Learn how to find the perfect CBD dosage using various delivery methods and how to figure out if you are taking too much or too little. Vape pens are fantastic devices, but where should beginners start? We explain the basics of vape pens and the different oils you can enjoy with these devices!
CBD Dosages for Vape, Oil, Tincture, and More
Content reviewed by Sarah Neidler, Ph.D. Written by Dave Kriegel.
Since there is no universal recommended dosage for CBD, finding the right one for you isn’t an easy task. There are a number of factors that go into determining your personal dosage to get the results you are seeking from CBD. Some of these major factors include:
- CBD strength
- Delivery method
- Body weight
- Body chemistry
- Severity of condition
In addition, cannabidiol acts on multiple molecular pathways in the body, so everyone’s experience will be different based on the factors listed above, according to experiments conducted at King’s College London. In this guide, we will show you how these variables play a role in determining how much CBD you should take.
How much CBD should I take?
There is no direct answer to that question, but delivery method of CBD plays an important role in determining dosage. Each delivery method has its own unique potential for your body to absorb the cannabinoids. This is a concept known as bioavailability, which we explain in greater detail below.
Before you can determine your CBD dosage, you will need to know exactly how much CBD you are getting in the first place, expressed in milligrams (mg) on the label. This can be confirmed by looking at lab test reports for the product to make sure they contain the exact amount of CBD as advertised.
You can always experiment with slightly higher or lower potencies until you find what works best.
The thing about CBD is that it’s not exactly cheap, and taking an excessive dose isn’t necessarily going to provide any additional benefits. On the flip side, if you’re not taking enough, you might not even notice the benefits, which can be just as much of a waste of money. Here are some of the most common ways of taking CBD, and how to determine your dosage for each one.
For CBD vape juice
Vaping happens to be one of the most effective delivery methods. CBD can be inhaled in quite a few different ways. The most popular ones are CBD vape juice and CBD oil cartridges.
First, confirm that you have a CBD product designed for vaping. CBD tinctures are not made for inhalation and are only for oral use. They often come in the same style bottles, with similar labels as vapeable CBD—so just check to be sure.
Next, you might be wondering; how much CBD is in each puff? While it is a common question, there is no single answer. It can depend greatly on your vaping style—whether you take bigger direct lung hits, or smaller mouth to lung puffs. It’s even more dependent on the total potency of CBD in the vape juice.
Fortunately, it is relatively simple to determine exactly how much CBD is in your device. We will stick to the most common methods, CBD e-liquid and cartridges, and then we will show you how to apply that to dosing with other methods of delivery including flower and concentrates.
The first thing you’ll need to know is the potency of your CBD vape juice. This should be listed on the bottle in mg. Next, you’ll need the size of the bottle in mL. Divide the total amount of mg by the amount of mL and now you have the strength in mg per each mL.
The last thing you’ll need to know is the liquid capacity of your vape. Most vape tanks typically hold anywhere from 0.5 mL to over 5 mL, depending on the size and style of the tank. Cartridges usually have total capacity and potency up listed up front, which is pretty convenient for easy dosing.
Example: If we have a 30 mL bottle of CBD vape juice containing 1000 mg CBD in total. We would divide 1000 by 30 and get approximately 33. That means each mL of that bottle contains about 33 mg. If we put that into a 1 mL cartridge or vape tank, that means we now have 33 mg of CBD in it. If your vape tank holds more than 1 mL, multiply it by the total capacity of your tank. For example, if we have a 2 mL capacity tank, now our total CBD content has doubled to 66 mg per tank, and so on.
Now each time you finish a tank, you’ll know exactly how much CBD you took in. This will give you a good starting point for figuring out your ideal dosage for vaping CBD.
If you’re using a vape mod and want to take it a step further, some devices have a feature that counts your puffs. Reset the puff counter before filling your tank with CBD, and see how many puffs it takes you to finish it. This might take some repetition to obtain an average, but then you can divide the CBD capacity of your tank by the amount of puffs you took. This will give you an idea as to how much CBD you get from each puff.
For CBD flower and concentrates
For vaping high CBD hemp strains or concentrates, dosing isn’t as cut and dry, but it can still be worked out easily. Remember, 1 gram converts to 1000 mg. CBD concentrates are labeled by the total amount of CBD per gram or half gram, and often as a percentage. For example, if a gram (1000 mg) of CBD concentrate contains 50% CBD, which is 500 mg of CBD, then every 0.1 g dab is going to contain approximately 50 mg of CBD. This is where lab test reports are needed to confirm these numbers.
If you have CBD-rich flower containing 20% CBD, then each gram is going to contain about 200 mg of CBD. If you only vape 0.5 g of it, then you just vaped approximately 100 mg of CBD. Likewise, if you vape 2 grams, then you just vaped 200 mg CBD. (The same formula would also apply to smoking.) Most CBD pre-rolls contain 1 gram of bud.
For CBD oil and tinctures
CBD oils are oil-based tinctures that are taken sublingually, which means taken under the tongue. They are not the same formula used for vaping—we can’t stress this enough. However, finding your dosage is actually a very similar process. The graphic above can also be applied to CBD oil dosages.
First, you’ll need to divide the total amount of CBD per bottle by the size of the bottle in mL. This will give you the amount of CBD per mL, which is an important number to know.
Most CBD bottles come with a dropper that is designed to pull exactly 1 mL of liquid when you squeeze the rubber bulb. Some bottles will actually have the measurements in mL on the dropper itself for added precision.
Once you know how much CBD is in each mL, you’ll know how much to take. A 1 mL dropper holds approximately 20 drops of liquid.
If you really want to get technical, you can divide the mg/mL by 20 to get the amount of CBD in each drop, but it’s not necessary to count each drop.
Tip: Hold the CBD oil tincture under your tongue for at least 15-30 seconds before swallowing so that it gets absorbed into the blood vessels. Otherwise it will have to pass through your digestive tract.
For CBD gummies, edibles, and capsules
CBD edibles and CBD capsules are similar in their effectiveness in that they both must pass through the digestive tract. For this reason, your ideal CBD gummies dosage is going to be identical to your ideal dosage for any kind of CBD edible. One of the most significant advantages of these delivery methods is that they utilize predetermined doses.
If you are wondering how many CBD gummies you should eat, you first need to find out how much CBD is in each gummy. Luckily, most packages state the exact amount of CBD per gummy. If by some chance your package only states the total amount of CBD, then you can just divide that by the number of gummies (or capsules) per bottle. This will tell you exactly how much CBD is in each one, which is essential for figuring out how many and how often you should be taking them, based on your individual needs.
For CBD topicals/patches
CBD can provide a unique range of benefits when applied topically. This is done using CBD creams, lotions and transdermal patches.
Patches are going to be the most convenient in terms of dosing. They are labeled by their total CBD content, and generally state how long they remain active for, which could be up to 12 hours. By the end of that time, you should have gradually received the full amount of CBD from the patch transferred to your bloodstream.
Creams and lotions, on the other hand, are not as precise. The reason is because there is really no system of measuring how much you are using at any given time. If you want to get crazy, you could weigh the container and subtract the difference in weight after usage. I doubt most people are going to do that, especially when you’re more concerned about getting rid of your pain.
A more practical (but less accurate) method is to just eyeball it. Start with the smallest amount possible, and gradually increase until you find relief. Make note of the particular strength and brand that worked for you, then stick with it!
For best results, we recommend using CBD creams in conjunction with another method of delivery, ideally vapes and tinctures.
What is bioavailability?
Each CBD delivery method possesses a specific level of bioavailability. This refers to how much CBD content can actually get absorbed into your bloodstream. Vaping has by far the highest bioavailability, a fact recognized by drug companies. It can provide similar results to capsules, edibles and tinctures, while requiring you to use less product. This makes it one of the most efficient delivery systems for cannabidiol.
Tinctures are slightly less effective than vapes but more effective than edibles and capsules. Topicals fall between tinctures and vape oil in terms of effectiveness. Lastly, capsules and edibles tend to have the lowest bioavailability than other systems of delivery, making them the least effective options.
- CBD capsules and edibles: 5-15%
- CBD tinctures: 20-30%
- CBD topicals/patches: 35-40%
- CBD flower/vapes: 40-50%
So, if you vape 10 mg of CBD, your body can only absorb 4-5 mg of it. Keep this in mind when calculating your dosage. This applies to vaporizing CBD flower in a vaporizer.
If you happen to change your method of delivery, you’ll need to adjust your dosage according to its bioavailability. That means you can have a tincture with the same amount of CBD as in a vape, and your body might only absorb half that dose of CBD when taken sublingually in tincture form. You may need to compensate for this to get the proper dose.
Does the type of CBD affect dosage?
Another important factor to consider is the type of CBD you are taking. The main types are full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate. Since full and broad-spectrum CBD is said to provide the entourage effect, as a result of the interaction between various cannabinoids, you might find that they are more effective for you.
In some cases, the same dose of CBD administered in the same fashion can potentially be more effective if it is full spectrum. Broad-spectrum CBD provides this effect without the THC, making it a good alternative to full-spectrum CBD if you are concerned about the THC. For the record, most full-spectrum CBD products don’t contain more than 0.3% THC. Last but not least, make sure you are getting your CBD from a reputable brand that does lab testing and makes the results available to you.
CBD dosage chart and tips
This chart will give you a general idea of to how much CBD you should take based on your body weight. Start low, and gradually work your way up until you find a satisfactory dosage for you.
Keep in mind, your dosage is subject to change based on the condition you are trying to treat. Also, these dosages are for taking CBD orally, so if you’re vaping it, you might not need as much due to the higher bioavailability of vaped CBD. Here are a few recommended doses:
- Increase appetite in cancer patients – 2.5 mg CBD (best when combined at a 1:1 ratio with THC, if it’s available where you live)
- Chronic pain – 2.5-20 mg CBD
- Epilepsy – 200-300 mg CBD
- Sleep disorders – 40-160 mg CBD
- Social anxiety – 40-300 mg
Use this guide as a reference, but keep in mind that finding your dosage typically may also require some trial and error. You may also want to consult your doctor if you are using CBD for medicinal benefits, especially if you’re taking medication.
You should now be able to figure out the right dosage for a variety of CBD products. The process starts with knowing exactly how much CBD is in them, and how much you are absorbing. The next step takes some experimenting, as you need to figure out what works best with your body chemistry, based on what results you are looking for from the products you choose.
As you have seen, there is a lot that goes into determining how much CBD to take. The best practice is to always start as low as possible, then gradually work your way up. Once you have found the lowest possible dosage that works for you, there’s no need to overdo it. But if you feel like you’re not getting enough, you can always increase in 1-5 mg increments until you discover what works best.
How to Use a Vape Pen for THC, CBD, and More
For most vaping beginners, the first device they will use will be a vape pen. These devices are usually budget-friendly, easy-to-use, and easy to maintain devices, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some basic things you should learn about vaping before jumping in.
This article will talk about what a vape pen is, the essential components of what makes a vape pen work, and the best way to maintain the device for long-term use. We’ll also discuss various substances you can enjoy with a vape pen and how to choose the best substance and device for your lifestyle.
What is a Vape Pen?
A vape pen is a small, cylindrical device that often looks very similar to a traditional ball-point pen. Most vape pens have an internal battery and are designed to attach to various oil cartridges. The result is a device that quickly and easily produces vapor (not smoke) from your choice of vape juice, CBD, or THC oil.
Parts of a Vape Pen
While the parts of a vape pen can vary depending on the specific model you have, most have core components that are the same across devices.
The vape battery is what makes the entire vaping process possible. It’s the heaviest part of the vape pen and usually has a 510 threaded connection to attach to different e-juice or oil cartridges. Some batteries will have a button that allows the user to turn the device on and off or adjust heat settings, while others have no additional features.
The vape cartridge is what connects to the vape battery. Inside of the cartridge, you’ll find your chosen vaping substance, as well as an atomizer that will heat the oil to create vapor. Most vape cartridges will have a connected mouthpiece where you can take hits of vapor.
How to Use a Vape Pen
Vape pens work in a very straightforward way.
- First, you will power on the device, usually by clicking the power button five times. Most vape pens will light up, letting you know that they have successfully powered on.
- Then, you will press and hold the power button. This will send a stream of power to the atomizer, which will create vapor. It makes vapor instantly, so as soon as you press and hold the power button, you’ll be able to take a hit right away. Depending on the viscosity of what you vape, it may take a few moments to get thick, strong hits of vapor.
- Once you have vaped your fill, you will press the power button five times to turn the device off. If you have a draw-fire vape, you will skip any steps that involve a button. Instead, you’ll take a draw, and the device will create vapor. When you’re done, stop taking puffs! The device will turn off on its own.
Keep It Charged and Stored Properly
The last thing you want to do is be ready for a relaxing vape session and have the battery be dead. Make sure your vape pen has a full charge, especially after an extended vaping session. It would help if you also stored the vape pen at average room temperature to protect the battery. That means you should NOT leave it in your car for any reason!
Try Disposable Vape Pens When Traveling
Suppose you want to avoid the hassle of keeping track of a vape pen and cartridges while on the go, consider a disposable vape pen. Disposables are ready to vape right out of the box. They will have an ultimately charged battery and a full tank of vape juice or oil. The Firefly Mini is a fantastic choice for a high-end, oil disposable pen while you travel.
What Is THC?
THC is the compound responsible for creating the feeling of being “high” commonly associated with consuming marijuana products. THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the active cannabinoid in marijuana. Too much THC can cause paranoia and other symptoms of psychosis, but it is impossible to overdose on THC.
Aside from being responsible for the classic psychoactive properties of marijuana, THC is also used to treat various pain. Research suggests it can be used to treat nerve pain effectively, primarily when used together with CBD. THC is also commonly used to treat nausea and other adverse side effects from treatments like chemotherapy.
How to Use a Vape Pen for THC
The process of vaping THC oil won’t vary from vaping any other oil, but you need to pay attention to how much you vape. Many vapers are used to creating large vape clouds from nicotine-infused e-liquids, but you shouldn’t have similar expectations from vaping THC oils.
Instead, it would be best if you vaped THC by taking one or two hits at a time and waiting about 15 minutes in between each hit. If the high you feel is strong enough, put the pen aside and relax! If you need more, take one or two more puffs and wait again.
Vaping too much THC won’t cause any severe health problems, but it can trigger bouts of paranoia and general discomfort. Continuously vape THC slowly and patiently, so you don’t end up uncomfortably high.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is another cannabinoid commonly found in cannabis. CBD is the prominent cannabinoid in hemp, though there are strains of marijuana with significant levels of CBD. In recent years, CBD has exploded in popularity , both because of its availability and promising medicinal effects.
Unlike THC, CBD does not create any psychoactive effects, meaning it won’t get you high. However, research suggests that it can be used as an effective pain-management tool, especially when controlling and eliminating inflammation. It may also be effective in helping to manage anxiety and depression.
How to Use a Vape Pen for CBD Cartridges
Much like when vaping THC, you want to take it slow when you vape CBD cartridges. Vaping too much isn’t going to cause health problems (just like THC), but it can cause discomfort or gastric distress. We recommend taking one or two hits and waiting 15 minutes to see how you feel.
If you are using CBD to manage anxiety or depression, you’ll need to keep track of how much you vape and how often you vape. This will make it easy to see if you need to increase or decrease your dosage or if you need to take puffs more frequently throughout the day.
How to Choose a Vape Pen
As soon as you learn how to use a vape pen, it’s time to go shopping for one! So, how can you choose the right vape pen for you and your unique preferences and routines? Here are a few traits to consider:
Most cannabis vape pens are handheld in size, making it convenient for users to carry them in their pockets or purses. They are easy to handle because they are portable and can be used on the go.
In general, the handheld size works for most consumers. In fact, there are now mini models that increase discretion and portability for tight spaces or concealment. Other vape pens might be larger in size for higher battery capability, or because they’re older models. If discretion is important for you, or if you travel a lot, going for a mini model is a good idea.
After learning how to use a vape pen, an essential thing to consider before buying one is the type of material you’ll be consuming. Some vaporizers are equipped to handle vaporizing oil, concentrates and flower , while some can only handle one of them.
Depending on your unique preferences, you’ll want to ensure you get a vape pen that is known to be good at handling the type of material you plan on consuming the most.
Last but not the least, as a first-time buyer you need to keep in mind that the type of vape coil your vape pen should be equipped with will determine the longevity, durability, taste, and smoothness. The three most common types of coil are wicks, quartz, and ceramic.
If you’re a flavor connoisseur, we would recommend you try ceramic due to its ability to enhance taste. If you’re the type of consumer who requires quick hits over elevated flavor, then you should definitely go for quartz coils because they heat up faster.
It helps if your vape pen offers a wide range of temperature controls so you can choose the heating level that’s best for the material you most often consume.
How to Store a Vape Pen
It is important for those just introduced to vaping to learn how to properly store a vape pen. Vape pens should be stored in an upright position in a room-temperature environment. The upright position will prevent accidental oil leaks from the cartridge, which will create a giant, sticky mess. It will also stop oil from traveling into the vapor path, which could obstruct the vapor flow when you’re ready to vape next.
Excessively high or low temperatures can damage your vape battery. As we said earlier, storing your vape pen in a car is a huge mistake. The extreme heat can damage your battery, and in some instances, can cause your battery to leak and catch fire. As with any electronic device, your vape pen should have a permanent home in a climate-controlled environment.
Find the Right Vape Pen for You
Vape pens are a standard product, and you can find them in a variety of retailers. This includes brick-and-mortar vape shops, dispensaries, and online retailers.
Disposable vaping is a smart way to learn what you do and don’t like about vaping oils. If you are new to vaping, take a look at the Firefly Mini . It is a high-end, easy-to-use disposable vape that serves as a fantastic introduction into the world of vaping.
If you’re interested in branching out from vape oils and vaping dry herbs, check out our flagship device, the Firefly 2+ . It provides an outstanding vaping experience, and many of our customers have converted from vaping oils to dry herbs specifically for this device.
Reach out to us if you have any questions about vaping or how our specific products could meet your vaping needs!