CBD and Health CBD Benefits

CBD Product Potency & Strength [What You Need to Know Before Choosing]

It can be a bit challenging to buy CBD products. With so many specs to look at, a newbie consumer can become confused very quickly. Aside from the CBD spectrum, the next most commonly advertised feature in CBD products is their strength or potency.

Even though it's a common CBD trait that brands like to call out on their product label, it's also one that most consumers don't understand yet. To most newbies it’s just not that clear what ‘extra strength CBD’ actually means. So you might be wondering, if we’re not even sure what it means then how should I decide which CBD oil strength to use?

Strength or potency is in milligram quantity, which is relatively straightforward to understand. However, it can get a bit confusing when you're buying a product, and the total weight has a different milligram measurement, or it's oil measured in milliliters.

So, what exactly are these milligrams trying to tell you? How are you supposed to know how much of it you should be taking?

What is CBD Product Strength? - Extra Strength CBD Oil Explained

When purchasing CBD oils and tinctures specifically, you’ll find two main measurements that you should be on the lookout for. The first one is the total content of the dropper bottle. The standard size of a CBD dropper bottle is 30ml. However, some brands offer smaller and bigger sizes. This measurement tells you how much total liquid is in your CBD bottle. It does not necessarily tell you the amount of CBD content.

The second measurement is the CBD contained inside the bottle. This measurement is in milligrams, meaning that inside the 30ml bottle you just bought, you’ll find a total Xmg amount of CBD.

If that still sounds a bit confusing, don’t worry. We’ll try to provide a bit more clarity up ahead so that you’ll know how to decide which CBD oil strength to use.

What Does CBD Oil Strength Refer To?

CBD oil strength or potency doesn't refer to the total amount of CBD milligrams included in the product you're buying. It refers to the relationship between the total amount of CBD and the total amount of product. Let's analyze this with an example.

Let's assume you have just purchased a brand new 30ml CBD oil bottle. When you read your new product label, you realize that the total amount of CBD is 1,200mg. Now, a way to calculate your product's strength is to look on the backside of the label and read what the serving size is. We'll presume that your new CBD oil's recommended serving size is a total of 10 drops under the tongue.

A fair estimate of a single drop is 0.05ml, meaning that with ten drops, you are consuming a total of 0.5ml. But this is not quite the potency of your product yet. If you divide the 30ml of your total content by the amount of a single drop (0.05ml), you'll find that each bottle carries a total of 600 drops. If you then divide 1,200ml by 600 drops, you'll find that a single drop also contains a total of 2mg of CBD. With a serving size of 10 drops, you are getting a total amount of 20mg of CBD.

Though a bit confusing, if you go through this process, you can calculate the total amount of CBD in a single drop. Then decide for yourself if you will go with the serving size on the label or if you'll adapt to a different serving size selected by your own needs. If you decide to go with your customized serving size, then here's how you determine the right potency.

Can You Determine Which CBD Potency Works Best For You?

The overall potency of the product you purchase will depend more on your personal needs and goals than on the actual product you buy. As we discussed above, oils give you the opportunity of administering a specific amount of CBD without having to depend on what the brand thinks is the best dose.

That said, how are you supposed to know if you should go with 20mg, 30mg, or more than 60mg of CBD a day? Here’s how:

  1. First and foremost, you need to understand the symptom or condition you are treating. If you’re not a licensed physician, then the best way to do this is to consult with one.
  2. After you’ve put your finger on the specific symptom or condition you want to use CBD for, your doctor will be able to tell you the appropriate dose. These will be the first essential steps on how to buy CBD products.

However, we are aware that most people do not take the time to get a doctor’s prescription and suggestion. So, there are a few standard CBD amounts you could follow when you’re looking to buy CBD oil:

  • Under 20mg of CBD: 

In general, this is a relatively low dosage. Most people experience a focused sense of calm with quantities under 20mg. So if you’re planning to have a productive day or evening, you might want to shoot low.

  • Between 20mg-60mg: 

For most people, this is considered an average dose. However, it isn’t easy to estimate what the effects will feel like in this range, and it will ultimately depend on the person’s physical condition and size.

  • Over 60mg of CBD:

This is considered a high dose for most people, especially for inexperienced consumers or people with a smaller frame. High doses are expected to provide calmness and help the person achieve a relaxed physical state often linked to better sleep. This would be what most brands refer to when they call-out something like ‘extra strength CBD’.

Other Types of CBD Products by Strength

The above information is related mostly when the aim is to buy CBD oil or tinctures. With other products, the strength can be a lot easier to calculate. You won’t have to do any calculations because most products are consumed whole. 

For instance, if you buy a CBD cookie infused with a total of 30mg of CBD, then you are expected to consume the whole cookie in a single sitting, making the cookie’s potency a 30mg CBD dose. The same goes for other products like capsules and other edibles.

With CBD vape products, you might have to go through a similar process as you did with CBD oils because most CBD vape cartridges are not meant to be consumed in a single day. Unless you buy a disposable vape pen, you’ll probably find yourself with a product from 20mg-50mg a day meant for 1-2 days. 


Strength and potency can be a tricky subject to wrap your head around, but with a bit of patience, you’ll probably understand it, and from there on out, it will be a lot easier to buy CBD products. However, the safest way to decide on a CBD product and the amount of CBD you should take a day is to consult with a licensed physician to assess your condition and personal goals.

Hemmfy articles and blogs are meant to entertain and educate. However, we are not medical professionals and do not intend to give medical advice through them.

The knowledge around CBD and other cannabis-derived products is growing and constantly changing, as does their legal status. Hence, we recommend checking with your local authorities and a licensed physician prior to consumption.

Simon Cartagena

Simon Cartagena is a full-time cannabis copywriter. This has led him to write for companies like Hemmfy.com where he acts as Senior Content Writer and other world-renowned cannabis publications. Simon has created Content Marketing strategies and articles that have helped company revenues increase by up to 1,000%. Simon’s goal is to help people understand cannabis in an industry where misinformation seems to be predominant.