Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis, a plant with a rich history as a medicine going back thousands of years. Today the therapeutic properties of CBD are being tested and confirmed by scientists and doctors around the world. A safe, non-addictive substance, CBD is one of more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” which are unique to cannabis and endow the plant with its robust therapeutic profile.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
That leaves those touting CBD’s effectiveness pointing primarily to research in mice and petri dishes. There, CBD (sometimes combined with small amounts of THC) has shown promise for helping pain, neurological conditions like anxiety and PTSD, and the immune system—and therefore potentially arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and more.
Online Retailers: Most CBD oils are sold through online retailers. These establishments tend to have the widest product range, and many offer free doorstep delivery. Online retailers also frequently post product reviews, allowing buyers to compare different oils based on customer experiences to determine which is best for them. These reviews can also be used to evaluate the retailer based on customer service, delivery, and product quality.
Tinctures – Typically tinctures are small glass or plastic “dropper” bottles that have cannabidiol oil mixed with a preserving solution such as alcohol. Tinctures were very a very common way to ingest botanical oils prior to the industrial revolution and are experiencing a resurgence in popularity as more people are looking for natural remedies. Tinctures with droppers allow you to put a few drops in your tea, under your tongue, or to bake the oil directly into your food. CLICK HERE to see our favorite tincture.
Hemp-derived CBD products were made federally legal in December 2018 with the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill. However, several states still have laws in place that restrict the sale and possession of these products. Most companies selling CBD oil are shipping to all 50 states. You should consult your local laws or an attorney in your area if you have concerns about legalities.
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.
To obtain the CBD-packed hemp extract from its organic crop, Highland Pharms uses a process called “supercritical CO2 extraction.” This method eliminates the need for more harmful solvents, while it also, the company says, yields CBD oil of an outstanding purity and efficacy. Those wanting to see for themselves can take their pick from Highland Pharms’ positively reviewed variety of tinctures – the strongest concentration of which measures up at 1,250 mg – as well as capsules and edibles. And if those potential customers have no idea exactly how much CBD they should be imbibing, then they can get themselves up to speed at the Texas-based company’s website, which offers a user-friendly guide to serving sizes and methods of CBD oil intake, among other common queries.
Real Scientific Hemp Oil touts itself as being somewhat of a pioneer, as – according to the company – its own variety of CBD oil was the first to hit the mainstream back in 2012. In addition, the brand claims that its RSHO-X CBD liquid is the earliest no-THC product of its kind, making it a sound choice for those worried about whether CBD oil use will influence the results of drug tests. The company is also transparent about the processes that go into making its varieties of CBD-containing hemp oils, helping customers make informed choices as to which of its products are best for them. And minds may be put at ease upon learning that Real Scientific Hemp Oil tests its CBD oil three times – a process which seems to speak to the quality, purity and safety of the provider’s wares.
The majority of users prefer full spectrum products because they provide synergistic benefits of the whole plant. These products include an array of the naturally-occurring cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis. Full spectrum CBD oil has up to 0.3% THC to produce the “entourage effect.” CBD oil products with zero THC are known as either “broad spectrum” or “isolates.” These products are generally preferred by those who want to use CBD but either have an aversion to THC or concerns about drug testing.
CO2 extraction is one of the most common ways CBD is extracted from the hemp or cannabis plants. This method uses expensive equipment that adjusts temperature and pressure to extract the cannabinoids from the plant material, without damaging them. The other common method is to use solvents like ethanol or butane to extract the plant material. These solvents have to be burned off the final product which may damage the cannabinoids or terpenes in the process. There is also a risk that these solvents may not have burned off completely and could end up in your end product.
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.
As noted in the previous section, CBD oil prices vary significantly by brand. The best practice for most is to determine a per-milligram budget for CBD oil, as well as a maximum price for the entire bottle. For example, you might decide that 10 cents per milligram or less is a reasonable budget; and that $45 (for a 450-mg concentration, based on the budget) is a maximum bottle price. Also, if ordering online, be sure to include potential shipping costs.
Quality CBD oil comes from a quality source. CBD oil can be extracted from the hemp plant in a variety of ways. The safest, and most efficient methods, use carbon dioxide or ethanol as a solvent to separate the CBD from the hemp plant. All of the tinctures below are extracted from pesticide-free hemp grown on local farms in the United States, all of which are registered with their state’s industrial hemp pilot program, or organic-certified farms in Europe.
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.”
CBD is a chemical found in marijuana. CBD doesn't contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that produces a high. The usual CBD formulation is oil, but CBD is also sold as an extract, a vaporized liquid and an oil-based capsule. Food, drinks and beauty products are among the many CBD-infused products available online.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you are new to the world of CBD, it is definitely best for you to start with a lower dosage and work your way up from there. Some of the tinctures listed below have as few as 240mg of cannabidiol per bottle, while others are as high as 4850mg. While stronger isn’t always better, we appreciate those brands that have different options available to address different needs. Also, keep in mind that while a lower dose can give you more control over the amount you consume, a higher concentration is usually more cost effective. Higher concentrations will also contain more beneficial cannabinoids.
This tincture is processed using the brand’s signature ‘Gold Formula,’ a full spectrum blend of terpenes, phytocannabinoids, fatty acids, and vitamin E. The drops are offered in three concentrations: 250mg in a 1-oz. container, or 750mg and 1,500mg in 2-oz. containers. Plus CBD Oil recommends taking half a dropper, or 15 drops, per dose. The drops are vegetarian-friendly and free of GMOs, gluten, and glycerin.
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.