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.

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.


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.
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.

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.

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 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.
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 full refunds for all products returned within 30 days of the original purchase. Inexpensive shipping rates are also available; most customers receive their delivery within seven or fewer business days. Customers can contact Fab CBD by phone or email if they have questions or concerns about their delivery. Those who join the brand’s online community qualify for product discounts, as well.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Additionally, PlusCBD oil is incredibly rigorous and transparent when it comes to testing their products and sharing the results. They perform thorough in-house testing to verify potency and screen for contaminants. PlusCBD Oil also validates its own in-house testing with independent third-party testing via DB Labs to ensure all products are free of pesticides, fungicides, residual solvents, heavy metals, and microbiological contamination.

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.


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.
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.
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.
Whether you are looking for CBD for general wellness or for specific medical conditions it’s important to look for these forms of lab test results; heavy metal testing, clinical trial information (if available), pesticide testing, microbial testing, potency testing, and cannabinoid profile. While having this information provided by a CBD company is important, it doesn’t necessarily mean their product will work for you. However you do not want to consider a CBD company that doesn’t provide the testing info mentioned above. Learn more about recommended best practices to look for here.
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.
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.
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.

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.
Since 2014, NuLeaf Naturals – our Editor’s Pick – has been committed to creating high-quality CBD oil products. As one of the oldest and most reviewed companies in the industry, NuLeaf Naturals has established themselves as a trustworthy CBD manufacturer. All of their products are tested by third party labs and their cannabinoid profile is impressive. They offer a unique range of concentrations for their organic CBD products ranging from 240mg to 4,850mg.
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.
The amount of milligrams of CBD you should take depends on your specific reason for taking CBD. If you are using CBD to treat chronic pain, you might take a much higher dose than someone who would be using CBD for general wellness reasons. We developed a CBD Quiz to help you find the right product for your specific condition and an interactive calculator to help you with dosage considerations.. You can take CBD in high qualities, so feel free to test out different dosages and see how your body reacts. A standard dose of CBD is 10 mg once a day, but this varies so widely because each individual is different so this can’t be taken as a recommendation for you.
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.
CBD is described in milligrams. Most people find a dose of 1 to 6 milligrams of CBD for every 10 pounds of their body weight to be effective. If you’re new to CBD, it’s highly recommended that you start with the lowest suggested dose. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you would start with a 15mg dose of CBD. See how that makes you feel. If you don’t feel any effects after a few days, you can gradually keep increasing your dose until you land on the right amount.
Unlike other CBD oils, PureKana really does excel in CBD oil extractions due to their unique CO2 extraction process which provides a near 99% pure CBD oil. PureKana Natural CBD Oil is an unflavored, dietary and nutritional supplement for increased health and vitality. It is extremely effective in helping to treat chronic pain, support recovery from exercise-induced inflammation, swelling, management of normal, everyday stresses, and to help promote healthy sleep cycles.
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.
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.
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