Top 6 Best CBD Oils
Exploring the World of Cannabidiol (CBD): A Guide to Choosing the Finest Oils and Tinctures
Cannabidiol (CBD) has gained widespread recognition for its potential health benefits, ranging from anxiety reduction to enhancing sleep quality and more. Among the various methods of consumption, CBD oils stand out for their ease of use and the flexibility to tailor doses to individual needs. However, the abundance of CBD oils and tinctures in the market can pose a challenge in finding the most suitable and safest product for each person. In an effort to assist consumers in selecting the optimal CBD oils and tinctures, the Forbes Health editorial team conducted a comprehensive analysis. They scrutinized data on over 150 CBD oil products derived from U.S.-grown plants, all accompanied by a certificate of analysis (COA) affirming the absence of pesticides, heavy metals, and molds. Furthermore, the products were subjected to third-party testing by ISO 17025-compliant laboratories. For insights into the top 10 CBD oils that met these rigorous standards, read on.
Top 6 Best CBD Oils
Aspen Green Relief Organic Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Price: $5 per 1-milliliter serving
Type: Full spectrum CBD oil (contains up to 0.3% THC)
Potency: 133 milligrams of CBD per 1-milliliter serving
Shop Now on Diamond CBD
Why We Chose It: Aspen Green Relief Organic Full Spectrum CBD Oil stands out as an excellent option for consumers seeking a high-potency product. Boasting over 130 milligrams of CBD per serving, it claims the top spot for potency on our list, albeit at a higher price point.
This full spectrum CBD oil contains 2.5 milligrams of THC per serving, making it unsuitable for individuals desiring a THC-free product or those subject to THC drug testing. Beyond CBD and THC, the formula incorporates organic cherry flavor and an array of botanical ingredients, including organic turmeric extract, organic ginger extract, organic chamomile extract, organic black cumin seed extract, organic rosemary extract, and organic black pepper essential oil. Aspen Green asserts that these additional components contribute wellness-enhancing properties.
Pros & Cons: Pros:
- Certified USDA organic ingredients
- Vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and non-GMO
- Comprehensive dosing guide included
- May not be suitable for new CBD users
- Higher price compared to many competing CBD oils
Additional Details: A 30-milliliter bottle of Aspen Green Relief Organic Full Spectrum CBD Oil, containing 4,000 milligrams of CBD, is priced at $149.99. Subscribing for deliveries every four, six, or eight weeks entitles consumers to a 30% discount. Aspen Green extends free shipping for all purchases over $74 and provides a 60-day return policy for users unsatisfied with their purchase.
Canna River Broad Spectrum CBD Classic Tincture
Price: $1.33 per 1-milliliter serving
Type: Broad spectrum CBD oil
Potency: 100 milligrams of CBD per 1-milliliter serving
Shop Now on Canna River’s Website
Why We Selected It: Canna River’s Broad Spectrum CBD Classic Tincture is a robust offering, featuring 3,000 milligrams of CBD per 30-ounce bottle (100 milligrams per serving). With a choice of four flavors—natural, lemon raspberry, mango peach, and sweet mint—this broad spectrum CBD oil caters to various taste preferences. Positioned as THC-free, it appeals to seasoned CBD users seeking a potent product with minimal to no THC content.
Pros & Cons: Pros:
- Four flavor options available
- Non-GMO, gluten-free, and cruelty-free
- More affordable than competing CBD oils
- Not organic
- Flavored varieties contain natural and artificial flavors
Additional Details: A 30-milliliter bottle of Canna River Broad Spectrum CBD Classic Tincture, containing 3,000 milligrams of CBD, is priced at $40. The product is also available in three additional sizes and strengths: a 15-milliliter bottle with 150 milligrams of CBD ($20), a 60-milliliter bottle with 6,000 milligrams of CBD ($60), and a 120-milliliter bottle with 12,000 milligrams of CBD ($80).
Carmen’s Medicinals Recovery Remedy Drops
Cost: $3.67 per 1-milliliter serving
Type: Full spectrum CBD oil (contains up to 0.3% THC)
Potency: 66.7 milligrams of CBD per 1-milliliter serving
Shop Now on Carmen’s Medicinal’s Website
Why We Chose It: Carmen’s Medicinals Recovery Remedy Drops caught our attention for their unique CBD/CBG blend. Sourced from USDA-certified organic hemp cultivated on the company’s own farms, these drops are crafted with an ethanol extraction process, preserving the original cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant. This comprehensive profile is believed to contribute to pain relief and muscle recovery, as per the company. In addition to full spectrum hemp oil, the Recovery Remedy Drops include organic MCT oil, natural peppermint oil, and a terpene blend.
Pros & Cons: Pros:
- Vegan-friendly and gluten-free
- USDA certified organic
- Contains both CBD and CBG, potentially enhancing effects based on preliminary research
- USDA certified organic seal not present on packaging or company website
- Not suitable for individuals with a coconut allergy
Additional Details: A 30-milliliter bottle of Carmen’s Medicinals Recovery Remedy Drops, containing 2,000 milligrams of CBD, is priced at $109.95. While there isn’t a subscribe-and-save option, the company provides free shipping for purchases over $50. Additional Details: A 30-milliliter bottle of R&R Organic Broad Spectrum CBD Tincture is priced at $55 for a one-time purchase. Subscribing for delivery every 30, 60, or 90 days unlocks a 20% discount, with subscription options available in packs of two and three, also with a 20% discount. R&R provides free shipping on orders over $60 and offers a 60-day money-back guarantee. Additional Details: A 30-milliliter bottle of Lazarus Naturals CBD oil, containing 1,500 milligrams of CBD, is priced at $40. The tincture is also available in one additional size: a 120-milliliter bottle containing 6,000 milligrams of CBD. Additional Details: A 30-milliliter bottle of Five CBD Full Spectrum CBD and THC Oil, containing 1,500 milligrams of CBD, is priced at $49.99 for a one-time purchase. Opting for monthly subscriptions entitles customers to a 30% discount, bringing the cost down to $34.99 per bottle.a
Methodology: How We Selected the Top CBD Oils and Tinctures in 2023
In identifying the finest CBD oils and tinctures, the Forbes Health editorial team conducted a thorough analysis of over 150 CBD oil products, considering the following criteria:
- Products must be derived from plants cultivated in the United States.
- Quality Assurance:
- A Certificate of Analysis (COA) must affirm the absence of pesticides, heavy metals, and molds.
- Third-Party Testing:
- Products must undergo testing by laboratories compliant with ISO 17025 standards.
Having established these foundational criteria, we further assessed and ranked CBD oils and tinctures based on the following factors:
- We considered the cost of each product to ensure affordability for consumers.
- The potency of each CBD oil was evaluated to determine its effectiveness.
- Dietary Friendliness:
- We examined the quality of the carrier oil used and assessed whether the product is vegan-friendly and/or gluten-free.
- Flavor Options:
- The availability and variety of flavors were taken into account to cater to diverse consumer preferences.
For standardization purposes, we regarded 1 milliliter as the standard serving size for CBD oil unless a different specification was indicated on the product’s label. When possible, we focused on 30-milliliter bottles to maintain comparability across all evaluated data.
Understanding CBD Oil: A Comprehensive Overview
What Is CBD Oil? CBD oil is a dietary supplement derived from the cannabis sativa plant, containing Cannabidiol (CBD) as its primary active ingredient. Extracted from the plant, CBD is then blended with a carrier oil—commonly olive, coconut, or medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil—to formulate CBD oil, which is typically administered orally.
How Do CBD Oils and Tinctures Work? The functionality of CBD is intricately tied to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a crucial cell-signaling system within the body. Comprising naturally produced cannabinoids, receptors responsive to these cannabinoids, and enzymes facilitating their breakdown and utilization, the ECS plays a pivotal role in maintaining physiological balance. When CBD is introduced through oils or tinctures, the body’s response mirrors its reaction to natural cannabinoids.
Daniele Piomelli, Ph.D., Director of the Institute for the Study of Cannabis at the University of California, Irvine, and a professor of anatomy and neurobiology at the university’s medical school, elucidates, “Endocannabinoids are chemical messengers that play a variety of roles in the body. They work by binding to receptors present on the surface of neurons and many other cells. When bound to endocannabinoids, these receptors regulate appetite, pain, memory, the response to stress, and the ability to store fat (among other things).”
Research indicates that the ECS influences various physiological processes, including appetite, cancer, cardiovascular health, fertility, immune function, memory, neuroprotection, and pain modulation. Users of CBD oil products frequently report relief from a spectrum of ailments, ranging from anxiety to chronic pain.
How to Take CBD Oil
For those venturing into CBD oil usage, experts recommend commencing with a modest dose, typically around 25 milligrams per day, and gradually adjusting the dosage to achieve the desired effects. This process is ideally conducted under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional, considering the variability in individual reactions to CBD.
The effectiveness of CBD oil hinges on a process known as first-pass digestion, where it must be initially processed through the digestive system. Initial studies propose that consuming CBD oil with high-fat foods may enhance its bioavailability, although further human trials are essential to substantiate this claim. Alternatively, CBD tinctures, administered under the tongue, are absorbed by the mucous membranes, potentially leading to a quicker onset of effects, although more scientific evidence is required to validate this hypothesis.
Choosing the Right Strength of CBD Oil
Determining the appropriate strength of CBD oil lacks a standardized dosage, as effects vary from person to person. Variables such as the type of CBD used, individual factors like height, weight, and metabolic function, and the intended purpose (e.g., sleep support, pain relief, anxiety reduction) all contribute to the dosage. Ongoing research is imperative to establish standard effective doses and potencies for CBD oil.
Dr. Piomelli advises caution, stating, “CBD oil is used—without much supportive evidence—for the self-medication of various conditions, including pain and anxiety. If someone decides to try it, I would recommend starting with a low daily dose (50 milligrams maximum) and make sure to monitor themselves for side effects like somnolence (drowsiness), fatigue, and diarrhea. I wouldn’t exceed a daily dose of 250 milligrams, nor would I take it for more than two to three weeks.”
Determining CBD Oil Dosage
The suitable CBD oil amount varies based on factors such as potency, CBD type, and desired effects. Body weight, height, and individual metabolism further influence CBD oil effects and absorption rates. Experts generally advocate initiating with a low dose and potency, gradually titrating upwards to identify the optimal CBD oil dose.
How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work?
While research suggests that holding CBD oil beneath the tongue may lead to quicker absorption through the bloodstream, further studies are necessary to substantiate this claim. Conversely, swallowed CBD oil may take 30 minutes to four hours to take effect, with absorption potentially hastened when consumed with a high-fat or high-calorie meal, as opposed to on an empty stomach or alone, according to Dr. Piomelli.
Varieties of CBD Oil
CBD oil is typically categorized into three main types: full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil Full-spectrum CBD products encompass all the extracts derived from the cannabis sativa plant—CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and other cannabinoids naturally occurring in the plant. In the legal variety of cannabis sativa, THC concentrations remain below 0.3% by dry weight, resulting in trace amounts of THC that are insufficient to induce the psychoactive effects commonly associated with THC.
Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Broad-spectrum CBD products also include all the extracts from the cannabis sativa plant, excluding the trace amount of THC. Many broad-spectrum CBD products specify that they either contain less than 0.01% THC by dry weight or are entirely THC-free.
CBD Isolate CBD isolate, often referred to as pure CBD, is extracted from the cannabis sativa plant using methods that eliminate all other components of the plant. CBD isolate products should consist solely of pure CBD, ensuring an absence of any trace of THC.
Health Benefits of CBD Oil
CBD oil is associated with potential health benefits supported by research, indicating its efficacy in managing symptoms of anxiety and depression, alleviating pain, promoting better sleep, and contributing to overall well-being. A 2021 study, based on real-world data from a Canadian cannabis clinic, identified CBD as particularly effective for patients experiencing moderate to severe symptoms. Additionally, the FDA has approved a CBD pharmaceutical called Epidiolex for the treatment of specific severe seizure disorders.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
While generally considered safe, CBD oil may cause some side effects, such as drowsiness, fatigue, and diarrhea, according to Dr. Piomelli. A significant concern is the potential interaction with life-saving medications, which could be affected by high doses of CBD. If you are taking prescription drugs, supplements, or over-the-counter medications, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before using CBD oil to avoid potential drug interactions. The FDA also advises against the use of CBD oil during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
CBD Oil With THC
Several CBD oils on the market contain THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid, in varying concentrations. A 2021 study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research revealed positive outcomes from administering cannabis oils with low THC (0.5 to 1 milligram) and CBD (20 to 25 milligrams) for pain, anxiety, and depression symptoms. However, it’s important to note that products with THC levels exceeding 0.3% by dry weight are not federally legal in the U.S. As a result, our list excludes CBD oils with higher THC contents.
How Much Does CBD Oil Cost?
The cost of CBD oil can vary significantly, influenced by factors such as quality, potency, and brand. In the evaluation of nearly 150 CBD oils by the Forbes Health editorial team, prices ranged from $0.78 to $4.17 per serving, with an average cost of $2.32 per serving. Regardless of budget constraints, it’s crucial to prioritize products that undergo third-party laboratory testing and provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA) to ensure both quality and safety.
How to Read CBD Labels
Since CBD products are not currently FDA-regulated as dietary supplements, understanding how to interpret labels is essential for consumers to assess a product’s safety and efficacy.
- Statement of Identity: This information reveals the intended use of a product. When choosing CBD products, check the label to ensure it aligns with the specific form you’re seeking, such as cream, edible, or tincture.
- Composition: The CBD content per serving and the type of CBD (broad spectrum, full spectrum, or isolate) should be clearly indicated on the label.
- Health-Related Claims: These claims may provide insights into a product’s intended use and potential effects. Evaluate whether a CBD product claims specific benefits, such as sleep promotion, pain relief, or anxiety reduction.
- Nutritional Content: Useful for individuals with dietary concerns, this section may include information on nutritional aspects, such as being low-calorie or gluten-free. It should also list additional ingredients like carrier oils and natural or artificial flavorings.
- Third-Party Testing: To ensure a product contains no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, all CBD products should undergo third-party laboratory testing. A valid Certificate of Analysis (COA) should accompany the product, confirming the CBD content, disclosing the presence of other cannabinoids like THC, and detailing contaminant levels, including heavy metals, pesticides, or biological impurities.