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CBD Oil Strength: The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Ideal Serving Size

Written By Ellese Symons May 10th 2023
Table Of Contents
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The oil extracted from hemp flowers has more than 480 potentially beneficial compounds. Of those many plant elements, more than 113 are cannabinoids (Pollastro et al., 2018). CBD is the most abundant of the many cannabinoids in hemp extract and also the most widely used. The demand is so strong that market analysts predict 35% of US adults will be CBD users by 2024 (Julia, 2023), many for the first time. If you're intrigued by the option of adding hemp-derived cannabinoids to your daily routine, consider investing in a CBD oil tincture. 

If you've spent any amount of time browsing your options, you've likely noticed that CBD tinctures can vary considerably in terms of strength, but the bottle sizes remain the same. You may have also discovered that their 1ml serving size suggestions remain the same, regardless. Does that mean you can just start with a product that gives you a moderate amount of CBD, measure a serving, and hope for the best? You could. But that route might dramatically increase your cost of daily use. Instead of defaulting to a serving size that suits someone else, consider challenging yourself to identify the smallest amount of CBD that gives you the best results. 

CBD Strength: Understanding the Basics of Cannabinoid Concentrations & Product Types  

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to CBD in terms of product types or cannabinoid concentrations. As a new CBD user, it's important to begin your journey with a product that aligns with your preferences, lifestyle, and budget. As you're scrolling through a selection of CBD oil tinctures, you should see two numbers. The larger number identifies how much CBD is in the bottle in milligrams (mg). The smaller number tells you how many mg of CBD are in a standard one-dropper (1ml) serving. 

If you're looking at products from a manufacturer using vague terminology like "extra-strength" or "high-potency" without specifying the amount of CBD in the bottle, keep looking. There's probably little, if any, CBD. But before selecting a product based on cannabinoid concentrations alone, use the following descriptions to narrow your selection.   

Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures  

CBD oil tinctures are made with a blend of hemp extract and a carrier oil. Full spectrum hemp extract contains all the additional cannabinoids, amino acids, terpenes, and flavonoids in the same ratio's nature intended, a cannabinoid profile that gives you a small amount of THC with every serving (Jenkins, 2018). The CBD to THC ratio prevents intoxication. Full spectrum CBD oil is considered the most potent of the three main options because of the way the additional cannabinoids and terpenes amplify the contributions of each plant component. It's a property cannabis researchers call an "entourage effect" (Nahler et al., 2019). 

Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures  

Broad Spectrum CBD tinctures have many of the same additional cannabinoids and terpenes as full spectrum, but the THC is reduced to non-detectable levels. Manufacturers who want their broad spectrum extract as close to nature as possible use a process called chromatography to filter the THC from full spectrum oil (Ashton, 2022). Broad spectrum CBD oil tinctures have the cannabinoids and terpenes needed to initiate the potency-maximizing potential of an entourage effect, but some CBD users feel the impact is somewhat diminished without the THC (Wilkins, 2022). 

CBD Isolate Tinctures  

CBD isolate powder is pure, potent, and highly refined.All that remains after a process called winterization is a flavorless, odorless, 0% THC CBD powder. Tinctures made with CBD isolate are popular with people looking for a 0% THC experience. You won't have the additional plant components for an entourage effect but could still be quite pleased with your results. In a 2020 report, investigators specified that most of the data utilized for their research documented the effects of the "pure form" of CBD (Larsen & Shahinas, 2020). 

CBD Overview: Possible Side Effects and Potential Benefits  

Hemp-derived CBD is generally well-tolerated, safe for most people, and has a low risk of (minor) side effects (WHO, 2020). Identifying the smallest amount of CBD you need to achieve the effect you're hoping for further minimizes the risk of developing a dry mouth, fatigue, or digestive discomfort (Bergamaschi et al., 2011), but it could still happen. CBD is not right for everyone. If you have questions, concerns, or a medical condition, consult your healthcare provider before using any cannabis product. CBD (and other cannabinoids) can interact with prescription and over-the-counter medications. 

If your doctor approves, you'll first want to determine which of the three main types of CBD you prefer. Once you've narrowed your options, you can decide between their various potencies. At CBDistillery®, you'll find an assortment of full spectrum, broad spectrum, and 0% THC CBD isolate tinctures in potencies ranging from 500mg to 5000mg per bottle. Based on the feedback of nearly 2000 survey respondents, most CBD users report positive results using our hemp-derived products for relaxation, better sleep, mild or temporary anxiety, discomfort after physical activity, and more. 

Your Personal Journey: Understanding the Factors Influencing CBD Serving Sizes and Individual Results  

CBD's impressive list of possible benefits is credited to its ability to interact with multiple molecular targets, including the receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the regulatory system involved in nearly every essential function in your body. Cannabis researchers believe CBD supports ECS function in a way that promotes homeostasis (balance) (Sallaberry & Astern, 2018). But individual results can vary because every person is different. In addition to your unique physical chemistry, there are several other factors that can influence how CBD impacts your body or how long it could take your system to respond. 

The Quality of Your CBD Oil  

Product quality can vary by brand. To avoid a potentially disappointing purchase, look for a certificate of analysis (COA) from an ISO 17025-accredited lab. That's the documentation you need to verify the cannabinoid content matches the amount specified on the label and confirms your product has been screened for extraction residue, heavy metals, and microbial contamination. 

CBD Concentrations 

Now that you know the amount specified on product packaging indicates the total amount of CBD, it's easy to see how someone with less knowledge could be misled. You also need to know that many companies sell overpriced hemp seed oil described in a way that intentionally blurs the distinctions between "hemp extract" and "hemp oil." Hemp seed oil has no CBD (Mead, 2016). 

Body Composition  

Cannabinoids are drawn to fat and stored in the body. A person with a high percentage of body fat could have far less CBD circulating in their system than a person with more muscle (Child & Tallon, 2022). If 30% of the CBD in a serving is absorbed and stored, only 70% is circulating in your bloodstream. It's easy to compensate once you're aware. 

Your Genetics  

CBD targets the endocannabinoid receptors in your body and brain to initiate a response that restores balance. Research suggests that nearly 20% of the population has a genetic mutation that increases the levels of the ECS messengers produced in their bodies (Smith et al., 2017). Anyone impacted is less likely to notice significant effects from CBD. 

Your Reason for Use  

Your reason for use can also impact your ideal serving sizes. For example, a serving size you've identified as your ideal for better sleep may not produce the effect you're looking for if you're using the same amount for temporary pain, stiffness, or inflammation after physical activity. You may need to experiment by increasing (or reducing) your usual amount over time. 

Finding Your Ideal CBD Oil Strength & Serving Size  

When you reach for an antihistamine or over-the-counter pain reliever, the instructions are clear and concise. But CBD affects everyone differently. First-time CBD users are generally advised to start with a small amount of CBD and increase their serving sizes gradually. Some CBD users begin their experiment with a partial serving, others with just a few drops. The choice is yours. Once you've identified the smallest amount of CBD that achieves the best results, you could purchase any tincture and adjust your usage accordingly. While taking more CBD than you might need won't harm you, there's also no additional benefit. The following suggestion could help keep your serving size experiment moving in the right direction. 

Start with a Small Amount  

When you first start taking hemp-derived CBD, use a small amount. Where you begin is up to you. A small amount can be anywhere from 2-30 milligrams. Some CBD users choose to increase the amount of CBD they're using with their next serving, others wait several days (or longer) to give their system time to adapt and respond. 

Test Small Increases  

The purpose of going "low and slow" is to help pinpoint the amount of CBD that's right for you. Increasing too quickly can skew your results. Although you'll find numerous stories posted by people claiming benefits within hours of their first serving, most CBD users report achieving their best results within 7-14 days of consistent use. 

Track Your Progress   

Many people find it helpful to track how much CBD they're using with each serving. They also document any noticeable changes. Consider jotting a few quick notes throughout the day or making a checklist. If you notice a decrease in discomfort after physical activity or an increase in fatigue, write it down. Then, increase or decrease your CBD serving sizes to confirm your observations. 

Are You Ready to Find Your Ideal CBD Oil Serving Size?   

The purity and potency of the products you select could have a huge impact on your overall experience. When you start your journey with a full spectrum, broad spectrum, or pure CBD isolate tincture from CBDistillery®, you'll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your CBD oil is rigorously tested, quality assured, and backed by a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. If you're not quite convinced starting with a CBD oil tincture is your best option, consider taking our 3-minute CBD Quiz or scheduling a personal consultation


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