Finding the ideal CBD dose is a process which takes time and can be confusing. Different people and animals have different needs. The reason for taking CBD, the person or animal’s bodyweight, or their particular endocannabinoid system can affect what an optimal dose is. We categorize CBD usage in three different ways—Balance, Standard or Target.
Balance dosing requires low and consistent daily intake of CBD. Ideally it will promote homeostasis in the body. It may be effective for sleep, headache, mood or stress. Taking it consistently has been shown to keep your body in the ideal state to maintain optimal benefits and can often be achieved with lower dosing.
Standard dosing is mid-range and may support a healthy response for discomfort, inflammation, gut health, situational anxiety, or depression. For humans, it might be helpful for public speaking or post workout recovery. For horses, it may be calming for trailering, farrier, vet or stall rest. For dogs, it may help during thunderstorms or stress around going to the vet.
Target dosing is higher and might be used in cases of more serious injury or illness. Proceed with target dosing only under the advice of your health care provider.
The duration of efficacy of CBD varies with manner of intake (softgels versus extract versus topical), as well as your body’s specific makeup. However, it has been observed that regular use in fact stretches that time out beyond a single dose.
Cannabinoids have “bisphasic” properties, which means that, as the dose increases, the effects do not necessarily improve. A higher dose may actually produce the opposite effect.  Therefore we can’t stress enough the importance of taking time to determine what dose works best for you or your animal. Take notes and try our sample logs.
Generalized Guidelines for new users
Humans If you are new to using CBD, we recommend you first discuss it with your healthcare provider. We like to think “less is more.” In general, small doses of cannabinoids tend to stimulate the body and large doses tend to sedate it. 
Keep a record of how your body feels before you take it, and then again one hour later, and then three hours later. Take notes and try our sample logs. Continue one dose for 3-4 days before moving up or down. You may choose to take your daily dose once or split up as often as every 6-8 hours, although taking smaller doses more frequently is preferred. Here are some suggested dosing recommendations for starting out.
Balance: 1mg-30mg CBD per day, take all at once or divided up to 4 times daily
Standard: 10mg-100 mg CBD per day, take all at once or divided up to 4 times daily
Target: 50mg-200mg CBD** per day, take all at once or divided up to 4 times daily
**Some people take a larger targeted dose, but we recommend doing so only under the supervision of a licensed healthcare provider.**
Horses Horses follow a 10-20mg per 100lb guideline, therefore a typical 1,000lb horse would get 100mg of CBD for a standard dose. That amount varies based on the reason for CBD use. You may choose to administer the daily dose once or split up as often as every 6-8 hours. Take notes and try our sample logs. Below are some suggested dosage guidelines.
Balance: dosing can be used for stress, focus or generalized wellness: 50mg-100mg CBD per day, all at once or divided up to 4 times daily
Standard: dosing can be used for regular discomfort or inflammation, situational stress*, or may alleviate pain caused by arthritis: 100mg-200mg per day, all at once or divided up to 4 times daily
Target: dosing should be done with the supervision of your vet and has been reported to help in cases such as colic and injury rehab: 200-500mg per day, all at once divided up to 4 times daily
Target dosing requires 3-4 days of a “loading dose,” which is usually a top dose amount, and then 3-4 days of half that dose, and then continued use of half that dose again. Take notes and keep track of what you are giving and any observable effects.
**Examples of situational stress are trailering, vet or farrier visits, clipping or stall rest.
Dogs Dogs follow a 1-2mg per 10lbs guideline. The optimum amount varies based on the reason for use. Take notes and try our sample logs. Below are some suggested dosage guidelines.
Balance: 1mg per 10lbs for stress, focus, or overall wellness—take all at once or divided up to 4 times daily
Standard: 1-2mg per 10lbs for regular discomfort, inflammation, or situational stress*— take all at once or divided up to 4 times daily
Target: 2+mg per 10lbs is a higher dose which has been reported to improve mobility and alleviate pain from osteoarthritis—proceed with higher dosing under the supervision of your vet—take all at once or divided up to 4 times daily
***Examples of situational stress are thunderstorms, groomer or vet appointments. For all creatures, human or not, remember to start low and go slow.
Leinow, L, and Birnbaum, J, 2017, CBD A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis, Berkeley, CA, North Atlantic Books