Best CBD Oils

What makes one CBD oil better than another? What makes them different? Here’s our list of the top CBD oils on the market.

Article By
Justin Cooke , posted 1 month ago

CBD oils are by far the most popular form of CBD. Oils offer clear advantages — they’re easy to dose, store for long periods of time, and deliver consistent results.

The problem is the lack of regulation among manufacturers. There’s an abundance of poor-quality CBD oils disguised as legitimate products on the market.

We’ve tried, tested, and reviewed hundreds of oils and know what it takes to produce something worth buying.

Here we’ll go over the best CBD oils on the market and provide useful information about how you can assess CBD oils to determine top-notch quality from scrap oils.

  • Table of Contents

Our Top-Rated CBD Oils

NumberProductTotal CBDPotencyCost per mg CBDLink

1

Royal CBD Oil

250 – 1000 mg

8.3 – 33.3 mg/mL

$0.15 – $0.26

2

CBDistillery Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures

250 – 5000 mg

8.3 – 166 mg/mL

$0.05 – $0.12

3

NuLeaf Naturals CBD Oil

240 – 4850 mg

48.5 mg/mL

$0.09 – $0.16

4

Bluebird Botanicals Hemp Extract Oil

83.3 – 2000 mg

8.33 mg/mL

$0.07 – $0.14

5

Kat’s Naturals Relax THC-Free Sublingual CBD Oil

50 mg – 300 mg

10 mg/mL

$0.20 – $0.40

6

CBDistillery CBD Isolate Tinctures

250 – 5000 mg

8.3 mg – 166.66 mg

$0.11 – $0.04


1. Best Premium CBD Oil

$64.99 – $149.99
Royal CBD

Royal CBD Oil 30 mL

4.5 / 5

  • Total CBD:

    250 – 1000 mg

  • Potency:

    8.3 – 33.3 mg/mL

  • Cost per mg CBD:

    $0.15 – $0.26

  • Extract Type:

    Full-spectrum

  • THC Content:

    <0.3%

As the name suggests, Royal CBD is a high-grade, premium CBD oil. Each bottle is made from a proprietary strain of hemp designed to have ideal cannabinoid profiles. The hemp used to create these oils are organically-grown on specially selected farms across the United States. Only the finest growers and finest hemp crops make the cut to be used for Royal CBD oils.

Despite so much meticulous manufacturing processes, and the use of the more expensive (and generally regarded as superior) full-spectrum hemp extracts — Royal CBD comes in at a great price point, only slightly higher than the average cost of CBD oils.

We highly recommend their strongest oil, the 500 mg version. The higher potency comes at an even better value and provides enough CBD per serving to take the edge off all but the most severe of symptoms.


2. Strongest Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

$30.00 – $260.00
CBDistillery

CBDistillery Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures 30 mL

4 / 5

  • Total CBD:

    250 – 5000 mg

  • Potency:

    8.3 – 166 mg/mL

  • Cost per mg CBD:

    $0.05 – $0.12

  • Extract Type :

    Full-spectrum

CBDistillery offers a few different CBD oils in their range starting at 250 mg for a 30 mL bottle. These oils go up incrementally in strength — 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg, 2500 mg, and finally, an incredible 5000 mg bottle! All of these oils come in a 30 mL (1 oz) bottle — making their highest potency option some of the strongest CBD oils we’ve ever seen — especially for a full-spectrum extract.

These oils are made using medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil made from coconuts — which has been purified to allow for a large degree of solubility within the oil. This is what allows the company to make CBD oils with such high potencies. If using other oils, like hemp seed or avocado oil, the CBD extract would start to fall out of solution — forming a thick waxy layer on the bottom of the bottle.

This is a great product for people who want the maximum benefits from CBD for their condition and need a higher than average dose to produce the desired effects.

The high potency option is only one step away from becoming a CBD concentrate.


3. Runner-up Best Overall CBD Oil

We really like Nuleaf Naturals here at DailyCBD. This company has a strong mission statement, great corporate philosophy. They offer an abundance of different charitable programs and discounts for people who stand to benefit the most from CBD oils — but may not have the ability to afford it.

We also like how Nuleaf Naturals took a “no bullshit” approach to their product lineup — focusing their efforts to create just one high-grade CBD oil. Their oils are full-spectrum, made from organically-grown hemp, and comes in a 48.5 mg/mL potency — which is more than enough for nearly any application.

Instead of confusing their customers with multiple different potencies, the company chose to use the highest potency they could manufacture consistently, and stuck with that. This helps avoid the possibility of customers ordering products that were too weak to achieve the results they were looking for.

Nuleaf Naturals simply offers the same oil in different bottle sizes so you don’t have to break the bank if you don’t want to.


4. Best General-Purpose CBD Oil Formula

There are a lot of different CBD oil formulas on the market today, most of them are either a simple CBD oil without any added ingredients, while others are specially formulated for a specific purpose like joint pain or stress reduction.

Although there are benefits to both, if you’re looking for a general-purpose CBD oil this is a great place to start.

Bluebird Botanicals offers three unique oils in this CBD oil range:

  1. Classic Series — contains full-spectrum CBD extract and hemp seed oil
  2. Complete Series — made using a specialized steam distillation process to preserve the natural terpene profile of the oil
  3. Signature Series — a combination of full-spectrum hemp extract, wildcrafted frankincense, black cumin seed, and organic virgin hemp seed oil

We’re really impressed with how effective their signature series is for virtually anything CBD is normally used for. The frankincense and cumin extract give the oil a distinct aroma and provide an additional boost to the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and relaxing effects of the CBD.


5. Best CBD Oil For Stress & Sleep

$19.99 – $59.99
Kat’s Naturals

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

3.83 / 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 the companies 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. The female flowers of both these species produce a sticky, aromatic resin with powerful pharmacological activities on the human brain. In the case of cannabis, this effect works through the endocannabinoid system to regulate nerve function, along with numerous other organ systems around the body. This gives cannabis a mild sedative or relaxant effect.

Hops also affect the central nervous system — primarily through a neurotransmitter known as GABA. GABA is responsible for settling the stress response and helping the mind prepare for sleep. Hops are significantly stronger as a herbal sedative than CBD.

The synergistic effects of hops and cannabis (which are closely related species), gives this oil much stronger effects than CBD on its own.


6. Strongest CBD Oil From Isolate

$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:

    $0.11 – $0.04

  • Extract Type :

    Isolate

Clocking in at 166 mg/mL of CBD, this is one of the stronger CBD tincture options at your disposal. This product is made from a CBD isolate, which has some distinct advantages over full-spectrum products — namely the fact that it’s guaranteed to contain 0% THC which is important to avoid any chances of flagging positive on a drug test looking for THC.

Additionally, CBD isolates are generally more cost-effective than full-spectrum products and provide more consistent effects since there are no other cannabinoids or terpenes to interact with the effects of the CBD.

CBDistillery is one of our top-ranking companies overall for its strong emphasis on hemp quality, competitive pricing, and depth of product options.

This is a top-notch CBD tincture from isolate that we often recommend


How To Quickly Evaluate CBD Oils

  1. Where does the hemp come from? — Look for products made with 100% organic, non-GMO, pesticide-free, industrial hemp grown in the United States or Northern Europe.
  2. Are the products third-party tested? — Only support CBD companies that regularly provide up to date third-party lab tests to prove their claims.
  3. What’s the company’s mission statement? — Strong mission statements are often an indicator of the overall effort put in by the manufacturer.
  4. How potent is the oil? — Compare products by cost per mg of CBD and potency to assess the overall value.
  5. What other ingredients and carrier oils are included? — The other ingredients can either help or hurt the overall effect of the oil. Opt for products with high-quality oils like hempseed or MCT oil, and other beneficial ingredients to make the oil more effective.

Learn how we evaluate CBD Products


How to Shop For CBD Oil Like a Pro

Not all CBD oils are created equal — many are high quality, genuinely well-crafted products — others simply are not.

Learning how to tell the difference between high-quality and poor quality is paramount for anyone interested in using CBD to manage their symptoms, no matter what the ailment

Even after you’ve found a good product to use, it can be challenging to decide on the right strength or bottle size.

We’ll cover all of this below. By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll be an informed CBD buyer, saving you a lot of time and money.

You’ll find our advanced buyer’s guide at the bottom of the article to take your CBD knowledge to the next level. We cover topics like cannabinoid profiles, terpenes, psychoactive oils, and organic versus non-organic product options.

Step 1: Select the Right 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 you’re using.

In order to get into this topic in more detail, we’ll need to cover some of the definitions used.

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.

Your CBD dose can vary substantially depending on factors including weight, experience with CBD, and the condition you’re aiming to support. Here’s some useful dosing information borrowed from our “Beginner’s guide to dosing CBD oil” article.

This is an excellent starting point for determining the potency of the product you’re looking for.

General Strength Recommendations For Common Medical Conditions

Daily Doses of CBD by Weight and Desired Strength (in mg)

Weight (lbs)Low StrengthMedium StrengthHigh Strength

100 lbs

10 mg

30 mg

60 mg

125 lbs

13 mg

38 mg

75 mg

150 lbs

15 mg

45 mg

90 mg

175 lbs

17 mg

52 mg

105 mg

200 lbs

20 mg

60 mg

120 mg

225 lbs

22 mg

67 mg

135 mg

250 lbs

25 mg

75 mg

150 mg

For example: Let’s say you’ve determined that you need a dose of around 100 mg CBD per day. A low-potency oil containing 300 mg of CBD per 1 ounce bottle is going to require a third of the bottle to get your daily dose. This doesn’t make a lot of sense practically or financially.

If this is your case, opt for higher potency, containing 1400 mg for roughly 14 doses per bottle instead — then you’ll only need to take a few mL of oil.

Conversely, if your dosing requirement is only 10 mg of CBD — buying a high-potency oil will make it too easy to take more than the desired dose. A single drop of oil, in this case, has more than the CBD dosage required.

Comparing the Potency of Our Top-Rated CBD Oils

Product ImageProduct NamePotency in mg/mL
Royal CBD — Oils8.3 mg/mL – 16.6 mg/mL
CBDistillery — Full-Spectrum CBD Tinctures8.3 mg/mL – 166 mg/mL
Nuleaf Naturals — CBD Oil48.5 mg/mL
Bluebird Botanicals — Concentrated CBD Oil50 mg/mL
Kat’s Naturals — Relax10 mg/mL
CBDistillery — CBD Isolate Tinctures8.3 mg/mL – 166 mg/mL

Step 2: Choose Between Full-Spectrum or CBD Isolates

One of the main considerations you’ll need to make regarding CBD oils is whether want a full-spectrum hemp oil or a CBD oil from an isolate.

Both contain CBD in relatively high amounts, but there is one fundamental difference between the two: full-spectrum contains the entire spectrum of phytochemical in the hemp plant including the other cannabinoids and terpenes, while CBD isolate is purified CBD with nothing else.

We’ll go over what this means below, but first, let’s have a look at our top-rated CBD oils and what type of extracts they are:

Product ImageProduct NameExtract Type
Royal CBD — OilsFull-Spectrum
CBDistillery — Full-Spectrum CBD TincturesFull-Spectrum
Nuleaf Naturals — CBD OilFull-Spectrum
Bluebird Botanicals — Concentrated CBD OilFull-Spectrum
Kat’s Naturals — RelaxIsolate
CBDistillery — CBD Isolate TincturesIsolate

1. Full-Spectrum Oils

Full-spectrum oils are made to preserve the natural cannabinoid profiles found in the plant. All cannabinoids will end up in the final product.

This is preferred by purists looking to get the benefits of the cannabis plant as a whole, rather than just one compound produced by the plant.

There are clear advantages to using full-spectrum oils:

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

There are some negatives to full-spectrum extracts as well:

  • They’re more expensive than isolates
  • There’s the potential for psychoactive effects if THC levels are above 0.3%
  • 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.

2. 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. This is because it’s easier to manufacture products made from CBD isolates with content accuracy — and it’s cheaper.

If you take 100 mg of pure CBD and add it to a 30 mL bottle, it’s easy to state that this bottle has 100 mg of CBD. With full-spectrum extracts, the concentration of CBD can vary significantly from one batch to the next.

In this way, CBD isolates offer some clear advantages:

  • CBD content is easier to assess
  • Products made from isolate tend to be cheaper
  • There’s more research on CBD isolates
  • It’s easy to keep THC levels well below psychoactive levels

There are plenty of negatives too:

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

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

Step 3: Read Company Reviews

There are plenty of excellent CBD brands out there — but there’s also a lot of poor brands.

The easiest way to get insight into the company you’re planning to purchase from is to use review websites.

We offer in-depth reviews on CBD brands, taking a variety of factors into account:

  1. The company mission — What’s the company philosophy? Do they contribute to any causes?
  2. Hemp source — Do they use organic, pesticide-free hemp or cheap overseas hemp for their products?
  3. Innovation — Is the company taking steps to improve or elevate the industry? This is a good indicator of the passion coming from team members.
  4. Safety — Does the company list doses and safety information for their products?
  5. Customer service — If something goes wrong, will the company make an effort to fix the problem?

Always read company reviews before buying. This will significantly improve your CBD oil experience, saving you time and money.

Common Issues with CBD Oils

With a market so new and valuable, there are hundreds of companies trying to take their piece of the pie. Not all of these manufacturers value quality over profit, so there are plenty of low-quality, overpriced, or scammy products on the market.

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

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

1. 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 the oil.

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

2. Contaminated Hemp Sources

The other problem rampant among CBD manufacturers is using contaminated hemp sources for their oils.

Hemp is a bioaccumulatormeaning that it pulls nutrients out of the soil and stores it in various tissues of the plant. This is a good thing for minerals such as selenium and magnesium as it makes the plant more nutritious. It can also be a bad thing if the absorption of minerals includes heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, and mercury.

The bioaccumulating properties of hemp are often employed by horticulturalists to “clean” contaminated soils by growing them in a field to draw out the pollutants.

Cannabis oils made with hemp grown in contaminated soils are low-quality and potentially dangerous products.

Some companies don’t take this into account (or they don’t care) and are using any hemp source they can find in order to make cheaper products.

It’s expensive to grow organic hemp and even more expensive to prove its purity—however, responsible sourcing is what the serious players are practicing despite the cost. If you don’t know where the hemp came from, think twice before buying it.

3. Insufficient Dosage Recommendations

Dosing CBD is difficult enough as it is because it affects all of us differently. Learn how to make your own dosing calculations with our guide to dosing CBD.

Improper dosing can lead to undesirable side-effects. It’s staggering how many companies are missing dosing information on their products—Steer clear of these brands. It can be a sign of poor customer service and low-quality products.

4. Expired Carrier Oils

CBD oils by definition are made with an oil. Since cannabinoids and terpenes are both fat-soluble, they need to dissolve into either an oil or alcohol.

If you tried to dissolve pure cannabinoids into the water, you’ll end up with a lumpy mess.

One way CBD manufacturers cut costs is using low-quality carrier oils on the cusp of the expiry date. As the CBD oils sit on the shelves, many of the oils are going rancid from the combination of poor manufacturing techniques and low-quality or near-expired oils.

This is the type of problem you won’t notice until it’s too late. If the company doesn’t list the carrier on the bottle or the website, they either don’t know or don’t care — best to avoid them!

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.

5. Poor Value Products

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

The price of CBD oils has no standard as of yet. Companies are selling virtually identical oils ranging in price from $25 all the way up to $225!

Why does the price of CBD oils vary so much?

The cost of CBD oil can vary significantly, considering how many companies are cutting corners in their sourcing. The pricing problem lies in the deception of marketing and a lack of industry regulation. People will pay good money for poor quality products if marketing is done right. Don’t get me wrong, there are products worth the $225 price tag, but most simply are not.

Comparing the Price of Our Top-Rated CBD Oils
Product ImageProduct NameCost per mg of CBD
Royal CBD — Oils$0.15 – $0.22
CBDistillery — Full-Spectrum CBD Tinctures $0.05 – $0.12
Nuleaf Naturals — CBD Oil $0.09 – $0.16
Bluebird Botanicals — Concentrated CBD Oil $0.05 – $0.10
Kat’s Naturals — Relax$0.20 – $0.40
CBDistillery — CBD Isolate Tinctures $0.04 – $0.11

Red Flags to Watch Out for When Buying CBD:

In your research on a CBD oil, avoid the company if any of these boxes are ticked:

  1. Complete lack of third-party testing
  2. Hemp sourced from China or India (high contamination rate)
  3. No carrier oil source is listed
  4. No dosage listed on the bottle
  5. No CBD or THC concentration listed on the bottle
  6. Marketing claims that sound too good to be true

Advanced CBD Oil Buyer Considerations

CBD oils are complex — there are many variables that make up a CBD oil, including:

  • The presence of THC or not (psychoactivity)
  • Cannabinoid ratios
  • Terpene concentrations
  • Organic vs non-organic hemp
  • Carrier oil choice

If you really want to dial in your CBD choice to best fit your individual needs, put these advanced considerations into practice.

1. Psychoactive or Non-Psychoactive CBD Oil

Depending on where you live, the choice is already been made for you — most places ban THC in CBD oils. THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant and the common reason for its recreational use.

If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that doesn’t limit THC levels, you have the options for psychoactive CBD products.

There are clear benefits to both options and the most serious CBD users will have both on hand.

THC and it’s twin sister, THCV offer powerful medical benefits for anxiety, insomnia, and appetite and more—with careful dosing.

The absence of THC and THCV will guarantee your CBD oil is non-psychoactive, however, the therapeutic benefits of the oils become limited.

2. Consider the Other Cannabinoids

There are at least 80 different (some sources claim as many as 118) cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Each of these cannabinoids exerts its own health benefits.

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

A. CBC (Cannabichromene)

CBC is the third most abundant cannabinoid in the plant. Like CBD, it’s non-psychoactive. It has the strongest activity on the vanilloid receptors and is an excellent antidepressant compound [2].

B. CBG (Cannabigerol)

CBG serves as a precursor for other cannabinoids including THC. CBD oils high in CBG are less likely to cause anxiety, especially if THC is also included in the oil. CBG spends most of its effects on the serotonin receptors in the brain (5-HT1A) [3].

C. CBN (Cannabinol)

CBN is made from THC as it breaks down. Older plants will, therefore, be much higher in CBN 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.

D. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

This is the main psychoactive cannabinoid in the plant. It mimics 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.

3. Consider Terpene Content

A reputable CBD manufacturer will list the terpene content of their oils. Although these don’t produce as dramatically different effects as the cannabinoid levels, they do play an important role in the effect profile of the oil.

Let’s go over the most relevant terpenes—keep in mind, there are well over a hundred different terpenes in the cannabis plant. Each one will interact differently with others in the mix.

Common Cannabis Terpenes & Their Effects Include:
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

4. Organic vs. Non-Organic Hemp

We make a big deal about organic hemp — and for a good reason. Hemp is a bioaccumulator — which means it has the ability to absorb a ton of compounds from the environment, including both the air and the soil around them. This ability is what allows hemp to grow so abundantly in poor soils, and in otherwise toxic environments. It’s what makes the plant grow like a “weed”.

The benefit of this is that hemp is both easy to grow, and packs a ton of nutrients in a small amount of space.

The downside to this is that if there are any contaminants in the soil — especially things like heavy metals — the plant will absorb them. This can then make its way into the final product.

Heavy metals are a huge problem because they accumulate in the body over time. Initially they may not cause any issues, and in fact, some heavy metals are even necessary for human life — in very small amounts. Chromium, zinc, copper, and iron, for example.

Over time, these heavy metals, and others like cadmium, lead, arsenic, mercury, and aluminum can build up in the body — causing destruction cell membranes which could lead to the death of neurons in the brain and spinal cord and other important cells throughout the body.

Heavy Metals to Watch Out For

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

Why We Only Recommend Using Organic Hemp

Organic hemp is characterized by hemp grown in controlled growing environments containing safe levels of heavy metals and other toxic materials — which are required to be tested for on a regular basis. It also involves minimal use of pesticides and herbicides, which can also make their way into your bottle of CBD oil if used too frequently.

With so much of our planet’s soil now contaminated by things like lead, arsenic, and mercury, it’s more important than ever to choose CBD products grown using organic farming practices.

The ultimate goal here is to find products that have been certified organic by the USDA or equivalent organizations. In order to achieve USDA certifications for the organic status of hemp, companies need to continually test the soil and samples of the product and are limited by the types and amount of pesticides they can use. This certification is also very expensive but offers the best reassurance possible that the products they’re selling are going to be free from harmful ingredients picked up during the growing process.

If you choose a product that isn’t organic, make sure you at least check their third-party test results for the presence of heavy metal and pesticides. If there are no tests for these available, look for another product that has it to be safe.

We also highly recommend avoiding CBD oils made from hemp grown in China or India — which have the highest levels of contaminated soils in the world.

5. Carrier Oil Choice

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.

We’ve already covered the differences in the decision between full-spectrum hemp oils or CBD isolates, but we haven’t yet discussed the differences in carrier oils.

The most common carrier oil option is MCT oil — which stands for medium-chain triglycerides. All fats come in threes — chains of fatty acids are bound together by a glycerol backbone. We call this grouping a triglyceride. Therefore, a medium-chained triglyceride is a group of three fatty acids bound together that are medium length — not short, not long.

The medium-length allows the oil to remain a liquid above freezing temperatures and has a high solubility for CBD. This means you can dissolve a large amount of CBD into MCT oil before it begins to fall out of solution and accumulate in lumps at the bottom of the oil. Although this is perfectly safe, it’s unsightly and most people would return the oil if they found this in their product.

MCT oil works great, and is very cheap — it can be made in abundance from coconut oil — which keeps the costs of CBD oil on the low end. The only downside to MCT oil is that is lacks any flavor, and doesn’t offer any additional nutritional benefits.

A Quick Breakdown of Different Carrier Oil Types

  1. Medium-Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil — As mentioned, MCT oil is the industry standard when it comes to carrier oils for CBD oils. It’s cheap, flavorless, and has a high solubility which allows manufacturers to make high-potency extracts without worrying about the CBD falling out of solution.
  2. 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. It’s high in essential fatty acids like GLA and comes with a host of nutritional benefits as well. It has a lower solubility than MCT oil due to the other phytochemicals already held in solution.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Summary: Buying the Best CBD Oil

Buying CBD oil can be confusing if you’re not sure what to look for. There are hundreds of different CBD oils on the market these days, coming in virtually every combination of terpenes, cannabinoids, potencies, strengths, flavors, and prices.

Using this guide, you can distill the selection down to something more manageable.

The Basic Principles of Assessing CBD Oil Include:

  1. Are you looking for a full-spectrum oil or isolate? — we recommend full-spectrum for most cases
  2. Is the product the right potency for what you need? — for low doses, you can go with a low-potency oil, for higher doses you’re better off with a high-potency oil
  3. How does the product hold up to the competition in price and quality? — use our reviews to assess the hemp source, value, and overall quality
  4. Is the product third-party tested? — this is a key step, if the company doesn’t list their test results they may be doing so for a reason, we recommend moving on to a different manufacturer in this case.

If you follow the guide above, you stand the best chances of finding the right oil for the job on the first try.

Also, be sure to check out our blog for up to date information on all things CBD!

Top CBD Oils

NumberProductTotal CBDPotencyCost per mg CBDLink

1

Royal CBD Oil

250 – 1000 mg

8.3 – 33.3 mg/mL

$0.15 – $0.26

2

CBDistillery Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures

250 – 5000 mg

8.3 – 166 mg/mL

$0.05 – $0.12

3

NuLeaf Naturals CBD Oil

240 – 4850 mg

48.5 mg/mL

$0.09 – $0.16

4

Bluebird Botanicals Hemp Extract Oil

83.3 – 2000 mg

8.33 mg/mL

$0.07 – $0.14

5

Kat’s Naturals Relax THC-Free Sublingual CBD Oil

50 mg – 300 mg

10 mg/mL

$0.20 – $0.40

6

CBDistillery CBD Isolate Tinctures

250 – 5000 mg

8.3 mg – 166.66 mg

$0.11 – $0.04


References

  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.

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