How to Start Using CBD: A Beginner's Guide to CBD Use

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How to Start Using CBD: A Beginner’s Guide

You’ve bought your first bottle of CBD, you’re excited about the potential health benefits, and you’re ready to try CBD for yourself.  Welcome to the newest way to support your health!

Before we start discussing how to use CBD, we need to cover one point: It’s still not clinically “proven” that CBD will help sleep, insomnia, anxiety, pain or any other condition. Though many people swear by CBD and have great results, it’s still new enough that clinical trials are ongoing in a variety of areas.

While CBD can be marketed for a wide range of medical and psychological concerns, the FDA is firmly against companies marketing CBD as a ‘100% guaranteed’ cure against severe medical conditions or as a replacement for prescribed medications.

You should always talk to your doctor if you decide to use CBD for serious concerns, especially if you’re already taking prescription medication. And pay attention to your own body’s needs when deciding what strength and which serving size to use.


How to Start With CBD

At Plant Therapy, our CBD is made specifically to be taken sublingually – which means held under the tongue for 60 seconds and then swallowed. There are many different products containing CBD on the market that are meant to be used in different ways. But here at Plant Therapy, we will only be discussing ingesting our CBD sublingually – or under the tongue.

Ingesting CBD sublingually lets this tincture be absorbed through the mucous membranes in your mouth and be sent directly to your bloodstream, where it circulates through the body and interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors in your endocannabinoid system.


Getting Started

plant therapy CBD how to use CBDTo get the maximum full-body health-supporting effect from Plant Therapy’s CBD, measure the desired amount in the dropper, place one dropper-full at a time under your tongue and hold it there for 60 seconds before swallowing. 

Holding it under your tongue instead of swallowing right away is important. When taken sublingually (as Plant Therapy CBD is designed to be taken), your absorption rate is up to 12%-35%, which is actually pretty high! This way you need less, and your bottle goes further.

Now, will it hurt you to put our CBD onto your skin topically? No. Our CBD is diluted directly into Fractionated Coconut Oil, so it’s safe to put on your skin. But while it may be safe for this type of CBD product, it’s just a less effective way to use it.


Go Slowly – It’s Important!

how to start using CBD

I know it can be tempting to take a lot of CBD at once, right away, to see for yourself what the effects might be – but don’t. Here’s why:

Everyone responds differently to CBD, so it’s important to pay attention to your own body’s needs. Determining the ideal serving for you may take some trial and error. With this in mind, we recommend starting with a low serving, gradually increasing as needed. You may not need to continue increasing your intake once you find a serving that works best for your unique body.


Choosing the Best Serving Size and Strength for You

If you’re trying CBD for the first time, it’s important to know which strength and serving size are best for you. Because CBD comes as a tincture, it allows you to have more control over the amount you choose to take for your own needs.


Choosing a CBD Strength

Though they all come in 30 mL bottles, Plant Therapy’s CBD comes in four different strengths – or amount of CBD in the tincture.

For most issues, we recommend starting with a 100 mg or 500 mg bottle and see if you need to increase your strength after you’ve tried CBD for 1-2 weeks. This is for several reasons. It’s important any time you’re introducing a new substance to your body not to overload your system. You want to give yourself time to see how CBD affects your body. And lastly, it’s expensive!

100 mg/6 mg serving size bottle of CBD

This serving is just enough to tell you if you’ll like the flavor and effects of ingesting our CBD and lets you move up to a stronger serving if needed.

500 mg/16 mg serving size bottle of CBD

The 500 mg strength is designed for people who have minor issues that supporting your endocannabinoid system functioning may help, like mild anxiety, minor sleep problems and more.

1000 mg/33 mg serving size bottle of CBD

This serving strength is the best option for people who are looking to use CBD every day in support of their endocannabinoid system for issues such as insomnia, more acute anxiety and minor perceptions of pain.

2500 mg/83 mg serving size bottle of CBD

This serving strength is best for those who have more severe or acute issues. But again, please remember to consult with your doctor if you are already taking medications.


Choosing a Serving Size – Start Slow

plant therapy CBD will CBD get me highEveryone responds differently to CBD, so it’s important to pay attention to your own body’s needs. Determining the ideal serving for you may take some trial and error. With this in mind, we recommend starting with a low serving, gradually increasing as needed. You may not need to continue increasing your intake once you find a serving that works best for your unique body.

Here is Plant Therapy’s serving size chart that goes into more detail. You can also download your own copy of our serving size chart to keep on hand.

But the basic rule of thumb is to start with one dropper-full of the strength you choose and work your way up as needed.


How Long Does CBD Take to Work?

Woman sleeping in bedThis is a tricky question. CBD, while it does show promise as a way of managing the perception of pain, anxiety, sleep, and more, is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

I know I’ve said it before, but when starting to take CBD, it’s important to experiment with different ways and times of using it. Everyone is different, and your body’s needs may not be the same as someone else’s.


CBD and Pain Management

Woman crouching in stomach painOne of the hardest concerns to deal with and one of the most talked-about potential benefits of using CBD as a way to support to your body’s own endocannabinoid system is potential pain management. 

Types of pain:

Neuropathic pain: This type of pain is mostly created and sustained by the glutamatergic system. Glutamate is the neurotransmitter that is responsible for turning neurons on, which is great (sometimes).

Inflammatory pain: This kind of pain is related to neuropathic pain, except it’s not limited to just neurons. Some examples of inflammatory pain are arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and ulcerative colitis, and even more common conditions like headaches, cramps, muscle aches, and pains.

The endocannabinoid system (eCS) helps manage both kinds of pain. Taking CBD to support the endocannabinoid system (eCS) can be ‘neuroprotective’, which means it may inhibit glutamate release and other inflammatory agents. This means CBD, by promoting eCS health, may help with sensations like prickling, tingling, and burning that come with neuropathic pain, and help soothe overall perception of inflammatory pain as well.

CBD may be an effective way for you to support healthy eCS functioning. But CBD may also interact with some medications. Science is still in the beginning stages of studying CBD and how it applies to health and medicine, so it’s important to consult your doctor when deciding to use CBD to treat pain.

When using CBD to help with pain management, consider the kind of pain you are trying to reduce. If you want to minimize sore muscles after a workout or long day at work, try taking CBD before you head out the door. If you’re looking to help reduce inflammation by supporting the eCS, then you may want to take CBD daily, to help reduce the overall perception of pain.

And remember, CBD is not an immediate pain reliever. For everybody, CBD will work differently, but this isn’t a product that is going to work instead of traditional over-the-counter pain killers like ibuprofen. Where those types of pain relief work usually within 20 minutes, CBD may take longer to work on the body, or you may need to take it in a different way.


CBD to Support Healthy Sleep

How to start using CBDCBD is not a sedative in the technical sense. Instead, CBD helps supports balance in your entire body by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system, which means potentially better overall functioning, and better sleep.

If your issue is the quality of your sleep, supporting your endocannabinoid system with CBD may help you get a good night’s rest. CBD offers people suffering from sleep issues a more natural, gentler option. 

For example, some people might find that chronic sleep issues are improved by taking CBD on a regular basis, daily, shortly before bed. Try taking one dropper-full right before you get comfortable in bed and see if CBD helps support a good night’s sleep for you. If one dropper-full doesn’t work, try increasing your serving size to 1.5 dropper-fulls the next night, and so on, to see how much CBD you need to support your sleep.

If you have more acute sleep issues, like occasional trouble relaxing before bed, then CBD use may be useful only when you’re having trouble sleeping, shortly before bed. Try taking CBD as-needed, as an aid instead of daily. 


CBD and Supporting Mental Health

Anxiety is one of the most common emotional and behavioral concerns faced by our society today. 

Your endocannabinoid system (eCS) has been shown to impact anxiety and depression. One of your endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), has a critical role in regulating emotional behavior. Low levels of 2-AG have been found to cause anxiety and depression in initial studies done on mice and increasing 2-AG levels had the opposite effect. This seems to suggest that taking CBD, phytocannabinoids, may help support your body’s natural endocannabinoid levels and healthy functioning.

When taking CBD for anxiety, as with everything, it’s important to keep in mind your own body’s needs. This encompasses everything from your weight, age, metabolism, fitness level and severity of symptoms. So in this case, it really is important to talk to your doctor, especially if you’re planning on taking CBD for more severe anxiety-related concerns or if you are already taking a prescription medication to support your mental health. 

As with any concern, we recommend starting at a lower serving and working your way up, paying careful attention to how your body reacts.

For more general anxiety issues, you might try using CBD regularly at a dose that works for your body and helps ease daily symptoms. For times of acute anxiety, try taking a dose before or during times of high anxiety to see if that gives you relief in the situation. 

And once again, don’t be discouraged if your first try doesn’t work right away. Building up to the strength and serving size that’s right for you is trial and error, especially when it comes to mental health.

If you want to learn even more about CBD, be sure to check out these great resources that go more in-depth on this topic.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications, or under a doctors care, please consult with a physician or qualified professional before using this product


Ashley, E. (2017). Cannabis: CBD Rich Hemp Oil, Hemp Essential Oil, & Hemp Seed Oil: The Cannabis Medicines of Aromatherapy’s Own Medical Marijuana. The Secret Healer Oils Profiles, Vol. 8.

Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1

Cannabidiol (CBD) Pre-Review Report. (2017). Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. World Health Organization. Retrieved from

ElSohly M, Gul W. Constituents of cannabis sativa. In: Pertwee R, ed. Handbook of Cannabis. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2014:3-22.

Friedman D, Devinsky O. Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Epilepsy. N Engl J Med. 2015 Sep 10;373(11):1048-58.

Martens S, Mithöfer A. Flavones and flavone synthases. Phytochemistry. 2005 Oct;66(20):2399-407. Epub 2005 Aug 30.

Russo EB. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug;163(7):1344-64.

Tisserand, R. (2016). Retrieved from

“The Brain Loves CBD: What are the Effects of This Major Cannabinoid?” (2018). CBD Health and Wellness. Retrieved from

Pacher, P. (2013). Modulating the endocannabinoid system in human health and disease: successes and failures. Retrieved from

“What is CBD?” (2019) Project CBD. Retrieved from

n.a., “Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates,” World Health Organization, Geneva, 2017

E. Musty, “Cannabinoids and anxiety,” in Cannabinoids as Therapeutics, Basel, Birkhäuser, 2005, pp. 141-147.

S. Crippa, G. N. Deremusson, T. B. Ferrari and a. others, “Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report,” Journal of Psychopharmacology, vol. 25, no. 1, 2010.

n.a., “CANNABIDIOL (CBD) Critical Review Report,” World Health Organization, Geneva, 2018.


9 thoughts on “How to Start Using CBD: A Beginner’s Guide”

  • I have chronic pain issues caused by moderate scoliosis. Also arthritis pretty much everywhere. Not being able to sleep or function well during the day causes a ton of anxiety. I started taking Plant Therapy’s 2500 CBD 2 weeks ago following their dosage chart. The first thing I noticed was my anxiety went way down. Next thing I noticed is I’m starting to sleep. This is the beginning of the third week and I think it may be starting to have an effect on my pain. I’ve been able to sleep on my side which has been impossible for the last 4 months. It’s definitely worth trying. Nothing else was helping and at least I trust Plant Therapy’s testing.

  • I am eager to try Plant Therapy’s CBD. I have yet to find any brand that holds up to it’s promises, but, I have read a lot of reviews on Plant Therapy’s CBD, and hope to be able to join the bandwagon soon.
    I love how in depth this blog went, to explain the dosing, and explain how it works.
    And, lastly, the fact that you referenced my friend, Elizabeth Ashley’s book is great! She spent a long time researching CBD and hemp, and this book is full of great information.

  • My husband hurt his shoulder a couple years ago at work. He recently started using cbd for the pain and he says it has helped enormously. This was a great article!

  • Finally I got some questions answered in the very informational blog. Thank you PT. I will be saving this blog and sending it to some friends.

  • Thank you for this information. You can find site after site telling you the use CBD, but not so much about how it works or how you should take it.

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