CBD Gummies: The Candy That Heals

Surely, as a kid and probably even as an adult you have snacked on gummy bears and gummy worms. There is just something about the chewy-goodness that is irresistible to the human palate. This is why multi-vitamins and other medicines come in chewable gummy tablets; consuming your daily vitamins becomes a treat. CBD gummies are no exception. As an alternative to the more common CBD oil, CBD gummies offer an edible delight that comes with all the benefits of cannabidiol.

What Are CBD Gummies?

CBD gummies are exactly what their name suggests, CBD-infused gummy candy. Unless you have been living under a rock, just about everyone at one point or another have consumed regular gummy bears or gummies in some other animal shape.

With CBD gummies come the same potent CBD found in CBD oil and dabs. Many people, in fact, prefer CBD gummies over oil because, well…gummy bears?

Like CBD oil, the gummies are usually infused with hemp-derived cannabidiol. The candy may be available as CBD isolate or as a full-spectrum product with other cannabinoids. In any case, as long as you buy from a reputable cannabis supplier, you don’t need to worry about the candy containing traces of THC.

How Are CBD Gummies Made?

CBD gummies are made the same way as ordinary gummy bears. The only difference is that it contains CBD and/or other cannabinoids as a main ingredient.

The primary ingredient is gelatin, which gives the gummies their rubbery texture. Gelatin is very rough in its natural state and has to be heated to make it softer and easier to eat. Makers dissolve the gelatin along with additional ingredients for flavoring. This includes the sweeteners, artificial fruit flavors, and food dyes. Cornstarch is another mainstay ingredient to further solidify its hardened form by sucking the moisture out of the gelatin. The final and most important ingredient of all is, of course, the CBD.

The liquid of gelatinous sugar is placed into pre-formed animal-shaped trays to give the candy its final shape once the gelatin cools down.

Making gummy bears at home is actually fairly easy. Some people elect to make their own and add some CBD oil into the mixture. The cannabis site Leafly provides a good tutorial for DIY CBD gummy bears.

Do CBD Gummies Contain Sugar?

We just mentioned that sugar and other sweeteners are a primary ingredient in gummy bears. We realize this is a concern for some folks who may be diabetic or are just trying to stick to a sugar-free diet. Fortunately, just as there are sugar-free gummy candies, there are also sugar-free CBD gummies.

At the end of this post, we provide a list of trustworthy CBD suppliers that carry gummy candy in their inventory. Some provide sugar-free varieties or stick to natural sweeteners like cane sugar. Some also fulfill other dietary preferences, such as gluten-free and vegan-friendly ingredients.

Even in most CBD gummies with sugar, the serving size is only one or two gummies. The sugar content, therefore, is negligible.

Do CBD Gummies Make You High?

The short answer is no, at least definitely not if you buy from a reputable supplier. Cannabis products of any kind only make you high if they contain the psychoactive compound THC. With a few medical exceptions in some states, a THC content over 0.3% is federally illegal. This is why 95% of CBD products are derived from THC-free hemp. CBD gummies are no exception.

Again, we must emphasize the importance of buying from a certified seller to ensure zero THC. Buying from the black market or trying a friend’s homemade brew may be a different story altogether.

Do CBD Gummies Have a Laxative Effect?

According to the rumor mill, gummy candies have a laxative effect. Some gummy bear labels even warn that consumption in excess can cause intestinal distress.

Is there any truth to this? Some sugar-free varieties contain sugar alcohol as a substitute. Sugar alcohol, in fact, does not affect blood sugar levels as much as regular sugar. This is why they’re a popular alternative sweetener and especially marketed towards diabetics. The problem, though, is that sugar alcohol comes from ingredients like lacticol, xylitol, or lycasin, all of which can produce watery stools, flatulence, or borborygmus (gurgling of the intestines).

Is this a concern for CBD gummy users? We don’t believe so. First of all, only the most sensitive users experience the intestinal sensations. Even then, you should not experience any problems as long as you stick to the recommended dose. In most cases, that’s just one or two gummies and not half the bottle.

Can CBD Gummies Cause a Failed Drug Test?

drug test form, cup, and blood sampleThe short answer, once again, is no. However, we can’t just say you’ll be hunky dory for every blood, pee, and hair test and leave it at that.

With respects to cannabis, tests do NOT look for CBD. Only THC is a banned substance in most drug tests. However, over the years, several people have reported failed drug tests despite using supposedly THC-free products. This is the case regardless of whether its CBD gummies, oil, or dabs. What gives?

Full spectrum CBD products are actually not entirely 100% THC-free. Even hemp contains THC, just very minute traces and well below the 0.3% legal limit. However, some products may end up containing more THC than the manufacturer intended due to cross-contamination.

We must add, though, that contamination rarely occurs in CBD products purchased online. More often, this occurs when users buy CBD products directly from a dispensary in a cannabis-legalized state. Dispensaries may acquire CBD extracts from the female marijuana plants’ flowering buds rather than from hemp. The former contains THC. Even if careful measures were taken to ensure a CBD-only extract, just enough THC may remain to show up in a pee or blood sample.

Can I Give CBD Gummies to My Children?

Can you legally give your child CBD gummies or any CBD product? If so, is it safe and effective?  So many parents have asked these questions. Children would certainly enjoy CBD gummies just like they enjoy their Flintstone vitamins.

First, let’s tackle the question of whether it’s effective. In past posts, we have discussed the effectiveness of CBD for treating pain and included the independent research. All the studies, though, involved human adults or rats. To date, there are no studies involving children in this treatment area.

One study, though, does show that CBD was effective for lessening the severity of both Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. Both are forms of childhood-onset epilepsy.

Furthermore, in one Israeli study, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder were given CBD oil. 80% of the subjects saw improvements in their condition and behavior. Some of the children did not respond to conventional medicine. Furthermore, 40% reported a significant drop in their anxiety levels.

The children did not show adverse reactions in either study.

CBD is safe and effective for children, at least for treating certain conditions as far as current available studies show us.

But is it legal to give to kids? You can legally give your child CBD gummies or oil if you live in a state where CBD use is legal. If the state only permits medical CBD use, then go through the proper channels to obtain a doctor’s prescription. To avoid legal liability, some parents have travelled out of state to legally acquire and administer CBD to their child.

How Many Gummies Should I Take?

It’s hard to specify an exact dosage since everyone responds to CBD differently. A rule of thumb is 1 to 6 mg for every 10-pounds of bodyweight. The higher end of the spectrum is a bit extreme in our opinion. The average person should be able to feel results at the lower end of the range.

The CBD content in gummies vary depending on brand. Expect between 5 mg to 30 mg of CBD per gummy. For comparison’s sake, four drops from a 30mL CBD oil tincture containing 500 mg of CBD contains about 2 mg.

Where Can I Buy CBD Gummies?

CBDFx CBD gummiesWe must say this again at the risk of sounding like a broken record: only buy from a reputable seller. We have done our own studies in order to filter out the trustworthy sites from the borderline shady ones. Some sites also only carry CBD oil or have a very limited number of edibles. We included only the sites that carry CBD gummies.

  • Hemp Bombs – This site’s CBD gummies is a CBD isolate product containing 15 mg of CBD per gummy.
  • CBD Distillery – its gummy products is more potent with 30 mg CBD per gummy. It’s a CBD isolate with vegan ingredients.
  • CBD FX – This is a full-spectrum CBD product with 10 mg CBD and 20 mg hemp extract containing additional cannabinoids per two-gummy serving.

CBD Gummies: A Delicious Way to Heal Your Body

You can’t go wrong with CBD gummies if you have a sweet tooth. You can consume gummies in place of CBD oil or alternate as you please. In any case, you’ll derive the documented benefits of CBD – all from eating the same chewy gummies you’ve always enjoyed!

What Is CBD Oil? A Primer on CBD Tinctures

Is CBD synonymous with hemp or marijuana? Will CBD oil get me high? For the newly initiated, we realize there are a lot of questions swirling in your head. This primer will seek to answer the most frequently asked questions for first-time CBD users.

It’s not easy to differentiate between different CBD products. What is CBD? How about CBD oil? These are the questions we will answer in this post.

Our aim is for you to have a baseline understanding so you’re not a complete fish out of water when buying your first round CBD oil.

What is CBD?

CBD is an acronym for the tricky-to-pronounce cannabidiol (cannah-bid-all). CBD is a type of cannabinoid found in most strains of the cannabis plant, but heavier concentrations in the hemp plant. Cannabinoids are a class of naturally-occurring chemical compounds found in cannabis. While the number differs depending on who you ask, there are anywhere between 60 and 113 cannabinoids. The estimate also increases as more research yields new findings.

CBD and THC are the two most studied and documented cannabinoids. We’ll talk a bit about the latter later. Countless research over the years, though, have revealed tremendous potential benefits regarding CBD use. There is a swath of evidence for CBD use for treating a number of ailments, including nerve pain, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and more. We have written extensively about CBD that specifically covers each of those areas. For an overview of why CBD is effective as a medicine and what it can be used to treat, see our post on the medicinal benefits of CBD.

We can talk more about CBD and how it affects the body through the endocannabinoid system and CB receptors. However, the focus of this piece is specifically about CBD oil. Please see our introductory CBD post for a lengthier and more scientific breakdown of this highly touted cannabinoid.

What Is CBD Oil?

Explaining what is CBD hemp oil with clear CBD dropper on lip of bottle.

Now that you know what CBD is, let’s talk a bit about CBD oil. After all, this is the most common form of CBD and is the type we recommend for first-time users. Aside from oil, CBD is also available in juice and dabs like wax and shatter. These are designed for use with a vape pen.

For beginners, CBD oil is a better starting point since administration is a lot easier and convenient. You simply ingest the oil as is or pour a few drops on your food. Most oils are flavorless so no need to worry about the taste of dirty socks or anything like that.

How Do You Make CBD Oil?

There is a DIY process for making CBD oil. However, we do not recommend any homebrews for beginners. Please only buy from a reputable manufacturer if you’re a newbie. With homemade CBD oils, there is just no way of knowing the precise CBD content or traces of other cannabinoids, including THC. The process also includes the use of highly flammable and toxic materials, which pose a serious risk hazard.

How Do the Manufacturers Make CBD Oil?

CBD oil - An image of CBD oil in the middle of production.Manufacturers extract CBD from cannabis through several methods. One of the more common methodologies is via alcohol extraction. Makers soak the plant in a solvent like ethanol or grain alcohol. This allows the cannabinoids to leach out of the plant and into the liquid.

The next step is to use a heat source to evaporate the alcohol until you’re left with an oily residue. That oil is the final product for consumer consumption.

Another method is the CO2 extraction, which is far more complex and requires commercial equipment. The plant is exposed to CO2 via a series of chambers. Under the right temperatures and pressure, the cannabinoids begin to react with the CO2 before separating from the plant.

Both the alcohol and CO2 extraction involve more steps than what we just described. The extracted oil doesn’t exactly taste like Campbell’s Soup. Manufacturers have to take further steps to dilute the oil to modify both the taste and potency levels.

Check out this great video from Project CBD about how we take a plant and turn it into medicine.

Carriers for CBD Oil

Now that you know about CBD oil, let’s discuss the importance of carrier oils. The extraction methods we just described leave behind oily extracts. However, extractors have to add additional oil to the final product because the resulting extract from CO2 is so thick.

Cannabinoid extracts are fat soluble. This means they are stored in the body’s fat rather than in water. This means bioavailability is also at its peak when consumed with a fatty substance like oil.

Saturated fat is especially an effective carrier. This is why coconut oil is a predominant carrier; it has a roughly 80% saturated fat content.

Aside from coconut oil, any other oil with medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) will do. The liver quickly metabolizes MCT into usable energy where the endocannabinoid system and CB receptors can use the cannabinoids right away.

Other forms of oil and suitable carriers for CBD include olive oil, hempseed oil, avocado oil, and palm kernel oil.

CBD Oil Isolate Vs. Full Spectrum

Don’t shop for a CBD oil just yet, at least not before you understand the difference between isolate and full-spectrum CBD oil.

Isolate contains CBD and zero other cannabinoids.

Full-spectrum CBD oil, on the other hand, contains additional cannabinoids. The number of cannabinoids differ between brands and strains used for extraction, but may include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) just to list a few. Each of these cannabinoids have their own benefits, many of which interact synergistically with CBD.

Which one is best for you? We can’t definitively say that isolate is better than full-spectrum or vice versa. Medically, all of the evidence points to full-spectrum being the best bet if you don’t have to worry about the minor possible THC content. This is because of the entourage effect, a phenomenon where cannabinoids work better together than alone. At the end of the day, it comes down to individual needs. Some athletes prefer CBD isolate, as there are concerns that the additional cannabinoids may yield a failed drug test.

What Is Hemp CBD Oil?

You may also see some products with the label “hemp CBD oil” or merely “hemp oil.” Is this the same thing? What exactly is hemp? For a detailed primer, we suggest seeing our in depth article on hemp. In short, hemp is a species of cannabis known as cannabis sativa. Hemp is the go-to source for most manufacturers due to its rich CBD content and nearly non-existent THC levels. If a CBD product is merely labelled “CBD oil,” then chances are that it’s derived from industrial hemp. Always read the label, though, to be certain.

In the end it boils down to marketing and conveying a message to a consumer via the label. Some manufacturers want to emphasize hemp, even though their competitors also use hemp to extract CBD.

What About THC?

Okay, now we got to talk about THC. This is the most studied cannabinoid next to CBD and it’s also the psychoactive compound that makes you high. While some states permit medical THC use, any cannabis product containing over 0.3% THC is illegal.

Rest assured that the vast majority of CBD products have THC levels well below this limit. Trustworthy manufacturers are well aware of the state and federal laws and will not risk violation by including THC in their products. This is why hemp is often the extract of choice because it has negligible amounts of THC. Even full-spectrum CBD oils, which have other cannabinoids, are unlikely to contain THC.

For more on this cannabinoid, see our article on THC.

How to Use CBD Oil

Most CBD oils come in a tincture with a dropper. The typical application is to place a few drops under your tongue and let it dissolve and merge with your saliva. Others choose to add a few drops to their beverage of choice. For external pain, some people choose to apply the oil topically, though there are topical medicines made specifically for this method of delivery.

One way not to use CBD oil, though, is to smoke it using a vape pen. Oils are intended for oral ingestion. If you choose to vape CBD, then that’s what CBD vape juices and concentrate dabs are for. If you choose to get your dose in this manner, then learn about the ins and outs of CBD dabbing.

How About Dosage?

The easy answer is to tell you to follow the instructions on the bottle. However, it can get a bit confusing since dosage instructions across different brands aren’t always consistent. The general consensus is about 12 mg taken twice daily for individuals weighing up to 150 pounds. Increase the dosage to 18 mg if you weigh above 150-pounds. A single drop from a dropper contains about 2.5 mg.

Keep in mind these are very ballpark estimates. Everyone responds differently depending on their genetics and degree of pain or whatever they’re taking the CBD for. Since these are rough estimates, they’re definitely not set in stone. If you weigh just over the 150 mark, perhaps 155 or 160, then you can just as easily stick with 12 mg or just raise it slightly to 14-16 mg. We always recommend sticking with the lowest dosage possible that gives you satisfactory results.

Final Thoughts

CBD oil is a great introductory way to reap the benefits of cannabidiol. Later on, if you so choose, you can always experiment with different CBD dabs, wax, and juices. For first timers, though, we suggest ingestible forms of CBD, such as hemp oil, soft gels, and gummies.

Regardless of your CBD of choice, always buy from a reputable and licensed seller. You can check out our Where to Buy section for a list of recommended suppliers. For more about CBD products, see our pillar post outlining all of the available options on the market.


CBD Oil for Dogs: Can Cannabis Benefit Your Furry Friend?

If you have been keeping up with The Universal Plant for some time, then you know CBD is a safe and natural remedy for most ailments under the sun. Various scientific literature has backed CBD as a viable solution for treating pain, anxiety, epileptic seizures, opiate addictions, and more. Of course, the vast majority of these studies are performed on rats or humans. What about CBD oil for dogs? Canine owners know all too well that their four-legged best friend is subject to the same ailments as people. Is CBD a legitimate form of treatment for domestic pets?

How Can Dogs Benefit from CBD?

Can dogs benefit from CBD the same way as humans? There is actually a growing market of CBD-infused edibles and treats for canines. You can even get them bacon-flavored. After all, it’s not like you can teach your pup to use a vape pen. For the most part, all the benefits that apply to humans also apply to pets, according to a small but growing body of research. Like people, dogs also experience joint pain, anxiety, seizures, and depression.

Of course, we’ll be the first to admit that research on CBD oil for dogs is still in its infancy.1 We don’t have a whole lot of studies to go by, especially when there is still much we don’t know about CBD effects on people. Most of the studies involving dogs currently available are in regards to its toxic effects (more on this later). However, a few studies do show promise and warrant further clinical trials.

What the Studies Show

In humans, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). We also have CB1 and CB2 receptor sites throughout the body. The CBD binds with these receptor sites, in turn activating the ECS and unlocking the various benefits that range from pain reduction to anxiety relief.

We recommend visiting our introductory post on CBD to learn more about CBD’s influence on the CB receptor sites and greater ECS.

Studies2 show that dogs have a very similar ECS with the same CB1 and CB2 receptor sites located in their skin, follicles, and sebaceous glands. In fact, their CB receptors outnumber those found in people.

If canines possess a near similar ECS, then one can logically deduce that they may have a similar response to the effects of CBD administration.

In fact, a recent 2018 study at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine showed that CBD improved the comfort of canines diagnosed with osteoarthritis and multi-joint pain. The results showed that 80% of dogs given CBD soft-chew tablets showed dramatic improvement in their condition.

CBD for Treating Dog Seizures

An estimated 5% of canines across all species suffer from epileptic seizures. Vets typically prescribe anticonvulsants like potassium bromide or phenobarbital. However, these prescriptions aren’t always effective and can also be toxic to a dog’s liver. CBD may reduce seizure frequency and severity. We say “may” because there is no solid independent research on CBD for seizure-prone canines.3

There is, however, plenty of research on CBD for seizures as it pertains to human adults and children. We did an entire article on it.

CBD for Treating Dog Anxiety

Dogs experience anxiety just like people do. While various anxiety disorders exist, an especially common one is separation anxiety, which an estimated 17% of dogs experience. Dogs may also face anxiety when abruptly placed in a new environment, which may include unfamiliar faces (both people and/or other animals). Older dogs are more prone to anxiety, which is a common symptom associated with cognitive dysfunction syndrome.

Regardless of the type of anxiety or the manifested symptoms, CBD shows early promise. Again, we can’t make any definitive claims as there is no research done specifically on dogs. However, there is plenty of research done on humans and lab rats that show good results with minimal side effects. (We recommend seeing our post on CBD for anxiety if you’re a human needing relief from anxiousness.)

CBD oil for dogs case study example: black and white dog looking at camera after a dose of CBDOne of our team members had an anxiety issue with one of his dogs, Minnie (see photo on left). She is positively terrified of thunderstorms, fireworks, and other startling loud noises she doesn’t understand. After just a few drops of CBD, she calmed right down. No more shaking, excessive shedding, or panting.

CBD may be a natural alternative to common anxiety medications like benzodiazepines or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These are known to induce the same side effects that they do in humans, such as upset stomach, brain fog, lethargy, and increased urination.

Do the Same Marijuana Laws Apply?

While pet owners can freely administer CBD to their dogs, veterinarians at this point in time cannot legally prescribe cannabis or any of its derivatives. This applies to ALL states, including the cannabis-friendly Colorado. Veterinarians may potentially land in legal hot water just by even recommending it offhand. State laws that permit medical marijuana use only apply to physicians, as in doctors that treat people.

At this point, there is also no CBD oil for dogs that are approved by the FDA. Under current federal statute, the Drug Enforcement Administration still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, hence the illegality for veterinarians to prescribe them.

If you are giving your dog CBD, though, you should disclose that to the vet. CBD may interfere with medication.

What About THC for Dogs?

As you may know, THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis. If you’re wondering if this cannabinoid has any benefits for your dog, it doesn’t, at least not according to the latest research. In fact, evidence indicates that THC may be hazardous.4

As we said, canines have a greater number of CB receptors. While this means they may be more responsive to the benefits, they may equally be responsive to the side effects. Much of the existing medical literature on the effects of marijuana toxicosis on dogs involve THC. One study5 documented two instances of canine death after consuming medical grade THC.

Your dog doesn’t need to get high or go into mind-altering states. It has no use whatsoever for THC. All this cannabinoid will do is overstimulate their ECS and create unwanted side effects. Stick to hemp or CBD oil for dogs, which have zero to minimal THC traces.

There are many cases of owners either purposely giving dogs THC, or the dog accidently ingesting their master’s THC-infused treat. The owners have reported their pup facing a host of negative reactions, including vomiting, drowsiness, and static ataxia (loss in equilibrium).

Recommend CBD Dosage for Dogs

Never go by the recommended CBD dose for people. Remember, canines have greater and more sensitive CB receptor sites. They will reap the same effects (and potentially side effects) from a smaller dose.

The number of CB receptor sites also differ depending on factors like breed, size, and genetics. Since you don’t know exactly how your dog will respond, the general rule is 1-5 mg of CBD for every 10-pounds of bodyweight.6 To ere on the side of caution, we recommend starting on that lower end (1-2 mg) of the spectrum.

After administration, observe your dog for 30-60 minutes for any signs of adverse reactions. If there is no change for better or worse, then up the dosage.

For treating pain, administer every eight hours. To treat any other problems, such as social anxiety or seizures, administer once to twice a day.

How to Give Your Dog CBD

Getting your dog to consume CBD is actually not difficult. Some people pour the drops in their water bowl. We don’t think this is the best idea since your dog may not drink it right away or may only drink a small amount. You want the dog to consume the dose in its entirety.

The easiest way is to pour the drops into your pup’s favorite doggy treat that you know they’ll lap up at once. Alternatively, if your dog is cooperative enough, you can gently pry its mouth open and use a tincture to squeeze the drops into their tongue.

If your dog won’t cooperate, you can try a CBD oil specifically formulated for dogs. A product like Medix CBD oil have an infused bacon flavor that your dog will surely appreciate. Other options include pre-made CBD dog biscuits or meat-flavored bite-sized chews. Reputable manufacturers only use pure CBD or hemp extract, so no need to worry about high THC content.

We must reiterate, if you use a CBD oil intended for human consumption, go by the dosage we outlined and NOT by the dosage on the bottle.

CBD Oil for Dogs: A Promising Pathway for Canine Health

Since the studies are sparse, we can’t say with absolute conviction that CBD benefits dogs the same way as humans. However, countless dog owners swear by CBD as a natural and holistic alternative to doggie pharmaceuticals. We believe it’s worth an open mind and experimentation if your four-legged friend is exhibiting signs of less-than-optimal health.

Medical References

Pot as a pet remedy? Don’t hold your breath for research. The Denver Post. https://www.denverpost.com/2014/01/10/pot-as-a-pet-remedy-dont-hold-your-breath-for-research/. Published January 10, 2014. Accessed August 29, 2018.
Campora L, Miragliotta V, Ricci E, et al. Cannabinoid receptor type 1 and 2 expression in the skin of healthy dogs and dogs with atopic dermatitis. Am J Vet Res. 2012;73(7):988-995. [PubMed]
Can Dogs Benefit From Medical Cannabis. Pet MD. https://www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/can-dogs-benefit-medical-cannabis. Published August 29, 2018. Accessed August 29, 2018.
Marijuana for pets? PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5109620/. Published August 29, 2018. Accessed August 29, 2018.
Gyles C. Marijuana for pets? Can Vet J. 2016;57(12):1215-1218. [PMC]
CBD doses for dogs or cats. All The Best Pet Care. https://www.allthebestpetcare.com/information-library/what-hemp-cbd-can-do-for-your-dog-or-cat/cbd-dose-dog-cat/. Published April 10, 2018. Accessed August 29, 2018.

CBD Oil for Anxiety: Cannabidiol’s Role in Combatting Stress

Anxiety is a serious problem, inflicting roughly one in five American adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. This has led many to seek relief in some form or another. Unfortunately, and too often, people find their relief in the form of side-effect-ridden and addiction-producing medications. According to various research, CBD oil for anxiety shows promise and should be explored as a natural remedy before resorting to prescriptions or OTC drugs.

How Does CBD Oil Alleviate Anxiety?

We know for a fact CBD has a positive effect on various ailments, many of which we have dedicated an entire post to. This includes CBD oil for pain, CBD for depression, and more. What’s exactly the role, though, of CBD oil for anxiety relief?

Numerous clinical trials – on both humans and animals – have shown CBD to have anxiolytic, or anxiety-alleviating effects. CBD appears to alter the brain chemicals the same way as common anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax and Prozac.

CBD’s effect on anxiety appears to be two-fold. First, it raises serotonin levels by preventing the brain from reabsorbing existing serotonin. It also stimulates the production of new neurons in the hippocampus.

The Scientific Explanation

Bear with us as we get a bit scientific; we’ll do our best to keep the explanation laymen-friendly.

The brain contains a subtype of serotonin receptors called 5-HT1A. When the brain reabsorbs serotonin, it decreases the total amount of serotonin in the synaptic space. This reduces the brain cells’ ability to transmit additional serotonin signals, thus creating stress, mood swings, and anxiety.

CBD behaves like serotonin reuptake inhibitors, in which it enhances 5-HT1A transmission and stops the brain from reabsorbing too much serotonin.

CBD for anxiety also takes into account the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for cognition and memory. Brain scans show people diagnosed with major anxiety disorder have a physically smaller hippocampus region. Upon successful treatment, new neuron formation occurs, enabling neurogenesis in the area. Repeated CBD use may promote neurogenesis.

What the Study Reveals

Okay, everything we described sounds promising, but do the studies actually support this?

According to a Brazilian study1, patients administered CBD reported a significant reduction in anxiety. Of course, self-reports are always questionable. However, researchers performed a subsequent brain scan, which shows higher blood flow consistent with happier moods.

In another human study2, subjects given CBD and later performed a public speaking stint exhibited less anxiety during their performance. Subjects exhibited physical bodily changes, including lower blood pressure and lower heart rate.

Here’s a 2010 study that showed CBD alleviated anxiety in subjects diagnosed with social anxiety disorder.

All the studies we listed include human subjects, not rats. Admittingly, most of the studies available are on animals instead of humans. For this reason, more research is in order if we are to fully understand the effects of CBD oil for anxiety. However, the presented studies do show promise of CBD as a possible alternative and side-effect-free treatment.

CBD for Anxiety-Prone Children

What about children showing signs of early anxiety and depression? Research in this area is still scarce, but what’s available yields promise.  In a 2016 study3, CBD use was successful in treating a child with post-traumatic stress disorder due to years of sexual abuse. CBD also enabled the child to sleep.

We must emphasize that this study only involves a single subject. We need to see more research with a larger size sample before we can definitively recommend CBD for anxiety-prone children. The study, however, may serve as a bridge for future and more well-funded research.

Can CBD Cause Anxiety?

It has come to our attention that some people expressed concern that CBD can have the opposite effect and actually induce anxiety. Everyone responds differently to CBD, so we can’t rule out the possibility.

However, we must emphasize that anxiety-inducing effects are often associated with weed smoking. When it comes to weed, you’re most definitely looking at cannabis with high psychoactive THC concentrations.

According to University of Nottingham neuroscientist Carl Stevenson, a higher ratio of CBD to THC is associated with anti-anxiety effects, while a higher THC to CBD ratio has the opposite.

With this in mind, you need not worry about CBD oils and tinctures causing anxiety. Since THC is outlawed in most states, 99% of CBD oils from licensed sellers are THC-free.

CBD Oil for Anxiety Shows Promise

Even with all the studies and the latest technological breakthroughs, the medical community is just beginning to understand the sheer complexity of the anxiety-brain association. We understand even less about CBD’s role in all of this. Nevertheless, the studies up to this point do show a lot of promise. Countless users have also left testimonies swearing by CBD’s effect for improving their moods.

Whether you feel stressed occasionally or it’s a constant thing, we recommend giving CBD oil a try before considering pharmaceuticals. Our Where to Buy page provides links to reputable and established sellers.

Medical References

Crippa J, Derenusson G, Ferrari T, et al. Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. J Psychopharmacol. 2011;25(1):121-130. [PubMed]
Bergamaschi M, Queiroz R, Chagas M, et al. Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011;36(6):1219-1226. [PMC]
Shannon S, Opila-Lehman J. Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. Perm J. 2016;20(4):108-111. [PMC]

CBD Vape Juice Vs. CBD Oil: Do You Know the Difference?

CBD comes in different extracts. The most common is CBD oil, though there are also CBD wax, CBD juice, etc. People new to the industry tend to confuse CBD oil with CBD vape juice, often using the terms interchangeably. While the two contain the same base CBD extracts, their mode of application differs. We’ll explain how one generally uses CBD oil vs. using juice.

What Is CBD Vape Juice?

We did an introductory article on CBD juice, which we highly recommend. We explain how to use the liquid, what it’s used for, its efficacy, and safety.

Some people, however, still think CBD oil and vape juice are one in the same, which they’re not. To quickly recap, CBD vape juice is intended for vaping. Though you technically and safely can do so, CBD makers did not create them for oral ingestion. You vape them using a vape pen and inhale the vapors to derive the benefits.

Some vape juices do contain nicotine, though some brands are nicotine-free. The nicotine-loaded variety is usually the better choice for smokers gradually trying to wean off of cigarettes. According to a UK study, vaping is 95% safer than cigarette smoking. Unlike cigarettes, CBD vape juice also does not produce tar, carbon monoxide, or other harmful carcinogens. Besides the CBD extract, the juice only contains natural and/or artificial flavorings and additives.

The UK study also doesn’t take into account the many benefits of CBD extract, such as pain relief and addiction management.

What About CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a product you consume orally. You may also see CBD oil supplements listed as “CBD tincture,” in which the item comes with a dropper. Use the dropper to apply the oil under your tongue and let it dissolve.

The oil serves as a carrier for the CBD extract, which is a solid in its pure, isolated form. CBD makers dissolve the extract in the oil so users can easily ingest them. CBD vape juice also contains some form of carrier, though that’s where the similarity ends.

Why Can’t You Vape CBD Oil?

Technically, you can vape CBD oil and ingest CBD vape juice. However, for best results, use the products the way the manufacturer designed them for. A reputable manufacturer will never list a product as “CBD Vape Oil” or “CBD Vape Tincture.”

The reason it’s not optimal to vape CBD oil is that it contains a different carrier than CBD vape juice. CBD oils normally contain canola, olive, or hemp oil as the carrier, which the body can more efficiently digest and absorb the nutrients. These carrier types are too viscous for a typical vape pen’s heating coil to burn.

CBD vape juice tends to contain an additional ingredient, usually a thinning agent of some sort to make the oil less thick.

You can attempt to vape CBD oil, but you’ll end up getting very little CBD and a bad taste in your mouth. You’ll also have to wash the oily gunk off the heating coil. It’s just not efficient.

Is One Better Than the Other?

Vaping tends to have a higher bioavailability (about 50% to 60%) since the fumes contain CBD extracts that enter your system without having to bypass your digestive tracts. When you vape, the mist particles quickly move into your lungs and distribute into the bloodstream in mere minutes.

The bioavailability of CBD oil for ingestion is only about 15%. However, this doesn’t mean vaping is superior in every instance.

Some people are on the fences about vaping due to the negative connotations of cigarette smoking, even though vaping and smoking are entirely different. For beginners uncomfortable experimenting with a vape pen, we suggest starting with the more novice-friendly CBD oil. Place a few drops under your tongue and let sit for about 90 seconds before swallowing.

What About DIY Ones?

It has become a trend for cannabis users to concoct their own CBD vape juice. The way they do this is by heating the oil, either in a microwave or pot of hot water. They then add some sort of liquid – usually vegetable glycerin – to thin-out the oil.

While making your own CBD vape juice is doable, we honestly don’t see what benefit you derive from it. In the end, the cost comes out roughly the same, and you spend countless hours creating what is readily available in stores. Creating your own CBD juice is ultimately an endeavor we recommend leaving to a true cannabis hobbyist. If that’s you, then have at it.

CBD Oil and CBD Vape Juice Available in Estores

For the newly initiated, we recommend starting with CBD oil or edibles before transitioning to vaping. See our Where to Buy section for an assortment of CBD and hemp products. Most sellers can ship their products to almost every state, though there are a few exceptions depending on individual state laws.

Cannabis Research: What the Most Up-to-Date Studies Reveal

If you have been following our site, then you know we back up all of our claims with independent studies. We take pride in never relying on junk science or company-funded studies. Cannabis research is ever evolving as the medical community evolves in its own testing procedures. We also realize that new studies may conflict with previous findings. This is why we wanted to introduce some recent research from 2018 or the previous year or two.

The History of Medical Cannabis Research

The earliest records of cannabis research date back to the 1840s in France. Doctor and psychiatrist Jacques-Joseph Moreau conducted his own studies on marijuana for medicinal use. He found that cannabis effectively suppressed migraines and promoted sleep.

By the 1850s, Marijuana use spread to the U.S. where it earned a spot in the United States Pharmacopeia. This was the official medical standards for all cataloged medicines.

The first recorded studies using standard testing procedures began in the 1940s. Early experiments1 included both CBD and THC extracts. This was when the medical community first determined THC to be an “excitant” during testing on mice and rabbits. Studies of the day also showed that CBD induced sleep by inhibiting certain enzymic activity.

By the 1960s and 70s, the medical community focused primarily on the psychoactive compounds of THC and less on the therapeutic properties of cannabis.

We could talk about other breakthroughs over the years, such as the discovery of the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the late 80s. This greatly expanded understanding of the central and peripheral nervous systems’ interactions with various cannabidiols.

While these studies are significant and were an important precursor for modern cannabis research, they’re also outdated. The aim of this article is to focus on the latest research using modern procedures and equipment. After all, humans by nature have a difficult time accepting findings from a long bygone era.

Modern Cannabis Research: 2017 – 2018

If you’re still skeptical about cannabis’ many healing properties, consider the following research. These are a collection of studies dating back no earlier than 2017.

The new studies may confirm or contradict previous research. Either way, the former does not override the latter due to their more recent time stamp. Rather, they provide greater feedback as we seek to understand the complex marijuana plant and its interaction with the human body.

Cannabis Fights Various Drug Addictions

In a study2 from March 2018, researchers discovered that CBD use reduced anxiety and impulsive decision making. This finding has huge implications because anxious feelings and impulsive behavior are the two major factors in drug relapse.

An earlier study3 from 2017 suggests CBD may help patients gradually wane off addictive opioids like fentanyl and carfentanyl.

Cannabis Improves Effects of Cancer Treatment

Here’s a study from April 2018 that showed that cannabis may improve cancer survival rate. The findings show that mice that underwent a combination of radiation therapy and cannabis treatment had smaller tumors than mice that had no treatment or radiation therapy only.

While earlier research has yielded similar findings, the studies included cultured cells as test subjects instead of rats or humans.

Cannabis Acts as an Anti-Depressant

About 15 million Americans are diagnosed with major depressive disorder every year, according to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. This is another area where cannabis may provide an alternative treatment to conventional medication.

In a June 2018 study, CBD use reduced behaviors associated with stress and depression. What’s even more impressive was that the effects kicked in after just a single CBD dose, which persisted for another seven days after administration.

Research shows that CBD increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which keeps depression and mood swings at bay. The study is a significant finding because roughly a third of patients do not respond to traditional forms of treatment for depression. Even when treatment is successful, it often takes weeks for the effects to kick in.

Cannabis Is a Pain Reliever

Cannabis has long been known as a natural pain reliever, especially for alleviating arthritis. There is a lot of cannabis research into the relationship between various cannabidiols and pain relief. A 2017 clinical review4 suggests cannabis may be an alternative when traditional first and second-line treatment fails.

Furthermore, another 2017 study5 also revealed that cannabis may be effective as a form of palliative care. CBD may certainly play a role in providing relief to terminally ill patients as an end-of-life treatment.

In another study6 from the same year, subjects in a self-report revealed that cannabis was just as effective for treating pain as their prescribed pain medication. 97% of subjects indicated that they agreed or strongly agreed that cannabis enabled them to reduce the dosage of their opiate medication.

See our post on CBD oil for pain to learn more about the science behind cannabis’ role in pain management.

Cannabis Research Will Continue to Evolve

All the studies we outline represent the latest in the always-evolving field of cannabis research. Even with the latest cutting-edge research, there is much we don’t know about cannabis and its numerous cannabidiol strains. There will be more research in the coming years especially as individual states push for legalization. In the meantime, the current studies and personal experience is enough for the thousands of cannabis users who swear by its effects.

Medical References

Pertwee R. Cannabinoid pharmacology: the first 66 years. Br J Pharmacol. 2006;147(Suppl 1):S163-S171. [PMC]
Gonzalez-Cuevas G, Martin-Fardon R, Kerr T, et al. Unique treatment potential of cannabidiol for the prevention of relapse to drug use: preclinical proof of principle. Neuropsychopharmacology. March 2018. [PubMed]
Lucas P. Rationale for cannabis-based interventions in the opioid overdose crisis. Harm Reduct J. 2017;14:58. [PMC]
Hill K, Palastro M, Johnson B, Ditre J. Cannabis and Pain: A Clinical Review. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):96-104. [PMC]
Häuser W, Fitzcharles M, Radbruch L, Petzke F. Cannabinoids in Pain Management and Palliative Medicine. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2017;114(38):627-634. [PubMed]
Reiman A, Welty M, Solomon P. Cannabis as a Substitute for Opioid-Based Pain Medication: Patient Self-Report. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):160-166. [PMC]

CBD Oil for Pain: Cannabidiol’s Role in Pain Management and Opiate Withdrawal

Can you really take CBD oil for pain? Is this a legitimate form of alternative medicine? More people are asking these questions as they gravitate towards natural and holistic approaches. It is not healthy, after all, to become too dependent on traditional pain relievers, such as NSAIDs like Ibuprofen or Tylenol. Let’s examine the science behind CBD and whether studies validate its effects as a pain reducer.

How Does CBD Relieve Pain?

The research on CBD is still ongoing. Most studies show that CBD directly influences the body’s endocannabinoid system. For a more in-depth explanation of the endocannabinoid system, see our introductory post on CBD.

More specifically, CBD doesn’t influence the endo system as much as it influences the compounds and substances that signal the system.

For instance, research1 suggests cannabidiol enhances the signaling ability of the fatty acid anandamide. Studies2 reveal anandamide is not only the body’s natural pain reliever but also acts as an antidepressant.

Other studies suggest CBD is useful in treating peripheral pain. The nerves that detect pain sensation contains millions of receptor sites that the CBD binds to. Research from The National Academies Press shows CBD significantly alleviates peripheral nerve pain in animal trials.

That’s not all. A recent 2017 study3 showed CBD was effective for relieving joint pain in osteoarthritis patients. Other studies4 also show it was effective for treating migraines.

CBD Is Safe

CBD oil for pain is such a viable remedy because users can take it on a long-term basis without serious side effects. Studies5 conclude that CBD has a highly favorable safety profile. Now, this isn’t to say that users will never experience any side effects whatsoever. However, any adverse reactions are normally minor and dissipate once your body adjusts.

The same cannot be said, though, of over-the-counter medicine, most notably the aforementioned NSAIDs. Medicines like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Bayer are certainly effective for pain management. That, we do not deny. However, people with arthritis or other forms of recurring pain may develop dependency over time. Long-term NSAID use is linked to a number of serious ailments. This includes gastrointestinal problems like gas, bloating, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Studies6 also link prolonged NSAID use to renal failure and peptic ulcer disease.

CBD May Treat Opiate Addiction

Opiate addiction is one of the greatest American epidemics. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the addiction claimed over 42,000 lives in 2016. That’s three times the number of lives lost from gun-related homicides. The figure considers all forms of opioids, including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription painkillers.

Why do people become addicted in the first place? It normally begins as a doctor’s prescription for pain management. While the patient may feel near-instant relief in the beginning, the body develops tolerance over time. Addiction physically changes the chemical composition of the brain. The body now demands more, requiring higher doses to reap the same relief. The addiction becomes so bad that patients may seek opiates elsewhere long after the doctor discontinues the prescription.

The medical community has long been in search of an addiction-free alternative for treating chronic pain. A new solution is becoming increasingly dire as an estimated 30% of Americans have chronic or acute pain. The pharmaceutical industry also dispensed 245 million prescriptions for opioid pain relievers in 2014.

How Does CBD Fit Into all of This?

A cross-sectional study revealed that CBD use lowered opioid dependency by 64% among chronic pain patients. Patients using medical CBD also reported overall better quality of life.

CBD relieves pain in a completely different mechanism than opiates. As mentioned, CBD affects substance interaction with the endocannabinoid system. Opiates, on the other hand, attach to receptor sites in the brain and spinal cord. This causes the body to release large quantities of dopamine in response. This hormone attributes to the pain relief. However, opiates cause a release surge far higher than the body normally produces on its own. Over time, the body perceives that high dopamine level as the new normal. Any deviation below that and the body goes into withdrawal mode.

Currently, Methadone is the most common form of treatment for opiate withdrawal. Funny enough, methadone itself is an opioid, and users also run the risk of becoming dependent.

CBD, on the other hand, has a very low abuse potential according to the previously mentioned studies. Patients can also use CBD in the comfort and privacy of their home. With methadone, though, patients have to report daily to the clinic to receive their treatment.

CBD Oil for Pain Is a Legitimate Holistic Pathway

We’ll be the first to admit that research on CBD oil for pain is still largely in its infancy. The available research, though, is quite promising, which is why we’re advocates of CBD legalization. Not only may it bring pain relief, but it may also alleviate the opiate addiction that is plaguing this country and tearing families apart.

Please see our section on where to buy CBD oil for a list of reputable suppliers.


Medical References

Leweke F, Piomelli D, Pahlisch F, et al. Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Transl Psychiatry. 2012;2(3):e94-. [PMC]
Gobbi G, Bambico F, Mangieri R, et al. Antidepressant-like activity and modulation of brain monoaminergic transmission by blockade of anandamide hydrolysis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005;102(51):18620-18625. [PMC]
Philpott H, OʼBrien M, McDougall J. Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain. 2017;158(12):2442-2451. [PubMed]
Rhyne D, Anderson S, Gedde M, Borgelt L. Effects of Medical Marijuana on Migraine Headache Frequency in an Adult Population. Pharmacotherapy. 2016;36(5):505-510. [PubMed]
Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):139-154. [PMC]
Marcum Z, Hanlon J. Recognizing the Risks of Chronic Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Use in Older Adults. Ann Longterm Care. 2010;18(9):24-27. [PMC]

THC: Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis’ Psychoactive Compound

People new to cannabis assume that its use in any form makes you high. This is such a gross oversimplification. For beginners, it’s important that they understand the many compounds that make up the cannabis plant. You cannot truly understand marijuana without learning about THC. This is especially true for recreational users.

What Is THC?

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a type of cannabinoid. It’s in most strains of cannabis plants albeit in varying degrees. There are an estimated 85 to 100 cannabinoids in a typical marijuana. Each has its own beneficial and medicinal properties as they interact with the brain’s receptors. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of the more well-known forms of cannabinoids. Most medical users use a strain high in CBD. Visit our previous post for information on medical cannabis and CBD.

THC, on the other hand, is the cannabinoid with the psychoactive effect. If you’re a user and got high while vaping, smoking, or ingesting marijuana, then the strain was high in THC.

Researchers classify THC and other cannabinoids as secondary metabolites. This means they are chemical byproducts that don’t aid in the plant’s growth. Scientists believe, though, that the cannabinoids may act as a sort of immune system for fending off parasites and predators.

Back in the 1960s, an Israeli chemist discovered a way to isolate THC and other cannabinoids from cannabis. This marked the beginning of cannabinoid research. Once researchers identified THC as the psychoactive compound, you can bet it received the lion’s share of attention.

How THC Works

When smoked or ingested, THC binds with receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The THC activates the receptors in the ECS, brain, and nervous system. This is what produces the euphoric high.

Here’s the deal; THC has a similar effect as anandamide. The latter is a compound the body produces naturally during intense bouts of aerobic exercise. Anandamide is responsible for the runner’s high you feel after a good jog. What this means is that anandamide is essentially the body’s natural THC. You can probably infer, then, that THC from cannabis produces a similar effect.

The exact mechanisms are far more complex, but for the laymen, the above explanation is the gist of it.

What to Expect When Using THC

Multiple factors affect your response to THC. This includes the oil or dab’s concentration levels, the strain type, and your own sensitivity. Some people report feeling an extraordinary sense of peace and calm. Others feel euphoric but with a slight tinge of anxiety.

If you choose to use THC, then please start slow with a small dose. Whatever sensations you feel will last anywhere from minutes to hours. Regular users have also reported the following:

  • A giggly feeling
  • A skewed perception of time
  • Bodily relaxation and an unusual ease of physical movement
  • Increased mental alertness or the opposite, feeling drowsy
  • Heightened awareness or amplification of the five senses

The cannabis oil, dab, or wax may also contain other cannabinoids, including CBD. This means you may experience other positive side effects, such as pain and stress relief. THC, though, has medicinal qualities of its own. One study1 showed that THC may have anti-inflammatory qualities. This has huge implications as inflammation is linked to a number of diseases. This includes ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and arthritis just to list a few.

Where Can I Find Cannabis with THC?

If you want to experience getting high, then we have bad news. THC is actually banned under federal law. Lawmakers have categorized THC as a controlled substance, and cannabis products cannot have THC levels above 0.3%. There are, however, medical exceptions, though these exceptions differ state to state.

The legal status of marijuana is unnecessarily complex thanks to inept and uninformed politicians. We have discussed cannabis laws at the federal and state level in previous posts. See our article on cannabis legality where we go over the laws regarding THC and CBD.

In any case, don’t expect to find CBD oil with sufficient THC concentrations in any site. Cannabis products primarily contain hemp extract. Hemp is derived from a cannabis strain with high CBD and very little THC.

While you may not get high from a CBD supplement, we still recommend you give CBD a try. Many users report positive effects, ranging from anxiety relief to pain management. We must mention, though, that even CBD is not completely legal. Currently, CBD for medical use is only legal in 28 states. Again, we recommend seeing our previous post on CBD legality to learn more about this complex issue.

Regardless of state of residence, we advise you to be cautious if you do find a store carrying THC oil. Be absolutely certain the store is a registered dispensary. You should also be wary if the store does not ask to see a prescription.

We don’t recommend you get THC products on the black market either. You have no idea about the exact THC concentrations or the presence of dangerous chemicals or solvents. If you know a friend of a friend who sells the stuff in a dark alleyway, we advise keeping away.

Our Final Word

Our advice here is not to get too curious about THC. We totally understand that the thought of getting high sounds like an awesome way to unwind. However, the legal issues really throw a wrench into the subject matter. If you really want to experiment, then we suggest sticking with CBD. See our Where to Buy page for links to certified and reputable suppliers that follow the law to the letter.

Medical References

Nagarkatti P, Pandey R, Rieder S, Hegde V, Nagarkatti M. Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future Med Chem. 2009;1(7):1333-1349. [PMC]

Where to Find the Best CBD Oil for Sale

Perhaps you have done your research on CBD and realize that it’s actually beneficial. Maybe you looked at some of the prior posts on this site and learned a thing or two about its medicinal qualities. You’re sold on the research and want to experiment for yourself. Where do you start? Where can you find CBD oil for sale? After all, it’s not exactly available at your local Walgreens.

We will talk about where the best CBD oils could be found. You’ll know exactly how to distinguish the reputable sites from the black markets.

Quality Assurance

Obviously, you should only buy CBD from sites that sell high-quality CBD oil. By high-quality, this means high purity levels without useless fillers and preservatives. Pure CBD extract is always the best. Of course, any company can claim its products are high-quality, though a biased claim doesn’t make it so.

When researching the top CBD oil for sale, always be sure you can verify the manufacturer’s claim of quality assurance. Does the company have a certificate of analysis (CoA)? This verifies that the company has submitted a sample of its products to a federal or state-approved lab for testing. You can contact the company to enquire whether it has a CoA if it doesn’t mention it on its site.

Even if a company does have a CoA, you still need to dig a little further. The CoA should be updated within the last year. It should also have a CoA for every product in its inventory.

Having an up-to-date CoA for every product seems excessive. However, this is a sign that the company takes its business and ethics seriously. It’s also important for user safety. Untested CBD products may contain harmful solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants.

Innovative Products

When looking for the best CBD oil for sale, you should also consider certain innovations. A basic CBD oil is fine as long as it’s pure. However, a little ingenuity never hurts. What do we mean by innovation? If buying CBD capsules, an innovation may include time-release tablets or microencapsulation.

Innovation also extends to the cultivation process. Does the company use advanced monitoring or other technology in its grow rooms? You can also look at the formula. Maybe it contains a unique blend of CBD, other cannabinoids, terpenes and other natural herbs. Be sure, though, that the company lists these items and not hide them under a proprietary blend. Often, so-called proprietary blends are just an excuse for hiding inferior ingredients.


Established cannabis sites like Leafly and High Times occasionally review CBD oils or compare manufacturers. Obviously, testimonials straight from the company’s site are not exactly trustworthy. While the positive testimonies are likely real, companies only display the very best reviews.

Always research independent sites for unbiased reviews. Even then, you still need to exercise your best judgment. Some companies may elicit five-star reviews from users in exchange for a discount or other freebie.

Likewise, you should also take crappy one or two-star reviews with a grain of salt. Users may have unrealistic expectations. When they don’t see results after the first application, they automatically scoff off the product as snake oil. Make no mistake about it, CBD has immense and scientifically documented benefits. We have discussed most of these medicinal benefits in past posts. However, you cannot expect an instant cure-all in any product.

Others may also expect to get high. When they don’t start seeing unicorns or go on an astral trip, they brush off all CBD products as overhyped. Such users are unaware that it’s THC and not CBD that has the psychoactive effect. In order to meet federal and state compliance, 99% of CBD oils contain THC levels below the legal 0.3% limit.


Sustainability practices aren’t an absolute must. However, it shows that a company is dedicated to a cultivation method that doesn’t overtax the environment. The company should have a page dedicated solely to its practices. Are the cannabis plants organically grown? Has the company pledged not to use harmful pesticides?

Cultivating marijuana is an energy-intensive practice. According to the Denver Post, indoor cultivation methods in the U.S account for 1% of the nation’s total energy consumption. 1% may not seem like a lot, but it’s more than its share for a single and relatively small industry.

Some cultivators and dispensaries are making commitments to follow new sustainability practices even if they’re not regulatory obliged to do so. At the technology level, this may include the use of energy-saving lighting and HVAC systems. It may also make use of timed watering systems.

Find the Best CBD Oil for Sale: Our Recommendations

We are very careful to only recommend products that satisfy the above criteria. Do CBD companies have to satisfy every single listed parameter? No, but they should show that they make some effort to establish themselves as a legitimate brand.

For our personal recommendations, see our Where to Buy page. Don’t take our word for it, though. Research these sites and judge for yourself whether they meet your personal smell test.

Factors to Look for in CBD Reviews: Know the Real Reviews from the Fakes

There are probably just as many CBD products on the market as there are cannabinoids in a cannabis plant. More choices aren’t necessarily better. With options galore, how do you determine legitimate products from the snake oils? A look at CBD reviews is important to filter out the oils and dabs that are inferior and potentially unsafe. The supplement market is full of crooks out to make a quick buck by peddling crap products. The cannabis industry is, unfortunately, no exception.

The Truth About the Supplement Industry

As with any supplement, always perform due diligence by doing your own research. Don’t just read the supplement company’s own published findings. Look at the science behind the product for independent research. Fortunately, with CBD products, plenty of such research is available.

We also advise treading with caution with any CBD product claiming to contain some special “proprietary blend.” That is a term to really watch out for in the supplement industry. Manufacturers use the term in their ingredients list to hide what’s really in their product. They can give the blend an official name and put it in the list instead of listing the actual compounds. It doesn’t matter if you’re purchasing CBD oil, probiotics, or joint pain relief cream. Always opt for “pure” over proprietary blends.

With that being said, we’re not suggesting CBD products should never have added ingredients. Some legitimate items may contain additional natural oils and herbs. This is absolutely fine as long as the add-ons are all-natural, and the manufacturer clearly lists them.

How Legitimate Are CBD Reviews?

Reading CBD reviews will help you determine which products are the real deal. You still, however, have to take the reviews at face value. If you’re a longtime customer of Amazon, then you know products are full of fake reviews. This isn’t a knock on Amazon, but vendors do encourage customers to post five-star reviews, usually in exchange for some sort of freebie.

Be wary of a CBD oil reviews where a product get a perfect five-star rating in 48 out of 50 or so reviews. This is especially the case when the majority of those reviews are very brief. Surely, you have seen one-sentence reviews where reviewers simply said “I liked it very much” or something to that extent and left it at that. Real reviewers who are taking their time to evaluate a product will write a few paragraphs. They’ll outline what they did and didn’t like.

A legitimate product will usually have an average rating of 3.5 to 4.5 stars. Remember that no matter how good a product is, there will always be dissatisfied users. These people either had too many expectations, or their bodies didn’t respond to the cannabinoids for one reason or another.

Parameters for CBD Oil Reviews

As a user or potential future user, what are your parameters when evaluating the best CBD reviews? Some reviewers provide a very detailed breakdown with overviews of its taste, price, ease of use, and overall effectiveness.

Here are some points that reviewers may discuss in their reviews that may be relevant:


How expensive is that tincture of CBD hemp oil? Sometimes, you truly get what you pay for with that below $10 bottle of CBD extract. On the other end of the spectrum, the most expensive brands aren’t necessarily the best either. The brand names typically have higher costs to cover the marketing and endorsement expenses. A good reviewer will measure the cost in relation to the other factors below.


Most CBD oils are tasteless, which is a good thing since that means there are no artificial flavors. If you buy CBD capsules, then taste is obviously a nonfactor. For oils, dabs, and edibles, manufacturers may add additional ingredients for flavoring. This is absolutely fine as long as the ingredients are from all-natural sources.

We have seen reviews with unfairly low scores because the reviewer didn’t like the bland taste. We believe taste should be lower on the scale of importance. Effectiveness should be a far higher parameter in a CBD oil review.

Ease of use

We recommend that beginners start with CBD oils, capsules, or topicals. CBD wax and other dabs are for vaping, which requires a vape pen and heating the dab. Beginners may not understand how this works, leading to confusion and frustration. As with taste, we have seen reviewers give low scores because they thought the product was too complex to use. We liken this to a baby learning how to walk before learning to crawl. Start with pills, oils, and tinctures if you’re a first-timer. After the “initiation” phase, you can experiment with vapes as the next step.

Immediacy of effects

Some reviewers have complained of the time it takes for the effects to kick in. Longer effect times can be problematic, especially for people taking CBD to treat pain. What’s important to realize, though, is that effect times depend on mode of administration. CBD wax for vaping, for instance, has a higher bioavailability and goes into effect more quickly than oil via oral ingestion. Some people who switch over to CBD oil after using a CBD vape may notice longer effect times. They wrongly attribute this to the quality of the product and give it a negative review as a consequence.

Length of effect

While CBD oils and capsules may take longer to go into effect, the effects do tend to last longer. The same goes for CBD topicals and edibles. This is due to the slower absorption through the intestinal tracts. CBD in pill form with time-release capsules will especially have long-lasting effects.

Overall effectiveness

Reviewers will usually give a final rating with all the above factors in consideration. They will do a final summation and say whether they would recommend the product to a friend.

Customer service

This is not really relevant to the product itself. Nevertheless, reviewers may subtract a star or two based on a negative customer service experience. If shipping took too long or an inquiry went unanswered, customers may be inclined to write a bad product review.

Do Your Research

With all its health benefits, supplementing with CBD can be life-altering. However, not any product with “CBD” slapped on the label will do the trick. Know the origin of the product and its general consensus from actual users. Read CBD oil reviews the way you would for any health supplement.

See our Where to Buy page for product recommendations. Of course, don’t take our word for it; search out the independent reviews for yourself.