I Tried the Strongest CBD on Market. Here's What I Experienced
As an avid weightlifter in my spare time, I've been supplementing with CBD for years to make use of its analgesic and anxiolytic potential, along with its ability to promote optimal circadian rhythms. However, I've begun to feel like the regular dosage of my favorite CBD product isn't nearly as therapeutically beneficial to me as it used to be. With lower back pain flaring up (incidentally on deadlift day every week) and workplace stress beginning to burn me out, I decided to give the strongest CBD I could find on the market a try.
What constitutes a "strong" dose of CBD?
According to industry standards, anything over 30 mg per serving (1mL) is considered a strong dose of CBD. Of course there are a number of variable factors on the user end to influence effective dose sizes as well, including age, weight, individual tolerance, metabolic rate and severeness of symptoms. There are a number of advantages high potency CBD has over standard products, but they aren't necessarily for everyone. In this post, I go over what I experienced when experimenting with extra-strength CBD, as well as important information for consumers who might be considering it for their own use.
A Significant Increase in Therapeutic Potential
The primary distinction between extra strength and lower potency CBD products is the concentration of CBD in the solution. This can be due to extraction method, quality of source plant material or even the refinement process where ratios of carrier oil to raw CBD are decided. When comparing high-strength CBD to "regular" CBD, it's important to note that the latter comes in three forms: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. High potency products are essentially the latter with as high a concentration of CBD — measured in milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL) — as possible. When I tried a dose out of a bottle of 9000mg Max Strength CBD Drops, I felt significantly more relief from my weekly bouts of lower back pain than I'd ever gotten from my usual standard CBD drops.
After sticking with the extra-strength drops for about a week, I also noticed a marked reduction in my stress levels as my work hours continued to accumulate. It's likely I was getting considerably more of CBD's analgesic and anxiolytic benefits out of this new product due to the simple fact that it was formulated with higher quality CBD, and much more of it per dose.
Much Better Bioavailability
While common CBD oils typically use low-cost carrier oils like olive, hemp seed and black cumin oil, quality high strength CBD is almost exclusively made using medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) to create products with superior bioavailability. This directly affects how much CBD the body can extract from a single dose, and for a number of reasons:
- Absorbability because of their molecular structure, MCTs are the best carrier agent for protecting CBD from being broken down by the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream
- 90% Saturated Fat because CBD is a fat-soluble compound, it is best and most rapidly absorbed by the body when taken with saturated fats, making coconut-sourced MCTs and CBD a match made in heaven
- Requires No Chemical Processing MCTs can be safely sourced from either coconuts or palm kernels with no chemical processing whatsoever, eliminating any risk of functioning as an adulterant in CBD formulations
Throughout my time supplementing with extra strength CBD, I noticed that increases in focus and daytime wakefulness — as well as relief from my weekly bouts of lower back pain — came on much sooner after taking each dose when compared to my usual brand. These effects also seemed to last significantly longer, giving me less reason to dose as often as I did with garden-variety products.
The Effect of CBD Potency on Built-Up Tolerance Levels
Over a long period of time taking CBD at a specific dosage, it's natural for the body to build tolerance and become desensitized, in turn actuating less and less of CBD's therapeutic potential in the system. When this happens, it can feel like a tried and true CBD product may have changed its formulation to cut costs, given its effects continually wane from one bottle to the next. As tolerance levels increase, it's a good idea to increase either serving sizes or dosages per serving. Because the former wouldn't be cost effective, individuals who've built up a tolerance to their favorite CBD products are likely to benefit from trying higher concentration CBD oils. When I made the switch, I not only felt like I was taking CBD for the first time again; I also found that I was using significantly less of it over time than I was with my usual product — not just because of the quality of the CBD, but the leap up in the mg/mL ratio as well.
Is High-Strength CBD Just Plain Better?
I wouldn't say this is necessarily the case. If I were a sedentary individual supplementing proactively against common symptoms of sleep dysfunction like insomnia or RLS, standard CBD products would likely be enough. In my opinion, the highly justified price premium that comes with extra-strength CBD is only worth it for individuals that need it in higher concentrations. This need comes down to lifestyle, existing diagnoses and severity of symptoms.
Who Can Benefit From High Potency CBD Products?
Individuals with physical lines of work, active pastimes and itinerant lifestyles could all greatly benefit from extra strength CBD products. After all, the industry's most well-known supporters and entrepreneurs are famous performers and pro athletes. CBD's most thoroughly researched therapeutic properties are in its potential analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic applications in the future of medicine, but that doesn't mean it isn't already viable for more specialized purposes today.