Cannabidiol oil, more known as CBD oil, is just one of 104 chemical compounds that is found in the cannabis plant. But unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), it doesn’t give you that feeling of getting “high.” What it does is provide treatment for a host of medical problems, not the least of which is a pain.
However, not all CBD products in the market are made the same. Because it is such a new health and wellness product, it is currently unregulated by the FDA. What that means is that not all CBD products will have the same amount of CBD. In fact, some may not even contain CBD. If you’re looking for top quality CBD oil, then you’ve got your work cut out for you. Fortunately, we’ve got just the list for you – the best CBD oil in the market today.
Top 8 CBD Oil Brands Of 2020 Reviewed
Populum is easily one of the most trusted brands in CBD products. Whenever you get a box from Populum, they include the lab results from the specific batch used in your CBD oil. How cool is that? In addition, it sources its CBD oil from hemp that’s grown in ethical farms in Colorado.
The Full Spectrum Hemp Oil is offered in various quantities – 250, 500, and 1,000 mg CBD. And it is mixed with all natural ingredients such as grapeseed oil, orange oil, virgin coconut oil, hempseed oil, and stevia extract. This is, by far, the best tasting CBD oil we’ve ever come across. Plus, the company offers a “subscribe and save” option where you enjoy a 5% off on all products and receive a monthly shipment of your favorite ones. Also, they offer a 30-day risk-free trial. However, this only applies to one item per customer so choose wisely. However, Populum’s CBD oil is a little more expensive than other brands.
- Independent lab testing
- 30-day risk-free trial
- All natural ingredients
- A little pricey
2. NuLeaf Naturals
If you want organic CBD oil, NuLeaf Naturals is the brand for you. The CBD oil comes from 100% organic hemp, grown and cultivated in Colorado farms. Not only that, the company uses CO2 extraction methods that are the leading industry standard because it doesn’t use chemicals or harsh solvents to extract the CBD. The product has no additives or flavoring which means it might not be a pleasant taste like other brands.
Also, unlike other brands, NuLeaf Naturals offers a wide range of concentrations – 240mg, 725mg, 1,450mg, 2,425mg, and 4,850mg – which ensures that most users will be able to find the strength that works for them. The main drawback to using this CBD oil is, aside from the taste, the price which is pretty expensive.
- 100% organic
- Industry standard extraction method
- Wide range of concentrations
- Taste is not pleasant for some
3. Charlotte’s Web
Charlotte’s Web is another trusted brand in the market. It offers a Premium Hemp Extract Supplement with minimal trace of THC (at or less than 0.3%). The CBD oil comes in two flavors – mint chocolate and olive oil, both of which are quite tasty. The Hemp Oil comes in four kinds – Full Strength CBD Oil, Extra Strength CBD Oil, Original Formula, and Maximum Strength Hemp Extract.
Each of these has different amounts of CBD that you can choose from, the lowest being 6.65mg per ml serving in the Full Strength CBD Oil. The Hemp Extract oils don’t just contain CBD, it also contains over 80 other cannabinoids that are beneficial to your health. And if you want to get the third party lab results on the oil, the manufacturer allows you to download batch records from their website. However, the bottle is so dark that it can be hard to see how much oil is left in it. Also, the droppers have no markers so it’s hard to estimate how much you’re getting.
- Varying CBD levels
- Full spectrum
- 2 flavors
- Dark bottle
- Dropper has no markers
4. Green Roads
Green Roads offers a unique CBD oil, a combination of full-spectrum CBD oil and crystalline isolate CBD, all extracted from certified organic hemp grown in Colorado. What does that mean? It has the best of both worlds since you get all the health benefits of other cannabinoids plus 99% pure CBD mixed together. Unlike other CBD oil which is typically clear or gold/dark brown, this one is murky white.
This is because the oil also contains kosher grade vegetable glycerin which allows you to vaporize the oil using a device. The main drawback with buying CBD oil from this manufacturer is the unpleasant taste. In addition, shipping takes more than a week.
- Full spectrum CBD oil + isolate CBD
- Can be vaporized in a device
- Certified organic
- Unpleasant taste
- Shipping takes more than a week
5. CBDistillery Cannabis Oil
The CBDistillery offers several CBD oils to suit most consumers. It has full spectrum CBD oils and pure CBD oils of varying concentrations, ranging from 250 to 5000mg in 30ml bottles. The prices of these oils are below average making them one of the most affordable high-quality CBD oils in the market. As an added bonus, veteran and soldiers are given a 10% discount on every purchase.
Unlike others we’ve tested, the CBD oils from CBDistillery are unflavored so it might not be pleasant tasting to some users. Also, CBDistillery does not disclose what type of extraction method they use to get CBD. Because of this, we have no idea how the plant was handled, if they used chemicals, how filtered the oil is, and what possible residue may be in the final product.
- The wide variety of CBD oils
- 10% discount to veterans and soldiers
- Unflavored; may not taste great
- Does not disclose their extraction method
Compared to other CBD oil brands, cbdMD’s offerings are more budget-friendly. The CBD oil from this company is verified as gluten-free, vegan-friendly, and non-GMO. Aside from all that, their full spectrum CBD oil is extracted using the CO2 method which is the industry standard. You have four flavors to choose from – natural, mint, orange, and berry. Along with the natural flavoring, the CBD oil contains an MCT coconut oil carrier.
There are a large variety of concentrations (300mg-5,00mg) and sizes – 30ml and 60ml. In case you’re curious, the hemp used by cbdMD comes from Kentucky as part of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program which makes it 100% organic. However, some report that they seem to need a larger dosage when taking cbdMD tinctures than other brands.
- Subtle flavors
- Zero THC
- 100% organic
- May need to take a larger dosage
7. Koi CBD
The Koi Naturals CBD Oil is a full spectrum CBD oil that is vegan certified. It comes in natural, spearmint, orange, and lemon-lime. You can choose between two sizes and five levels of strength. The company uses the CO2 extraction method which is the industry standard. The CBD oil has zero THC which makes it ideal for those who are wary of getting a false positive on a drug test. The full spectrum CBD oil contains CBD, CBN, CBDV, and CBG as well as coconut oil.
Looking at the oil, it’s very clear which speaks of its quality. And if that doesn’t convince you, you’ll be happy to note that the oil is tested by third-party labs and you can view the results of the tests on the lab’s site which adds another level to its authenticity. One thing that we do note is that the CBD oils are a little more expensive than other brands.
- Third-party tested; results available online
- Zero THC
- Uses the CO2 extraction method
- Little pricey
8. Plus CBD Oil
Plus CBD Oil is unlike all the other brands on our list. Their hemp is imported from Europe and the oil is extracted using advanced supercritical CO2 extraction. The product is gluten-free, non-GMO, vegetarian, and grown without herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides. The CBD oil is available in two sizes – 1oz and 2oz bottles.
There are two concentrations – 250mg and 750mg – as well as three flavors – natural, goji blueberry, and peppermint. Aside from the tincture, Plus CBD Oil also comes in a spray bottle which is available in 100mg, 250mg, and 500mg. Unlike the tincture, you spray this in your mouth. You can choose between three flavors – natural, peppermint, and vanilla. Also, it contains nutrients and Vitamin E. One thing we did notice about Plus CBD Oil is the fact that the vanilla flavor really doesn’t taste good. The CBD oil is also more expensive than other brands. And the lab testing should be more transparent.
- Advanced supercritical CO2 extraction
- Comes in oil drops and sprays
- Gluten-free, vegetarian, and non-GMO
- More expensive
- Vanilla flavor tastes awful
- More transparency about third party testing
How to Choose the Best CBD Oil: The Ultimate Buying Guide
CBD oil is quite popular nowadays and it’s quite easy to see why. The numerous health benefits listed online are proof of that. Of course, its booming popularity doesn’t mean that all CBD oils are good for you. In fact, because these are not monitored by the FDA, some brands do not even contain any CBD.
And then there are some that contain less than what is advertised on the label. In short, buying CBD isn’t going to be as easy as you think. Because it is unregulated, you’re going to have to do the regulating yourself to make sure that whatever CBD oil you get is safe, high quality, and effective. Our buying guide should help you achieve just that.
Types of CBD Oils
Raw CBD oil is just that – raw. The oil is extracted from the hemp and does not undergo any other type of processing or filtration. The color of raw CBD oil is typically green or dark due to the presence of phytochemicals, chlorophyll, and raw plant material. One thing to note about this type of CBD oil is that it contains impurities left by the extraction process.
Decarboxylation occurs when the CBD oil is heated up which changes the chemical components of the oil and “activates” the CBD. This makes the oil more effective and potent. The color of decarboxylated CBD oil is dark brown.
CBD oil that has been filtered is the most processed. In general, this type of oil has already undergone decarboxylation and then refined by filtering out the plant materials and phytochemicals. The color of filtered CBD oil is gold which is why it is often referred to as “gold” CBD oil. Compared to the other types, filtered CBD oil has the highest quality and generally the most expensive.
Does the Brand Operate in a State Where Marijuana is Legal?
Standardized regulations can be found in states that have legalized marijuana which means that brands that operate there will need to have infrastructure and processes in place. This also means that the states will have the necessary resources to scrutinize how the CBD oil was developed. NuLeaf Naturals, for example, operates in Denver, Colorado right where the licensed farms are located.
Is the Brand Reputable?
Before you start investigating the quality of the CBD oil itself as well as the dosage, cost, etc., you’ll need to figure out which brands can be trusted. And the only way to do that is to check their transparency. Reliable brands should share information on what CBD oil is, where they source the hemp, how they extract it, and what other ingredients they use. The more information that the brand provides the public, the more trustworthy they are.
Is there a Certificate of Analysis (COA)?
A brand can say anything and put anything on their label. After all, CBD oil is not regulated. To ensure that you’ll be buying a product that is safe and effective, you’ll want to check its COA which is proof that a third-party, independent lab has tested the CBD oil. The brand Populum is one of the few that actually includes the COA of the product inside the box. The COA provides you with two pieces of information:
The COA will show you how much CBD is actually in the oil. You should check the label and see if the amount written there matches what is written in the COA. Remember, you need to match the batch number tested in the COA with the batch number of the CBD oil you’re planning on getting.
Contaminants or Pesticides
It is important that hemp is grown in soil that is free of pesticide. The COA can provide you with information on whether there are any pesticides in the CBD oil. If the CBD was extracted using solvents, the test should also provide you with information on whether any traces of the solvents remain in the product. Verification of the company’s claim that the product is free of pesticides and contaminants should not be just through in-house testing but also through a credible third-party laboratory.
Where is the Hemp Sourced?
Hemp is a phytoremediation crop. That means that it can be used to clean soil of contaminants because it absorbs everything in the soil surrounding it. This includes heavy metals, toxins, pesticides, and other contaminants. What do all these mean? Well, you need to make sure that the hemp used in the CBD oil is sourced from a farm that uses responsible farming practices. Hemp grown domestically, specifically in Colorado, New York, Kentucky, Oregon, California, Tennessee, and Vermont, are safer compared to hemp grown overseas. Charlotte’s Web, for example, sources its hemp from their farm in Colorado.
What Extraction Method is Used?
Of all the methods used to extract CBD from hemp, there’s only one that’s non-toxic – CO2 extraction. The other methods, namely ethanol and butane-based extraction methods, use chemicals that may remain in the product. With CO2 extraction, CBD oil is extracted from hemp using carbon dioxide under high pressure in a very cold environment. While this process requires expensive equipment and expertise from the manufacturer, the purity of the CBD oil is maintained. cbdMD is one of several brands on our list that use CO2 extraction method.
Is it Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, or CBD Isolate?
Research has shown that CBD oil is more effective if the oil also contains other cannabinoids from the plant, producing the “entourage effect.” This means that you should look for CBD oil that is listed as a whole plant, full-spectrum, or broad spectrum. CBD isolate is just what the name implies – only cannabidiol is extracted from the plant. And while it is still effective in providing health benefits, its efficacy tapers as the dosage increases.
Now, if it’s a choice between broad-spectrum and full-spectrum, you might want to choose broad-spectrum because that means that the manufacturer removed some compounds, specifically THC, through distillation. Full-spectrum is defined as a whole plant extract where nothing is added or removed from the natural chemical composition of the plant. Take note that CBD oil should not have more than 0.3% THC since it is not legal in every state. Koi CBD, for example, states that its CBD oil is full-spectrum.
How Do You Determine Value and Strength?
It can be hard to compare CBD oil products because they can come in varying concentrations, bottle sizes, and prices. As such, you’ll need to make things more simple. To determine the true value of a product, you will need to divide the price of a bottle with the number of milligrams of CBD inside. This allows you to see how much CBD you actually get for what you pay. The strength of the CBD oil can be determined by dividing the milligrams with the size of the bottle (how many ml of liquid is inside).
What Flavor Should I Choose?
In choosing your CBD oil, the flavor would be the least important factor. Nevertheless, it is still a factor that must be considered especially since the oil will be taken orally. Some CBD oils come in a variety of flavors while others such as the Green Roads do not.