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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.
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. 

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.
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.
If you haven’t been bombarded with CBD marketing or raves about it from friends, get ready. This extract—which comes from either marijuana or its industrial cousin, hemp—is popping up everywhere. There are CBD capsules, tinctures, and liquids for vaping plus CBD-infused lotions, beauty products, snacks, coffee, and even vaginal suppositories. Already some 1,000 brands of CBD products are available in stores—and online in states that don’t have lenient cannabis laws. This is a tiny fraction of what’s to come: The CBD market is poised to exceed $22 billion by 2022, per the Chicago-based research firm Brightfield Group.
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.
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.
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.

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.
CBD, or canabidiol is an amazingly useful plant compound that is extracted from the cannabis plant. With volumes of medical science now at its back, this compound has been used effectively for a wide range of needs. These particularly wide-ranging applications are the result of its being a part of the “pleiotropic sedate” group. Compounds in this group are especially unique in their ability to affect and travel along many of the typically closed atomic pathways.

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.


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.
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.
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