We often think that if a little of something is good, then a lot must be better. If you’re in a lot of pain, your doctor may tell you to take 4 pills of ibuprofen instead of 2. If your anti-anxiety medication isn’t cutting it, then you’ll be told to up-the-dose.
This isn’t the case with cannabidiol (CBD). Because CBD has many brain targets, some medical conditions respond better to a low dose of CBD than a high one.
Take anxiety for example, studies show that a moderate dose of CBD is better than a low dose for relieving anxiety, but a high dose is completely ineffective. So when trying to titrate the most effective dose of CBD, sometimes going down in dose is better than going up.
With epilepsy it’s another story. Treatment of some forms of epilepsy require a high dose of CBD to reduce seizures. These doses can be 5-10x more than the dose that reduces anxiety. But at the dose required to prevent seizures, CBD’s anxiolytic effects go away.
The “Goldilocks Zone” for CBD’s medicinal efficacy reflects the many different brain targets that are hit at various doses. The serotonin receptors through which CBD reduces anxiety are activated at low doses and moderate doses of CBD. But at higher CBD doses, additional brain targets are activated that may override CBD’s effects on serotonin receptors.
For a more comprehensive description of the science behind CBD’s dosing for anxiety and other conditions, please see my article on Leafly.com.