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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.

Some top cannabidiol (CBD) brands have organic farming practices and rely on third-party testing to verify the purity and quantity of ingredients. They then make these results available to potential customers.

This article discusses CBD and provides a list of top brands that sell CBD products. It also examines the effectiveness of CBD and the safety precautions a person can consider.

A quick look at the best CBD brands of 2023

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe and high-quality ingredients that are clearly labeled. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the CBD dosage.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a dosage.
  • Third-party labs: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis following receipt of its third-party lab results.

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

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

Best CBD oils: Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte's Web Mint Chocolate CBD Oil isolated on a blue background.

Charlotte’s Web makes CBD products that promote sleep, calmness, and recovery. Options include oils, capsules, gummies, and creams.

The oils and capsules contain full-spectrum CBD. The oils contain 60 milligrams (mg) of CBD per serving, and the capsules have 25 mg. Each serving of 2 gummies contains 10 mg of CBD.

The company says that its farming practices are organic and regenerative, and it allows customers to download products’ certificates of analysis.

Charlotte’s Web is a Certified B Corporation that meets public transparency and environmental performance standards.

The company was founded in 2011 and was among the first CBD companies to have a large-scale distribution of CBD products. The company strives to promote quality, transparency, and community in its daily operations and initiatives.

Pros

  • The oil dropper has marked dosage levels.
  • The range of products is wide.
  • Its products are USDA Certified Organic.
  • Charlotte’s Web Certificate of Analyses are easily accessible online.

Cons

  • The company’s products can be more expensive than those of other brands.
  • Its products can produce positive drug test results.
  • Charlotte’s Web products contain up to 0.3% THC.

Prices for Charlotte’s Web products range from around $12–300.

Best for sleep: CBDistillery

CBDistillery Relief and Relax CBD oil isolated on a blue background.

CBDistillery offers full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate CBD products that promote sleep and relaxation. The range includes oils, capsules, powders, gummies, topicals, vape liquids, and skin care.

The strength of the full-spectrum oil varies from 17–167 mg of CBD per serving. The broad-spectrum oil ranges from 17–83 mg per serving. Capsules and gummies contain 15–30 mg per serving.

CBDistillery states it uses plants without genetic modification grown with natural farming practices in the United States. It also claims to employ third-party lab testing, and its products have U.S. Hemp Authority certification.

What distinguishes CBDistillery’s products is that each comes in a wide range of strengths. For example, full-spectrum tinctures are available in five concentrations, from 8 mg per serving to 167 mg per serving.

Pros

  • The labels, products, and website have clear information about CBD content.
  • The products may be easy to use, even for people new to CBD.
  • The products come in a wide range of strengths.
  • CBDistillery sells CBD for various uses, such as sleep, pain, and more.

Cons

  • Some customers report a slow response to refund requests, delayed deliveries, and billing problems.
  • CBDistillery products may not be suitable for people with smaller budgets.

The prices for CBDistillery products range from around $27–240.

Best for pain relief: Papa & Barkley

Papa & Barkley CBD balm isolated on a blue background.

Papa & Barkley says its CBD products promote sleep, reduce stress, and increase mental focus.

The tinctures and capsules contain 30 mg of full-spectrum, whole-plant extract CBD per serving. Other products include CBD-infused body oils, balms, and lotions.

The company states it uses organic, regenerative farm practices, so the hemp plants grow in natural soil without pesticides. The whole plant infusions also contain chlorophyll and other phytonutrients, which Papa & Barkley claims may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Instead of using chemicals or harsh extraction methods, Papa & Barkley uses heat, pressure, and water to extract the oil. The company’s products undergo triple third-party testing.

Papa & Barkley differs from other CBD manufacturers because of its process of extracting CBD. The company says that the absence of harsh chemicals in this patented process results in clean, potent CBD.

Pros

  • The range of products is wide.
  • The gummies have many different flavors.
  • The body oils come in a range of fragrances.
  • The company thoroughly tests its products with third-party labs.

Cons

  • All the products contain THC.
  • Some customers report that the oil containers can leak.
  • Some customers note that the scents are too strong.

Papa & Barkley products range from around $18–180.

Best product range: Lord Jones

Lord Jones CBD tincture isolated on a blue background.

Lord Jones says that its CBD line, which includes tinctures, capsules, gummies, and a variety of bath products, promotes calmness and well-being.

The full-spectrum tinctures contain 20 mg of CBD per serving, while the broad-spectrum ones contain 10 mg per serving.

The capsules and gummies contain broad-spectrum CBD. There is 25 mg of CBD in each capsule and 20 mg in each gummy.

The company sources its CBD from select plants on U.S. farms. The products undergo lab tests to ensure potency and purity.

Lord Jones is distinct because of its wide range of products, from more common ones, such as tinctures and gummies, to bath products and lip balms.

Pros

  • The extract derives from the whole cannabis plant.
  • The diverse product range has unusual variations, such as gumdrops and lip balm.
  • The company uses third-party labs to test its products throughout the manufacturing process.
  • Lord Jones does not test its products on animals.

Cons

  • The costs may be somewhat higher than those of other CBD brands.
  • Measuring the dosage of topicals can be difficult.
  • The test results may be difficult to find.
  • The company does not confirm whether its products can result in positive drug test results.
  • Some products are unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans.

The prices for Lord Jones products range from around $12–190.

Best for testing: Sunsoil

Sunsoil CBD oil capsules isolated on a blue background.

Sunsoil, formerly Green Soil CBD, uses full-spectrum CBD in all its products.

Options include capsules, softgels, drops, and CBD-infused coconut oil. The softgels and coconut oil contain 20 mg of CBD per serving, and the drops contain 10 mg per serving.

The hemp plants are from USDA Certified Organic farms. The company says it infuses hemp with coconut oil to extract CBD. Sunsoil claims this process yields the best possible product.

Sunsoil claims it uses third-party tests throughout the production process to ensure that its products are free from contaminants and contain the amount of CBD indicated on the label.

The testing labs have accreditation with the International Organization for Standardization, and the results are freely available.

Sunsoil differs from other CBD brands because of its coconut oil infusion process.

Pros

  • The products are third-party tested throughout the manufacturing process.
  • The CBD oil drops are pet-friendly and suitable for use in cooking.
  • Its products are tested twice during manufacturing.
  • Its capsules are suitable for vegans.

Cons

  • The product range is limited.
  • The flavor range is limited.
  • People with tree nut allergies may find the coconut oil in the formula unsuitable.
  • Lipid CBD extraction, which the company practices, may be less effective than carbon dioxide extraction.

The prices for Sunsoil products range from around $20–90.

Best for quality assurance: Joy Organics

Joy Organics

Joy Organics uses broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD. It also claims to use organic ingredients in its products.

It states its products can help with sleep, stress, muscle recovery, and joint health.

Options include ingestible products, such as oils, tinctures, gummies, softgels, and energy drinks, and topicals like salves, creams, and bath products.

The tinctures contain 15–75 mg CBD per serving. The gummies contain 25 mg per serving. The softgels contain 25 mg of CBD per serving. A jar of salve contains 500 mg of CBD.

The company claims it uses premium-grade USA-grown hemp in its products. It also guarantees that all products are third-party tested and free of contaminants.

The company includes a certificate of quality assurance with its products.

The testing labs have accreditation with the International Organization for Standardization, and the results are freely available.

Pros

  • THC-free products are available.
  • The company stocks products for various needs, such as sleep, stress, and joint health.
  • The company uses carbon-neutral shipping.
  • It offers a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.

Cons

  • Joy Organics products can be expensive.

Prices for Joy Organics products range from around $20–80.

Best for vegans: +PlusCBD

+PlusCBD

The +PlusCBD company uses natural hemp and quality ingredients to make clinically backed vegan formulas. The company says it grows its hemp using only soil, water, and sunlight. It then uses CO2 extraction.

The company claims it makes its full-spectrum oils in an ISO-certified facility, and all products are third-party tested.

+PlusCBD products include softgels, capsules, oils, creams, and pet products. The company also offers Extra Strength Formulas for consumers seeking products with higher concentrations of CBD.

The products are non-GMO and gluten-free.

Pros

  • Its products are suitable for vegans.
  • +PlusCBD products are also non-GMO and gluten-free.

Cons

  • The company imports hemp from Europe.
  • +PlusCBD products contain THC.
  • The flavor ranges are limited.

The prices for +PlusCBD products range from around $20–200.

Best for affordable products: Lazarus Naturals

Lazarus Naturals

Lazarus Naturals offers a wide range of products at affordable price points. The company says it believes that CBD should be effective and accessible.

The company offers an Assistance Program, which provides up to 60% off its products for veterans, people with long-term disabilities, and those with limited financial resources.

The company says it can keep its products affordable because it does not outsource its farming, extraction, formulation, or packaging.

Products include tinctures, softgels, capsules, edibles, topicals, concentrates, and pet products.

Lazarus Naturals claims its products may help with pain management, sleep, stress relief, focus, energy, and overall well-being. Its pet products aim to support digestion, joints, mobility, and vitality.

The organic products contain full-spectrum CBD, while others are THC-free.

Pros

  • Its products are more affordable than other brands.
  • The company offers discounts to certain groups of people to make CBD more accessible.
  • There is a wide range of products.

Cons

  • Not all products are THC-free.
  • Lazarus Naturals oils contain coconut, which is unsuitable for people with tree nut allergies.

Lazarus Naturals products range from around $10–$160.

Best for follow-up support: Medterra

Medterra pain relief cream

Medterra works in partnership with the Hemp Pilot Research Program, claiming its products are U.S. Hemp Authority Certified.

The company sells a range of CBD oils, capsules, gummies, topicals, and pet products. Its products aim to help sleep, relaxation, recovery, and focus. Some products claim to help boost a person’s immune system.

Full- and ultra-broad-spectrum CBD is available, along with CBD isolate.

Full spectrum products contain 16, 25, and 50 mg CBD. Some products contain 2 mg of THC.

Ultra broad spectrum CBD products contain 50 or 1,000 mg of CBD.

Isolate products contain 25–6,000 mg of CBD.

It uses third-party testing for all its products, and the company claims its hemp is grown and extracted according to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture guidelines.

Pros

  • It develops products with its medical advisory board.
  • People can choose between full-, ultra broad-spectrum, and THC-free isolate products.
  • A person can talk with wellness experts for support.
  • The company offers a 30-day risk-free trial.
  • People can find Medterra products in many popular retail stores.

Cons

  • Some products contain a high amount of THC.
  • Sleep products sometimes contain melatonin, which is not safe for everyone.

Prices for Medterra products range from around $25–110.

The following table compares the brands in this article for CBD type, product range, price, and more.

CBD typeProducts available CBD contentThird-party testedCOAPrice range
Charlotte’s Webfull-spectrum• oils
• capsules
• gummies
• creams
Gummies: 10 mg
Oils: 60 mg
Capsules: 25 mg
yesavailable onlinearound $12–300
CBDistillery• full-spectrum
• broad-spectrum
• isolate
• oils
• capsules
• gummies
• powders
• topicals
• vape liquids
• drinks
• pet products
Gummies: 15–30 mg
Oils: 17–167 mg
Capsules: 30 mg
Topicals: 150–1,000 mg
yesavailable onlinearound $27–240
Papa & Barkleyfull spectrum• tinctures
• capsules
• topicals
• patches
Oils: 15–60 mg
Topicals: 15–600 mg
Capsules: 30 mg
Softgels: 30–60 mg
yesavailable through emailaround $18–180
Lord Jones• full-spectrum
• broad-spectrum
• isolate
• tinctures
• capsules
• topicals
• skin care
• bath salts
• lip balm
• gumdrops
Gumdrops: 20 mg
Tinctures: 500 mg
Topicals: 25–300 mg
yesavailable onlinearound $12–190
Sunsoilfull spectrum• tinctures
• capsules
• softgels
• coconut oil
Softgels: 600–1,800 mg
Capsules: 600–1,800 mg
Oils: 600–1,200 mg
Coconut oil: 600 mg
Sprays: 500 mg
yesavailable onlinearound $20–90
Joy Organics• broad-spectrum
• full-spectrum
• oils
• tinctures
• gummies
• softgels
• energy drinks
• salves
• creams
• bath products
Tinctures: 7.5–30 mg
Gummies: 10–30 mg
Softgels: 10–25 mg
Creams: 25–1,000 mg
yesavailable onlinearound $20–80
+PlusCBDfull-spectrum• creams
• capsules
• oils
• roll-ons
• pet products
• gummies
Topicals: 45–1,000 mg
Oils: 25–1,500 mg
Capsules: 15-50 mg
Gummies: 10-25 mg
Softgels: 25 mg
yesavailable onlinearound $20–200
Lazarus Naturalsfull-spectrum• tinctures
• softgels
• capsules
• edibles
• topicals
• concentrates
• pet products
Tinctures: 30–6,000 mg
Softgels: 25–200 mg
Capsules: 25 mg
Topicals: 1,500–4,000 mg
yesavailable onlinearound $10–$160
Medterra• full-spectrum
• ultra-broad
• isolate
• oils
• capsules
• gummies
• topicals
• face mist
• pet products
Oils: 50–1,000 mg
Capsules: 25–50 mg
Gummies: 25 mg
Topicals: 500–1,000 mg
yesavailable onlinearound $25–110

When looking for a product, a person might consider:

  • Hemp source: Some companies source hemp responsibly. People may wish to consider the environmental impact of a company’s harvesting and manufacturing process. Plus, not all CBD brands use U.S.-grown hemp, instead importing it from other countries.
  • Speed: Vaping and tinctures may work more quickly than capsules or topicals. How quickly a person would like to feel the effects of their CBD product may influence the type of product they choose.
  • THC content: People who wish to avoid THC should not choose products with full-spectrum CBD.
  • Legality: CBD and THC regulations vary by state, so make sure a product is legal before purchasing it.
  • Dosage: People should only buy products that have clear dosage instructions. A person should not buy a CBD product that does not state how much CBD a serving contains.
  • Unsupported health claims: Some CBD brands make health claims regarding their products. Currently, the FDA has only approved one CBD product for medical use. A person should not buy products that claim to cure serious diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, or mental health conditions. Anyone concerned about their health should speak with a doctor.

CBD is one of the many cannabinoids present in the Cannabis sativa plant. Another cannabinoid is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a compound that produces the feeling of being “high.” Some C. sativa plants contain minimal THC.

Research states that CBD is nonintoxicating. According to the authors, its beneficial effects include the reduction of seizures, pain, and inflammation. In addition, a few studies suggest it may:

CBD in products

Products that contain CBD include:

  • cigarettes for smoking or vaping
  • rectal or vaginal suppositories
  • tinctures or sprays to apply under the tongue
  • nasal sprays
  • creams, lotions, and oils
  • edibles, such as capsules and gummies

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not oversee CBD products like other drugs or dietary supplements. As a result, companies may sometimes mislabel or misrepresent their products. For this reason, a person should ensure they do their research and find a product of good quality that is right for them.

Learn more about how to shop for CBD products here.

Extracts of CBD fall into one of the following categories:

  • Full-spectrum: This comes from the C. sativa plant. It contains essential oils and other compounds, including less than 0.3% THC.
  • Broad-spectrum: This is similar to full-spectrum, but it is almost THC-free.
  • Isolate: This is the purest form of CBD.

Legalities concerning CBD are complex. While C. sativa plants containing lessthan 0.3% of THC are no longer a controlled substance under federal law, some states may still prohibit its use.

However, some CBD products do not come from the hemp plant and may contain higher THC levels. These remain illegal in many areas of the U.S.

A person can look to the National Conference of State Legislatures for information on CBD regulation in their state.

A 2017 study indicates that low doses of CBD might benefit and maintain a person’s physiological health. However, it is not advisable to assume CBD products are safe and effective.

Safety

The National Center for Health Research (NCHR) lists the following reported side effects of CBD:

Moreover, some animal studies suggest CBD may harm the liver and central nervous system, which consists of the brain and spinal cord. The NCHR also states the dosage of CBD on product labels is sometimes inaccurate, which could add to the potential harm.

The FDA cautions that there is a need for further research into several CBD safety concerns, such as the effects of its long-term use or the dosages that may trigger risks.

Efficacy

Studies show CBD is effective in treating epilepsy, and the FDA has approved it to treat certain seizures. Research has not yet proven CBD’s value for other conditions.

A 2020 review examining clinical trials to determine the efficacy of CBD found low quality evidence to support its use for anxiety and moderate evidence for its use for psychosis.

The authors of the review also reported that researchers should conduct more extensive clinical trials to confirm the effectiveness of CBD for:

Below are answers to common questions about choosing the best CBD brand.

What is the safest CBD brand?

The safety of CBD products may depend on the company’s quality control processes and commitment to third-party testing. Other contributing factors include the potency of CBD and any additional ingredients. For example, some CBD products may cause interactions similar to grapefruit, but not all people are susceptible to these interactions.

To make safe choices with CBD:

  • Check for interactions with any medications or supplements.
  • Discuss CBD use with a healthcare professional first.
  • Start with small doses and watch for side effects.
  • Only use CBD products tested by independent third-party labs.

How do you know if a CBD product is high quality?

A CBD product is more likely to be high quality if:

  • The manufacturer relies on testing from independent third-party labs.
  • A person can easily see the test results.
  • The company provides clear information about potency and other ingredients.
  • The company is a member of certification and industry self-regulation organizations.
  • The company provides clear information about its farming practices.

What are the best types of CBD products?

The best type of product depends on what a person is looking for. Someone who wants relief from muscle aches may benefit more from a topical CBD product, while someone who wants better sleep might prefer an ingestible CBD product, such as gummies or vape liquids.

Researching the characteristics of different CBD products can help a person choose one that is right for them.

Top CBD brands test their products for pesticides and other impurities. They also ensure that the amount of CBD on the label is accurate.

While some studies suggest that CBD may help with various health issues, the FDA has only approved one CBD product to treat seizures.

Due to safety concerns around using CBD products, a person should contact a healthcare professional before using any products.