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.
In order to determine which companies were included on this best cbd oil list and how they were ranked, each prominent provider on the market (Note: we pulled our list of brands from other established and credible CBD rankings like: this one and this one.) was allocated six individual Rank Scores based on their performance in the following metrics:
CBD oil fans who switch between vaping and sublingual use are ably catered for by CBD Drip. That’s because the company sells an innovative range of full-spectrum oils that can not only be mixed with regular e-liquids or vaped by themselves but which may also be added to food and drink or simply applied under the tongue. For individuals who’d rather make up their own CBD oil-infused products, meanwhile, the company even offers concentrate in bulk. And CBD Drip assures its customers as to the purity and efficacy of its merchandise by explaining in detail on the website what is tested for and why; full lab results for many of its goods are also available to view at a click.
You should only use CBD products if you are willing to accept at least some risk of testing positive on a drug test. Not everyone who uses hemp-derived CBD oil tests positive. But it does happen. The risk of testing positive is lower if you’re using a broad spectrum or isolate product. These products have non-detectable levels of THC based on manufacturer testing.
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. 

CBDistillery is our Editor’s Pick because of its diverse product line and commitment to high quality and customer service. They’ve earned a rating of 9.7/10 from our users who most often mention their product quality, effectiveness, great prices, and fast shipping times. Their most popular product is their 1000mg 30ml full spectrum CBD oil tincture. Priced at $60, it has 33mg of CBD per milliliter and is an excellent starting point for beginners. In addition to other full spectrum options, they also have zero THC drops for those looking for CBD oil without THC.


Vape Pens – Perhaps the easiest way to get the CBD Oil into your body is through a vape pen. A vape pen is about the size of an ink pen but has a CBD oil cartridge with a heating element. Many people like vape pens because there is very little in the way of odor after using it and it allows for a lot of discretion because it can be pulled out of your pocket and used on demand. CLICK HERE to see our favorite vape pens.
Historically, hemp could legally be grown and cultivated for academic research purposes only. However, the legality of hemp growth has changed in the past year. In April 2018, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky introduced the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, a piece of legislation that proposed legalizing all hemp products at the federal level. The act was incorporated in the 2018 United States Farm Bill, which passed in both the House and Senate in December 2018. Per the farm bill, industrial hemp will be descheduled as a federally controlled substance.

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.


Technically speaking, its THC—the cannabinoid that gets you high—which is illicit. When you take a drug test, the aim is to detect THC in your body, not “cannabis.” If you possessed weed without any THC in it, technically you wouldn’t be in violation of the law. Because “weed” without THC has a different name: hemp. And the rules governing hemp are quite different from the restrictions placed on cannabis.
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.
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.

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.
In fact, not only will CBD not make you high, it has been proven to counteract the psychoactivity of THC. This property makes CBD highly useful as a medical treatment for a wide range of conditions. In terms of the CBD products you can buy, the amount of THC present varies from none at all in a pure CBD Isolate to a minimal amount (less than 0.3%) in a Full-Spectrum CBD product.
It’s fair to say that the CBD market is thriving. According to market intelligence company Hemp Business Journal, $130 million worth of products containing the cannabinoid were bought in the U.S. in 2016. And that figure is only set to rise in the years to come, the data analyst believes. Indeed, the source estimates that consumer sales of CBD goods will total an astounding $2.1 billion by 2020 – buoyed, perhaps, by claims that the usage of such products can help alleviate the symptoms of chronic pain, depression and diabetes, to name but a few conditions.
The interest and preference for botanical remedies such as CBD oil over harsh pharmaceuticals are growing rapidly. You can read scientific research on the promise of CBD Oil at NCBI. While North America is taking the lead legalizing cannabis and hemp the rest of the world is starting to question their stance on prohibition because of the undeniable benefits. While all talk about plant-based remedies may seem very new, using cannabis/hemp tinctures as a holistic remedy is a generations-old tradition. It was very common to use cbd tinctures of cannabis oil in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We are enjoying a renaissance in ancestral health where we are open again to remedies that were all but forgotten about in the mad race to make medicines a pill offered by a faceless often unaccountable corporation.
In fact, not only will CBD not make you high, it has been proven to counteract the psychoactivity of THC. This property makes CBD highly useful as a medical treatment for a wide range of conditions. In terms of the CBD products you can buy, the amount of THC present varies from none at all in a pure CBD Isolate to a minimal amount (less than 0.3%) in a Full-Spectrum CBD product.
Elixinol has a wide range of products, but their CBD Tincture does the trick. It’s the cream of the crop regarding CBD oils and that reflects in its price. One dropper (1mg) from the 300 series contains 10mg of CBD. This allows you to get precise amounts of CBD and no guess work is required. Elixinol has received numerous awards for their products and extraction process.
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.
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.
CBD products have seen a huge rise in popularity over the past four years, beginning when the Agricultural Act of 2014 allowed the growth of industrial hemp. CBD oil has gained serious traction in the alternative medicine market, where it is reported to help with sleep disorders, migraines, pain relief (especially neck pain), anxiety, and even epilepsy. Because it contains 0–.3% THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana), CBD appeals to a wide range of people, including those who would not have used medical marijuana due to the head high they would experience.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
CBD oil alleviates physical pain and anxiety – both of which can have a negative impact on sleep. Additionally, CBD oil can actually prolong sleep for some, leading to more rest from night to night. Most medical experts agree that marijuana is not particularly beneficial for individuals with medical conditions and/or mental health disorders, as the THC can increase their symptoms; this makes CBD oil a good alternative option for people with the following sleep disorders and medical conditions.

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.
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.
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.
From what I can tell from all of the reading/research I’ve done online, CBDistillery has a very loyal following and a large amount of people who swear by their potent effects. I’ve tried their 500mg CBD oil and also the Pure CBD Isolate Slab in a dab rig, and I’ve got to say that both of them immediately eased my back pain. The effects weren’t maybe as long lasting as other brands, but in terms of potency I would say it was easily comparable. If you’re into traditional cannabis/marijuana culture and appreciate all the “standard pastimes ” like smoking, vaping, dabbing, etc, this is a brand for you. Along with Hemp Bombs, they hugely appeal to a younger crowd and have got the “modern” range of products to keep up with them.
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.
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.

From what I can tell from all of the reading/research I’ve done online, CBDistillery has a very loyal following and a large amount of people who swear by their potent effects. I’ve tried their 500mg CBD oil and also the Pure CBD Isolate Slab in a dab rig, and I’ve got to say that both of them immediately eased my back pain. The effects weren’t maybe as long lasting as other brands, but in terms of potency I would say it was easily comparable. If you’re into traditional cannabis/marijuana culture and appreciate all the “standard pastimes ” like smoking, vaping, dabbing, etc, this is a brand for you. Along with Hemp Bombs, they hugely appeal to a younger crowd and have got the “modern” range of products to keep up with them.

Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.
We’d be lying if we said costs didn’t matter. As in all things, with CBD oil tinctures you generally get what you pay for. Some of the products we recommend below are small and inexpensive (so you’re not sacrificing quality to buy inexpensive CBD oil, but rather, are just getting a smaller overall amount at once). Other products contain a higher potency formula, so even though the amount of liquid in the bottle may be the same, the amount of cannabinoids will vary greatly. Overall, prices range from as low as around $30 to over $400.
Don’t let the name confuse you. CBD oil comes in many shapes and forms besides the traditional oils that we’ve highlighted here. CBD tinctures are the most popular type of CBD oil, because they tend to have more potent concentrations and offer high bioavailability (e.g. more CBD gets absorbed through your bloodstream when you apply it beneath your tongue as a tincture). Plus, users typically begin to feel the effects within minutes.
It’s important to know that there is no “best” brand or product for everyone. The best CBD oil is the one that works well for you. Each person has a unique endocannabinoid system, body chemistry, and severity of the condition. A brand or product that works well for one person with a specific situation may not work for you at all. This reality is understandably frustrating for many of those who are new to CBD oil. 
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.
Populum has enough confidence in what it sells to offer a 30-day trial of purchases, with the option to send products back within that period if they don’t live up to expectations. That offer speaks to the company’s customer-friendly ethos – and its willingness to answer any questions that people throw at it via email, phone or live chat does so, too. One customer is quoted on Populum’s website as saying that the company’s risk-free guarantee is “also a testament to [its] commitment to making a high-quality product.” Those wanting to see what the fuss is about can sample Populum’s hemp oil tincture – which comes in 250 mg, 500 mg and 1,000 mg concentrations – and cooling gel, safe in the knowledge that they are able to get their money back if need be.

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.

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