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.
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 has proven neuroprotective effects and its anti-cancer properties are being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere. A 2010 brain cancer study by California scientists found that CBD “enhances the inhibitory effects of THC on human glioblastoma cell proliferation and survival.” This means that CBD makes THC even more potent as an anticancer substance. Also in 2010, German researchers reported that CBD stimulates neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells, in adult mammals.
In your internet travels, you may also come across products called “terpsolates.” The manufacturers of these products infuse CBD Isolate with terpenes (but not cannabinoids like THC). These terpenes may enhance the effectiveness of CBD — or maybe they just make it smell good. This may be a good place to point out that not all CBD products are created equal. The industry is still largely unregulated, and the quality and quantity of CBD in a given product will vary wildly. Third-party testing definitely helps to monitor companies’ claims, but it’s still up to you as the consumer to do your homework on the best CBD products.
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.
Our pick for Best Customer Experience is Fab CBD, a brand that offers high-quality CBD products at a reasonable price and provides additional perks for shoppers. The company’s CBD oil is available in four concentrations, ranging from 240mg to 1,500mg, which makes the oil suitable for those with light to moderate insomnia symptoms. The oil is available in natural, mint, and citrus flavors; prices range from 11 to 26 cents per mg, depending on the concentration. Fab CBD also offers edible gummies and a CBD topical oil.
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.
Endoca’s commitment to social responsibility is such that it even has its own non-profit, The Endoca Foundation. This organization takes in the company’s Endoca Institute of Cannabis, Natural Medicine and Sustainability, which acts as a hub for education and research into medical cannabis; it also spearheads a hardship fund designated for those who wish to investigate the potential benefits of CBD oil products for themselves but lack the funds to do so. By purchasing Endoca products, then, as the producer claims on its website, “customers are not only helping to heal others but also the world.” Moreover, those customers can choose from Endoca’s array of skin care products and drops and even its variety of CBD oil chewing gum – all including oil from hemp plants cultivated using the company’s individual seed bank.
This is why Amanda Oliver, 31, a career consultant in Charleston, SC, pops a CBD gummy bear each night before bed. “I used to lie there tossing and turning as my mind raced from work projects to whether I had set the home alarm,” Oliver says. One piece of candy with 15 milligrams (mg) of CBD is enough to shut off her brain and facilitate sleep. She also swears by the CBD oil she takes at the height of her period, which she says quells her debilitating cramps.
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.
Customer Service/Shipping: Free 3-7 day shipping for all US orders, with Rush Shipping available. Customer service hours are 10am to 5pm Central Time. SabaiDee offers a 30-day return policy, along with a unique trial program. Under their 100% Happiness Guarantee, you can try out their tinctures for 30 days, and if you don’t like them, return them for a partial refund.
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).
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.