What exactly is cannabidiol (CBD) and more importantly, what does it do? Those questions and more are at the heart of this comprehensive guide to one of the most fascinating and important compounds of the cannabis plant. Cannabis plants are chemical powerhouses that produce more than 400 different compounds. Not all of those compounds are unique to marijuana, of course, and appear in many other species of plants. That’s why marijuana can smell like pine trees or taste like fresh lemons. But of those 400 compounds, more than 60 of them are totally specific to the plant genus Cannabis. Scientists call these special compounds “cannabinoids.” However, not all cannabinoids are created equal. One of them, cannabidiol, or CBD, holds the key to the wide variety of medicinal and therapeutic effects marijuana offers.

Drops (also referred to as tinctures) are the most popular way to take CBD oil. They are typically sold in glass bottles with a built-in dropper. The drops are placed under your tongue and held there for at least 60 seconds. This drop process allows the CBD to absorb sublingually into your bloodstream. Other popular ways to take CBD include vaping, gummies, capsules, and topical creams. How you take it is a personal decision based on your preferences. Many experienced users take multiple different products at the same time.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a phyto-cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. However, it does not cause the same psychoactive effects as other naturally occurring cannabinoids (such as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC). CBD induces feelings of sleepiness and tranquility, making it suitable for insomnia and other sleep disorders; CBD can be used to alleviate symptoms of epilepsy, diabetes, and anxiety disorders, as well. Legality is an issue for some; all 50 states have laws governing the sale, possession, and use of CBD, and they vary significantly (see the table below for a full analysis).
Fab CBD offers an extensive line of deliciously flavored full-spectrum CBD oils in a broad range of potencies. You can choose between citrus, vanilla, mint, berry, and natural flavors and potencies of 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg, or 80 mg of CBD per serving. And like all of our favorite CBD brands, Fab CBD uses minimal ingredients with no additives—just hemp extract, coconut oil, and natural flavors.
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.
AZTEC CBD began producing hemp products in 2016. We are one of the first brands in the UK to offer affordable lab-tested Full Spectrum hemp products imported from the EU. Since then we have sourced the finest EU legal hemp with the best levels of CBD and set up our own fully licensed production facility in Europe – taking our products to the next level of quality and effectiveness.
Dry Mouth: As is the case with many other hemp- and marijuana-based products, CBD oil often leads to a condition known as dry mouth (or cottonmouth). This is likely due to cannabinoids altering receptors in the lower jaw that trigger salivation. In most cases, mild discomfort and stronger-than-average thirst are the only issues associated with dry mouth.
CBD oil fans who switch between vaping and sublingual use are ably catered for by CBD Drip. That’s because the company sells an innovative range of full-spectrum oils that can not only be mixed with regular e-liquids or vaped by themselves but which may also be added to food and drink or simply applied under the tongue. For individuals who’d rather make up their own CBD oil-infused products, meanwhile, the company even offers concentrate in bulk. And CBD Drip assures its customers as to the purity and efficacy of its merchandise by explaining in detail on the website what is tested for and why; full lab results for many of its goods are also available to view at a click.

Success stories like Oliver’s are everywhere, but there’s not a lot of data to back up those results. That’s because CBD comes from cannabis and, like nearly all other parts of the plant, is categorized by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a Schedule 1 drug—the most restrictive classification. (Others on that list: heroin, Ecstasy, and peyote.) This classification, which cannabis advocates have tried for years to change, keeps cannabis-derived products, including CBD, from being properly studied in the U.S.
Another point worth clarifying is the difference between hemp seed oil (or hemp oil) and CBD oil. There’s confusion on this point for the very good reason that both CBD oil and hemp seed oil are extracted from the industrial hemp plant. But there’s a big difference between the 2. Hemp seed oil has been pressed from hemp seed, and it’s great for a lot of things — it’s good for you, tastes great, and can be used in soap, paint — even as biodiesel fuel.
Hemp Bombs is based in Tampa, Florida, and in addition to focusing on the purity and therapeutic effectiveness of their products, are dedicated to establishing themselves as a top brand in the industry with a specific target audience. One of our personal favorite products of theirs is the flavored CBD vape liquids, which are some of the best-tasting CBD vape juices we’ve ever had.

We’d be lying if we said costs didn’t matter. As in all things, with CBD oil tinctures you generally get what you pay for. Some of the products we recommend below are small and inexpensive (so you’re not sacrificing quality to buy inexpensive CBD oil, but rather, are just getting a smaller overall amount at once). Other products contain a higher potency formula, so even though the amount of liquid in the bottle may be the same, the amount of cannabinoids will vary greatly. Overall, prices range from as low as around $30 to over $400.

There are many scammers and multi-level marketing salespeople that use Facebook and other social media outlets to push a particular product. Many of them will tell you whatever you want to hear to get you to buy from them. Be wary of their claims and testimonials. It’s particularly important to buy CBD oil from a brand that makes third party lab reports readily available. This third party certification is the only way for you to truly know what is in the product.
Children: Like pregnant and breastfeeding women, clinical research among child-aged participants is less common. To date, much of the research of CBD with children has involved children with severe pediatric epilepsy. This research found CBD oil to be effective in symptom management, leading to the first FDA-approved drug containing CBD. However, the efficacy and safety of CBD for children has not been studied sufficiently to know if it has any long-term effects.

It’s important to know that there is no “best” brand or product for everyone. The best CBD oil is the one that works well for you. Each person has a unique endocannabinoid system, body chemistry, and severity of the condition. A brand or product that works well for one person with a specific situation may not work for you at all. This reality is understandably frustrating for many of those who are new to CBD oil. 
Technically speaking, its THC—the cannabinoid that gets you high—which is illicit. When you take a drug test, the aim is to detect THC in your body, not “cannabis.” If you possessed weed without any THC in it, technically you wouldn’t be in violation of the law. Because “weed” without THC has a different name: hemp. And the rules governing hemp are quite different from the restrictions placed on cannabis.
Dr. Cohen has found that chronic conditions including autoimmune diseases and pain syndromes can be helped with a 6-mg under-the-tongue tincture (the fastest delivery system) or a 25-mg capsule taken twice a day. Dosages for topical products like lotions are especially hard to determine—there’s no clarity on how much CBD gets into the system through the skin.
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.
The vast majority of CBD oils come in bottles measuring either 15 milliliters (mL), or 0.5 ounces; or 30 mL, or 1 ounce. However, CBD concentration is more important than bottle size. Concentration refers to the ratio of hemp oil solution (measured in mL) compared to the amount of CBD cannabinoid (measured in milligrams, or mg). A 15-mL bottle may contain 100 mg of CBD, 300 mg, 500 mg, or more. The higher the mg amount, the stronger the CBD oil will be. For this reason, the ‘mg’ measurement is also referred to as the oil’s strength; i.e., 400-mg oil might be called 400-strength oil.
When it comes to bang for the buck, Lazarus Naturals is the industry leader. They’ve built a loyal customer base because of their low prices, high-quality products, and compassionate assistance program for those in need. In fact, they’ve been voted the Brand of the Year by members of the CBD Oil Users Group on Facebook for the last 3 years. We particularly like their dedication to posting third-party lab reports on their website by batch. Their 30-day money-back guarantee speaks to the confidence in the quality of their products which clearly makes them one of the best CBD oil brands on the market.

Transdermal Patches – Remember those patches people put on their bodies to quit smoking? These patches allowed for a slow release of nicotine over the course of a day? Well, the same idea exists with CBD patches. This is a convenient way to get CBD into your body and endocannabinoid system over the course of a day. CLICK HERE to see our favorite patch.
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.
At the top of our ranking is Portland-based Lazarus Naturals, which has honed a reputation for high-quality, affordable CBD. Their consciously crafted CBD is sourced from organic, Oregon-grown hemp which the company controls from seed to sale. With low prices, a robust assistance program, free shipping, and a 30-day, no questions asked return policy, you really can’t go wrong with Lazarus Naturals.
Lisa Hamilton, a jeweler and doula in Brooklyn, NY, knows about the side effects. She recently tried CBD for the shoulder pain that plagued her five years after an accident. Her doctor certified that she was in chronic pain, which under New York State law allowed her to buy from a state dispensary. One Friday, she swallowed two 10-mg capsules, the amount recommended at the dispensary, then took another two on Saturday. “By Sunday, it felt like I’d gotten hit by a truck. Every muscle and joint ached,” Hamilton says. She cut back to one pill a day the following week, but still felt hungover. She stopped after that.

The growth of CBD Pure within the last several months has been somewhat surprising given their little-known status the first time I tried them last year. They’re not quite as potent and long-lasting as something like Premium Jane or PureKana, but like CBD Essence they’ve mostly made it this high up on the list due to their affordable prices. Believe it or not, in fact, they’re nearly 60% cheaper than PureKana on an oz-to-oz basis. If you’re just trying out CBD for the first time and want to see how it works for you before jumping to one of the more expensive brands, I’d definitely take a look at CBD Pure’s range of affordable tinctures.


If you haven’t been bombarded with CBD marketing or raves about it from friends, get ready. This extract—which comes from either marijuana or its industrial cousin, hemp—is popping up everywhere. There are CBD capsules, tinctures, and liquids for vaping plus CBD-infused lotions, beauty products, snacks, coffee, and even vaginal suppositories. Already some 1,000 brands of CBD products are available in stores—and online in states that don’t have lenient cannabis laws. This is a tiny fraction of what’s to come: The CBD market is poised to exceed $22 billion by 2022, per the Chicago-based research firm Brightfield Group.
Dr. Cohen has found that chronic conditions including autoimmune diseases and pain syndromes can be helped with a 6-mg under-the-tongue tincture (the fastest delivery system) or a 25-mg capsule taken twice a day. Dosages for topical products like lotions are especially hard to determine—there’s no clarity on how much CBD gets into the system through the skin.
The interest and preference for botanical remedies such as CBD oil over harsh pharmaceuticals are growing rapidly. You can read scientific research on the promise of CBD Oil at NCBI. While North America is taking the lead legalizing cannabis and hemp the rest of the world is starting to question their stance on prohibition because of the undeniable benefits. While all talk about plant-based remedies may seem very new, using cannabis/hemp tinctures as a holistic remedy is a generations-old tradition. It was very common to use cbd tinctures of cannabis oil in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We are enjoying a renaissance in ancestral health where we are open again to remedies that were all but forgotten about in the mad race to make medicines a pill offered by a faceless often unaccountable corporation.
But even though it's infiltrating pretty much every corner of the wellness world (hi, vegan CBD brownies!) many people still find CBD a little confusing—especially when it comes to figuring out the right way to use it and how to make sure the stuff you're buying is, you know, actually legit. Below, we asked experts to answer the most pressing questions about CBD.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a natural phyto-cannabinoid (or plant-based chemical compound) found in cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana. Unlike other cannabinoids — namely tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects, and will actually counteract these effects to a degree. CBD will induce feelings of sleepiness; for this reason, it can be an effective soporific for people who struggle to fall and/or remain asleep due to insomnia and other sleep disorders.
The main reason we like Kat’s Naturals CBD oils are because they use hempseed oil to infuse 1,500 mg of CBD isolate. While the hempseed itself doesn’t contain any actual CBD, it is chock-full of phytonutrients, plant protein, and other nutritious compounds. The only reason other companies use coconut or MCT oil to infuse the CBD instead of hempseed oil, is because hempseed is lower in saturated fat so it doesn’t have as great a bioavailability. In other words, taking a CBD oil infused in MCT oil will allow more of the active compound to reach parts of the body that you need it to. For combining the natural therapeutic elements of CBD with the nutritional benefits of hempseed, however, Kat’s Naturals is a great product. I would recommend using it as a daily health supplement moreso than an actual therapy to treat any kind of condition or ailment.
Drops (also referred to as tinctures) are the most popular way to take CBD oil. They are typically sold in glass bottles with a built-in dropper. The drops are placed under your tongue and held there for at least 60 seconds. This drop process allows the CBD to absorb sublingually into your bloodstream. Other popular ways to take CBD include vaping, gummies, capsules, and topical creams. How you take it is a personal decision based on your preferences. Many experienced users take multiple different products at the same time.
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