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The Best CBD Oil

From the crowded market of CBD oils, we help identify the best CBD oil for you in 2022, depending on your situation and preferences

Last Updated: Mar 3, 2022
Guide for the best CBD oil

Used by millions of people worldwide, cannabidiol (CBD) oil has grown into a leading health and wellness trend. It’s not hard to see why: CBD lacks the intoxicating effects of THC and has been touted to help with anxiety, pain, poor sleep, and many other health issues.

Although researchers stress the need for further human trials, thousands of studies have highlighted its useful properties.

But finding high-quality CBD oil isn’t easy. The CBD industry is shrouded in scientific lingo, and many people get overwhelmed by the sheer variety of products and brands.

To help you make an informed choice, we compared leading CBD brands by their third-party test results, hemp quality, price, potency, and other factors. Here’s a look at the best CBD oils on the market.

Summary of our CBD oil recommendations

Our Top Choice

Lazarus Naturals CBD Oil

One of the most trustworthy names on the market, Lazarus Naturals CBD oil is high-potency and affordable.

Lazarus Naturals CBD is USDA-certified organic and undergoes extensive third-party testing. Choose between four delicious flavors, and enjoy free shipping on orders over $50.

How we evaluated CBD oils

Evaluating CBD products comes with its own set of criteria. Here’s how we find the best CBD oils:

  • Third-party testing: CBD companies send their products for testing at independent laboratories. These tests ensure that the amount of CBD and other cannabinoids in the product are accurate. They also check for pesticides and other potential contaminants. We only recommend third-party-tested CBD oil and check the test results to make sure they’re good.
  • CBD type: CBD products are typically labeled as isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum. Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the cannabinoids and terpenes naturally found in hemp, including less than 0.3% THC. Broad-spectrum CBD is similar, except the THC has been removed to undetectable levels. CBD isolate is pure CBD. Thanks to the entourage effect, full-spectrum CBD is considered the most effective. But we also provide THC-free recommendations.
  • Potency: Measured in milligrams (mg) of CBD per milliliter (ml) of oil, potency tells you how strong a CBD oil is. We prefer high-potency products because they work for both experienced and new CBD users and are cheaper and more convenient than weaker options.
  • Hemp quality: Since CBD is extracted from hemp, it’s important to choose products made from high-quality, organically grown plants. We give preference to vertically integrated companies that grow and extract their own hemp and hold USDA organic and U.S. Hemp Authority certifications.
  • Brand reputation: Reputable CBD brands have hundreds of positive customer reviews verifying that their products and customer service are of high quality. They’re also transparent about their production process, third-party test results, and other helpful details like who runs the company.
  • Price: CBD oil isn’t cheap. We compare how much each CBD oil costs per mg of CBD and consider free shipping deals, subscription and assistance programs, and other discounts to help you find affordable options.

What is CBD oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 140 naturally occurring phytocannabinoids, the main active compounds in cannabis. Unlike THC, the cannabinoid most people are familiar with, CBD can’t get you high. It’s usually extracted from hemp, a variety of cannabis with a low THC concentration (below 0.3%).

CBD is used in various products, with CBD oil being the most popular. CBD oil contains hemp extract dissolved in a carrier oil, like coconut MCT oil, that helps your body absorb the CBD. When you place a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue, it’s absorbed directly into the blood vessels. This bypasses the digestive tract, greatly improving CBD’s absorption.

CBD research

CBD has been the subject of over 9,000 research studies, highlighting a wide range of beneficial properties, including the following effects:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anxiolytic (anti-anxiety)
  • Antidepressant
  • Analgesic (pain-relieving)
  • Neuroprotective
  • Antiepileptic
  • Anti-addictive

But most of this evidence is limited to Petri dish and animal studies, so more clinical trials are needed to confirm these effects in humans. So far, the clinical evidence is strongest for CBD’s anti-seizure effects in rare types of treatment-resistant epilepsy.

How CBD works

Unlike most cannabinoids, CBD doesn’t interact strongly with your cannabinoid receptors. But it can increase the levels of anandamide, one of the two main endocannabinoids produced by our bodies.

Endocannabinoids are the main players in the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Discovered in the 1990s, this system regulates virtually every major process – including immune function, pain, metabolism, digestion, and brain function – to help maintain a state of internal balance called homeostasis.

CBD also affects dozens of other receptors and systems in the body.

Who should use CBD oil

Although more clinical research is needed for most conditions, there’s evidence that CBD can help people with:

  • Epilepsy disorders, especially rare, treatment-resistant types
  • Anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, PTSD, and OCD
  • Sleeping difficulties, particularly when they’re caused by other issues such as anxiety
  • Chronic pain caused by arthritis, cancer, diabetic neuropathy, and other issues
  • Depression, psychosis, and autism
  • Neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkison’s disease
  • Addiction to opioids, nicotine, and other addictive substances
  • Skin conditions, including acne and psoriasis

CBD oil is also popular among workout enthusiasts, with emerging research suggesting that it can support exercise recovery.

Is CBD oil safe?

Researchers have studied CBD for decades, concluding that it’s a relatively safe, non-intoxicating, and non-addictive substance. Its potential side effects include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Diarrhea and nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness
  • Changes in appetite or weight

CBD can also interact with some prescription medications.

But the good news is that all these side effects are usually mild. More importantly, they’ve only been reported by studies using continuous high oral doses of purified CBD, which is far from how most individuals use CBD.

Instead, most people take sublingual (under-the-tongue) CBD oil and opt for full-spectrum extracts, which have been shown to have fewer and milder side effects than pure CBD.

Choosing the right type of CBD

CBD oil can contain one of three types of CBD:

  • Isolate
  • Full-spectrum
  • Broad-spectrum

It’s important to understand how they differ so that you can choose the best one for your needs.

Isolate

Isolate is a pure form of CBD that doesn’t contain any other compounds. It’s considered the least effective type of CBD because it’s missing other beneficial hemp cannabinoids and terpenes.

CBD isolate products have two advantages: they’re completely free of all traces of THC and sometimes cheaper. But most people who need to avoid THC opt for broad-spectrum products instead.

Full-spectrum

Full-spectrum CBD is a whole-plant hemp extract containing all of the cannabinoids (including less than 0.3% THC), terpenes, flavonoids, and other natural compounds found in the plant. All of these molecules work in synergy with CBD and can have beneficial properties of their own.

Dubbed the “entourage effect” by researchers, this synergy explains why full-spectrum, whole-plant cannabis preparations appear to be more effective than any cannabinoid by itself. For example, one study in epilepsy patients found that CBD-rich cannabis extract was up to 4 times more effective than pure CBD.

Using full-spectrum CBD oil for optimal effects is recommended. The only exception is people who have to avoid THC altogether, either because they’re very sensitive to it or because they have to pass drug tests.

Broad-spectrum

Broad-spectrum CBD is almost the same as full-spectrum but with one key difference: the small amounts of THC have been removed. In that sense, it provides nearly the same effectiveness as full-spectrum CBD. Broad-spectrum products are best for those who have to pass employee drug tests, are extremely sensitive to THC, or live in states where any amount of THC in CBD oil is illegal.

However, keep in mind that broad-spectrum products can still contain undetectable, trace amounts of THC. Although unlikely, it’s theoretically possible to ingest enough THC to test positive on a drug test if you regularly use a broad-spectrum CBD product.

8 interesting facts about CBD

CBD is psychoactive

Most people believe that CBD is non-psychoactive because it doesn’t change your perception the same way as drugs like cannabis and LSD. In reality, a psychoactive or psychotropic substance is anything that affects your brain function (for instance, caffeine).

Since CBD has been shown to have anti-anxiety, antidepressant, and antipsychotic effects, it counts as psychoactive. The more accurate way to describe CBD is as “non-intoxicating.”

It affects everyone differently

There’s no one-size-fits-all dosage of CBD because many factors impact the correct dose, including body weight, genetics, symptoms, and product type. That’s why the best approach is to “start low and go slow,” gradually working your way up to the dose that provides you with relief.

CBD comes in a dizzying array of products

CBD oil is far from the only CBD product. Other options include:

  • Capsules and softgels
  • Gummies, chocolate, and other edibles
  • Creams, balms, and other topicals
  • Vape oil, cartridges, and pens
  • Pet products
  • Bath bombs

CBD works differently depending on how you take it

There are four main ways to administer CBD, each with its strengths and weaknesses:

  1. Sublingual: Placing CBD under the tongue, usually in oil. This is considered the best method because of its efficient absorption, fast onset, and relatively long-lasting effects.

  2. Oral: Swallowing CBD and absorbing it after digestion. Although this method is the most convenient and has the longest-lasting effects, it’s also the least effective because of low absorption.

  3. Inhalation: Inhaling CBD via vaping or smoking. This method has the fastest and arguably strongest effects but has a shorter duration and some safety concerns.

  4. Topical: Applying CBD to the skin with a topical product. This method works best for localized issues like post-workout joint soreness.

Method Absorption Time to Feel Effects Average Duration Products
Sublingual Medium 15-40 min 4-6 hours Oil, spray, isolate
Oral Low 30-120 min 4-8 hours Capsules, edibles, beverages, isolate
Inhalation Medium-high Within 1 min 1-4 hours Vape oil, hemp flower
Topical Medium 10-60 min 2+ hours Cream, body oil, patch

CBD works best with other cannabinoids and terpenes

There’s growing evidence that cannabinoids work in synergy with each other, terpenes, and other compounds found in cannabis. Known as the entourage effect, this phenomenon means that full-spectrum CBD products containing the full range of hemp cannabinoids and terpenes may provide greater effects than CBD alone.

It could play a pivotal role in the opioid epidemic

According to leading neuroscientist Dr. Yasmin Hurd, CBD can fight the opioid epidemic — the deaths, hospitalizations, economic costs, and other serious consequences caused by the misuse of highly addictive prescription and illicit opioids.

CBD has been shown to reduce opioid cravings and opioid painkiller use and have other anti-addictive effects.

CBD is considered safe

According to a 2018 report by the World Health Organization (WHO), “CBD is generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile.” Safety studies also report that CBD has mostly minor side effects and that people tolerate daily doses as high as 1500 mg.

CBD has over 76 molecular targets

In simple terms, a mechanism of action is how a drug produces its effects. Most standard drugs have one or several mechanisms of action.

On the other hand, CBD appears to have dozens of mechanisms of action. One recent study found that it affects 76 distinct molecules, including various receptors, neurotransmitter systems, transporter proteins, and enzymes. This may explain why CBD appears to have so many beneficial properties.

How top CBD oils compare

CBD Oils CBD Type Total CBD Potency Volume Flavors Value ($/mg) Certifications
Lazarus Naturals Full-Spectrum High-Potency CBD Oil Full-spectrum 750-6000 mg 50 mg/ml 15-120 ml 4 $0.02-0.03 USDA organic
Five CBD Full-Spectrum CBD+THC Oil Full-spectrum 1500-6000 mg 50-100 mg/ml 30 ml 2 $0.03 N/A
CBDistillery Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Full-spectrum 5000 mg 167 mg/ml 30 ml 1 $0.05 U.S. Hemp Authority
Medterra Ultra Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil Broad-spectrum 1000-2000mg 33-67 mg/ml 30 ml 3 $0.05-0.06 U.S. Hemp Authority
Fab CBD Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Full-spectrum 300-2400 mg 10-80 mg/ml 30 ml 5 $0.05-0.13 N/A

Lazarus Naturals CBD Oil

Editor’s choice and Best budget option

Pros

  • Low price – $.02-.03/mg
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • USDA-certified organic
  • Four flavors – classic, chocolate mint, French vanilla mocha, and yuzu
  • Vertically integrated company

Cons

  • Lacks higher potencies

Our top pick goes to the full-spectrum high-potency CBD oil tincture from Lazarus Naturals. Lazarus Naturals is one of the most reputable brands in the CBD industry. It’s employee-owned and vertically integrated, meaning that it controls every step from growing the hemp to manufacturing the end products.

This CBD oil costs significantly less than most others – only 2 to 3 cents per mg of CBD. The average price of CBD oil is about 9 cents per mg. On top of that, Lazarus provides free shipping on orders over $50 and a 60% discount for veterans, low-income families, and individuals with disabilities.

This tincture has a high potency of 50 mg/ml and comes in four bottle sizes ranging from 15 to 120 ml. It’s also certified organic by the USDA and available in four flavors: classic, chocolate mint, French vanilla mocha, and yuzu.

Better yet, third-party tests confirm that it contains high levels of minor hemp cannabinoids and terpenes that work in synergy with CBD.

Five CBD Full-Spectrum CBD+THC Oil

Best full-spectrum

Pros

  • High levels of minor cannabinoids
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Low price – $.03/mg

Cons

  • Not a vertically integrated company

Full-spectrum CBD products are considered more effective because they contain the full range of synergistic cannabinoids and terpenes. If you’re looking for the best full-spectrum CBD oil, we recommend Five CBD’s CBD+THC Oil.

Like all Five CBD products, it provides higher-than-normal amounts of minor hemp cannabinoids. Most full-spectrum oils you’ll find contain a 10:1 or lower ratio of CBD to minor hemp cannabinoids – Five CBD’s tincture has a ratio of 5:1.

It has a high potency of 50 mg or 100 mg CBD per ml and comes in 30 or 60 ml bottles with 1500-6000 mg CBD. It’s available in citrus and mint chocolate flavors and costs 3 cents per mg of CBD – one of the lowest prices on the market.

Five CBD uses organic American hemp to make its products and provides comprehensive third-party lab reports.

CBDistillery Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

Best high-potency option

Pros

  • Very high potency – 167 mg/ml
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • U.S. Hemp Authority certified
  • Vertically integrated company

Cons

  • No flavored options

If you’re looking for a strong CBD oil, we recommend the 5000 mg tincture from CBDistillery. Founded in 2016, CBDistillery is a popular brand out of Denver, Colorado. Its products are made from organic hemp grown in Colorado, Kentucky, and Oregon and comprehensively tested by a third-party lab.

As a full-spectrum product with 167 mg of CBD per ml (one full dropper), this is one of the strongest CBD oils you’ll find. Most high-potency offerings from other brands contain only 50-83 mg of CBD per ml.

This tincture is certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority, highlighting CBDistillery’s commitment to stringent hemp industry quality standards. It costs 5 cents per mg of CBD, cheaper than average. It also qualifies for CBDistillery’s free shipping on orders over $75.

Medterra Ultra Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil

Best THC-free option

Pros

  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • High levels of minor cannabinoids
  • Certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority
  • Three flavors

Cons

  • Doesn’t appear to be vertically integrated

If you need to avoid THC completely, our top choice is the Ultra Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil from Medterra. What makes it special is a higher concentration of minor cannabinoids like CBG, CBC, and CBN. Minor cannabinoids work in synergy with CBD, contributing to CBD oil benefits.

This tincture has an elevated 10:1 ratio of CBD to minor cannabinoids, whereas most broad-spectrum CBD oils have a ratio of 20:1 or lower.

Medterra’s CBD oil is available in medium (33 mg/ml) and high (67 mg/ml) potencies, with 1000-2000 mg of CBD per bottle. It costs 5-6 cents per mg of CBD, which is cheaper than average and comes in unflavored, citrus, and chocolate mint flavors.

California’s Medterra uses Kentucky-grown organic hemp to extract CBD. Its products are certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority and independently tested to verify their potency and purity.

Fab CBD Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

Best flavored CBD oil

Pros

  • Five flavors – natural, citrus, mint, vanilla, and berry
  • Four strengths
  • Comprehensive third-party testing

Cons

  • Not a vertically integrated company

If you’re not a fan of the taste of full-spectrum oil, Fab CBD has you covered with a variety of pleasant flavors. Aside from the standard natural flavor, you can also choose citrus, mint, vanilla, or berry.

These 30 ml CBD oils are available in four strengths ranging from low to high, with 300-2400 mg of CBD in total. Depending on the strength, you’ll pay anywhere from 5-13 cents per mg of CBD, with free shipping for orders over $99.

California’s Fab CBD uses organic Colorado hemp to make its products and provides detailed third-party lab test reports. It also donates to worthy causes like Operation Underground Railroad and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Oil

Pros

  • Best reviewed CBD oil on the market
  • High potency and five bottle sizes
  • Comprehensive third-party testing

Cons

  • Few details provided about the company

Founded in 2014, NuLeaf Naturals is one of the pioneers of the CBD industry. Its products are sourced from organic Colorado hemp and tested to verify their potency and safety.

NuLeaf Naturals Full-Spectrum CBD Oil has arguably the best customer feedback of any tincture on the market. This product holds an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars with over 20,000 reviews.

This naturally flavored full-spectrum CBD oil has a high potency of 60 mg/ml and comes in 5 bottle volumes ranging from 5 to 100 ml. It costs 7-10 cents per mg of CBD, depending on the volume, which is about average. But you also get free shipping on all orders.

Endoca Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

Pros

  • Three strengths and two formulations
  • In-house and third-party testing
  • Vertically integrated company

Cons

  • Third-party tests not comprehensive
  • Strong hemp taste

Endoca’s Full-Spectrum CBD Oils are some of the best on the market. You can choose from medium (30 mg/ml), strong (150 mg/ml), and extra strength potencies (300 mg/ml) in 10 or 30 ml bottles with 300-4500 mg of CBD. These straightforward tinctures only contain CBD extract and hemp seed oil.

Endoca offers two formulas: regular and raw, an unprocessed tincture with high levels of CBDa, CBD’s “parent cannabinoid.” CBDa has its own benefits and is a great option for people who prefer products as close to natural as possible.

Endoca’s oils cost $0.07-0.09 per mg of CBD, which is average. You can also get free shipping on orders over $74.

Founded by a Danish scientist in 2010, Endoca is one of the oldest CBD companies in the world. It grows organic hemp in partnership with local farmers in Denmark and extracts it with carbon dioxide. Endoca also comprehensively tests its products in-house in addition to third-party potency testing.

R+R Medicinals CBD Oil

Pros

  • USDA-certified organic
  • Certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Three strengths, two flavors, and two types

Cons

  • Few details provided about the company

Colorado’s R+R Medicinals is not the biggest brand out there, but its certifications, reviews, and high-quality products speak for themselves. This veteran and employee-owned company uses USDA-certified organic hemp to source its CBD and provides detailed third-party lab reports.

R+R Medicinals CBD Oil stands out for being one of the only tinctures on the market that’s both USDA-organic and certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority. It comes in three strengths with 500, 1000, or 2500 mg of CBD, plus a 1000 mg broad-spectrum version. You can choose unflavored or mint flavors.

It costs 4-6 cents per mg of CBD, and R+R offers free shipping and a 25% veteran discount.

Frequently asked questions about CBD oil

What is the difference between CBD and THC?

The main difference is that CBD is non-intoxicating, whereas THC can get you high. As a result, THC is a controlled substance in many places. But they also differ in many other ways, like their potential benefits and the fact that THC is more abundant than CBD in cannabis, but CBD is more abundant in hemp.

What is the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil?

Hemp oil doesn’t contain CBD or any other cannabinoids because it’s made from hemp seeds. On the other hand, CBD oil is made from hemp flowers, rich in cannabinoids and terpenes. If you see a product labeled as hemp oil or hemp seed oil, chances are it doesn’t contain any CBD.

Can CBD oil get me high?

It’s unlikely but possible for some people to get high off CBD oil. Although CBD itself is non-intoxicating, full-spectrum CBD oil contains small amounts (less than 0.3%) of THC. If you’re highly sensitive to THC and take a big enough dose, you might feel high.

Hemp-derived CBD is federally legal. It’s also legal in all states, although a few prohibit CBD products from containing any amount of THC.

Will CBD impair my thinking in any way?

CBD won’t impair your thinking. But it can potentially make you tired and sleepy, especially if you take large doses.

Does CBD show up on a drug test?

Pure CBD on its own will not show up on a drug test. But the issue is that full-spectrum and, in some rare cases, even broad-spectrum CBD products contain trace amounts of THC that can show up on a drug test.

How long do the effects of CBD oil last?

On average, the effects of CBD oil last about four to six hours. But it depends on many factors, like your body weight, genetics, and the potency and extract of the CBD oil you’re using.

How much CBD should be in a typical dose?

The right dose of CBD differs by individual, so no one amount will work for everyone. Most CBD oils provide 10-50 mg of CBD per ml (one full dropper), the standard serving size. But some can contain less or more.

Are there long-term risks of using CBD oil?

Long-term CBD use could potentially cause unwanted interactions with some prescription drugs. But that’s unlikely since research has shown CBD to be tolerated well even at high doses and have mostly minor side effects.

Is CBD oil safe for seniors?

Yes, CBD oil is safe for seniors. Research has not revealed any specific dangers or side effects of CBD in older adults. If anything, research suggests that CBD oil is more beneficial for seniors because of its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, among others. These properties can help with Alzheimer’s and other age-related conditions.

What are the downsides of using CBD oil?

The main potential downside of CBD is its side effects, including tiredness, nausea, dry mouth, and lightheadedness. However, researchers consider CBD’s side effects mild and associated with large oral doses of purified CBD.

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