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Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
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The best cannabidiol (CBD) brands rely on third-party testing to verify the purity and quantity of ingredients, use natural ingredients, and provide products for a range of uses and budgets.

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 FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

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.
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Medical News Today has tested some of the products from the brands featured 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 following table compares the brands in this article for CBD type, product range, price, and more.

CBD typeProducts available CBD contentThird-party testedCOAPrice range
CBDistillery• full-spectrum
• broad-spectrum
• isolate
• oils
• capsules
• gummies
• powders
• topicals
Gummies: 15–30 mg
Oils: 17–167 mg
Capsules: 30 mg
Topicals: 150–1,000 mg
yesavailable online$38–$260
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 online$24–$90
Joy Organics• broad-spectrum
• full-spectrum
• oils
• tinctures
• gummies
• softgels
• salves
• creams
• bath products
Tinctures: 7.5–30 mg
Gummies: 10–30 mg
Softgels: 10–25 mg
Creams: 25–1,000 mg
yesavailable online$8.95–$79.95
+PlusCBDfull-spectrum• creams
• capsules
• oils
• roll-ons
• gummies
Topicals: 45–1,000 mg
Oils: 25–1,500 mg
Capsules: 15-50 mg
Gummies: 10-25 mg
Softgels: 25 mg
yesavailable online$29.99–$179.99
Lazarus Naturalsfull-spectrum• tinctures
• softgels
• capsules
• gummies
• topicals
• concentrates
Tinctures: 30–6,000 mg
Softgels: 25–200 mg
Capsules: 25 mg
Topicals: 1,500–4,000 mg
yesavailable online$12–$220
Medterra• full-spectrum
• ultra-broad
• isolate
• oils
• capsules
• gummies
• topicals
• face mist
Oils: 50–1,000 mg
Capsules: 25–50 mg
Gummies: 25 mg
Topicals: 500–1,000 mg
yesavailable online$29.99–$109.99
Charlotte’s Webfull-spectrum• oils
• capsules
• gummies
• creams
Gummies: 10 mg
Oils: 60 mg
Capsules: 25 mg
yesavailable online$10.49–$274.99

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: Some products may work more quickly than others. 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 with concerns about their health should speak with a doctor.

Scientific data on the safest and most effective ways to use CBD is limited. However, early studies suggest that CBD may help relieve symptoms of conditions such as:

Ingestible products, such as CBD oils, capsules, and gummies, may work better for relaxation and easing stress than topicals. Topicals are typically better suited to treating minor aches and pains and soothing the skin.

People interested in using CBD should start slowly, using small doses and slowly working up until they find the dose that works for their needs. Buyers should always discuss CBD with a doctor before they try it.

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.

CBD extract types

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.

CBD rules and regulations

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 small Canadian study indicates that treatment with CBD might have a beneficial effect on pain, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. However, it is not advisable to assume CBD products are safe and effective.

However, the FDA notes that CBD does have the potential to cause liver damage and drowsiness, interfere with other medications, and affect fertility.


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.


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:

According to research, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD may be more effective due to the “entourage effect” of all the compounds working together in the body. The entourage effect refers to enhanced effects a person may feel when using a combination of compounds or ingredients as opposed to the compound’s individual effects.

CBD are products very unlikely to produce a “high” because they cannot contain more than 0.3% THC, which is the psychoactive compound that produces this effect.

To make safe choices with CBD, a person needs to follow these measures:

  • checking for interactions with any medications or supplements
  • discussing CBD use with a healthcare professional first
  • starting with small doses and watching for side effects
  • using only CBD products that have undergone testing with independent third-party labs

The most reputable CBD brands offer products that are safe to use.

The safety of these 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 that may be allergens for some people.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any over-the-counter CBD products. The only form of CBD the organization has approved is Epidiolex, a prescription medication to treat seizures.

Full-spectrum CBD products tend to be the strongest form available. These products contain CBD, other cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and THC.

The most popular CBD product will depend on the relief a person wants. Someone who wants relief from muscle aches may benefit more from a topical CBD product, while those who want better sleep might prefer an ingestible CBD product, such as gummies or ingestible oils.

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

Many brands offer pure CBD or CBD isolate products. These products will not contain any THC. However, these products will likely contain at least one other ingredient, such as a carrier oil.

CBD alone will not produce the “high” that people commonly associate with cannabis. The cannabinoid THC is responsible for the psychoactive properties in CBD, although companies cannot legally sell products containing over 0.3% THC. People wishing to avoid THC in their CBD products should choose CBD isolate.

CBD containing THC can produce positive drug test results. This includes full-spectrum CBD and, in some cases, broad-spectrum CBD, which can contain trace amounts of THC.

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.