A Guide to CBD Strengths: Which CBD Oil is Right for You?

by PP Health Admin / Sep 12, 2021

Cannabidiol (CBD) has become a trending component of many self-care products, including skincare, oils, edibles and bath products. But choosing the right CBD oil for you can be a daunting task with many variables. In particular, CBD is available in various measures - from 100 mg upwards to 5000 mg. If you’re not well-versed in the industry, these figures will be another confusing number on the bottle!

Unfortunately, some people buy CBD without doing their research, only to set themselves up for disappointment. This may be because you're choosing the wrong dosage for you, or you're ready to move up to a higher concentration. Finding the right CBD approach for you is all about trial and error and selecting the option that you feel most comfortable with. To help you get the most out of your cannabidiol routine and avoid overpaying, our complete guide to CBD concentrations will bridge the gap and help you make an informed decision.

What Is CBD?

CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is a botanical compound (or 'cannabinoid'). Originating from a strain of cannabis called the hemp plant, the potential wellness properties of CBD are firmly in the limelight. According to researchers, hemp plants contain over one hundred cannabinoids, including the well-known THC - a compound that may cause a ‘high’ if you consume too much of it. It’s important to know that while some CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC, there will not be enough to cause any intoxicating side effects. With this said, we encourage you to research and choose a trustworthy brand.

Manufacturers can infuse cannabidiol into oils, edibles and skincare products that may potentially complement a lifestyle inspired by nature. According to anecdotes, many people experiment with CBD as part of their wider efforts to impact symptoms of pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders, to name but a few. However, while we are huge advocates for the potential benefits of CBD, research is still ongoing, and we cannot say for certain how CBD interacts with the body.

How Might CBD Work?

New research regarding CBD is coming out all the time, but today’s insights are not as detailed as they will be in the future. In the next paragraph, we’ve summarised what we currently know about how CBD may affect your body.

In the early 1990s, researchers discovered that everybody has an endocannabinoid system (or an ECS for short). This system aids communication between cells and helps to keep your natural biological processes in order. The ECS is elaborate, and scientists are still figuring out what it does and how it works. However, it seems that endocannabinoids (natural feel-good substances) are produced in the body to facilitate the proper functioning of the ECS.

Some research suggests that when you consume cannabinoids like CBD, it may potentially influence your endocannabinoid system and some of the natural tasks it performs on an ongoing basis.

So far, scientists generally believe that the ECS may impact the following areas:

  • Mood
  • Appetite
  • Sleep
  • Pain perception
  • Inflammation
  • Memory
  • Immunity
  • Digestion
  • Nervous system

As research continues, we will slowly learn more about how this complex system works and how you can partner with it to invest in your sense of wellbeing. The use of cannabinoids like CBD and CBG may possibly affect our biological processes by impacting the ECS in an indirect way. However, another hurdle to overcome is how various CBD concentrations may interact with the endocannabinoid system.

A woman dropping organic CBD oil onto her tongue

What Are The Types Of CBD?

The cannabis industry is growing fast, which means new forms of CBD are coming out all the time. We’re now going to break down the different types of CBD available to help inform your lifestyle decisions.

The first thing to understand is that there are three core hemp extracts: CBD isolate, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD.

CBD Isolate - This cannabidiol extract has been isolated from all other hemp compounds, including CBG and THC. Isolate is the purest and most processed form of CBD on the market. It may be a good option for beginners (or anyone who doesn't want to risk any THC being in their product).

Broad-Spectrum - A happy medium, some may say. Broad-spectrum CBD contains all the potentially beneficial cannabinoids except THC - the compound that may cause intoxicating effects.

Full-Spectrum - CBD that contains the full-spectrum of cannabinoids is referred to as full-spectrum CBD. This extract contains all the potentially beneficial terpenes (aromatic molecules), flavonoids (possible antioxidants) and cannabinoids, including trace amounts of THC. Some people prefer this hemp variation because the trace amounts of THC may potentially interact with the other compounds causing a synergy known as the ‘entourage effect’ to occur.

It is up to you which CBD extract you choose, as they all have unique properties that may appeal to you.

Next, the type of CBD product you buy will depend on your lifestyle habits and personal preferences.

Here are some popular CBD products to get familiar with:

  • CBD Gummies are loved for their sweet taste and discreet nature.
  • CBD Oils are straightforward and may make the perfect addition to morning coffee or your favourite recipe.
  • Topical CBD is widely used in skincare regimes and post-workout self-care.
  • CBD Capsules are loved for being easing to consume.
  • CBD Vape Oils are ideal if you’re on the go and looking for a natural supplement that is highly portable. They may be most applicable for people who are already in the habit of vaping.

The various forms of CBD may play a role in which products you choose to buy. Alongside lifestyle requirements, each form may have a different bioavailability (which refers to how much CBD has a chance of entering your bloodstream). We will touch on this again later in the article.

This hemp sourced compound is brimming with potential! Adding CBD to your self-care routine may even help to sway your self-perceived relaxation levels and some symptoms of anxiety.

Moreover, the further potential benefits of CBD may include:

  • Better sleep
  • Impacting some signs of mood disorders
  • Naturally influencing some symptoms of pain
  • Influencing signs of inflammation
  • Affecting acne symptoms
  • Impacting natural memory processes

The Ultimate Guide To CBD ‘Strengths’ (Concentrations)

Let’s cut the confusing jargon and get straight to the aim of this article. What do the numbers on CBD bottles mean?

Most CBD packaging will have the concentration of cannabidiol written in 'mg' (milligrams), which may range anywhere from 100 mg upwards to 5000 mg. However, when determining the potential strength of a product, you have to consider the size of the bottle too.

For example, you may choose a CBD oil that contains a concentration of 500 mg CBD in a 30ml bottle. Only 1.67% of the product is CBD, and the rest will be carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Unfortunately, by only looking at the size of the bottle (in ml), you may be misled into buying a relatively diluted product. This is why it’s essential to understand what CBD concentrations mean. Therefore, by looking at the mg-to-ml ratio, you can determine the potential potency of any given product. In this instance, 1.67% is a low dose because the manufacturers dilute the CBD in a large bottle.

Factors that may impact the CBD dose for you include:

  • Age
  • Bodyweight
  • Tolerance
  • Motivations
A person dropping full-spectrum CBD oil into a cup of tea

CBD Strengths For Beginners

Although choosing CBD can be a minefield, learning how to judge dosage should empower you to find the right one for your lifestyle.

So, how do you decide which CBD oil may be right for you? Below we have suggested the amounts that some people refer to as low, medium and high doses and explained the potential benefits of each one.

Low Strength CBD - Up to 300 mg

Within the CBD community, a concentration of 300 mg (or 1-4%) is considered a relatively mild dose. However, this largely depends on how sensitive you are to cannabinoids. Nonetheless, smaller doses may be a good option if you want to incorporate CBD into your everyday wellbeing regime or if you’re new to cannabinoids.

While higher doses may show more potential for impacting some common discomforts, manufacturers suggest that anyone who is new to cannabinoids should always start with a low dose. Therefore, regardless of why you’ve chosen to explore CBD, 300 mg in a 10ml bottle might be a sensible place to start. It’s also wise to speak with a healthcare provider before you begin taking any new food supplements (CBD or otherwise).

Medium Strength CBD - 600 mg Upwards

If you’ve tried low strength CBD and you want to branch out, you might want to experiment with increasing your dosage. Cannabidiol products that contain a concentration ranging from 600 mg to 900 mg (5-9%) are generally considered mid-level in terms of their potential potency. This type of dosage may be worth exploring as part of a wider self-care routine that takes mild symptoms of anxiety, pain, and acne into consideration.

High Strength CBD - 1000 mg Upwards

If you’re curious about the possibilities of CBD in relation to symptoms of mood disorders, insomnia, migraines, and chronic pain, you may wish to try an even higher dosage. A purportedly high-strength CBD product could be anything with a concentration of 1000 mg (10%) or more. However, these types of dosages may be best consumed by people who are used to cannabinoids or who have worked their way up from a lower dose. Therefore, even if you’re looking to try a CBD approach that’s potentially more impactful, it is always advised to start modestly and build things up over time.

Why Are There So Many CBD Strengths?

One look at the CBD market, and you’ll see how many concentrations are available - but why are there so many? As everyone’s bodies may respond differently and have varying tolerances to cannabinoids, the market needs to be flexible for people to increase their dosage in light of their unique biology.

When approaching CBD, the main possibility to keep in mind is that everyone responds to food supplements in various ways. Due to the differences in people’s biochemistry, the rate at which you might metabolise CBD may be slower or faster. If you’re someone who metabolises CBD slowly, you may require a smaller dose to notice any potential effects.

Alongside tolerance levels, someone may want a higher dose depending on their reason for using cannabidiol products. If you're planning to supplement your lifestyle in a more light-hearted way, a lower amount would be ideal. Whereas if you're looking to potentially impact some daily discomforts, you may want to work your way up to a higher dose.

Can You Take Too Much CBD?

One of the most common questions on the theme of CBD consumption is this: can you overdo it?

Multiple research papers, such as this 2020 review, suggest various measures of CBD are relatively safe to consume. Interestingly, there is no set dosage or recommended daily intake. However, the Food Standard Agency (FSA) recommends not exceeding 70 mg per day. So, while a 2017 report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that CBD is a reasonably low-risk and well-tolerated substance, we advise not exceeding the FSA recommendation. Since CBD is a recently developed supplement, there is no official serving size.

Furthermore, as CBD derives from a strain of cannabis, it is often associated with its chemical cousin, THC (a potentially intoxicating compound). Consequently, CBD must be responsibly made to ensure it conforms with the legal THC limits set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other such authorities. While there may be trace amounts, full-spectrum CBD oil will not contain enough THC to cause intoxication.

Here at PP Health, we strongly believe in our organic CBD range. However, we are not medical professionals and our advice on CBD shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. Therefore, despite our efforts to share our plant-powered expertise, we advise speaking to your health care provider for more details before adding a new supplement to your diet (especially if you are on medication). The same precautions apply if you have any underlying health conditions.

At the beginning of your CBD journey, it’s best to start low and assess how your body may react to it. Even if you plan to take a higher dose in the future, slowly increasing your dosage might just help you to transition smoothly. The CBD concentration you stick with will depend on the reason you’re taking it, your tolerance to cannabinoids, and your broader comfort levels.

The Potential Risks of High Strength CBD

While shopping for CBD, it's crucial to research and determine what type of CBD may suit your lifestyle. In this section, we have examined some of the risks associated with taking high-strength CBD, from potential side effects to industry regulations and drug testing.

Possible Side Effects Of CBD

The WHO report we mentioned earlier shared that CBD has a good safety profile and is generally well tolerated. Despite this, the FDA suggests there may be some possible side effects, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Appetite changes
  • Mood changes
  • Unwanted interactions with certain medications

CBD research is ongoing, and thus, it’s essential to consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or incorporating CBD into your daily regime.

CBD Regulations

There are industrial concerns that CBD regulations aren't strict enough, primarily as the substance is classified as a food supplement. For instance, a 2017 study challenged the accuracy of CBD product labelling. A third-party laboratory report showed that from a collection of 54 CBD products, only 30.95% were labelled with accurate concentrations. These conclusions are unfortunate for the industry and highlight the importance of doing your research and finding a reputable CBD brand. In this instance, the study indicated that the most reliable manufacturers provided third-party tests for their customers to read for themselves.

Can Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Cause a ‘High’?

There is a common misconception that CBD may cause an intoxicating effect, otherwise known as a ‘high’. While this may be the case for THC, the same possibilities do not seem to apply to cannabidiol.

During production, manufacturers will expertly remove most of the THC from the extract, leaving behind what we know as full-spectrum CBD. As this CBD oil only contains trace amounts of THC, there is not enough to cause intoxication.

In fact, some researchers suggest the presence of this THC may increase the potential of all the cannabinoids. As we mentioned earlier, the theory of the ‘entourage effect’ suggests that when you take the full spectrum of cannabinoids together, the combined supplement may be more worthwhile.

For these reasons, trace amounts of THC are present in full-spectrum CBD. However, we advise choosing a product that uses CBD isolate if you prefer to avoid it altogether.

Will Full-Spectrum CBD Show Up On a Drug Test?

In short, CBD should not show up on a drug test.

However, with that said, some CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC, which is the main active ingredient in marijuana. If there is enough THC present, then there is a potential to cause a positive drug test. The possibility of this depends on the quality of the CBD and the reliability of the seller. Using high-strength CBD may increase this risk if you don’t research beforehand and choose a reliable CBD manufacturer.

It’s important to note that routine drug tests don’t typically search for CBD. However, the tester can request to add it to the list. With this said, it is doubtful because CBD is legal in numerous states and countries worldwide. All the same, you should always double-check the regulations where you live before attempting to supplement with CBD.

In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) even removed CBD from its list of banned substances and stated that it’s not in the same category as performance-enhancing drugs. Professional athletes should still be careful that their CBD is not contaminated and, thus, always shop from reputable brands.

If in doubt, choose a product that uses CBD isolate because this pure form of cannabidiol doesn’t contain any THC.

In all, there are some potential risks that can come with using CBD. To ensure you’re shopping smart, always research to find a trustworthy company and talk to your doctor before implementing CBD into your life.

A variety of CBD products, including CBD oils, capsules, and creams, laid out on a mat.

Which CBD Is Right For You?

Yes, deciding what CBD oil is right for you can be confusing. But we’re here to take the pressure off with our final top tips for choosing a high-quality CBD oil that fits your lifestyle.

Firstly, does it matter what type of CBD you buy? In short, yes, it does. As this article has highlighted, different people will seek various concentrations. There are many varieties of CBD to choose from, and selecting a high-quality manufacturer is essential.

Start low and slow with your CBD strength - When you’re considering which CBD concentration you should pick, always start low. Especially if you’re new to cannabinoids, always start with a low dose, such as a concentration of 300 mg and increase it as you see fit. It’s a good idea to reflect on how you feel from day to day as you begin your journey.

Choose a CBD method that coordinates with your lifestyle - The various options can be exciting, from tasty gummies to easy-to-swallow oils and capsules. But while your choice may depend on what makes sense within your lifestyle, you may also want to think about the potential bioavailability of different CBD products. For example, when you consume a CBD gummy, not all the CBD will make it into your bloodstream. Some CBD will break down because it must pass through your digestive tract and liver. In comparison, the potential bioavailability of CBD oil may be better because, after holding the oil under your tongue for 60 seconds, it might make contact with your bloodstream in a more straightforward way. Moreover, our water-based CBD Boost is a unique alternative to oil, which has impressive bioavailability prospects due to the fact that the particles are smaller.

Research and find a reputable brand - When looking for CBD, choose a brand that is transparent about its growing and manufacturing processes. Further to this, make sure a third party has tested your CBD and laboratory results are available to view. Here at PP Health, we are open about growing our CBD on a sustainable Swiss farm and testing our extract with a reliable third-party source. Moreover, we are proud to say that our CBD is free from herbicides and pesticides, giving you peace of mind that our CBD oils are premium and made with care.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re new to CBD or a long term user, there’s always something new to learn in the cannabidiol industry. If you’re new to CBD, it’s wise to take it slow and build up your dose over time. Additionally, while you’re trying to determine which CBD dose you are happy with, it’s best to be patient. Like most supplements, CBD may possibly accumulate in your body with routine use. While some people might purportedly claim to see ‘instant results’, others may take daily CBD for weeks before identifying any potential benefits.

Are you keen to integrate CBD into your wellness routine? Shop our organic CBD oils today!