The biphasic effect of CBD

by Tom Russell October 14, 2020

The Biphasic Effect of CBD

When consumed, CBD can produce two distinct effects. The first is felt when taking a small amount and the second is experienced after a more potent serving.

This two-part characteristic is known as 'biphasic' and means that with careful application CBD can prove to be more useful than supplements with less varied effects.

What is the biphasic effect?

Too little vs. too much

A biphasic effect is when one substance acts in two different ways as the concentration increases. Alcohol is a great example of a substance that is Biphasic. When you drink a small amount of alcohol it gives an uplifting and stimulating effect. However, if you drink more and it passes a level of 0.05% in your bloodstream, it becomes a depressant and can make you subdued and tired.

There is growing evidence from scientific studies and user reports that CBD produces a biphasic effect. In low measures, studies suggest that its general effects make it suitable for use as a daytime supplement. When taken in higher amounts it is more suitable to be taken in the evening.

For a long time, it has been acknowledged that the amount of CBD used is critical to the research. In 2008, Antonio Zuardi, Professor of the School of Medicine at the University of Sao Paulo, was aware that the actions of CBD could be plotted as a bell curve, becoming more effective when specific amounts were in the bloodstream. “It is important to highlight that…the [amount] is a pivotal factor in CBD research.”

This effect has become a crucial factor for consumers, and manufacturers even include references to it in product directions.


How does it work for me?

Green skeleton graph

While studies often use a standard amount for all participants, the effect of CBD depends on several factors that are unique to you. They include body mass, tolerance and chemical makeup.

An amount that has a small effect on one person could be the same as one that has a stronger effect on the next person. Finding the effective amount for you is an important part of your CBD journey. To explore this, start low and go slow. Begin with the minimum amount recommended on the product label and take it regularly for one to two weeks. After that, make a small increase every three to seven days.

For example, if your oil recommends you start with two drops two times a day:

  • Week 1: 2 drops, 2 times a day
  • Week 2: 2 drops, 2 times a day
  • Week 3: 3 drops, 2 times a day
  • Week 4: 4 drops, 2 times a day

Write down the effects and the amount taken as you go. Then after a month or two you can go back and figure out what worked best for you.

Taking CBD twice a day in this way means that you will consume a small amount in the morning and top it up in the evening. This will ensure there are higher levels of cannabinoids in your blood stream at night-time to encourage this Biphasic effect.


Biphasic Effect analogy - day and night

The biphasic nature of CBD makes it particularly well suited to boost your health and general well-being throughout the day. Small regular amounts are ideal for earlier in the day and larger servings are best in the evening. Before you can competently apply each effect, you will need to know how a variety of amounts suits you. Building up slowly is an excellent way to get used to each and will allow you to create a personalised routine that delivers the best of both worlds.

Fact-checked by Dr Marios Kyriazis.

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Tom Russell
Tom Russell


Tom Russell writes extensively about CBD oil and other groundbreaking food supplements. He and his wife share their home with two daughters and a lifetime’s collection of books.

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