Free delivery on all orders over £45

Free delivery on all orders over £45



Log in

CBD Oil Strength Explained: What Does 500mg Even Mean?

5 min read
CBD oil strength

CBD Oil Strength Explained: What Does 500mg Even Mean?

5 min read

Medically reviewed by

Deciphering a CBD bottle can often feel like you’ve been transported back to a high school maths lesson. 

Obscure labelling can make newcomers reluctant to pick up a bottle and give it a try. 

What if I buy the wrong one? 

What if it’s too strong? 

What if it isn’t strong enough? 

These are all very common and completely legitimate concerns. CBD oil is an investment, and you don’t want to waste money on something too strong for regular use or too weak to be effective.

Having CBD oil strength explained is necessary to make sure you make the most of your CBD.

If you’re confused by CBD strength, read on to learn:

  •  What is the difference between 500mg and 1000mg of CBD?
  • What is the strongest CBD oil?
  • What strength CBD oil should you be using?
Let’s dive in. 

In this guide:

What does strength mean in CBD?

The strength of CBD refers to the concentration of cannabinoids within the product.

With the exception of CBD isolate, almost all CBD products contain cannabinoids mixed with something else. 

With CBD oil, the cannabinoids are mixed with carrier oil. This is typically MCT oil or hemp oil. The strength refers to the concentration of CBD within the mixture. 

With a CBD edible, there will be other ingredients such as sugar, gelling agents and flavours. The strength refers to how much CBD is contained in each edible.

CBD oil strength explained
CBD oil strength can be measured in percentage and mg.

CBD oil strength explained: CBD percentage vs mg

So, how is CBD strength measured?

The majority of CBD brands will display the strength of the CBD oil either as a percentage or in mg. Mg stands for milligrams or a thousandth of a gram. 

This tells you the concentration of CBD in the bottle.

As we mentioned, CBD isn’t the only substance in the bottle. So, if a CBD oil is marked as 5%, this means that 5% of the contents are CBD, and the remaining 95% is made up of other cannabinoids, terpenes and carrier oil.

To work out the weight of the CBD, you would need to know the volume of the bottle. For example, for a 10ml bottle containing 5% CBD, this would be 0.5ml. This is the equivalent of 500mg.

If the label states the oil contains 1000mg of CBD for a total of 10ml, then this could also be marked as 10%. But if you increase the total bottle contents to 20ml, then a 10% oil would only contain 500mg per 20ml.

The strength of the oil isn’t the only thing to consider; you should also look at the dosing systemFor example, does the bottle have a spray top or a dropper? 

Knowing how to calculate the CBD contents of a single dose is also important, as this will help you determine your dosing schedule.

What strength is 500mg CBD oil?

Many newcomers to CBD start with a 500mg strength oil. A single drop of CBD is usually around 0.05ml, so a 10ml bottle will contain 200 drops. 

Therefore, a single drop will contain 2.5mg of CBD oil.

Most people start by taking 20-30mg of CBD per day. This would require an individual to take 8-12 drops of CBD

The maximum recommended daily dose of CBD is 70mg, which would be 28 drops of CBD.

What’s the difference between 500mg and 1000mg of CBD oil?

A 1000mg CBD is twice as strong as a 500mg CBD oil, provided the total contents of the bottle is the same. 

So, expanding on the example above, a 10ml bottle of CBD oil containing 1000mg of CBD would offer 5mg per 0.05ml drop. 

Thus, to achieve a daily dose of 20-30 mg, you would have to take between 4-6 drops.

To stay within the daily recommended limit of 70mg, you would have to make sure you don’t exceed more than 14 drops of this CBD oil.

However, if the 500mg bottle contains a total of 10ml and the 1000mg bottle contains a total of 20ml, then it is the same strength.

10% off on your first order

Complete this one-minute quiz and find the right products for you.

What strength CBD do I need?

When choosing your CBD oil strength, consider your goals and how you plan to take the oil. 

You should also consider your height and weight, sex, age and experience with CBD. While research is still limited, these factors may influence how your body processes CBD.

Height and weight

The taller and heavier you are, the more CBD you will need to take to experience the effects. This is because the CBD passes through your bloodstream to reach cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. 

If you are larger, you’ll have more blood volume, which means the CBD will be more diluted in your body.


Your metabolism plays an important part in processing and breaking down the CBD. As metabolism slows as we get older, CBD will stick around in your system for longer. 

This means you may need to take less CBD as you get older.


More research is needed on the topic, but some believe that CBD impacts men and women differently

For example, men have a greater physiological reaction to CBD (affecting energy balance and food intake), whereas women have a greater behavioural reaction.

Experience with CBD

If you are new to CBD, it’s best to start with a lower dose and increase it slowly as you become more accustomed to the effects. 

Choose your CBD oil strength

Weight icon

Height and weight

Taller and heavier people need stronger CBD oil or a higher dose

Age Icon


Older people require a weaker strength or a lower dose of CBD

Sex icon


Men and women might require different strengths of CBD

CBD Dropper Icon

Experience with CBD

Inexperienced users should start with a lower dose or weaker strength of CBD

What’s the strongest CBD oil?

One of the strongest CBD oils we’ve seen is 5000mg per 30ml, which would equate to 8.3mg per 0.05ml drop. 

It’s important to keep in mind that high strength CBD oils are typically very expensive, despite the having a marginally higher CBD content than other oils.

When choosing your CBD oil, always check the total volume and how much CBD you’re getting per drop or dose. This will help you to avoid paying over the odds for your CBD oil.

Also, bear in mind that the strongest CBD oil doesn’t always mean the most effective. It’s far more important to prioritise factors such as CBD origins, organic ingredients and an effective terpene profile. 

Added ingredients such as ashwagandha and turmeric can help to enhance the entourage effect and offer additional benefits.

Read more: Benefits of CBD

Final thoughts on CBD oil strength

Now that you understand how to read a CBD bottle and what factors will influence how CBD affects you, you should be able to purchase CBD products with confidence.

Remember that CBD strength should always be clearly displayed. Otherwise, you have no way of knowing if you are getting a quality product with enough cannabinoids to make a positive impact.

You don’t have to choose the strongest CBD oil to be able to enjoy the benefits. The quality of CBD oil should always be your first priority, so don’t assume that the strongest will always be the best.