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Cannabis is composed of more than 60 cannabinoid compounds, but when it comes to the “good stuff,” there are two that get most of the attention: CBD and THC.
If you want to get high, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is your jam. CBD (cannabidiol), on the other hand, won’t even give you a buzz.
But proponents claim that CBD — sold in a variety of concentrated forms — has more than a token list of therapeutic uses, including lowering inflammation, reducing anxiety, and improving sleep.
Just like it sounds, CBD concentrates are concentrated CBD extracts drawn from the cannabis plant. The three types of CBD concentrates are:
- CBD isolate (contains concentrated CBD only)
- broad-spectrum CBD (all the active compounds of cannabis except THC)
- full-spectrum CBD (contains all of the active compounds in cannabis, including a non-psychoactive level of THC, under 0.3 percent)
We’ve included all three types of CBD concentrates found in topical and oral form in our rankings, including:
Buying CBD products without getting burned can be a real challenge. CBD prices are all over the place ($0.05 to $0.20 per milliliter of CBD, typically), and since insurance doesn’t cover CBD, you’ll be denting your own bank account to pay for it.
Buying from a reputable producer is the dopest way to get good quality CBD, so each product on our list:
- is made by a company that provides proof that their products are third-party tested by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
- is made with U.S.-grown hemp
- provides a certificate of analysis (COA) showing it contains no more than 0.3 percent THC
- is free of pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to their COA
We also weeded out the shady brands, evaluating brand reputation and trustworthiness by:
- analyzing customer reviews
- checking for FDA Warning Letters or civil lawsuits against the companies or their products
- reviewing each company’s standing with the Better Business Bureau
- determining whether the company made unsupported health claims, engaged in deceptive marketing, or marketed towards children
- whether the company has had previous lawsuits filed against them or currently has unresolved lawsuits
Best all-around CBD concentrate
1. Joy Organics CBD Gummies
Sold in packs of 30, Joy Organics’ gummies are a good choice for users who want to step up from a low initial dosage. Plus they come in two flavors, are gluten-free and vegan friendly, and the company posts its lab results online (available by scanning the QR code on the package).
There’s also a 30-day money back guarantee and free shipping in the U.S.
How to use it: Take 5 to 50 milligrams per day, recommended for general health maintenance or minor issues.
Downsides: Only one container size and low potency of CBD per gummy.
Best CBD concentrate for sleep
2. Sagely Drift & Dream Body Oil
This lightweight and quick-drying body oil is designed to be applied at bedtime and contains stress-relieving and relaxation inducing lavender and geranium. It’s an inexpensive way to try out CBD oil on your skin and is vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.
How to use: Apply as needed before bed.
Downsides: Small bottle size.
Best CBD concentrate for pain relief
3. Lazarus Naturals CBD Massage Oil
This blend of CBD oil and soothing jojoba, almond, and coconut oils delivers pain relief and also keeps skin moisturized. The CBD oil is extracted from non-GMO hemp largely grown in Oregon, and the jojoba oil is organic, as well.
How to use it: Work into skin as you would with any massage oil.
Downsides: Contains tree nut extract (coconut oil) and also may contain gluten.
Best CBD concentrate for anxiety
4. Sunday Scaries CBD Gummies with Vitamins D3 and B12
These “Gummies for Chillin’” deliver a modest dose but it also comes at a modest price, so you won’t have sticker shock to wreck your vibe. Gummies come in a wide variety of flavors and also contain vitamins D and B12 to support brain function and good mental health.
How to use it: Eat two or three gummies whenever you’re feeling stressed out or anxious.
Downsides: Low dosage, and small number of gummies per package.
Best CBD concentrate for sore joints
5. Moon Mother Massage Oil
Farms in Boulder, CO, supply the hemp to create this full-spectrum CBD massage oil, which also contains jojoba oil and lavender oil for relaxation. The pain-relieving massage oil is organic and gluten-free.
How to use: Apply liberally to tense or sore muscles and massage well.
6. Papa and Barkley Releaf Body Oil
Papa and Barkley pull out the stops with ingredients that include CBD, essential oils, vitamin E, and jojoba oil. The CBD comes from farm-raised hemp in Colorado.
How to use: Pump two or three squirts of oil into your hands and massage into skin.
Downsides: Only one size and may contain nut products.
Best CBD concentrate for creativity
7. Plus CBD Oil Hemp Gummies
These low-dose dummies may give you just enough of a creative boost to get you through a stressful work day or project. They have no artificial ingredients and they’re non-GMO, soy-free, and gluten-free.
How to use it: Take one gummy in the morning and one in the evening, or as needed.
Downsides: Low CBD dose per gummy.
Best CBD concentrate for high blood pressure
8. Papa and Barkley Releaf Drops
It’s far from conclusive, but at least one small study finds that CBD may lower blood pressure. See if it works for you with Papa and Barkley Releaf Drops, which are easy to use, vegan-friendly, soy-free, and gluten-free, and made from hemp from Colorado farms.
How to use it: Take one full dropper or as needed.
Downsides: May contain traces of nuts.
Best CBD concentrate for cancer-related side effects
9. CBDfx Gummies with Turmeric and Spirulina
Some research suggests that CBD may help people with cancer manage disease symptoms and the side effects of cancer treatment.
How to use it: Take 2 gummies as needed.
Downsides: Very low dosage per gummy and the flavor’s not for everyone.
High-quality research on CBD is scarce. Potential health benefits of using CBD concentrates include:
While CBD is generally considered safe, it may also have some bummer side effects, including:
- changes in appetite
- weight changes
Researchers also have been looking at whether CBD can combat neurodegenerative diseases and tumor growth and whether taking CBD and THC together can heighten the beneficial effects of CBD in a process called the “Entourage Effect” (we see you, Turtle).
Claims about CBD are mostly anecdotal or based on smaller studies. As sales of CBD concentrates have boomed, more research is being done on the therapeutic claims associated with CBD. To get the best results possible, be sure to use CBD products made by reputable companies.