CBD Oil Strength: Which One Is Right for You?

CBD Oil Strength: Which One Is Right for You?

You’ve decided you want to try CBD Oil, but the available options are overwhelming. 500 mg, 1000 mg, 3000 mg?! Which one is best for you? This guide will explain the difference between these potencies and help you determine which one works best for you.

We will explore:

  • common CBD oil potencies
  • differences between low, medium and high strength CBD oils
  • best practices for choosing your ideal potency

The decision paralysis of first-time CBD buyers

A simple search will turn up so many results when you are looking to buy CBD oil or CBD products that you might find it hard to decide. Concentrations ranging from 500 mg to 3000 mg per bottle, unknown terms on the label, different extraction methods – they all seem informative but for beginners, they are sometimes downright confusing.

Don’t worry, this happens to everybody. The internet is full of questions about CBD strength, what CBD potency works best for pain, anxiety or insomnia, what concentrations are safe for children or pets, and so on…

The truth is CBD potency directly influences its effectiveness, but that is not the only factor to consider. The concentration of CBD, the presence of other cannabinoids, the condition being treated and the severity of the symptoms all play their part in how well a CBD product will interact with your body and how noticeable its effect will be.

One crucial thing you need to remember is that CBD is still being studied and with each passing day, we find out more about what it can and cannot do. If you are unsure about choosing the right CBD oil and administering the correct dose, it is far safer to use lower concentrations or doses at first and gradually increase them, if needed. Ideally, you could consult a physician and work out the best solution.

Remember, start low and go slow!

Common CBD Oil strengths/potencies

A CBD oil’s strength or potency refers to the concentration of CBD (cannabidiol) specific to the product. For example, considering the same bottle or container, a 500 mg CBD oil will be around half the strength (potency) of a 1000 mg one.

It is also useful to keep in mind that the container size (10 ml, 15 ml, 30 ml) will directly affect the potency of a CBD product. The total CBD is expressed in milligrams per container, so a larger container will have a more diluted concentration. A 10 milliliter bottle that contains 1000 mg of CBD will be more potent than a 30 ml bottle containing the same amount of CBD.

The most common strengths are 500, 1000 or 2000 mg of CBD while the usual dropper bottle sizes are 10, 15 or 30 ml. There are of course products containing as much as 4000 mg of CBD, but sometimes, such concentrations are not only too high, they might even be overkill.

Calculating CBD Oil strength

As stated above, remember that bottle size matters!

Since CBD and the rest of the cannabinoids are liposoluble (they can be dissolved in fats), this means that all of the CBD is uniformly distributed throughout the contents of a bottle. If we compared a 10 ml and a 20 ml bottle, both containing 1000 mg of CBD, the 20 ml bottle will have a lower concentration of CBD in a serving of the same size.

With this information, calculating the strength of a particular CBD oil is as easy as the following formula:


This formula allows us to differentiate between the different CBD oil strengths, as such:

  • low strength CBD oil – less than 5 mg/ml
  • medium strength CBD oil – between 15 and 30 mg/ml
  • high strength CBD oil –  between 30 and 60 mg/ml
  • products containing over 60 mg/ml are classified as ultra-high strength


How to get started with CBD Oils

A safe recommendation for using CBD is to start with lower concentrations and gradually work your way up until you reach the desired relief. Not all metabolisms work the same way and the difference between our bodies’ chemistries means there is no universal dosage that can be applied to everyone.

If you begin with a lower dose and monitor how your body reacts to CBD you will be able to determine how much CBD oil you need to consume in order to reach your desired effects.

Let’s take the case of a beginner user of CBD who has purchased a 10 ml bottle of CBD oil with the total CBD content of 1000 mg. Since all CBD oils come in a dropper bottle, it is useful to know that one milliliter contains 20 drops, so the entire bottle will hold 200 drops. If we divide the total CBD content by the number of drops, we learn that each drop contains 5 mg of CBD. For most beginners, this is a safe dose to start with and increasing the dose until they notice a difference will be easy.

Low strength CBD Oil

The most common low strength CBD oil comes in a 10 ml bottle and contains 500 mg of CBD. For most people, this concentration will be effective in supporting the ECS (endocannabinoid system) and can improve conditions such as:

  • mild anxiety
  • infrequent insomnia
  • aches and pains
  • mild stress
  • mild headaches

Some people exhibit increased sensitivity to cannabinoids. If that is the case, a lower potency CBD oil would be ideal for them, as it will not take a large dose of CBD for its effects to manifest. One single, low dose of CBD oil would be enough to offer a boost to the immune system, protect the nervous and endocrine systems against imbalances and improve one’s homeostasis (an organism’s condition of optimal functioning).

Medium strength CBD Oil

Medium strength CBD oil is great for those who have already tried CBD and want to increase their CBD uptake. In their case, the low strength CBD oil was not enough to reach the desired effects. Medium strength CBD oil offers relief in cases like:

  • mild or moderate pain
  • frequent insomnia
  • mild or moderate anxiety episodes
  • chronic inflammation
  • digestive problems

If you have already tried low strength CBD oil but failed to see any noticeable results, it might be time to move on to higher concentrations, such as those found in medium strength CBD oils and products.

High strength CBD Oil

Also referred to as therapeutic-grade, this high potency CBD oil is not recommended for users who are just starting out with CBD. It is most commonly used in treating specific conditions and usually recommended by a physician if the lower concentrations were not performing well. High strength CBD oil is used in conditions such as:

  • cancers
  • moderate to severe anxiety
  • moderate to severe pain
  • severe cases of insomnia
  • frequent migraines
  • multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • epilepsy

If you need to use an increased dose of medium strength CBD oil, upgrading to the high-strength version might be beneficial.

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