How often to take cbd oil for high blood pressure

How Much CBD Oil To Take To Lower Blood Pressure

Anecdotal reports claim that CBD oil can lower blood pressure.

Early clinical research reports similar findings, which is great for anyone suffering from hypertension. But one question remains — how much do you need to take to get the effect?

Available human studies used very large doses (600 mg) of pure CBD. Thankfully, you don’t need to take that much to get a benefit, especially if you’re using a full-spectrum product.

Read on to learn how much CBD oil you should take to lower your blood pressure, the research evidence, and other tips.

Table of Contents

CBD and Blood Pressure: The Research

Two recent studies found that CBD can lower blood pressure in healthy men.

In the first 2017 study, nine men were given placebo or CBD capsules (600 mg) at rest and during three types of stressful situations: a mental stress test, exercise, and exposure to cold temperatures.

Whereas the placebo capsules had no effect, the CBD treatment lowered resting systolic blood pressure by 6 mmHg. CBD also reduced the rise in blood pressure during stressful situations by 5 mmHg to 6 mmHg (1).

The same researchers expanded on their findings in a 2020 study where they gave the same dose to 26 men every day for a week. The results were similar: CBD lowered mean arterial blood pressure and lowered the rise in blood pressure caused by exercising (2).

Factors That Influence Your CBD Oil Dosage

Early research suggests that CBD can lower blood pressure. However, 600 mg is a huge dose that’s not only hard to take but would also be quite expensive.

Thankfully, such a large amount of CBD is not necessary for most people to lower their blood pressure. There are three main reasons why.

First off, the studies used pure CBD (isolate). It’s not as effective as full-spectrum CBD, an extract that contains the full range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds naturally found in the hemp plant.

Research has shown that all of the components of hemp and cannabis work in synergy, enhancing the effects of CBD and other cannabinoids (3). This is known as the cannabis entourage effect, and you can benefit from it by using full-spectrum CBD products instead of those containing just CBD.

Secondly, capsules and other oral CBD products have notoriously low absorption, which means sublingual (under-the-tongue) CBD oil will require smaller doses to achieve a similar effect (4).

Finally, everyone’s body responds to CBD differently. Your body weight, genetics, tolerance to cannabinoids, and even the product you’re using can all influence your CBD dosage.

That’s why one person can experience a significant drop in blood pressure by taking 30 mg of CBD oil, while someone else might have zero effect from the same dose.

So, how much CBD should you take?

Ideal CBD Oil Dosage for Lowering Blood Pressure

The best way to find the ideal dosage of CBD oil for lowering blood pressure is to follow the “start low and go slow” approach recommended by health experts (5).

A good starting point is 10-15 mg of CBD oil. Pay attention to how you feel over the next two hours. Ideally, you’d want to use a blood pressure monitor to get an exact reading. However, you may be able to tell that your blood pressure dropped just from how you feel.

After this, slowly raise the dosage over time and monitor your blood pressure again. Use this method to find the CBD dose that lowers your blood pressure by the desired amount.

As a general guideline, most people find that doses of 20-100 mg doses of full-spectrum CBD oil are enough.

Tips For Choosing the Ideal CBD Product

If you’re trying out CBD oil to lower your blood pressure, we highly recommend choosing a full-spectrum product. As we mentioned earlier, full-spectrum CBD is more potent than pure CBD isolate.

While you can also take CBD capsules or gummies, they won’t be as effective because CBD has low oral bioavailability (4). It’s ideal to stick to CBD oil, which has better absorption and works faster.

You can also vape CBD, which has the advantage of working right away. However, there are some risks associated with vaping and its effects last shorter than other methods.

How Fast Does CBD Oil Lower Blood Pressure?

When you take CBD oil sublingually (under the tongue), it takes about 10–30 minutes to absorb and start working. Have your blood pressure monitor ready if you want to get an exact reading.

Most people will notice subtle effects when the CBD starts to work, such as feeling more calm or relaxed.

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Meanwhile, if you vape CBD, you can feel its effects almost instantly.

How Does CBD Oil Reduce Blood Pressure?

There isn’t enough research to say for certain, but scientists theorize that CBD may inhibit the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), preventing an increase in blood pressure (1).

Another possibility is that CBD affects the vagus nerve, which controls your blood pressure, heart rate, and other bodily functions.

A third explanation is that CBD’s effects on blood pressure are secondary to its anxiety and stress-lowering effects. This isn’t surprising because both anxiety and stress can contribute to high blood pressure.

General Tips for Shopping for CBD

Whether you’re buying a CBD product for high blood pressure or any other health condition, it’s necessary to do some research beforehand.

That’s because the CBD market is full of low-quality products that contain too little CBD or might be contaminated with pesticides, heavy metals, and other harmful substances.

Here are the top three considerations to keep in mind to help you make an informed choice.

Look for Third-Party Tested Brands

Third-party tests are done by an independent laboratory and check whether a CBD product contains as much CBD as the company claims it does. These tests can also check for the presence of pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants.

These tests are the best way to confirm that the CBD oil product you’re buying is both safe and effective.

We highly recommend buying only from companies that provide these tests on their website. It’s even better if you take a glance at the tests yourself to confirm that the product in question contains the right amount of CBD.

Check the Hemp Source

CBD is extracted from hemp plants, which means how and where this hemp is grown will also have an impact on CBD oil quality.

High-quality products are made from organic hemp cultivated in Colorado, Kentucky, or Oregon. Alternatively, European countries are also a great source of hemp.

You should only buy from companies that clearly explain on their website where the hemp comes from. It’s even better if this hemp is USDA-certified organic, although this is still difficult to find due to regulations.

Research the Company

Reputable CBD brands will have many positive customer reviews on their website.

They will also provide clear information about their manufacturing process, make it easy to access third-party lab reports, and may provide other helpful details like when the company was founded and by who.

Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex science into plain language. Gleb has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD industry inside and out. When not writing, he likes to kickbox, travel, and tell everyone how awesome intermittent fasting is.

CBD Dosage: How Much Should You Take?

Commissions we earn from partner links on this page do not affect our opinions or evaluations. Our editorial content is based on thorough research and guidance from the Forbes Health Advisory Board.

Table of Contents

  • Determining the Best CBD Dosage for You
  • How to Calculate CBD Dosage
  • How to Take CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is growing increasingly popular, thanks to its many purported health benefits and non-intoxicating properties (most CBD products contain less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC). In fact, 60% of U.S. adults have tried CBD at some point and believe it has medicinal benefits, according to a recent Forbes Health survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll. As research evolves and sheds light on CBD’s efficacy, especially for pain relief, more and more people are adding it to their daily wellness regimens.

Consumers can choose from a variety of CBD products, from oils to gummies to vapes to capsules. But figuring out the safe and effective CBD dose for an individual is a complex decision.

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Here’s how to find the right CBD dosage for you and how to consume it safely.

Determining the Best CBD Dosage for You

With the exception of one CBD product, a prescription drug used to treat seizures associated with particular syndromes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate the use of CBD. (In fact, it’s illegal to market CBD as a supplement or add it to food.) Therefore, it’s best to consult a doctor with experience in CBD administration to determine your ideal dosage.

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Expressed in milligrams (mg), CBD dosage largely depends on the conditions and symptoms you’re trying to treat and your unique endocannabinoid system, which is associated with motor control, behavior, emotions, the nervous system and homeostasis. CBD dosage remains an area of active research—more large, high-quality studies are needed in different populations to determine appropriate dosing, efficacy and safety guidelines.

“It’s best to start small and gradually increase your dose up to a level that gives you the desired effect,” says Cheryl Bugailiskis, M.D., a cannabis specialist at Heally, a telehealth platform for alternative medicine. Your starting point might look like half a CBD gummy or a drop of oil. Ideally, navigate this process under the guidance of a qualified physician.

If you’re still not sure where to start, mydosage.com offers a questionnaire and CBD calculator to help you based on your specific symptoms and usage goals.

How to Calculate CBD Dosage

When you consume CBD gummies, capsules or softgels, dosage is typically expressed per unit. For example, there may be 50 milligrams of CBD in each individual gummy. These products don’t offer much dosage flexibility since you can’t split up capsules easily. For instance, if one softgel capsule didn’t provide your desired result, you would have to take another full capsule, doubling the total dose.

CBD oil, on the other hand, makes it easier, to begin with a small dose. But calculating CBD oil dosage can be less straightforward. Oils and tinctures tend to come in a dropper bottle and, typically, only the total liquid volume and CBD contents are listed on the label. For example, the label might simply state there’s 1,500 milligrams of CBD in the 30-milliliter bottle.

But what does 1 milliliter look like? Due to the current lack of regulation of CBD, this calculation can be tricky. Start by figuring out the volume of a single drop in your dropper, which is usually 0.05 milliliters, according to Dr. Bugailiskis. If you’re unsure, ask the company.

Here’s where math comes in. Let’s continue with the 30-milliliter bottle with 1,500 milligrams of CBD and 0.05 milliliters in a single drop as our example.

1500mg÷30mL = 50 mg/mL

This bottle contains 50 milligrams of CBD per milliliter. Let’s see how many milligrams are in a drop:

50mg/mL ×0.05mL/drop = 2.5mg/drop

Each drop contains 2.5 milligrams of CBD.

Next, you can calculate how many drops you need to reach your goal dosage. Let’s say you want to consume 25 milligrams each day.

25mg÷2.5mg/drop = 10 drops
10 drops ×2.5mg = 0.5mL

With this CBD oil dosage calculator as your guide, you would find that you needed to consume 10 drops, or 0.5 milliliters, to reach 25 milligrams. And if you intend to consume 25 milligrams daily, you can expect this particular bottle to serve as a 60-day supply.

Some CBD products do some of this math for you and illustrate how many milligrams are in a milliliter, some even marking these points on the dropper so you know exactly what you’re taking.

CBD Dosage for Different Ailments

Without FDA approval, there is little guidance in the U.S. on how much CBD a person should consume for various conditions.

In many medical studies on CBD, you see administered doses reach hundreds of milligrams a day, which sounds severe compared to our starting dosage example of 25 milligrams. However, Steven Phan, founder of Come Back Daily, a CBD dispensary in New York, points out that patients in these studies are often dealing with serious flare-ups and pain-inducing conditions compared to everyday dispensary customers.

Below are clinically-studied CBD dosages based on different ailments and conditions. Note: Some of the formulations studied contained THC as well—not all available dosage research sticks strictly to CBD.

Condition Dose* Anxiety 300mg–600 milligrams a day [1] Linares, Ila M. et al. Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test . Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry. 2019;41(1):9-14. [2] Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients . Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011;36(6):1219-1226. Select forms of epilepsy Starting at 2.5 milligrams per kilogram of the person’s body weight twice daily [3] EPIDIOLEX- cannabidiol solution. DailyMed. Accessed 7/4/2021. Central neuropathic and cancer-related pain A maximum of 30 milligrams a day (or 12 sprays) [4] Sativex Oromucosal Spray – Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) – (emc). Datapharm. Accessed 7/4/2021. Opioid addiction 400 or 800 milligrams a day [5] Hurd YL, Spriggs S, Alishayev J, et al. Cannabidiol for the Reduction of Cue-Induced Craving and Anxiety in Drug-Abstinent Individuals With Heroin Use Disorder: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2019;176(11):911-922. Arthritis A maximum of 30 milligrams a day (or 12 sprays), or 250 milligrams applied topically [4] Sativex Oromucosal Spray – Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) – (emc). Datapharm. Accessed 7/4/2021.
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*Dosages are based solely on small, short-term clinical study results where CBD proved significantly successful over placebo. Much larger studies are needed to further strengthen the evidence.

FDA-approved Epidiolex administers CBD orally as a liquid to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome and tuberous sclerosis complex. The dosage of Epidiolex is determined by taking the patient’s weight in kilograms (kg) into account.

Several countries, including Canada and those in the U.K., have approved the use of Sativex, an oral spray with equal amounts of CBD and THC, to treat pain stemming from multiple sclerosis. Canada has also approved it for treatment of cancer pain.

The medical and research community still has a long way to go before figuring out what dose works best for each condition. At an individual level, consumers can experiment with caution until they find what works best for them.

Partner Offers feature brands who paid Forbes Health to appear at the top of our list. While this may influence where their products or services appear on our site, it in no way affects our ratings, which are based on thorough research, solid methodologies and expert advice. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services

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How to Take CBD

Popular ways to take CBD include:

  • Oils and tinctures (extracts of plant material dissolved in ethanol): A liquid that comes in a bottle with a dropper
  • Gummies: A soft, chewable candy that’s often fruit-flavored
  • Sprays: A liquid that comes in a bottle with a nozzle for spraying into the mouth
  • Capsules: Tablets or softgels that are ingested by mouth
  • Vapes: CBD oil that’s heated without ignition, resulting in an inhalable vapor
  • Flower: Dried hemp plant that’s often ignited and smoked
  • Edibles: Any food that CBD oil has been added to, such as brownies or chips
  • Drinks: Any beverage that’s infused with CBD, often in the form of hemp extract

Your CBD product of choice will largely depend on your personal preferences, as well as your budget since prices vary depending on the potency of ingredients and manufacturing processes. Different mediums also offer varying levels of bioavailability—or how much of what you take is actually absorbed into your bloodstream to have an effect. For example, if you ingest 10 milligrams of CBD via 1 milliliter of liquid, your body might absorb about 60% of it, or about 6 milligrams.

Cannabinoids generally have a low bioavailability compared to other substances, according to Jordan Tishler, M.D., a physician specializing in cannabis treatment in Massachusetts. However, “products that contain emulsifiers like egg yolk (brownies) or lecithin (some gummies) do better,” he says.

With that said, ingesting CBD via gummies or other edibles may take longer to take effect since the CBD has to travel to your digestive system to be broken down and absorbed.

Can You Take Too Much CBD?

Like with any substance, you can take more CBD than your body can handle. Studies show doses up to 1,500 milligrams a day have been well-tolerated, but every person is different [7] Bergamaschi MM, Costa Queiroz RH, Zuardi AW, Crippa JAS. Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Current Drug Safety. 2011;6(4):237-49. . Ingesting too much CBD can cause unpleasant side effects, such as dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, drowsiness, lightheadedness and general disorientation. While rare, liver damage can also occur.

What’s more, CBD can have serious interactions with certain medications. In evaluating available information on five prescription CBD-based medications, researchers found 139 medications could have a potential drug-drug interaction with CBD [8] Kocis PT, Vrana KE. Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol Drug-Drug Interactions. Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids. 2020;3:61–73. . People who take certain blood thinners, heart rhythm medications, thyroid medications and seizure medications need to be particularly careful.

At the end of the day, not all supplements are created equal, which is why it’s important to work alongside a health care provider when adding CBD to your wellness regimen and research reliable brands. And while emerging research and anecdotal evidence is promising, more large, randomized-controlled trials are needed to further understand the benefits of CBD and its dosing.