Terpenes are the naturally-occurring essential oils from plants, flowers, and vegetables. Terpenes are what give the plant its scent, flavor, and unique benefits. Some of the terpenes in cannabis are known for their useful therapeutic properties. For example, some terpenes are known for their anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, or relaxing properties to name a few.
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.
Transparency seems to be a priority at Green Roads, as the company’s website explains in detail the process by which its CBD oil is created and what it contains. Potential customers might also be reassured to find out that Green Roads products have been carefully compounded by a pharmacist with more than two decades of experience in the field. Meanwhile, to help ensure the quality of its products, the company regularly subjects its CBD oil to third-party lab tests, the results of which can be found online. Such stringency may, in turn, account for the highly positive reviews afforded to Green Roads’ most potent CBD oil tincture – a 1,500 mg concentrate. And for those wishing to branch out beyond that, the producer offers a range of similarly acclaimed edibles, including gummie-men and lollypops, as well as CBD oil-infused night-time syrups, capsules, tea and coffee.
You won’t have to worry about potency with Spruce CBD. That’s because the potency of Spruce’s CBD oils are verified by a third-party testing lab. Spruce carries both regular and high potency CBD oil formulations. Spruce’s regular potency CBD oil contains a moderate dose of 25 mg of CBD per serving while their max potency formulation packs a strong dose of 80 mg of CBD per serving.

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.


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.
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.
“Buying from a reputable manufacturer is crucial, because it matters how the plant is cultivated and processed,” Dr. Maroon says. One clue that a company is cutting corners: too low a cost. Good CBD is pricey—a bottle of high-quality capsules is sold in Cohen’s office for $140. But for many, it’s worth the money. Roth spent $60 on her tiny bottle. But when her energy returned the day she started taking CBD, she decided that was a small price to pay.
In addition to all the benefits we’ve already discussed, CBD has been proven to have antioxidant and neuroprotective effects. This means that it helps repair the damage from oxidative stress, which is believed to be a primary cause of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS — even heart disorders and some forms of cancer. This is a hugely beneficial effect of CBD.
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All of NuLeaf’s hemp plants are grown on licensed farms in Colorado using sustainable and 100% organic farming practices. Nuleaf’s CBD oils are made using whole plant extraction. That means the final product is a full-spectrum rather than CBD isolate. Moreover, NuLeaf doesn’t include any additives like preservatives, emulsifiers, or even flavors so the final product remains in its purest form.
The company’s second strength is trust. The CBDistillery has done a lot to build trust with its customers, including transparent, third-party lab testing, quality control over every step of its manufacturing process, and no gimmicks. CBDistillery CBD oil is made using U.S. Hemp Authority-certified, non-GMO, industrial hemp grown in America using natural farming practices.
Pure Hemp Botanicals’ mission statement is “compassion in action” – and it’s a pledge that it aims to adhere to not only through the use of organic hemp and cruelty-free ingredients, but also through its employment practices. The company’s “PHD Gives Back” initiative demonstrates a commitment to kindness, too, as 1 percent of proceeds from the sale of its products are donated to non-profit Mercy For Animals. Pure Hemp Botanicals’ range of CBD-containing goods is also varied, taking in as it does concentrates, vape oils and flavored mints and teas. And regular CBD oil users can, furthermore, take advantage of the company’s handy subscription system for tinctures, capsules and softgels – a scheme that’s not only convenient but which, thanks to the discounts available, offers a less costly way to get a CBD hit.
In response to the FDA’s historic decision, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced in September 2018 that it had removed Epidiolex from Schedule I classification, a category reserved for dangerous drugs with no medical value. Henceforth, Epidiolex would be considered a Schedule V drug, the least dangerous designation under the Controlled Substances Act.
When I went into the CBD American Shaman store, the manager seemed extremely knowledgeable, was certified, spent quite a bit of time explaining the different aspects of their products. I bought the full spectrum VG Cloud Tincture in strawberry banana and the 250 Topical Cream, which he said I would be amazed how well it worked. Hmmm. Maybe not so much, at least not yet. And the oil hasn’t helped as much as I hoped. Because they have a “Compassionate Care” program for those with disabilities, I was hoping this would be the one. Most of our family suffers from chronic pain and has had to go on disability, much to their chagrin. The products are $59.95 each, and the discount would be something like 30 per cent.
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.

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.
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.
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.
In response to the FDA’s historic decision, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced in September 2018 that it had removed Epidiolex from Schedule I classification, a category reserved for dangerous drugs with no medical value. Henceforth, Epidiolex would be considered a Schedule V drug, the least dangerous designation under the Controlled Substances Act.
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.
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.

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.

The endocannabinoid system is spread throughout your brain and body, but primarily throughout your central nervous system. The interaction between cannabinoids and receptors is what produces effects like the regulation of mood, pain, appetite, inflammation, and memory. Plant-based cannabinoids, found in cannabis plants, also interact with the receptors (whimsically named CB1 and CB2) in the endocannabinoid system, and each affects your body in different ways. CBD and its infamous cousin THC are the 2 most well-known cannabinoids.
There’s no definite amount that’s appropriate for everyone, but the ratio of CBD to THC will indicate how psychoactive the product is and if it’s legal in your state. The more CBD compared with THC, the less of a high, and vice versa. “Managing psychoactivity is key to successful cannabis therapy,” says Lee. “Amounts should be made clear on the label and lab-certified so people know what’s helping them and what’s not.”
Cutting-edge science has shown that the endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in nearly all pathological conditions. Thus, it stands to reason that “modulating endocannabinoid system activity may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans,” as Pal Pacher and George Kunos, scientists with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggested in a 2014 publication.
Kat’s Naturals not only takes the quality of its products seriously, but it also ensures that their contents are produced in a way that’s as environmentally friendly as possible. The essential oils in its best-selling Heal CBD Hemp Oil, for example, are harvested in a sustainable manner, while the hemp that goes into its range more generally is completely organically grown. And in a customer-friendly move, Kat’s Naturals provides CBD oil blends specifically tailored to users’ needs, whether they want to boost metabolism, get a good night’s rest or simply feel freer from muscle pain. Perhaps the most innovative Kat’s Naturals product, though, is its CBD-containing capsaicin cream. This topical owes its heat in part to a component commonly found within chili peppers, and the company’s website claims that it also helps give respite to neuropathy sufferers and those with Raynaud syndrome.
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.

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.
What you gain from Full Spectrum CBD is called the “entourage effect.” Studies have suggested that CBD is most effective when it’s combined with other cannabinoids. Each cannabinoid has its own properties and confers its own benefits. Working together, a synergy is created that boosts the healing properties of CBD. Full spectrum CBD does, however, bring with it the sticky issue of THC. The government regulates concentration levels of THC at 0.3 percent, an amount which results in minimal psychoactivity.
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).
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.
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.
Buying online is less reliable still because there’s no regulation or standardization. What you see on the label may not be what you are getting. A 2017 study in JAMA found that of the 84 CBD products researchers bought online, 43 percent had more CBD than indicated, while 26 percent had less, and some had unexpected THC.“There’s a 75 percent chance of getting a product where the CBD is mislabeled,” says Marcu, one of the study’s coauthors.
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.    
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. 
Pure Hemp Botanicals’ mission statement is “compassion in action” – and it’s a pledge that it aims to adhere to not only through the use of organic hemp and cruelty-free ingredients, but also through its employment practices. The company’s “PHD Gives Back” initiative demonstrates a commitment to kindness, too, as 1 percent of proceeds from the sale of its products are donated to non-profit Mercy For Animals. Pure Hemp Botanicals’ range of CBD-containing goods is also varied, taking in as it does concentrates, vape oils and flavored mints and teas. And regular CBD oil users can, furthermore, take advantage of the company’s handy subscription system for tinctures, capsules and softgels – a scheme that’s not only convenient but which, thanks to the discounts available, offers a less costly way to get a CBD hit.
Under federal law, cannabis (from which both CBD and marijuana are derived) is illegal everywhere, although the laws against it aren’t generally enforced in states that have legalized marijuana. Some manufacturers claim that CBD culled from legally imported industrial hemp, which has little to no THC, is fine to ship across the U.S., but many experts disagree, noting that because hemp comes from the same species as marijuana, cannabis sativa, all CBD falls under the DEA’s Schedule 1 designation. “This creative interpretation of the law runs afoul of reality,” says the Brookings Institution, a Washington, DC, think tank.
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.
Our Best Value pick is CBDistillery, which offers a full spectrum CBD oil containing naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes, along with fatty acid Omega 3, B complex vitamins, and 20 essential amino acids. The oil is derived from non-GMO, U.S.-grown hemp. It also contains trace amounts of fractionated coconut oil for subtle flavoring. All product information and third-party testing results are found on the official CBDistillery product page.
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.
The endocannabinoid system is spread throughout your brain and body, but primarily throughout your central nervous system. The interaction between cannabinoids and receptors is what produces effects like the regulation of mood, pain, appetite, inflammation, and memory. Plant-based cannabinoids, found in cannabis plants, also interact with the receptors (whimsically named CB1 and CB2) in the endocannabinoid system, and each affects your body in different ways. CBD and its infamous cousin THC are the 2 most well-known cannabinoids.
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.
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.
Los Angeles-based PureKana stresses that it extracts the CBD oil for its products from hemp plants that have been cultivated without the use of herbicides, pesticides or other agro-industrial chemicals that may impact upon crops. What’s more, the company states, no solvents go into the extraction process other than carbon dioxide. And to further put potential customers’ minds at rest, PureKana presents the results of third-party testing of its CBD oil tincture on its website – a welcome nod to transparency. That tincture can be found in the company’s own blend of CBD oil drops – the three varieties of which have elicited highly complimentary reviews from users – as well as its capsules and cooling topical ointment. Meanwhile, for anyone with a sweet tooth, PureKana’s CBD isolate-containing gummy bears may just do the trick.
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.
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