CBD strengths explained

by Laura Howarth May 06, 2024

CBD strengths explained

It can be overwhelming when you first explore the CBD section of your local health store. Some CBD oils reveal their strength as a percentage, others display the strength in milligrams (mg), and others use single-word descriptions, such as “low,” “medium,” or “strong.”

The CBD market is still relatively young, so we don’t yet have a uniform standard for revealing the strength of a CBD product. While every company attempts to make CBD more accessible to its customers, the disparity between descriptions can have the opposite effect.

Why exactly does this matter? Newcomers to the CBD sector must be guided towards the ideal strength oil for the best possible experience. You won't enjoy any wellness benefits if your CBD oil is too weak. And if you take too much of a strong oil, you might experience some adverse side effects.

Thankfully, we’re here to help you decode the strengths available to better assist you in finding the right one for your needs.

Fast facts

  • There is no standardised measure for CBD products.
  • CBD strength is commonly marked as a percentage or in mg/ml.
  • Alongside cannabinoids, CBD oil also contains a carrier oil.
  • The stronger the CBD oil, the more expensive it is likely to be.
  • A stronger CBD can be of better value for money in the long term.
  • Your age, weight and experience with CBD will all impact how different strengths affect you.

What does CBD strength mean?

Cannabinoids are extracted from industrial hemp plants and then combined with a carrier oil to make them suitable for consumption. This is because you would only need to take a tiny amount of CBD to realise any benefits – far less than you could reasonably measure with a pipette.

To help make it easier to measure and consume CBD oil, retailers mix it with carrier oil to increase the overall volume of the product. The strength of the CBD is then revealed as a percentage of the whole volume of oil or as a weight measured in milligrams.

Milligrams (mg) represent weight, millilitres (ml) represent volume, and conversion between them depends on the oil’s density.

You might need to do some math to understand your CBD oil's strength. For example, if you have 10 ml of CBD oil and it is a 10% strength oil, 10% of the 10 ml is made up of cannabinoids. This would be 1000 mg of cannabinoids mixed with approximately 9 ml of carrier oil.

Some CBD strength examples:

Millilitres in bottle

CBD in milligrams


CBD per drop

























What is considered a low-strength CBD oil?

4% CBD oil 10ml – BioBloom

If you are using CBD oil for the first time, you may want to start with a low-strength oil. Generally, we consider anything 10% and under a low-strength oil. These are usually available at a very consumer-friendly price point, allowing you to explore CBD without a significant financial commitment.

Great examples of low-strength CBD oil include BioBloom’s 4% organic CBD oil and Biopurus 5% CBD oil

What is a medium-strength CBD oil?

20% Organic CBD Oil (2000mg in 10ml) Biopurus UK-for the Ageless

Those with a little more experience using CBD and those progressing from a low-strength CBD oil might want to consider a medium-strength product, which is one between 10% and 24%.

If you’re looking for a medium-strength oil, try this 2000mg 20% CBD oil from Biopurus or BioBloom’s 20% organic CBD oil, which contains both CBD and CBDa.

What is a high-strength CBD oil? 

50% CBD oil – Signature collection - Natural

If you’re in the market for a high-strength oil, we’ll assume you are experienced with CBD and know what you are doing. High-strength CBD oil is recommended for those looking for great value for money. Although the initial investment will be higher, you could make a single bottle last long, so the cost per mg of CBD will be much lower.

Our strongest CBD oils include the 50% CBD oil by GreenLeaf. This oil contains an impressive 20mg of CBD per drop, and each bottle contains 200 drops. At one drop per day, this bottle will last for over six months, and at two drops per day, it will last for over three months. We also offer a strongest CBD bundle that combines all our favourite high-strength CBD products. 

What strength should beginners use?

Your first bottle of CBD oil should always be low-strength. This will enable you to increase your daily intake gradually with ease. If you choose an oil that is too strong, you won’t be able to control how much you take, and you will also struggle to increase your daily serving size gradually.

Gradual and incremental increase is essential for finding your CBD “sweet spot”. Once you’ve found this sweet spot, you don’t need to worry about becoming resistant to CBD since you will not build up a tolerance to the compounds.

We recommend starting with a CBD oil strength between 4% and 10%. For example, 5% CBD oil in a 10 ml bottle will contain 500mg. A drop is usually around 0.05 ml, giving you 2.5mg of CBD per drop. This is an ideal daily starting point. You can then adjust the amount you take incrementally based on how this makes you feel.

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Laura Howarth
Laura Howarth


Laura Howarth is a specialist CBD author based in Manchester, UK. She is passionate about sharing her love for CBD through educational articles and in-depth guides.

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