The thing about CBD oil today is that it’s everywhere. Even a few years ago, it was little more than a novelty.
Flash-forward to today, and one can quite easily find CBD products in virtually every corner of the world.
As a loosely-regulated industry, however, the market is often over-saturated with poorly made, low-quality products that end up being little more than a waste of money for customers.
Fortunately, several reputable brands have earned trust through years of exceptional service – and more importantly, through top-notch products that actually work.
The difficulty for consumers is having to wade through thousands of subpar items in order to find such products.
In this guide, we save you the trouble by outlining the best CBD oil companies in the industry. We have selected five outstanding brands according to overall quality, taste, CBD potency, customer ratings, and value for the money.
Each of these brands offers something different. Before we delve any deeper, however, let’s explore some of the fundamental pros and cons of using CBD oil.
Understanding What CBD Oil Is
CBD oil is a substance derived from the cannabis plant. It can come from either marijuana or hemp, both of which fall under the taxonomic classification of Cannabis sativa L.
Proponents claim that CBD has an array of therapeutic benefits, including the potential to ease symptoms relating to anxiety, depression, sleep trouble, chronic pain, and even epilepsy.
At present, CBD (cannabidiol) is not an FDA approved substance. The sole exception is an epilepsy drug called Epidiolex, which uses CBD as its key active ingredient.
The 2018 Farm Bill caused a fair degree of confusion in this regard, as it effectively legalized industrial hemp – which most CBD products today are made from. Depending on the specific strain, industrial hemp can contain significant amounts of cannabinoids, including cannabidiol.
This is why the Farm Bill states that hemp is legal as long as it has a THC content of 0.3% or less.
The extremely low level of THC in hemp means those who use CBD oil should not feel an intoxicating high. As you will quickly discover in this guide, however, not every CBD product is created equal.
The best brands put time, effort, and money into producing the best products. This is one of the reasons why premium-grade CBD is relatively expensive.
While there are dozens of cannabidiol products to choose from, CBD oil remains among the most popular.
Most oils come in a bottle with an integrated dropper cap; users simply place a few drops of oil beneath the tongue, hold for up to 60 seconds, and swallow. Waiting for 60 seconds enables cannabinoids in the oil to enter the body efficiently via sublingual glands and blood vessels.
In fact, most agree that CBD taken sublingually (below the tongue) has a higher absorption rate than CBD consumed orally.
Does CBD Oil Have Any Beneftis?
When discussing CBD oil benefits, one must tread carefully. Remember, most CBD products are not FDA approved. As a result, sellers can’t make any health claims about their products.
They especially can’t say that CBD “treats” or “cures” any condition or ailment. Because of this, when brands discuss how cannabidiol works in the body, they must use careful language.
That being said, aside from “curing” or “treating” anything, CBD can offer users tremendous benefit in terms of helping to establish and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Some of these key benefits include:
Regulating sleep cycles and establishing natural sleep patterns
Helping manage anxiety and everyday stresses
Assisting in the management of things like pain, soreness, and joint stiffness
The level of study regarding the way CBD works in the body is increasing significantly. Many studies suggest the compound’s ability to reduce a person’s level of anxiety, for example, or to help them sleep.
Other data supports the notion that CBD helps decrease the pain someone feels.
Of course, thanks in large part to the FDA approval of Epidiolex, the most detailed fields of study into the benefits of CBD oil relate to seizures and epilepsy. Many studies suggest that using cannabidiol can reduce the frequency and severity of seizures.
A study by Silvestro et al. published in April 2019 in Molecules, for example, suggests that CBD “could represent hope for patients who are resistant to all conventional anti-epileptic drugs.”
There are dozens of other research papers that draw similar conclusions. This study, for example, published in Epilepsy Currents in 2014, provides a wealth of practical information regarding CBD and epilepsy.
The trouble is, lack of clinical research in other areas is hindering the cannabinoid’s case for use with other conditions.
Without clinical research, the FDA is unlikely to change its stance – and without full legality, it will not be easy for researchers to get the funding they need to investigate the use of cannabidiol for other medical conditions.
This is a vicious circle, and is one that needs to end sooner rather than later.
A Tricky Situation
That being said, it is still quite easy in most areas to find CBD – even if some states are more strict than others in terms of what a CBD product is (and isn’t) allowed to contain.
The Idaho Office of Drug Policy, for example, states that CBD products must contain zero THC and must come from one of just five outlined parts of the hemp plant.
The good news for residents across the USA is that the federal government is mostly leaving it up to individual states to establish regulations on the use and availability of hemp and CBD.
Most states have been fully accepting of hemp’s newfound legality, though a small handful remain stubborn in their policies. (To learn more about the cannabinoid in your specific location, be sure to check out our CBD state guides.)
The most important thing, no matter where you live, is to invest in a reliable, well-made CBD oil that will work. As we outline in detail above, this can be inherently tricky – particularly given today’s saturated market with hundreds, if not thousands, of CBD brands.
How to Choose the Best CBD Oil
If CBD oil is in fact available in your state, the next step is to discover how to find the best quality CBD oil. We recommend taking the following steps in your search:
Know the hemp source: Ideally, brands will use industrial hemp grown in the United States or one of a select few European Union nations. Hemp from regulated U.S. farmlands maintains high levels of quality.
As a result, you know the hemp is free from things like GMOs, fertilizers, and other contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals.
Check for third-party lab reports: Lab reports are not cheap, but all reputable brands pay for them. A lab report lets customers know the precise cannabinoid and terpene content of any given CBD product.
In most places, the maximum permitted THC content is 0.3%. As we discuss above however, in states like Idaho products are not even allowed to contain trace amounts.
Look at the extraction method used: CO2 extraction involves the use of carbon dioxide to remove cannabinoids from the hemp plant.
The supercritical version of this process is considered the gold standard, and is what many top brands use today in order to manufacture effective, highly-potent CBD products. In general, cannabinoid extraction using CO2 provides the best quality of CBD oil.
Find the appropriate extract type: Customers these days can buy full-spectrum CBD, which contains nearly a full array of the cannabinoids and terpenes present in hemp.
Many brands also offer broad-spectrum options, which is almost the same but contains no THC. Finally, there are CBD isolate products, which include nothing other other than cannabidiol infused in a carrier oil.
For those that believe in the entourage effect, full or broad-spectrum CBD oils are probably the way to go.
Other things to consider and evaluate are a brand’s overall customer review scores, their standards of customer service and care, their general reputation (including how long they’ve been in the industry), their dedication to product transparency, and their shipping, refund, and return policies.
It’s also important to research and understand a company’s lab reports or Certificates of Analysis; this will allow you to know whether their CBD oils contain other, potentially unwanted ingredients.
Our Guide to the Best CBD Oil Brands
It wasn’t easy narrowing down this year’s list of CBD oil brands.
We painstakingly analyzed the various facets highlighted above, however, and the process ultimately worked well as we were able to weed out dozens of companies that didn’t come close to making the grade. (Incidentally, you can read our complete list of CBD oil brand reviews to see if you can find a brand you like that isn’t on this list).
Aside from considering CBD oil reviews from customers, we also looked at the overall quality of each oil, its taste and CBD concentration, and most importantly, the overall value for the money that it offered.
Ultimately, we settled on the following picks.
We could wax lyrical about this brand’s product range, but we will stick with PureKana CBD oil, which comes in five flavors: Vanilla, Mint, Citrus, Fruity, and Natural.
The potency of these oils come in standard CBD concentrations (300mg, 500mg, and 1000mg), but one thing we love about the PureKana CBD oil range is they offer high-potency options as well, including 2500mg and 5000mg bottles.
Very few brands on the market provide such an option. Most concentrations come in 30ml bottles, with the exception of the higher potency options, which come in 60ml.
Unlike other brands on the market, the team at PureKana is all about innovation.
This brand is constantly launching new products and improving the quality of their CBD formula. For example, they have just recently launched a new line of health-specific CBD products, including a proprietary 1500mg CBD Sleep Aid tincture and a new Immunity Boost tincture.
They’ve also added several new high-potency Pain-Relief gels and roll-ons to their CBD topicals range.