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.
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.
If you live in a state where CBD is legal for your condition, it’s best to buy it from a state-regulated dispensary. But even there, oversight is uneven. “I feel safe being a cannabis consumer in Colorado, since the state tracks everything from seed to sale, but I didn’t the first few years after cannabis became legal,” when the rules were still taking shape, says Robyn Griggs Lawrence, the Boulder author of The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, which features recipes for cannabis edibles.

Many expect easy answers and fast results. But as many who have achieved success can attest, there’s no substitute for doing your own research, accepting that there will be some trial and error, and having a good deal of patience to find what works well for you. The good news is that when you buy from one of the companies listed above, you know that you are getting a quality product from a reputable company. Many users have had success with each of these companies for a variety of conditions.

Weight plays a role in the effects of CBD oil, and bottle size should be selected based on how much you weigh. Let’s say you weigh less than 130 pounds and desire light CBD oil effects; this means that 11 mg or less will probably suffice per dose, giving roughly 40 doses from a 450-mg concentration. If you weigh more than 230 pounds and desire strong effects, then this same concentration will supply roughly 10 doses.
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.
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."

High potency CBD oils are ideal for those seeking a powerful, therapeutic effect. However, many companies only offer CBD oil in low to moderate potencies. Our pick for the highest potency CBD oil is Sabaidee’s Mega Good Vibes 2500mg+ CBD oil. At 88.33mg of CBD per serving, this is one of the most potent CBD oils on the market. And at $0.08 per mg of CBD, it is also reasonably priced. One 30mL bottle packs 2,500 mg of high-quality, full-spectrum, peppermint-flavored CBD oil.


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.
All this talk about THC lands us nicely in the whole “Full Spectrum vs. Pure Isolate” debate. Once you begin shopping for CBD products, you’ll notice a lot of jargon that gets thrown around without much explanation. Now that we’ve introduced THC into the conversation, we can talk about the difference between, and relative benefits of, Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate (and the lesser-known contender: Broad Spectrum).
The human body has an endocannabinoid system — a natural system that maintains homeostasis or balance, in the body. The endocannabinoid system has CB1 and CB2 receptors. These are found throughout the body. CB1 receptors are generally located in the central and peripheral nervous system and CB2 receptors are generally found in the brain, immune system, and gastrointestinal system. CBD binds to these receptors creating changes and effects in the body

Insomnia: The anxiety-alleviating and sleep-prolonging qualities of CBD oil make it a good option for many people with insomnia. Those who experience insomnia due to pain or discomfort may also find that using CBD oil alleviates their physical symptoms to a noticeable extent. CBD oil may also promote daytime wakefulness when taken in small amounts; people with insomnia can use it as a pick-me-up if they feel excessively tired due to lack of restful sleep.


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 CBDistillery has two main strengths. The first is its variety of options. The CBDistillery offers CBD oil tinctures in a wide range of concentrations from 17mg up to 88 mg of CBD per serving. But what really sets the company apart is that they offer both full-spectrum and THC-free CBD oil options. Most people gravitate towards full-spectrum CBD oil to take advantage of the entourage effect. But with THC-free CBD oil, you can enjoy the benefits and effects of CBD even if you’re subject to mandatory drug testing.
Employee-owned Lazarus Naturals touts its commitment to ethical business practices, including pricing that aims to enable anyone to sample its range. Indeed, for veterans and those with long-term disabilities, there’s even a commendable 40-percent discount on the company’s wares. Customers wanting more bang for their buck could, then, try Lazarus Naturals’ 3,000 mg flavorless CBD tincture, a 60 ml bottle of which costs $125, though an even more potent 6,000 mg tincture is also available. Plus, the supplier’s handy and inexpensive taster packs may be a boon for more indecisive or novice CBD oil users. These packs come in regular and high-potency varieties, both of which contain samples of the company’s tinctures, capsules and CBD-infused coconut oil.
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.
One quick thing before you check out our top recommended CBD products: CannaHealth was not paid to include any of these companies on our list. We may, however, receive a small commission from some of these brands if you click through and make a purchase (at no additional charge to you). I will assure you that these products are the best you can buy, and we 100% stand behind them.
Insomnia: The anxiety-alleviating and sleep-prolonging qualities of CBD oil make it a good option for many people with insomnia. Those who experience insomnia due to pain or discomfort may also find that using CBD oil alleviates their physical symptoms to a noticeable extent. CBD oil may also promote daytime wakefulness when taken in small amounts; people with insomnia can use it as a pick-me-up if they feel excessively tired due to lack of restful sleep.
Quality matters with CBD oil products and so does customer service. There are literally thousands of CBD companies selling products today. Some are real companies with a solid reputation among users and some are fly-by-night operations with no accountability. Of course, all of them will tell you that they have the best products out there. Never pick a brand based on one person’s opinion on social media. Especially if you feel like you are getting a sales pitch. 

PlusCBD Oil offers three different CBD oil formulations. The Total Plant Complex formulation is unflavored and made with extra virgin olive oil. It also has the fewest additives of all of their oils and contains 4 mg of CBD per serving. The Gold Formula comes in unflavored, goji berry, and peppermint flavors with options for 3 mg, 5 mg, or 9 mg of CBD per serving. And the Raw Formula is available in 1mg and 3mg concentrations. It’s high in CBDA which has unique therapeutic properties distinct from CBD.


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.”
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.
Being more a traditional gal, it’s kind of funny that I like Hemp Bombs CBD so much. Judging by their Instagram and so forth it seems like they’ve made an effort to appeal to a younger, more “hip” crowd, but I don’t care – they sell some darn good CBD products and that’s the only thing that matters to me. And actually, if you’re into vaping CBD oil or prefer to use a CBD vape pen, they’re definitely the company that I would recommend the most. I’m not huge into vaping myself, but they’ve got a MASSIVE range of high-quality (and highly potent) CBD vape products in addition to the standard stuff like oral tinctures and CBD capsules. My partner has even used the “Sugar Cookie Kryptonite” vape liquid and absolutely loved it! Really, you’ve got to just spend some time browsing their store to come to terms with the huge range of products they’ve got: CBD “Pain Freeze,” CBD “Max Chill Shots,” and even a brand new product called CBD Beard Oil!!
Green Gorilla marks itself out by simply blending its flagship line of CBD oils with organically produced extra virgin olive oil – and nothing else. And, as the company states, there’s a benefit to this beyond assuring the product’s purity. In particular, olive oil “has synergistic effects in combination with CBD,” and according to Green Gorilla’s website, it’s “also able to deliver the CBD to the parts of [the] body that need it most.” The products are certainly affordable, too: its 150 mg pure CBD oil comes in at $25.99, for instance, making it a smart choice for new users. And anyone still uncertain about the potential effects of Green Gorilla’s products may have their questions answered by the convenient “science” section of the manufacturer’s website, which neatly explains the difference between THC – the cannabinoid that makes people “high” – and CBD.
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.
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.
If you are new to the world of CBD, it is definitely best for you to start with a lower dosage and work your way up from there. Some of the tinctures listed below have as few as 240mg of cannabidiol per bottle, while others are as high as 4850mg. While stronger isn’t always better, we appreciate those brands that have different options available to address different needs. Also, keep in mind that while a lower dose can give you more control over the amount you consume, a higher concentration is usually more cost effective. Higher concentrations will also contain more beneficial cannabinoids.

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.
At the top of our ranking is Utah-based Kanibi, which is on a mission to create high-quality, science-based CBD products with total transparency. Their consciously crafted CBD is sourced from organic, Kentucky-grown hemp which is farmed with organic farming methods. With great tasting products, free shipping, and a 30-day, no questions asked return policy, you really can’t go wrong with Kanibi.
The CBD oil in everything that’s sold by Receptra Naturals is extracted from hemp from family-owned farms in Colorado. And the oil produced by the hemp plants – which are cultivated completely organically – is only taken from the flowering parts to ensure its purity and quality. Those of an environmentally conscious bent may therefore particularly appreciate the company’s offerings, which include CBD oil blends that aim either to boost users’ overall sense of health or, for people who are particularly physically active, to just give them a bit more pep in their steps. The most potent of these oils is, for the record, a 4,000 mg concentrate. But Receptra Naturals’ range also includes a topical cream, a skin-conditioning body butter and a CBD extract blend for pets that, the producer states, may help with anxiety, mobility and digestion in animals.

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.
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.
You’ve probably seen PureKana listed on several other “best CBD oils” lists, and it’s for good reason; in our experience (along with maybe a couple of other close competitors), they offer the best overall value in terms of potency, price, customer service, and most importantly, effectiveness. In fact, if I wasn’t continuously trying out new stuff and dedicated to reviewing every single hemp product on the market in an effort to reveal the absolute best CBD oil, I would probably use them exclusively for my lower back pain. Likewise, my partner has said several times that the 600 mg Vanilla tincture is one of his favorites for helping him sleep through the night.
CBD capsules: These are gel capsules or tablets that you swallow like any other pill. People prefer capsules because dosing is precise (each pill contains a specific amount of CBD), they’re easy to travel with, and they’re easy to remember to take along with your daily vitamin. However, it does take longer to feel the effects of CBD with capsules (up to 90 minutes), since the capsule has to be processed by your digestive system first.
CBD derived from marijuana is a different story, and the law varies from state to state. But as long as you’re using CBD oil that contains less than 0.3 percent THC, you have nothing to be concerned about anywhere in the United States. On the other hand, if you want to take your CBD on a trip outside the country, definitely look into local laws to avoid getting into awkward situations while you’re away.
In addition to an unflavored option, the drops also come in peppermint and goji berry flavors that are perfect for mixing with beverages. The nutritional information for all three flavors is found on the PlusCBD Oil website. The drops are fairly inexpensive, priced at $0.15 per mg or lower depending on the concentration. The brand offers fast shipping throughout the U.S. and to a wide range of international destinations.

Unflavored hemp oil has a strong grassy and earthy taste. Some people enjoy the taste of natural hemp, but it’s not particularly popular. If a shot of wheatgrass sounds like a terrible idea, you’ll probably want to gravitate toward something with a more…palatable flavor. If you’re not sure, you can always start with a simple flavor you know you’ll enjoy, like mint or lemon, and get more adventurous over time.
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.
We suggest using our dosage calculator to find the right dose or amount of CBD for your needs. If you are looking for relief for a specific issue, for example, back pain we suggest starting with our CBD Quiz to find the right product for you needs. Also if a organic or Non-GMO product is important for you look for that on the label or in the product description. Lastly, understand if you would prefer a full-spectrum cbd oil or a CBD isolate.  A full-spectrum oil contains many other beneficial parts of the hemp/cannabis plant while an isolate removes everything except CBD. Learn more about the difference here here.
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.
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