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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
High potency CBD oils are ideal for those seeking a powerful, therapeutic effect. However, many companies only offer CBD oil in low to moderate potencies. Our pick for the highest potency CBD oil is Sabaidee’s Mega Good Vibes 2500mg+ CBD oil. At 88.33mg of CBD per serving, this is one of the most potent CBD oils on the market. And at $0.08 per mg of CBD, it is also reasonably priced. One 30mL bottle packs 2,500 mg of high-quality, full-spectrum, peppermint-flavored CBD oil.
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).
“Buying from a reputable manufacturer is crucial, because it matters how the plant is cultivated and processed,” Dr. Maroon says. One clue that a company is cutting corners: too low a cost. Good CBD is pricey—a bottle of high-quality capsules is sold in Cohen’s office for $140. But for many, it’s worth the money. Roth spent $60 on her tiny bottle. But when her energy returned the day she started taking CBD, she decided that was a small price to pay.
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.
Customer Service: There are multiple ways to get in touch with customer service, and Pure Hemp Botanicals’ customer service representatives are both quick to respond and forthcoming with information. On the down side, free shipping kicks in at $100 — otherwise it’s a pricey $9.99 flat rate. And you can return products, but only if they’re unopened.
You’ve probably seen PureKana listed on several other “best CBD oils” lists, and it’s for good reason; in our experience (along with maybe a couple of other close competitors), they offer the best overall value in terms of potency, price, customer service, and most importantly, effectiveness. In fact, if I wasn’t continuously trying out new stuff and dedicated to reviewing every single hemp product on the market in an effort to reveal the absolute best CBD oil, I would probably use them exclusively for my lower back pain. Likewise, my partner has said several times that the 600 mg Vanilla tincture is one of his favorites for helping him sleep through the night.