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.
Several weeks after a hysterectomy last spring, Bo Roth was suffering from exhaustion and pain that kept her on the couch much of the day. The 58-year-old Seattle speech coach didn’t want to take opioid pain-killers, but Tylenol wasn’t helping enough. Roth was intrigued when women in her online chat group enthused about a cannabis-derived oil called cannabidiol (CBD) that they said relieved pain without making them high. So Roth, who hadn’t smoked weed since college but lived in a state where cannabis was legal, walked into a dispensary and bought a CBD tincture.

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.
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.

In addition to an unflavored option, the drops also come in peppermint and goji berry flavors that are perfect for mixing with beverages. The nutritional information for all three flavors is found on the PlusCBD Oil website. The drops are fairly inexpensive, priced at $0.15 per mg or lower depending on the concentration. The brand offers fast shipping throughout the U.S. and to a wide range of international destinations.


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.
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.

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.
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.

*[A couple things of note before I begin the reviews. In order to avoid redundancy and limit repeating myself dozens of times over, be advised that (unless otherwise noted), all of the companies listed below employ standard practices that are used by all of the best CBD oil companies, including things like: solventless CO2 extraction, 3rd party laboratory testing, legal THC limits below 0.3%, shipping to all 50 U.S. states, etc..]
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.

High potency CBD oils are ideal for those seeking a powerful, therapeutic effect. However, many companies only offer CBD oil in low to moderate potencies. Our pick for the highest potency CBD oil is Sabaidee’s Mega Good Vibes 2500mg+ CBD oil. At 88.33mg of CBD per serving, this is one of the most potent CBD oils on the market. And at $0.08 per mg of CBD, it is also reasonably priced. One 30mL bottle packs 2,500 mg of high-quality, full-spectrum, peppermint-flavored CBD oil.


A newcomer to our CBD oils ranking, RE: Botanicals is no stranger to hemp. Founded by John Roulac, a long-time hemp advocate and founder of the organic superfoods brand Nutiva, RE: Botanicals is one of the only CBD brands to earn the USDA organic seal. They deserve a shout-out for prioritizing regenerative agriculture, while keeping prices reasonable.   
Cannabis grabbed all the headlines when Colorado legalized it on November 6, 2012 by passing Amendment 64. What most people don’t know is that hemp (the cultivar of cannabis with less than .3% THC) was allowed to be cultivated (originally in Kentucky and later in Colorado and Tennessee) under the 2014 farm bill. Hemp was grown initially as a pilot project, but as of today the US Congress is close to removing the Schedule 1 status of hemp. Removing the draconian Schedule 1 status as a controlled substance would allow hemp to grown in all of The United States. 
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). 
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.
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.
In addition to acting on the brain, CBD influences many body processes. That’s due to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which was discovered in the 1990s, after scientists started investigating why pot produces a high. Although much less well-known than the cardiovascular, reproductive, and respiratory systems, the ECS is critical. “The ECS helps us eat, sleep, relax, forget what we don’t need to remember, and protect our bodies from harm,” Marcu says. There are more ECS receptors in the brain than there are for opioids or serotonin, plus others in the intestines, liver, pancreas, ovaries, bone cells, and elsewhere.
CBD and THC interact with our bodies in a variety of ways. One of the main ways they impact us is by mimicking and augmenting the effects of the compounds in our bodies called “endogenous cannabinoids” - so named because of their similarity to the compounds found in the cannabis plant. These “endocannabinoids” are part of a regulatory system called the “endocannabinoid system”.

Most products labeled “hemp oil” do not contain any CBD. Those are typically hemp seed oil which is more commonly used for cooking or to make salad dressing. If you want to buy CBD oil, you’ll want to look for products that are labeled “CBD oil” or “hemp extract.” To confirm that a product you’re interested in has CBD in it, you’ll want to look at their third-party lab reports. All reputable companies selling CBD oil products will make third-party lab reports available to you to confirm the presence of CBD.


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.

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.
Vaporizers – Many state-licensed cannabis dispensaries offer high CBD strains of cannabis flower. This allows for reduced risk of paranoia while allowing for a high medicinal dose of CBD. Vaporizers are used to heat up the flower and remove the properties or compounds of the plant that you are looking for without combustion or smoking. Vaporizers use convection much like a convection oven. CLICK HERE to see our favorite vaporizer.
×