CBD oil is an increasingly popular therapeutic supplement in the UK. According to a recent survey data, almost 6 million British people have tried CBD. And, High strength, super strength, ultra strength… with so many different types of CBD available, which one is best for your needs? Dr. Sarah Brewer explains.
Understanding CBD Oil Strength: A Complete Guide
CBD oil is an increasingly popular therapeutic supplement in the UK. According to a recent survey data , almost 6 million British people have tried CBD. And, 1.3 million use the popular wellness product daily.
With the surging popularity, you might want to try it for yourself! Yet, it’s good to be cautious. Like any compound, CBD has different effects on different people—and in different concentrations.
What’s the best way to get the effects you want from CBD? One step to take is to determine the right CBD oil strength for you.
In this guide, you’ll discover how CBD oil works, what options are available, and how to find the right concentration. Read on, and learn to make smart CBD choices.
How Does CBD Oil Support Wellbeing?
CBD is cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is an active compound in cannabis, a plant initially native to Asia. Today, botanists derive CBD oil from hemp.
CBD does not have psychoactive effects. Instead, people seek out CBD for its therapeutic impact.
The human nervous has many neurotransmitters and receptors. Some of these receptors are cannabinoid receptors.
The endocannabinoid system in our body interfaces these receptors to our endocrine system. Studies have determined this system works to regulate involuntary physiological processes, including:
- Tactile sensation
When THC molecules in cannabis plants bind to the receptors, it impacts those physiological processes. This binding has many effects, including the euphoric feeling of “getting high.”
However, research has determined that CBD molecules do not bind to the receptors. Instead, CBD compounds modulate the receptors . This alters how the receptors communicate with the endocrine system.
Thus, CBD affects our bodies’ central nervous system and endocrine system in ways scientists are still discovering. While it cannot get you high, it is this interfacing that enables CBD compounds to support wellbeing.
Types of CBD Oil
Before buying CBD oil, know that there are three types. In the United Kingdom, botanists categorize these oils as follows:
- Purified CBD oil
- Mono-spectrum CBD with terpenes
- API-grade CBD
Each type of oil is processed differently. This can grant different therapeutic effects.
Purified CBD Oil
Growers extract purified CBD oil precisely. The process cleanly cuts away almost all other molecules and compounds from the final substance.
To purify the CBD, growers target the hemp plant. Then, they begin the extraction process.
First, they extract the compound with a carbon dioxide process. Then, they distil what’s left by steaming. After that, the compound undergoes carbon and lipid extraction.
To ensure purity, growers repeat this process multiple times.
Purified CBD oil is almost entirely CBD. A very small percentage of other cannabinoid molecules may still mix with the oil. This mixture is unlikely to impact the effects of the CBD oil on your body.
Mono-Spectrum CBD With Terpenes
Mono-spectrum CBD with terpenes is much less purified. Other Cannabinoid molecules are included in this mixture. Mono-spectrum CBD oils typically include some CBC, CBN, CBG, and CBD-A molecules.
Terpenes are non-cannabinoid compounds in hemp. Instead, they’re aromatic hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons are responsible for plant fragrances.
Terpenes do more than improve the smell of CBD oil. They mediate the therapeutic effects of CBD on the endocannabinoid system. Terpenes also impact physical systems directly.
Scientists call the dual effects of terpenes and CBD “entourage effects.” Some have been well documented, while others are unstudied.
These entourage effects alter the therapeutic impact of CBD oil. For some people, the alteration makes CBD oil more tolerable and effective, even at lower strengths.
For others, the alteration is unpleasant. It is wise to consider how you have reacted to similar substances before choosing CBD with terpenes.
API-grade CBD is similar to purified CBD. But, for API-grade CBD, growers push the purification process further. They refine the CBD until the molecules crystalize.
The crystallization discards all non-CBD compounds to the greatest extent possible. As a result, API-grade CBD is the purest option on the market. Less than 0.05% of API-grade CBD compound is anything other than CBD.
When considering the strength of your CBD oil, check its purity as well. Purer oils will have more predictable effects, regardless of potency.
Safe Dosage: What Does MHRA UK Say?
MHRA UK has not released an official statement on the safest strength or dosage options for non-medical CBD use.
CBD oils that are used to treat medical conditions must be classified as medicines. Those products are subject to MHRA regulations .
That said, for many, CBD products are not medicine by MHRA standards. Instead, most people take CBD as a supplement to improve overall wellbeing.
World Health Organization Input
The World Health Organization has released some strength guidelines for people who wish to take CBD.
In the same 2018 report, WHO notes that CBD is typically “well-tolerated,” and it’s safe for most people, regardless of dose.
Typical CBD Strength Options (Oil)
CBD strength is measured in milligrams per millilitre. That tells you how many milligrams of active CBD compound are in one millilitre of oil. Before you buy CBD oil, calculate the potency of your purchase.
Calculate CBD Strength
CBD UK bottles are typically 15mL. So, to determine the strength of a 100mg CBD oil in a size 15mL bottle, you divide the two measurements. That looks like this:
1mL serving has 6.67mg CBD. This is a CBD potency of 6.67%. Typically, experts consider oil under 10% CBD low potency.
It’s wise to start with the lowest possible dose whenever you start a new supplement or compound.
If this dosage still seems high, dilute your CBD oil with another oil, like coconut oil. This dilution lets you ingest less CBD in one go.
Remember that CBD oil is not water-soluble. You can’t dilute it in water. You can use a smaller dropper, like a 0.25mL dropper, to select a smaller dose without diluting.
The lowest concentration of CBD available on the market is, typically, a 300mg/60mL tincture. This contains only a 5% concentration of CBD.
Manufacturers typically consider the following sizes low-strength:
These sizes contain 10% CBD or less. This is a popular daily dose for those who want to supplement a healthy lifestyle.
It’s wise to start with the lowest viable dose. That said, you may need a higher dose to get the results you want.
Medium Potency (11%-30%)
Moderate-strength tinctures contain CBD at a concentration of 11%-30%. So, most consumers consider a 600mg/30mL oil to be moderately strong. That nets you 20mg CBD per serving.
Manufacturers typically consider the following sizes to be medium-strength:
People who want to feel less overwhelmed may seek out medium-strength CBD oil. Medium-strength CBD oil has therapeutic, analgesic properties . This can help people tolerate strenuous physical demands.
Strong Potency (31%-60%)
Strong tinctures contain CBD at a concentration of 31%-60%. This is often the highest potency product you’d see on the shelf.
Most consumers consider 1000mg/30mL to be a strong dose. That gets you 33mg CBD per serving. Manufacturers typically consider the following sizes to be strong:
Generally, people seek out CBD at this potency for specific therapeutic effects. Strong CBD may maintain a healthy sleep cycle, improve your cognition and awareness, or cultivate a sense of balance.
Stronger CBD products have a significant impact on neuro-biological substrates . Scientists are still studying these effects.
Botanists recommend you only use strong CBD if you are heavier than average and seek specific therapeutic effects. They do not recommend strong CBD for daily use.
Ultra-Strong Potency (60%+)
Ultra-strong tinctures are not often sold in dispensaries. These vials contain CBD at concentrations of 60% or higher.
Typically, people seek ultra-strong CBD oils after they’ve built up a tolerance to more common oil strengths. Manufacturers typically consider the following sizes to be ultra-strong:
Ultra-strong CBD oil has similar therapeutic effects as strong CBD oil. The difference is, ultra-strong CBD continues to provide wellness after your body builds up a tolerance to strong CBD.
Metabolic tolerance counteracts the wellness effects.
CBD Oil Strength: Personal Considerations
CBD has a different impact on different bodies. It’s important to factor in your weight and biochemistry when deciding on the right dose of CBD for you. Here are some ways to unpack these factors.
The more a person weighs, the higher CBD dosage they’ll want to take to benefit from its therapeutic effects . Metabolism is one element that affects how a body takes in CBD.
Many different botanists argue for weight-based calculations. The most popular equations are:
- Low therapeutic effect: [(Your body weight in kg)/10] x 2 = (best CBD strength in mg)
- Medium therapeutic effect: [(Your body weight in kg)/10] x 7 = (best CBD strength in mg)
- Strong therapeutic effect: [(Your body weight in kg)/10] x 13 = (best CBD strength in mg)
So, a person who weighs about 68kg, who wants a strong therapeutic effect from CBD, would calculate like this:
They would take 88.4mg of CBD.
But, note that other growers recommend different calculations. Another equation encourages you to multiply your weight in pounds by 0.25. A 150-pound person, then, would take 37.5mg of CBD.
Your biochemistry impacts how CBD will affect you. The important things to know about your biochemistry are:
- Do you have a high CBD tolerance?
- Do you take any other medications or supplements?
- Are you neurodivergent in any way?
- Do you have a fast or slow metabolism?
- Please talk to your doctor before taking any CBD supplements.
If you are neurodivergent in some way, start with a lower dose of CBD than a typical person. You can always increase the strength if you find no negative effect at low strength.
CBD Oil at the Strength You Want
Know the right CBD oil strength for you? You might be ready to give it a try. Explore Impact Sports’ collection of CBD oils today.
What strength CBD should I take?
High strength, super strength, ultra strength… with so many different types of CBD available, which one is best for your needs? Dr. Sarah Brewer explains.
When you first start taking CBD, you’re usually advised to ‘start low and go slow’. This is because some people appear to metabolise CBD more slowly than others, and need only a low dose to notice an effect.
Gradually increase the dose if you need to; you may want to revisit your dose each week, for example, until you find a level that works best for you. The CBD dose at which you finally arrive will vary depending on the strength of the product, how you respond, and the reason you are taking it.
CBD Support Group
Want to know more about CBD and what it can do for you, from the people who use it?
High strength CBD oil products
Those new to CBD will tend to start with a product that provides less than 10mg per dose. If you prefer to take a capsule, then a typical starting product will provide 6.4mg of a ‘high-strength’ oil in which CBD is blended with olive and hemp oil. If you are taking the product to promote general wellbeing, you may only need to take one of these – for example at night. When necessary, you can increase the dose to two or three capsules, spread at intervals throughout the day.
If you prefer to take drops, then a typical starting product will contain CBD infused into a carrier oil to provide an overall strength of, for example, 2.75%. This means that CBD makes up 2.75% of the total product and the other listed ingredients, such as hemp seed oil, make up the remaining 97.25%. The usual dose ranges from one to eight drops, up to three times daily.
For rapid absorption, hold the drops under your tongue for a couple of minutes before swallowing. If needed, the dose can be increased to the manufacturer’s recommended maximum (e.g. 25 drops daily) taken at regular intervals throughout the day.
If the maximum dose of a high strength product does not meet your needs, you may want to switch to a super strength product.
CBD Oil Drops 260mg
Filter-clear, peppermint-flavoured CBD oil
- 2.75% high-strength CBD oil in easy-to-use drops
- Filter-clear and purified for no yucky taste
- Perfect for newcomers to CBD who dislike swallowing capsules
CBD Oil Capsules 384mg
Perfect for newcomers to CBD
- 6.4mg CBD oil per capsule, 384mg total CBD per pack
- Olive oil carrier aids CBD absorption in the body
- Added vitamin D for muscle health and immunity
Super strength CBD oil products
When it comes to super strength capsules, these usually provide 15mg CBD per capsule, and the recommended dose is one to two capsules taken daily with water. These capsules therefore provide a maximum of 30mg CBD per day.
A bottle of super strength CBD oil drops will typically contain a CBD concentration of around 5%. This means that CBD makes up 5% of the total product and the other listed ingredients, such as hemp seed oil, make up the remaining 95%. Because super strength CBD drops are more concentrated, you get a higher amount per drop.
A typical dose is one to seven drops up to three times daily, which you hold in your mouth for a while before swallowing. Do not exceed the manufacturer’s maximum recommended intake (for example, 21 super strength drops) spread throughout the day.
If you find that you need to take a lot of drops per day, you may prefer to switch to a more concentrated oil. Not only will this reduce the number of drops you need, it will likely save you money.
CBD Oil Drops 520mg
5.5% super-strength CBD oil
- Filter-clear and peppermint-flavoured
- No yucky taste
- Ideal for experienced CBD users who dislike swallowing capsules
CBD Oil Capsules 900mg
Our strongest CBD oil capsules
- 15mg distilled CBD per capsule
- Super strength for experienced users
- Delayed release capsule for improved absorption
Ultra strength CBD oil products
Ultra strength CBD oil drops are usually more than twice as potent as super strength drops and typically have a 10-11% CBD concentration. These are ideal for experienced users who want to increase their dose or take fewer drops or capsules during the day.
The disadvantage of some strong CBD products is that, the more concentrated they get, the stronger and more grassy they taste. You can get around this by choosing a product that is filter-clear: this produces a purified oil with a less strong taste.
Adding a flavour such as peppermint will also help to ensure the CBD oil tastes pleasant. All Healthspan’s CBD drops products are filter-clear and peppermint-flavoured.
See our CBD information page for a comparison of Healthspan’s CBD products.
CBD Oil Drops 1,000mg
Highest strength, best value
- Our strongest CBD oil
- Lowest cost per mg in the Healthspan range
- Peppermint flavour – no yucky taste
Does ultra strength CBD oil get you high?
No, CBD oil does not get you high. CBD (cannabidiol) is extracted from industrial hemp plants that naturally contain only trace amounts of the psychoactive molecule THC, which is responsible for the ‘high’ or ‘stoned’ effects of marijuana.
Good-quality CBD supplements that are made to pharmaceutical standards contain only traces of THC. This will be confirmed by independent laboratory tests for each batch, as well as a certificate of testing provided via a clickable link on the manufacturer’s website.
What is the maximum dose you can take?
In the UK, the FSA recommends that CBD should not be used at doses above 70mg per day. 1
In any case, do not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended dose (such as 30mg per day for Healthspan’s CBD Oil Capsules 900mg) without talking to your doctor.
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidance on the dose and frequency of use of their product, as this guidance is based on the CBD concentration present. Do not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended dose except under medical advice and supervision.
If you have any medical conditions or are taking any prescribed drugs, always speak to your doctor before using CBD and check for interactions with your medication. If you are taking an over-the-counter medicine, ask your pharmacist’s advice. If they are unable to help, there is a useful drugs interaction checker which includes cannabidiol at drugs.com.
If you are subjected to drug testing, for example at work or because you take part in an elite competitive sport, it’s important to know that any CBD product can contain a trace of the cannabinoid THC. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has banned all cannabinoids except for cannabidiol (CBD). 2
A potential substitute for those worried about drug testing is the ‘CBD alternative’ PEA: Healthspan sells this under the name of Elite PEA+ Sport (which is also batch-tested for competing athletes).
16x faster-acting than standard CBD
- 10mg fast-acting NovaSOL® CBD per capsule
- Liquid micellar technology wraps CBD oil in water-soluble spheres, to help absorption in the gut
Dr Sarah Brewer is Healthspan’s Medical Director and holds degrees in Natural Sciences, Surgery and Medicine from the University of Cambridge. Having worked as a GP and hospital doctor, Dr Sarah now holds an MSc in Nutritional Medicine from the University of Surrey and specialises in nutrition. She is also an award-winning writer and author.
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