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What Do CBD Labels Mean? Understanding Concentrations

By Harris Wheless

If you consult the label on a CBD product or read through the website you purchased it from, you may find numbers and information concerning its contents and suggested use. Terms like “CBD concentration” and “serving size” might be included, or they might not. Even if they are, can you trust what a brand says about its product? Is it safe to assume that one drop a day from a bottle of CBD oil is the right dose for everyone?

Like some other medications or supplements, CBD should be approached with caution and thoughtful consideration. There is no one dosage that is best for everyone, and there are a lot of factors that go into determining the amount and number of doses each individual should take. These include the concentration of CBD in the product, the form the product comes in, your individual symptoms, and your body’s response.

Be skeptical of what’s on the label

The FDA has not approved CBD for the treatment of any disease or condition, nor has it created a Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for CBD users. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2017 found that almost 70 percent of CBD products available online are incorrectly labelled with regard to concentration of CBD, as well as other cannabinoids like THC.

The fact that mislabelling is all too common is just one of many reasons you should do your own research. Seek out reputable brands that are transparent about what’s in their products and the testing they’ve done. Look for products that have been lab tested by a third party. We review products and invest in third party testing to hold brands accountable and aid consumers in their search for health and wellness.

Choosing the right dose

The first two pieces of information you should think about when determining your dosage are concentration and serving size. The concentration, or the amount of CBD in the product, will usually be featured in a prominent position on the outside of the packaging and measured in milligrams. Next, you should look for the serving size, also in milligrams, or find out how many servings are in the product, then calculate the amount per serving.

A good strategy is to start with a small dosage and work your way up incrementally. This slow and steady trial and error approach works well because it enables you to identify the exact dosage at which you start feeling the intended effects. Your dosage should also depend on your symptoms. If you’re taking CBD for sleep, you may just take one larger dose before bed. If you’re taking it for anxiety, you may take several smaller doses over the course of the day.

Different application methods

Every CBD product is different, and although some tend to work faster or longer depending on the form they take, this is certainly not a hard and fast rule. You also don’t need to limit yourself to using one type of product because it’s said to work faster, and your condition requires quick relief. For instance, if you aren’t comfortable with inhalation, you can use gummies, oil, or another product instead of a vape.

You may find that you can get a more exact dosage with capsules or edibles than with vapes or oil. But it’s important to note that sometimes even individual gummies have different consistencies of CBD. If you take a certain dosage and don’t feel any effects, don’t take a bunch more right then. Wait a few hours or until the next day to try taking a slightly higher dosage.

Dose with caution

Although CBD is fairly safe to experiment with and has minimal side effects, it’s still a good idea to do your research and think through your body’s specific needs. You may want to discuss the product and dosage you’re considering with a medical professional, especially if you have an existing medication that CBD might interact with.

Side effects that can occur when your CBD dosage is too high may include drowsiness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite. Keep in mind that your weight, metabolism, and other factors specific to your body may affect your dosage. Be sure to do research, scrutinize the label, and listen to your body to find the best fit for your needs.

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