Microdosing CBD: Everything You Need to Know
When you reach for an over-the-counter medication, you know exactly how much to take and how long to wait before using the product again. The instructions are specific, apply to everyone, and you're cautioned not to deviate unless instructed by your doctor. With experience, you also know exactly what to expect.
When you're used to having precise instructions, it can be a bit unsettling to discover that the amount of CBD one person might rely on for relaxation, better sleep, or discomfort after physical activity could be quite different than the serving size that's right for you. If you're looking for a way to determine your sweet spot, consider microdosing.
What Is Microdosing?
Microdosing is a technique that relies on using very small amount of a substance to achieve a specific effect. Marijuana users typically use microdosing to avoid overindulging in THC (Lehmert et al., 2021). For CBD users, microdosing is most often used to determine the smallest serving size a person might need to achieve their best results.
What Are the Benefits of Microdosing?
When you add hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol) to your daily routine, the cannabinoid interacts with more than 65 molecular targets (Elsaid & Foll, 2020), including the receptors of your endocannabinoid system (ECS). As your body's largest regulatory system, ECS signaling impacts nearly every crucial function, from emotional equilibrium and stress responses to sleep cycle regulation and the perception of pain and pleasure (Mouslech & Valla, 2009).
Cannabis researchers believe CBD helps support ECS function in a way that promotes essential balance (homeostasis) (Sallaberry & Astern, 2018). Although you're sure to find multiple sources recommending 30-60mg of CBD per day, everyone's body chemistry is unique. Not only does microdosing help you determine your ideal serving size, realizing you might need more than average could improve your results, while discovering you require a smaller amount reduces your cost of daily use.
Is Microdosing CBD Safe?
Hemp-derived CBD is generally well tolerated and safe for most people. According to a report by the World Health Organization, there's "no evidence of public health-related problems." The agency specifically notes that most side effects are the result of the cannabinoid's interaction with prescription and over-the-counter medications (WHO, 2020). If you have a medical condition or take medication, it's important to consult your healthcare provider before microdosing CBD.
With that being said, anything you put in your body has the potential to cause a wide range of side effects. Although most people find CBD's side effects resolve with smaller serving sizes, you could experience several uncomfortable symptoms, including nausea, dry mouth, diarrhea, or fatigue (Chesney et al., 2020). Since microdosing involves using exceptionally small amounts of CBD at regular intervals, there's minimal risk of overconsumption.
Is Microdosing CBD a Long-Term Solution?
Most CBD users take advantage of microdosing techniques just long enough to determine their sweet spot. However, there are no rules. A lot of people prefer smaller, more frequent serving sizes. For example, a person who typically appreciates the effects of their 30mg CBD capsule for relief after physical activity but finds the effects tend to diminish too soon, might prefer the effects of microdosing with three 10mg servings or two 15mg servings as a way to achieve maximum consistency without having to increase the amount of CBD they're using throughout the day.
How to Microdose Using CBD?
Microdosing is easy. All you'll need is a CBD oil tincture and a way to keep track of each serving. Your experiment starts with a single drop of your tincture under your tongue. If you don't notice any effect within 45 minutes, increase your serving size to two drops the second hour, three drops the third hour, four drops the fourth hour, and so on. Assess your progress between servings. If you don't achieve your goal the first day, pick up where you left off the next.
Once you achieve the desired effect within 45 minutes of your last serving, stop. Then total the number of drops you've ingested during the previous four hours. That's your ideal serving size. Try sticking with that amount two to three times per day (4-6 hour intervals), increasing or decreasing your frequency as needed. If you're interested in calculating how much CBD is in that serving, divide the number of mg of CBD in a 1-dropper serving by 20, the average number of drops per ml. Then, multiply the total number of drops you've taken over the past four hours by the amount of CBD in each drop.
What Does the Research Say About Microdosing CBD?
Most of the research investigating the possible benefits of microdosing involve substances known to cause intoxication. In animal studies, THC was shown to have a positive impact while used in amounts too low to cause the "recreational" effect the cannabinoid is known for (Seffins et al., 2005). Similarly, a case study detailing the impact of microdosing a 6:1 THC to CBD ratio also showed potentially positive results (Cury et al., 2019). But to date, there's been little (if any) research confirming or disputing any particular benefit associated with microdosing CBD other than using the technique as a way to determine serving sizes. However, a brief search will lead you to a significant amount of anecdotal evidence from CBD users claiming favorable results.
Finding the Best CBD Products for Microdosing
CBD oil tinctures are the best option for microdosing, but not all tinctures are the same. With the industry widely unregulated, purity and potency can vary from one company to the next. To get the most accurate results from microdosing, it's important to invest in a high-quality product from a reputable brand, a name you can trust.
At CBDistillery®, you'll find an impressive assortment of third-party batch-tested CBD oil tinctures. As you're browsing our selection, you'll soon discover three main types of CBD oil. While there's no single option that appeals to everyone, the following descriptions could help you decide which CBDistillery® CBD Oil Tincture is right for you.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures
CBDistillery® Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures give you all the additional cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids produced in the plant, in the same ratio's nature intended and less than 0.3% THC. Many CBD users feel full spectrum tinctures are the most potent option because of the way the cannabinoids and terpenes help maximize the contributions of each plant element, a property unique to cannabis called an "entourage" effect.
Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures
CBDistillery® Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures provide many of the same cannabinoids and terpenes as full spectrum tinctures, but the THC is reduced to non-detectable levels. A broad spectrum CBD oil tincture could be your best option if you're interested in the potency-maximizing potential of an entourage effect but also want to avoid ingesting small amounts of THC.
CBD Isolate Tinctures
CBDistillery® Pure CBD Oil Tinctures are made with the purest form of CBD you'll find. All that remains after extraction and processing is a flavorless, odorless powder, just CBD on its own. You may want to microdose with one of our pure CBD isolate tinctures if you want a 0% THC product, or would rather avoid the distinctive, somewhat earthy flavor you'll get with a full spectrum or broad spectrum product.
Could You Benefit from Microdosing High-Quality CBD?
The serving size suggestions you'll find on hemp-derived CBD products seem to work well for most people, but they're pretty generic. Your needs could be quite different. Although ingesting a larger serving than you need is not harmful, there's also no additional benefit. You'll just go through your products faster. Microdosing with a bottle of our high-quality CBD oil tincture will help you determine your ideal serving size, the smallest amount of CBD you need to deliver the best results.
To learn more about some of the many ways you could benefit from supporting ECS function with CBD, visit CBDistillery® to read CBD 101 or browse our blog. If you're intrigued by the health and wellness potential of our hemp-derived products but not quite sure where to start, consider taking our CBD Quiz or scheduling a consultation.
Chesney E, Oliver D, et al. (2020) Adverse Effects of Cannabidiol: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Neuropsychopharmacol. 45, 1799-806. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41386-020-0667-2
Cury RM, Pamploma FA, et al. (2019) Cannabinoid Microdosing Improve Spasticity in a Traumatic Brain Injury Patient: A Case Study. J Pharm and Therap. PDF
Elsaid S, Foll B. (2020) The Complexity of Pharmacology of Cannabidiol (CBD) and Its Implications in the Treatment of Brain Disorders. 45 Neuropsychopharmacol 229-30 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41386-019-0518-1
Lehmert K, Ambrozova E, et al. (2021) Microdosing of Psychoactive Substances in Business Practice. 1(3) Businesses 2021 196-204. https://doi.org/10.3390/businesses1030014
Mouslech Z, Valla V. (2009) Endocannabinoid System: An Overview of Its Potential in Current Medical Practice. 30(2) Neuro Endocrinol Lett 153-79. PDF
Sallaberry C, Astern L. (2018) The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator. 34(6) JYI 48-55. https://www.jyi.org/2018-june/2018/6/1/the-endocannabinoid-system-our-universal-regulator
Seffins S, Veillard N, et al. (2005) Low Dose Oral Cannabinoid Therapy Reduces Progression of Atherosclerosis In Mice. 434 Nature 782-86 https://doi.org/10.1038/nature03389
World Health Organization. (2020) Cannabidiol (CBD) Critical Review Report. PDF https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/controlled-substances/whocbdreportmay2018-2.pdf?sfvrsn=f78db177_2