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.


Palmetto Harmony’s backstory is a poignant one, as founder Janel Ralph was spurred on to create the company to help her daughter Harmony, who suffers from an unusual genetic condition. However, according to the producer’s website, Harmony’s quality of life has greatly improved since she began taking CBD oil. And potential customers looking to see if their health could be changed for the better can select from Palmetto Harmony’s broad array of organic CBD oil-containing products, including the company’s flagship whole-plant extract and an unusual time-release patch. The brand’s Holy Cannacense cream, meanwhile, is among the most popular of its range; and also in demand is the acclaimed vape oil, which Palmetto Harmony claims “is best used to calm the mind and soothe inflammation.”
Currently, the only CBD product approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a prescription oil called Epidiolex. It's approved to treat two types of epilepsy. Aside from Epidiolex, state laws on the use of CBD vary. While CBD is being studied as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and anxiety, research supporting the drug's benefits is still limited.
Secondly, all products are NOT created equal – they differ significantly in strength, absorption, and elimination by the body and in the manner in which they are formulated. One should be mindful of the differences in doses available for each of these products, starting at a low or moderate dose and increasing as needed in order to find the lowest dose that provides the desired relief. In this way, one can individualize usage to maximize effectiveness while minimizing risk – a proper goal for the use of all medicinals.
The human body also produces cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, in a bodily system known as the endocannabinoid system (or ECS). The ECS promotes homeostasis by regulating a wide range of functions, including motor skills, mood, appetite, and sleep. As we age, our ECS produces fewer endocannabinoids; they may also decrease due to physical injury or disease. Replenishing depleted endocannabinoids with phytocannabinoids like CBD can help restore balance to the body.

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.


Unlike THC, CBD will not make you high. That said, this doesn’t mean CBD is not at all psychoactive, as many assert, says Jahan Marcu, PhD, director of experimental pharmacology and behavior at the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health in New York City: “CBD does change cognition. It affects mood, which is why people take it for anxiety. And some find that it makes them more alert.”

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.
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).
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.

Palmetto Harmony’s backstory is a poignant one, as founder Janel Ralph was spurred on to create the company to help her daughter Harmony, who suffers from an unusual genetic condition. However, according to the producer’s website, Harmony’s quality of life has greatly improved since she began taking CBD oil. And potential customers looking to see if their health could be changed for the better can select from Palmetto Harmony’s broad array of organic CBD oil-containing products, including the company’s flagship whole-plant extract and an unusual time-release patch. The brand’s Holy Cannacense cream, meanwhile, is among the most popular of its range; and also in demand is the acclaimed vape oil, which Palmetto Harmony claims “is best used to calm the mind and soothe inflammation.”

Many expect easy answers and fast results. But as many who have achieved success can attest, there’s no substitute for doing your own research, accepting that there will be some trial and error, and having a good deal of patience to find what works well for you. The good news is that when you buy from one of the companies listed above, you know that you are getting a quality product from a reputable company. Many users have had success with each of these companies for a variety of conditions.


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 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.
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.

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.


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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
Transparency: Receptra Naturals’ website has a database where you can look up lab reports for their products. The first time we checked, we got some 404 errors for a couple of the lab reports, but these glitches seem to have been fixed since then. We were able to see third-party lab reports for all their tinctures (though, apparently not for their topicals). 
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 2016 Louisville, Colorado-based Bluebird Botanicals was selected as the leading CBD oil company in the U.S. at that year’s Cannabist Awards, and that accolade came only four years after the business’ founding. In that time, though, Bluebird Botanicals has, according to cannabis industry market researchers Brightfield Group, grown to become the third-biggest selling producer of its kind in America. Perhaps that’s down in part to the stringent quality control measures that Bluebird Botanicals maintains – the results of which can be seen when looking at the certificates of analysis for each batch on its website. And the company’s “assistance programs,” created to aid disabled people, veterans and those on low incomes, also speak to an altruistic approach to customer care. People eligible can receive discounts on Bluebird’s classic and signature hemp extracts, vape oil and CBD isolate.
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.
Given CBD’s reputation as a popular, artisanal remedy, one would think that Epidiolex would command a lot of “off label” attention. After all, physicians often prescribe pharmaceuticals off label to treat conditions that were not the actual focus of clinical trials. But the costly price tag for Epidiolex (more than $30,000 annually) precludes off label prescribing as well as affordable access for tens of millions of Americans without health insurance.
The growth of CBD Pure within the last several months has been somewhat surprising given their little-known status the first time I tried them last year. They’re not quite as potent and long-lasting as something like Premium Jane or PureKana, but like CBD Essence they’ve mostly made it this high up on the list due to their affordable prices. Believe it or not, in fact, they’re nearly 60% cheaper than PureKana on an oz-to-oz basis. If you’re just trying out CBD for the first time and want to see how it works for you before jumping to one of the more expensive brands, I’d definitely take a look at CBD Pure’s range of affordable tinctures.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women: Because researchers don’t want to put the mother or fetus in danger, clinical studies typically don’t include pregnant and breastfeeding women. As a result, physicians can’t definitively say whether or not CBD is safe for expecting and new mothers. Not enough research has been done. However, one study did find that CBD increased the permeability of the placental barrier, which could put the fetus at risk.
First, a little background. Industrial hemp was legal in the United States until Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937. ("Some of our early presidents grew hemp," notes Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish, a cannabis industry attorney based in Oklahoma.) Nearly 80 years later, the 2014 Farm Bill took the position that states can regulate the production of hemp and, as a result, CBD. Then last year, President Trump signed a new Farm Bill that made it federally legal to grow hemp.
Given CBD’s reputation as a popular, artisanal remedy, one would think that Epidiolex would command a lot of “off label” attention. After all, physicians often prescribe pharmaceuticals off label to treat conditions that were not the actual focus of clinical trials. But the costly price tag for Epidiolex (more than $30,000 annually) precludes off label prescribing as well as affordable access for tens of millions of Americans without health insurance.
CBD American Shaman’s extensive array of products ought to satisfy even the pickiest customer, ranging as it does from flavored tinctures to CBD-infused under-eye serum – and even, for horse lovers, an “equine ointment.” Furthermore, its inventive, water-soluble hemp oil supplement means that users can get their daily dose of CBD just by quenching their thirst. They’re all ways through which CBD American Shaman, as the website states, aims to “[bring] wellness to the world.” The company has a philanthropic streak, too, with a pledge that it frequently gives to non-profit organizations, while its “Compassionate Care” scheme cuts the prices of its goods for those with long-term health conditions. Plus, the company asserts that it uses only organic, non-genetically modified hemp in the making of its CBD oil products, with no insecticides used in the growing process.
CBD oil products can be somewhat expensive, which may be a barrier for individuals seeking treatment or relief from different conditions and disorders. Right alongside price comes taste and a lot of consumer don’t like the earthy flavor of hemp. cbdMD is here to help on both fronts with a wide range of flavors that actually taste good at a price consumers can afford. cbdMD offers it’s premium, non-THC oils at a large variety of concentrations (300mg-5,00mg) as well as sizes (30mL and 60mL) . These oils are priced at $28 for 300mg oils and $90 for 1,500mg oils; both price-points are significantly below average.
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.
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.

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.
NuLeaf Naturals markets themselves as “the world’s premier CBD oil company” – I don’t know if I’d quite go to that extent and say that, but I will say that my partner Josh and I have both tried their full-spectrum tinctures, and they do work incredibly well. Also, they main reason they made it on my list here of the best CBD oils online is the fact they offer one of the most potent oral tinctures on the market: a 1,450 mg super highly concentrated oil that wiped my back pain out in less than 20 minutes. To be clear, that’s 45% more potent than PureKana’s strongest oil (1,000 mg). Why don’t I use NuLeaf Naturals all the time then, you might be wondering? Well, I can get away with much smaller doses than that, so there’s no reason to take such a potent dose if I don’t need to. If you’ve been scrounging around the web trying to find a super strong CBD oil, or have otherwise not had great results with other products, I definitely recommend trying some of NuLeaf Naturals’ stuff out. Be advised, though, that it ain’t cheap!

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.


NuLeaf only offers one concentration of CBD oil, 50 mg/ml, and the ingredients are as simple as it gets: USDA Certified organic hemp oil and full spectrum hemp extract. NuLeaf essentially has only one product. But this strategy allows them to keep their prices reasonable and offer bulk buying options—you can buy a bottle of NuLeaf CBD oil containing 240 mg total CBD all the way up to 4,850 mg.
Along with PureKana and Premium Jane, MedTerra CBD is one of the few companies that has a commercialization agreement with hemp farms under the Kentucky Pilot Research Program. My partner and I really like this brand because it’s clear that they’re much more focused on health and science rather than creating gimmicky promotions and web advertisements to try and build their “brand.” The CBD industry definitely needs more companies with this mentality. We haven’t tried them a whole lot, but we did receive a couple of samples of their “Medoil Tinctures,” and they worked particularly well for my partner’s anxiety and sleep issues. They also were OK for my back pain, but not quite as potent as some other brands I’ve used.
Being more a traditional gal, it’s kind of funny that I like Hemp Bombs CBD so much. Judging by their Instagram and so forth it seems like they’ve made an effort to appeal to a younger, more “hip” crowd, but I don’t care – they sell some darn good CBD products and that’s the only thing that matters to me. And actually, if you’re into vaping CBD oil or prefer to use a CBD vape pen, they’re definitely the company that I would recommend the most. I’m not huge into vaping myself, but they’ve got a MASSIVE range of high-quality (and highly potent) CBD vape products in addition to the standard stuff like oral tinctures and CBD capsules. My partner has even used the “Sugar Cookie Kryptonite” vape liquid and absolutely loved it! Really, you’ve got to just spend some time browsing their store to come to terms with the huge range of products they’ve got: CBD “Pain Freeze,” CBD “Max Chill Shots,” and even a brand new product called CBD Beard Oil!!
Transdermal Patches – Remember those patches people put on their bodies to quit smoking? These patches allowed for a slow release of nicotine over the course of a day? Well, the same idea exists with CBD patches. This is a convenient way to get CBD into your body and endocannabinoid system over the course of a day. CLICK HERE to see our favorite patch.
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