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Cbd oil dosage for immflatory disease

Using CBD for Ulcerative Colitis

Lindsay Curtis is a health writer with over 20 years of experience in writing health, science & wellness-focused articles.

Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, is board-certified in gastroentrology. He is the vice chair for ambulatory services for the department of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York.

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic disease that affects the large intestine (colon), causing inflammation and small sores (or ulcers). UC symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, bloody stool, and the need to pass stool frequently.

There is no cure for ulcerative colitis, so treatment prioritizes symptom relief and reducing flare-ups. Many people with ulcerative colitis turn to alternative treatments, such as cannabidiol (CBD), to take control of the disease and improve their quality of life.

Read on to learn more about how CBD may be a useful supplemental therapy in the management of UC symptoms.

Tinnakorn Jorruang / Getty Images

Inflammation, CBD, and Ulcerative Colitis

Cannabis plants contain chemicals called cannabinoids, which are compounds unique to the plant. The two primary cannabinoids are:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has psychoactive effects that make a person feel “high”
  • Cannabidiol (CBD), which has no psychoactive effects but can provide a number of therapeutic benefits

Both CBD and THC interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. The ECS is a complex biological system that regulates cardiovascular, nervous, and immune system functions.

CBD binds to and activates receptors in the brain that create a therapeutic effect in the body, helping users find relief from painful symptoms without feeling impaired.

CBD has many therapeutic properties and is a known anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may be a potential therapeutic treatment for ulcerative colitis.

CBD for Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms

CBD has been explored in several studies as a potential treatment for ulcerative colitis. Research shows that CBD may potentially help reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal system caused by inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis.

One study found that participants with UC who took 50 milligrams (mg) of CBD oil twice a day, increasing to 250 mg per dose if needed and tolerated, experienced significant improvements in their quality of life. However, more research and follow-up studies are needed.

Another study analyzed the efficacy of CBD use in adults with ulcerative colitis. The study concluded that CBD extracts may help alleviate symptoms of IBD and UC.

Although more research is needed, current study results show promise that CBD may be beneficial for treating symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Though CBD is generally well tolerated, you may experience some side effects. Common side effects include:

  • Changes in mood (e.g., irritability)
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth

CBD and Your Liver

CBD is metabolized by the liver, and large doses may lead to liver toxicity. Talk with your healthcare provider before using CBD. If you are on any prescription medications, they may recommend regularly monitoring your liver through bloodwork to ensure CBD is safe for you.

How to Use CBD for Ulcerative Colitis

While CBD won’t cure ulcerative colitis, it may help make your symptoms more manageable and help reduce flares.

There are many different forms of CBD, and you may need to try different delivery methods before finding the one that is right for you.

CBD is available in:

  • Edibles (e.g., gummies, CBD-infused beverages)
  • Plants (to be inhaled/smoked)
  • Capsules and pills
  • Tinctures and oils
  • Topicals (e.g., lotions, creams)

To date, CBD has only been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat epilepsy. As a result, there is no standard recommended dosage of CBD for treating ulcerative colitis.

Shopping for CBD

When shopping for CBD, you will notice different types available. These include:

  • Full-spectrum CBD: Contains all the natural components found in the cannabis plant, including terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and cannabinoids. Full-spectrum CBD products contain trace amounts of THC. These compounds work in synergy in the body to obtain the desired therapeutic effects.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: Similar to full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD contains compounds in the cannabis plant, but with all traces of THC removed, so you will not experience any mind-altering effects.
  • CBD isolates: All other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are removed to create a 99% pure CBD product.
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For the best results, look for broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD products. These may combine the effects of multiple cannabis compounds that work together in synergy, creating an “entourage effect” to offer the most health benefits.

Dosage

Because CBD is still a relatively new therapeutic option for managing different health conditions, including inflammatory bowel diseases, there is currently no recommended standard dosage.

In one study, patients with ulcerative colitis were given 50 mg of CBD oil twice a day. Some participants were able to increase to as much as 250 mg twice a day for a period of 10 weeks.

Another study also recorded dose ranges of 50 mg to 250 mg CBD capsules twice daily. Many participants were able to tolerate the higher dosage and saw improvements, though the study authors suggested that more research is needed.

As with many medications, it’s best to start with a lower dose and gradually increase the amount of CBD to determine the appropriate dosage.

Talk to Your Healthcare Provider

It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider before adding any supplemental therapy, such as CBD, to your ulcerative colitis treatment. They will be able to determine if CBD will be beneficial for your individual case and can recommend the right dosage.

How to Buy CBD

With so many different options available, it can be daunting to shop for CBD. CBD is generally safe and well tolerated, but the industry is poorly regulated, and consumers should be aware of what to look for before purchasing CBD.

You’ll want to carefully read the label of any products you are considering and look for:

  • Amount of CBD per serving
  • Suggested use/dosage
  • Type (full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate)
  • List of ingredients
  • Manufacturer and distributor name

You’ll also want to consider:

  • Cannabis source: Ensure the product you are purchasing is sourced from a company that ensures the quality and safe cultivation of their plants. Look for products that come from organic cannabis/hemp plants when possible.
  • Certificate of Analysis (CoA): CoAs are conducted by independent, accredited labels that verify third-party testing of the products.
  • Customer reviews: Testimonials from other users can tell you a lot about a product’s efficacy.

Avoid products and vendors that make broad, definitive statements or promises of a “cure” for something. If you are currently taking any other medications or supplements for your UC, speak with your healthcare provider before using CBD, as it may interact with other medications you are taking.

A Word From Verywell

People with ulcerative colitis may want to consider alternative treatments such as CBD to help manage their symptoms. It’s important to remember that while CBD may help improve your symptoms, it will not treat or cure the condition.

CBD is best used as a supplemental therapy alongside conventional treatments recommended by your healthcare provider, as well as dietary modifications. As with any supplement or medication, talk with your healthcare provider before trying CBD.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties that may make them helpful in managing symptoms of gastrointestinal diseases like ulcerative colitis. Research suggests CBD is a promising therapeutic for inflammatory bowel diseases, helping reduce mucosal lesions, ulceration, and inflammation associated with IBD. CBD may also help manage gastrointestinal pain, as well as secondary symptoms that come with IBD, such as anxiety, nausea, and sleep disturbances.

The cannabis plant (to be smoked/vaped) comes in different strains, with varying CBD and THC levels. CBD-dominant cannabis strains may provide the best relief for inflammation. These strains tend to be high in the terpene called myrcene, which helps reduce inflammation.

There are many delivery methods for CBD, including edibles (e.g., gummies), flowers, oils, tinctures, topicals, and suppositories. Finding the right one for you may require a little trial and error. The best method for you depends on personal preference and how quickly you may need relief. For example, you may get relief from painful symptoms sooner by vaping oil vs. consuming an edible. Start off with smaller doses and gradually increase the amount you use until you find the amount that offers you relief from your symptoms. Make sure to talk with your healthcare provider before you begin use.

Here’s How to Determine How Much CBD You Should Take

Many people use CBD for pain and anxiety relief. But how do you know if you’re taking too much?

Taylor Leamey writes about all things wellness. She holds a bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and Sociology and is a certified sleep coach.

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It’s safe to say that CBD is pretty mainstream now — you can buy it in grocery stores. No longer is it considered a trendy health hack but a legitimate option for pain and anxiety relief. But even with the largely widespread acceptance, there are still a lot of questions about how much and how often you should take CBD.

CBD products do not have federal oversights or regulations. In fact, up to 70% of CBD products you buy on the internet either have more or less CBD than listed on the label. Finding the ideal CBD dosage for pain or anxiety can be difficult. Here’s how to make it easy.

What can you use CBD for?

Research, though limited, indicates that CBD has legitimate health benefits. While there is no FDA regulation, research has shown that full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD effectively treat pain and anxiety. There’s only one FDA-approved CBD product, called Epidiolex, that’s available by prescription. Epidiolex treats seizure disorders such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

However, there are several other benefits and uses of CBD products.

The most common uses of CBD

  • To lessen symptoms of anxiety and depression for things like muscle pain or migraines
  • To reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea
  • Relieve inflammatory diseases
  • Help with behavioral symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
  • Managing multiple sclerosis and improving mobility

The CBD market is continuously expanding with new products. However, there are four main types of CBD product categories. All of which will vary in potency and dosage per unit.

Oils and tinctures

CBD oils generally come in either a liquid or capsule form. You can take the extracts independently or use the dropper to add them to food or drinks. Liquid tinctures are usually taken directly under the tongue.

“Tinctures are generally taken at higher concentrations than oils. This means that if you were taking 1 milliliter of tincture, you would need to drop the concentration down to 0.5 milliliters. A good rule of thumb is to start with a small dose (0.25 milliliters) and slowly increase your dose over time,” says Reda Elmardi, a registered dietician and certified nutritionist.

Edibles

Edible CBD products are quickly becoming very popular, likely because of their convenience and flavor profiles. With edibles, you have several options in flavor, potency and prices. They have everything, from gummies to cookies, chocolates and even granola bars.

Topical

CBD is also available in topical creams and salves applied directly to the skin. Popular forms are lotions, creams or ointments. Topical CBD products are good options for muscle pains, joint inflammation or nerve pain.

Topical CBD is one of the more difficult forms for determining dosage. Not only does potency vary by product, but also varies by how much you use each application. It’s important to follow manufacturer instructions carefully.

How to determine the best CBD dosage for you

CBD products express dosage in milligrams. Epidiolex starts with a dosage of 2.5 milligrams taken twice a day. After a week, you can increase the dosage to 5 milligrams twice a day. Federal regulation makes determining dosage straightforward.

For the rest of the products on the market not regulated by the FDA, there are no established guidelines for CBD concentration, which makes determining how much you should take a little more difficult. There are a few key factors you need to keep in mind — your weight, what you’re treating and the concentration of the product.

The ideal dosage for you will vary depending on what you’re using it for and what form you’re taking. Don’t forget that different forms also mean how quickly it takes effect. Generally, edibles, oils and capsules will take roughly 30 to 60 minutes to take effect. Smoking or vaping CBD will bring it on significantly quicker since the CBD absorbs into your bloodstream rather than your digestive system.

CBD dosage will vary by condition

In general, the CBD dosage is dependent on the disease and its ability to be managed by CBD. The research that is available on CBD treatments has very varied dosage levels. Clinical studies have varied in oral doses from 100 to 800 milligrams a day. Others administer lower levels around 40 milligrams. A 2019 study investigating CBD for anxiety found that 300 to 600 milligrams reduced anxiety symptoms. However, that study was limited to 57 adult males.

“For generalized anxiety or sleep disorders, 25 to 75 milligrams per day is recommended, while for PTSD, 33 to 50 milligrams per day is recommended. In severe anxiety, a patient’s dose might be increased to 300 to 600 milligrams. If the patient is experiencing pain due to chemotherapy, 50 to 60 milligrams is recommended, with a maximum daily dose of 600 milligrams,” says Kimberly Langdon, a board-certified MD.

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How much CBD is best for you will depend on your body. Your body weight and existing medications will influence the ideal dosage for you.

Can you take too much CBD?

A clinical review of studies confirmed that people tolerate doses as high as 1,500 milligrams a day. We want to stress that the research around CBD dosage is still really young, so there is not much to point to about how much is too much for people. More research is needed to definitively conclude the ideal dosage for each condition.

Not a ton of known side effects associated with CBD products. Though fatigue, diarrhea and appetite changes have been reported. The FDA states that CBD can cause liver damage and potentially impact the other prescription medications you’re taking.

If you’re starting your CBD journey, it’s best to slowly build your dosage so you can monitor how it affects you.

“The idea is to start very low (i.e., 5 milligrams per use) and increase daily usage by 5 milligrams every two days until you start feeling results. Then, stop increasing and keep using the same number of milligrams or drops. For many people, the amount that provides modest benefits in the first couple days will, after consistent use, provide more and more benefit over time,” says Dr. Dustin Sulak, an integrative physician and leading cannabis clinician.

How to calculate CBD dosage

For some forms of CBD, determining how much is each unit is simple. Capsules or gummies tend to have an expressed milligram content, making dosage much easier than oils or creams.

Oils or tinctures with a dropper bottle list the CBD content for the total liquid bottle. So instead of eating a gummy that’s 50 milligrams, it will look more like 7,500 milligrams of CBD in the 30-milliliter bottle. Some bottles will offer serving sizes — like one drop — to indicate dosage. This allows you to have greater control over how much you are intaking, but even still, it’s not a perfect science.

Some bottles with a traditional nutrition label on the back will tell you exactly how much is in one dropper. If you are unsure, it’s a good idea to reach out to the company to find out. It can be difficult to figure out how much you’re intaking for the bottles that do not break down by serving size and offer only the total amount. It is difficult, but not impossible; it just takes a little bit of math.

Say you have a 30-milliliter bottle of CBD oil, and each drop is 0.05 milliliters.

To determine how many milligrams of CBD per milliliter, you divide the total milligram content by how much the bottle is. In this example, the math would look like this:

7,500 milligrams divided by 30 milliliters = 250 milliliters.

There is 250 milligrams of CBD per milliliter for this product. Next, you want to know exactly how much CBD is in each drop.

250 milliliters x 0.05 milliliters = 12.5 milliliters per drop.

This calculation works with any bottle of CBD. Once you know how much CBD is in each drop, you can accurately take your ideal amount. “To ensure the best results, keep track of how much you take, how many times a day you take it and rate your symptoms daily (by rating 1 to 10, 10 being best) to see if they are getting better or worse,” Sulak advises.

Too long, didn’t read?

CBD is a continually evolving field in both products and research. While research is lacking, what is available suggests that CBD does have therapeutic benefits and is generally very well tolerated by people. Still, more research is needed to really dig into the long-term side effects and best dosage markers for the average person.

In place of federal regulations, use your best judgment regarding how much CBD you are taking. Talking to your doctor about dosage is always a good idea when in doubt.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.