Buying online is less reliable still because there’s no regulation or standardization. What you see on the label may not be what you are getting. A 2017 study in JAMA found that of the 84 CBD products researchers bought online, 43 percent had more CBD than indicated, while 26 percent had less, and some had unexpected THC.“There’s a 75 percent chance of getting a product where the CBD is mislabeled,” says Marcu, one of the study’s coauthors.
To make matters more confusing, nine states (including California, Washington, and Colorado) let residents buy cannabis-based products with or without THC. Nearly two dozen other “medical marijuana states” allow the sale of cannabis, including capsules, tinctures, and other items containing CBD or THC, at licensed dispensaries to people whose doctors have certified that they have an approved condition (the list varies by state but includes chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, autism, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis). Sixteen more states legalized CBD for certain diseases.
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CBD is a chemical found in marijuana. CBD doesn't contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that produces a high. The usual CBD formulation is oil, but CBD is also sold as an extract, a vaporized liquid and an oil-based capsule. Food, drinks and beauty products are among the many CBD-infused products available online.
After two decades of experience in the hemp industry, Paul Benhaim founded Elixinol – ostensibly, as the company’s website states, to “[manufacture] and [provide] the highest-quality CBD oil and hemp extracts in the world.” And so that CBD oil users can be assured of that quality, Elixinol extensively tests its extracts and provides certificates of analysis for its products that are available to view at a click. The manufacturer’s wares have even received a “stamp of approval” from The Realm of Caring Foundation, a Colorado-based non-profit and advocate for cannabinoid therapy research and education. Those wanting to assess Elixinol’s extracts for themselves can choose from its range of oral tinctures – with potencies of 300 mg, 600 mg and 3,600 mg – as well as topical balms and capsules. Plus, the company gives 5 percent of the proceeds from every sale to charity – so buyers may not only feel good after their purchases, but they’ll do some good, too.
San Francisco’s Johnny Apple CBD assures customers that it only uses organic, non-GMO hemp plants for its CBD extract. In addition, the company declares, it’s put the time and effort into ensuring the genetic quality of the raw material. Perhaps that rigorous process has helped Johnny Apple CBD in securing the often-superlative reviews given to its products, which have in total earned the company an “excellent” TrustSpot rating. Those duly tempted to purchase from the producer can take their pick from CBD oil blends specially formulated to encourage either tranquility, happiness or clear-headedness. Also available are a wax designed for dabbers, a cocoa butter “calm balm” and 99 percent-pure CBD in crystals – the finer variety of which, Johnny Apple CBD explains, is entirely suitable for adding to baked goods.
In 2016 Louisville, Colorado-based Bluebird Botanicals was selected as the leading CBD oil company in the U.S. at that year’s Cannabist Awards, and that accolade came only four years after the business’ founding. In that time, though, Bluebird Botanicals has, according to cannabis industry market researchers Brightfield Group, grown to become the third-biggest selling producer of its kind in America. Perhaps that’s down in part to the stringent quality control measures that Bluebird Botanicals maintains – the results of which can be seen when looking at the certificates of analysis for each batch on its website. And the company’s “assistance programs,” created to aid disabled people, veterans and those on low incomes, also speak to an altruistic approach to customer care. People eligible can receive discounts on Bluebird’s classic and signature hemp extracts, vape oil and CBD isolate.
In order to determine which companies were included on this best cbd oil list and how they were ranked, each prominent provider on the market (Note: we pulled our list of brands from other established and credible CBD rankings like: this one and this one.) was allocated six individual Rank Scores based on their performance in the following metrics:
This means high doses of CBD could significantly decrease the metabolization of cocaine. In fact, a study done on mice found exactly that 11. But what they also found was that CBD only significantly decreased the metabolization of CYP substrates like cocaine, when taken in extremely high doses off 30mg/kg. Such a high CBD dose far surpasses the currently maximum recommended dose of 1500mg/day.
Quality CBD oil comes from a quality source. CBD oil can be extracted from the hemp plant in a variety of ways. The safest, and most efficient methods, use carbon dioxide or ethanol as a solvent to separate the CBD from the hemp plant. All of the tinctures below are extracted from pesticide-free hemp grown on local farms in the United States, all of which are registered with their state’s industrial hemp pilot program, or organic-certified farms in Europe.
Palmetto Harmony’s backstory is a poignant one, as founder Janel Ralph was spurred on to create the company to help her daughter Harmony, who suffers from an unusual genetic condition. However, according to the producer’s website, Harmony’s quality of life has greatly improved since she began taking CBD oil. And potential customers looking to see if their health could be changed for the better can select from Palmetto Harmony’s broad array of organic CBD oil-containing products, including the company’s flagship whole-plant extract and an unusual time-release patch. The brand’s Holy Cannacense cream, meanwhile, is among the most popular of its range; and also in demand is the acclaimed vape oil, which Palmetto Harmony claims “is best used to calm the mind and soothe inflammation.”
Most human studies of CBD have been done on people who have seizures, and the FDA recently approved the first CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, for rare forms of epilepsy. Clinical trials for other conditions are promising, but tiny. In one Brazilian study published in 2011 of people with generalized social anxiety disorder, for example, taking a 600-mg dose of CBD (higher than a typical dose from a tincture) lessened discomfort more than a placebo, but only a dozen people were given the pill.
It’s also important to select CBD oil products based on your concentration preferences. Some forms of CBD oil – such as vapors and tinctures – normally have higher-than-average concentrations, whereas sprays and topicals tend to have lower concentrations. Remember: higher concentration means more pronounced effects, but not necessarily mean higher quality.
Customer Service: There are multiple ways to get in touch with customer service, and Pure Hemp Botanicals’ customer service representatives are both quick to respond and forthcoming with information. On the down side, free shipping kicks in at $100 — otherwise it’s a pricey $9.99 flat rate. And you can return products, but only if they’re unopened.
These policies vary widely. Marijuana and CBD are currently fully legal for both medicinal and recreational purposes in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Washington D.C. In 23 states, it's legal in some form, such as for medicinal purposes. Another 14 states permit just CBD oil. But both are illegal in Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota. For more information, the organization Americans for Safe Access has a helpful guide to the specific laws in each state.
Transparency: Receptra Naturals’ website has a database where you can look up lab reports for their products. The first time we checked, we got some 404 errors for a couple of the lab reports, but these glitches seem to have been fixed since then. We were able to see third-party lab reports for all their tinctures (though, apparently not for their topicals).
Extraction: The method by which CBD oil is processed from hemp plants can be very telling. Some manufacturers extract and process the oil using toxic materials like propane or butane; in most cases, these oils are cheaply priced. Safer extraction and processing agents include ethanol, which cleans the hemp plant of unwanted toxins; and supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, which strips harmful materials from the plant by changing the carbon dioxide’s temperature and pressure settings.
Having lived with a progressive autoimmune condition for several years and endured horrible side effects from the toxic drugs with little benefit, vaping CBD has given me my life back after just 8 weeks. It has reduced the inflammation caused by arthritis in my hands and feet significantly and has generally made me feel relatively normal and I’ve now started to reduce my pain meds and hope to be off these in the next few months.
Research on CBD and anxiety has generally looked at cannabis as a whole product including THC, not as CBD as a standalone compound. Some studies suggest that it can help with anxiety: like this 2011 study that suggests CBDcan reduce social anxiety or this 2015 review that says CBD could be promising for many forms of anxiety. It’s also important to consider whether the CBD comes from the cannabis plant and therefore may include THC, a cannabinoid that for some, induces anxiety. Read our comprehensive article on CBD and anxiety, here.
CBD Essence’s range of CBD oils are what’s called “full-spectrum.” Basically, this means that in addition to the active CBD component they contain other important ingredients from the cannabis plant (such as terpenes and flavonoids). However, it’s important to understand that their products are 100% THC-free, meaning they don’t produce any high at all.
Along with PureKana and CW Hemp, I would say that Green Roads CBD oil probably rounds out the top 3 most popular hemp companies selling online, and that would generally translate to status as the “best CBD oil,” right? They have an incredible web presence, and in fact run a really great blog that you should keep up with if you’re interested in the latest CBD news, trends, etc. They’re also big into offering loads of different product, including pre-dosed pens called “Daily Doses,” CBD terpenes, edibles, and even potent CBD concentrates that you can dab (I don’t have a dab rig myself, but I have friends who say the potency is incredible). Honestly, you’ve just got to check out their website in order to get a better idea of the huge range of products they’ve got — all of which are of the highest quality.
Hemp-derived CBD products were made federally legal in December 2018 with the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill. However, several states still have laws in place that restrict the sale and possession of these products. Most companies selling CBD oil are shipping to all 50 states. You should consult your local laws or an attorney in your area if you have concerns about legalities.
Several weeks after a hysterectomy last spring, Bo Roth was suffering from exhaustion and pain that kept her on the couch much of the day. The 58-year-old Seattle speech coach didn’t want to take opioid pain-killers, but Tylenol wasn’t helping enough. Roth was intrigued when women in her online chat group enthused about a cannabis-derived oil called cannabidiol (CBD) that they said relieved pain without making them high. So Roth, who hadn’t smoked weed since college but lived in a state where cannabis was legal, walked into a dispensary and bought a CBD tincture.
PlusCBD Oil is one of the few companies that doesn’t source their hemp from the United States. Although the company is working to move its hemp farming to the United States, PlusCBD Oil currently imports hemp grown in Europe. But don’t let that worry you. PlusCBD Oil is still certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority, meaning they follow high standards, industry best practices, and self-regulation.
Fab has rapidly become the leading “lifestyle” brand in the industry. They are very engaged with their customers in their online community, and they have the top customer loyalty program that we’ve seen. Their full spectrum CBD oil drops and topical cream are made from 100% organically grown Colorado hemp, producing a very high-quality product. And their zero THC gummies get high marks from customers for taste and effectiveness.
People taking other medications: When side effects are reported, it’s often by this group. CBD appears to have a similar effect to grapefruit on the liver’s ability to metabolize certain drugs, which can lead to adverse side effects. Generally, if a medication has a grapefruit warning, you should avoid taking CBD. Although, if you are on any medication you should talk to your doctor before starting CBD, to ensure you won’t expect any negative interactions.
CBD oil products generally have a shelf life of at least one year, if stored in a cool, dark place. Refrigeration is typically not necessary as long as it is kept somewhere where the temperature is less than 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Tinctures that use MCT coconut oil as the carrier oil are known to have a longer shelf life than those with hemp seed oil as the carrier oil.
In addition to acting on the brain, CBD influences many body processes. That’s due to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which was discovered in the 1990s, after scientists started investigating why pot produces a high. Although much less well-known than the cardiovascular, reproductive, and respiratory systems, the ECS is critical. “The ECS helps us eat, sleep, relax, forget what we don’t need to remember, and protect our bodies from harm,” Marcu says. There are more ECS receptors in the brain than there are for opioids or serotonin, plus others in the intestines, liver, pancreas, ovaries, bone cells, and elsewhere.
Dispensaries: In states where marijuana is legal for recreational use, dispensaries are a common sight. They are much rarer in states with more restrictions. In states that permit the use of medical marijuana, hemp-based CBD oils do not normally require a prescription but marijuana-based oils do. Like brick-and-mortar locations, dispensaries offer more customer service. However, as noted, this may not be an option depending on the buyer’s state of residence. Also, CBD oil prices tend to be significantly higher at dispensaries.
So let’s get something straight; Mary’s Nutritionals is the sister company of Mary’s Medicinals (actually they’re the same company), which is one of the cannabis industry’s most established names in cannabis CBD oil – that is to say, CBD oil that is extracted from marijuana and only legal in states with medical legalization (and for those with valid MMJ cards). Mary’s Nutritionals is the legal “hemp-based” version of Mary’s Medicinals; they extract their products industrial hemp like all other brands on the list, and thus are able to ship to all 50 U.S. states. Truth be told I don’t have a ton of experience with them because they’re so expensive, but believe me – their “Remedy” line of CBD oils are easily the best products on the market. That is, if you’re ready to splurge the cash on them. Also, they’re the only company we’re aware of that sells a legal CBD transdermal patch that you use like a nicotine patch. I’ve never actually tried it before, but I heard it works incredibly well.
DISCLOSURE: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.
CBD Essence is another brand we’ve had plenty of experience with over the past 18 months or so, and my partner particularly likes his 600 mg Medicinal Grade tincture for quickly easing her anxiety. I haven’t tried them so much for may pain, but I do recall that a 30 mg dose was quite effective the last time I did take it. Also, the main reason they’re this high up on our list is because they’re a fair amount cheaper than Elixinol and PureKana. Their tinctures come in larger 2 oz bottles, but on a CBD-per-mg basis they’re about 20% less expensive than other top-quality brands.
*[A couple things of note before I begin the reviews. In order to avoid redundancy and limit repeating myself dozens of times over, be advised that (unless otherwise noted), all of the companies listed below employ standard practices that are used by all of the best CBD oil companies, including things like: solventless CO2 extraction, 3rd party laboratory testing, legal THC limits below 0.3%, shipping to all 50 U.S. states, etc..]
Unlike other CBD oils, PureKana really does excel in CBD oil extractions due to their unique CO2 extraction process which provides a near 99% pure CBD oil. PureKana Natural CBD Oil is an unflavored, dietary and nutritional supplement for increased health and vitality. It is extremely effective in helping to treat chronic pain, support recovery from exercise-induced inflammation, swelling, management of normal, everyday stresses, and to help promote healthy sleep cycles.
You know how you check your raw chicken or bagged lettuce every time there's a recall to make sure the one you bought isn't going to make you sick? You should be able to do that with CBD products too. "This is a huge indicator as to whether they are following good manufacturing practices," says Beatty. "There should be a way to identify this product in case it was improperly made so the company can carry out a recall."
Water soluble CBD oil products are formulated using a special process to break down the CBD molecules into smaller particles. In theory, “water compatability” would produce higher absorption rates and faster-acting effects. Although it’s a popular buzzword in the CBD industry, we have yet to see any independent research studies that prove they are better than traditional oil-based tinctures.
Generally, CBD oil is made by combining an extract with a carrier fluid or oil. This question is best answered by looking at how the CBD oil was extracted. CBD oil can be extracted using CO2 systems or by using chemical solvents. Both methods produce a CBD oil byproduct that is then combined with a fluid like MCT oil, coconut oil, or olive oil so that it can be delivered to the body. Always check to make sure you know the CBD content of the products you purchase.
I would sincerely appreciate your ideas on this and any suggestions you may have. As I said, several of our family (at least six) have pretty severe chronic pain. The youngest is 45 and the oldest is 75. And I have several friends who suffer a lot, so I’m trying to find out all I can and be of some help. I look forward to hearing what you think, and I will definitely be trying those on your list.
Vape Pens – Perhaps the easiest way to get the CBD Oil into your body is through a vape pen. A vape pen is about the size of an ink pen but has a CBD oil cartridge with a heating element. Many people like vape pens because there is very little in the way of odor after using it and it allows for a lot of discretion because it can be pulled out of your pocket and used on demand. CLICK HERE to see our favorite vape pens.
Yes, the words “CBD tincture” and “CBD oil drops” are used interchangeably to describe drops of CBD oil that users place under the tongue. For optimal results, we recommend that you hold the drops under your tongue for up to 60 seconds. This process allows the CBD oil to absorb sublingually into your bloodstream through the mucous membranes in your mouth.
Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.
Given CBD’s reputation as a popular, artisanal remedy, one would think that Epidiolex would command a lot of “off label” attention. After all, physicians often prescribe pharmaceuticals off label to treat conditions that were not the actual focus of clinical trials. But the costly price tag for Epidiolex (more than $30,000 annually) precludes off label prescribing as well as affordable access for tens of millions of Americans without health insurance.