Whether you’re using CBD oil, capsules, or other CBD products, it can be difficult to figure out the optimal strength.
After all, there’s a big difference between a CBD oil tincture that provides 10 mg of CBD per serving and another that carries 50 mg. One might be too weak, while the other too strong.
Things get even more confusing because the British Food Standards Agency (FSA) recently made a recommendation that adults consume no more than 70 mg of CBD daily.
How much CBD should you use? Can you take too much? What CBD oil strength is the best?
Here’s what you need to know about CBD strength and dosage to help you choose the ideal product.
What is CBD strength?
Also known as potency, the strength of CBD oil, capsules, or a similar product refers to the concentration of CBD. For CBD oil, that means the amount of CBD in one ml (a full dropper) of liquid.
For example, a 30 ml CBD tincture that contains 1200 mg of CBD has a potency of 40 mg/ml. That means if you take a full dropper — which typically counts as one serving or dose — you’ll be getting 40 mg of CBD.
You can also divide this amount by 20 to get an estimate of how much CBD is in one drop of the oil (in this case, about 2 mg).Other products can have their own measure of potency, like the amount of CBD per capsule.
CBD strength is an important consideration because it can make the difference between a product that does nothing for you and one that provides noticeable effects.
Most CBD oils will list their potency on the label and product page. Some CBD brands also use words such as “low”, “medium”, or “high” to describe the strength of their products to make it easier for customers to choose one that suits their needs.
These terms are roughly equivalent to the following CBD oil potencies: 1–15 mg/ml for low, 16–35 mg/ml for medium, and 40+ mg/ml for high. Meanwhile, the strongest CBD oils available in the UK can have potencies reaching as high as 385 mg/ml.
If the potency is not listed, you can also calculate it yourself. Simply take the total amount of CBD (mg) in the bottle and divide it by the volume (ml) as we did earlier.
CBD Dosage Factors
Understanding CBD potency is only half the story. You still need to figure out the right CBD dosage so that you can match it with a product of the appropriate strength.
The optimal amount of CBD for each person is influenced by many factors. As a result, a dosage that works well for one individual is not necessarily right for someone else.
Here are the key factors to keep in mind:
- Body weight: Generally speaking, the more you weigh, the more CBD you’ll need to take.
- Genetics: We all have different body chemistry, which influences how CBD affects our body. For example, genetic variations can influence the function of our endocannabinoid system (ECS), making it less or more responsive to CBD.
- Goals: The benefits you’re hoping to achieve will also affect the dosage. Someone taking CBD oil for serious issues will surely require a higher dose than a person taking it for maintaining their overall health.
- Product form: The type of CBD in your product is important as well. Most notably, whole-plant, full-spectrum extracts are considered more effective than isolate, a pure form of CBD. The way you take CBD also matters; using it sublingually (under the tongue) or vaping will have greater absorption than ingesting CBD. That’s why the effects of capsules and other oral products are weaker than CBD oil and vape e-liquids.
How much CBD should you take?
Most CBD users take 20–50 mg doses of CBD once or twice daily. However, if you’re new to CBD, the best approach is to start with a small amount and slowly increase it until you begin to experience the desired effects.
You might start with a CBD oil dose of 10–15 mg and wait a few hours to see if you notice any difference.
If there’s no effect, you can either increase the dose right away or take it for a few more days to confirm that it’s too weak for you. This way, you can incrementally elevate the dosage until you settle on the amount of CBD that works.
Let’s say you used this method to find that 40 mg of full-spectrum CBD oil is your ideal dose.
The next time you shop for a tincture, you can look for a high-strength, full-spectrum CBD oil with a potency of 40 mg/ml or higher, so that you can easily get your dose from one full dropper or less.
You should also be aware that the UK FSA recently released guidelines recommending that healthy adults take no more than 70 mg of CBD per day unless a doctor suggests otherwise.
Although there isn’t any evidence that going above 70 mg will cause negative effects, this recommendation can serve as your upper dosage limit, especially when you’re just starting to use CBD.
What happens if you take too much CBD?
Decades of research and a comprehensive review by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that CBD is a very safe substance. Still, taking too much CBD can produce some minor side effects.
These include sleepiness, tiredness, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, dry mouth, diarrhoea, and changes in appetite or weight.
Similar to grapefruit, high doses of CBD can also influence a special type of liver enzyme involved in breaking down prescription drugs, making these medications more or less effective.
However, the good news is that these side effects have only been found in studies using very high doses of purified CBD. Besides, research has shown that daily CBD doses as high as 1500 mg were tolerated well by people.
In short, it’s difficult to take too much CBD, especially in the form of oil, capsules, and other widely available products.
Patience is Key
It’s easy to become frustrated when CBD doesn’t seem to work. However, in most cases, this is caused by using a low-potency product for an insufficient length of time.
Many people find that CBD starts to work after a few days or even weeks of taking it. On top of that, the effects of CBD are relatively mild, so they can be hard to notice. Since CBD is non-intoxicating, it won’t feel nearly as obvious as its psychotropic cousin THC.
We recommend being patient by starting with a low dose (10-15 mg) and slowly raising it over time. You can also try using a high-strength CBD product, but be careful to know exactly how much CBD is in each milligram (and drop) and dose accordingly.