With CBD becoming increasingly well known, more and more people are incorporating it into their diets. However, the way in which you take it can vary massively and what’s best for one person likely won’t be exactly right for the next. If you’ve tried CBD before but felt like it didn’t work much for you, there are a few common mistakes that could be responsible. From the dosage you take, to how you take it and how often you’re dosing are all significant factors in your experience. Generally speaking, consistency is key and it’s likely a little experimentation is necessary to find what works best. We’ll explain all the things to consider when you’re taking CBD so you can reach the “just right” point for you.
Not getting the dose right.
Getting the dose right takes a bit of maths and experimentation. Finding the right dose for you comes down to the product you’re using, your weight and the severity of your condition. For the average adult, you’ll likely be able to start with a dose as low 8 to 10mg a day for things like mild stress or mood support. If you’re looking to use CBD for more serious anxiety, pain or sleep issues, you may want to go as high as 40 to 50mg a day.
We’d recommend starting low and gradually increasing your intake over time. The best way to do so is by increasing your dose by around 5mg at a time then sticking with that new dose for around three or four days. If you’re still not noticing much difference, increase by another 5mg each four days until it feels “right”.
You might even want to consider microdosing. While your actual mg value might be perfect, if you’re feeling a little drowsy you can avoid this by dividing out your dose over three or four applications a day instead of just two. CBD can feel mildly sedative to some people, so spreading out your dose throughout the day can allow you to take your usual amount, just without the drowsy feeling.
Not taking CBD regularly or not taking it for a long enough time period.
This breaks into two parts - not taking CBD frequently enough throughout the day and not taking it for a long enough period. The important thing to remember is that CBD is a dietary supplement. In the same way you’d take a multivitamin daily to maintain your levels of iron, zinc and magnesium, CBD is the same. If you aren’t taking it every day your cannabinoid levels will fluctuate more, especially if your body already struggles to synthesise enough without supplementation. Making sure you take it every day around the same time of day for several weeks and making it a part of your usual routine is key.
The other thing is how you take it throughout the day. Different methods of application have different absorption rates and they stay in your system for different lengths of time. This means you’ll need to either take your dose more or less frequently. For example, vaping is the most quickly absorbed (within a few minutes) but wears off within an hour or two. Drops take up to 20 minutes to take effect but stay in your system for up to six hours.
Essentially, if you’re vaping you’ll need to take a few puffs every few hours. If you’re taking drops you’ll only need to dose two to three times a day. For more information on how long each administration method lasts, refer to our dosage guide.
How you take CBD affects bioavailability.
As we mentioned earlier, different products have a different absorption rate (referred to as bioavailability). If you’ve looked at how much you think you should be taking and feel the dose is right, the product you’re using might be why you don’t feel it’s working for you.
The product we would recommend to just about anyone starting with CBD is tinctures. They’re easy to use, simple to calculate how many drops you need each day but are also quickly absorbed. If you’ve been using capsules for example, your body will absorb them much more slowly because they’re being processed in your stomach and gut. You’ll also absorb less of the stated dose. Drops are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes in your mouth and you’ll take in around 40% of your applied dose. For example, if you take a 20mg dose, your body will actually take in around 8mg.
Vaping is also very quickly absorbed so can be another option to consider if you’d like something with a higher bioavailability. It has both the fastest absorption rate and bioavailability at around 70%. If you like taking capsules, you might want to try combining them with something like vaping or drops to boost your dose.
You’re having difficulty with the taste.
If you’ve been taking CBD drops in hemp oil, you might find the herbaceous flavour a bit strong. While hemp oil contains a lot of naturally occurring terpenes, it does have quite a “green” flavour. If holding CBD infused hemp oil in your mouth is too much and discourages you from taking your drops, you might want to consider MCT oil instead.
MCT is derived from coconut so is more neutral tasting but works just as well as hemp oil in carrying CBD. Or, you might want to try a different product altogether. CBD e-liquids come in a range of flavours from fruits and minty flavours to desserts. For a flavour free way to take CBD, you might want to consider capsules instead - just take them with a glass of water.
Not choosing lab tested and organically grown hemp products.
Hemp is a bioaccumulator. Essentially this means anything that’s in the soil is very readily absorbed by the hemp plant, meaning good soil is key for high quality CBD. When CBD is derived from organically grown hemp, you’ll get the best quality product without anything else that was in the soil contaminating it.
Organically produced hemp is also extracted using the supercritical CO2 method. This means it’s been processed using heat and pressure. Some CBD can be extracted using solvents like butane which require a lot more processing and don’t maintain the organic nature of the product.
Lab testing is also important when it comes to getting the most out of your CBD. The reason for this is twofold. First, when it’s lab tested you can verify that what’s in the bottle is actually matches the concentration the label states you’re getting. The other thing is you’ll know your CBD is within the legal limit for THC. Products in the UK can only have a maximum of 0.2% THC and 0.3% in the USA. Hemp is naturally low in THC anyway but lab testing will verify you’ve got CBD alone - many products you’ll find on World of Hemp are totally THC free.
The World of Hemp website contains general information about diet, health, wellbeing and nutrition. This is general information and should be considered as is and not as specific medical advice to treat specific conditions. World of Hemp makes no representations or warranties in relation to the health information on this website and as such you should not rely on this information as an alternative to advice given by a doctor or specialist medical practitioner. Read disclaimer in full.
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