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.
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.
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.
Hemptation Infused Goods scores points for innovation thanks to its unusual CBD oil-infused honey, which is harvested from hives in Vermont and, according to the company, has a “slightly spicy bite.” That said, customers who prefer not to get their CBD hit on toast may instead opt for one of Hemptation’s similarly novel bath bombs, designed to either invigorate or help unwind when the user settles in for a soak. More traditional types might be relieved to hear, however, that the company also offers sublingual CBD oils in dropper bottles, 99-percent pure slabs of CBD isolate and wax – the latter made from a whole extract of the hemp plant. Furthermore, Hemptation arguably takes customer service to the next level by offering in-person consultations about CBD, available to those living in Massachusetts or Vermont for a $60 fee. Anyone further afield, meanwhile, can take advantage of a similar but more inexpensive service by either telephone or live chat online.
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.
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.
Medterra prides itself on offering what it terms “true seed-to-sale purchases,” with the hemp crop used for its CBD oil cultivated and extracted to the exacting standards demanded by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. Potential buyers may be encouraged, too, to know that “quality, consistency and safety are… top priorities” at Medterra, and to that end all of the raw materials the company uses are independently lab tested. Plus, those who decide to take the plunge and order from the provider’s site can reap the benefits of its rewards program, with points given for Facebook shares, reviews and purchases. Among the products on offer at Medterra are CBD oil tinctures, capsules and pain-alleviating cream, all of which fall under a money-back pledge if not deemed to be to customers’ satisfaction.
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.
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.
Weight plays a role in the effects of CBD oil, and bottle size should be selected based on how much you weigh. Let’s say you weigh less than 130 pounds and desire light CBD oil effects; this means that 11 mg or less will probably suffice per dose, giving roughly 40 doses from a 450-mg concentration. If you weigh more than 230 pounds and desire strong effects, then this same concentration will supply roughly 10 doses.
Unflavored hemp oil has a strong grassy and earthy taste. Some people enjoy the taste of natural hemp, but it’s not particularly popular. If a shot of wheatgrass sounds like a terrible idea, you’ll probably want to gravitate toward something with a more…palatable flavor. If you’re not sure, you can always start with a simple flavor you know you’ll enjoy, like mint or lemon, and get more adventurous over time.

Another point worth clarifying is the difference between hemp seed oil (or hemp oil) and CBD oil. There’s confusion on this point for the very good reason that both CBD oil and hemp seed oil are extracted from the industrial hemp plant. But there’s a big difference between the 2. Hemp seed oil has been pressed from hemp seed, and it’s great for a lot of things — it’s good for you, tastes great, and can be used in soap, paint — even as biodiesel fuel.


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.   

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.
×