CBD Concentration: The Less Is More

Products with a lower concentration of CBD are the better choice for consumers who need the presence of THC or other cannabinoids because the proportion of minor cannabinoids is falling with a higher concentration of CBD in the product.

It is not about the concentration – it is about the dose.

At the moment, the market is overwhelmed with CBD products coming in different forms – from beverages to cosmetics, and now including even CBD clothes. The studies have shown that CBD is safe to consume in doses up to 20 times higher than recommended, and the recommended dose for healthy individuals is 70 mg daily.

However, the consumers might still find it difficult to determine the exact amount of CBD they need for their condition. Also, apart from different dosages needed for different symptoms, there is evidence that gender could also play a role in CBD dosage. Women and men don’t react the same way to the same formulations, and women should generally be more careful with the highest doses.

Unless you suffer from schizophrenia, scientific studies have determined there is no need for a high intake of CBD. In other words, for most conditions, when it comes to dosage, the less is more.

Even in schizophrenia, the best results are obtained with intermediate doses, and there is evidence of a bell-shaped response. This principle is identified in many conditions. For example, fighting anxiety in public speaking will be efficient only with a 300 mg single dose, while higher doses proved to be inefficient. In the same way, when CBD is taken for the treatment of glaucoma, the recommended dosage is 20 to 40 mg in a single sublingual dose. If the dose exceeds 40 mg, it will cause increased eye pressure. Parkison’s disease is treated with a CBD dose of 100–400 mg daily, but worsening of the symptoms has in some cases occurred with the dosage higher than 300 mg per day. It is strongly recommended to start with the lower doses and lift them gradually in every case.

Besides, it is becoming more and more evident that the effects of CBD depend on other components inside the formulation. Science has determined that the terpenes evoke the entourage effect, and some studies point to other factors contributing to the acceleration of CBD effects. As an example, the usage of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil as a base oil seems to produce accelerated effects and thus better results in humans; but in dogs, it leads to side effects like emesis and diarrhea.

For that reason, it might be wise to pay attention to the other components in CBD products, and not only the percentage of CBD itself. For CBD producers, the proportion of these ‘other’ components could show to be crucial for the complete product success.

At the beginning of the CBD industry development, the product designers were highly enthusiastic about Rick Simpson‘s paradigm, which follows the ‘the higher concentration – the better results’ rule. However, in medical treatment, the concentration of medicine is not as important as the dosage, or the quantity, points out Sasha Bajilo, the founder of Ilesol Pharmaceuticals.

”For the people whose condition demands full-spectrum oil or products containing THC and other cannabinoids, consuming a product lower in CBD concentration is a much better solution. The reason lies in the proportion of THC:CBD in industrial hemp. Most commonly the ratio varies between 20 to 30. The products that contain 4-5% of CBD and 0,2% THC are the products containing that proportion, reflecting the natural ratio of the components in the cannabis plant. Such products are not enriched with isolate.

Producers that market their products as containing more than 10% CBD without additional processing or isolate are simply not telling the truth. In one dose of 5% product, the consumer will intake 20-30 times fewer minor cannabinoids than CBD. In one dose of 10% product, the consumer will intake 40-60 times fewer minor cannabinoids than CBD. The ratio is increasing. For some consumers who shouldn’t be taking THC, it is not advised to consume full-spectrum oils. For example, schizophrenia patients should be consuming pure isolate. But all the others should be aware of the importance of minor cannabinoids and additional components in the formulation.” – said Bajilo.

Reviewed by Sasha Bajilo, founder of ILESOL Pharmaceuticals, an industrial scale producer of CBD products and formulations. Expert on Hemp/Cannabis policy, member of the Croatian Ministry of Health regulatory commission for medical cannabis.