’s a hassle-free introduction to CBD.
Microdosing applies to the vast majority of CBD forms, ranging from oils and tinctures to sprays and transdermals.
The beauty of it all is that microdosing CBD is great for many conditions. For instance, many people now microdose on CBD for chronic pain, and with good reason.
Initial scientific evidence shows that although CBD has potential in general pain management, it is more effective for alleviating neuropathic pain.
On a similar note, CBD has shown positive results for treating insomnia and other sleep problems. It does so by alleviating pain, anxiety, RBS, and grogginess, all of which play a role in causing insomnia.
If that’s not terrific enough, CBD microdosing can help when dealing with cancer symptoms and problems linked to cancer treatment.
Athletes also microdose on CBD before, during and after intense activity to boost performance, train harder, and recover more efficiently.