Addiction question

"My husband and I are trying a CBD/THC tincture 20 to 1 for pain management. We each started with five drops a day as recommended by the helpful MD we talked to on this website. I’m taking 5 drops in the morning and my husband is taking it at night because that’s when our pain is worse. I’m noticing a slight bit of pain relief but what I’m really noticing more is my sleep cycle has become slightly longer. Not a problem. My husband has noticed no change in his sleep and no pain relief. He is worried about addiction, since it seems to be changing my sleep cycle. Is addiction a concern if I stopped taking the tincture? I am trying to ease up on Celebrex. I haven’t smoked pot in many years. Any feedback appreciated. "

Any substance that alters your experience can be habit-forming, but CBD on its own is not considered addictive. In fact, one of the least understood benefits of CBD oil is its possible effectiveness in treating symptoms associated with alcohol and drug addiction.

It is common, over time, to require more CBD to achieve the desired effect as your body develops a tolerance to the cannabinoid. This is particularly true for new consumers.

Kevin P.

Hi there!
There is absolutely no potential of developing an addiction to cannabis when using such a low THC-concentration-containing product, such as the 20:1 tincture you and your husband have been using. CBD has no addictive potential; heavy and frequent use of THC may cause a psychological dependence, but not physical dependence, as alcohol,  benzodiazepines and opiates can cause. You and your husband are not even on the map of those engaged in heavy THC use.

Also, five drops of that tincture likely has between 0.1mg and 0.3mg of THC, which would be imperceptible for most likely everyone. Many don’t even notice 3mg.  Also, you can/should be taking the oil on an as needed basis. Taking the oil once per day would not provide relief for more than 6 hours at the most. I usually recommend taking the oil at least twice per day. Also, most should at least 10 drops of a 20:1 tincture/dose, as 5 drops likely contains less than 3mg of CBD, and functionally, zero THC.

Since it seems your husband has difficulty sleeping due to more noticeable pain in the evening, an oil with a higher THC concentration would likely be more beneficial. In general, after learning more about the patient’s situation, I would recommend a 1:1 or 2:1 oil if THC is acceptable to the patient. I recommend starting no higher than 2.5mg of THC per dose. Also, 1:1 is, by far, the most studied ratio, including in studies regarding pain issues. For sleep, THC is what causes sedation.


So, for example, if we wanted to keep the CBD dosage at 10mg/dose, we would choose the ratio of the product that provides the amount of THC that is acceptable to the patient. Many patients want no perceptible psychoactivity during the day, while some psychoactivity during the evening is acceptable. In this situation, many would use a
higher ratio during the day, such as
10:1, which would provide 10mg of CBD and 1mg of THC. Most patients do not perceive psychoactivity when taking 1mg, or less of THC

Then as a sleep aid, a more balanced ratio, such as 1:1, which would provide 10mg of CBD, and 10mg of THC. 10mg is considered a "standard dose." Most new patients report 10mg of THC to be moderately to extremely psychoactive. So, when starting, it’s always a good idea to start low, and go slow.  In general, 2.5mgs of THC would be a good "test dose." 2:1 is also a popular evening ratio (10mg CBD, 5mg THC).

Ratios of between 10:1 and 30:1 are rarely psychoactive, so this ratio-range would be a good choice for most when psychoactivity is to be avoided, such as during the daytime, or if the patient prefers to avoid any psychoactivity.

Ratios of between 4:1 and 8:1 are considered mid-range ratios. In general, products in this range would cause mild psychoactivity, noticeable anxiety relief and a boosted mood, without feeling "high".


2:1 and 1:1 are more balanced ratios. In general, this range provides the most pain relief and is the better choice for sleep issues.


  1. Place the oil under your tongue.
  2. Use your tongue to gently “paint” the tincture around your inner cheeks
  3. Wait 60 to 90 seconds before swallowing.
    Effects should peak in about 15 minutes, and should last between 2 to 4 hours

Wait at least 1 hour to gauge efficacy. When you are on an empty stomach, peak effect is reached in about one hour. However, if you have had a large meal, especially a fatty meal, it can take up to two hours to reach peak effect. Effects should last between 4 to 10 hours.

When choosing products, make sure that the product label specifies the amount of CBD and/or THC per drop or dropper-full. Many products simply state the total amount of CBD and/or THC, which leads to unnecessary confusion.

I hope this helps!


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