A guide to CBD strength ratings – what do the numbers actually mean?

A Guide to CBD Strength Ratings

Have you ever bought a CBD product and even after a few weeks of use didn’t get any benefit from it? Maybe it wasn’t as strong as the label implied!

Users of CBD products, especially new users, sometimes find themselves struggling to figure out how strong a CBD product really is from the information on the label. Sometimes it’s not just as straight forward as reading the number of milligrams.

This guide helps provide some insight into what the numbers on the label actually mean.

  • If you just want the short and quick version, then please watch the video explainer with our co-founder Julian a little further below.


  • If you’re just looking to convert the milligrams of your CBD oil to the percentage strength rating then use our calculator widget below, or see the conversion table further down the article.


  • If you want a more in depth explanation of what the numbers actually mean then please read on below!

CBD Stength Calculator – convert milligrams to percent


500mg, 1000mg, 2.5%, 8% – these are all examples of the kind of figures that are given on the labels of CBD products. But what do they mean when you’re trying to determine the strength of a product?

Well the number of mg typically refers to the total absolute amount of cannabinoids in the product (note this isn’t necessarily the same as the total amount of CBD, but we’ll come back to that later).



Milligrams of CBD alone doesn’t actually equal the CBD oil strength

What often confuses people with this milligram figure is they assume that this alone is the strength of the product, but it really isn’t, especially if you measure your doses by number of drops. In our experience most people measure doses in drops (or droppers) so understanding what the true strength of the CBD product you use is really important.

This is because there’s something else that must be taken into account – the volume of the product container. No-one really thinks about this but there are a range of typical bottle sizes that CBD oil is sold in – 10ml, 30ml, 60ml, even 100ml. (As an aisde, many of you reading this are from the US where fluid ounces are common – to convert fluid ounces to ml, just multiply by 30)


So knowing the volume of the bottle is crucial too

For example if you have a 10ml bottle of CBD Oil which has 1000mg stated on the label, and a 20ml bottle that is also stated as 1000mg, then these two bottles actually have different strengths despite containing the same amount of CBD.

Drop for drop the 20ml bottle is only half as strong as the 10ml bottle. Yes they both contain the same overall amount of cannabinoids, but if you measure your dose in drops like most of us, then you’re only getting half the amount of CBD when using say 5 drops of the 20ml product versus 5 drops of the 10ml size product.

In other words, the same amount of CBD has been diluted into a much larger volume of carrier oil, so each drop contains less.

Confusing? It certainly is! So how can we get a true measure of CBD oil strength? This is why another metric is also very important and is given by some suppliers (including CBDology) on the label – a percentage.


Percentage strength figure is the best measure of strength

The percentage given on the label represents the concentration, i.e. the true measure of the drop-for-drop strength of a product.

To continue the example above, and trying to avoid any overly heavy maths, 1000mg of cannabinoids/CBD in a 10ml bottle is a concentration of 10%.

Therefore, 1000mg in a 20ml bottle is a 5% concentration – therefore drop for drop it’s only half as strong as the 10% oil despite containing the same 1000mg amount of CBD.

Another example would be CBDology’s entry level strength CBD oil – on the label we give the figures “2.75%” and “275mg CBD per 10ml”. So the entire 10ml bottle contains 275mg CBD and therefore the concentration of CBD within the carrier oil is 2.75%.

2.75% (275mg) CBD Oil
Buy 2.75% (275mg) CBD Oil here.

So the percentage concentration is actually more important than the total overall milligrams in assessing the strength of a CBD product. 2000mg sounds like a very strong CBD product right? Well yes it is if it’s in a 10ml bottle, but not so much if it’s in a 100ml bottle! The former is 20% strength and the latter is just 2% strength.

Here is our handy conversion table to calculate the percent from the mg of CBD on the label and the bottle size. Using this table you can find and compare the percentage concentration of two different bottles that just give the strength as a milligram value. All you need to know is the milligram total and bottle volume from the labels.

As an aside, in our opinion, anything less than 2.5% isn’t strong enough for most people, unless you’re buying it for your pets to use.

CBD Oil Strength Conversion Table
Volume 10ml 20ml 30ml 50ml 60ml 100ml
mg on label
250 2.5% 1.25% 0.83% 0.5% 0.42% 0.25%
400 4% 2% 1.33% 0.8% 0.67% 0.4%
500 5% 2.5% 1.67% 1% 0.83% 0.5%
750 7.5% 3.75% 2.5% 1.5% 1.25% 0.75%
1000 10% 5% 3.33% 2% 1.67% 1%
1500 15% 7.5% 5% 3% 2.5% 1.5%
2000 20% 10% 6.67% 4% 3.33% 2%
2500 25% 12.5% 8.33% 5% 4.17% 2.5%
3000 30% 15% 10% 6% 5% 3%
6000 60%* 30% 20% 12% 10% 6%

(*You’re unlikely to find any oil that is 60% strength, it’s very hard to dissolve that amount of CBD in the given volume of carrier oil.)


So in summary, if you already measure your doses by calculating the exact milligrams of CBD that you’re taking then you don’t have to worry about percentages because you’ll already be adjusting your dose with stronger or weaker CBD products by taking a lesser or greater volume of the product respectively.

But most people measure their doses in drops, droppers, or millilitres and if you do that then the percentage concentration is crucial to be aware of, otherwise you might be taking a larger or smaller dose of CBD in milligrams than you intended.

Now earlier in the article I mentioned that the milligram rating of a product is typically the total overall amount of cannabinoids in the product.

In particular, suppliers of full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD products may well be referring to the overall amount of cannabinoids.


So a 1000mg / 10% CBD oil might in fact contain 600mg CBD and 400mg CBDa, rather than 1000mg CBD. This is important to know because some cannabinoids like CBDa have far fewer proven benefits than CBD itself.

Therefore the product in this example may not be giving the benefits someone anticipates if they’re used to a different product that did actually contain 1000mg CBD, such as CBDology’s 10% product.


CBDology always list the total amount of CBD itself to avoid any confusion, and so that customers always know how much CBD they’re using – 1,000mg is always 1,000mg CBD with our products.

Hopefully this guide has helped clear up some of the confusion surrounding the strength of CBD products and proves useful to readers going forward.

Thanks for visiting our blog and if you made it this far, congratulations – here’s a 15% discount code that can be used when ordering any products – STRENGTHBLOG15

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The video below is a review of our 10% CBD Oil by an independent blogger, SatOnMyButt Reviews, and is worth a watch.


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  • Laura

    thank you so much for putting this out there it helped me so much.

  • Montana CBD

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Randy Lintz

    I have some crude CBD oil to test 60% I would like to know the percentage of oil to dilute down to make two thousand milligram strength

  • Dennis

    Thank You For This,as Honestly I had No Clue. I’d Been Given Different Stories by Different Shops that I Visited…

  • Christian

    This help me so much.
    The calculator is a life saver ?
    Design a app for the calculator ?
    Thank you ??

  • Joseph


    I’ve read through your article on percentages with CBD oil and I’m still a bit confused about how they are worked out. When the oil is extracted (just the extract before the carrier oil is added) this oil will have a percentage of CBD content (say 5%). Now when it’s diluted in the carrier oil for the majority of the bottle surely that percentage becomes smaller as it’s now diluted? Is this how it works? I was originally thinking of a 5% oil as being 5% of the actual bottle size (like 50% would be half the bottle) and the other half would be carrier oil? Also was trying to work out the maths of how a certain amount of mg could equal a percentage? Thanks and I hope you can help me understand this.

    • Julian

      Hi Joseph, thanks for your question! The CBD that gets dissolved in the carrier oil is waxy solid and is 100% pure CBD extract. So with the 5% CBD oil, that is 500mg pure and solid CBD extract getting dissolved in ~10ml of carrier oil (which is organic hemp seed oil). 10ml of carrier oil weighs approximately 10,000mg (10g) So the 5% is calculated like this – (500mg pure CBD / 10,000mg carrier oil) * 100 = 5%. Hope that helps and don’t hesitate to ask any other questions you may have. Cheers, Julian.

  • Nina

    Hi There
    still not sure, when l see (CBD) 100,000mg showing on bottles containing that kind of strength, could you explain because lm absolutley batheled. Please can you help me, would this strength be too strong because l have never tried this before and lm concerned, there seems to be good reviews on the product. If this is the case could l take say 2 drops, that would reduce the amount taken, as l say again l don’t know how this strength is not sure at all as to the 100,000mg it seems very high dosage.
    Regards Neena

    • Julian

      Hi Nina, 100,000mg is 100g CBD. It isn’t possible to dissolve that much CBD in any reasonable size bottle. What size is the bottle in question? I very much doubt is has anywhere near 100g in. The most that can be dissolved in a 10ml bottle is about 4g, and even that is a complete overkill in terms of strength. So even if a large bottle, say 60ml, I would say the maximum possible amount of CBD is 24g. To give you a point of reference, our strongest bottle is 10ml and contains 2.5g CBD (i.e. 25% strength).

  • Ruthie

    thank you! I bought plant therapy CBD full spectrum oil 2500mg CBD in a 30 ml bottle. From the chart it is 8.33% A full ml dropper is the daily dosage. Am I getting 2500 per dropper or 83.33mg per dropper? I was given some CBD 5mg dog “treats” and it helped calm my dog when he had a sprain. So my question is how much can i give my dog of my CBD oil? How do I convert? For my dogs weight 70 pounds charts say I can give him 35 drops, BUT with different strengths this may vary!
    Any help is appreciated!

    • Julian

      Hi! Each 1ml will contain 83.3mg.

      Typically there are about 20 drops in 1ml. So each drop will contain about 4mg.

  • Dismas Meyers

    Can you ship to the US? I didn’t see it in the “country” drop down

    • Julian

      Hi, alas, unfortunately we do not ship to the US.

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