What exactly is cannabidiol (CBD) and more importantly, what does it do? Those questions and more are at the heart of this comprehensive guide to one of the most fascinating and important compounds of the cannabis plant. Cannabis plants are chemical powerhouses that produce more than 400 different compounds. Not all of those compounds are unique to marijuana, of course, and appear in many other species of plants. That’s why marijuana can smell like pine trees or taste like fresh lemons. But of those 400 compounds, more than 60 of them are totally specific to the plant genus Cannabis. Scientists call these special compounds “cannabinoids.” However, not all cannabinoids are created equal. One of them, cannabidiol, or CBD, holds the key to the wide variety of medicinal and therapeutic effects marijuana offers.
What exactly is cannabidiol (CBD) and more importantly, what does it do? Those questions and more are at the heart of this comprehensive guide to one of the most fascinating and important compounds of the cannabis plant. Cannabis plants are chemical powerhouses that produce more than 400 different compounds. Not all of those compounds are unique to marijuana, of course, and appear in many other species of plants. That’s why marijuana can smell like pine trees or taste like fresh lemons. But of those 400 compounds, more than 60 of them are totally specific to the plant genus Cannabis. Scientists call these special compounds “cannabinoids.” However, not all cannabinoids are created equal. One of them, cannabidiol, or CBD, holds the key to the wide variety of medicinal and therapeutic effects marijuana offers.
CO2 extraction is one of the most common ways CBD is extracted from the hemp or cannabis plants. This method uses expensive equipment that adjusts temperature and pressure to extract the cannabinoids from the plant material, without damaging them. The other common method is to use solvents like ethanol or butane to extract the plant material. These solvents have to be burned off the final product which may damage the cannabinoids or terpenes in the process. There is also a risk that these solvents may not have burned off completely and could end up in your end product.
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.
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.
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. 

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.
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.  
*[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 may be best known for its relaxing, calming effects. CBD reduces autonomic arousal, having the inverse effect of THC on the body. CBD’s anti-anxiety effect is why many in the cannabis community talk about how CBD relieves paranoia, although that is not scientifically proven yet. CBD is also known for its anti-nausea and pain relieving effects. It really depends on why your body’s specific needs and the quantity in which you take CBD.

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.
CBD oil products can be somewhat expensive, which may be a barrier for individuals seeking treatment or relief from different conditions and disorders. Right alongside price comes taste and a lot of consumer don’t like the earthy flavor of hemp. cbdMD is here to help on both fronts with a wide range of flavors that actually taste good at a price consumers can afford. cbdMD offers it’s premium, non-THC oils at a large variety of concentrations (300mg-5,00mg) as well as sizes (30mL and 60mL) . These oils are priced at $28 for 300mg oils and $90 for 1,500mg oils; both price-points are significantly below average.

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).

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.
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.
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.
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. 
The reason so many people are interested in cannabis products that don’t make them high, proponents say, is that CBD helps with everything from pain and nausea to rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, Crohn’s disease, and dementia. CBD is anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antibacterial, immunosuppressive, and more, says Joseph Cohen, DO, a cannabis doctor in Boulder, CO.
The main reason we like Kat’s Naturals CBD oils are because they use hempseed oil to infuse 1,500 mg of CBD isolate. While the hempseed itself doesn’t contain any actual CBD, it is chock-full of phytonutrients, plant protein, and other nutritious compounds. The only reason other companies use coconut or MCT oil to infuse the CBD instead of hempseed oil, is because hempseed is lower in saturated fat so it doesn’t have as great a bioavailability. In other words, taking a CBD oil infused in MCT oil will allow more of the active compound to reach parts of the body that you need it to. For combining the natural therapeutic elements of CBD with the nutritional benefits of hempseed, however, Kat’s Naturals is a great product. I would recommend using it as a daily health supplement moreso than an actual therapy to treat any kind of condition or ailment.

CBD capsules: These are gel capsules or tablets that you swallow like any other pill. People prefer capsules because dosing is precise (each pill contains a specific amount of CBD), they’re easy to travel with, and they’re easy to remember to take along with your daily vitamin. However, it does take longer to feel the effects of CBD with capsules (up to 90 minutes), since the capsule has to be processed by your digestive system first.


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.

Los Angeles-based PureKana stresses that it extracts the CBD oil for its products from hemp plants that have been cultivated without the use of herbicides, pesticides or other agro-industrial chemicals that may impact upon crops. What’s more, the company states, no solvents go into the extraction process other than carbon dioxide. And to further put potential customers’ minds at rest, PureKana presents the results of third-party testing of its CBD oil tincture on its website – a welcome nod to transparency. That tincture can be found in the company’s own blend of CBD oil drops – the three varieties of which have elicited highly complimentary reviews from users – as well as its capsules and cooling topical ointment. Meanwhile, for anyone with a sweet tooth, PureKana’s CBD isolate-containing gummy bears may just do the trick.
Cost is another consideration. Most CBD oils are sold in concentrations of 300 to 750 mg, although this may range from less than 100 mg to more than 2,000. A good indicator of price-point is the cost per milligram. Low-cost CBD oils usually fall between five and 10 cents per mg; mid-range prices are 11 to 15 cents per mg; and higher-end oils cost 16 cents per mg or higher. Given these varying per-milligram costs, a bottle of CBD oil may be priced anywhere from $10 or less to $150 or more.
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.
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). 

Fab has rapidly become the leading “lifestyle” brand in the industry. They are very engaged with their customers in their online community, and they have the top customer loyalty program that we’ve seen. Their full spectrum CBD oil drops and topical cream are made from 100% organically grown Colorado hemp, producing a very high-quality product. And their zero THC gummies get high marks from customers for taste and effectiveness.
I began vaping in 2012 and found it easy to give up a 40 per day roll-up habit! DTL: Lost Vape DNA75C BF - Dead Rabbit SQ - MTL: JacVapour Sandstorm DNA 75 + Augvape Merlin Nano RTA...Daily set-up Lost Vape DNA 250c and Geekvape Zeus X I'm a former journalist and now a writer and author.. I'm an Army veteran - adore dogs and never happier than with a good book on a beach.
Another field in which CBD is creating a buzz is in the area of mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Both conditions have been treated with a variety of medications, courtesy of Big Pharma, that have had varying levels of success. Again, the long list of side effects can be off-putting to someone who just wants to get through the day without the sweaty tension of anxiety or the gray haze of depression.
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.
Scott Shannon, MD, assistant clinical professor at the University of Colorado, recently sifted through patient charts from his four-doctor practice to document CBD’s effects on anxiety. His study, as yet unpublished, found “a fairly rapid decrease in anxiety scores that appears to persist for months,” he says. But he says he can’t discount a placebo effect, especially since “there’s a lot of hype right now.”

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 addition to all the benefits we’ve already discussed, CBD has been proven to have antioxidant and neuroprotective effects. This means that it helps repair the damage from oxidative stress, which is believed to be a primary cause of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS — even heart disorders and some forms of cancer. This is a hugely beneficial effect of CBD.
In order to determine which companies were included on this best cbd oil list and how they were ranked, each prominent provider on the market (Note: we pulled our list of brands from other established and credible CBD rankings like: this one and this one.) was allocated six individual Rank Scores based on their performance in the following metrics:
That same 2018 Farm Bill means you can now travel between states with legit CBD products. "Flying with CBD should pose no issues now," Parrish says. However, if you're traveling with a tincture, be mindful of TSA limits on how much liquid you can carry on an airplane, she adds. (You can also mail CBD products, just like "companies that comply with the Bill can ship their hemp-derived CBD products anywhere in the U.S.," Parrish notes.)
Insomnia: The anxiety-alleviating and sleep-prolonging qualities of CBD oil make it a good option for many people with insomnia. Those who experience insomnia due to pain or discomfort may also find that using CBD oil alleviates their physical symptoms to a noticeable extent. CBD oil may also promote daytime wakefulness when taken in small amounts; people with insomnia can use it as a pick-me-up if they feel excessively tired due to lack of restful sleep.
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