We legalized CBD only in 2018 with the passage of the Farm Bill. Before then, it was hard for scientists to study data on anything related to cannabis. There were plenty of anecdotes on how much CBD could help, but nothing like the multiple detailed studies used for prescription drugs.
Essential oils also lack these in-depth studies, and with so many varieties out there, it would have to be done on an oil-by-oil basis. Sadly, these kinds of drug trials are expensive. Without someone to fund them, consumers are left in the dark.
These studies are important to determine the dosage of medicine. Right now, dosing with CBD tincture is a bit of a trial-and-error game. Not that prescription medicines are too different; doctors adjust dosage levels all the time for individual patients. But how do you dose yourself for CBD and essential oils correctly?
Not Too Much, Not Too Little
There is an ancient principle in medicine that “the dose makes the poison”. Any drug can harm or kill you if you take too much. They measure this in studies as the LD50. The LD50 of a compound is the lethal dose needed to kill 50% or more of a group of people taking the drug.
On the other hand, you also need to take enough of the drug to have a therapeutic effect. They call this the minimal effective dose. The minimal effective dose can also vary based on body weight, age, sex, and many other factors.
When taking any medication, including natural ones, we must balance the dose between not too much and not too little. Companies that sell ready-made natural health products, like ours, must use studies and testing from third-party companies to ensure their products are safe for the public.
CBD Is Extremely Safe
Fortunately, for CBD, we have several studies that looked at the LD50, the most recent being in 2011. In that study, published in 2011 in Current Drug Safety, rhesus monkeys were given CBD to test toxicity. It took at least 200mg per kilogram of body weight to kill the monkeys.
Compare the weight of the monkeys to the body weight of a human, it would require someone weighing 165 pounds to take 18,750 mg at once to cause a toxic effect. Most people would never take over 100 mg a day for treatment unless they were treating a severe illness.
Furthermore, in the animal testing cases we found, the CBD was given to the animals intravenously. Different dosing techniques, like topical application, ingestion, tinctures, or vaporization, deliver more or less of a drug at different time scales. Intravenous drug delivery is probably the quickest and most potent form of drug delivery there is.
Essential Oils Are Best Used Topically
There are hundreds of essential oils out there, each with their own blend of compounds. Some compounds are shared between different plant families. Thus, each oil needs to be looked at individually if you want to test for safety.
Plant Juice Oils only sells EO products meant for topical (skin) applications and aromatherapy, both of which are very safe. We do not recommend ingesting essential oils without the guidance of a trained professional. This practice is known as aromatic medicine if you want to investigate this on your own.
Unless you have a known bad reaction to a certain essential oil, all the essential oils we use are safe to use in both ways. This is also why we list out all the essential oils we use on each product. If you have an allergy, please read the list of your product before purchasing!
If you use one of our rollers and get a skin reaction, we encourage you to get allergy testing for the oils in the product. It could save you some itchy pain if you use other natural products with the same EOs in the future.
Dosing For CBD
The mantra for CBD dosing, and for any drug, is to go low and go slow. It’s much safer to go below the minimal effective dose and raise it than to start high and adjust downward. However, different conditions require different amounts, plus there are all the factors we mentioned before. So how do you start?
First, let’s take a look at topical creams like our sports cream. Your skin can only absorb so much cream at once. Pain can start to diminish in as little as 2.5 mg of CBD when applied topically, and our 4 ounce bottles have 400 mg of CBD. Thus, we feel it’s safe to use the lotion as necessary since you’re not likely to use a quarter of the bottle a day!
What about our tinctures and softgels? Each of our softgels contains 25 mg of CBD. This is an excellent starting dose to see CBDs effects on things like anxiety, tremor, sleep, and similar conditions. However, it may not be enough for your condition.
If one pill doesn’t work after taking it for a couple of weeks, take two pills a day for two more weeks. Repeat this until you get your desired level of relief, or you’re up to four pills a day. If you’re taking that much, tinctures may be a better option.
Our broad-spectrum tincture serves 45 mg of CBD per dropperful. These drops are placed under your tongue and held for a minute. This is one of the fastest ways to get CBD into your bloodstream, so it’s great for conditions that come up suddenly, like anxiety. Try 1-2 dropperfuls a day to start and go up from there until you get relief or until 4 dropperfuls have no effect.
If you’re taking that much and you’re still not seeing an effect, or enough of one, we recommend speaking with a doctor. There are some cases where patients need a very high dose of CBD to see an effect.
Dosing for Essential Oils
Since we do not sell EO products for internal use, dosing for essential oils is easy. First, if you’re unsure about sensitivities, you can find a reputable supplier of pure EO in a store and smell their samplers. A store that sells holistic health products is your best bet.
When you buy one of our rollers, we recommend doing a spot test on the inside of your elbow first. If you have no skin reaction within a half hour, you can consider that product and its ingredients safe for you.
Never put undiluted EO on your skin! Even if it’s safe for you, the concentration may be enough to cause an adverse reaction. Therefore, we do not sell undiluted EO, but only formulated products with the right balance of ingredients to improve wellness.
One day, there will be the in-depth studies we all need to determine exact doses of CBD and EOs for our health. Until that time comes, play it safe. Start low and go slow with CBD and never use EOs internally without the guidance of a trained professional.