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CBD oil contains cannabidiol (CBD), a therapeutic compound that derives from the cannabis plant.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

This article describes CBD oil in detail, including how to use it and its advantages and disadvantages. We also explore alternatives and answer some frequently asked questions.

A quick look at the best CBD oils of 2022

Research indicates that CBD can be beneficial in several ways. For example, one 2017 study found that the compound may reduce high blood pressure and the blood pressure response to stress. And the Epilepsy Foundation reports that CBD might help treat seizures associated with certain epilepsy syndromes.

Not every study of CBD has involved human participants. A different 2017 investigation found that, in rats, CBD oil may reduce pain sensations.

Meanwhile, a 2018 review concluded that CBD may treat a variety of disorders, including those that cause pain and inflammation. These properties may make CBD oil a potential remedy for:

The oils within this article are of high quality, and their manufacturers provide proof of independent, third-party testing.

However, it is still worth researching any CBD product to ensure that it meets specific needs.

For more information and resources on CBD and CBD products, please visit our dedicated hub.

CBD oil consists of CBD extract from the cannabis plant and a carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil. CBD is one of many compounds in the cannabis or industrial hemp plant.

Another well-known compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is responsible for the “high” from the strong psychoactive properties of cannabis.

CBD, on the other hand, is nonimpairing. This means that it does not cause a high, euphoria, or impairment that people associate with cannabis use. It has other properties that have contributed to its rise in popularity as an alternative remedy. These include pain-relieving properties and anti-inflammatory, antianxiety, and antipsychotic effects.

Types of CBD

There are three different forms of CBD.

  • CBD isolate: This is the pure form of CBD. In a CBD isolate oil, the only active ingredient is CBD.
  • Full-spectrum CBD: This contains all the phytochemicals in the cannabis plant, including various other cannabinoids, terpenes, and oils. It also contains trace amounts of THC, the compound that produces a high.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: This contains all the phytochemicals in the cannabis plant. Depending on the product, it may contain trace amounts of THC or none at all.

However, a person should note that the CBD industry has not defined these terms very clearly. Companies may use them interchangeably to an extent.

In the United States, the products must contain less than 0.3% THC to comply with legislation. Still, a broad-spectrum CBD product, for example, may contain enough THC to lead to a failed drug test.

CBD oils are also available in various strengths and flavors.

Learn more about CBD oils.

Below are some advantages and disadvantages of CBD oil:

Pros

Cons

  • CBD can be costly.
  • All products may not have a pleasant taste.
  • There may be side effects.
  • Products may not be available in all U.S. states.

A person should do some research before trying a CBD product. It can also be a good idea to consult a doctor, particularly for people who take medication regularly.

In addition, it is important to check the local regulations regarding CBD. Different U.S. states, for example, have different legislation about CBD.

It is also worth considering the possible benefits of certain CBD forms. People with some health issues may benefit from a CBD oil, whereas others may benefit from a CBD cream, for example. CBD products are also available as gummies, gel capsules, and pills.

Finally, CBD products are available in different dosages, and these can vary depending on the manufacturer and the product. A person using CBD for the first time may find a product with a lower dosage more suitable.

Learn more about how to shop for CBD.

Taking CBD oil involves using a dropper to place a small amount of CBD tincture or oil under the tongue. CBD is available in various other forms. Here is how they compare with CBD oil.

  • Eating CBD gummies: Using sublingual CBD could help it absorb and deliver results faster than eating it as a gummy.
  • Applying CBD cream to the skin: Unlike CBD lotions and creams, a person ingests CBD oil. These creams and lotions are for external use, so they may not share the same benefits as oils.
  • Taking CBD pills or capsules: Placing CBD oil under the tongue may deliver the compound to the brain faster than taking it in capsule form.

Other than these factors, there is no particular advantage to using CBD oil compared with other forms. It is also worth noting that dosages differ from product to product.

Learn more about different types of CBD.

Many companies manufacture CBD oils, and choosing the right product can be challenging.

Two main types of products fall under the oils: CBD oils and CBD tinctures. The difference lies in the manufacturing process.

For CBD oil, manufacturers infuse a carrier oil with CBD to create the product. For a CBD tincture, manufacturers soak cannabis in alcohol and glycerin to produce the product.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based and was correct at the time of publication.

For a variety of flavors: Charlotte’s Web 60-mg CBD oil

price$119.99
CBD content6,000 mg
CBD typefull spectrum

Charlotte’s Web CBD oil is a full-spectrum product that contains phytocannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and essential fatty acids.

The oil contains 60 milligrams (mg) of CBD per milliliter (ml) of oil.

The company states that it designed its oils to help people maintain calm and focus and have sufficient quality sleep. It also says that its oils aid recovery from exercise-induced inflammation.

There are three flavors: mint chocolate, orange blossom, and lemon twist.

For vegans: Spruce Lab Grade CBD oil

price$89
CBD content750 mg
CBD typefull spectrum

Spruce Lab Grade CBD oil is available in 750 mg in a 30-ml bottle. This is a full-spectrum CBD product.

It has a peppermint flavor, and each full dropper contains 25 mg of CBD. The dropper is graduated to help ensure accurate servings.

This product is organic and suitable for vegans. It is also free from:

  • preservatives
  • sweeteners
  • gluten

For a certified kosher product: Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD RSO

price$32
CBD content1,000 mg
CBD typefull spectrum

This product contains full-spectrum CBD. RSO is an abbreviation for Rick Simpson Oil.

The formula contains organic coconut medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and organic sunflower lecithin. It also has kosher certification.

The company suggests that a person consult their doctor before using this product if they have received medical advice against eating grapefruit.

Lazarus Naturals CBD RSO tincture comes in 10-ml or 50-ml containers. Both containers have applicators.

For promoting relaxation: Joy Organics Tranquil Mint CBD Oil Tincture

price$71.96
CBD content1,350 mg
CBD typebroad spectrum

Joy Organics sells this product in three other flavors:

  • summer lemon
  • orange bliss
  • unflavored

It contains hemp extract, extra-virgin olive oil, and peppermint essential oil, all of which are organic.

This product contains 0.0% of THC.

It comes in a 1-ounce bottle with 1,350 mg of CBD, equating to 45 mg per serving.

For a variety of strengths: Green Roads CBD Oil

price$149.99
CBD content1,500 mg
CBD typefull spectrum

This Green Roads CBD oil comes in a 30-ml bottle with three strengths of CBD available. It is available as a full- or broad-spectrum product.

The company states that the oil has a naturally sweet flavor. The broad-spectrum oil is also available in apple kiwi bliss and mint breeze flavors.

The product is gluten-free and vegan, and the company supplies a measuring tool to ensure accurate servings.

For a USDA-certified organic product: Absolute Nature 1,000-mg CBD Oil Drops

price$99.99
CBD content1,000 mg
CBD typefull spectrum

This full-spectrum oil from Absolute Nature has organic certification from the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

A 30-ml bottle contains 1,000 mg of CBD, equating to 33 mg of CBD per 1-ml serving.

The product is vegan and free from gluten and pesticides.

The company says that this natural, organic formula has only two ingredients: whole-plant, full-spectrum CBD extract and fractionated coconut oil to improve absorption.

For a GMP-compliant product: Zatural Full Spectrum CBD Oil

price$27.50
CBD content300 mg
CBD typefull spectrum

Zatural’s full-spectrum CBD oil is available in both natural and peppermint flavors. The company claims that this product is GMP compliant, made in the United States, and is free from genetically modified organisms ingredients.

There are several different fluid ounce sizes and concentrations to choose from. The lab results for each size are readily available on the company website.

This product contains less than 0.3% of THC.

For a pesticide-free product: FAB CBD Oil

price$79.20
CBD content1,200 mg
CBD typefull spectrum

FAB CBD notes that it uses organic hemp from Colorado. The oil comes in several flavors, including:

  • natural
  • citrus
  • mint
  • vanilla
  • berry

It is also available in several other strengths, including 300 mg, 600 mg, and 2,400 mg. The brand claims the product is free from pesticides.

For an isolate product: Kanibi Isolate CBD Oil

price$109
CBD content750 mg
CBD typeisolate

Kanibi Isolate CBD Oil contains only CBD extract, MCT oil, and natural flavors. It does not contain THC or cannabinoids other than CBD.

This product is available in cinnamon, skittles, and unflavored varieties.

The brand uses CO2 extraction methods to produce this CBD oil and makes the lab results available directly on the product page.

productpriceCBD contentCBD type
Charlotte’s Web 60-mg CBD oil$119.996,000 mgfull spectrum
Spruce Lab Grade CBD oil$89750 mgfull spectrum
Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD RSO$321,000 mgfull spectrum
Joy Organics Tranquil Mint CBD Oil Tincture$71.961,350 mgbroad spectrum
Green Roads CBD Oil$149.991,500 mgfull spectrum
Absolute Nature 1,000-mg CBD Oil Drops$99.991,000 mgfull spectrum
Zatural Full Spectrum CBD Oil$27.50300 mgfull spectrum
FAB CBD Oil$79.201,200 mgfull spectrum
Kanibi Isolate CBD Oil$109750 mgisolate

Anyone considering using CBD oil for the first time should discuss it with a knowledgeable healthcare professional.

Taking CBD oil is relatively straightforward, but always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In general, it will involve these steps:

  1. Shake the bottle before use.
  2. Use the dropper to place a specific number of drops under the tongue. Do not let the dropper touch the mouth, as this may contaminate the oil.
  3. Hold the oil under the tongue for 1–2 minutes before swallowing.

It is also possible to mix CBD oil into food and drinks, such as yogurts and juices. However, this may affect the potency.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, people taking CBD oil for arthritis pain should notice the effects within 15–45 minutes. Long-term results may become apparent within a few weeks or months.

A person should always begin with a small dosage of CBD oil, and if necessary, increase the dosage and frequency over time. People can also take CBD at any time. For better sleep, it is best to take it before bed.

Learn more about CBD dosing.

In general, CBD oil is a relatively low risk product. Common side effects, which may be dependent on dosages, include:

Other side effects may include insomnia and irritability. CBD can also cause drowsiness, so driving or operating heavy machinery while taking it is not advisable.

In addition, CBD can interact with some medications and dietary supplements, making these less effective.

A person should avoid CBD if any medication or supplement they take has a warning about interactions with grapefruit. One example would be cholesterol drugs, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor).

It is always advisable to speak with a doctor before using CBD or other cannabis products. This is especially true for people who take medications or supplements regularly. A doctor should ensure that there are no risks of interactions.

It is also worth noting that a 2019 study in mice suggested that taking significant quantities of CBD may increase the risk of liver toxicity.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently regulate CBD products. For this reason, it is a good idea to choose products that have been tested by third parties. This means that an independent laboratory has verified the purity and potency.

Beyond oil in a dropper, CBD comes in many forms, including:

  • capsules
  • gummies, candies, and other edibles
  • topical lotions and balms
  • skin patches, which are sometimes called transdermal patches
  • vaping oils

Hemp seed oil

Hemp oil comes from the seeds of the plant, while CBD oil comes from its flowers, stems, and leaves.

People often take hemp seed oil orally as a supplement because it is rich in omega fatty acids. Some people also apply it topically for skin health. It does not have the pain-relieving properties that CBD appears to have.

Learn more about hemp seed oil here.

Below are some of the most common questions about CBD:

What is the difference between CBD and THC?

Although these are both compounds in the Cannabis sativa plant, they have different effects on the body. THC may cause a person to experience the high sensation that people associate with cannabis use, while CBD does not have this effect.

Who should use CBD?

People who experience certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy, may benefit from using CBD. There is limited evidence on whether CBD can benefit other conditions, such as high blood pressure and anxiety. A person should do their research and consult with their doctor to determine if CBD is right for them.

Does CBD have FDA approval?

Currently, the FDA has only approved Epidiolex, a CBD product that treats rare types of seizures.

Is CBD safe?

Generally, most people have a good tolerance for CBD.

However, some may experience side effects, such as nausea and fatigue. In some individuals, CBD may also affect liver function.

A person should speak with their doctor before using CBD. This is particularly important for people who take medication regularly.

A wide variety of CBD oils are on the market. High quality CBD oil may benefit people with certain conditions, such as high blood pressure, seizures, fibromyalgia, menstrual cramps, and MS.

As the FDA does not approve over-the-counter CBD products, a person should research to find the product that best suits their needs. It is a good idea to choose products that have undergone third-party testing for purity and potency.