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.
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.
The main thing that is inherently clear when scouting out FabCBD (which is a super new brand by the way that only just got started this year), is that they’ve made a pretty serious effort to develop a modern lifestyle brand. If you take a look at their website, everything from the web design to the brand labeling to the text they use screams modern and hip.
After two decades of experience in the hemp industry, Paul Benhaim founded Elixinol – ostensibly, as the company’s website states, to “[manufacture] and [provide] the highest-quality CBD oil and hemp extracts in the world.” And so that CBD oil users can be assured of that quality, Elixinol extensively tests its extracts and provides certificates of analysis for its products that are available to view at a click. The manufacturer’s wares have even received a “stamp of approval” from The Realm of Caring Foundation, a Colorado-based non-profit and advocate for cannabinoid therapy research and education. Those wanting to assess Elixinol’s extracts for themselves can choose from its range of oral tinctures – with potencies of 300 mg, 600 mg and 3,600 mg – as well as topical balms and capsules. Plus, the company gives 5 percent of the proceeds from every sale to charity – so buyers may not only feel good after their purchases, but they’ll do some good, too.
Through its regularly updated and highly informative blog, Koi CBD goes the extra mile to help its customers learn about new developments in the field of CBD use. The company also helps its patrons out by publishing full lab results on each of its products, helping CBD oil users know exactly what to expect. And those purchases may include Koi’s bespoke full-spectrum CBD oil blend, complete with fellow cannabinoids CBDV, CBN and CBG – the inclusion of which, the company claims, “provide[s] the ultimate experience in CBD.” Also available to buy from Koi’s website are a range of 1,000 mg vaping liquids, lavender-scented body lotion, tropical-flavored gummies and, for canine CBD lovers, chewable treats.
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.
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.
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.
Generally, your dose depends on two key factors: your body weight and the severity of your symptoms. The more you weigh, and the more severe your symptoms, the more CBD you’ll likely need to take to feel relief. Although, every person has a unique body chemistry and personal receptivity to CBD, so don’t be worried if you find a lower or higher dose to be more effective for you than what’s “typical.” What’s important if that you find a dose that works!
So let’s get something straight; Mary’s Nutritionals is the sister company of Mary’s Medicinals (actually they’re the same company), which is one of the cannabis industry’s most established names in cannabis CBD oil – that is to say, CBD oil that is extracted from marijuana and only legal in states with medical legalization (and for those with valid MMJ cards). Mary’s Nutritionals is the legal “hemp-based” version of Mary’s Medicinals; they extract their products industrial hemp like all other brands on the list, and thus are able to ship to all 50 U.S. states. Truth be told I don’t have a ton of experience with them because they’re so expensive, but believe me – their “Remedy” line of CBD oils are easily the best products on the market. That is, if you’re ready to splurge the cash on them. Also, they’re the only company we’re aware of that sells a legal CBD transdermal patch that you use like a nicotine patch. I’ve never actually tried it before, but I heard it works incredibly well.
Generally, CBD oil is made by combining an extract with a carrier fluid or oil. This question is best answered by looking at how the CBD oil was extracted. CBD oil can be extracted using CO2 systems or by using chemical solvents. Both methods produce a CBD oil byproduct that is then combined with a fluid like MCT oil, coconut oil, or olive oil so that it can be delivered to the body. Always check to make sure you know the CBD content of the products you purchase.
As Dixie Botanicals claims on its website, “When it comes to quality, we leave nothing to chance.” To that end, the company tests each CBD oil batch on no fewer than three occasions during the production process: once after the hemp oil it uses is extracted; then again upon the oil’s arrival in the U.S.; and, for the final time, after the substance has been put into its range of products. What’s more, Dixie Botanicals proves that such rigorous quality control doesn’t necessarily mean high price tags for customers: its 100 mg tincture drops, for example, come in at a reasonable $29.99 per 30 ml bottle. The company’s novel “Kicks,” meanwhile, combine chocolate, caffeine and CBD in handy bite-sized chews that may tempt coffee addicts and candy fiends alike.
The tincture is available in three strengths: 500mg, 1,000mg, and 3,000mg. Prices range from $0.04 to $0.07 per mg, depending on the concentration, which makes the tincture very low-priced compared to oils from most competing brands. Medterra also offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and will issue full refunds for all returns. In addition to the tincture, Medterra also offers CBD capsules in 25mg and 50mg concentrations.
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.
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.
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.
Fab CBD offers an extensive line of deliciously flavored full-spectrum CBD oils in a broad range of potencies. You can choose between citrus, vanilla, mint, berry, and natural flavors and potencies of 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg, or 80 mg of CBD per serving. And like all of our favorite CBD brands, Fab CBD uses minimal ingredients with no additives—just hemp extract, coconut oil, and natural flavors.
In response to the FDA’s historic decision, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced in September 2018 that it had removed Epidiolex from Schedule I classification, a category reserved for dangerous drugs with no medical value. Henceforth, Epidiolex would be considered a Schedule V drug, the least dangerous designation under the Controlled Substances Act.
Along with PureKana and CW Hemp, I would say that Green Roads CBD oil probably rounds out the top 3 most popular hemp companies selling online, and that would generally translate to status as the “best CBD oil,” right? They have an incredible web presence, and in fact run a really great blog that you should keep up with if you’re interested in the latest CBD news, trends, etc. They’re also big into offering loads of different product, including pre-dosed pens called “Daily Doses,” CBD terpenes, edibles, and even potent CBD concentrates that you can dab (I don’t have a dab rig myself, but I have friends who say the potency is incredible). Honestly, you’ve just got to check out their website in order to get a better idea of the huge range of products they’ve got — all of which are of the highest quality.
Like Premium Jane, Fab CBD is another newcomer to the industry, and they made this list simply because of how affordable they are. We received some samples quite awhile back, and while they weren’t the most potent products in the world, they absolutely did work and if you were to buy them from the online store they are about 15% cheaper than other top brands. ($79 for a 600 mg bottle compared to the average $95).
If you live in a state where CBD is legal for your condition, it’s best to buy it from a state-regulated dispensary. But even there, oversight is uneven. “I feel safe being a cannabis consumer in Colorado, since the state tracks everything from seed to sale, but I didn’t the first few years after cannabis became legal,” when the rules were still taking shape, says Robyn Griggs Lawrence, the Boulder author of The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, which features recipes for cannabis edibles.
To make matters more confusing, nine states (including California, Washington, and Colorado) let residents buy cannabis-based products with or without THC. Nearly two dozen other “medical marijuana states” allow the sale of cannabis, including capsules, tinctures, and other items containing CBD or THC, at licensed dispensaries to people whose doctors have certified that they have an approved condition (the list varies by state but includes chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, autism, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis). Sixteen more states legalized CBD for certain diseases.
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 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.
Under federal law, cannabis (from which both CBD and marijuana are derived) is illegal everywhere, although the laws against it aren’t generally enforced in states that have legalized marijuana. Some manufacturers claim that CBD culled from legally imported industrial hemp, which has little to no THC, is fine to ship across the U.S., but many experts disagree, noting that because hemp comes from the same species as marijuana, cannabis sativa, all CBD falls under the DEA’s Schedule 1 designation. “This creative interpretation of the law runs afoul of reality,” says the Brookings Institution, a Washington, DC, think tank.
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.”
Over the last couple of years, CBD oil has become a popular form of treatment for pain management. While CBD is not yet FDA-approved for pain relief, more and more doctors are looking into it. The major advantage of CBD oil compared to traditional cannabis is that it doesn’t cause the “high” feeling. Under updated hemp legislature in the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, CBD is sold in all 50 states.
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.
Brian Peterson has been a CBD consumer advocate and educator since 2013. He is the founder and managing editor of the CBDOilUsers.com website. He's also the lead administrator of the CBD Oil Users Group, the largest CBD group on Facebook. His passion is educating consumers so that they can make their own decisions when purchasing and using CBD products.
Dispensaries: In states where marijuana is legal for recreational use, dispensaries are a common sight. They are much rarer in states with more restrictions. In states that permit the use of medical marijuana, hemp-based CBD oils do not normally require a prescription but marijuana-based oils do. Like brick-and-mortar locations, dispensaries offer more customer service. However, as noted, this may not be an option depending on the buyer’s state of residence. Also, CBD oil prices tend to be significantly higher at dispensaries.
CBD oil alleviates physical pain and anxiety – both of which can have a negative impact on sleep. Additionally, CBD oil can actually prolong sleep for some, leading to more rest from night to night. Most medical experts agree that marijuana is not particularly beneficial for individuals with medical conditions and/or mental health disorders, as the THC can increase their symptoms; this makes CBD oil a good alternative option for people with the following sleep disorders and medical conditions.
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.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a natural phyto-cannabinoid (or plant-based chemical compound) found in cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana. Unlike other cannabinoids — namely tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects, and will actually counteract these effects to a degree. CBD will induce feelings of sleepiness; for this reason, it can be an effective soporific for people who struggle to fall and/or remain asleep due to insomnia and other sleep disorders.