It may feel like the explosion of CBD products onto the market is a gift. If you don’t want to or can’t hit the vape, then it definitely is. But now what?! How do you choose a CBD oil when there are literally hundred of options out there, and there’s no way to know what you’re getting?
If you’re in a hurry, then check out our best CBD oil pick:
If you’ve got time, then read on, and we’ll teach you all you need to know about CBD oil, as well as give you the top picks from our rigorous research process.
Our Top CBD Oil Picks
- What Are the Top CBD Oils Overall?
- SabaiDee: Top CBD Oil Overall
- FOCL: Most Creative New CBD Product
- NuLeafNaturals: Top Full Spectrum CBD Oil
- Everyday Optimal CBD Oil
- HempBombs CBD Oil
- Canna Trading Co. CBD Oil
- Best CBD Oil for Pets: SabaiDee CBD Oil
- Medical Disclaimer
Selecting a CBD oil is an art and a science. It’s like choosing a resort package or the perfect tour for the one vacation you get every year. You are ready to spend the money, but you need what you need out of the deal.
Which CBD oil is truly going to deliver, and give you the effects you want?
In a market that is both packed and weirdly regulated, choosing the best CBD oil isn’t easy. There is plenty of pure, high-quality CBD oil for sale out there, but there is plenty of CBD oil that’s not worth your time, too. Add in questions about how to best administer the CBD oil and things really get complicated.
Every business claims that their products contain the best, most effective CBD oil on the market. In reality, though, the quality of CBD oil products can and does vary significantly. The FDA may dip its nose in here and there, but at the moment—especially without a strong body of meaningful research on its side—the FDA isn’t doing much product regulation in this area.
(Is the FDA trying to ban things? Maybe. But that’s only a small part of their actual mission: getting and keeping safe products on the market that make our lives easier.)
Anyway, this all means that finding the best, safest CBD oils on the market is on you, the consumer. That means lots of research or shopping around and spending a lot of money—or it means reading our review. Because everyone who sells CBD oils wants to make money, but that doesn’t mean they deserve yours.
There are so many online businesses out there trying to sell CBD oils, random CBD products, and CBD tinctures. Where do you start? Who is actually reputable? How do you know what’s really in that product, how they derived it, and how it will affect you? And how does CBD work, anyway?
Which CBD brands are the best? Can you trust them to honestly describe their ingredients and extraction methods? Do they offer truly high quality products? Are their lab results public?
This is our master list of the best CBD oils, CBD tinctures, and CBD products on the market right now. Our VV team got together and tried them all. We are regular CBD users, for all kinds of purposes.
We reviewed dozens of CBD oils, CBD tinctures, and other CBD products. We tested them using metrics we describe below, including effects, potency, taste, and value. We also investigated safety and production issues wherever possible.
What Are the Best CBD Oils Overall?
SabaiDee: Top CBD Oil Overall
SabaiDee is fairly new on the scene too, but it is making a splash. Their mission is to help people be happier and plant trees—awesome.
All SabaiDee CBD oil products are created from 100 percent organic, Colorado-grown hemp. They are also all tested by an independent third-party lab.
Here’s what SabaiDee has on offer:
The SabaiDee “Good Vibes” CBD oil is their lower-potency selection, at 250mg in a 30 mL bottle, that’s 0.20/mg. It’s still a broad-spectrum hemp extract in a coconut oil carrier flavored with peppermint oil and stevia, along with various omega fatty acids, phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and vitamins.
“Super Good Vibes” CBD oil by SabaiDee is also for sublingual use, but it is four times more potent. Otherwise it is about the same: 1,000mg in a 30 mL, that’s 0.12/mg. It’s twin version is “Pure Good Vibes” which is the same strength but comes without the flavoring.
Finally, SabaiDee features “Mega Good Vibes,” with more than 88mg of CBD per peppermint-flavored serving. At 2,500mg in a 30 mL bottle, that’s 0.08/mg.
This higher potency offering is a great option for people with more pain—and for our choice, serious anxiety. We also love SabaiDee Mega Good Vibes because it’s a broad-spectrum offering, and it’s technically less likely to mess you up on a drug test than a full-spectrum CBD oil is.
SabaiDee Mega Good Vibes still has those yummy terpenes that help lift your mood and relax. It just doesn’t have any THC in it. And it ranks as our top CBD oil for anxiety.
Most Potent: Super Speciosa Raw Leaf Hemp CBD Oil
Super Speciosa offers kratom products for all purposes, but we also love their enhanced, raw leaf CBD 750 mg high potency tincture. This tincture is a quality product, a flagship CBD tincture in a high-end line.
Each mL of Super Speciosa’s enhanced CBD product features 50 mg of CBD, plus the full spectrum of terpenes which enhance the inherent therapeutic benefits the CBD offers. Every bottle of high potency CBD tincture from Super Speciosa provides fully 750 mg of CBD in a 15 mL bottle.
Derived from American grown hemp, each bottle is lab tested for contaminants, heavy metals, pesticides, and potency. The gluten-free, vegan formula is free of artificial flavors, fillers, and preservatives—nothing but high-quality, full spectrum CBD extract from American-grown hemp, hemp seed oil, avocado oil, and fractionated coconut oil in this bottle.
Best CBD oil for potency: Super Speciosa high potency CBD tincture.
NuLeaf Naturals: Best Full Spectrum CBD Oil
NuLeaf Naturals is known for high potency, no-frills, full-spectrum CBD products. But it’s also got a great reputation for domestically-sourced, Colorado-grown hemp and sustainable farming practices. All strengths of this CBD oil are free of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, and are 100 percent organic.
Select the version of NuLeaf Naturals full spectrum CBD oil that is right for you based on your ideal dose. The CBD oil is available in a range of potencies for CBD users of all kinds:
- 240mg/5mL bottle ($0.16/mg)
- 725mg/15mL bottle ($0.14/mg)
- 1,450mg/30mL bottle ($0.12/mg)
- 2,425mg/50mL bottle ($0.10/mg)
- 4,850mg/100mL bottle ($0.09/mg)
NuLeaf Naturals uses CO2 extraction, among the best ways techniques to extract CBD from the hemp plant. This process prevents compromised quality, from either exposure to solvents or too much heat.
NuLeaf Naturals gives you the further benefit of hemp seed oil as a carrier oil, a 100 organic, non-GMO medium that is full of healthy fats. It will never contain fillers, additives, or preservatives—and that’s more than you can say for a lot of CBD products on the market today.
Now, here’s a related point. Some testers don’t love the plain taste of this full-spectrum, no-frills product. But for those of us who can’t handle excess additives, sweeteners, or artificial flavors, NuLeaf’s unflavored CBD oil is a huge gift. Sure, it has that grassy CBD taste, but you can chase it with anything you want.
This full-spectrum hemp extract has the traces of the range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that you need to really hit things like pain and inflammation hardest. It also contains zinc and B & D vitamins for your overall wellness. It’s a real value and our top choice for best full-spectrum CBD oil.
FOCL: Most Creative New CBD Product
FOCL is like the peanut butter cups of today: two great tastes that really do go even better together. We say that because the makers of FOCL CBD oil are combining CBD and the philosophy behind a nootropic stack capsule to provide consumers with a real wellness powerhouse.
FOCL starts with a high-quality CBD product, but their team has created both daytime and nighttime “stacks” with that product. Just like a nootropics stack, these are designed to enhance mental, physical, and emotional performance and overall wellbeing.
FOCL Day includes full-spectrum CBD derived from hemp, and botanicals that are ostensibly taken to enhance creativity and focus. These include Lion’s Mane Mushroom, L-Theanine, Bacopa Monniera, and Rhodiola rosea.
FOCL Night blends the same full-spectrum CBD, but adds more calming and soothing botanicals. These include Ashwagandha, Passionflower, Hops Cones, Valerian Root, and 5-HTP.
To us, this is a smart, creative way to make inroads in a tough CBD market. Nootropics is a hot area, and it continues to trend. Influencers in tech love nootropics, and although this doesn’t mean everyone will get into it, it does mean that it’s likely to continue to get funding for awhile.
Plus, more and more people are managing their health at home. We don’t have insurance, we are living longer, we need natural tools—there are lots of reasons.
And the bottom line reason? We loved using this product and did feel it was different. Give it a shot, see what you think.
Every Day Optimal CBD focuses on hemp-derived CBD oil products in particular. They seem to attract fibromyalgia patients frequently based on who uses and reviews their products. In fact, they sell a complete multi-vitamin capsule formulation that is a designed for people with fibromyalgia that also includes 25mg of CBD.
Every Day Optimal uses full-spectrum CBD to promote optimal results and the therapeutic benefits of the entourage effect. The company also sources their CBD oil from organic hemp farmers in the US, so its CBD products are free of pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants.
For other pain sufferers, Every Day Optimal offers a strong 10,000 mg formulation in a 30 mL bottle. That’s 166.6 mg per serving—a huge benefit for people who want a higher dose for any reason.
(We’ve heard from many people that they take this to help with chronic pain, but as a reminder, the FDA has not verified this claim.)
The reason getting to sleep is tricky is that it’s different for everyone, every night. Some nights are easier than others no matter who you are, right?
This means that we all need to be able to dial it in differently depending on what’s happening in our lives. Variability is key.
This is why we like Hemp Bombs for sleep. It’s more that there is a lot of flexibility in how you dose than anything else.
Hemp Bombs CBD oil is itself simple. It’s vegan, non-GMO, and made with grape seed oil, hemp oil, MCT oil, and either peppermint or watermelon flavors. But it’s also a great broad-spectrum CBD oil that comes in a range of formulations, from 300 to 4,000 mg.
It’s easy to dose and tolerate. The flavors aren’t overpowering, even if you sort of hate flavors. And the CBD quality is high.
Even our resident insomniacs enjoy Hemp Bombs. Whether you’re an old school CBD enthusiast or a first time user, you will probably like Hemp Bombs.
Canna Trading Co
Canna Trading Co. offers CBD oils for all purposes, but here we love their enhanced CBD tincture line. This line includes three products, each made with broad-spectrum CBD extract.
Every variety of Canna Trading Co.’s enhanced CBD oil features specific terpenes designed to boost the inherent therapeutic benefits the CBD offers. Canna Trading now sells sleep, anxiety, and inflammation blends in the enhanced line, and we love the inflammation blend in particular as a unique product.
Every enhanced CBD oil from Canna Trading Co. provides 400 mg of CBD in a 1 ounce bottle. Although they do not reveal which botanicals they are adding to their “proprietary formula,” it is well-established that various medicinal herbs can help reduce inflammation, so it’s not a reach to think whatever they’re adding might be helpful. In any case, we liked it.
Best CBD oil for inflammation: Canna Trading Co. CBD oil inflammation tincture. (As a reminder, the FDA has not verified any claims about this or any other product in terms of efficacy against inflammation.)
Best CBD Oil for Pets: SabaiDee CBD Oil
We decided to add this one in, last minute, for all of our pet parents out there. SabaiDee makes its pet products from the same hemp plants, so you know what you’re getting.
And as you probably remember from the human version of the product, all SabaiDee CBD hemp and CBD oils are subject to third-party lab testing. You can request the test results from the company and see linked information on the site, so you can feel confident that your fur babies are getting the highest quality available.
All mammals have endocannabinoid receptors in their bodies, and dogs certainly can benefit from the right supplements. Check in with you veterinarian before starting any new treatments for your pets, though, including CBD oil.
In this case, SabaiDee CBD Oil for pets is a full-spectrum product. It comes at a potency of 250mg in a 30 mL bottle, at 0.15/mg, making it one of the only CBD oils for pets on the market—not to mention a high-quality choice.
Best CBD Oil for Pets: SabaiDee CBD Oil
Medical Disclaimer: Numerous research studies indicate that CBD may help people with a range of pain issues, mental disorders, sleep troubles, and other conditions. We will elaborate on the science below.
However, these CBD products are not intended to cure, diagnose, prevent, or treat any disease. CBD oils or any other CBD products can potentially interact with other pharmaceuticals. Always talk to a doctor before using any CBD products, particularly if you take other medication.
What Is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a medically active phytocannabinoid or plant compound that occurs naturally in cannabis. CBD can be found in the plant’s resinous flowers. This is exactly where the rest of the cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are found.
The sticky resin of the plant is rich with over 100 unique “cannabinoid” compounds. This is what makes the “buds” or trichomes of a cannabis plant sticky, and the gooey nature of these thick groups of cannabis flowers serve multiple purposes.
They not only produce the oily cannabinoids with their medicinal benefits, but also aromatic terpenes that give the plants and their products unique aromas and flavors. The resin also guards the plants against pests, predators, and excessive ultraviolet radiation and heat.
CBD and THC closely related, and these two cannabis components have been studied by researchers more than any other part of the plant. CBD and THC each provide you with notable therapeutic benefits. However, unlike THC, CBD does not make users feel intoxicated—that “high” or “stoned” feeling that cannabis is famous for. The two compounds simply act with the receptors in different ways.
While research has not always progressed in the US due to political reasons, CBD and cannabis itself has been tested for therapeutic benefits by various teams of doctors, researchers, and scientists worldwide. Scientific research also suggests that the all-natural therapeutic qualities of CBD oil include allow users to experience benefits without as many of the negative side effects you get with classic medications and drugs.
In 2014, Congress passed its Agricultural Act enabling farmers to legally grow industrial hemp. This in turn triggered an explosion of hemp products, including CBD products, onto the market.
Since then, CBD oil and other products have become a sort of phenomenon on the market, at least in terms of interest and sales. Users report—and researchers confirm—that CBD oil helps them with anxiety, epilepsy and other seizure disorders, migraines, pain relief of all kinds, sleep disorders, and other problems.
Part of the appeal here is that CBD products typically contain 0–0.3 percent THC, the psychoactive component found in cannabis. So although cannabis may also help with many of these issues, CBD appeals to more people, especially those who cannot use medical marijuana because of the “head high.”
What Is a CBD Oil Tincture?
Businesses often create pure CBD oil tinctures, but what does that mean? Among the more popular ways of consuming CBD, a concentrated CBD oil tincture is a simple way to take CBD oil orally, for nutritional or other benefits. Just like any kind of tincture, companies make CBD oil tinctures by simmering or soaking hemp plants and flowers in neutral alcohols.
This process naturally extracts the CBD—and in the case of full-spectrum tinctures, other cannabinoids as well. The maker then boils off the excess alcohol, leaving just the extract. Next, the extract can be infused in a carrier oil that’s safe to eat—usually hemp seed oil, olive oil, or coconut oil. The end result is a bottle of drops you can safely and easily consume under the tongue or orally.
Is there THC in CBD Oil?
This is a confusing question to many people, but in reality the answer isn’t that complicated—unless you are getting a drug test immediately that could affect your life. In that case, pay close attention.
The THC that exists in CBD products created from hemp is minuscule. However, it is still there. These are called full-spectrum hemp products, and they arguably provide some of the best products. This is because the presence of a slight amount of THC helps create the entourage effect, allowing all constituent cannabinoids in the tincture to work to their maximum effect.
However, if you are in a zero-tolerance workplace, for example, any amount of THC is unhelpful. This means you should bit be shopping for full-spectrum CBD oils. Instead, look for broad-spectrum CBD products or, even safer, those made from CBD isolate.
Does CBD Oil Get You High?
In a word, no. Hemp-based CBD oil cannot get you high. However, hemp-derived CBD oil and CBD oil produced from cannabis is qualitatively different, although neither will technically get you “high.” The difference is in strict definitions of what is legal and what it means to be intoxicating.
CBD derived from hemp must have less than 0.3 percent THC to be legal in all 50 states. However, in medical marijuana and recreational cannabis states, it has also been legal to sell cannabis-derived CBD. In some cases, those products can have more THC than that 0.3 percent maximum. The latest farm bills and subsequent regulations are working to normalize this from state to state.
CBD Oil User’s Guide
How should you use CBD oil and CBD products to benefit yourself the most? Here is a basic CBD oil user’s guide to get started.
What Are The Potential Benefits of CBD?
CBD has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, neuroprotective, and sleep-enhancing effects. In fact, here are just a few areas, with linked study abstracts, where researchers and/or users have found some potential benefits from using CBD products:
- Acne treatment/prevention and management of other skin issues
- ADD and ADHD management, including some related symptoms such as anxiety
- Alcoholism, smoking, and other addiction issues
- ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, including some related symptoms such as appetite loss, drooling, pain, and spasticity
- Alzheimer’s Disease and some related symptoms including mood swings, anxiety, and loss of cognitive abilities, as well as other neurodegeneration
- Anorexia, and for related issues such as cachexia, appetite stimulation (this is a broad area, obviously)
- Anxiety disordersand trouble managing ordinary anxiety
- Arthritis, joint pain, and inflammation
- Asthma, allergies, and the inflammation and certain symptoms they cause
- Atherosclerosis (artery disease); specifically, cannabinoids may inhibit plaque progression and activate platelets
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Asperger’s, and some related issues
- Certain autoimmune diseases
- Cancer and some of its associated symptomslike nausea, pain, reduced appetite, and weight loss
- Cardiovascular disease prevention
- Colitis and other forms of IBDsuch as Crohn’s disease and some of their related issues, including nausea, vomiting, inflammation, swelling, and pain
- Depression and some related symptoms
- Endocrine disorders such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and adrenal insufficiency, and some related symptoms such as dehydration, fatigue, skin changes, and stomach upset
- Endometriosis and related pain
- Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
- Fibromyalgia and related symptoms such as pain and fatigue
- Glaucoma and the severe pain and nausea that can accompany it
- HIV/AIDS some symptom management, for symptoms such as nausea and pain
- Huntington’s disease maintenance and certain symptom management
- Inflammation generally, secondary to a host of issues such as Crohn’s disease, scleroderma, multiple sclerosis (MS), and just general inflammation, along with the host of symptoms that comes with it
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and managing related symptoms like pain, swelling, inflammation, gas, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and cramping
- Migraines and related symptoms, such as nausea and pain
- Multiple sclerosis and related nerve pain
- Nausea, from a range of sources, including chemotherapy or other medication-induced nausea
- Obesity, in that CBD may help reduce spikes in blood sugar
- Osteoporosis and bone loss prevention
- Pain management, especially in chronic caseswhere opiates are ineffective and dangerous
- Parkinson’s disease, management of some symptoms including psychosis and tremors
- PTSD symptom management, including sleep disturbances and anxiety
- Sleep problemsand regulation
- Stress management
- Stroke prevention and recovery
Does this make it seem like CBD is too good to be true—some kind of cure-all? Look a little closer. The reason CBD has utility in so many cases is really more about how it works in the human body.
Specifically, every human body has endocannabinoid receptors in it. These are the places in the body where both THC and CBD, along with other endocannabinoids, work. Some research seems to indicate that a clinical endocannabinoid deficiency exists that can cause a host of other problems that resist treatment—problems like IBS, migraines, and fibromyalgia. Thus, it wouldn’t be surprising that resolving that deficiency by taking CBD products or using cannabis would treat more than one problem—if it’s related to that larger issue.
Does more research and work remain to be done in this area? Definitely. But for now, the science is clear enough to say that many benefits for many people have been established. And while the FDA will or won’t let you say certain things about these products, they may be worth trying, depending on your situation.
Now, these beneficial effects do not yet mean CBD is itself a medicine. It is not, as you can see from our medical disclaimer. However, some drugs are already being created that make use of CBD, such as Sativex and Epidiolex.
Furthermore, like many other helpful compounds, CBD may not be “curing” an illness as much as it is alleviating symptoms. Still, ask anyone who no longer feels symptoms of nausea, migraines, anxiety, or other issues thanks to CBD if it’s worth trying.
Full Spectrum Oil and the Entourage Effect
Cannabinoids, including CBD, produce effects that are more potent when they can work together. This is because all of the cannabinoid compounds in the plant, whether it’s cannabis or hemp, enhance and interact with each other synergistically. This is what scientists call “the entourage effect.”
The entourage effect is one reason that some people prefer full-spectrum CBD oils. A full-spectrum CBD oil retains some portion of the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenoids that occurred naturally in the plant, allowing them to continue to function together. This type of extract is also called “full-plant” or “complete plant” sometimes.
So full spectrum CBD oil still includes all of the plant’s cannabinoids, including trace amounts of THC. However, under the law, the legal limit nationwide is no more than 0.3 percent. You still know what you are getting, and you can be sure it won’t get you high. (The issue is whether or not you drug test, and where you live, as a practical matter.)
Full spectrum CBD tincture differs from products made with CBD isolate. (CBD isolate is just like it sounds: isolated CBD. It is made by separating CBD from all of the other cannabinoids, purifying it. More on this below.)
Full spectrum CBD has no special health risks associated with them. The difference, as we said, is practical and legal because it is not THC-free. (And in some cases, because full-spectrum CBD products retain more earthy, grassy flavor, certain users like the isolate’s lack of taste as a matter of personal preference.)
How Does CBD Work?
CBD and all cannabinoids are chemical compounds. They all function within the endocannabinoid system—a system that exists in all humans, not to mention all mammals.
The endocannabinoid system regulates the way we respond to stimuli such as hunger, memory, pain, or even mood. Although there are many cannabinoids, including both CBD and THC, all of them work with one of the system’s two receptors. CBD happens to work with both.
The human body actually produces its own compounds that interact with these two receptors in the endocannabinoid system. These are called endogenous cannabinoids—they’re naturally inside our bodies. When we consume CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids, they augment and reproduce the effects we already get from the cannabinoids in our bodies.
It’s no wonder, then, that cannabis is so widely-used. It appears to help improve the performance of naturally-occurring, beneficial chemicals in the human body and brain. This is why it improves the mood, even as it helps users with things like fatigue, nausea, autoimmune function, bone density, blood pressure, pain management, and stress management.
Given that the endocannabinoid system is tied to these issues, when it doesn’t function properly, problems ensue. Chronic endocannabinoid deficiencies or an endocannabinoid system that is too active can result in illness, pain, and other issues.
According to a 2014 study from US National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists, “modulating endocannabinoid system activity may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans”. Most serious and chronic illnesses result in, among other problems, a dysregulated endocannabinoid system. This is why CBD and THC can often provide benefits for a wide range of users.
Issues With CBD Oils and Other CBD Products
As we stated, although CBD has some amazing applications, it’s no miracle drug or cure-all. In some cases, the entourage effect may enhance its effectiveness. Fortunately, the changing legal and social landscapes in the US are presenting more people with more options for trying CBD products.
CBD-rich products that are non-intoxicating yet potent are changing the way people think about medicine. Cannabis oil concentrates, edibles, and inventive delivery systems that allow people to use cannabis or cannabinoids without smoking are inviting new users onto the medicinal scene.
In fact, as awareness about more traditional medications such as opiates increases, more people are seeing cannabis and cannabinoid products such as CBD oils as lower risk options. This is particularly true for patients with serious illnesses like cancer.
However, especially for new users, this isn’t easy! Try asking most doctors about adding CBD products—let alone cannabis—to your medication regimen and see what happens. Patients cope with judgments, derision, and simple ignorance constantly.
This also means we navigate this landscape in the dark. We need to know about how CBD and THC work together in practice, how to dose, which way to consume, and any risk factors—especially drug interactions. But most healthcare professionals just don’t know much about CBD or cannabis care, and they can’t counsel patients about any of this.
What Types of CBD Oil Products Are There?
Although many products may bear the title, “CBD oil,” this product comes in various forms and shapes aside from the basic oils that we are reviewing here. CBD tinctures remain the most popular kind of CBD oil overall.
This is probably because they offer high concentrations, more bioavailability, and longer-lasting effects. And although vapers in particular often dislike waiting for the onset of effects, most tincture users feel effects within minutes when the CBD oil quality is high enough.
However, many other varieties of CBD oil products exist out there other than tinctures. For example:
CBD vape oils remain the quickest way to experience the effects of CBD—because you’re inhaling it. However, that’s not what we’re reviewing here! Look to a separate discussion of CBD vape oils for more on this, and remember: never vape anything that isn’t designed for vaping. It can literally kill you.
CBD gummies also exist, and like other edibles, they do have to get through the GI system before they hit the bloodstream and produce effects, so they can take somewhat longer—although they may also persist for more time. Gummies offer an additional advantage, though, if you don’t need a very high dose and can eat sugar: they taste better than most oils if you don’t like that grassy flavor and are easy to hide.
CBD capsules are usually gel capsules, although CBD may come in tablet form. These you take like a traditional medicine, so expect to wait longest for relief from these—up to 90 minutes, but at least 30. However, dosing is easy and precise, and these are very easy to travel with and use even at work, for example.
Some people use CBD topicals to manage chronic pain, although there is some dispute in the medical community about whether CBD can be delivered this way. CBD topicals include products like balms, chopsticks, creams, and lotions, each with some amount of CBD along with other botanicals in them. Some have other ingredients such as menthol or aloe that may invigorate or soothe the skin, and when massaged into a sore area probably feel good either way. However, there is the ongoing issue of absorption to consider, along with the problem of precise dosing and the need to reapply often to experience ongoing effects.
Although you might see other CBD products out there—especially now—from CBD chewing gum on down, these are the main categories for serious users to consider.
How to Dose CBD Oil?
CBD oil is not a medicine that the FDA officially approves. This means there is no set of guidelines on how to dose it. Research into this area has also been somewhat stifled by the ongoing criminalization of cannabis.
However, the science has shown some things to date:
- CBD is well-tolerated in adults and safe at doses up to 1,500mg/day.
- CBD has painkilling effects at initial doses of 100 mg/d increasing progressively to 300 mg/d.
- More is not always better, in that at least one patient had improved painkilling effects with lower doses of CBD—so careful trial and error is wise.
- CBD has a more favorable safety profile than psychiatric drugs used to treat problems such as anxiety, psychotic disorders, and epilepsy.
- Research shows that people with social anxiety disorder benefitted from higher doses of 600mg of CBD.
For an unofficial yet science-based list of dosage recommendations organized by condition, such as anxiety, epilepsy, pain, and others, check out, How to Use CBD Oil and CBD Oil Dosage Guidelines. Or just go with the list here, and work up to 1,500mg/day as needed.
Typically, the right dose of CBD oil depends on severity of symptoms, body weight, and of course your genetics. The more severe your symptoms, and more you weigh, in general the more CBD oil it will take to produce relief. But each person is genetically unique, so a lower or higher dose may be right for you.
CBD usually comes in milligrams. Most people dose between 1 and 5 milligrams of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight, but this does vary significantly.
Start low. For example, Marta is barely 110 pounds. She would start with an 11mg dose and see how she did. (It turns out she needs around 400mg a day, 200 in the morning and 200 at night—but she started low!)
Starting on the low end, see how you feel. If you get great effects, congratulations! Your CBD bill is low, too. If you don’t feel any effects—or the effects you hope for—after you’ve had a chance to adjust after several days or a week, increase your dose slowly and gradually. Eventually you will end up at the right dose.
CBD Dose and Serving Size
CBD oil tinctures usually come in bottles that are 15 milliliters/0.5 ounce, 30 milliliters/1 ounce, or 100 milliliters/3.38 ounces. Each bottle typically has a dropper included, which may be graduated, meaning it may have milliliter markings on it. If it doesn’t, a standard full dropper holds 1ml.
Every variety of CBD oil will list the total concentration of CBD that’s in the bottle. In other words, when a bottle says it has 250mgs in it, that means in the whole bottle. (Great if you’re a 10 mg person, less useful for a 200mg person!)
On the back, you will also find an ingredient label. There the CBD oil will show you how much CBD per serving you are getting. Remember, be careful to note whether a serving is a half-dropper or a full-dropper, because this varies by brand.
So, now you should know how to dose, or at least how to start:
- Do the math. Your dose of CBD should start at about 1 milligram for every 10 pounds of your body weight.
- Check how much CBD is in a dose, and whether that is a full- or half-dropper of your CBD oil.
- Adjust your dose based on whether the serving size matches what you need. For example, if your dropper has 40mg of CBD in it and you need 10mg, start with just one-quarter of it.
How to Use CBD Oil?
Remember: NEVER vape CBD oil unless it is made for that use. Just don’t do it.
CBD oil tinctures are made for sublingual and oral use only.
To use CBD oil sublingually, place your dose of CBD oil under your tongue. Hold it there for at least 60 seconds. After you’ve held it under the tongue, swallow it.
There are many reasons to use CBD oil tinctures sublingually. This way the CBD enters your system more quickly. It’s also easier for people who gag or get nauseated, or otherwise have issues swallowing medication, even CBD oil.
Sublingual use is also better since the effects can be decreased by digestion. There are many capillaries under the tongue, so the CBD can enter the bloodstream directly there, bypassing digestion and the liver. This means it absorbs quickly, getting to work right away. It also sometimes means that a lower dose may produce the same or even better results.
How to Use CBD Vape Oil?
Well, as you already know, you can and should vape CBD vape oil. The trick is knowing for sure that you’ve got the right product.
How can you be sure?
- There should be no edible oils like coconut oil or olive oil in CBD vape oil.
- CBD vape oils are specifically manufactured for vaping and should be packaged and marked as such.
CBD Oil Side Effects
Typically, any dose greater than 7 mg/pound of body weight per day is in the higher zone. That doesn’t make it dangerous, but it means you need to be careful about potential drug interactions and side effects.
In terms of drug interactions, there is no substitute for consulting with a doctor and/or pharmacist. Side effects are slightly easier to talk about.
CBD oil is wonderful to use in part because side effects are rare. They can occur, however. The most common side effects are:
- tiredness (not more extreme fatigue); and
- non-dangerous changes in weight or appetite.
(By “non-dangerous” we just mean that any rapid, major change in weight that is otherwise unexplained can potentially be dangerous and is reason to see a doctor.)
As you already saw above, CBD oil has a better safety profile than many other traditional drugs when it comes to treating various symptoms.
Although other side effects with low doses of CBD oil are rare, these have all been reported:
- cold or hot sensation;
- depression, strange feelings, odd daydreams;
- dry mouth;
- gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea, heartburn, or nausea;
- loss or change of taste;
- low blood pressure;
- muscular rigidity;
- neck pain;
- oral paresthesia;
If you notice any side effects that bother you, stop taking your CBD right away. Talk to a doctor. Often, just stopping or even reducing the amount of CBD you are taking is enough to resolve the issue.
Although the research proves that humans tolerate CBD well in doses as high as 1,500mg per day, several risk groups should avoid taking CBD oil:
- Pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding. Obviously, there isn’t much research out there on how medications or even natural supplements, including CBD oil, affect pregnant mothers or fetuses, because no one wants to endanger anyone. That’s why no one can say for sure that CBD oil is safe for these groups—although at least one study does indicate that CBD increases the permeability of the placental barrier.
- Children. This should maybe go without saying, but we don’t know that much about CBD oil and kids yet, and you should never give these products to children. Although some research certainly proves that CBD oil can manage symptoms of severe pediatric epilepsy effectively, its safety and efficacy for children remains mostly unstudied.
- Grapefruit warning medication people. CBD may hinder the liver’s ability to metabolize certain drugs like grapefruit does, and this can lead to adverse side effects. If you are using a medication that has a grapefruit warning, you should probably avoid taking CBD—or at least ask your doctor about that.
(It’s smart for anyone to talk to a doctor before taking CBD oil, because it has actual benefits and effects. This is especially true for anyone taking any sort of medication.)
Hemp Seed Oil Versus CBD Oil
Unless you are looking to cook or bake up a healthy treat filled with omega oils, you are probably not looking for hemp seed oil. Although CBD oil might be made from hemp, products called “hemp oil” and “hemp seed oil” are not the same thing.
In certain cases, CBD oil is produced from strains of cannabis that are high in CBD and low in THC. However, in the majority of cases, the hemp plant is used to make CBD oil.
In contrast, though, hemp oil or hemp seed oil comes from the hemp plant’s seeds. The seeds and the plant itself are distinct biochemically, and result in very different oil products. In fact, only the plant, not the seed, contains CBD. There is no way to extract therapeutic levels of CBD oil from hemp seeds.
Full-spectrum CBD oil derived either from hemp or cannabis also contains many other beneficial compounds that do not occur in the hemp seed, including other flavonoids, terpenoids, and other cannabinoids such as CBC and CBN. (More on this below.) And while you’ll get your omegas from your hemp seed oil, you won’t get any of these compounds from it.
CBD oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system directly. That is why it is known to help so many people with issues like anxiety, depression, inflammation, insomnia, and pain. Hemp seed oil does not produce those effects.
Broad-Spectrum or Full-Spectrum vs. Isolate
Broad-spectrum CBD oil and full-spectrum CBD oil are very similar, but not quite the same thing.
Some CBD products are labeled “broad-spectrum” or “full-spectrum,” but other CBD oils are made with “CBD isolate.” There is a difference, so to make the best selection, know what that difference is. The best choice really depends on the situation and your needs.
Broad-spectrum CBD oil still has most of the components of the entire cannabis plant. This means it has flavonoids and terpenes that taste and smell appealing, and other cannabinoids that may have beneficial effects, such as CBN.
Some producers put a lot of time and effort into creating full-spectrum CBD oils because research supports the idea that they produce an “entourage effect.” This entourage effect means that the CBD vape oil and all of the other cannabinoids and components in it work more effectively together to reduce symptoms like pain, anxiety, and inflammation.
CBD isolate, to show the difference, is pure CBD. Producers can and do extract it from everything else in the source plant, including flavonoids, terpenes—and of course THC.
This means it may lack the powerful entourage effect, but it is also potentially a higher CBD content product overall with no risk of a blown drug test. It’s also somewhat easier to control doses, not to mention flavor.
Some users worry that broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD oil might actually contain THC and create psychoactive effects. However, this isn’t the case.
CBD oils typically contain a tiny amount of THC: 0.3 percent or less, total, under the federal law. Although this can’t induce psychoactive effects, it has caused a few people here and there to fail very sensitive drug tests. It’s also possible that other cannabinoids can cause false positives, too.
Which CBD Oil Tincture is Best?
CBD oil tinctures are among the most effective and easiest ways to access the benefits of CBD. All of these CBD oils have been lab tested for quality and are made up to strict standards. Here are what we at VV see as the top CBD brands on the market, and the best CBD oils in each category that these brands have to offer at the moment.
Now, how did we come up with this list?
Methodology: Choosing the Best CBD Oil
Our guide to the best CBD oils in 2019 is intended to be comprehensive. We considered several factors as we created this list of top CBD oils, and each one earned its place on our list of oil reviews. Here are the criteria for best CBD oil tinctures that we considered: cost, customer service, effects, flavor, ingredient quality and transparency, potency, and sourcing and method of extraction.
Cost matters, and great CBD products are typically not cheap. Some of these products are less expensive than others, but all we found to be valuable, and we’ll explain why.
Customer service, shipping, etc.
Obviously, this factor can change your whole experience with a company and its products, and if you never get what you order or have a painful experience every time, it’s quickly not worth it. (This is even more true when your goal, for example, is treating anxiety, stress, or pain.)
CBD oil: you’re not taking it for your—oh, wait! You probably are taking it for your health! In other words, you probably came for the effects. So, one of the most important factors here is why these products are different. Why are their effects standout? What health benefits do other people feel they get from these?
If it takes so awful that you dread it every time…right. Flavor matters, especially with CBD products. (Yes, even the unflavored varieties!)
Naturally flavored hemp oil has a strong taste. Some call it earthy, others say it’s grassy. Many people like it, but others find it bitter and unpleasant. Unless you are someone who loves the taste of wheatgrass straight, though, you might want to avoid the natural flavor without something more. (This is another reason some people like the flavorless CBD isolate products.)
Ingredient quality and transparency
CBD products are currently in the Wild, Wild West of regulatory territory, unfortunately. This simply means some CBD oils are better than others, and some can even contain harmful pesticides and other compounds. This is why third-party testing is so critical.
The contents of certain CBD products have also been proven to be different from what their labels say, and in some cases the FDA has shown products to contain far more or less CBD than advertised. Of course, because this is still such a gray area, it’s not always clear where the safety zone is for companies.
However, for our purposes, we recommend only products that are tested for harmful contaminants. All of these products also have dosages on the bottle that matches what you get in the CBD oil.
Obviously, potency just means how powerful a dose of CBD you’re getting. More isn’t always better, but it can mean stretching your money further. There may also be more beneficial cannabinoids present in CBD oil products with higher concentrations.
On the other hand, lower potency can also mean tighter control over your dosing. And in the end, there’s no substitute for personal preference or individual results.
Sourcing and method of extraction
The best quality CBD oils are sourced from the best quality hemp. Each of these products has a verifiable source and a reliable product.
There is more than one way to extract CBD oil from the hemp plant, and the most efficient, safest techniques require either ethanol or carbon dioxide as a solvent. This important part of the process removes the rest of the plant matter from the full-spectrum hemp extract itself, so it is essential to use a safe solvent that produces a clean result.
Which of the Top CBD Oils Is Best for Me?
There are several important criteria to consider as you choose the best CBD oil for yourself:
- If you’re a clean eating enthusiast look for organic CBD offerings with more readily available lab results. Today, hemp farmers across the United States have strong organic operations from Colorado to Kentucky, so there are lots of choices out there.
- Are you hoping to experience the entourage effect? Look for a full-spectrum oil that incorporates aerial parts. Worried about drug testing? Don’t take this route. Opt for THC-free products instead.
- Is pain your top priority? Look for selections that offer more flexibility in dosing and higher concentrations, in case you need to go up gradually to manage your pain.
- If missing sleep is your concern, or even just getting the best bargain, you might be prioritizing flexibility in dosing and cost above other factors.
Obviously this should highlight the place to start: with your own priorities.
How to Shop for CBD Oil
Where can you buy CBD oil right now? All over the place. It’s legal in all 50 states across the USA, in most cases, depending on what’s in it.
Buy it right here through each retailer’s website online. Use these affiliate codes for better prices if you feel like trying these, or shop around as you see fit.
If you’re more of an in-person shopper, check out brick-and-mortar locations near you. The brand you like might not have its own store, but they probably have retail partners somewhere. CBD oil is often sold in health food stores, vitamin and supplement shops, and cannabis dispensaries, too.
The Bottom Line
We hope our guide to the best CBD oils in 2019 has been helpful to you. Remember, the best is only as good as it makes you feel, so keep trying them!