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Is CBD legal? Hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are legal federally but still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products, on the other hand, are illegal federally but legal under some state laws. Check local legislation, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved nonprescription CBD products, which may be inaccurately labeled.

Full-spectrum cannabidiol (CBD) oil may help reduce anxiety and pain and improve sleep. The best oils work quickly, come from reputable companies, and contain natural ingredients.

In recent years, researchers have been exploring the benefits and risks of CBD oil. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes the potential benefits CBD offers, but it has not approved any CBD products for medical use other than Epidiolex for seizures.

Some people may wish to use CBD oils to help them with pain and inflammation, anxiety, stress, or sleep problems.

This article looks at some of the best full-spectrum CBD oils. It also explores what full-spectrum CBD oil is, what it does, its benefits and risks, and alternative options to consider.

Medical News Today chooses full-spectrum CBD oils that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: Oils must contain safe, high quality, clearly labeled ingredients. Manufacturers should also confirm that the products are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses CBD oils that clearly state the CBD dosage and THC content.
  • Serving size: MNT only features products for which manufacturers recommend a dosage and how to take them.
  • Third-party labs: MNT chooses CBD oils that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis (COA): MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s COA after receiving its third-party lab results.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

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Medical News Today has tested some of the products below. Reviewers may have received some products from the manufacturers for free, which does not influence their review. All opinions are the reviewers’ own.

The table below compares the products in this article on price, potency, and more.

Price CBD per bottleVolumeFlavor options
Cornbread Hemp$34.99750 mg30 mLunflavored
CBDistillery$260.005,000 mg30 mLunflavored
Aspen Green$139.993,350 mg30 mLTropical
Charlotte’s Web$119.996,000 mg30 mLOrange Blossom, Lemon Twist, Mint Chocolate
+PlusCBD$54.991,500 mg30 mLDark Chocolate Mint, Lemon Ginger
NuLeaf$49.00900 mg15 mLunflavored
Joy Organics$55.96900 mg30 mLTropical
RE Botanicals$19.99200 mg10 mLLavender
Sunsoilfrom $55.001,200 mg and 2,400 mg30 mL and 60 mLCinnamon, Peppermint, and unflavored
Batch$149.994,000 mg1 ozslight citrus flavor

A person may wish to consider the following factors when buying CBD oil.

Brand

A person should buy CBD products from reputable brands. They can research this by looking for the COA for their chosen product, which means it has been third-party tested. These results should be readily available for anyone to find online. A person should also consider the company’s manufacturing process and whether it grows and harvests its ingredients responsibly.

Potency

A person new to using CBD oil may wish to try a lower potency. They can then gradually increase their dose as needed.

Flavors

When ingesting CBD, a person should consider what flavor they may prefer and whether they are allergic to any of the ingredients. Many brands provide an unflavored option.

Certifications

Buyers should prioritize products with USDA Organic certification.

Price

Some brands may be expensive, particularly for full-spectrum CBD oil. A person should consider their budget before buying.

Before a person takes CBD oil, they must first follow the instructions on the packaging to determine how often to use it and how much to use.

Dosages may vary depending on a person’s body weight and CBD oil strength, so people new to CBD need to start with the lowest possible dose. Once they know how their body reacts to this low dose, they can gradually increase the dosage until they get their desired effects. However, individuals need to avoid exceeding the recommended dosage on the product’s packaging.

People can use CBD in many ways. They can take it orally, add it to food, drinks, or smoothies, and apply it topically for pain relief. Below is a step-by-step guide on how individuals can take CBD oil.

Orally

Taking CBD oil sublingually — or under the tongue — is quick and simple. Typically, the steps are:

  1. Shake the bottle.
  2. Fill the dropper with the suggested amount of CBD oil.
  3. Squeeze the desired amount directly underneath the tongue.
  4. Hold the oil there for around 30–60 seconds.
  5. Use the tongue to distribute the remaining oil to the inner cheeks. This allows for maximum absorption and helps the oil enter the bloodstream faster.
  6. Swallow the remaining oil.

Ingesting

Swallowing CBD oil directly is another option. People can follow steps 1 and 2 in the oral guide above and place the desired amount at the back of the throat before swallowing.

It takes longer for CBD oil to take effect when people swallow it rather than place it on their tongue. When a person takes CBD oil sublingually, they can feel the effects after about 30 minutes. However, if they swallow the CBD, the effects can take up around 1–2 hours. This is because it needs to find its way through the digestive tract.

As an addition to food and drink

People can add one or more drops to tea, coffee, protein shakes, salad dressings, juices, or sweet treats to experience a subtler effect. People should follow steps 1 and 2 of the above oral guide and add the recommended amount of drops to their chosen food or drink.

Applying to the skin

People can also add CBD oil to balms, creams, lotions, or essential oils. When people apply CBD topically, it penetrates the skin to access cells and tissue beneath. This enables it to interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, which are spread throughout the body, including the skin.

For pain relief, people need to read the product’s instructions, shake the oil, and massage the recommended dose on the affected area, rubbing the oil in and massaging it deeply into the skin.

Scientists believe that CBD stimulates receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This system is present throughout the body and plays an important role in the central nervous system.

Some manufacturers suggest that CBD oil may be beneficial for sleep. However, a 2021 review states that while THC may help people fall asleep faster, it may negatively affect sleep in the long term. More research is necessary to explore the benefits CBD may have for sleep.

CBD oil may also help people manage pain. A small 2020 study found that CBD oil significantly improved pain symptoms in people with peripheral neuropathy. However, the study used topical CBD oil, and the authors do not specify the type of CBD.

CBD oil may help with anxiety and stress. A 2020 review examining six studies found that CBD improved anxiety symptoms. However, the authors note that further research on this topic is necessary.

Researchers suggest that full-spectrum CBD may offer more benefits than other types of CBD, including an enhanced calming effect due to its combination of multiple terpenes, CBD, and THC. This means that people can benefit from the “entourage effect”, a theory suggesting that the compounds in cannabis work better together than alone.

Learn more about CBD and pain management.

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

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), possible side effects and risks of using CBD include:

The CDC recommends that people who are pregnant or breastfeeding not use CBD products, as they may harm the fetus.

The CDC states that scientists still have much to learn about CBD.

Therefore, a person may wish to speak with a doctor before using CBD. A doctor may be able to offer alternative treatment options for pain, anxiety, or sleep problems.

If a person uses CBD and experiences any of the following side effects, they should contact a doctor:

The difference between pure, or isolate, CBD oil and full-spectrum CBD oil is that CBD isolate only contains CBD. It does not contain THC or additional minor cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids.

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains trace amounts of THC along with other minor cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils, and flavonoids.

Learn more about the differences between CBD and THC.

12,000 mg of CBD per 30 mL is the highest level of CBD you can get. However, this will not be suitable for those new to CBD products.

This depends on an individual’s needs.

For example, a person with pain in one area of their body may find creams most effective, as these allow for more targeted pain relief. However, oral CBD, including oils and gummies, may be most beneficial for sleep, anxiety, or more widespread pain.

Full-spectrum means that CBD oil contains multiple components of the cannabis plant, including THC, which is the psychoactive component. However, the FDA states that full-spectrum CBD products can contain only up to 0.3% THC. CBD products should not make a person feel “high.”

Full-spectrum CBD may show up on a drug test due to its THC content. People who want to avoid THC should try broad-spectrum or isolate CBD products.

Full-spectrum CBD oils contain multiple compounds of the cannabis plant, including THC. Limited research is available on the benefits and risks of CBD oil, but some studies suggest that CBD may help reduce anxiety and pain and improve sleep.

Full-spectrum CBD oils are available in various potencies and at prices that suit a range of budgets.

A person can consult a doctor before trying CBD.