Hemp oil has quickly gained popularity as a supplement to help bring about a sense of calm without the “high” associated with marijuana.* If you’re thinking of giving it a try for a mellower mood, you may be wondering how much to take, what to expect, and whether it’s safe. These best practices will help you make sure you’re dosing hemp oil correctly.
How to decide how much hemp oil to take at one time.
So what do the experts say about how much hemp oil to take? Functional medicine doctor Amy Shah, M.D. recommends starting at the lowest dose possible (that may be one gelcap or half of one dropper, depending on the product) and moving up as needed once you see how your body responds. Everyone will metabolize the supplement differently, so it’s important to tailor your dose to your body. Stick with that same amount for several days, and monitor how you feel before increasing. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label of the product you’re taking, as well.
Dosing best practices are similar for CBD oil: Start out small and gradually increase if you’d like. But keep in mind that the labeling of a CBD product and a hemp oil product may look different. That’s because the milligrams per serving on a hemp oil extract will encompass all of the plant’s compounds as a whole and may be much higher than that shown on a CBD isolate product. “Beware that some [CBD] products contain THC which can have other impacts and side effects on how you feel and could impair your judgment,” adds integrative gastroenterologist Marvin Singh, M.D.
How to know if you’re dosing correctly.
Hemp oil is generally safe, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). You’re not at risk of overdosing by taking it, and you shouldn’t experience any psychoactive effects from it even at higher doses. In addition to CBD, hemp oil may also contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis. But the amount will be so minuscule (0.3% or less), it’s not enough to come close to causing a high.
Minor side effects can occur from taking hemp oil, though, such as diarrhea or fatigue. And some people do have cannabis allergies, so be mindful of any reactions.
Hemp oil shows promise in helping manage the symptoms of stress, support relief from tension and aches, and enhance sleep.* But the dose required to achieve a calmer state of mind or help manage discomfort varies from person to person.* As long as you don’t have any unwanted side effects, you can increase your dose gradually to achieve your desired results.
One way you can monitor what the right dose is for you is by keeping a symptom-and-relief log: Track your dosage over time and report any changes in how your body reacts. Doing so can help you tell if the hemp oil is working for you and pinpoint a dosage sweet spot.
Are there any times you shouldn’t be taking hemp oil?
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking prescription medications or other supplements, consult with your doctor before trying hemp oil. Your body has to metabolize, or break down, the substances you consume, and a phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil may have compounds that can slow down or speed up the way your body metabolizes some medications.
Talking to your doctor before taking hemp oil is especially important if any of your medications warn against consuming grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking them. Interestingly enough, grapefruit and some cannabinoids affect the same family of enzymes (cytochrome P450) responsible for substance metabolization.
The bottom line: Hemp oil extract may be your ticket to a more relaxed day or night.* Take baby steps with dosing to settle on an effective amount for you.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.
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