The Difference in CBD Oil Strengths: How Much Should I Take?

The Difference in CBD Oil Strengths: How Much Should I Take?

Shopping for the right CBD products can be challenging, especially when labels advertise oil strengths and CBD oil benefits. cbdMD’s products, for instance, range from 150 mg for a dog or cat tincture to 7500 mg for our strongest human tincture.

But what does that tell you? What exactly are these milligrams measuring, and how do you know what CBD oil potency you or your pet should be taking?

In this article, we’ll explain the difference in CBD oil strengths, what they mean, why it matters, and how to choose what to use.

CBD Oil Strength Explained

If you browse cbdMD’s CBD oils, you’ll find a range of “strengths”- from 300 mg CBD oil to 7500 mg CBD oil. To understand what the strength means, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions:

1. What amount of product is it talking about?

When buying CBD oil, always read the labels carefully to make sure you know how much CBD is in the product and how much of the product you should take.

In the case of cbdMD’s 300 mg CBD oil, the “300 mg” refers to the entire package. So while that tells you how much CBD you’d get if you consumed the whole thing (which we advise against), to get the CBD concentration per serving, you need to look at the fine print.

For instance, cbdMD’s CBD oil capsules come in 30-count and 60-count bottles. The highest number of milligrams for a 30-count bottle is 1500, while the highest for a 60-count bottle is 3000. However, if you look at the label’s bottom, it says the same thing: “50 mg CBD per capsule.” The 60-count bottle has twice as many milligrams because it has twice as many capsules, not because it’s more potent.

A collection of cbd oil capsules spills onto a table from a clear glass bottle

2. Is it milligrams of pure CBD?

There are many CBD companies out there, and not all of them use precisely the same formula, so there are differences in CBD oil potency.

Some companies use CBD isolate in their products, which makes measurement simple. Many manufacturers prefer either full spectrum CBD oil or broad spectrum CBD oil, which includes other valuable extracts from the hemp plant such as additional cannabinoids and terpenes.

Such formulas bring added benefits but can make it tricky to determine the actual CBD oil concentrations of the product. Fortunately, cbdMD’s Superior Broad Spectrum process begins with CBD isolate and adds precisely measured amounts of each other ingredient, so there’s no guesswork involved. The milligrams on the label refer to the quantity of pure CBD; the other hemp-based ingredients are extras.

To get a fuller picture of precisely what’s in your product, check out our lab results.

Three stacks of cbd gummies three gummies high sits against a white background

3. What is the delivery method?

By this we don’t mean FedEx or UPS – we’re talking about the method by which the product delivers CBD into your body. Different methods can have a profound effect on CBD oil strength.

There are four ways to do this: swallowing, absorption through a mucous membrane, inhalation, and absorption through the skin. In all of those methods, some of the CBD gets broken down before it reaches your bloodstream. The percentage of CBD that makes it to the blood determines the product’s bioavailability.

The precise bioavailability depends partly on your metabolism, but here’s a rough guide:

  • SwallowingSwallowing, whether through CBD capsules or edibles such as gummies, has the lowest bioavailability at 20 to 25 percent because it has to go through your digestive system before getting to your bloodstream. Swallowing can be useful if you like a slow and steady effect, though, because it lasts for about seven hours.
  • Absorption through the mucous membrane is generally done by putting CBD oil under your tongue and holding it there for 30 to 60 seconds. Bioavailability through this method is a bit higher, ranging from 25 to 30 percent.
  • Inhalation, generally through vaping, yields a much higher bioavailability at 50 to 60 percent, since your lungs are full of tiny blood vessels designed to absorb the gasses found there. This method yields a faster, stronger, but shorter-lived effect, usually around three or four hours.
  • Absorption through the skin depends on what product you use. Typical CBD topicals such as lotions, creams, and bath bombs don’t get into your bloodstream at all, though since your skin also has endocannabinoid receptors, you can still derive some benefit from them.

However, a CBD transdermal patch works on the same principle as a patch delivering nicotine or medicine. If you leave it on for six or eight hours, the CBD will slowly work its way through your skin and into your bloodstream, potentially boosting the bioavailability up to 100 percent.

A translucent human body shows the skeletal structure with pain points highlighted in red

What CBD Oil Strength Should I Use?

I wish that there was a simple answer to this, but there isn’t. Research on CBD has only really gotten off the ground in the last few years, so this is not yet an exact science. But there are a few things we do know.

One is that body size is a factor, much as it is with almost anything you imbibe. That’s why our CBD oil tincture for cats has only a fraction of the potency of our CBD oil tincture for horses, for instance. So if you’re a big bruiser, you may want to start at a higher CBD oil concentration than if you’re a smaller person.

Another thing we know is that CBD tends to accumulate in your body over time. While some people do report dramatic results on first use, many others find that the effect creeps up on them after a few weeks of daily consumption.

For that reason, we advise starting slow. As you may have noticed, a low-concentration CBD product is also a cheaper one, so if you can derive benefits from it, then it can be useful for your pocketbook as well as your health. Try taking a modest CBD oil strength every morning and evening and monitor the effects, then gradually increase if necessary. Checkout the CBD oil strength guide found here.

A diagram of the human body in purple shows the major organ systems

Building Your Own CBD Regimen

Another important consideration is why you’re taking CBD exactly. That can vary depending on what’s going on in your life.

For instance, you might take a low CBD oil strength capsule every day to maintain wellness and balance, but still have high-strength CBD oil handy if your life is especially stressful.

Your activities may be another factor. If you’re leading an active lifestyle, or have a particularly strenuous project set up like a home repair or a hiking trip, you might want to take a more concentrated CBD oil to aid in exercise recovery. The difference in CBD oil strengths is an important factor in how you use it.

Times of physical or mental strain can also call for CBD products with extra beneficial ingredients. If you’re having trouble sleeping, a nightly dropper full of CBD oil with melatonin could be just the thing. Joint and muscle strains can benefit from CBD Freeze or CBD Recover thanks to added topical painkillers.

For a thorough rundown of the different product options, check out How to Take CBD Oil.

Talk to Your Doctor – And Your Friends

We can only give you general advice about CBD oil strengths because we don’t personally know you. Fortunately, your physician probably knows you and your body a lot better, so it’s always a good idea to talk to them before starting any CBD regimen. They can also ensure that you aren’t taking any medications that might interact with CBD.

At this point in the early days of the CBD market, the experience of the users themselves can also be extremely informative. Longtime users often have insights about the difference in CBD oil strengths and regimens that can be especially helpful if they have similar physiology and lifestyle.

That’s why we always like to hear from our customers about their experiences with CBD products. Write a review on our product pages, or comment on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram posts. Good or bad, we want to know!