Cannabidiol (CBD) is an effective cannabis compound with countless medicinal benefits. It is most commonly known for its pain management properties1, antidepressant-like effects2, and anxiety-reducing abilities3. It is a smart choice for people seeking the healing properties of cannabis without the intoxicating psychoactive effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
In recent years, it has become well-known that CBD is a powerful, safe alternative4 to other pharmacological therapies. However, there is still some uncertainty around optimal dosing when it comes to cannabinoids like CBD and cannabis in general. Osteopathic Dr. Dustan Sulak—an integrative medicine physician based in Maine—explains, “Unlike most medications, cannabis cannot be prescribed at a certain quantity and frequency based on body weight, age, and medical condition. We all have a unique internal chemistry, and the cannabinoid system is very complex, so vastly different dosages will be best for different people.”
For many people, Dr. Sulak argues, less is usually more: “…most people have a certain threshold dosage of cannabis, below which they’ll actually experience a gradual increase in health benefits over time, and above which they’ll start building tolerance, experiencing diminishing benefits, and more side effects.” So even though one’s optimal ‘sweet-spot’ dose depends largely on their state of health—those who have been sick for longer may require more aggressive treatment—it’s safe to say that microdosing CBD makes sense for most.
What you need to know about microdosing CBD
Like anything in life, too much of a good thing can be bad. Finding the optimal dose takes a little trial and error, but the benefits are vast. In fact, “Using the correct dose of cannabis is the single most important factor in having a successful therapeutic relationship with this powerful herb.”Microdosing lowers the potential for tolerance, thus preventing a cycle of needing more CBD to achieve the same therapeutic effect. Dr. Sulak suggests: “What is key is to listen carefully to your body, avoiding the urge to keep upping the dose when a plateau is reached. In actual fact this is the moment to drop back down to a lower dose.”
Microdosing CBD also mitigates side effects and saves money. Popular methods of controlling dosing include vaping and oral consumption.One should start with the lowest dose and work their way up from there slowly, paying attention to the perceived benefits and overall feeling of wellness.
- Russo, B. Ethan and Andrea G. Hohmann. Role of Cannabinoids in Pain Management. Comprehensive Treatment of Chronic Pain by Medical, Interventional, and Integrative Approaches. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-1560-2_18.
- Zanelati et al. Antidepressant-like effects of cannabidiol in mice: possible involvement of 5-HT1A receptors. Br J Pharmacol. 2010;159(1):122–128. DOI:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2009.00521.x./
- Bergamaschi et al. Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients. 2011;36(6):1219-1226. DOI:10.1038/npp.2011.6.
- Iffland Kerstin and Franjo Grotenhermen. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. 2017;2(1): 139-154. DOI:1089/can.2016.0034.