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A Real Basic Breakdown of CBD Dosage Amounts and Milligram Strengths

One of the main things that determines how capable your CBD product is of meeting your needs is how much actual CBD you are taking in per dose. CBD products that contain a hemp extract, such as a a tincture, a topical or an edible, come in a variety of milligram strengths. Furthermore, the amount of the CBD product that you take in per dose also dictates how much of the hemp compounds you’re consuming.

Dosage Amount vs. Milligram Strength: What’s the Difference?

In order to better customize your daily hemp routine, you must first understand the difference between dosage amount and milligram strength. The dosage amount pertains to the amount of product you consume per dose, and the milligram strength refers to the concentration of the actual product formulation that you’re consuming.

The milligram strength reflects the potency level of the product. CBD products that contain multiple ingredients (basically all hemp/CBD products on the market today excluding hemp flower) will have varying amounts of CBD. The milligram strength is the amount of hemp extract/CBD that’s in the formula (for example, 34mg of CBD per milliliter of CBD tincture).

The dosage amount is often suggested on the product’s label. This tells you how much of the product to consume in order to have a full dose. This is just a suggestion by the manufacturer, as we will explain shortly.

How to Calculate the Right Dosage Amount

The dosage amount needs to be properly calculated and considered so that you can ensure that you’re consuming the right amount of hemp compounds daily in order to suit your needs. As stated earlier, companies almost always print the suggested dosage level on the packaging of a product, but this is only the recommended amount. Most users start off with the recommended amount and adjust as needed, whether it be increasing or decreasing the amount consumed daily.

Factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing the dosage amount are your body weight, treatment needs and delivery method. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of each delivery method’s suggested dosage amount.  Note: It is best to start with this amount and adjust it gradually based on your experience or circumstances.

  • Tinctures: Come in dropper bottles, and the standard dosage is one dropper’s worth, which is typically one milliliter. The amount of CBD per milliliter will vary depending on the brand and exact formulation.
  • Topicals: Applied rather than consumed, meaning that you’re not taking the compounds internally, but rather applying them externally.  Therefore, you can be more lenient with the dosage amount, especially since topicals are applied to one localized area at a time. Simply apply as much as you would apply a standard lotion or other topical to the affected area as needed.
  • Gummies: With reputable brands, each gummy should contain a consistent amount of CBD, and most often, one gummy is considered one dose. If the gummies are small in size or "low-dose", two gummies can count as one dosage; this information should be specified on the packaging.
  • CBD Flower: With CBD flower, it is harder to determine a proper dosage amount because inhalation is the typical delivery method. Just as with smoking marijuana, the amount of CBD delivered with each inhale will depend on the amount of CBD in the flower itself, as well as how large the inhalation. Because inhalation delivers immediate effects, adjusting your dosage as needed is easy.

How to Choose the Right Milligram Strength

Choosing the right milligram strength mostly comes down to two factors: your body weight and your unique needs.  When it comes to CBD and other cannabinoids, the ideal milligram strength for one person may be too high or too low for another, because everyone’s body is unique in how it processes these compounds.  The majority of hemp users will find that they need to experiment with the milligram strength for a while before finding the perfect one.

Needless to say, higher milligram strengths are more potent. This means that if you’re dealing with a severe situation or your body weight is higher than average, you’ll likely benefit from going with an increased strength. Typically, it’s recommended that beginners start on the lower side and work their way up as needed, as this allows them to monitor the unique way in which CBD affects them.

Identical Milligram Strengths Between Different Delivery Methods

You may find that when you switch delivery methods, the milligram strength that was once ideal for you no longer suits your needs. This is because each delivery method has its own absorption rate, and so identical milligram strengths can produce different effects depending on whether you’re using a tincture, a topical, a gummy or CBD flower.

For instance, consuming a CBD edible allows for a slow absorption rate, where effects may not be felt for two hours. What's more, bioavailability—or the amount of CBD that is absorbed by the body—is lower when you process CBD through your digestive system (eating it) as opposed to sublingual application (putting CBD oil under your tongue). Meanwhile, smoking or vaping CBD flower is known for being very potent and fast-acting due to its very quick absorption rate and high bioavailability. This means that consuming a 25mg edible can produce fairly moderate effects, while smoking or vaping 25 milligrams of CBD will have a stronger impact. Therefore, you may want to start with a lower milligram strength when switching delivery methods—particularly if you are switching from edibles to sublingual or inhalation methods. 

How Can Someone Determine the Correct Way to Adjust Their Milligram Strength When Switching Between Delivery Methods? 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but we’ve found that whenever you switch to a new delivery method, it’s best to start with a low concentration and work your way up. This is also helpful because a different delivery method may have totally different effects on your body than the one that you were using, so starting slow is a great way to monitor how it makes you feel.

Here's a general range of milligram strengths that you’ll find per each commonly used delivery method, to have an idea of which milligram strength you should look for when switching to a new method.

  • Topical Products: Again, with topicals, you can be more liberal because this type of formula is applied to the skin rather than consumed. Topical formulas most often contain between 250 and 1500 milligrams per container/jar/bottle.
  • Oral Tinctures: A 1000mg tincture (meaning there are 1000mg of CBD in the entire bottle) is considered medium to high strength, and you can easily find strengths ranging from 200mg to 3000mg.
  • Gummies/Edibles: Can contain anywhere from 5 to 100 milligrams per piece, with the average amount being around 25mg.
  • CBD/Hemp Flower: Very pure, meaning that unlike other types of hemp products, it isn’t diluted with other ingredients. This is why rather than trying to make up your mind on a milligram strength, you should simply decide how many puffs to take in one setting to determine how potent that experience will be.

Be Open to Experimentation

At the end of the day, everyone has different goals and needs when it comes to CBD, and each person responds to CBD differently due to the nature of their endocannabinoid system. This means that hemp users should be open to experimentation before they find the ideal milligram strength and dosage level for them. Many people who have tried CBD and claimed that it didn’t work for them were simply not consuming the right amount in terms of both milligram strength and dosage level. While it can take time for some to find their sweet spot, it’s absolutely worth it.

Browse varying formulas and milligram strengths here.