In 31 states and the District of Columbia cannabis is legal for some medical uses, and a majority of Americans favor legalization for recreational use. Other countries are rethinking their relationship to pot too. In Uruguay and Canada the drug is legal. Portugal has decriminalized it. Israel and the Netherlands have medical marijuana programs, and in recent years numerous countries have liberalized possession laws.
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become increasingly popular as a natural way to help people try to manage pain, reduce inflammation, and cope with anxiety.* Though the number of prescriptions has risen sharply in the United States over the past 20 years, many Americans are trying to limit the number of prescribed drugs they take – instead, searching for all-natural solutions to the aches, pains, and discomfort they begin to face as they age. For many of them, CBD oil is the solution they’ve been looking for. But not all CBD oil is created equal, meaning finding the right CBD oil could just be the most important part of their journey.
CBD oil contains significant amounts of substances important to human health so knowing the ingredients is the first step to buying CBD oil. Now you need to know what to look for when buying CBD oil online. You want to know the concentration of CBD oil in the product, whether there are any additives in the CBD oil or hemp oil, the type of product best suited to your needs (such as choosing between a capsule or topical) and the reputation of the brand.
It is for this reason that all the finished hemp goods that you see for sale in America, from food products to clothing to building materials, are part of an imported hemp industry that has surpassed $688 million annually. The size of this import industry is one of the major catalysts for hemp legalization in the U.S. As a renewable source of a range of products, hemp provides an exciting new step in American agriculture.
CBD oil is most readily available as a tincture. This can be taken by applying a few drops under your tongue, holding in your mouth for a few moments so it can be absorbed, before swallowing. It can also be added to water or smoothies. A spray form is available (simply spritz under your tongue), as are capsules, creams that can be applied topically, and e-liquid for vape pens.
Correct Answer: Ingestible CBD oil should be comprised of coconut MCT oil and full spectrum hemp extract (the part that contains the actual CBD). It’s important that the carrier oil contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT), like coconut oil, because it is easier for the body to digest. Remember that cannabinoids are best delivered to the body in either fat or alcohol as a carrier.

Then one day in 1963 a young organic chemist in Israel named Raphael Mechoulam, working at the Weizmann Institute of Science outside Tel Aviv, decided to peer into the plant’s chemical composition. It struck him as odd that even though morphine had been teased from opium in 1805 and cocaine from coca leaves in 1855, scientists had no idea what the principal psychoactive ingredient was in marijuana. “It was just a plant,” says Mechoulam, now 84. “It was a mess, a mélange of unidentified compounds.”


From their small town in southwestern Maine, Meagan and her husband, Ken, took Addy to Boston to consult with neurologists. These epileptic seizures, they concluded, were the result of a congenital brain malformation called schizencephaly. One of the hemispheres of Addy’s brain had not developed fully in utero, leaving an abnormal cleft. She also had a related condition called optic nerve hypoplasia, which caused her eyes to wander—and which, further tests revealed, made her all but blind. By summer Addy was having 20 to 30 seizures a day. Then 100 a day. Then 300. “Everything was misfiring all at once,” says Meagan. “We were afraid we were going to lose her.”
CBD oil’s role in cancer treatment still needs more research, but what is available is looking promising. According to the American Cancer Society, CBD oil can slow growth and spread of some kinds of cancer (in animals). Because it fights oxidative stress and inflammation (and both are linked to cancer) it makes sense that CBD oil could help fight cancer cells.
Harper was diagnosed as an infant with CDKL5, a rare genetic condition doctors only discovered in 2004 and that afflicts roughly 600 people worldwide. The disorder shares its name with the minute particle of DNA it affects, a gene responsible for the production of a protein crucial for neurological development. Symptoms of CDKL5 include intellectual disability, developmental delays, breathing and vision problems, limited or absent speech, poor muscle tone, and, perhaps worst of all, frequent seizures.
Watch Out For: Companies who won’t disclose their extraction method or utilize hydrocarbons like butane and propane. These substances are toxic in high amounts and even with proper purging, most hydrocarbon extracts contain residual solvent. Other extraction methods do not result in a full spectrum extract – meaning they were not able to extract all of the beneficial compounds from the hemp plant (i.e. you don’t get the full range of benefits).
Correct Answer: Ingestible CBD oil should be comprised of coconut MCT oil and full spectrum hemp extract (the part that contains the actual CBD). It’s important that the carrier oil contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT), like coconut oil, because it is easier for the body to digest. Remember that cannabinoids are best delivered to the body in either fat or alcohol as a carrier.
Look for what are known as “full-spectrum” CBD products. These products contain other compounds of the hemp plant in addition to CBD. It’s believed that the compounds work together to provide the claimed benefits, much as eating an orange is usually a better choice than drinking orange juice. One key exception is if you’re subject to workplace drug testing. A CBD isolate, in which the rest of the plant’s compounds are removed, should reduce the already tiny chance of trace amounts of THC being present.
To answer the question of which CBD oil is best, we have to understand the difference between the products: cannabis CBD oil is of course made from Cannabis (marijuana), and it contains high levels of CBD and THC. In fact, the THC can be anywhere from 0.3% all the way up to 30% and beyond. Cannabis oils are normally created to combat different debilitating medical conditions (such as cancer or Multiple Sclerosis), but they are also used for maintaining general wellness.
During my visit, Penny showed me how she administers Harper’s CBD oils. We stood in her kitchen, where a window opened onto a vista of green grass and a wooden swing set out back. After carefully mixing and measuring Harper’s oils, Penny poured the liquid into a jumbo-sized plastic syringe. “We put this all online,” she told me, referring to the several YouTube videos she has made to help other parents administer hemp oil. Penny leaned down over her daughter to fit the tip of the syringe into her gastronomy tube, and I stood by silently. Harper looked at Penny, and Penny smiled back at her, and eased the plunger down.

Topical solutions also vary greatly in potency. For example, Prevail Botanical’s salve contains 1,000 milligrams of CBD in 2.2 ounces. Floyd’s of Leadville cream has 700 milligrams in a 30-gram (1.05 ounce) container. These deliver higher amounts of CBD than other topicals I tried, such as PlusCBD’s balm (100 milligrams in 1.3 ounces) and Medterra’s cream (750 milligrams in 3.4 ounces). Remember, more isn’t necessarily better.
Cannabinoids are neuroprotective, meaning that they help maintain and regulate brain health. The effects appear to be related to several actions they have on the brain, including the removal of damaged cells and the improved efficiency of mitochondria.[190] CBD and other antioxidant compounds in cannabis also work to reduce glutamate toxicity. Extra glutamate, which stimulates nerve cells in the brain to fire, causes cells to become over-stimulated, ultimately leading to cell damage or death. Thus, cannabinoids help protect brain cells from damage, keeping the organ healthy and functioning properly. CBD has also been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the brain.[191]
For most people with epilepsy, diagnosis sets off a gauntlet of trial-and-error attempts to find the right medication. The process is tortuous, with seizures alternately dying down and flaring up while side effects— fatigue, nausea, liver damage, and more—develop without warning. This is partly due to the fact that “epilepsy” is actually a broad category that includes a number of distinct seizure disorders. About 30 medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are currently used to treat these conditions, and when a person first begins having seizures, there is often much tinkering with combinations and dosages. I spent years battling side effects like vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and severe headaches, which were alleviated only by yet another prescription medication. Parents who endure enough sleepless nights caring for a sick child can become desperate for a cure.
Every CBD product should make third-party lab results available, either online, in their packaging, or by request. At minimum, each tincture here offers lab results showing the levels of cannabinoids like CBD and THC, while others offer additional tests. The more information available to consumers the better. At the same time, we admit it isn’t always easy for newcomers to interpret these lab tests.
It was the seizures that tipped Penny off that something wasn’t right with Harper after she and her husband Dustin brought her home from the hospital as a newborn. Several months later, having tried a battery of epilepsy medications and still without a diagnosis, Penny and Dustin flew to Boston with Harper to see an expert in infant seizures. It was there they first heard of CDKL5. “This is the point where life changed significantly,” Penny said, “because now we had this diagnosis. You know, this abnormality in our family that we cannot fix.”
And, if you do luck out and get a tincture truly containing CBD, you'll likely dish out $200 or so to take 10 to 40 milligrams daily. Since research participants take closer to 1,000 milligrams a day, it's hard to imagine a benefit without drinking the whole (expensive, calorie-dense) bottle, Tishler says. "Most people will adjust their doses based on what they're comfortable spending," Asquith says.
The Cannabis Health Index (CHI) is an evidence-based scoring system for cannabis (in general, not just CBD effects) and its effectiveness on various health issues based on currently available research data. Refer to cannabishealthindex.com for updated information. Using this rubric and based on twenty-one studies, cannabis rated in the possible-to-probable range of efficacy for treatment of depression.

For anxiety, CBD products with a ratio of 20:1 or higher are recommended and administered as drops, capsules, or edibles. High-CBD cannabinoids can be very effective in reducing chronic anxiety, treating temporary stress, and protecting the body from the physiological effects of both. Varieties high in linalool, a terpene shared with lavender, are known to be effective for relieving anxiety. In particular the strain AC/DC is very effective.

Cannabis Oil: Cannabis oil is typically made from marijuana with a high THC percentage. Therefore, it must be purchased in an area where marijuana is legal or can be obtained with a prescription. The amounts of compounds, including CBD and THC, will drastically vary from product to product. Commercially produced cannabis oils will have more controlled concentrations of CBD and THC for medical purposes.
Vaping, tinctures, topicals—they all have their qualities, but does anything beat the decadence and sheer enjoyment of dark chocolate? These Tasty Cocoas CBD Chocolates from Tasty Hemp Oil come individually wrapped, ready to deliver a delicious serving of soothing CBD. Made with the highest-quality cocoa and raw hemp oil, these chocolates are available in dark and dark mint variations.

So a full spectrum decarb got higher points than isolate (“decarb” just refers to the process of decarboxylation which turns raw CBD into activated CBD). We also gave more points to companies with a “broad spectrum” tincture. Broad spectrum CBD oil includes a range of other cannabinoids, but minus the THC – which is generally what people using isolates are trying to avoid.


Look for brands who source their cannabinoids from organic-certified, hemp-grown farms in pristine regions of Europe. “The German regulatory system is strict and enforced, providing confidence in the superiority of their harvest, processes, and extraction quality,” adds Moriarity. Organic hemp grown in Europe must also adhere to EU’s strict organic standards, which are stricter than in the U.S. and highly audited. Also, look for ingredients that are certified organic and wildcrafted.
Cannabis has been used for centuries to treat nerves and anxiety, as well as other mood problems. CBD may help to improve both depression and anxiety, at least in part through its interactions with serotonin receptors in the brain. Research shows that CBD can reduce both mental and physical symptoms of anxiety. A study of CBD given to people before a public-speaking event indicates that CBD can help reduce stress—this and other research has shown that CBD can be an effective treatment for social anxiety.

“It’s such an interesting plant, such a valuable plant,” says Nolan Kane, who specializes in evolutionary biology. “It’s been around for millions of years, and it’s one of man’s oldest crops. And yet there are so many basic problems that need to be answered. Where did it come from? How and why did it evolve? Why does it make all these suites of compounds? We don’t even know how many species there are.”
Research suggests that CBD may exert some of its pharmacological action through its inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which may in turn increase the levels of endocannabinoids, such as anandamide, produced by the body.[8] It has also been speculated that some of the metabolites of CBD have pharmacological effects that contribute to the biological activity of CBD.[41]

Stephanie Kahn, who with her husband, Jeffrey, runs the Takoma Wellness Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Northwest Washington, says that about half of her 1,200 patients use CBD-rich products. Her dispensary offers several strains of high-CBD cannabis as well as CBD oil, with different ratios of CBD and THC, each of which she recommends for particular conditions. “We get questions about it every day,” she says. “A lot of our patients get relief with this, and a lot of times this works better than pharmaceutical drugs.”

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