Administering CBD Oil Getting the Right Dose When to Seek Medical Care Questions & Answers Related Articles

If you’re dealing with issues like pain, anxiety, insomnia, or seizures, you might be interested in using cannabidiol (CBD) oil to find relief. CBD oil is found in cannabis plants and is typically derived from hemp. While CBD is a component of marijuana, it won’t get you high like THC. Additionally, CBD oil is now legal to buy, sell, and use in many areas, though you’ll need to check the laws where you live.[1] You have several options for administering CBD oil, and it may take some experimentation to figure out how much works best for you. However, check with your doctor before using CBD oil and if you’re treating seizures or have side effects.

Part 1

Administering CBD Oil

  1. 1

    Take CBD oil capsules for a simple option that’s easy to measure.

    If you want a convenient, easy way to use CBD oil, capsules may be your best option. Check the label on your capsules to get the recommended dose, then take them as directed. You’ll likely start to notice effects in about 30 minutes.


    • Capsules typically don’t provide relief as quickly as other CBD oil delivery methods. However, they’re easier to use and convenient to carry with you. Additionally, capsules ensure you’re getting the same dose each time.
    • Look for capsules at a drugstore, a dispensary, or online.

    Did You Know? CBD oil can be difficult to dose because each product is different and the product ingredients can separate and shift. Capsules are the only way to ensure you get the same dose each time you use it.

  2. 2

    Put a tincture under your tongue to feel the effects fast.

    Shake the tincture bottle well to mix the ingredients, then use an eyedropper to measure out 1-2 drops of CBD tincture. Squeeze the drops under your tongue and hold the tincture in place for 30 seconds before swallowing.


    • If your tincture comes in a spray bottle, spritz it once on the inside of each cheek.
    • A tincture can start working in as little as 15 minutes, but you’ll likely start feeling the effects in about 30 minutes.
    • Tinctures often come in different flavors to make them tastier.

    Variation: Add your tincture to a drink if you don’t like the taste. Check the bottle of your tincture for dosing or squeeze 1-2 drops into your drink. Then, drink it as quickly as you can. It’ll take about 30 minutes for you to feel the effects of the CBD oil after you’ve consumed all of it.

  3. 3

    Use a topical massage oil to treat chronic pain at the site.

    CBD topical oils typically contain both CBD oil and a carrier, such as coconut oil or beeswax. A massage oil is great for treating achy muscles and joints, as well as chronic pain. Put the massage oil on your fingers, then use your fingers to massage the oil directly onto the area you want to treat. Make circular motions on your skin as you apply the oil.


    • You may notice less pain immediately, but it’s more common to get relief in 30 minutes to a few hours. However, keep in mind that some people don’t get relief from CBD oil.
    • If you don’t like the first oil you try, consider using a different product. You might buy a massage oil that has a higher concentration of CBD oil or a different carrier. For instance, CBD oil diluted with coconut oil might work better for you than CBD oil mixed with beeswax.

    Tip: You might be able to treat acne by dabbing topical CBD oil onto your pimples.[5]

  4. 4

    Consume CBD oil edibles if you don’t mind waiting for the effects.

    You might enjoy munching on CBD candies, treats, and other food products. Check the serving size directions, then eat your edible as directed. While these products are usually fun and easy to use, they may not work as well as other CBD products because they go through your digestive system. You’ll likely feel more relaxed in about 2-4 hours, but it’s possible edibles won’t work for you.


    • It typically takes about 2-4 hours for your body to digest enough of the product for the CBD oil to enter your bloodstream. However, sometimes the food can mask the CBD effects in your body, as everyone is different. If edibles sound fun to you, try them to see if they provide the effects you want.
  5. 5

    Vape CBD oil to feel calm and relaxed quickly.

    Smoking CBD oil is the quickest way to feel the effects. The easiest way to smoke it is to use a vape pen, which heats the CBD oil into a vapor that you can inhale. Purchase a vape pen battery and CBD oil cartridge from a smoke shop, dispensary, or online. Then, follow the directions on your vape pen battery to smoke the contents of the cartridge.


    • Vape pen batteries are the base of a vape pen, while the cartridge is the part that contains what you’re smoking.
    • You might feel the effects of CBD oil within 30 seconds of inhaling it.

    Warning: Vaping may cause serious lung and respiratory issues. You might also experience shortness of breath and chest pain.[8]

Part 2

Getting the Right Dose

  1. 1

    Ask your doctor for a dosage recommendation.

    Your doctor is your best resource for dosing instructions, especially if you’re treating a medical condition. Tell your doctor that you want to try CBD oil, then ask what products they recommend. Finally, talk to them about their dosage recommendation.


    • Your doctor may be able to recommend a particular brand.
    • Be open with your doctor about your chosen delivery method. They may recommend you avoid methods that might aggravate a medical condition that you have. For instance, they might recommend that you avoid vaping if you have asthma.
  2. 2

    Check the dosing instructions on the label of a commercial product.

    Most CBD products come with instructions for dosing. Read the product directions carefully to make sure you’re using it correctly. Additionally, don’t exceed the recommended dosage on the label, even if you don’t get the results you want.


    • It’s possible that some CBD products will work for you, while others won’t. Don’t try to take more a product that isn’t working. Instead, switch to a different product.
  3. 3

    Try an online calculator if you want a more precise dose.

    Do a quick online search for CBD dosing calculators, which are typically offered by sites that sell CBD products. Then, enter how many mL of oil the bottle has, how many mg of CBD oil the product contains, and how much you weigh. Using this information, the calculator will estimate how much oil you need in each dose.


    • If you buy your CBD oil online, check the website to see if they have their own calculator. This will help you get the most accurate dosing.
  4. 4

    Use the smallest dose that provides you relief.

    You may need to experiment a bit to find the right dose for your needs. Start with the smallest dose for your product, such as 1 drop of tincture, 1 puff of vapor, or 1 gummy edible. See how that dose affects you. If you don’t get the results you want, increase your dose and try again.


    • You may need to experiment with dosing with each different product that you try. For instance, 2 different tinctures may have different concentrations of CBD oil, meaning you’ll need to figure out your best dose for each one.

    Tip: It’s best to start with a small dose of about 10 mg of CBD oil. Then, slowly increase your dose to find the right dosage for you. Typically, you’ll experience noticeable effects of the CBD oil at about 30 mg.[13]

Part 3

When to Seek Medical Care

  1. 1

    Call your doctor if you experience any side effects.

    While it’s rare, CBD oil may cause side effects, especially if you take a large dose. Usually, side effects are mild and go away on their own. However, consult your doctor to make sure you don’t need treatment if you experience the following side effects:


    • Dry mouth
    • Drowsiness
    • Fatigue
    • Diarrhea
    • Reduced appetite
  2. 2

    Get a prescription for CBD oil if you’re treating seizures.

    While CBD oil is an effective anti-seizure medication, the products available in stores may not be effective. Your doctor can prescribe Epidiolex, a CBD treatment that’s proven to treat seizures. Unfortunately, over-the-counter treatments typically aren’t safe to use for treating seizure disorders. Visit your doctor to get the CBD treatment that’s right for you condition.


    • Use your CBD oil according to your doctor’s directions to treat your seizure disorder.
  3. 3

    Talk to your doctor before using CBD oil.

    While CBD oil is generally safe, it’s not right for everyone. It might worsen certain conditions and may interact with some drugs, including blood thinners. Talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to use CBD oil before trying it.


    • Tell your doctor what you plan to use CBD oil to treat.

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • Question

    How many drops can I take to sleep?

    It depends on the strength and the person. Look on the bottle and try the dose that is recommended. If it doesn’t help, try a few more drops the next night. It will take some trial and error.

  • Question

    Will it help with arthritis pain or neuropathy?

    Absolutely, if you have a reputable brand and find the right dosage for you. I have RA and take capsules 2 – 3 times a day. Be sure to start low and work your way up gradually, as too much can cause anxiety.

  • Question

    Do I need to refrigerate CBD oil after it’s open?

    I’ve never had CBD oil that needed to be refrigerated. Check the bottle, if it doesn’t specifically say it should be refrigerated, you can leave it out.

  • Question

    Would CBD oil help with back pain?

    It should help with back pain. You can try it internally (tincture, water soluble, capsules etc.) or topically (cream).

  • Question

    Should I try cbd oil externally or internally for my dog?

    You should use it internally. Externally would be difficult, because of their fur. There are drops and dog treats available.

  • Question

    How do I use CBD oil to relieve pain?

    You can use it internally. Depending on the brand, it should stay in your body for six to 10 hours. So, taking it in the morning and evening, consistently, is your best bet.

  • Question

    Can I use CBD oil in my ear to treat tinnitus?

    I have never heard of anyone using it for this, certainly not internally in the ear. It could perhaps be used on the outside of the ear, but I would recommend talking to a doctor about this before doing anything.

  • Question

    What should I use as CBD oil for neuropathy?

    My brother-in-law suffers from neuropathy in his feet as a result of chemo therapy. He uses a topical cream with success.

Unanswered Questions

  • Is there a difference between hemp oil and CBD oil?

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  • CBD oil is now legal in many places, but some areas still have laws that prohibit it. Check that it’s legal in your area before you purchase it.[17]
  • While there’s scientific support that CBD oil helps seizure disorders and may help with pain, anxiety, and depression, there’s no proof that it helps treat other conditions.[18]


  • Check with your doctor before you use any natural treatments, including CBD oil. It can interfere with certain medications and may worsen some conditions.[19]

Article Info


This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Together, they cited information from 19 references.

Categories: Featured Articles | Medical Marijuana

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