Welcome to the joyful journey of cannabis and CBD dosage, where each step is a move in the dance of improving your wellness.
It’s a groovy world out there, full of different cannabinoids, ingestion methods, and sensations, and today we’re going to boogie through the basics of dosing and tracking.
Because this is Wake + Bake, everything in this post will be backed by the best practices being used by physicians and researchers.
And because this is Wake + Bake, there will also be music metaphors sprinkled throughout the post to make learning more fun!
We’ll cover how and when to add new cannabinoids, the way my favorite researcher and physician handles CBD dosing, and you’ll also get a free guide and dosage tracker at the end.
Don’t Pump up the Jams; Start with a Whisper
If you had a new stereo, would you turn it all the way up before hitting the power button?
No way. You’d be worried your eardrums would get blasted.
Think of your cannabis experience like starting a new song at a whisper and gradually turning up the volume.
We’ll take this approach with all cannabinoids, but especially with THC – since it has the most noticeable effects and can be downright uncomfortable if you blast past an effective dose.
Start with the tiniest dose possible (we’ll cover starting points later) – a soft hum in the background of your day – and tune in to how it resonates with your body.
How to dose CBD, CBG, and the Acidic Cannabinoids
THC is not the only show in town. We now have access to CBD, CBG, CBDa, and CBGa, among others.
If you’re using cannabis to feel better, THC may not even be your best bet.
Experiment with the symphonic effect as you introduce different cannabinoids to your mix.
[Important note: DO NOT use synthetic cannabinoids or cannabinoids created by a conversion process – a.k.a. delta 8, delta 10, etc. Some hemp-derived delta 9 products are extracted directly from hemp, but you have to ask the company and hope they’re honest. I like the delta-9 gummies from Joy Organics. They do not use a conversion process and are currently available in almost every state in the US 👇]
Now, back to the music metaphors.
Let’s say THC is your lead singer. Your lead singer is going to take you on a journey – and take center focus – when it’s in the mix.
At a low volume, your lead singer may be subtle and can be used as background music. At a high volume, it’s the only thing you can focus on. You may not even notice the other music playing when the lead singer is belting it out.
When you’re only using THC, it’s like an acapella solo. Which is beautiful and interesting, but not always what you need to keep you energized and connected throughout the day. Can you imagine listening to one glorious voice sing Ave Maria on blast while trying to clean your floors?
But CBD, CBG, acidic cannabinoids, and other cannabis compounds are like the band.
They can be used with or without THC to get you in the groove. All of these compounds interact with the body differently and all warrant their own rabbit hole time. But you don’t need to know a lot about them in order to get the benefits.
Here’s all you need to know:
- add them one at a time
- track the effects
- give them a chance to work, so you can feel for what’s happening when you add a cannabinoid.
Adding another cannabinoid is like adding a new instrument to your life’s soundtrack – each one has its own timbre and tempo.
Start adding one at a time at a low dose and let the effects serenade you softly.
How much CBD to take?
Now that we’re all in agreement that music puns are fun, and that we should start low, go slow, and incorporate different cannabinoids as we go along, let’s get to the details.
People often ask me “How much CBD should I take?” or “What’s a good dose for CBD?”
But figuring out how much CBD oil to use is like tuning a ukulele – it’s not one-size-fits-all. It really depends on what you’re using it for, how your body reacts, and what kind of CBD product you’ve got.
Many folks start with around 20 milligrams a day and see how that goes. If they don’t notice any change after a week, they might bump it up by 5 mg at a time.
But don’t give up if you’re at 50mg and are still not feeling anything. Some people require hundreds of milligrams of CBD per day to get the effect they’re looking for. That gets expensive as an out of pocket cost, so making your own CBD oil can be crucial for those who need higher doses.
Just remember, since CBD isn’t monitored by the FDA, there’s no official dosing chart and if you’re buying a product, you have to do a lot of research to make sure you’re getting the good stuff. I like this full spectrum CBD oil.
And because CBD can interact with other meds, it’s a smart move to have a chat with your healthcare provider before you dive in, especially if you’ve got other health stuff going on. They can help you figure out a good starting point.
How much THC should I take?
If you’re thinking about how much THC to use, this is another answer that’s incredibly personal.
It’s like how some folks can drink a few coffees a day and feel fine, while others get jittery from just one.
It’s also like how you can drink a few coffees when you’re relaxed and feel fine, but drink a few when you’re already anxious, and you get the jitters.
If you’re new to THC, start small and experiment where you feel comfortable – ideally at home. You can even try doing a Cannabis Meditation for Beginners.
If you’re smoking or using a dry herb vaporizer, a dose could be just a tiny puff (weed is strong these days).
Tune in for the next 10-15 minutes to see how it feels.
You can even try doing a Cannabis Meditation for Beginners while you wait.
If you’re trying edibles, go for a tiny amount, like a gummy with 1-2.5 milligrams of THC, and then wait it out for a couple of hours, because it takes time to kick in.
Just remember, THC is the stuff in cannabis that can get you feeling high, and how much you can handle can change based on a bunch of stuff, like your body size, how often you use it, and the tone of your Endocannabinoid System.
Also, THC isn’t legal everywhere, so be sure to stay on the right side of the law and advocate for change by joining your local grass roots organizations.
How much CBG to start?
CBG, or cannabigerol, is another compound from the cannabis plant, kind of like CBD. It’s not as well-known, and research on it isn’t as plentiful, so there’s even less info out there on how much to take.
Like CBD, there’s no official dosage guide for CBG. If you’re keen to try it, the “start low and go slow” approach is still the way to go. You might see products with suggested dosages on the label, and that can be a good place to start. Maybe begin with a small dose, like 5-10 milligrams, and see how you feel from there. If you don’t notice any changes after a while, you could consider upping the dose a tiny bit.
Just like with CBD and THC, it’s a really good idea to talk to a healthcare provider before you start, especially if you’re taking other meds or have health concerns. They can help you figure out the best way to start with CBG and make sure it’s safe for you. And of course, make sure any cannabis product you use is legal where you are.
Tracking Cannabis using a CBD Tracker or Journal
Journaling your cannabis experiences can be more than just figuring out a great dose. It can be a delightful exercise in mindfulness and memory.
Imagine it as a recipe book for your best effects, where you jot down the ‘ingredients’ – the strains, the dosages, the timing – and then noting your feelings and reactions.
This log becomes your sheet music, so you know what feels good in what combinations and timing.
Be patient as you compose this music. It could take weeks or months, so be curious and have fun exploring yourself and this plant.
Like a fine wine or a slow-cooked meal, the full bouquet of benefits from cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, or CBDA might take time to blossom.
Your patience will be rewarded with a harmony of effects that sing to your unique rhythm.
When to increase a CBD dose or add a cannabinoid
I know I’ve been ultra-repetitive in this post about going slow.
I also know how tempting it can be to change a dose, product or cannabinoid to see if it works better just a couple of days in.
Here’s what I’ll say.
If you feel great – and I mean really great – you don’t have to keep track or be consistent.
If you feel the best you’ve ever felt in your life; your sleep is on point, you’re not experiencing pain or digestive issues, and you’re on the top of your game…
Go willy nilly with it and have fun. Change the dose, product and cannabinoid ratio every 10 minutes or every 24 hours. Go ahead and get after it, you beast!
But if you’re trying to use cannabis and cannabinoids to feel better, recover from workouts, address an issue, or improve your health, consistency and patience is key.
Dr. Bonni Goldstein – who wrote Cannabis Is Medicine – stresses the importance of patience when working with cannabis and notes that it can take up to six days for any changes in dose or cannabinoid to reflect in the bloodstream.
“You can’t make a change on Monday and then on Wednesday say ‘it’s not working.’ You have to give it time. This is a botanical medicine,” she explained in a recent interview about Cannabis for kids with autism.
She typically waits at least a week, or even two weeks, of observation before considering an increase in dose for her patients.
Why isn’t CBD Working?
If you’ve been trying CBD for longer than a few weeks and you’ve been slowly increasing the dose, you may be frustrated that it’s now working for what you want it for.
It’s important to know that CBD exhibits biphasic effects, which means it can be overstimulating or alerting at low doses and more calming at higher doses. Some people start with low doses in the evening and find that it keeps them awake. Alternatively, they may take large doses during the day, which could make them drowsy.
Increasing the dose at night and decreasing it during the day can help balance out the effects.
THC also behaves similarly, but it’s important to note that if you take much higher doses, it can have a huge increase in side effects without the benefits of pain relief, reduction of tension, etc.
I prefer choosing one cannabinoid at a time to work with, setting a daytime and evening dose, trying that for a week, and then increasing the dose slightly or removing that cannabinoid or product, and adding in a new cannabinoid.
Dr. Goldstein contracts her patients – typically children with autism and epilepsy – for a year and sometimes it takes that long to get the dose and cannabinoids dialed in.
Be patient with this process. If a dose is too much, is creating a side effects, or is truly immeasurable after a few days, you can adjust it immediately, but if it’s simply “not doing much” it may just need more time with consistency.
The saddest thing I see as a cannabis educator is someone trying something – like CBD – sporadically for a month and then concluding it didn’t do anything for them.
And that’s why I have to caution that it’s very rare that you’ll have a major success story in a week or two.
Just because you heard someone else’s story (or even my own) where things changed quickly, that doesn’t mean it’s not working if big changes don’t happen overnight.
It’s a slow dance. Enjoy it.
Conclusion + Get Your Free Tracker
Dosing cannabis is a dance, and consistency is the beat that keeps the party going.
By easing into your cannabis groove, keeping a record of your journey, and allowing the effects to mature gracefully, you’ll unlock the full symphony of this incredible plant.
Remember, this isn’t a race to the finish line; it’s a slow dance through the scenic route of self-discovery.
[Don’t hate. I told you there would be dance metaphors.]
In order to start keeping track, sign up for the free Wake + Bake Dosage Tracker that is designed to be simple, easy, and fun.
Unlike other dosage trackers, it is set up for you to track one cannabinoid, dose, and product for a week instead of changing up the dose and trying to figure out what was going on.
Seek the wisdom of a cannabis-savvy guide, educator, coach or a healthcare professional to choreograph your moves.
Let your cannabis exploration be as unique and vivacious as you are, and above all, keep learning and incorporating new moves that support your Endocannabinoid System.
Here’s to finding that perfect harmony and enjoying every puff, nibble, or drop along the way – let the good times roll!