A Guide to Getting CBD Dosage Right: From Gummies to Full-Spectrum Oils

by PP Health Admin / Aug 18, 2021

The world of CBD can feel overwhelming for newer users (and hey, sometimes even CBD experts) at times. This is due to the huge number of products to choose from. Beyond this, you may have difficulty distinguishing between different types of CBD, and questions regarding how to take CBD oil. Thankfully, this is where we come in! In this article, our goal is to answer all of your questions concerning cannabidiol, with a particular focus on dosing. Dosing your CBD product is always going to be an extremely individual task, and it can be quite a daunting one, especially if you're using CBD for the very first time. So, sit back and absorb all of the helpful information concerning dosing, from gummies right down to full-spectrum oils.

What is CBD?

Let's begin this article by defining and explaining what cannabidiol (CBD) is. CBD is a cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis Sativa plant family. There are over one hundred other cannabinoids (cannabis compounds) in these plants, with CBD being one of the best-researched cannabinoids. This, combined with the fact that it is a non-psychoactive substance, has helped catapult the compound to stardom. It is now a popular wellness supplement for many people. CBD oil, which remains one of the most revered ways of consuming CBD, is made by extracting cannabidiol directly from the plant. The CBD extract is carefully diluted with a carrier oil, making the CBD fit for human consumption. The carrier oil may impact the wellness potential of the product, as plant-based oils are often natural and can carry beneficial fatty acids or vitamins. For example, here at PP Health, we have carefully selected organic olive oil as a carrier oil for our Gold Mild CBD Oil. This, therefore, combines with the finished product and potentially offers an array of antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids.

Different Types of CBD

For CBD newbies, the world of CBD can be confusing, and at times, even overwhelming. We completely understand how this can feel. After all, there are not only many different ways to consume CBD, but there are also several types of CBD to consider. It's important to understand the differences between the three main varieties of CBD before you make a purchase.

Full-Spectrum CBD

When you come across full-spectrum CBD products, you can assume that they will contain all of the natural compounds from hemp. This means that cannabinoids, flavonoids (potential antioxidants), and terpenes (aromatic molecules) will be present. This profile will also include THC within legal limits (up to 0.2% if you live in the UK). Here at PP Health, we don't see any other way of enjoying CBD. After all, we believe that when the plant chemistry is left in the most natural state possible, it impacts the botanical quality of the extract and any potential effects.

Great care is taken at every single step, from cultivation to production. For example, our hemp plants are grown in greenhouses to ensure that they remain protected from any negative outside influences. The environment can be controlled and monitored for safety, and lab tests are able to certify that any unwanted or dangerous ingredients are absent. For our Superb Oils, we utilise the most expensive form of extraction from the plant, and this method is known as CO2. This form of extraction doesn't use solvents or heat; instead, the pressure of the CO2 gas is increased in order to make it behave like a liquid. It is then utilised to extract the cannabinoids from the hemp material. This allows the vitamins and enzymes (that are sensitive to heat) to remain intact, allowing the user to reap the potential benefits from the plant.

Arguably the main advantage of consuming full-spectrum CBD is a process known as the ‘entourage effect’. Put simply, this theory refers to all of the compounds in the cannabis plant becoming more meaningful when they are working in synergy, as opposed to when they are isolated. After all, as a consumer of CBD, you will likely desire the product you choose to provide the best opportunity to experiment with any potential CBD effects, and that’s what you get with full-spectrum.

Broad-Spectrum CBD

This type of CBD is similar to full-spectrum; however, the THC cannabinoid will be absent. Therefore, due to the presence of the other natural hemp compounds, users will potentially be able to explore the possibilities of the entourage effect.

CBD Isolate

The clue is in the name for this type of CBD, as CBD isolate is an isolated form of the cannabinoid. It is 99% pure CBD and appears as a crystalline powder. Not only will all presence of other cannabinoids be removed, but the terpenes, flavonoids, oils, and other natural compounds will also be absent. This chemistry means that the potential benefits of the entourage effect are unable to be achieved, and CBD isolate can be regarded as the least natural form of CBD consumption. However, for some CBD newbies, this type of CBD is preferable due to the complete absence of THC.

How to Take CBD

There are reams of options out there for CBD consumption, from gummies and oils, down to lotions and potions. Here we will outline the basics for you, as it’s always good to consider your options before making a decision.

Oils and Tinctures

CBD oils and tinctures remain one of the most popular ways of supplementing your lifestyle with cannabidiol. This is mainly due to their ease of use and simple dosing (we will get into this more later). Oils can come in all types of CBD extract – full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. It’s important to note the distinction between oils and tinctures, as oils will use a carrier oil, while tinctures will typically use distilled alcohol. Tincture solvents act as a form of preservation for the product; however, they generally contain less CBD content than infused oils.

There are many potential perks to these products, as CBD users can experiment with the different flavours and varying CBD concentrations. This makes purchasing these products relatively easy, as there's bound to be an oil or tincture out there that aligns perfectly with your preferences. For both oils and tinctures, you use the dropper or pipette that comes with the product to place your chosen number of drops underneath your tongue. This technique is known as the sublingual method (which literally means 'under the tongue'). Consuming CBD in this way may possibly impact the bioavailability of the product and the speed at which it may reach the bloodstream.

CBD Capsules

CBD capsules are revered for their simplicity. You can adopt this form of consumption on the go without the risk of drawing any unwanted attention to yourself. Capsules are also ideal for people who prefer to avoid the natural 'earthy' taste of hemp.

CBD Gummies (edibles)

A pattern of red CBD gummy bears and green hemp leaves

Edible forms of CBD are super popular. After all, everyone loves a tasty snack, right? And even better if it contains natural hemp compounds! There are many different types of edibles (including smoothies, protein bars, brownies, and more). However, gummies remain one of the most trending edibles on the market today.

Put simply, these are chewy sweets (often appearing as bears and other fun shapes) that are infused with CBD. There are many aspects of consuming CBD via gummies that you may find pleasant. Much like capsules, they are ideal for on-the-go consumption. This means that you can just pop them into your bag, and you're good to go! What's more, you can purchase them in a range of flavours, ideal for people who wish to avoid the taste of hemp and replace it with something fruity or fresh. Finally, you may even be able to make CBD gummies yourself at home. Simply purchase one of our full-spectrum oils, and you're already halfway there! Of course, you could also add our oils to other food or drink and create your own delicious recipes.

CBD Topicals

Topical CBD refers to any form of CBD that you apply directly to your skin. Topicals can include cannabidiol-infused bath bombs, lotions, creams, you name it. As our skin is our most extensive organ, it makes sense that companies have developed topical forms of CBD. These types of products may also align successfully with broader self-care routines, particularly bath products! CBD topicals can be tricky to dose, which is one of the main reasons some people choose to avoid them.

Vaping CBD

Vaping CBD is popular among people who already vape. However, it's best avoided if you have certain medical conditions (asthma) or would otherwise prefer to avoid the act of vaping itself. Cannabidiol-infused vape oil is specifically designed for use with an e-cigarette or diffuser pen. Vaping CBD is usually simple, as it comes with instructions, and you can even purchase the pre-filled vape oil for maximum convenience.

A Guide to Dosing CBD

So, now that we know the different methods of consumption that are available to you, how should you approach dosing? After all, the amount of CBD that you should consume will hinge on four main factors. These are your height and weight ratio, your body chemistry, the CBD concentration of your chosen product, and the reason you're supplementing CBD. This can make finding the right dose for you seem overwhelming. However, if you put in the time and research, you will be able to find an approach that suits you.

It is also a wise idea to begin with a small dose of CBD. This is especially relevant for people who are new to CBD products. It's also applicable for people who have tried CBD before, but are in the process of switching to a different method of consumption. This is because a new product could potentially affect you differently in comparison with what you're used to. By beginning your CBD journey with a modest dose, you can monitor how it makes you feel and the extent to which you might find it helpful.

Top Tip: Keep track of your CBD dosage in a notebook, as this way, you can return to it as and when you deem fit. You could begin with 5mg of cannabidiol and increase over a period of weeks until you feel comfortable. As you can imagine, it's important not to exceed the maximum daily intake stated on your product packaging.

Dosing is an extremely individual process. For example, people who are experimenting with the possibilities of CBD for symptoms of pain or anxiety may need a higher dose compared to those simply wanting to explore the supplement more generally.

How to Calculate the Dosage

In terms of dosage for gummies (and capsules), things are extremely simple. This is because the packaging will let you know the CBD concentration in every gummy. This way you can calculate exactly how many gummies you’d like to consume. For example, you can purchase gummies in a range of concentrations, like 5mg, 10mg, and even up to 20mg per gummy. It’s really that simple!

Things can often be a little more complex with oil, as you will need to figure out the concentration of CBD in one drop. One drop is typically 0.05ml; therefore if you select a CBD oil product of 10ml with a CBD concentration of 1,000mg, then every drop will contain 5mg of CBD. From here, you should be able to figure out how many drops will suit.

Can Anything Influence the Dosage?

A range of factors may influence the amount of cannabidiol that you consume. As previously mentioned, if you're attempting to consume CBD for a specific reason (such as to impact various uncomfortable symptoms), you will likely need a different, personalised dosage. However, it's wise to discuss any CBD-related plans with your doctor first - especially if you are on medication or dealing with any medical conditions.

Factors like antidepressant medications and the consumption of alcohol could serve to alter the potential effects of CBD. This can also apply to other medications that may cause symptoms of sleepiness or drowsiness. Therefore, it’s a good idea for you to either lower the CBD dosage, or avoid it completely. This might potentially be relevant for the consumption of alcohol, as there’s not enough research to determine the specific effects and safety of mixing alcohol and CBD.

People should also factor in their height and weight when consuming CBD. This is evident from trials and studies that indicate the researchers calculated the dose of CBD per kilogram (kg) of body weight for each participant. CBD users with a lower body weight should be consuming less cannabidiol than people who weigh more than they do.

Can You Consume Too Much CBD?

A close up of a young woman placing CBD drops under her tongue

This is one of the most commonly asked questions in terms of dosage. The good news is that CBD is generally believed to be a well-tolerated substance. In fact, one review published in 2011 examined the potential side effects of CBD. It suggested that even consuming high doses of cannabidiol (1,500mg per day) may be a relatively low-risk approach (though we wouldn't necessarily recommend it). One rodent study that was published in 2019 raised the suggestion that CBD may potentially cause liver damage if consumed with certain medications. This is something that requires more research. If you are on medication or have an underlying health condition, it’s crucial to speak with your doctor before adding CBD to your lifestyle.

In terms of the potential side effects of CBD, some users may experience minor discomforts such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • An upset stomach

The Potential Benefits of CBD

So, why add CBD to your life at all? Well, there are many fascinating studies and reviews that have been conducted into the various potential benefits of this all-natural cannabinoid. Below we will outline some of the most promising areas of research.

CBD for Anxiety Symptoms

From full-spectrum oils to gummies, there’s evidence that the CBD cannabinoid may potentially help to appease some symptoms of anxiety and impact your self-perceived sense of calm. For example, one study published in 2018 examined the effects of oral CBD on a group of 57 male test subjects. The CBD group was administered 300mg of CBD, while the second group was provided with a placebo and the third group with 150mg of CBD. They underwent a simulated public speaking test 90 minutes after receiving the CBD or placebo. Participants in the placebo group and the group who received the 150mg dose said that they didn't notice any benefits. However, the test subjects that consumed 300mg of CBD said they believed the dose was enough to impact their anxiety symptoms during the test significantly.

The possibilities are intriguing, and such studies help to contribute to the body of research on the appropriate dosage that might help with some signs of stress and anxiety. Although more extensive research needs to be carried out, we could have a standardised dosage for stress-related symptoms in the future. This development could provide useful guidance for those individuals who are worried about how to approach their dosage.

Can CBD Impact Some Signs of Pain?

While more research is necessary, CBD for pain is an exciting area of research. In fact, it's one of the main possibilities that inspire people to turn to cannabidiol in the first place! One animal study published in 2016 examined the potential effects of topical CBD on signs of inflammatory pain. This is a symptom that negatively impacts millions of people worldwide. As part of the natural immune response, we can experience discomforts such as swelling, sensitivity, and pain signals that can make it difficult to feel comfortable.

Returning to the study, the researchers used a topical gel infused with CBD and applied it directly to the affected joints on the rats. This case may have potentially revealed valuable information concerning dosing. It was reported that the lower doses of the gel (0.6 or 3.1mg) didn't seem to improve their condition. The amount that may have impacted pain symptoms was 6.2mg of CBD per day. In the context of this study, this dose was sufficient to impact some signs of inflammation, swelling, and pain in rats.

Interestingly, larger doses (62.3mg per day) didn't seem to be advantageous for the animals. The cannabidiol gel was well tolerated in the animals and produced no side effects. Although human trials are vital, studies like this suggest that CBD may potentially affect some of the discomforts associated with some symptoms of pain and inflammation.

In 2020, a review was published that examined the current literature on the theme of CBD and pain symptoms. It suggested that CBD may show potential for impacting some signs of chronic pain, affecting symptoms of inflammation, and improving sleep quality. Chronic pain can be constant for some people, making their daily lives more challenging. The fact that the all-natural CBD may potentially be able to help people to manage pain symptoms is exciting. However, it's important to note that the studies examined were context-specific. There needs to be more scientific literature to officially establish how to use (and dose) CBD for pain - or indeed, whether these possibilities are viable.

CBD May Help to Improve Your Sleep

We all need to get enough sleep, as it’s vital to our overall well being – both mental and physical. CBD may potentially have something to offer here. For example, one study

Final Thoughts

When it comes to dosing CBD, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution. The general consensus is that it’s best to begin with a small dose (no matter the product) and carefully monitor how it might affect you. We would recommend beginning with either oils or gummies, particularly the latter, as they are extremely easy to dose. Plus, when it comes to increasing the dose, all you need to do is add another one or two gummies to your routine! A trial-and-error approach to CBD dosing appears to be one of the best ways to find your preferred dose. Try and be patient when it comes to dosage, as this approach will give you the best chance of discovering your CBD sweet spot.