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CBD can be consumed in lots of different forms — including edibles, topicals, and capsules. But what we’re really excited about here are oils and tinctures.

Oils and tinctures are the multitaskers of the CBD universe. You can swallow them straight, add them to food and bevvies, or put a few drops in your fave lotion to use them topically.

The only problem is that SO many companies are starting to sell their own CBD oils and it’s hard to know which are legit.

Here’s everything you need to know about CBD oils and finding a quality product — plus our fave medically-vetted CBD oils.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant, along with the also familiar THC. Unlike THC, though, CBD doesn’t get you high.

Research on CBD is still pretty new, but what we know so far is exciting.

Studies have shown that CBD can be an effective treatment for epilepsy, sleep troubles, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and even chronic pain. It can also help your skin by clearing up acne and soothing eczema and psoriasis. Pretty cool, right?

CBD oils are produced in a few diff ways, but the end product is typically a mixture of CBD extract and a carrier oil (like olive oil, grapeseed oil, or MCT oil). Some products have additional ingredients for flavoring, too.

There are a few different kinds of CBD extract that you’ll find in CBD oils, including:

  • Full-spectrum CBD has alllllll the compounds from the cannabis plant like CBD, THC, flavonoids, and terpenes. Together, these cuties may boost the effects of CBD, a theory known as the “entourage effect.”
  • Broad-spectrum CBD products have all of the cannabis plant compounds but THC.
  • CBD isolate is — you guessed it — *just* CBD. No other compounds and defs no THC.

CBD oils are ideal because you can ingest them for full-body effects *or* use them topically for more targeted relief.

Tincture vs. oil

CBD oils and tinctures come in similar packaging (a little bottle with a dropper), but what’s the difference?

It all comes down to the extraction method and the ingredients in the end product.

CBD can be extracted from the cannabis plant in a few different ways:

  • CBD is extracted by slowly heating the plant matter in oil (usually MCT or hempseed).
  • CBD is extracted using carbon dioxide (CO2) — this is typically considered the “cleanestmethod.
  • CBD is extracted by soaking cannabis in alcohol or ethanol.

CBD oils can contain CBD that’s extracted in any of the above ways, but tinctures always contain CBD extracted by soaking cannabis in alcohol.

The different ingredients added after CBD extraction also matter. Oil is typically formulated with — you guessed it — other oils (like MCT or hempseed oil), while true tinctures usually have small amounts of alcohol in the end product.

But these days, most brands have products that they call “tinctures” that are actually just oils (confusing, we know).

If you’re unsure, always check the ingredients list to see whether the product contains alcohol. If you see alcohol on the list, you’ve got yourself a true tincture. If not, you’re lookin’ at an oil.

Due to the limited government regulation with CBD products, there are a lot of dicey brands out there trying to capitalize on the current boom in popularity.

Every product on our list meets the following criteria:

  • made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • made with U.S.-grown hemp
  • contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
  • received passing results for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA

We also took a close look at other factors like:

  • indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:
    • customer reviews
    • whether the company has been subject to an FDA warning letter
    • whether the company makes any unsupported health claims
    • company certifications and manufacturing processes
  • product potency
  • overall ingredients

Pricing

  • $ = under $35
  • $$ = $35–$60
  • $$$ = over $60

Best for CBD oil for sleep

CBDistillery Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • Total CBD: 500 milligram (mg) per 30 milliliter (mL) bottle
  • CBD per serving: 17 mg per 1 mL serving
  • Flavors: unflavored
  • COA: available on product page

If Zzz’s are outta reach, try this full-spectrum CBD tincture to help you chillax and doze off quicker. The oil is made using full-spectrum CBD, so each drop has bits of CBD, THC, and terpenes.

If you peep the product’s COA, you’ll see that it contains caryophyllene and bisabolol, which are two terpenes that have sedative effects — so they might help you fall asleep quicker.

The product comes with a 60-day moneyback guarantee and includes a handy dropper for easy dosing every time. CBDistillery gets bonus points for using non-GMO, US-grown hemp and being part of the US Hemp Roundtable.

We tried this CBD oil for ourselves and can confirm it makes sleep come easier. It doesn’t have the best flavor in the world, but we’re not in this for the taste, amirite?

We also thought it was super helpful for aches and pains. One of our editors with chronic lower back pain from osteoarthritis says she was absolutely *shocked* at how well this helped reduce pain during flare-ups.

Best flavored CBD oil

FOCL Premium CBD Drops

  • Price: $$–$$$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • Total CBD: 1,000 mg, 2,000 mg, 3,000 mg
  • CBD per serving: 33 mg, 66 mg, or 100 mg per 1 mL dropper
  • Flavors: mint, natural, orange cream
  • COA: available on product page

Forget the earthy, almost musty taste of regular CBD oil. FOCL’s Premium CBD Drops have a clean flavor profile with zero grassy aftertaste. And how can you go wrong with an orange cream flavor?

The oil is non-GMO, contains organic MCT oil, and is both vegan and cruelty-free. It’s also made with broad-spectrum CBD — so it’s THC-free.

People who use this oil say it’s a game-changer for anxiety, pain, and sleep. They also love the taste, saying it makes them look forward to their daily dose of CBD.

Best broad-spectrum CBD oil

Joy Organics Tranquil Mint: Organic Broad Spectrum CBD Tincture

  • Price: $$$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • Total CBD: 450 mg, 900 mg, 1,350 mg, or 2,250 mg
  • CBD per serving: 15 mg, 30 mg, 45 mg, or 75 mg
  • Flavors: mint
  • COA: available on product page

Gear up for a minty refresh with this high quality broad-spectrum CBD oil from Joy Organics. The organic CBD oil comes in a variety of potencies so you can find the perf dosage for your unique self. Besides natural flavorings and CBD, the product also features an organic EVOO carrier oil.

The product is cruelty-free and Joy Organics offers carbon neutral shipping and a generous 90-day satisfaction guarantee.

Reviewers appreciate the quality they get when they buy from Joy Organics. They also love the minty fresh flavor.

Best topical CBD oil

Lord Jones High CBD Body Oil

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • Total CBD: 100 mg per 30 mL bottle
  • CBD per serving: N/A
  • Flavors: none
  • COA: available on the test results page

Whether you need a little TLC for your muscles post-workout or you want to amp up sexy massage time with your partner, this soothing CBD body oil from Lord Jones can help.

The product contains moisturizing, skin-happy ingredients like jojoba and avocado oil. A roller ball makes application easy, distributing the product evenly without leaving behind a gloopy, greasy mess.

There aren’t a ton of reviews for this product, but the few that exist are all super positive. Folks say it helps relieve pain and doesn’t leave a big mess after applying it.

Best CBD oil for face

Lord Jones Royal Oil

  • Price: $$$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • Total CBD: 1,000 mg per bottle
  • CBD per serving: N/A
  • Flavors: none
  • COA: available on the test results page

Did you know that CBD can help repair your skin’s barrier, which in turn can help keep your skin better hydrated? Well, now you do. 🙂

This CBD oil is formulated with broad-spectrum CBD and pure grapeseed oil, which is a moisturizing antioxidant that can help reduce premature signs of aging.

Lord Jones says you can mix this with your facial moisturizer or use it as a highlighter on the high points of your face. You can also use it the same way you’d use a serum and apply it after cleansing and before moisturizing.

This stuff is pricey, but a bunch of reviewers say it’s their all-time fave facial oil for repairing dry skin without breaking out.

Best CBD oil for anxiety

NuLeaf Naturals Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

  • Price: $–$$$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • Total CBD: 300 mg, 900 mg, 1,800 mg, 3,000 mg, or 6,000 mg
  • CBD per serving: 30 mg per serving
  • Flavors: natural
  • COA: available on the lab reports page

If you’re looking for an alternative way to find relief for things like chronic pain and anxiety, ingesting CBD (rather than applying topically) is the way to go. And thanks to the entourage effect, full-spectrum CBD might be a better option for getting anxiety under control.

This top-rated oil from NuLeaf Naturals is made with organic hemp and comes in various sizes. It contains just two ingredients (CBD and organic hemp seed oil), so you can feel good knowing that you’re getting a high quality oil without any added B.S.

Reviewers adore this product — it has 4.9 out of 5 stars from over 23,000 reviews. Many sing its praises for relieving pain, helping them sleep, and reducing anxiety.

Best CBD oil for pain

Lazarus Naturals Full-Spectrum CBD RSO

  • Price: $
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • Total CBD: 1,000 mg or 5,000 mg
  • CBD per serving: 100 mg CBD per serving
  • Flavors: natural
  • COA: available on test results page

This concentrated blast of CBD is ideal for people who want higher doses of the stuff without having to down multiple dropperfulls at a time. This one-and-done delivery method makes it easy to take high doses of CBD without needing to swallow on repeat.

The formula contains full-spectrum CBD along with organic sunflower lecithin and MCT oil. The unique syringe-like applicator makes it easy to dose your oil without making a huge mess.

Each serving contains 100 mg of CBD, which is a high concentration — so the brand recommends starting with 50 mg and working your way up slowly.

Reviewers love this product and many of them rave about the relief they’ve gotten from adding it to their daily routine. They also appreciate how well Lazarus Naturals balances out quality with affordability.

Best CBD isolate oil

Kanibi CBD Oil Tincture

  • Price: $$–$$$
  • CBD type: isolate
  • Total CBD: 750 mg or 1,500 mg
  • CBD per serving: 25 mg or 50 mg
  • Flavors: skittle, cinnamon, unflavored
  • COA: available on product page

If you prefer to steer clear of THC, this isolate may be your new BFF. The Kanibi pure isolate tincture comes in two fun flavors: skittles and cinnamon. There’s also an unflavored option if you’re into that.

The brand offers a 100 percent moneyback guarantee and makes its CBD with organic US-grown hemp. All you’ll find in this cute bottle is pure CBD, MCT oil, and natural flavors.

Reviewers with anxiety are huge fans of this oil, saying it helps them keep calm and reduce stress. They’re also v impressed with how delicious the skittle flavor is.

Maybe? It’s hard to know unless you try it out. The research on its potential is def promising, but CBD is still just a newbie in the medical world.

If you have aches and pains or want to see if CBD might help with sleep issues and anxiety, why not give it a go? Just check with a healthcare pro first if you’re on any meds since CBD can interact with some drugs.

Pros and cons of CBD oil

Still not sure if it’s right for you? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Research on CBD is promising. CBD is looking like a solid way to treat epilepsy, sleep problems, anxiety, pain, IBS, and even certain skin problems.
  • Easy to use. Most CBD oils come with handy droppers to make measuring out a dose easy.
  • Ingest it or use topically. You can add CBD oils to food or drinks, ingest it on its own, or add a few drops to lotion to use topically. So basically, a CBD oil is a 2-in-1 product.

Cons

  • Not strictly regulated. The FDA doesn’t regulate CBD in the same way it regulates prescription drugs, so some not-so-good companies are still able to sell CBD oils.
  • Funky flavor. While some brands have nailed the flavor aspect, many CBD oils have an earthy aftertaste that can take some getting used to.
  • Not pre-dosed. This isn’t a con for everyone, but CBD oils aren’t the best for “on-the-go” CBD usage. You need to use a dropper to dose it, which takes a little more effort than popping a gummy or softgel in your mouth.

With sooooo many CBD products on the market, it may seem like an impossible task to narrow down the best CBD oil options. So how the heck do you do it?

We’ve done some of the work for you when rounding up this list but if you want to venture out shopping on your own, here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Current COA

This is probs the most important thing to keep an eye out for. A COA should be pretty recent and come from a legit third-party lab.

It should list testing for contaminants like:

  • pesticides
  • heavy metals
  • molds
  • chemicals and solvents

You should also check to make sure the COA matches up with what’s on the product label. Is there actually 3,000 mg of CBD in that teeny tiny bottle? The COA can give you a heads up on whether you’re getting ripped off. Expect a slight margin of error, but if the numbers are off big time, that’s a red flag.

CBD source

Quality brands will be transparent about where and how they source their CBD. Look for companies that use US-grown (and preferably organic) hemp in their CBD products.

CBD type

If you’re A-OK with a bit of THC (federally legal products will never contain more than 0.3 percent THC), try full-spectrum oils. The combo of all those compounds might give your CBD a little boost.

If you want to totally stay away from THC, go for broad-spectrum or isolate products. You might get a little boost from the terpenes and flavonoids in broad-spectrum CBD oils, too.

BTW: Most “tinctures” on the market these days are really just oils. You can easily check the ingredients to find out if what you’re buying is an oil or a tincture. Oils typically have only two ingredients: a carrier oil and CBD — and sometimes they’ll also have natural flavorings. Tinctures usually have alcohol as an ingredient and a longer ingredients list overall.

Potency

Product potency can range from 10 mg CBD per serving to more than 100 mg CBD per serving. If you’re brand new to CBD, look for products on the lower end to start and work your way up slowly. This will help reduce your risk of unpleasant side effects while finding what dosage gives you the right amount of relief.

Red flags

Big discrepancies between COAs and product labels? That’s a red flag. What else is a sign to back away slowly?

  • Negative reviews. A handful of 1-star reviews isn’t a big deal, but if you’re noticing a pattern of negative reviews that are all saying the same thing, that’s a bad sign.
  • Unbelievable claims. “This will change your life and cure you!” Yeah. No. Companies that make wild marketing claims are bad news. There’s lots of promising research behind CBD, but it won’t magically fix your ailments and any company that claims this is the case just wants your $$$$.
  • Legal woes. Do a quick Google search of a company’s name. If the first thing that pops up is something about a lawsuit, run for the hills.

To use CBD oils, fill up the dropper, pop the CBD under your tongue, let it sit, then swallow.

You can also mix oils with food and drink. Or mix them with lotions and creams to use them topically.

Easy enough, right?

Dosage

Dosing can be tricky if you’re totally new to CBD, but it’s not as mysterious as it sounds. Most companies provide guidelines for dosing that you may find helpful.

But a good starting point is half a dropper or less if you’re just trying CBD for the first time. You can slowly work your way up to higher doses.

And always wait before taking more CBD. It can take some time for the effects to kick in.

CBD is generally considered to be safe for humans, although there’s a chance you may experience mild side effects like:

  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • changes in appetite
  • weight fluctuation

CBD might interact badly with certain medications, so it’s a good idea to get the all-clear from your doctor before trying it for yourself.

What do you use CBD oil for?

People use CBD oil for lots of reasons including to help with pain, promote relaxation, and improve sleep.

Depending on the product (always read your product’s packaging for specifics), you can either ingest an oil or apply it topically for pain relief or various skin benefits.

What is the difference between CBD oil and hemp seed oil?

CBD oil is made from the flower, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oil is derived from the seeds of the plant and doesn’t contain CBD.

How does CBD oil make you feel?

That will vary from person to person. Some people might find CBD helps them relax while others may not feel any noticeable effects after taking CBD.

What is the downside of CBD oil?

There are a couple of cons to CBD oils:

  • Unlike prescription drugs and supplements, the CBD industry isn’t as heavily regulated. It’s up to manufacturers to do their due diligence with testing and you, the consumer, to choose quality products. There’s a lot of crap out there that isn’t up to par and may even be unsafe.
  • Some people don’t like the taste of oils and prefer to use CBD gummies or softgels/capsules instead.
  • CBD oils aren’t pre-dosed, so they’re not great for taking CBD on-the-go. You’ll need to dose it out each time using a dropper.

Will CBD show up on a drug test?

Even with isolate and broad-spectrum products, there’s a small chance that trace amounts of THC might make their way into the batch. While we’re talking very small amounts of THC, there’s a possibility it could show up on a drug test if you take enough of it.

Does CBD get you high?

CBD can’t get you high. The compound in cannabis that makes you feel impaired — aka gets you high — is called THC.

CBD isolate and broad-spectrum CBD aren’t supposed to contain any THC at all. Full-spectrum CBD products do contain a tiny amount — less than 0.3 percent — but that usually isn’t enough to cause any psychoactive effects. But if you take full-spectrum CBD products at high enough doses, there’s a chance you’ll start to feel the effects of the THC.

That being said, there are lots of CBD products out there that are combined with a fair amount of THC. These products are meant to create a buzz. So always be sure to read the label, which will state whether or not the product contains THC.

If you’re thinking about trying out CBD, you might find it easy and convenient to try out an oil. Just drop, swallow, and wait to feel the effects.

Of course, CBD of any kind isn’t guaranteed to work for everyone, but it’s worth trying out if you’re curious. Just make sure to do your research before buying a CBD oil product — there’s a lot of junk out there. And talk with your doctor before getting on the CBD train — especially if you have a medical condition or take any prescription medications.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.