*Updated March 14, 2020

I have been helping a 74 year old woman, Evelyn, who has been living with rheumatoid arthritis for the past 40 years navigate the medical cannabis market in her state.

Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol (CBD Oil) chemical formula. Growing premium cannabis products. Influence (positive and negative) of smoking marijuana on human brain, nervous system, mental activity and functions, cognitive functioning, development. Thematic photo hemp[/caption]

She lives in constant pain every day which, as you can imagine, has deeply affected her quality of life. Over the past few years, she began taking Xanax to combat the anxiety she develops since she never knows if she will be able to walk from the store to her car as the pain escalates throughout the day.

As we age, those annoying aches and pains we continually brush off can become so severe they can no longer be ignored. Anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen (my favorite), have been linked to a significant increase in stroke and heart attacks, kidney damage, and stomach ulcers. COX-2 inhibitors (Celebrex and Mobic) were designed to protect the stomach but are also linked to kidney damage and heart attacks. In fact, my next-door neighbor took meloxicam (Mobic) for a few months for some minor knee pain and developed acute renal (kidney) failure. She is now waiting for a kidney transplant.


Since Evelyn had not been taking any opioids for her pain, I thought she might be able to take plain CBD (no THC) products which could offer significant relief without any intoxication. After taking just her first dose of 10mg she told me how her pain “went from a 12 to a 4” and the swelling in her hands decreased dramatically. Very impressive.


She asked an excellent question the other day…how much CBD can I take?


We can actually refer to the Big Pharma drug studies for this information since there is a prescription plant-based CBD on the market right now available in pharmacies. It’s called Epidiolex and is made by GW Pharmaceuticals out of the U.K. Epidiolex is indicated for specific seizure disorders in children.


The drug information for Epidiolex suggests a starting dose of 2.5 mg/kg taken twice a day (every 12 hours) and increasing the dose up to 20 mg/kg/day.


So let’s do a little math.


For a 150 pound (lb) patient we first must convert the weight into kilograms (kg):

150 pounds is divided by 2.2 pounds per kilogram = 68 kg patient

68kg X 20mg per day (max dose) = 1,363 mg per day of CBD or 2 doses of 681 taken every 12 hours.

For anyone who wonders how much CBD they can safely taker per day or per dose, this is what the pharmaceutical companies tell us is safe….and they spend a lot of $$$ to get this information, so I would use it as a good guideline.


My suggestion would be to start with 10mg every 4 to 6 hours and increase by 10mg per dose after 3 days until you are happy with the effects. If you develop a headache or stomach upset then decrease the dose by 25%.

Award Winning Author & Coach

Colleen Higgins, R.Ph.

Colleen Higgins, R.Ph. is an author, speaker, and consultant who educates patients and cannabis manufacturers on the most effective ways to deliver cannabis as a medicine to the patients who need it.  

Colleen Higgins, R.Ph. has worked directly with patients in the role of pharmaceutical and cannabis distribution for over 25 years. She is certified in diabetes education (CDE), medication management (MTM) and as a Pain Management Specialty Pharmacist (PMSP).


Have you recently been prescribed medical cannabis and now feel completely lost?




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