CBD Serving Size: A Helpful Guide on How Much CBD to Take
When you begin a CBD oil regimen, you may be wondering about the correct CBD serving size. There are droppers, capsules, gummies – and now you are hearing about micro vs macro. It’s all very confusing, right?
And to confuse you even more, the serving size for CBD can vary from person to person. For the correct hemp oil serving size, there are several things to consider. We’ll cover those things today and share more of what you need to know about CBD serving sizes for the different types of CBD products you may take.
- What is the correct CBD serving size?
- What factors do I need to consider to find my perfect serving size for CBD?
- Which hemp oil serving size is best for my lifestyle and wellness needs?
- What are micro and macro servings, and how does that apply to my products?
What Is the Correct CBD Serving Size?
Any CBD product that you purchase should provide you with helpful information such as the ingredients, the levels of concentration, and the suggested serving size. But the serving sizes are a guide and not an absolute.
Though we are all equipped with a biological system called the endocannabinoid system (or ECS), which allows our bodies to process CBD and other cannabinoids, other factors that determine our responsiveness to and metabolism of CBD. In short, how CBD affects our bodies can differ for each of us.
A standard suggestion of a CBD serving size may need to be adjusted to suit your personal needs. This may be for several reasons:
- Your body’s metabolism
- Your size
- Your unique physiology
- Your health and wellness goals (for taking CBD)
- Your response to CBD
CBD is taken through CBD tinctures and other forms such as CBD gummies, CBD capsules or softgels, and various CBD topical formulas. Serving sizes matter for each of them, so let’s take a look at how to get the right amount determined for yourself – and how to apply that to the different forms of CBD.
CBD Is Taken for a Wide Range of Reasons
One very important determinant of CBD serving size is the reason you are taking CBD in the first place.
Are you taking it as a support for your health and wellness lifestyle? If so, taking a regular, standard serving size would suit your needs. Are you taking a CBD product to help you sleep or because you want support with post-workout recovery? Then your serving sizes or routine may differ. You may also need to “stack” your CBD products by using a combination of oral CBD options plus CBD topical formulas that go right to the source of a need.
People take CBD for various reasons, ranging from wellness goals for the body and mind to an improved sense of calm or to support their body when there is a greater need. Consider your lifestyle and how much support you are looking for by taking cannabinoids.
Choose CBD products based on your individual needs. First, choose the CBD concentration and CBD forms you would like to use. Here is a helpful guide on how you can do this. Once you know what products you will be using, you’ll need to determine the right serving size to begin your regimen.
Micro vs Standard vs Macro Serving Sizes
You may have heard these terms used regarding CBD, so let’s look at what this means for you and your health and wellness needs. Micro, standard, and macro serving sizes aren’t exact measurements but a general guide to help you home in on the right hemp oil serving size and products for your personal needs. Here’s a little more explanation of these terms.
Micro Serving Size
This refers to taking a small amount of CBD (usually a little less than the product recommendations) for health support and help you achieve wellness living goals. People who take micro-amounts do it regularly, without fail, so they can maintain a steady amount in their system. There are no overarching physical or mental needs but more desire for wellness, balance, and a healthy lifestyle.
All lifestyles can benefit from micro serving sizes, so it’s not just for the health-conscious folks but also people who generally want to feel better and feel well. Many people use these steady amounts of CBD in their system to support a general sense of calm as they face various stresses in their daily lives.
This is also an introductory serving size for those who are just getting started taking CBD. Starting with these smaller amounts of CBD can help your body become acclimated to something new and may also help you avoid any stomach discomfort that could occur as your tummy gets used to the oils.
Micro serving sizes are anything under 1 mL. They are typically taken in the morning, at night, and at the same time each day for the best results.
Standard Serving Size
The standard serving size is more common. People take them for all of the purposes of the micro serving sizes but find that taking the regularly recommended serving sizes helps them more.
Once you have been on the micro serving sizes for about a month, you should have a pretty good idea of how your body adjusts and how well the CBD is working for you. Many people opt to move up to the standard serving size, but you don’t have to do this if you are pleased with your results at the introductory serving size. If you adjust your serving size of CBD, do so in small increments and give a week or so between adjustments.
The standard serving size is 1 mL, which is also taken twice daily at regular times for the best results.
Macro Serving Size
A higher concentration or serving size can be more helpful for others who have specific needs such as post-workout recovery, difficulty maintaining a sense of calm, or difficulty maintaining a healthy and regular sleep cycle.
It is recommended to begin with the standard serving size (or less) and work your way up to the serving size that is most helpful to you. For some, this may mean a higher amount, while for others, it may mean adding a mid-day serving or additional CBD products (like the gummies and topical formulas), as needed.
Macro serving sizes are anything over 1 mL or any servings over the standard twice-daily routine.
Finding the Perfect Serving Size for CBD
Since there’s really no such thing as the “right” serving size for everyone, it is a matter of finding the right amount for your body, mind, and lifestyle. This requires a bit of time and patience to determine. There are a few things for you to consider as you work through those first weeks and months of settling into a CBD regimen.
Lifestyle and Wellness Considerations
Consider your lifestyle and your health and wellness needs. Many people start using a CBD tincture, take it for a few weeks, and then call it quits because “it isn’t working” for them. This typically means you need to increase the serving size and see how the new amounts work for you. For others, it means they need to add additional products into their regimen to tailor it to their personal needs.
- For added help with calmness, consider using a larger serving size and possibly a higher concentration if your current amount does not seem to be helping. (We recommend trying your starter serving size for at least a month before you make these changes.)
- For added sleep support, consider swapping out your evening serving with the CBD tinctures made for sleep support.
- For added help in higher-stress situations, consider taking CBD gummies, as needed, in addition to your regular tincture routine.
- For added pain relief, consider CBD topical formulas that have other supportive pain-relieving ingredients. You can use these products on an as-needed basis in addition to your regular CBD tincture routine.
How Do You Know If You Need More CBD?
If you’ve taken your CBD tincture for about a month and feel like it isn’t helping as much as you want it to, then you may adjust your serving size up by increments of a few drops at a time. Wait a week before making another adjustment to see how well you do on the new serving size. You may want to add more CBD products for targeted needs.
There’s no clear rule on how to know when you need an adjustment. You have to practice self-awareness and listen to your body. Your physician can also help answer questions about your CBD regimen. But the formula for figuring it out is this: Start small, be consistent and regular, give it time, assess and adjust, repeat. Here’s a bit more on how to evaluate your current CBD regimen.
To assess how well the CBD is helping you at a particular serving size or regimen, do a self-assessment, and talk with your doctor for any concerns:
- How do you feel: physically, mentally, emotionally?
- How is your focus during the day?
- Are you falling asleep OK, and how well are you sleeping?
- Do you feel generally well and calm?
- Do you feel like it is helping you?
- What part of the day or night seems to be the most problematic for you and why? What other CBD products could be added, or would a higher amount or concentration be the answer?
Taking a brief self-assessment between serving size adjustments can help you identify when you may need more CBD or CBD topical support. It can also help you decide if you want to adjust your serving sizes or add other CBD products to your regimen.
Make sure to assess how you feel over some time rather than one day, so you know how CBD affects you overall. We all have bad days or a bad night’s sleep from time to time, and you wouldn’t want to misjudge the usefulness of beneficial CBD based on those anomalies in your personality or shifts in the stresses of a day.
CBD Serving Size: A Guide to the CBD Tinctures
CBD comes in two types: broad spectrum CBD, which does not contain THC, and full spectrum CBD, which does contain THC. As long as THC levels are less than 0.3 percent, CBD is legal, thanks to legislation in the 2018 Farm Bill. This opened up hemp-derived products for our use for health and wellness purposes but did not place CBD under the guidance of the CDC. Therefore, there’s really no such thing as a “standard serving size” for CBD.
We rely on the direction of CBD manufacturers (who tell us how their products work based on design, formulation, and testing) and on the direction of our doctors or other healthcare professionals.
We also rely on our awareness of how our bodies respond to CBD. Though it’s not an exact science, you can fairly easily find a serving size that works for your body and helps you reach your wellness goals. It just takes a bit of guidance and a willingness to listen to your body.
CBD Serving Sizes
We typically recommend starting at the micro-level, waiting about a month at that level, then moving up to the standard serving size, if needed. (If you are taking tinctures, work toward the standard serving sizes in increments of two or three drops, giving a week between adjustments.)
The CBD dropper in your tinctures has several markings on it:
Micro: 0.25 mL - 0.5 mL (About 10-20 drops)
Standard: 0.75 mL - 1.0 mL (About 20-40 drops)
Macro: 1 mL serving sizes twice daily and a midday serving or additional drops over the 1 mL mark
You may need to use the dropper twice to get the right measurements, as the droppers tend to pull in about 0.5 mL at a time. You can also count the drops as you place them under your tongue rather than using the measuring marks. This is a matter of personal preference, and as long as you are consistent with the amounts, you are doing it correctly. Here’s more information about how to take your CBD tinctures.
Please note that if you choose to increase the CBD oil concentration of your product (there are several concentrations available), you will want to start at the micro serving size again and then adjust after your one-month assessment.
Helpful Tip: If you are switching CBD brands and must go from your usual servings measured in mg rather than mL or vice versa, you can use a conversion tool such as this one to help you determine your new measurements.
Regular CBD Tinctures vs CBD Tinctures for Sleep
If you need the extra help in the evenings, you may substitute the CBD sleep formula for your evening serving, preferably an hour or so before bed. You do not need to take both the sleep aid and your regular CBD formula together, but these two products are fine to combine.
Work with small adjustments until you find the amount that works best for you. Some people prefer to stay on their regular regimen and add a micro serving size of the sleep formula in the evenings. This helps provide a boost of additional CBD for calm, but also melatonin to help induce sleepiness.
CBD Serving Size: A Guide to CBD Gummies
CBD gummies are a great “as needed” option. You can take them with or without a regular CBD tincture regimen in place, but many people find greater support when they do both, using the gummies when they need additional care and help.
Standard Serving Size
One gummy, as needed.
- Start your day with a gummy each morning
- Take a gummy post-workout
- Take a gummy before bed each night
Try for a month, and then see how you feel.
Adjusted Serving Size
You may add another gummy to your regular servings (if you take them at a particular time) or take an additional serving of one or two gummies at another part of your day, as needed. There’s a lot of flexibility with taking CBD gummies.
CBD Serving Size: A Guide to CBD Softgel Capsules
Softgels are a great option for those who prefer a pre-measured serving of CBD. You have less control over the amount, so be sure to get a concentration that works well for you. As with the tinctures, you want to begin your regimen with the lowest recommended amount, which is a standard serving rather than the optional micro servings of a tincture, and wait about a month at this amount before you adjust the servings you take.
Standard Serving Size
Use a capsule each morning and one capsule each night. Take it with a full glass of water.
Adjusted Serving Size
Use an additional capsule in the morning or at night. You may also adjust by adding a midday serving of one or two capsules. To achieve macro serving sizes with the capsules, you may opt to add other CBD products to your regimen, tailoring your regimen to match your lifestyle and your needs.
CBD Serving Size: A Guide to CBD Topical Products
CBD topical products work much differently than the standard CBD tinctures, gummies, or capsules – all taken orally.
Note: The CBD topical formulas are NOT to be ingested in any way. They are for topical (on top of the skin) application only.
Because the topical formulas come in roll-ons, creams, and various bath and skin care options, there is no accurate determination of serving size. You apply the products as you need them or as you have the desire to use them.
Each CBD topical product works a little differently and targets different needs. For any product such as the CBD Freeze roller or CBD Recover cream, which are CBD products that include pain relievers, the instructions will be included in the packaging.
Typically this involves:
- Applying a thin layer where needed, up to four times a day
- Avoiding broken skin
- Using in combination with oral CBD products for greater results
Topical bath products are one-use products like CBD bath bombs and CBD bath salts. There’s no specific “right” amount to use of these, but one serving (a single bath bomb or quarter-cup of salts) along with a daily bath is typically sufficient. If you have greater need, like after a long workout at the gym, you may feel the need to add a soaking bath with one of these CBD products. It’s OK to use these bath products any time you want to use them.
You should use topical skin care products the same way you’d use them if they had no CBD – as a face wash, exfoliant, moisturizer, etc. The added CBD just brings more soothing benefits to the other ingredients.
There is no “macro” amount of topical products to use. You can follow one application with another as you feel it is necessary to provide the desired results, although medicated topicals shouldn’t be applied more than four times a day. When using skin care products, you’ll use them as a morning routine and a night routine. Some products such as Exfoliating facial cleanser and facial masks will be used once or twice a week or more, as needed. But applying more of the product does not bring a “macro” effect. Simply use as much of the product as necessary to get the job done, and reapply when it is time for another use.
If You Still Need Help Finding Your CBD Serving Size
Of course, the greatest source of guidance would be your doctor, who can guide you based on your health and wellness needs and factor in any medications or supplements you are taking.