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.

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.


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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.
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.
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.
Infinite CBD specializes in CBD isolate, meaning CBD oils that are not full-spectrum and do not contain the full range of hemp extract. As such, I have hardly used them at all because I generally always prefer full-spectrum CBD tinctures. That being said, if you’re looking for isolate I would venture to say that Infinite CBD is the best CBD isolate oil on the market right now, hands down. If you need to avoid full-spectrum oils for drug testing purposes, definitely give them a try.

The science behind CBD is in the relatively early stages. As a cannabinoid, we know that CBD interacts with receptors in your endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is integrated throughout your body — and this widespread, whole-body interaction creates a broad range of effects. Hence, the long list of possible benefits.   We may still be in the early stages of discovery, but there’s plenty of scientific studies and anecdotal evidence that CBD provides relief for an array of ailments. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of some potential benefits of CBD oil:
There are very few known adverse side effects of CBD. According to this study, CBD is “a major non-psychotropic constituent of cannabis, has multiple pharmacological actions, including anxiolytic, antipsychotic, antiemetic, and anti-inflammatory properties. But if you are looking for a high from CBD, you will not get that because CBD has no psychoactive effects. Do speak with your physician if you are concerned about drug interactions.
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.
Truth be told, I don’t use Elixinol all that often, but the times that I have used it they have proven that they’re one of the hemp-derived best CBD oils on the market. Their 600 mg Respira tincture worked great for my back pain, but truth be told I have more recently been drawn to their new CBD Liposomes and the Elixinol CBD X-Pen. The Liposomes are pill-like soft capsules that are supposed to enhance the bioavailability of orally ingested CBD, while the X-Pen is a brilliant new product that delivers exactly 15 mg of CBD oil every time you “click” it (contains 1,000 mg total). Elixinol is a little pricey, but if you’re looking for something other than the standard oil drops that most brands offer, they’re really a great option.
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.
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.
CBD Fx is another USA company that emphasizes the use of MCT oil for maximizing the bioavailability of the CBD compound to cells throughout the body. In layman’s terms, this basically means their goal is to create a highly efficient and effective tincture that bypasses metabolic breakdown processes in the digestive system. They’re also big into vape pens, CBD vaping and CBD concentrates (waxes, powders, crystal isolates etc), so they tend to appeal a lot to the younger population as well as older folks like me who need CBD oil basically just to get out of bed in the morning.    
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.
Not all CBD is created equally. Some tinctures are created with little regard to overall consumer safety, and may contain harmful chemicals and pesticides. Other CBD products have been shown to differ from what the label says, either with way more cannabidiol, or way less. In some cases, the THC content was elevated above the federal legal limit for hemp extracts.
CBD topicals: Many people take CBD to manage chronic pain. These folks may find  CBD topicals particularly therapeutic, as they can massage the CBD into the skin of the area causing them pain. Dosing can be more imprecise with CBD topicals, and you may need to reapply often to continue feeling the effect. CBD topicals describes a broad category of products including CBD balms, lotions, chopsticks, and creams.
A newcomer to our CBD oils ranking, RE: Botanicals is no stranger to hemp. Founded by John Roulac, a long-time hemp advocate and founder of the organic superfoods brand Nutiva, RE: Botanicals is one of the only CBD brands to earn the USDA organic seal. They deserve a shout-out for prioritizing regenerative agriculture, while keeping prices reasonable.   
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.
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.

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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