*[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..]
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a potent, non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp oil. It is typically extracted from industrial hemp plants that are naturally high in CBD and other phytochemicals. It is the most prevalent of over 80 different cannabinoids found in natural hemp. It is commonly used for its therapeutic properties. Cannabidiol is responsible for a wide-range of positive health benefits through its interaction with the body's own endocannabinoid system.
Currently, the only CBD product approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a prescription oil called Epidiolex. It's approved to treat two types of epilepsy. Aside from Epidiolex, state laws on the use of CBD vary. While CBD is being studied as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and anxiety, research supporting the drug's benefits is still limited.
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.
Quality matters with CBD oil products and so does customer service. There are literally thousands of CBD companies selling products today. Some are real companies with a solid reputation among users and some are fly-by-night operations with no accountability. Of course, all of them will tell you that they have the best products out there. Never pick a brand based on one person’s opinion on social media. Especially if you feel like you are getting a sales pitch.
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.
Although CBD oils aren’t regulated by the FDA, purchasing products stateside from one of the nine states where recreational and medical cannabis use is legal will likely result in a higher-quality product than buying one made with hemp-derived CBD oil imported from abroad, says Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, a nonprofit that promotes medical research into CBD.
PlusCBD Oil offers three different CBD oil formulations. The Total Plant Complex formulation is unflavored and made with extra virgin olive oil. It also has the fewest additives of all of their oils and contains 4 mg of CBD per serving. The Gold Formula comes in unflavored, goji berry, and peppermint flavors with options for 3 mg, 5 mg, or 9 mg of CBD per serving. And the Raw Formula is available in 1mg and 3mg concentrations. It’s high in CBDA which has unique therapeutic properties distinct from CBD.
Transparency: cbdMD seems to be going through a transition with their third-party testing practices. Until recently, they only released a lab report for the CBD concentrate they use for all their products, but would not show potency testing for individual products. That seems to be changing. Currently, the only lab report on the website is for their concentrate (and it’s over a year old). But if you contact customer service, they’ll send you a lab report for any product.
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.
Canine consumers of CBD oil are well catered for by Green Garden Gold, which offers dog-friendly drops and peanut butter-flavored treats among its innovative range. Humans definitely haven’t been forgotten by this producer either, though, as they can take advantage of, for instance, its Panidiol Joint Formula, which is touted as a relief for nagging aches and pains. Alternatively, for any veteran CBD oil users looking for a particularly potent product, there’s the company’s Med Pac hemp oil supplement, the strongest variety of which contains a heavyweight 4,000 mg of CBD extract per bottle. And anybody wishing to be reassured of the quality of Green Garden Gold’s wares need only ask; yes, in the interests of transparency, the company is willing to hand over details of the results of third-party lab testing to anyone who puts in such a request.
Hemp Bombs is based in Tampa, Florida, and in addition to focusing on the purity and therapeutic effectiveness of their products, are dedicated to establishing themselves as a top brand in the industry with a specific target audience. One of our personal favorite products of theirs is the flavored CBD vape liquids, which are some of the best-tasting CBD vape juices we’ve ever had.
CBD oil users looking for a product that packs a punch could do well by picking up The CBDistillery’s 5,000 mg full-spectrum tincture – the most potent of the company’s range. Customers wanting a slightly gentler CBD hit, however, can opt instead for one of the provider’s vape oil pens or its 25 mg capsules. And for people who prefer to get their daily CBD dose through dabbing, The CBDistillery offers an array of flavored terpsolates, too, as well as a user-friendly walk-through of the process of dabbing for the uninitiated – a guide in keeping with the brand’s desire to “[spread knowledge] about CBD to the masses.” Added to which, The CBDistillery keeps prices lower for veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces by providing a 10-percent discount on any purchases made.
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.
There are many reputable brands on the market and American Shaman is certainly one of them. It’s understandably confusing because as you said, pretty much every company will say that theirs is the best. The approach that you are taking is very common…trying several different brands until you find the one that works best for you. It’s also great that you can take advantage of the assistance programs that many brands offer to help you reduce your cost. One final thing to note that is often overlooked by folks is the importance of finding your “sweet spot” serving size or dosage level. Contrary to what some people assume, the amount that you take for best results is different by individual. People tell us that they have the most success by starting low and increasing slowly as needed until they find that sweet spot. CBD oil also doesn’t work immediately for most people. It can take some time to build up and activate your endocannabinoid receptors so patience is also important. Best of luck to you on your CBD journey!
REM Behavior Disorder: REM behavior disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia disorder characterized by shouting, becoming physically agitated, or otherwise acting out during sleep. For many, RBD is a symptom of a larger, more serious condition or disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease or PTSD. CBD oil minimizes the symptoms of RBD, and also alleviates the anxiety and painful symptoms that often accompany disorders that lead to RBD.
And now, onto the thorny issue of legality. The simple answer to the question is yes — if it is extracted from hemp. The 2014 Farm Bill established guidelines for growing hemp in the U.S. legally. This so-called “industrial hemp” refers to both hemp and hemp products which come from cannabis plants with less than 0.3 percent THC and are grown by a state-licensed farmer.