Best CBD Oils For 2021 — Top 20 Premium Brands (Reviewed by Quality & Potency)

There are a ton of CBD products that simply aren’t worth the money.

Here’s how to shop for CBD oil like a pro.

Top 20 brands for 2021.

Article By
Daily CBD , last updated on October 20, 2021

We’ve tried, tested, and reviewed hundreds of oils and can honestly tell you, not all CBD oils are created equal. 

Navigating the CBD oil market is way more complex and confusing than it should be. Every company positions its oil as being “superior” in one way or another. Some companies advertise fancy features like nano CBD to broad-spectrum, and beyond.

But not all companies are telling the truth. 

Here, we present the best CBD oils available and show you how to determine the true value of CBD oil.

Shortlist: Top 5 CBD Oil Brand Roundup

These 5 companies have proven time and time again to produce the best CBD oils on the market today. You can’t go wrong with any of these brands.

  1. Royal CBD OilBest Value
  2. Gold Bee CBD OilBest Full Spectrum CBD Oil
  3. Kiara Naturals CBD OilBest CBD Oil For Pain
  4. EndocaBest CBD Oil in Europe
  5. Neurogan — Best Selection

1. Royal CBD — Best Value

$49 – $229
Royal CBD

Royal CBD Oil 30 mL

5 / 5

Total CBD: 250 – 2500 mg
Potency: 8.3 – 83.3 mg/mL
Cost per mg CBD: $0.09 – $0.20
Extract Type: Full-spectrum
THC Content: <0.3%

As the name suggests, Royal CBD specializes in making high-grade, premium CBD oil. Each bottle is made from a proprietary strain of hemp — chosen for its ideal cannabinoid and terpene profiles.

The hemp used to create these oils are organically grown on American farms, and extracted using supercritical CO2.

This is the best all-around CBD oil brand — providing top-shelf oils for industry-average pricing. If you just want a CBD oil that’s going to do the trick, delivers excellent value, and doesn’t contain any added ingredients — Royal CBD is it.

Highlights:

  • Excellent cost to quality ratio
  • Available in multiple potencies (up to 250 mg/mL)
  • Made from organic hemp
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Enter the code DAILY10 at checkout for 10% off

2. Gold Bee — Best Full Spectrum CBD Oil

Gold Bee is a newcomer to the CBD space but has set itself apart with its focus on organic hemp and exceptionally high terpene content in its oils.

The founder of Gold Bee developed a unique method of extraction that preserves much more of the volatile terpenes in the extract than average. The process is slow and tedious, but the final extract is well worth the effort.

This company sells oils, capsules, gummies, topicals, and CBD-infused honey — all of which offer excellent value for the money.

Highlights:

  • Cottage company
  • Specializes in CBD honey products
  • Uses organic hemp for all products
  • Higher-than-average terpene content in CBD oils

Enter the code DAILYCBD for 10% off.

3. Kiara Naturals — Best CBD Oil For Pain

Kiara Naturals is a Swiss company with some seriously top-notch CBD oils. This brand carries. abasic full-spectrum CBD oil, a CBD isolate oil, a CBG + CBD oil, a sleep-centered CBD oil, and finally, an oil designed specifically for managing chronic pain.

All of these oils are excellent in terms of cost, potency, and value — but our favorite is the pain-relief formula. It’s formulated with high-potency CBD, along with Corydalis, Angelica sinensis, Angelica archangelica, ginger, and zanthoxylum. All of these herbs are used to manage different types of pain and inflammation.

The 3000 mg CBD oil from this brand is the strongest CBD oil we’ve tried to date.

This company is based out of Europe, but has a distribution center in the US as well.

Highlights:

  • Specialty herb formulas for different symptoms
  • Made from high-grade European hemp
  • Excellent value for the money
  • CBG and CBD oils both available

4. Endoca

€28.00 – €179.85
Endoca

Endoca CBD Oils 10 mL

4.67 / 5

Total CBD: 300 – 3000 mg
Potency : 30 – 300 mg/mL
Cost per mg CBD: €0.05 – €0.09
Extract Type: Full-spectrum
THC Content: 0.0%

Endoca is a large European CBD company servicing customers all around the world. Their products tick all the boxes we expect to see from a high-quality manufacturer — including third-party testing, full-spectrum hemp, and robust lineup of different potencies and base options. 

What makes Endoca unique is that they’re selling both the “raw” CBD oils and “regular” CBD oils. 

In the “raw” form (now called CBD+), the hemp extract used to make the oil has been carefully processed to avoid heating it. When hemp extract is heated, the natural form of CBD (CBDa) goes through a chemical process that removes a molecular group to produce CBD. 

Highlights:

  • Offers both CBD and CBDa oils
  • Large & diverse product range
  • Well-established company with a solid track-record

5. Neurogan

$29.95 – $269.95
Neurogan

Neurogan CBD Oil 30 – 60 mL

4.83 / 5

Total CBD: 500 – 12,000 mg
Potency: 8.33 – 200 mg/mL
Cost per mg: $0.02 – $0.05
Extract Type: Full-Spectrum & Broad-Spectrum

What makes Neurogan unique is that they grow all their own hemp. This is something a lot of companies try to imply through web copy, but when you start digging you’ll find most companies white label their hemp from somewhere else.

By maintaining control over the growing, harvesting, and processing stages of production, Neurogan has complete control over the whole process. This keeps everything consistent and allows the quality control team to ensure every step of the process is done with integrity.

Highlights:

  • Wide range of CBD oil types to choose from
  • All CBD products are made from hemp grown on Neurogan farms
  • Small, family-owned business
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Honorable Mentions (15 Premium CBD Companies)

Our honorable mentions are brands that meet the qualifications for a premium CBD company, but lack in one or more areas that prevent us from listing them in the top 5.

All of the companies on this list are great brands overall and the CBD oils they make are definitely worth the money spent.

6. Joy Organics

$45.00 – $125.00
Joy Organics

Joy Organics Full-Spectrum Tinctures 30 mL

4 / 5

Total CBD: 450 – 2250 mg
Potency: 15 – 75 mg/mL
Cost per mg CBD: $0.01 – $0.07
Extract Type: Full-Spectrum
THC Content : <0.3%

Joy Organics is one of the few truly transparent companies in the CBD space. If you snoop around the company website you’ll find information on the founders, various members of the team, and plenty of insight into the inner workings of the company. They’re active on social media, and provide clear evidence to third-party testing for every batch of product.

The CBD tinctures sold by this company are available in a wide range of potencies (450–1250 mg per bottle) and flavors (lime, mint, orange, lemon, tropical fruit, and unflavored).

Highlights:

  • Top-notch customer service team
  • High level of corporate transparency
  • Low to moderate potency options available
  • Several delicious flavor options

7. CBD American Shaman

CBD American Shaman has one of the largest product lineups we’ve ever seen. This brand sells several different versions of their CBD oils (each with multiple flavors and potency options), as well as topicals, gummies, and capsules. CBD American Shaman even sells some of the more obscure product categories —‚ such as CBD gum, CBD bath bombs, pre-rolled hemp joints, and more.

Our favorite CBD oil in the CBD American Shaman lineup is the water-soluble CBD oil.

Water-soluble CBD is thought to have better absorption and therefore offers improved potency at l ower doses than non-water-soluble products.

Highlights:

  • Extensive product lineup
  • CBD oils available in multiple different flavor options (changes often)
  • Third-party test results available upon request

8. Medterra

$34.99 – $132.99
Medterra

Medterra CBD Tinctures 30 mL

4 / 5

Total CBD: 500 – 3000 mg
Potency: 16 – 100 mg/mL
Cost per mg CBD: $0.04 – $0.07
Extract Type: Isolate
THC Content: 0.0%

Medterra is one of the larger and more clinical companies in the CBD space. This company uses a proprietary broad-spectrum hemp extract for all its products, which allows the company to guarantee its products are THC-free and provides consistent results across different batches.

One of the earliest claims to fame for this company was a deal it made with Walgreens and several other big-box stores in the US to begin selling topical CBD products (CBD oils soon to follow). They were also one of the first public sponsors for sporting events and athletes in the US — a trend that’s now become commonplace in the CBD industry.

Highlights:

  • Uses broad-spectrum, THC-free hemp extracts
  • Available in multiple different potencies
  • Sponsors several athletes and sporting events in the US

9. RYA Organics

$88
RYA Organics

RYA Organics Nexus Relief 60 mL

4 / 5

Total CBD: 600 mg
Potency: 10 mg/mL
Cost per mg: $0.15
Extract Type: CBD Isolate

RYA Organics specializes in CBD-infused skincare products. Their products are priced for the high-end market but deliver with the impressive formulations contained inside. The company sells two CBD oils — the Nexus Relief (for pain) and the Rumi Dream Tonic (for sleep).

Both of these oils are only available in one potency (10 mg/mL) of CBD or CBD/CBG respectively. This is definitely on the low-end for a CBD oil, but it’s made up for with the dozen or so other ingredients in the formula. These oils are more of a herbal pain and herbal sleep tincture with CBD in them than a dedicated CBD oil like the other products on this list.

Highlights:

  • High-end CBD skincare products
  • CBD content in RYA Organics oils is miniscule
  • CBD pain and sleep tinctures are formulated with over a dozen other ingredients

10. Populum

$59–$279
Populum

Populum Full-Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil 30 mL

4.5 / 5

Total CBD: 250–2000 mg
Potency: 8.33–66.7 mg/mL
Cost per mg: $0.14–$0.24
Extract Type: Full-Spectrum

Populum products are designed to be simple. They don’t offer a complex array of similar products — just a simple 500 mg or 1000 mg full-spectrum CBD oil. They also carry lavender-infused face oil, CBD honey, capsules, and a muscle rub. The simplicity of this lineup is welcomed in a notoriously complex market of (nearly) identical products.

Highlights:

  • 30-day free trial (refund policy)
  • Simple, distilled product lineup
  • Focus on organic CBD products

11. Charlotte’s Web

$29.99 – $274.99
Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web CBD Oils 30 – 100 mL

4.5 / 5

Total CBD: 210 – 6000 mg
Potency : 7 – 60 mg/mL
Cost per mg CBD: $0.05 – $0.14
Extract Type : Full-spectrum
THC Content: Not Listed

Charlotte’s Web was a pioneer in the CBD industry. They created a new type of cannabis with a much higher than average CBD content than what was available previously. Since this time, the brand’s popularity has been dwindling. These oils are still top-notch and have a team of industry experts behind them — however, the lineup is overcomplicated, making it difficult to decide on what products to buy.

The larger the bottle and higher the potency, the better the value for these oils. We recommend going for the 60 mg/mL CBD oil or higher in order to get the best value.

Highlights:

  • Industry innovators
  • Wide range of CBD oils to choose from
  • Everything is third-party tested
  • Product lineup can feel overcomplicated

12. Hemp Bombs

$25.00 – $255.00
Hemp Bombs

Hemp Bombs CBD Oil 30 mL

4.17 / 5

Total CBD: 300 – 5000 mg
Potency: 10 – 166.6 mg/mL
Cost per mg CBD: $0.05 – $0.08
Extract Type: Isolate
THC Content: 0%

There are few CBD companies as well-known as Hemp Bombs. This company is based out of the United States but operates internationally.

The main selling features for this brand are the low cost, widespread availability, and consistency from one batch to another. Hemp Bombs makes its oils out of CBD isolate, which eliminates the chances of alterations in the cannabinoid ratios from affecting the oil.

Highlights:

  • Large, international CBD company
  • Owened by the same parent company as Nature’s Script
  • Specializes in CBD isolate oils

13. Smile CBD

Smile CBD has a small concise lineup of CBD products. The company carries two CBD oils — one optimized for daytime use (Energize) and another for nighttime use (Unwind). Both contain high-grade CBD isolate and a variety of other synergistic ingredients.

Both of these oils are excellent and form a perfect duo for people who use CBD in the morning before work as well as in the evening before bed. You get all the benefits of CBD while minimizing the negatives through the inclusion of other synergistic ingredients in the formula.

Highlights:

  • Two CBD oil formulas (for daytime and nightime use)
  • Small company with concise product lineup
  • All oils made from CBD isolate

14. Penguin CBD

$45–$300
Penguin CBD

Penguin CBD Oil

5 / 5

Total CBD: 250–5000
Potency: 8.3 – 166.7 mg/mL
Cost per mg CBD: $0.06 – $0.18
Extract Type: Broad-Spectrum
THC Content: 0 mg

Penguin CBD has done a great job at optimizing the user experience. The company website is easy to navigate, its product lineup is concise, but covers enough diversity to cover just about any specific preferences, and the prices are all competitive with the industry average for each category.

While this brand leaves a lot to be desired if you’re looking for specialized formulas for specific symptoms, Penguin CBD is a great option for people who just want a simple, high-quality CBD oil.

Highlights:

  • Concise lineup with surprising amount of customizeablility
  • Competitive prices (especially on sale items)
  • Unique flavor options (cookies & cream, mint, citrus, & strawberry)

15. Social CBD

Social CBD was recently rebranded from Select CBD. The company has come a long way over the past couple of years since its inception. Every few months the company either releases a new category of CBD products or upgrades one of its older product lines.

The CBD drops from Social CBD have been upgraded several times already. The hemp extract contained inside is made from a high-grade CBD distillate (99%) at 33 mg/mL potency.

What makes these oils special is the addition of other essential oils to control the flavor, and effect profile of the blend. You can choose between lemon ginger, lavender, peppermint, or unflavored versions. 

Highlights:

  • Avilable in both full-spectrum & CBD isolate options
  • Standard pricing higher than average, but remains competitive if you use the discount code below
  • reputable brand with large and loyal following

Enter the code DAILYCBD at checkout for 20% off & free shipping

16. Kat’s Naturals

$19.99 – $59.99
Kat’s Naturals

Kat’s Naturals Relax THC-Free Sublingual CBD Oil 5 mL – 30 mL

4.67 / 5

Total CBD: 50 mg – 300 mg
Potency : 10 mg/mL
Cost per mg CBD: $0.20 – $0.40
Extract Type: Isolate
THC Content: 0.0%

Kat’s Naturals is known for its clever use of other herbs in its CBD formulations. We particularly love this tincture made with hops (Humulus lupulus) for supporting rest and relaxation.

The hops plant is very similar to cannabis and is the only other member of the Cannabaceae family of plants. 

In a similar way to hemp, hops provide potent relaxing and sedative qualities through compounds in the resin. 

The synergistic effects of hops and cannabis give this oil much stronger effects than CBD on its own.

Highlights:

  • Owned and operated by certified herbalist
  • Several specialty formulas available for pain, sleep, and stress
  • All CBD oiils are independantly tested

17. Five CBD

Five CBD

Five CBD Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

5 / 5

Total CBD: 1500 – 6000 mg
Potency: 50 – 200 mg/ml
Cost per mg CBD: $0.03 – $0.08
Extract type: Full-spectrum
THC Content: <0.3%

Five CBD is brand new — just launched in 2020 — but the company is already competing with many of the more established brands in the industry. They have a loyal following of users who love the brand’s simplicity, elegant branding, exceptional customer service, transparency, and sheer CBD potency.

This is one of the few companies offering a 6000 mg CBD oil (200 mg/mL). This amount of CBD is well above average — it’s hard to find CBD oils with just 3000 mg so Five CBD sits well above the competition in this regard.

Highlights:

  • CBD oils with up to 6000 mg of CBD per bottle
  • Simple, yet efficient CBD oil lineup
  • New company — founded in 2020
  • All products are made from premium full-spectrum hemp extract

Enter the code DAILYCBD20 for 20% off.

18. CBDistillery

$29.00 – $220.00
CBDistillery

CBDistillery CBD Isolate Tinctures 30 mL

4.17 / 5

Total CBD: 250 – 5000 mg
Potency: 8.3 mg – 166.66 mg
Cost per mg of CBD: $0.104- $0.11
Extract Type : Isolate
THC Content : 0.0%

CBDistillery is one of the oldest companies in the industry. As such, they have a large following and a wide range of CBD product categories available.

Their CBD oil lineup itself is notably diverse — you can order full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate oils — each with a variety of different flavors and potencies.

This is a grat company overall, but a little bit lacklustre compared to the other brands on this list. They’re also a big higher priced if you don’t order these oils while they’re on sale (which fortunately happens often throughout the years).

Highlights:

  • Exceptionally wide product range
  • Oils come in all three extract types (isolate, full-spectrum, & broad-spectrum)
  • CBD oils a bit expensive (wait for a sale)

19. Verma Farms

This company is proudly Hawaiian. Varma Farms values sustainability and natural product formulas. They source organic hemp, avoid using any synthetic ingredients or flavorings, and employ several methods of sustainable manufacturing processes while making these CBD oils.

Verma Farms carries a few different CBD oils — a simple 500 mg or 1000 mg option, as well as specialty formulas for improving focus, sleep, or energy levels.

Unfortunately, the ingredients this company has chosen for these formulas are a little bit disappointing — for example, the sleep formula contains ginseng, which is not a good herb for evening use (can interfere with sleep). The focus formula is just fish oil and magnesium — both of which are well below the optimal dose.

We recommend sticking to the simple 500 or 100 mg CBD oils offered by this brand — great flavor and great value.

Highlights:

  • No synthetic flavorings or additives used to make these oils
  • Offers basic 500 and 1000. mgoils, as well as specialty formulas
  • Specialty formulas are a little bit underpowered

20. Nordic Oil

€39.00 – €129.00
Nordic Oil

Nordic Oil Full-Spectrum CBD Oil (Europe) 10 mL

4.67 / 5

Total CBD: 500 – 2000 mg
CBD Potency: 50 – 200 mg/mL
Cost per mg CBD: €0.06 – €0.08
Extract Type: Full-Spectrum
THC Content: <0.02%

Nordic Oil serves most of Europe, and even offers language-specific websites and products depending on what country you’re ordering from.

They carry several different CBD oils, including pet oils, liposomal oils, sleep oils, and more. All of their products deliver excellent value for the money, and the specialty products (like the sleep oil) are intelligently formulated to offer benefits that are above and beyond what CBD can offer on its own.

A sub-brand of Nord Oil — Nordic Cosmetics — offers an extensive lineup of topical skincare products that are exclusively available to European residents only.

Highlights:

  • Country specific websites for Germany, Norway, UK, USA, Sweden, Russia, Poland, France, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Netherlands, Portugal, & Italy
  • Excellent value for the money (high potency, high quality, low price)
  • Specialty products available for enhancing sleep quality
  • Carbon-neutral company
  • Excellent blog content full of useful, evidence-based information

Best CBD Products By Category

CBD oil isn’t the only way to take CBD. There are dozens of other interesting ways to use this supplement — each with its own sets of pros and cons. 

Aside from CBD oil, the other most popular method of using CBD is in the form of a CBD edible. This may include CBD gummies, CBD capsules, CBD honey-sticks, CBD chocolate, or CBD chewing gum

Inhalation is another common method of using CBD. You can order CBD vape oils, CBD vape pens, and raw hemp flower to use in a dry herb vape or roll into a cigarette. 

For topical use, CBD comes in the form of pain creams, cosmetic skincare products, sunscreen, massage oils, bath bombs, and lubes

CBD concentrates are a good option for people looking for a high dose of CBD. You can find them as CBD shatters, CBD crystals, and CBD live resin extracts

What Are The Benefits of CBD Oil?

CBD acts through something called the endocannabinoid system (ECS)

The ECS consists of a series of receptors found throughout the body that helps maintain homeostasis and balance.

It’s through this system that CBD is able to provide so many unique benefits. 

The Main Benefits of CBD Oil Include:

  1. Alleviates pain
  2. Supports healthy sleep
  3. Relieves inflammation & pain from arthritis
  4. Promotes muscle recovery after a workout
  5. Protects the brain from damage
  6. Reduces stress & anxiety
  7. Regulates mood & depression

Your pets can also benefit in the same ways from using CBD oil. Learn how you can use CBD oil for dogs, cats, and horses.

Best CBD Products By Health Benefit

How to Select CBD Potency

The potency of the CBD oil you buy is one of the most important metrics to consider. It’s ultimately what defines the dose of CBD you should be using.

Some people only need a low dose of CBD, so a low-potency oil makes more sense. Those who need higher doses will do better with a high potency oil. This is why most CBD oils have the option for a few different potencies. 

The first step to deciding what potency to use is to figure out the ballpark for what dose you should be using. You can use our CBD oil dosage calculator to find your approximate dose according to your weight.

Here are some general recommendations for what potency CBD oil to use based on your target dose:

  • 5 mg dose — 250 mg CBD oil or lower
  • 10 mg dose — 250 mg CBD oil or lower
  • 15 mg dose — 250 – 500 mg CBD oil
  • 20 mg dose — 250 – 500 mg CBD oil
  • 25 mg dose — 500 – 1000 mg CBD oil
  • 30 mg dose — 500 – 1000 mg CBD oil
  • 35 mg dose — 500 – 1000 mg CBD oil
  • 40 mg dose — 500 – 1000 mg CBD oil
  • 45 mg dose — 500 – 1000 mg CBD oil
  • 50 mg dose — 1000 mg CBD oil or higher
  • 55 mg dose — 1000 mg CBD oil or higher
  • 60+ mg dose — 1000 mg CBD oil or higher

Terms & Definitions To Be Aware of When Choosing Potency:

  1. Strength — Refers to the level of desired intensity from a CBD dosage. The higher the desired strength, the higher the dose will be
  2. Potency Refers to the amount of CBD contained in each milliliter of oil
  3. Dose The amount of CBD in mg consumed at a time. This can be anywhere from 20 mg to 100 mg or more
  4. Servings — The number of doses taken in a day — this is usually 2 or 3 times per day
  5. Dropperful — Refers the amount of oil that fills the glass tube after squeezing the rubber dropper top. One dropperful contains 1 mL and roughly 30 drops

What Are The Side Effects Of CBD Oil? 

CBD has been proven to be both safe and effective — even in very high doses. 

A large meta-analysis published in 2011 explored the side effects of CBD oils in 132 clinical trials [12]. The study concluded that CBD oil was well-tolerated and safe with both high-doses and long-term use.

With that said, there’s always a risk of side effects whenever using any health supplement. 

The side-effects of CBD oil include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Poor appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin rash

How To Buy CBD Oil: 7 Things To Consider Before You Buy

Not all CBD oils are created equal. There are a lot of brands selling low-grade, contaminated, or scammy CBD products. 

It can be hard to tell the difference between a high-grade oil from low-grade or scammy products — so here are 7 factors to consider while shopping for CBD products to avoid disappointment. 

1. Where Does The Hemp Come From? Is It Organic? 

Organic hemp plants have the strongest terpene and cannabinoid profiles overall. You can’t make a high-grade CBD extract without starting with quality plant material.

Plants grown in organic soil without any growth boosters or harsh pesticides almost always have better cannabinoid and terpene ratios compared to non-organic products.

While we prefer to look for products that are “certified organic” — these are few and far between. Certifications are very time-consuming and can cost huge amounts of money. This is why so many organic products cost up to 25% more than non-organic products. 

Hemp doesn’t necessarily need to be certified organic to offer this level of quality, but it’s the only way to be 100 percent sure the company is making products that are truly organic. 

Many high-quality CBD brands are using organically grown hemp and haven’t yet earned the certification to prove it — such as Gold Bee, Endoca, and Charlotte’s Web. 

2. Are The Products Third-Party Tested? 

All the best CBD products are verified by third-party labs. 

Third-party testing is the only way to confirm the claims the company is making about its products. Companies will (voluntarily) send a sample of every batch to an independent lab where it’s tested for cannabinoid profile, terpene ratios, and to check for any potential contaminants. 

Always look for evidence of third-party testing. 

Many CBD brands are making cheap CBD oils with low-quality or contaminated hemp and passing it off as premium CBD oils. These companies will rarely list the third-party results because they either didn’t pass, or they didn’t order them to begin with. 

If these tests aren’t available for a particular company — move along and look for a company that offers them as a standard.

3. What Other Ingredients Are Included In The Oil

Making a CBD oil only requires two ingredients — a CBD or hemp extract, and a carrier oil. 

The carrier oil is used to suspend the CBD, adding bulk and making the CBD easier to use. It also offers some benefits on the absorption of the compound through the gut lining.

There are a few common carrier oil choices CBD brands are using for their products: 

A) Medium-Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil

The most common CBD carrier oil option is MCT oil — which stands for medium-chain triglycerides.

The medium length allows the oil to remain a liquid above freezing temperatures and has a high solubility — which means more CBD can be dissolved into the oil before it becomes saturated.

B) Hemp Seed Oil

This is considered the premium carrier oil option. It also comes from the hemp plant and many believe it offers additional synergy to the formula. 

Hemp seed oil is high in essential fatty acids like GLA and comes with a host of nutritional benefits as well. 

The downside is that it has a lower solubility than MCT oil due to the other phytochemicals already held in solution — so you’re not going to find ultra-high potency CBD oils made with hemp seed oil. 

C) Olive Oil

This is another low-cost oil sometimes used for making CBD oils. It has a characteristic mild spicy flavor and is believed to offer improved absorption compared to MCT oil due to some circulatory stimulating effects of other compounds found in the oil. Olive oil has a low solubility so you won’t find any high-potency CBD oils with this carrier oil.

D) Sweet Almond Oil

This is another popular oil for making CBD oils. It’s more expensive than the others listed above but has a pleasant, nutty flavor. It’s a very light oil, which makes it easier to take raw under the tongue, and has a notably high solubility, allowing manufacturers to make high-potency oils with this carrier oil base.

E) Avocado Oil

High in monounsaturated fatty acids, this oil has a host of health benefits of its own, and a unique avocado flavor. This oil is light and makes for a great addition to some of the more exotic CBD oils.

F) Argan Oil

This is one of the most expensive oils gram for gram on the market. You’ll only find this oil in very high-end CBD oils. It offers little benefit when taken orally, but works wonders on the skin and hair.

Learn how we evaluate CBD Products

4. Full-Spectrum vs. CBD Isolate vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD Oils

One of the main considerations you’ll need to make regarding CBD oils is whether you want full-spectrum hemp oil, broad-spectrum extracts, or CBD isolates.

So what’s the difference?

A) Full-Spectrum CBD Oils

Full-spectrum oils are made to preserve all of the natural cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytochemicals found in the plant.

All these ingredients work together to provide a greater level of benefits overall through a concept called the entourage effect. Full-spectrum products are considered to be the strongest and most versatile form of CBD oil available. 

Advantages of Full-Spectrum CBD Oils

  1. They leverage additional health benefits of other cannabinoids including CBC, CBG, CBN, THC, or THCV
  2. They require less processing and contain fewer additives
  3. A lower dose is needed to produce the same level of effects from an isolate

Disadvantages of Full-Spectrum CBD Oils

  1. They’re more expensive than isolates
  2. There’s the potential for trace amounts of THC in the oil to register on a drug test
  3. Each product can vary significantly depending on the other cannabinoids and terpenes in the extract

In most cases, full-spectrum oils are a better option. They’re stronger and produce a wider range of effects over isolated compounds. Most health practitioners with experience in herbal medicine prefer full-spectrum oils over isolates.

Best Full-Spectrum CBD Oils:

  1. Royal CBD Oil
  2. Gold Bee CBD Oil
  3. Charlotte’s Web CBD Oil

B) CBD Isolate Oils

CBD isolates are made by isolating the CBD content from cannabis plants before dissolving it in a carrier oil.

This is the most common form of CBD currently available because it’s easier to make CBD products that contain precise concentrations of the cannabinoid when using a concentrated product. Full-spectrum oils need to be balanced out to counteract the natural variability of CBD concentrations in one sample from another. 

As a result, CBD isolates tend to be cheaper as well. 

Advantages of CBD Isolates:

  1. CBD content is easier to measure and control
  2. Products made from isolates tend to be cheaper
  3. There’s more research on CBD isolates
  4. It’s easy to keep THC levels well below psychoactive levels

Disadvantages of CBD Isolates:

  1. A higher dose is needed to produce the same benefits as full-spectrum oils
  2. It’s harder to trace the CBD back to its source
  3. It lacks the benefits of other cannabinoids unless they’re added back into the product
  4. Extra processing can damage terpene and cannabinoid integrity

CBD isolates are useful for people looking for a simple, cost-effective CBD oil.

Related: Best CBD Isolate Oils

C) Broad-Spectrum CBD Oils

A broad-spectrum extract is made to contain all the phytochemicals in the hemp plant, the same as a full-spectrum product — but without the THC. 

This allows a company to advertise that its products contain 0 percent THC without compromising on the benefits of an otherwise full-spectrum product.

The catch here is that in order to make these products, the extract needs to go through a lot of processing first. This usually leads to a loss of other cannabinoids and terpenes from the final product — reducing its overall effect.

The truth is that broad-spectrum products are usually a bit lackluster. They contain CBD, along with a few other common cannabinoids like CBG or CBC, but the terpene levels and other cannabinoids are undetectable in third-party testing. 

Some companies are doing what we consider a “controlled-spectrum” extract — which involves mixing together various CBD, CBC, CBG, CBN, and terpene extracts together. 

Advantages of Broad-Spectrum CBD Oils:

  1. Guaranteed to contain no THC
  2. Cannabinoids levels are consistent from one batch to another
  3. They tend to be cheaper than full-spectrum oils

Disadvantages of Broad-Spectrum CBD Oils:

  1. These oils often have a poor terpene profile due to extra processing
  2. May not offer all the benefits of a true full-spectrum oil

5. What Are Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids?

There are over 100 different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant (some sources claim as many as 118). Each of these cannabinoids adds its own set of health benefits to the oil.

Here’s a brief overview of the other cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant:

A) CBD (Cannabidiol)

CBD (cannabidiol) is the primary active ingredient in hemp oils. It’s non-psychoactive and provides a long list of health benefits. 

This is the main component responsible for the benefits of CBD oil for pain, inflammation, anxiety, sleep, and more. 

B) CBC (Cannabichromene)

CBC (cannabichromene) is the third most abundant cannabinoid in the plant. Like CBD, it’s non-psychoactive and won’t make you high no matter how much you take. It has the strongest activity on the vanilloid receptors and has shown impressive antidepressant benefits [2].

C) CBG (Cannabigerol)

CBG (cannabigerol) serves as a precursor for other cannabinoids including THC. CBD oils that are high in CBG are less likely to cause anxiety, especially if THC is also included in the oil. 

CBG exerts most of its effects on the serotonin receptors in the brain (5-HT1A) [3].

D) CBN (Cannabinol)

CBN (cannabinol) is made from THC as it breaks down. 

Older plants contain much higher CBN concentrations than plants harvested early. 

CBN is mostly non-psychoactive — however, it can have mild psychoactive effects in its pure form. CBN is best for treating conditions including insomnia or anxiety thanks to its sedative properties.

E) THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive component in the marijuana plant (it’s what makes users feel high). 

This cannabinoid works by mimicking one of our primary endocannabinoids (anandamide) to stimulate both types of cannabinoid receptors in the body. 

This gives it a wide range of beneficial medicinal effects, but can also cause negative side effects including paranoia and anxiety.

There are several different types of THC — all offer psychoactive effects, but each one has a slightly different experience to offer. Delta 8 THC is the most mellow and relaxing version, delta 10 THC is the most stimulating, and delta 9 THC is right in the middle.

Full-spectrum CBD oils may contain THC in small concentrations.

6. What Are Terpenes? What Are The Benefits? 

Terpenes are small, aromatic compounds abundant throughout the plant kingdom. Whenever you smell a flower, citrus fruit, or spice — what you’re truly smelling are the terpenes and other volatile components of the plant. 

The cannabis plant manufactures many different types of terpenes — several of which are also found in other plants. 

The most common terpenes are myrcene, humulene, bisabolol, pinene, and limonene — but there are hundreds of others. 

Terpenes offer subtle medicinal benefits to a CBD oil, which can help direct the effects of CBD for a specific symptom or application. 

For example, CBD extracts that have a high concentration of the terpene lavandin (also found in lavender plants) tend to be much more relaxing and sedative than CBD oils with limonene (also found in citrus fruits). 

A big part of why some CBD oils are better for certain conditions than others comes down to their terpene profile.

Most reputable CBD manufacturers list the terpene content of their oils and offer tips on the effects the oil is likely to produce based on its terpene profile. 

Common Cannabis Terpenes & Their Effects:

Molecular Diagram
Terpene Name
Medicinal Benefits

Myrcene

  • Relieves pain
  • Mild sedative
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves absorption of cannabinoids

Alpha/Beta-Pinene

  • Enhances memory
  • Protects against Alzheimer’s disease
  • Antioxidant
  • Neuroprotective

Beta-Caryophyllene

  • Relieves anxiety
  • Mild sedative
  • Antidepressant

Bisabolol

  • Anti-inflammatory

Borneol

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Mild sedative
  • Pain killer
  • Improves memory

Camphene

  • Anti-inflammatory

D-Linalool

  • Anticonvulsant
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Pain reliever

Eucalyptol (1, 8 cineole)

  • Improves blood flow to the brain
  • Antioxidant
  • Mild stimulant
  • Neuroprotective

Limonene

  • Relieves anxiety
  • Antidepressant
  • Enhances the effects of cannabinoids

Pulegone

  • Sedative
  • Lowers fevers
  • Pain-killer
  • Antispasmodic

7. Red Flags To Avoid When Shopping For CBD Oil

There are hundreds of companies trying to take their piece of the pie. Not all of these manufacturers value quality over profit and there are plenty of low-quality, overpriced, or scammy products masquerading as premium CBD oils.

To the uninformed customer, these low-quality products remain hidden in plain sight.

Here are 5 Common Issues to Watch Out for When Buying CBD Oils:

A) Misleading or False Claims

You’d be surprised at how many companies list the wrong CBD concentrations on their labels. 

There are research teams investigating the problem in greater detail, noting discrepancies in the concentrations of cannabinoids compared to the actual content within each bottle.

One such study, conducted in the Netherlands, analyzed consumer CBD oils to compare the cannabinoid content with what the manufacturer listed on the bottle. They found that more than half the oils tested had a 78% or greater deviation from what was listed on the bottle.

Because CBD isn’t regulated, it’s easy for companies to get away with this practice.

B) Contaminated Hemp Oils

The other problem rampant among CBD manufacturers is using contaminated hemp sources for its extracts.

Hemp is a bioaccumulatormeaning it pulls nutrients out of the soil and stores it in the stems and leaves of the plant. This is a good thing for minerals like selenium and magnesium because it makes the plant more nutritious. But it can also be a bad thing if the absorption of minerals includes heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and mercury.

Industrial applications will use hemp to “clean” toxic soil by absorbing these elements. Hemp plants used for this application are not used to make CBD oil and are usually destroyed or converted into biodiesel. 

CBD oils made with hemp grown in contaminated soil pose a significant health risk. 

Heavy Metal Contaminants List:

  1. Aluminum
  2. Arsenic
  3. Barium
  4. Bismuth
  5. Cadmium
  6. Chromium
  7. Cobalt
  8. Copper
  9. Lead
  10. Mercury
  11. Thallium

C) Scam CBD Companies

You’ll find prevalent scams in every industry, so it’s no surprise there are so many scams going on in the CBD space as well.

The most common scams to look out for include:

  • Free trial subscription scams — these scams only charge shipping for a free bottle, but will continually charge your credit card every month until you cancel your card
  • MLM CBD brands — multilevel marketing is a subtle form of scamming to avoid at all costs
  • Copycat brands — these scams copy the name and branding of popular CBD brands to sell fake oils

Check out our comprehensive list of known CBD scam companies.

D) Expired Carrier Oils

A fundamental ingredient in CBD oil is a base carrier oil — usually MCT or hemp seed oil. 

One way CBD manufacturers cut costs is by using low-quality carrier oils on the cusp of their expiry date. As the CBD oils sit on the shelves, many of the oils are going rancid.

Even high-quality CBD oils often go rancid after spending several months on store shelves exposed to sunlight. This is why many CBD companies don’t even offer their products in-store.

This is the type of problem you won’t notice until it’s too late.

CBD oils made with high-quality, fresh carrier oils will have a shelf-life of about two years. This can be extended by another year if stored in a cool dark place and kept in an airtight container. Always check the expiry date before you buy, or choose to order your oils online directly from the manufacturer. 

E) Products With Poor Value

Selling products with poor value isn’t unique to the CBD industry by any regard, but it’s certainly a problem.

Many companies are selling virtually identical oils at prices ranging from $25 all the way up to $225. The branding of a CBD oil has more to do with the cost than the contents of the oil these days. 

The best way to assess the value of an oil is to determine the cost per mg of CBD. 

To find this, divide the total cost of the oil by the total CBD content.

Here are some estimates for what you can expect CBD oils of different quality to cost: 

  • Low-quality CBD oils — $0.05 – $0.10 per mg
  • Mid-range CBD oils — $0.07 – $0.12 per mg
  • High-quality premium CBD oils — $0.10 – $0.20 per mg

Frequently Asked Questions About CBD Oil

Do you still have questions about CBD products? Check out our in-depth FAQ with every question you’ve likely ever had on CBD. 

Here are some of the most relevant questions we often get asked about CBD oils. 

1. Will CBD Oil Make Me Fail A Drug Test?

A drug test can only find what it’s looking for. If the test isn’t looking for a specific substance, it won’t be found. 

So while it’s completely possible for a drug test to find CBD in the blood, urine, or hair — it’s not something drug tests are even looking for. CBD products are perfectly legal in the United States, and throughout much of the world. 

Even professional sports authorities don’t include CBD on their list of banned substances and therefore don’t even test for it. 

With that said, most drug tests look for the related cannabinoid — THC — which is what gives marijuana its psychoactive effects. This compound is considered a Schedule I drug in the United States, and is illegal in most other parts of the world as well. 

Most professional sports associations also list THC as a banned substance. 

This means drug tests often look for THC in the sample. If this compound (or its metabolites) are detected — it’ll register as a failure on the test.

Most CBD oils contain very small amounts of THC. The concentration is so small it’s unlikely to lead to a failed drug test — but it’s always a possibility. 

The only CBD products that can be guaranteed to not lead to a failed test are CBD isolate oils or broad-spectrum oils — which have had all traces of THC removed from the oil. 

2. How Long Does CBD Oil Take To Work?

CBD oil can be absorbed in two different ways — each one takes a different amount of time to produce its effects. 

The primary method is through the digestive tract. When you swallow an oil it takes between 30 and 60 minutes to take effect. It needs to first pass through the stomach, then the small intestines before traveling up the lymphatic system and into the bloodstream. 

The second method is to hold the CBD oil under your tongue. The active ingredients will travel directly into the bloodstream through a series of tiny blood vessels underneath the tongue. This method — called sublingual absorption — takes between 15 and 30 minutes to start taking effect. 

3. Can I Mix CBD Oil With Other Medications? 

CBD has a low potential to interact with other medications or health supplements — but there are a few exceptions. 

There are three ways CBD could interact with medications:

  • It could inhibit the ability for the liver to metabolize the drug (by competing for the same metabolic pathways)
  • It could inhibit the effects of the drug and make it less effective
  • It could compound the effects of the drug and make it too effective

A few examples of known drug interactions with CBD include: 

  • Blood pressure-lowering medications
  • Opioid pain medications
  • Benzodiazepine anxiolytics
  • Alcohol

If you’re taking any prescription medication it’s wise to speak with your doctor about your intention to use CBD before you start. 

Your doctor will be able to assess whether it’s likely for CBD to have a negative interaction with your medications or not. 

4. Is CBD Oil Safe For Kids?

CBD is perfectly safe to use with kids — but there are two rules to follow: 

  • Never use CBD oils that contain more than 0.3% THC unless under the supervision of a doctor
  • Always speak with your child’s doctor before using CBD oil if they have underlying health conditions or are taking any medications

Parents all around the world are using CBD oil to help their children manage symptoms of hyperactivity disorder, epilepsy, social anxiety, and more. 

When using CBD oil with children for the first time — start with a very low dose for the first one to check for any potential negative interactions or allergies. Once it’s clear your child isn’t allergic or sensitive to CBD you can move on to using the full dose. 

5. Is CBD Oil Safe For Dogs?

CBD works the same for dogs as it does for humans. All mammals have an endocannabinoid system that CBD uses to provide its benefits. 

There are a few common reasons why people are using CBD oils for dogs

The best CBD oils for dogs usually come in a few different potencies to match the size of your animal, and often have a dog-friendly flavor to make it easier to use the oil with their pet. 

6. Is CBD Oil Safe For Cats? 

Like dogs, cats can benefit from CBD oils too. The most common reason people are using CBD oils for cats is to reduce anxiety or arthritis pain. 

Cats tend to be much more sensitive to CBD oil than other animals, so you only need to use a small amount for it to be effective. 

You can either choose to use a low-potency CBD oil designed for humans or dogs or find a cat-specific CBD oil. 

7. What’s the Dosage of CBD Oil?

Your CBD dose can vary substantially depending on factors including weight, experience with the cannabinoid, and the condition you’re aiming to support.

You can use our CBD oil dosage calculator below to find the best dose based on your weight.

It’s best to start with the lowest dosage for your weight range and increase the dosage gradually over time (2 – 5 mg per day). When you start to notice improvement, you’ve found your dose.

Likewise, if you feel side effects from CBD oil, reduce the next dose to the last dose that didn’t produce any side effects.

Dosage Ranges For Common Conditions

  1. General health — low to medium strength
  2. Nausea — low to medium strength
  3. Arthritis — medium to high-strength
  4. Insomnia — medium to high strength
  5. Chronic pain — medium to high strength
  6. Sleep disorders — medium to high strength
  7. Anxiety — medium to high strength
  8. Epilepsy — high strength or pharmaceutical grade
  9. Cancer — high strength or pharmaceutical grade
  10. Migraines — low to high strength
  11. Inflammation — low to high strength

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Qualities of Top-Shelf CBD Oils

There are plenty of excellent CBD oils to choose from online — but plenty of poor products as well.

Being an informed consumer means understanding what differentiates one CBD oil from another, and defining what your goals of using CBD are in the first place.

Save yourself from spending money on products that won’t work for you by asking the following questions the next time you decide to shop for CBD oil:

  1. Is the product the right potency for what you need?
  2. Are you looking for a full-spectrum oil or isolate?
  3. How does the product compare competitor products in terms of price and potency? 
  4. Is the product third-party tested?

If you’re taking any medications or have underlying health issues, it’s wise to speak with your doctor before using CBD oils, capsules, gummies, or any other CBD products. 

In Review: Best CBD Oil & Hemp Products in 2021

Number Product Total CBD Potency Cost per mg CBD Link

1

Royal CBD Oil

250 – 1000 mg

8.3 – 33.3 mg/mL

$0.15 – $0.26

2

Gold Bee CBD Oil

1200 mg

40 mg/mL

$0.12

3

Kiara Naturals Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

1000–3000 mg

100–300 mg/mL

$0.07

4

Endoca CBD Oils

300 – 1500 mg

30 – 150 mg/mL

€0.08 – €0.09

5

Neurogan CBD Oil

250–12,000 mg

8.33–200 mg/mL

$0.02-$0.12

6

Joy Organics Full-Spectrum Tinctures

450–2250 mg

15–75 mg/mL

$0.06–$0.10

7

CBD American Shaman Water Soluble Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

450 – 900 mg

30 mg/mL

$0.20

8

Medterra CBD Tinctures

500 – 3000 mg

16 – 100 mg/mL

$0.04 – $0.07

9

RYA Organics Nexus Relief

600 mg

10 mg/mL

$0.15

10

Populum Full-Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil

250–2000 mg

8.33–66.7 mg/mL

$0.14–$0.24

11

Charlotte’s Web CBD Oils

210 – 6000 mg

7 – 60 mg/mL

$0.05 – $0.19

12

Hemp Bombs CBD Oil

300 – 4000 mg

10 – 133.3 mg/mL

$0.07 – $0.17

13

Smile CBD Oil

500 — 1000 mg

16.6 — 33 mg/mL

$0.08 — $0.06

14

Penguin CBD Oil

250–5000

8.3 – 166.7 mg/mL

$0.06 – $0.18

15

Social CBD Drops

1000 mg

33 mg/mL

$0.07

16

Kat’s Naturals Relax THC-Free Sublingual CBD Oil

50 mg – 300 mg

10 mg/mL

$0.20 – $0.40

17

Five CBD Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

1500 – 6000 mg

50 – 200 mg/ml

$0.03 – $0.08

18

CBDistillery CBD Isolate Tinctures

250 – 5000 mg

8.3 mg – 166.66 mg

$0.11 – $0.04

19

Verma Farms Original CBD Oil

500 mg – 1000 mg

16.67 – 33.3 mg/mL

$0.10 – $0.11

20

Nordic Oil Full-Spectrum CBD Oil (Europe)

500 – 2000 mg

50 – 200 mg/mL

€0.06 – €0.08


Studies Cited in This Article

  1. Hazekamp, A. (2018). The Trouble with CBD Oil. Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids, 1(1), 65-72.
  2. De Petrocellis, L., Orlando, P., Moriello, A. S., Aviello, G., Stott, C., Izzo, A. A., & Di Marzo, V. (2012). Cannabinoid actions at TRPV channels: effects on TRPV3 and TRPV4 and their potential relevance to gastrointestinal inflammation. Acta physiologica, 204(2), 255-266.
  3. Cascio, M. G., Gauson, L. A., Stevenson, L. A., Ross, R. A., & Pertwee, R. G. (2010). Evidence that the plant cannabinoid cannabigerol is a highly potent α2‐adrenoceptor agonist and moderately potent 5HT1A receptor antagonist. British journal of pharmacology, 159(1), 129-141.
  4. Takeda, S., Usami, N., Yamamoto, I., & Watanabe, K. (2009). Cannabidiol-2′, 6′-dimethyl ether, a cannabidiol derivative, is a highly potent and selective 15-lipoxygenase inhibitor. Drug metabolism and disposition, 37(8), 1733-1737.
  5. Lascelles, B. D. X., King, S., Roe, S., Marcellin‐Little, D. J., & Jones, S. (2009). Expression and activity of COX‐1 and 2 and 5‐LOX in joint tissues from dogs with naturally occurring coxofemoral joint osteoarthritis. Journal of orthopaedic research, 27(9), 1204-1208.
  6. Lowin, T., Tingting, R., Zurmahr, J., Classen, T., Schneider, M., & Pongratz, G. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD): a killer for inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts. Cell death & disease, 11(8), 1-11.
  7. Bruni, N., Della Pepa, C., Oliaro-Bosso, S., Pessione, E., Gastaldi, D., & Dosio, F. (2018). Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment. Molecules, 23(10). doi:10.3390/molecules23102478
  8. Wade, D. T., Collin, C., Stott, C., & Duncombe, P. (2010). Meta-analysis of the efficacy and safety of Sativex (nabiximols), on spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 16(6), 707-714.
  9. Barnes, M. P. (2006). Sativex®: clinical efficacy and tolerability in the treatment of symptoms of multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain. Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy, 7(5), 607-615.
  10. Chagas, M. H. N., Zuardi, A. W., Tumas, V., Pena-Pereira, M. A., Sobreira, E. T., Bergamaschi, M. M., … & Crippa, J. A. S. (2014). Effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease: an exploratory double-blind trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 28(11), 1088-1098.
  11. Sagredo, O., Pazos, M. R., Satta, V., Ramos, J. A., Pertwee, R. G., & Fernández‐Ruiz, J. (2011). Neuroprotective effects of phytocannabinoid‐based medicines in experimental models of Huntington’s disease. Journal of neuroscience research, 89(9), 1509-1518.
  12. Machado Bergamaschi, M., Helena Costa Queiroz, R., Waldo Zuardi, A., & Crippa, A. S. (2011). Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Current drug safety, 6(4), 237-249.

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