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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% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% 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 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

Top cannabidiol (CBD) brands employ organic farming practices to grow the plants they use in their products. They also use third-party testing to verify the purity and quantity of ingredients, and make the 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 and safety precautions with regard to CBD.

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 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 in the same way it does 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.

Below are some of the top CBD brands that a person may consider.

Charlotte’s Web

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

Oils and capsules are full-spectrum, with oils containing 60 milligrams (mg) of CBD per serving, and capsules — 25 mg. Gummies contain 10 mg of CBD.

The company uses organic and regenerative farming practices, and customers may download product certificates of analysis.

Charlotte’s Web is a Certified B Corporation, meaning it meets standards for public transparency and environmental performance.


CBDistillery offers full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate CBD products, which it states promote sleep and relaxation. Products include oils, capsules, powders, gummies, topicals, vape, and skin care.

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

CBDistillery uses non-GMO plants grown with natural farming practices in the United States. It also uses third-party lab testing, and its products hold the U.S. Hemp Authority certification.

Papa & Barkley

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

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

The company uses organic and regenerative farm practices, so the plants grow in natural soil without pesticides. Papa & Barkley products contain whole plant infusions. These, in addition to CBD, provide chlorophyll and other phytonutrients, which are substances with potent 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.

Lord Jones

According to the company website, Lord Jones CBD products promote calmness and well-being. Options include tinctures, capsules, gummies, and a variety of bath products.

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

Capsules and gummies contain broad-spectrum CBD. There is 25 mg of CBD in the capsules, and 20 mg in the gummies.

To make the products, the company uses select plants cultivated in U.S. farms. The products undergo lab tests to ensure potency and purity.


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

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

The plants the company uses come from U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified organic farms, which extract the CBD and infuse it with coconut oil. The company believes this method yields the best possible product.

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

The testing labs hold accreditation with the International Organization for Standardization, and individuals may access the test results freely.

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 simply assume CBD products are safe and effective.


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

Moreover, some studies in animals 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.


Studies show CBD is effective in treating epilepsy, and the FDA has approved it to treat certain types of 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 that supports its use for psychosis.

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

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

While some studies suggest CBD may be effective for various conditions, the FDA has only approved it for treatment of specific types of seizures.

There are safety concerns around the use of CBD products, and therefore a person should contact a healthcare professional before using any products of this kind.