Understanding CBD Oil Potency and CBD Oil Strength

  • Updated January 25, 2024

  • Published January 25, 2024

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Understanding CBD Oil Potency and CBD Oil Strength

Before using CBD, it is important to understand what the information on the label and the recommended serving size mean. Each product has a CBD strength and potency, both available in different amounts. To understand the recommended serving size, first learn what the terms mean. You always want to be an informed CBD consumer. The following is an explanation of CBD strength and CBD potency.

Fab CBD, CBD Oil, Natural, Full Spectrum, 1oz, 2400mg CBD


Two essential terms in the CBD industry are potency and strength. CBD potency is the total CBD in a bottle, package, or serving. The CBD oil strength percentage tells you the proportion of CBD compared to the rest of the ingredients in the product. Knowing these terms helps you shop for CBD products that best fit your wellness needs.

What Does CBD Potency Mean?

CBD potency refers to how much CBD is in a product. It can refer to the total CBD in a package or how much CBD is in a serving. For example, a CBD oil bottle may contain 1,000 mg of CBD, and the amount per serving of CBD is 30 mg per ml of CBD oil.

CBD Oil Strengths Explained

CBD strength is the proportion of CBD compared with the other product ingredients. Typical ingredients include flavorings, essential oils, fruit juice, botanicals, and vitamins. CBD strength is described in two ways, and both describe CBD concentration.

One way to express CBD oil strength is as a strength percentage. For example, if the product has 5% CBD, the whole content has 5% CBD. The other 95% is made up of different ingredients.

Endoca CBD Oil with 30% CBD

The CBD strength percentage is a percentage of the product’s total volume or milligrams. A milliliter is a thousandth of a milligram. So 5% CBD in a 25 ml bottle has 1.25 ml of CBD. Multiplied by 1,000 means it contains 1,250 mg of CBD.

Many CBD products state the total amount of CBD in the bottle. For example, a CBD oil bottle may say it contains 1,000 mg of CBD per container. If the bottle is 30 ml, CBD (1,000) is divided by 30 ml x 1000. There is approximately 3.3% CBD in the CBD oil bottle. Another way to state it is that % the CBD percentage to ml is 3%.

What is the Difference Between CBD Oil Potency and Strength?

Various brands sometimes refer to CBD potencies as low-strength CBD or high-potency CBD. This refers to the amount of CBD in the product, but it lets you know the general amount per ml of CBD oil to help you choose products to consider while shopping. As a beginning CBD oil user, you would shop for CBD oil or other products, like gummies, that deliver 10-25 mg of CBD per serving.

Medium potency is about 30 mg of CBD per serving, and high potency is 50 mg and more. There are also potent CBD oil products with as much as 200 mg of CBD per serving.

High-potency CBD Products

How CBD Potency Influences the Effects

Many factors influence the effects of any substance consumed. One is the person’s physical characteristics, like weight, but the amount of a substance is also a significant factor. Efficacy refers to the maximum effect the CBD can produce. Taking more of something beyond the amount producing the maximum response will not change efficacy.

Potency is different. Higher doses of a substance, like CBD, can increase the effects. That is why beginning CBD users are advised to start with a product with a low CBD potency and slowly increase the dosage over time. You get time to assess the effects on your body.

Relationship of CBD Potency and Strength to Bioavailability

Bioavailability is related to effects, and effects are related to potency. CBD bioavailability refers to how much CBD your body absorbs after dosing. It is a percentage of the CBD that makes it into the bloodstream. That influences the effects. Many factors influence bioavailability, like the form or the consumption method. For example, CBD tinctures have a higher bioavailability than CBD gummies you chew and swallow.

CBD Bioavailability Chart

Method of IngestionCBD Absorption AmountCBD Bioavailability Rate
Sublingual13-19%5 – 20 minutes
Oral10-20%30 – 120 minutes
Topical2-45%24 – 45 minutes
Transdermal 95%24 – 45 minutes
  • Sublingual consumption is when you take oils and tinctures sublingually or apply them under your tongue. When using this method, products are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream.
  • Oral ingestion means that you consume CBD by mouth. This often means partaking in edibles, swallowing tinctures instead of placing them under your tongue.
  • Topical application is when you use CBD topical products like creams, balms and ointments to address skin issues or beautify the skin.
  • The transdermal delivery method includes using CBD patches. They are activated by your own body heat to release controlled amounts of CBD through your skin. CBD that is released from a patch is slowly absorbed into your bloodstream after penetrating your skin via heat activation.

How to Increase CBD Bioavailability?

A higher CBD potency has a higher bioavailability because more CBD is available for absorption. Another way to increase bioavailability is by increasing the CBD dose. The more CBD reaches the bloodstream and the endocannabinoid system, the greater the effects.

There are actually more ways to increase CBD bioavailability.

  1. CBD bioavailability can be increased by using CBD sublingual methods. Sublingual methods are where you place CBD right under your tongue administering it directly into the sublingual gland. Sublingual products include tinctures, sprays, lozenges, oils, and more. This method affects your body more quickly and efficiently.
  2. Another way to increase bioavailability is by ensuring you are consuming high-quality CBD products as bioavailability increases with the grade of the substance used.
  3. The University of Nottingham conducted a study and found that combining CBD with long-chain triglycerides equivalent to a meal that’s high in fats, can increase CBD bioavailability. The fats will act as binding agents and the CBD will attach to them so that when the fats are metabolized for energy the CBD will be too and then available for immediate use. In fact, ingesting fats with CBD can increase bioavailability by four times.

Besides, there are CBD potentiators – substances that help our bodies to maximize the effects of CBD. As a result, the impact we get from a dosage of CBD can be stronger. 

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How Do You Choose the Right CBD Dosage?

CBD is not psychoactive, so you will not get high on it. The proper CBD dosage for each person depends on many factors. They include weight, metabolic rate, body chemistry, and CBD potency. If you are a beginning CBD user, start with a small dosage of 5, 10, or 20 mg daily. After a week, you can increase the amount by 5 mg and take the higher dosage for two weeks before increasing it again. Increasing the CBD dosage is only recommended after you determine the effects of the current dosage.

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Once you choose a product, follow the CBD brand’s recommended serving amount. Research to date has found CBD is safe, and most people do not experience side effects, even at high doses. However, there is always the potential you may experience minor side effects, so starting with a low CBD dose allows you to make sure you are not one of them.


  1. 1. What Determines the Potency of CBD Oil?

    The potency of CBD oil is determined by the concentration of cannabidiol in a CBD product. It is expressed in a CBD product in milligrams (mg) of CBD. For example, CBD oil may have 16.67 mg of CBD per 1 ml of CBD oil.

    The amount of CBD in a particular CBD product depends on the CBD manufacturer’s choice of hemp plant, the CBD extraction method, the quality of the processing method, and the CBD spectrum.
    The effects of a particular CBD product are determined by more than the amount of CBD. For example, a full spectrum CBD product may be most potent in terms of effects because it contains all the cannabinoids (including less than .3% THC), flavonoids, terpenes and other compounds in the hemp plant. It is believed that taking all the cannabinoids together may have an entourage effect or synergistic effect.

  2. 2. How Does CBD Oil Strength Affect its Benefits?

    Like potency, the stronger the CBD oil, the more CBD is present. The more CBD you consume, the more benefits you experience. The strength of CBD oil is stated as the total milligrams of CBD in the product, but strength impacts the amount of CBD in a serving size. A higher concentration of CBD per serving because of a higher concentration in the CBD oil bottle or package means more potent effects are likely to be experienced.

  3. 3. How Can You Make CBD Oil Stronger?

    You can make CBD oil stronger in one of two ways. One, of course, is to buy a CBD oil with a higher CBD concentration. The second way is to increase the serving amount. If a recommended CBD oil serving size is 1 ml, you could take 2 ml per serving, doubling the CBD consumed.

  4. 4. Is Full Spectrum or Isolate CBD Better for Potency?

    CBD spectrum is believed to influence the effects of a CBD product. Full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD offer the entourage effect mentioned earlier. The only difference between the two spectrums is that broad spectrum CBD will only have a trace of THC or is THC-free. Isolate CBD is pure CBD.

    A strong CBD oil made with full spectrum could potentially benefit the most because it is the most potent in terms of content. An isolate CBD product may be more powerful by definition, but it may not produce more benefits because it does not have the other cannabinoids.

CBD Used by Millions Today

The large variety of CBD products in terms of potency, strength, spectrum, and ingredients reflects the growing demand for natural products to address wellness. Finding the best CBD product that delivers the most benefits may require trying different CBD potencies, spectrums, and formulations and adjusting serving sizes.

When you shop for CBD, first decide why you want to use CBD and whether you want any THC in the product. Then, look at various CBD potency levels and any other ingredients and review the Certificate of Analysis. Only shop for reliable brands with a good reputation for quality and honesty. These are the companies that accurately state the CBD potency and CBD strength on their labels.


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