Tim McComsey
What Is CBD?
The cannabis plant contains more than 100 different chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, which interact with the body's endocannabinoid system in ways that researchers are still working toward understanding. One of those cannabinoids is CBD, or cannabidiol (pronounced cann-a-bid-EYE-ol). CBD is non-psychoactive, which means it won't get you high — and there's a growing body of evidence that it has a number of health benefits.
What Are the Effects of CBD?
CBD has been used as a treatment for everything from chronic pain to depression to cancer and epilepsy. Understandably, many people hearing about CBD for the first time are skeptical of descriptions of it as a cure-all. But there is a reason CBD can treat so many diverse conditions. Humans have what is called an endocannabinoid system. This is a system of neurotransmitters that runs throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. The endocannabinoid system includes two receptors that respond to CBD: CB1 and CB2. Since these receptors are found throughout the body, the results are systemic. Researchers throughout the scientific community have dedicated time and resources to investigating how CBD works. It is not a magical panacea or a home remedy. There is hard science and a growing number of studies behind it. In fact, the FDA just recommended the use of CBD to treat epilepsy. The companies in our ranking sell products designed by experts in the science of CBD. Let’s take a look at the next question that is surely on your mind.
Is CBD Legal?
There is a lot of confusing information on whether CBD is legal in the US. The simple answer is that CBD is completely legal in every state, with or without a prescription. This comes with one caveat: that the CBD be sourced from hemp, the non-intoxicating form of cannabis. However, this does not mean you need to scramble to find out whether CBD sellers are sourcing their CBD from hemp. Because CBD poses no danger of any sort, the DEA never takes any notice of CBD distribution. If they did, it would be the sellers at risk, not the buyers. So, while CBD’s legality may be complex in theory, you can purchase it with no legal worries at all and no need for a prescription.
What Is Inside a Bottle of CBD Oil?
CBD is generally marketed in one of four forms: tinctures, skin balms, capsules, and vaping liquids. This ranking focuses exclusively on the best CBD oil tinctures. Before we compare the CBD oils available, a bit more context on CBD oils will help you understand what we’re looking at. Firstly, we need to clarify what goes into the production of CBD oils. Carrier Oils CBD oil products are nearly always formulated with a carrier oil. Usually coconut oil, this helps your body absorb the substance. CBD extract does not need a carrier oil in order to be effective. However, because CBD is fat soluble, carrier oils stabilize it and increase its bioavailability. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). Oils containing MCT are directly metabolized into energy by the liver. CBD that uses these MCT for its carrier oil are therefore more potent and have a more immediate effect. While many CBD oils use MCT as a carrier, some use hemp seed oil, olive oil, or propylene glycol. Full Spectrum vs. Isolate CBD oil is produced in one of two forms: full spectrum and isolate. CBD isolate, which is made up of more than 99% CBD, was once considered the gold standard. After all, it is the CBD which has the positive health effects we’re looking for. Even though it is still only the CBD having the desired effect, researchers discovered the so-called “entourage effect.” This effect means that CBD can be more effective when it contained a wider range of cannabinoids. The range of cannabinoids work together and the effect of the CBD is heightened. Most distributors market mostly full spectrum CBD oils. Some still prefer CBD isolates, though. › Best Full Spectrum: CBDistillery One difference to keep in mind: Full spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC, so prolonged use could cause you to fail a drug test (even though you never get high). CBD isolate, on the other hand, never has THC. So if you’re worried about taking a drug test, CBD isolate is probably the best option for you. › Best Isolate: Every Day Optimal In the reviews, we will specify when a distributor sells only isolates.
How Much and How Do You Take CBD?
Dosing can be complicated when it comes to CBD. Distributors generally won’t recommend specific dosages according to illness, as that will get them into trouble with the FDA. Also, dosages affect some people differently, and you may find that more or less helps you in in different ways compared to someone else. Generally, new users start with one drop on the first day, to get an idea of how it affects them. Depending on the results, and what you’re using it for, you might thereafter take a lot more, or stay consistent. For anxiety, pain, and general health, around 2.5mg to 20mg is often recommended. For epilepsy, on the other hand, you might need as much as 200mg to 300mg. If you have a physician who is comfortable giving advice on CBD, definitely ask him or her. Alternatively, consult online resources, ask distributors, and speak to people over forums. The good news is that you cannot overdose and there are no side effects, so any dosage is safe.
CBD Health Benefits

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