There are important factors to consider when determining the therapeutic efficacy of a CBD product, the topmost being product quality and CBD strength per volume.
The qualitative characteristics of the product are more easily understandable for most consumers. Are there other ingredients aside from CBD? Was the CBD derived from organic hemp? Are the other ingredients also organic? Is the product free of contaminants based on third-party lab testing? Is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate? Do you like the flavor?
The quantitative characteristics, on the other hand, are often ignored and don’t hold much significance to the average consumer. They see the milligrams of CBD per milliliter and usually just translate the numbers into “mild,” “moderate,” or “strong.” While CBD products can be easily purchased online and from brick-and-mortar wellness stores, the wide variety of choices can be overwhelming and understanding CBD strengths and volumes can help you better determine which product will work best for your needs.
What is in CBD oil?
CBD oil is the primary product used to make many other CBD products. The most basic CBD oil formulation only contains the CBD extract and a carrier oil, which helps the body absorb CBD. Most commonly used carrier oils include MCT oil (e.g., coconut oil), extra-virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, and cold-pressed hemp seed oil. This type of CBD oil is known as CBD isolate as it is at least 99% cannabidiol plus the carrier oil.
CBD oil may also contain other cannabinoids in the hemp plant, including THC (no more than 0.3%), plus other beneficial hemp compounds including terpenes and flavonoids; this form of CBD oil is known as full-spectrum CBD oil. It delivers the full complement of hemp benefits through what is called the “entourage effect,” or the combined effects of all the natural compounds present in hemp.
CBD oil that contains other beneficial hemp compounds except for THC is called broad-spectrum CBD oil.
Some manufacturers may also add essential oils, vitamins, and other ingredients that may enhance the product’s therapeutic formulation, as well as natural or artificial flavoring and sweeteners.
CBD strengths and volumes
The amount of CBD in a product, which is presented in milligrams per milliliters (mg/mL), is not the only indication of its potency; the form of CBD oil used — whether full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate — also factor into the equation.
CBD strength refers to the amount of CBD present per volume. A 30-mL bottle of CBD, for example, may contain 3000 mg or 6000 mg of CBD, or 100 mg or 200 mg of CBD per mL respectively. In terms of potency, the 30-mL bottle with 6000 mg of CBD offers more so it also delivers a stronger effect.
If the product label indicates the percentage of CBD present instead of milligrams, look for the amount of CBD in milligrams per volume on the package to determine proper dosing.
So the higher the amount of CBD per mg present per volume, the more potent the product is per dose and the more potent the results are also going to be. According to experts, 35 mg of CBD per volume is considered the minimum for a high-potency product.
CBD dosing guidelines, however, are still not standardized. Even while manufacturers provide dosing recommendations based on weight (and, sometimes, the condition that needs to be addressed), a dose that works for one person may not produce the same results for another within the same weight group. When you factor in CBD potency, most experts recommend starting low and slowly, observing how your body responds, and gradually adjusting the dose and potency as necessary.
How you take CBD, e.g., sublingually or orally, will also come into play. Sublingual intake, wherein you place drops directly under your tongue, allows the CBD to be directly absorbed into the bloodstream so that the effects are felt more quickly. Oral intake, on the other hand, means that the CBD has to travel through the digestive tract before entering the bloodstream, and some of the CBD is also broken down in the process so that the amount that is absorbed is less than the amount consumed. This means you may get the desired results with a lower strength CBD if you’ll be taking it sublingually, or you may need a high-potency CBD if you’ll be taking it orally.
While it might seem that a high-potency CBD product that uses CBD isolate is the best choice given that it contains 99% CBD, studies have shown that CBD actually works best in the presence of all the other compounds present in hemp. So you’ll be better off with the same potency level of full-spectrum CBD oil, or broad-spectrum CBD oil if you want to avoid THC altogether.