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How Many CBD Gummies Should You Eat?
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If you’ve recently hopped on the CBD bandwagon and are now staring down at the bottle of gummies in your hand, wondering, “How many of these am I actually supposed to eat?” then don’t worry.
You’re not the only one.
You won’t find the answer on the bottle itself—not because the CBD companies don’t want to tell you (they’d love to!), but because there’s no such thing as a straightforward, universal answer. However, this helpful guide will cover a lot of the basics to help you make an informed decision on your CBD dosage.
- CBD dosing has no simple, one-size-fits-all answer—every CBD consumer is different, so take the time to find what works for you.
- Your optimal dose may be affected by your body weight, chemical composition, desired strength, the reason for using CBD, and more.
- It’s important to start small and increase your gummy intake incrementally once you’re comfortable.
Determining The Right CBD Dosage For You
The answer to “how many CBD gummies should I eat?” is not a simple round number (“one for mild relief,” or “four for intense discomfort!” and so on). CBD edible gummies come in a range of concentrations. Some have 5 milligrams (mg) of CBD concentration each; some are as strong as 25 mg or higher. You might take four of a low-dose gummy, but only one of a higher dose.
The trick is finding the right CBD gummy dosage for you personally—measured in milligrams—then translating this dosage into the correct number of gummies, based on the strength of your chosen brand and type—calculated in, well, gummies . Do CBD gummies work? Yes, if you have the correct dosage.
The correct dosage for CBD users lies at the crossroads of several different factors:
- Body weight
- Desired effect and strength
- Ailment being addressed
- Body chemistry
But even the totality of these four factors won’t necessarily provide the perfect dosage right away. Use this information as a framework, but know that everyone is different. There’s nothing wrong with only needing a low dose CBD content ( hey, it’s cheaper that way anyhow!).
#1 Your Body Weight
There’s a reason the term “lightweight” gets thrown around so often in drinking culture. When your slim, 140-pound friend calls it a night after drinking three beers, and the rest of you keep going, calling them a lightweight isn’t necessarily an insult—sometimes, it’s just a matter of science.
Weight is a significant predictor of how well your body handles substances, whether it’s alcohol or, in this case, CBD. There are plenty of other factors that come into play, some well-studied and some a little more unpredictable. Still, you can use your body weight to determine your starting dosage (then adjust accordingly if you’re looking for more pronounced effects):
- Below 130 lbs – 11 mg or less
- 130 to 230 lbs – 18 mg or less
- Above 230 lbs – 23 mg or less
Even as a starting place for mild treatment, these categories are quite broad. For example, there is extreme variation between people who weigh 130 and 230 pounds, respectively. 18 mg may be too much for someone weighing 130 pounds and not nearly enough for someone over 200.
Another way to look at it is to take 1 mg per 10 pounds of body weight . To find your starting optimal dose, simply divide your weight by 10.
#2 The Desired Strength
Tolerance isn’t the only thing to take into consideration when identifying your dosing range. Some people actively want to experience more substantial effects—naturally, they’ll need a higher CBD gummy dosage.
The starting doses outlined above are recommended based on mild effects. Take a look at how these recommendations increase to achieve more powerful reactions:
- Moderate effects – For increased ease, relief, and stress management:
- Below 130 lbs – 12 to 14 mg
- 130 to 230 lbs – 19 to 23 mg
- Above 230 lbs – 24 to 30 mg
- Below 130 lbs – 15 to 17 mg
- 130 to 230 lbs – 24 to 27 mg
- Above 230 lbs – 31 to 45 mg
As you can see, the CBD content dosage for those under 130 pounds remains relatively low. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should never exceed a 17 mg dose, but that you should be wary of how strong the effects could be. The same applies to the other suggested ranges.
Everyone’s different—there’s still more to consider.
#3 The Ailment Being Addressed
Your ideal dosage may hinge just as much on why you’re taking CBD in the first place. Different physical or psychological discomforts may benefit from more or less CBD:
- Calm and relaxation – 15 to 30 mg to ease the jitters of everyday life.
- Healthy, restful sleep – 10 to 25 mg nightly to activate your CBD receptors while asleep.
- Discomfort and exercised-induced inflammation – As little as 5 mg or as much as 50 mg as a starting point to reduce soreness and exercise-induced inflammation; There’s a wide variation in dosing for treating aches and discomfort. Some people only take 5 mg, while others use up to 600 mg. You should always start on the lower end and work your way up—most people won’t need anywhere close to 600 mg.
- Focus and general well-being – 5 mg to 15 mg for a subtle but noticeable kickstart to your day. Void of any specific ailment, you can still benefit from daily CBD gummies. However, you probably won’t need as much as if you were, for example, experiencing aches or restlessness. If you take too much in the morning, you may feel less focused and more sluggish.
According to the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, CBD is well-tolerated in humans in doses as high as 1,500 mg per day. With that being said, that’s definitely on the higher end. When in doubt, consult your doctor about adding CBD into your wellness routine.
#4 Your Body’s Chemistry
This component is a little harder to predict, as it’s mostly experiential.
Everyone’s body responds differently to substances. Despite the safety of CBD, some people may still experience mild side effects: These red flags are often mild and low-risk, but they suggest that something’s not quite right. Moving forward, there are a few steps you can take:
- Discontinue CBD use immediately until you’ve identified the issue. A few possible explanations include:
- Potential interactions with other daily prescription medication – Consult your pharmacist to learn more.
- The presence of unwanted ingredients – Check the ingredient list to identify any potential allergens or psychoactive components, like THC; confirm that the company has third-party testing certifications that ensure purity and quality.
- Start at a lower dosage; increase slowly and incrementally to avoid re-experiencing the adverse side effects.
- Consider purchasing a different type of CBD infused gummy based on the identified issue—whether that means they have 0% THC, have been more rigorously tested, or don’t contain certain triggering ingredients.
Correctly Dosing Your Gummies
Gummies are one of the easiest ways to ingest CBD. They’re delicious, convenient, and come in carefully portioned doses. The container will be clearly labeled—10 mg and 25 mg are typical concentrations, but there’s no such thing as a “standard dose.”
Luckily, it’s easy to find your version of a standard dose with CBD gummies:
- Can further portion them – Because gummies are, well, gummy , they’re easy to cut into smaller pieces. If you purchase a 10 mg concentration, you can still start with a 5 mg dose by splitting them in two.
- Can easily increase your dosage – Many gummies come in relatively low concentrations, like 10 mg. These small denominations make it easy to up your daily dose.
- Can switch to a higher CBD concentration – If your sweet spot is closer to 20 or 30 mg, you can always purchase a more potent gummy, or just pop in a few at a time.
Some people take multiple gummies in one go; others split their dosage throughout the day. Some take theirs as soon as they wake up for daily health support, while others enjoy them two or three hours before bed to help with sleeping troubles.
CBD gummies are so easy to take—almost too easy? They may look and taste like actual candy, but they’re still made with a potent chemical compound. Once you’ve taken your allotted dose, it’s best to stash the CBD gummies in favor of a less powerful snack.
Find Your Dose With Resilience CBD Gummies
Preferred dosage may vary between you and your friends, but quality shouldn’t.
Finding the right gummy is just as important as the correct dose, whether you only ingest 10 mg per day or take 50 mg regularly. Resilience CBD makes high-quality, organically-derived CBD gummies that can also help you determine your ideal gummy intake:
- Low concentration – 10 mg of CBD per gummy makes it easy to increase or decrease your dose as needed
- Pure quality – 0% THC and rigorous third-party lab testing guarantees quality and precise concentration in every bite—no need for guessing games
- Convenient – Gummies are one of the easiest ways to ingest CBD—whether you’re running late, occupied with your active lifestyle, or always on-the-go
If it takes a couple of tries to nail your dosage, don’t get discouraged— resilience is key.
Written by: Michael Tatz | Linkedin
Michael Tatz is the Co-Founder of Resilience CBD, and a passionate leader in the health & fitness world helping others rise to and crush their wildest goals. A former Division 1 college wrestler, Army Officer, and investment manager at Goldman Sachs, he has pushed his body and mind to the limits on the mats, dressed in camo, and in the boardroom.
Today, he spends his time leading Resilience CBD to develop the absolute best recovery products for athletes everywhere. Resilience was founded after CBD personally impacted Michael’s life, and the brand was built to partner with everyday athletes in pursuit of conquering their most difficult challenges, rebounding after their toughest performances, and rising to their goals that once seemed impossible.
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- Additional information
How long does it take for CBD Gummies to start working?
The effects of CBD Gummies can be different for everyone, but it typically takes 45 minutes to 1 hour before CBD to enter the bloodstream and takes effect on a user’s mind and body.
How many CBD Gummies should I take for sleep?
There is no official evidence that CBD can improve sleep, and we cannot recommend any kind of specific dosage for treating insomnia.
Are 500mg CBD Gummies suitable for beginners?
500mg CBD Gummies may be suitable for beginners, but it’s always recommended to start with the lowest possible dosage first.
Which CBD Gummies should I choose?
Many factors go into play when choosing a CBD gummy. The dosage you want should always be considered beforehand. Make sure to always shop for a reputable brand, and keep an eye out for quality ingredients.
Do CBD Gummies help with anxiety?
There is no official evidence proving that CBD Gummies can heal or treat any kind of psychological element. If you are suffering from anxiety, speak to a medical professional about the best steps you can take.
How do 500mg CBD Gummies compare against 1000mg and 250mg CBD gummy bears?
500mg CBD Gummies are ideal for most beginners, particularly those looking for something that’s either both strong and long lasting. Meanwhile, 250mg CBD Gummies are the lowest dosage, which is great for beginners who are looking to try out CBD Gummies. Meanwhile, 1000mg gummies are better for the more experienced CBD consumer.
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How to safely try edibles: A guide for beginners
Edibles have come a long way since people started mixing marijuana into brownie batter.
Cannabis-infused foods have become a multimillion-dollar market in California, with edibles popping up at weddings, cooking classes, health retreats and more. And while smoking remains the most popular way to consume cannabis, a market report from New Frontier Data, a company that tracks the marijuana industry, shows consumers increasingly are choosing to eat their weed.
It’s also now legal for adults in California to have cannabis simply for the purpose of getting high thanks to voters legalizing recreational marijuana in November. That means some folks who steered clear of weed just seven months ago may now be considering edibles for the first time.
But eating cannabis-infused foods can be tricky. In fact, if you’ve ever heard a story about someone ending up in serious misery as a result of weed – like Maureen Dowd’s infamous tale of lying on the floor of a Colorado hotel room for eight hours convinced she was dead – it probably started with an edible.
“I’m not a big fan of edibles,” said Dr. Allan Frankel with GreenBridge Medical in Santa Monica.
Frankel has built his practice on helping medical marijuana patients take precise doses of cannabis strains that have been carefully chosen to ease their particular conditions. Given the way edibles work in the body, he said it’s too tough to control the dosing.
There’s no record of anyone dying from too much weed. But horror stories whispered by friends or shouted by New York Times columnists might scare off people who’ve never tried edibles before. Or folks who haven’t tried them since eating that special brownie in college. Or people who’ve had their own Dowd-style experience and vowed to never try edibles again.
“A lot of patients and enthusiasts are staying away from edibles altogether,” said Julianna Carella, CEO of Auntie Dolores, an Oakland food company that makes cannabis-infused nuts, caramel corn and other edibles.
One thing that may make them reconsider? Health concerns with hitting joints and bongs – perhaps particularly in California, which paved the way with anti-tobacco laws.
“Smoking or inhaling stuff is not a very natural feeling to a lot of people,” said Mike Heller, co-founder of Oakland-based MJ Wooly, which helps companies infuse their foods and drinks with cannabis.
Though current research suggests smoking marijuana isn’t as dangerous as smoking tobacco, Heller believes breathing anything into your lungs isn’t beneficial over time. Studies do show higher rates of bronchitis and other breathing conditions among chronic weed smokers. And medical marijuana patients who have weakened immune systems from cancer or other conditions may be particularly susceptible to such conditions, making edibles a more attractive option.
Edibles are also a more discreet way to imbibe without sparking complaints from neighbors or raising concerns over secondhand smoke.
And if adults understand how cannabis-infused edibles work in their bodies and are smart about consumption, all three experts said they can be a viable option for both medical marijuana patients and recreational consumers who’d rather eat their weed than smoke it.
Understand how it works in the body
The sensation people get from smoking or eating cannabis is ultimately pretty similar. But the way they ingest the plant determines how the body processes THC, the compound in cannabis that makes consumers feel high. And that affects everything from how long it takes the weed to kick in to how intense the high might be.
“If you’re smoking or vaping, you’re absorbing all the THC and other cannabinoids through your lungs,” Heller said. Those compounds go straight into the bloodstream, which means smokers are likely to feel the effects within five to 10 minutes.
With edibles, on the other hand, the body has to digest the food or drink. It’s absorbed through the stomach, passes through the intestine and makes it ways to the liver, which breaks down the THC and allows it to enter the bloodstream. That means it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to feel the full impact.
As with swallowing other types of drugs or drinking alcohol, the impact of edibles will also depend a great deal on the particular person. Someone who weighs 90 pounds and hasn’t eaten that day will likely feel the effects more intensely than someone who weighs more and has recently eaten a big meal.
The person’s metabolism and prior experience with cannabis can also play a role, though even experienced smokers are sometimes surprised at how hard edibles hit them.
“There’s a really wide range of tolerance levels,” Carella said. “Some people are perfectly fine with 5 mg (of THC) and someone else needs 500 mg.”
The type of edibles the person consumed factors in, too, Heller said, since the body can break down tiny THC molecules suspended in beverages more quickly than they can digest the sugars and other ingredients in a heavy baked good. Plus, some THC is absorbed through the mouth when people drink infused beverages or suck on infused candies.
The liver also converts THC into a different type of molecule than what’s absorbed by the lungs. And Heller said that molecule is believed to be as much as 10 times more psychoactive than the type of THC smokers experience. So while the dose of THC is the biggest factor in how high consumers get, Heller said eating cannabis may make the high more intense.
Expect a much longer high
There’s also a big difference in how long the high lasts when weed is smoked vs. when it’s eaten.
“It’s much, much longer lasting and more powerful,” Frankel said.
Smokers can expect to feel some impact for perhaps three hours. Edibles bind to fats in the body and may not wear off entirely for eight or even 10 hours.
That’s why eating cannabis is a preferred method for many people who use it to help them sleep, since the mind-altering affects may well get them that coveted eight hours of sleep. But it also means people should clear their schedules and find somewhere they feel comfortable before trying cannabis-infused foods or drinks.
“For some people, it’s hard to go out in public,” Heller said. “Make sure you don’t have to go anywhere. And definitely don’t be driving.”
Start low, go slow
That’s the motto for edibles newbies.
The accepted recommendation is to start with an edible that has no more than 10 mg of THC, with most experts advising a dose of 2.5 to 5 mg the first time out of the gate.
Almost every bad edibles experience follows a similar pattern. Beginners may start slow, with just a tiny nibble on that lemon square. They wait half an hour and don’t feel much of anything, so they eat some more of that tasty treat. But since it can take up to two hours for the high from edibles to fully kick in, they soon discover they’ve had way too much.
“That’s probably the biggest issue with edibles,” Heller said. “I know a lot of people that have overmedicated that way. And that can be a really terrifying experience.”
To avoid that cliché, experts suggest waiting at least two hours before ingesting more cannabis. Better yet? Wait a day and start next time with a slightly higher dose, increasing by 5 mg or so at a time until they find a level that gives them the desired effect.
“It really pays off to be patient,” Heller said. “It may take two tries or three tries to get it right. But that’s a lot better than taking five times what you need in one sitting and having a panic attack.”
Another rookie mistake is to start off trying to make edibles at home. That may seem like an attractive option, since it gives consumers the feeling of control over what they’re eating. But it’s actually quite challenging to precisely infuse edibles with a particular amount of THC.
“If people are baking it at home, I don’t think most of them have any idea what’s in each piece,” Frankel said. “It’s hard enough for people who are professionals to figure it out.”
That’s why many experts recommend beginners buy their first edibles from the pros.
What to shop for
Before you start shopping, keep in mind that, although it’s now legal under Proposition 64 for adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of cannabis, shoppers still need a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana to buy products until recreational marijuana sales start Jan. 1.
Adults with that recommendation in hand can find the closest dispensary through websites such as Weedmaps and Leafly, or they can order home delivery via platforms such as Eaze and GreenRush. The key is to search for a shop that sells lab-tested products – something that’s not yet required under California law.
It’s not unusual to still find infused sweets from a festival or underground shop that have no labels at all. But reputable companies such as Auntie Dolores have for years voluntarily lab tested their products and packaged them with branded labels that indicate how much THC is inside. (New California regulations say that all cannabis products must be independently lab tested and labeled starting next year.)
Consumers should shop for products that come in what will soon be required serving sizes with 10 mg or less of THC, Heller said, so they can stick to the “start low, go slow” motto. Beyond that, he said it’s personal preference.
What to do if you overindulge
Say something went awry and someone ends up in a Dowd-like trance on the bathroom floor. What should they do next?
“Go to bed,” Heller said.
He reminds consumers that there’s no such thing as a toxic level of THC. That means there’s no need to go to the emergency room unless there are compounding factors putting the consumer at risk, such as pregnancy or a heart condition.
There isn’t a magic cure for quickly getting cannabis out of the system anyhow. People who go to the emergency room after eating too much weed generally find themselves resting on a hospital bed with an IV delivering fluids. So Heller recommends most people skip the pricey bill and stay home, drink plenty of fluids and try to sleep it off.
There are some home remedies said to help ease negative sensations for people who have overindulged. The team at Irie Wedding & Events, which plans cannabis weddings, brings chamomile tea to calm anyone who gets too high. And many people – including Neil Young – swear that sniffing or munching on black peppercorn will instantly ease feelings of anxiety, with some research to support that method.
Both Heller and Frankel said the trick with real science behind it is to take a dose of pure CBD, another compound found in cannabis that can displace THC in your system. Frankel said anyone experimenting with edibles might want to keep a product with 15 mg of CBD on hand to help balance them out.
The most important thing, Heller said, is to stay calm.
Since cannabis is a psychedelic substance, he said it’s largely mind over matter when it comes to the way people react. If they remind themselves that they can’t die and that the sensation will eventually go away, he said they can often talk themselves through the experience without experiencing Dowd-level panic and misery.
“Know that what you’re doing is safe. You can’t overdose on it,” Heller said. “As long as you keep telling yourself that, you’ll be much better off.”
Brooke Staggs | Reporter
Brooke Staggs covers the environment for Southern California News Group’s chain of 11 newspapers. Her work has triggered FBI investigations, landed her appearances on national TV and radio outlets, and helped her win some of the top journalism awards in the western United States. The Big Bear native got her start teaching high school English and journalism in Riverside County but left in 2006 to be a student again herself, earning a masters degree in journalism from New York University. She’s written for dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country, with projects that have taken her from a zero gravity flight over Queens to a fishing village in Ghana. Brooke joined the Orange County Register in January 2013, covering local communities, cannabis and politics before starting on the environment beat for SCNG in July 2022. She also occasionally teaches community college and writes nonfiction, with her co-authored book “Stealing from the World’s Best Schools” available now wherever books are sold. Brooke lives in the Inland Empire with her husband and their much-loved pets. Her freetime is filled with traveling, hiking, reading, crafting and scheming about new ways to make the world a more informed, just and joyful place.
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