Sadly, there are unscrupulous companies out there looking to take advantage of people wanting to try CBD oil. A free trial bottle of CBD oil sounds like a great deal. They say you just need to pay a small shipping and handling fee. But what really happens is that they will send you a very low quality product. They’ll also keep charging your credit card every month for as much as $90 per month until you cancel your “subscription” with them. This is an outright scam that you want to avoid.
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.
Transparency: Moon Mother sends each batch of product to a third-party lab to be tested for potency as well as other contaminants. You can find all of these lab reports on the company’s website. They also added more information about their company processes to the website, so it’s easier to find important information about extraction and manufacturing.
Very much needed information! I’m a disabled Veteran with Anklyosing Spondelitis and related skelital/ muscle issues and CBD has been an off-limits product with the VA chronic pain clinics that dispense opiates… until recently with the addition of 0% THC – Thank you for the option!! (We actually have to sign a letter stating we will not use… else when we get tested at every appointment and THC is detected, we could be ejected from the pain clinic and our use of opiates for chronic pain!)
If medical marijuana is illegal in a given state, THC levels determine whether a CBD product is illicit or not. In most places, the limit is extremely low. We’re talking under 1 percent THC, with some states opting for a cap as low as 0.3 percent. In this case, the only source that would work is hemp, and CBD products will, therefore, be hemp-derived.

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.
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.
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.
CBD may be best known for its relaxing, calming effects. CBD reduces autonomic arousal, having the inverse effect of THC on the body. CBD’s anti-anxiety effect is why many in the cannabis community talk about how CBD relieves paranoia, although that is not scientifically proven yet. CBD is also known for its anti-nausea and pain relieving effects. It really depends on why your body’s specific needs and the quantity in which you take CBD.
Transparency: cbdMD seems to be going through a transition with their third-party testing practices. Until recently, they only released a lab report for the CBD concentrate they use for all their products, but would not show potency testing for individual products. That seems to be changing. Currently, the only lab report on the website is for their concentrate (and it’s over a year old). But if you contact customer service, they’ll send you a lab report for any product. 
But because all these products are illegal according to the federal government, cannabis advocates are cautious. “By and large, the federal government is looking the other way,” says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the Washington, DC–based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), but until federal laws are changed, “this administration or a future one could crack down on people who produce, manufacture, or use CBD, and the law would be on its side.”
Pregnant or breastfeeding women: Because researchers don’t want to put the mother or fetus in danger, clinical studies typically don’t include pregnant and breastfeeding women. As a result, physicians can’t definitively say whether or not CBD is safe for expecting and new mothers. Not enough research has been done. However, one study did find that CBD increased the permeability of the placental barrier, which could put the fetus at risk.
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.
The tricky part is that there's some evidence suggesting CBD works best for pain when combined with a little THC, says Dr. Danesh. "Depending on what type of pain you have, you might be able to do just CBD, but sometimes you need CBD and THC." This makes accessing a product that will actually help you more difficult due to different regulations in each state. In New York, where Dr. Danesh practices, for example, CBD is available over the counter. But as soon as you add THC, you need a prescription.
Third-Party Testing: Once a CBD oil is manufactured, CBD oil companies will often submit their products for third-party tests, which are conducted by non-company personnel to ensure the product is safe for public consumption and meets quality standards.CBD oils should always be accompanied with information about third-party tests; best practice is to avoid oils that do not supply these details.
REM Behavior Disorder: REM behavior disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia disorder characterized by shouting, becoming physically agitated, or otherwise acting out during sleep. For many, RBD is a symptom of a larger, more serious condition or disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease or PTSD. CBD oil minimizes the symptoms of RBD, and also alleviates the anxiety and painful symptoms that often accompany disorders that lead to RBD.
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.

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.


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.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis, a plant with a rich history as a medicine going back thousands of years. Today the therapeutic properties of CBD are being tested and confirmed by scientists and doctors around the world. A safe, non-addictive substance, CBD is one of more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” which are unique to cannabis and endow the plant with its robust therapeutic profile.
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.
Spruce was founded by Tony Spencer, who had a clear mission for his company—give people access to safe and effective lab-grade, hemp-based CBD. Spencer realized that many other CBD oils on the market were low-potency and simply didn’t work. “We have a lot of customers in pain who have wasted money on CBD products in the past that didn’t work for them,” remarks Spruce on their website.
Third-Party Testing: Once a CBD oil is manufactured, CBD oil companies will often submit their products for third-party tests, which are conducted by non-company personnel to ensure the product is safe for public consumption and meets quality standards.CBD oils should always be accompanied with information about third-party tests; best practice is to avoid oils that do not supply these details.
This is a confusing one for many people. "A lot of brands don't do a good job of clearly instructing their consumer on the dosing," says Chris Roth, CEO and co-founder of Highline Wellness. When thinking about dosing, also consider whether your CBD is full-spectrum or isolate: Full-spectrum could include other cannabinoids like cannabidivarin or cannabigerol (this is important, since "there's something called the 'entourage effect' when all together, they're more effective than any one of them alone," Roth explains), while isolate is 100% CBD. "Some people might only need 10 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD, but with isolate, even taking 80 or 100 milligrams might not have the same effect," he says.
The human body also produces cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, in a bodily system known as the endocannabinoid system (or ECS). The ECS promotes homeostasis by regulating a wide range of functions, including motor skills, mood, appetite, and sleep. As we age, our ECS produces fewer endocannabinoids; they may also decrease due to physical injury or disease. Replenishing depleted endocannabinoids with phytocannabinoids like CBD can help restore balance to the body.
Although CBD oils aren’t regulated by the FDA, purchasing products stateside from one of the nine states where recreational and medical cannabis use is legal will likely result in a higher-quality product than buying one made with hemp-derived CBD oil imported from abroad, says Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, a nonprofit that promotes medical research into CBD.
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.
All safe and reputable CBD brands make third-party lab reports readily available on their website or upon request. These reports detail the results of product testing by an accredited third-party laboratory that specializes in cannabis testing. They give you great insight into which cannabinoids and terpenes are in the product and whether it passed tests for heavy metals, pesticides, and other potentially dangerous ingredients.
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.
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