The Smart Way to Select CBD Softgels: Our Dosage Guide

by PP Health Admin / Oct 08, 2021

For a newcomer to the CBD universe, the range and variety of products can be intimidating, to put it mildly. There is a range of different forms, products and dosages. It can be overwhelming trying to work out where to start and how much to take. That is why here at PP Health, we are here to help. This article will break down and give you a detailed insight into CBD – particularly CBD softgels – and offer a detailed dosage guide to help you find your perfect fit.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over one hundred chemical compounds known as cannabinoids derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. It is a popular natural supplement that may help relieve the symptoms of many ailments. CBD should not be confused with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. THC is responsible for the 'high' sensation. However, remember that CBD, in contrast, is not psychotropic and is not known to cause addictive side effects.

CBD was first isolated from cannabis back in 1942 by chemist Roger Adams. While CBD has been known for decades, research has only truly lifted off in recent years as its potential is starting to come to light. CBD may help relieve the symptoms associated with various illnesses such as epilepsy, arthritis and depression. It may also work as a natural supplement for general wellbeing.

As its potential benefits are beginning to surface and the difference between CBD and THC is unveiled, more countries are decriminalising CBD use, and the range of CBD products continues to widen. One of the most significant moments in CBD history was in 2018, when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) legalised one prescription CBD product for certain forms of epilepsy. This helped put CBD well and truly on the wellness map and raised important questions regarding the stigma associated with its use and consumption. With time, the true potential of CBD will be uncovered as experts continue to study the compound.

What are the Alleged Benefits of CBD Use?

Now that we have a clearer idea of what CBD is, it is time to look at some of its purported health benefits.

  • May Assist in Treatment of Epilepsy: As mentioned above, back in 2018, the FDA approved one prescription product containing CBD for two types of epilepsy: Dravet Syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS). Research into the potential benefits of CBD regarding epilepsy has been ongoing for years, with some intriguing results. In one study, a group of patients suffering from epileptic seizures were dosed with CBD. 43% of the patients dosed with CBD reported a reduction in the frequency of seizures by 50% or more. In addition, three patients were reportedly free of seizures altogether.
  • May Help Relieve Pain: CBD is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and, therefore, may aid in pain relief. There is evidence that CBD may interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). Our ECS is a complex cell-signalling system that regulates various functions and processes such as appetite, sleep and pain. Therefore, it is thought that CBD can help to relieve pain through this interaction. However, more evidence is needed, and there are few – if any – high-quality human studies to support this theory.
  • May Help Treat Arthritis: CBD is thought to help alleviate some of the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis. This is because CBD is believed to address inflammation – which is a key symptom of this illness. That said, it is essential to note that more research is needed. 
  • May Help Reduce Anxiety and Depression: CBD is primarily famed for its potential to reduce anxiety and depression. Low serotonin levels are associated with anxiety symptoms. It is thought that CBD works by activating serotonin receptors in the brain, therefore potentially increasing serotonin levels and decreasing negative thoughts and feelings. In one study of 72 patients who suffered anxiety symptoms, 79.2% reported decreased anxiety within the first month after CBD treatment. 
  • May Improve Sleep: Partly because of its supposed pain and anxiety-relieving properties, CBD is believed to promote restfulness and good quality of sleep too. Studies have supported this hypothesis. In one such study, 72 adults with concerns of anxiety or poor sleep took part, and within 30 days of CBD treatment, 66.7% reported improvements in their sleep cycles.
  • May Improve Skin Condition: CBD is believed to help promote clearer skin. This may be because of its alleged anti-inflammatory properties and because it may adjust how the body creates sebum. Sebum is a waxy, oily substance that the skin produces to help protect us from the outside world. However, if it mixes with pollutants or dead skin cells, it can become trapped inside the pores, leading to acne. A 2014 study on the effects of CBD on human sebocytes – the cells that create sebum – suggests that CBD may prevent these cells from overproducing sebum, therefore improving skin condition.

Now that we have considered some of the potential benefits of using CBD and why it might be a valuable addition to your wellness routine, let's explore CBD softgels, a form of CBD.

What Are CBD Softgels?

A picture of some softgel capsules containing cannabidiol

CBD softgels are a method of administering CBD. Other popular methods include CBD gummies, CBD vapes and CBD oils. CBD softgels are tasteless capsules that are easy to swallow and contain cannabidiol. Capsules typically contain 10mg to 25mg of CBD. Softgels are often seen as an attractive option as they are simple to administer and don’t have the earthy taste of CBD that some people find unpleasant.

Another advantage of choosing CBD softgels is that they make it easy to calculate the correct dosage, whereas CBD tinctures can be difficult to dose. There are few studies on the effects of CBD softgels specifically. However, many people who have used softgels report feeling an inner balance and groundedness and a sense of calm.

Let’s take a look at a few more reasons why CBD softgels may be the best option for you:

  • Softgels are airtight, which means they have a longer shelf-life than other CBD products.
  • Softgels are the preferred option for oils like CBD because they provide better vitamin retention.
  • People who have tried softgels tend to prefer them because they are easy to swallow and mask any potentially unpleasant taste or smell.
  • Softgels are also known to be better for non-water-soluble oils like CBD than other forms.

It is imperative to check that your CBD softgels are third-party tested. The FDA cannot guarantee the quality, effectiveness or safety of readily available CBD products. The FDA does not regulate CBD products like they do dietary supplements or drugs. Therefore third-party testing is an important quality and safety assurance.

If you like the sound of CBD softgels, then take a look at our product range here.

Why is Dosage Important?

Dosage is a critical aspect to consider when it comes to consuming CBD. You want to ensure that you’re taking enough to feel its potential effects, but you don’t want to take more than you need. If you’re taking the wrong dosage, you may not be reaping the potential benefits of CBD.

It can be challenging to choose a dosage because there isn't an official 'serving size' for CBD. It is up to you to administer a sensible dose for your lifestyle. This can be challenging because there is a wide range of factors to consider influencing the amount of CBD you need.

On that note, remember that it’s important to speak to your doctor before jumping into the CBD universe to ensure that it is safe for you to do so. This is especially important if you are already on other forms of medication. Let’s take a quick look at a couple of frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to CBD dosages.

Is It Possible to Take Too Much CBD? Researchers have suggested that CBD has relatively low toxicity. In 2011, a study considering the safety and side effects of CBD showed that continuous usage of CBD – even in high doses such as 1,500mg a day – is well tolerated by humans. This was later confirmed in 2017. However, a 2019 study on mice raised concerns about CBD’s potential for liver damage and how it interacts with other medications. Therefore, carefully regulating your dosage is essential.

Is It Possible to Become Dependent on CBD? Fortunately, evidence gathered so far seems to indicate that CBD has a relatively low risk of addiction. In a study conducted explicitly concerning human physical dependence on CBD, researchers gave participants high doses of CBD each day for a total of 4 weeks. After the trial, not a single participant experienced withdrawal symptoms. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also reported that people can generally tolerate CBD well. Because CBD does not cause a 'high', it does not have the same potential for abuse as THC.

Now that we have discussed some FAQs, let's jump right into our dosage guide. Below we have compiled a list of considerations to help you calculate the right amount of CBD for you.

Dosage Guide

A photo of a man pouring CBD softgel capsules from a bottle

Sometimes there are dosage recommendations on CBD packaging. However, such recommendations should not necessarily be taken at face value. The recommendation does not consider you as an individual or any factors that may influence your ideal dosage, including weight and general health. You should take the time to calculate the perfect amount for you as an individual. Below are six factors that are important to note.

1. Body Mass

The first factor to take into account when calculating the correct dose for yourself is your body mass. Somebody who weighs 250lbs, for example, will likely need to consume more CBD than somebody who weighs 120lbs. Weight is important to consider because it can influence individual tolerance levels.

Consider administering a maximum dose of 6 mg of CBD for every 10lbs of your body weight. Not only is this relatively easy to calculate, but it is also an effective way to work out the amount of CBD you need. However, it is generally advised not to exceed 70mg a day.

2. Medical History

CBD dosage is also dependent on your health status. While CBD has the potential to help alleviate the symptoms of several medication conditions, the proper dosage must be administered to achieve your desired results. It is vital to consider the state of your health before settling on a dose, as the recommended dosage may vary based on your pre-existing medical conditions.

3. Other Medications

Before you consume CBD, you must consult your doctor – especially if you are on forms of medication. That is because CBD may interact with certain medicines – making it essential to ensure that CBD consumption won't impact your medication's beneficial or adverse effects. Your doctor should be able to advise you on this.

Taking other supplements may also influence the amount of CBD you should consume. You may well be able to take both as CBD is not thought to negatively interact with other supplements; however, it's important to strike the right balance so you enjoy the potential benefits of both.

Being on other medications can also affect the time of day you can take your CBD. Some doctors suggest taking your CBD dose at the opposite end of the day to your regular medication. However, be sure to check with your doctor before coming to a decision.

4. Softgel Concentrations

This point is critical to consider as not every CBD softgel capsule will contain the same concentration of CBD inside. Consequently, some CBD softgels are more potent than others. Therefore the number of capsules you need to consume may vary. For example, a softgel capsule with 2.5% CBD contains 1.25mg of CBD per drop. However, a capsule with 20% CBD oil contains 10mg of CBD per drop. A significant difference in dosage!

5. Personal Situation

Your personal circumstances are important to note. People taking CBD for mild anxiety, for example, may wish to administer a smaller dose than those suffering from chronic pain. How much CBD you need to take is dependent on your individual situation.

6. CBD Tolerance

If you are brand new to the world of CBD, it is wise to start with a small dose of CBD while your tolerance builds up. However, if you have been using CBD regularly for some time, you may well want to take a higher dose as your body may already be accustomed to it – which means that you may need more to feel the desired effects.

Don’t Let CBD Packaging Confuse You

CBD products tend to list the total amount of CBD rather than the individual amount per capsule on the front of the label. So, for example, if there are 60 softgel capsules in a bottle and the total amount of CBD contained in the bottle is 600mg, each capsule will contain 10mg of CBD.

All of the above factors are equally important when it comes to selecting the right CBD product and dose for you. Again, there is no such thing as a "one-size-fits-all" solution for CBD, so it is up to you as an individual to consider your personal circumstances before settling on a product and amount. Below we have some helpful dosing information to help you get started if you are trying CBD softgels for the first time.

Quick Tips For CBD Softgels Beginners

If you are a first-timer when it comes to CBD softgels, and you have both consulted your doctor and taken into account all of the above factors, we recommend starting on a low dosage regardless of your reasons for trying CBD. A general rule of thumb is to start with a much lower dose than you think you need. Softgels generally come in 10mg to 25mg capsules. It is a good idea to start with just one a day if you are using CBD for the first time (this is also a sensible option for lighter-weight people).

If you find that you need a higher dose, take two or three instead. You can even spread it out between the morning and night – so long as it doesn't interfere with any medication you are already on. When you start with CBD, it is best to wait 4-6 hours between doses.

If you struggle to feel any effects, it is best to wait a few days before increasing the dosage by one pill or maybe two. This should be done slowly and cautiously until you have achieved the results you wanted. It may even be beneficial to note the dosages you are taking in a journal to calculate the amount that works best for you even more accurately.

Final Thoughts

CBD's existence has been known for decades, but it is only in recent years that its true potential has come to light. There are many different forms of CBD available to the public, such as CBD tinctures, CBD vapes and CBD softgels. Many people are attracted to the softgel option because the capsules are easy to swallow, and they mask any unpleasant odours or tastes.

While CBD can be a fantastic supplement to our daily lives, be sure to consult your doctor before using CBD. It is also imperative that you consider our six factors when deciding what dosage of CBD is suitable for you and your circumstances. Enjoy your foray into the exciting world of CBD with our handy dosage guide, and remember to always start with a lower dose than you think you need.