CBD: Breaking Down the Importance of Quality Vs. Strength

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right CBD product. However, the two most important ones are quality and strength. Whether you’re buying a CBD oil, capsules, or something else, you want to find a product that’s of high quality and has the right strength for your needs.
Gleb Oleinik
Written by Gleb Oleinik, CBD Journalist
Last Updated
Quality vs Potency

But what do these terms mean? Why are they important? And how can you make sure that a CBD product meets these criteria?

Here’s what you need to know about CBD quality and strength to help you make an informed choice.

Quality

As with any product, quality is arguably the most important factor for CBD. A low quality CBD product can provide insufficient effects and be harmful.

CBD quality depends on many factors, including the hemp source, manufacturing process, quality control measures, and more.

High quality CBD products are derived from organic, non-GMO hemp plants cultivated in ideal growing conditions. This hemp has to be properly harvested, dried, extracted, and processed by qualified specialists.

When done correctly, this process creates an extract containing either pure CBD or all of the plant’s phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and other active components.

Then, this extract needs to be tested and combined with other high quality ingredients to formulate different kinds of CBD products.

Finally, the finished product has to be tested by a third party lab to make sure it contains the correct amount of CBD and other phytocannabinoids and is free of contaminants.

Keep in mind that for CBD, a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean better quality. There are many affordable CBD brands with excellent product quality. However, finding them will take some research.

Also, quality is not the only factor to consider when shopping for CBD. You also have to be aware of the product’s strength.

Strength

When it comes to CBD, strength is not reliant on quality. You could have a high quality product with low strength and vice-versa. As such, you need to consider both factors separately when choosing a CBD product.

CBD strength has three components: potency, CBD extract type, and the delivery method. It’s important to be aware of all three.

CBD Potency

Put simply, potency is the concentration of CBD in a product. For CBD oil, it’s the amount of CBD in one ml of liquid, whereas for capsules or gummies, it would be the amount of CBD in one piece.

For example, a 30 ml tincture with 900 mg of CBD has a potency of 900/30 = 30 mg per ml.

Potency can mean the difference between a product that gives you noticeable results and one that has no effect.

That’s why it’s best to match your preferred CBD dosage to a product with the right potency. Roughly speaking, you can divide CBD products into four potency tiers:

  • Low: 1 to 15 mg/ml
  • Medium: 16 to 39 mg/ml
  • High: 40 to 99 mg/ml
  • Very high: 100 mg/ml and higher

For example, if you’re a beginner, you might start with a CBD oil with a concentration of 15 mg/ml. Meanwhile, more experienced users might opt for tinctures with a strength of 40 mg/ml or higher.

Type of CBD

There are three main types of CBD: isolate, full spectrum, and broad spectrum.

Isolate is pure CBD on its own. Meanwhile, full spectrum hemp extract contains all of the plant’s phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and other active ingredients. Broad spectrum is similar, except all traces of THC are removed.

Full and broad spectrum CBD exerts a stronger effect than isolate because all of their components work in synergy (the “entourage effect”) and amplify CBD’s effects.

Delivery Method

How CBD enters your body will also affect its strength. CBD is best absorbed when you put it under your tongue or inhale it into your lungs. On the other hand, swallowing CBD has the lowest absorption of any method.

To illustrate this, if you were to take a 50 mg dose of CBD in a capsule, you would certainly get weaker effects when compared to consuming the same amount from a CBD oil.

Choosing the Best CBD Product

If you want to make sure you’re buying a high quality product with the right strength, start off by finding a reputable CBD brand.

Then, you can look for the product with the potency, CBD type, and delivery method that suits your preferences. Most companies offer several CBD products available in multiple potencies and formulations, making it easy to find the combination that works best for you.

For example, if you want the strongest effects, you might choose a full spectrum CBD oil with a CBD potency of 40 mg/ml or higher.

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Gleb Oleinik
Gleb Oleinik
CBD Journalist
Gleb Oleinik is a freelance health writer and Journalist from Vancouver, Canada. He’s read thousands of research studies about various supplement ingredients, enabling him to translate complex health information into simple language. Gleb specializes in CBD and has personally tried and reviewed dozens of CBD products. He’s knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the CBD industry as well as the science and research behind this popular natural remedy.
Leonard Haberman
Leonard Haberman
Physician & Chemist
Dr. Leonard Haberman is a physician and chemist who has been involved in solving chemical and medical problems for 43 years. He graduated from New York University as a dual major in chemistry and biology and went on to obtain a PhD in chemistry from the University of Minnesota where his focus was synthetic methods. He spent 18 years with the Shell organization, working in a mixture of technical and business roles. He returned to the university in 2005, graduating with an MD degree in 2009. He has published in the open literature and in the proprietary literature of the Shell organization. He holds two patents and currently works as a consultant, assisting clients with projects within the disciplines of medicine and chemistry that have potential business applications.

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