I’ve been using this oil for about 9 months and love it. One dropper before bed and I sleep like a baby. I am a lucid dreamer and nothing I tried would get me through the night. At least nothing that wouldn’t make me super groggy the next day. This oil has changed my life. I’m more even-keeled and stress doesn’t get to me as it used to. If you were thinking about trying CBD for yourself, kids or dog, this is the stuff.
Manufacturers are free to sell what they consider as the best form of hemp oil CBD extract. This being the case, there are a lot of companies taking advantage of the CBD oil demand thus are making products that don’t contain enough or any CBD at all. All they care about is making profits by sourcing the cheapest CBD oils they can find on the market.
Is it full-spectrum? Full-spectrum is the use of the whole hemp plant vs. an isolate which extracts the CBD from the plant. Using marketing terms like “pure” and “all natural,” isolates are sometimes not hemp at all and synthesized in a lab. While the efficacy of full-spectrum is debated in the scientific community, anecdotes and a study in Israel favor full-spectrum. In addition to potential benefits, there’s another reason you should be buying the whole plant: contamination. Chen notes that isolates are harder to trace back to origin and can be straight-up fake. Overseas lab-made isolates are cheaper than domestic versions, making the potential for contamination high. Utah recently grappled with synthetic CBD when 52 people became sick from an isolate. While isolates can be legitimate (FDA-approved Epiliodex is an isolate), you’re going to have to spend more time researching the brand’s products and practices. Put it this way, if you could get your vitamin C from Sunny D or fresh squeezed OJ, which would you prefer?
To add to the challenges, brands in the CBD space are struggling to verify their own products. Laura White, founder of Soul Addict, started a CBD line after she found it helped her with crippling anxiety. Wanting to create a reliable product in both purity and potency, she’d test on top of the farm’s tests and kept running into the same problem: The lab results didn’t match. When White finally found a farm that had accurate tests, she’d partner with them. A few years later, Soul Addict now sources all its CBD through small, family-run farms in Colorado and White is in the process of integrating her own crops from North Carolina. The lesson she learned? Brands should be constantly testing their product to verify their farms’ reports.
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Finally, in general, we almost always recommend full spectrum tinctures over supplements made from isolates (extracts of CBD alone). Full-spectrum or whole plant tinctures take advantage of the ‘entourage effect’ that comes from combining all the naturally occurring chemicals found in the hemp plant. Isolates are great for cooking with CBD or consumers that are especially sensitive to the taste of hemp extract, but some research suggests they may be less effective for certain uses than full spectrum extracts. All but two of the brands below are made from full spectrum hemp, and the exceptions are clearly noted.
We’ve systematically sought out the most beautiful and healthy hemp cultivars for our raw ingredients used in CBD oil manufacturing, and we always test for purity and potency. Hemp, because of its innate ability to thrive easily, doesn’t require pesticides (the aromatic terpene compounds in hemp can actually act as natural pesticides), fertilizers, or herbicides in its cultivation, and requires much less water than standard commercial farming. The hemp we use is grown under the same methods and standards of organic farming.
Mimi says the effective oils are made from the marijuana plant, not hemp. Why are you rating only hemp oils? Are hemp oils the only oils that do not have any THC? The other question that arises is the difference between ml and mg in measuring the strength of these oils. They are quoted as ml, but there is the question of the “density” limit of 95mg? Very confusing.
Finally, most of the products below simply contain hemp oil extract, mixed with a neutral carrier oil like hemp seed oil or coconut oil. While hemp seed oil is packed with nutrition, CBD brands are beginning to offer supplements with added ingredients that may offer additional benefits. We’ve included the complete ingredients of every product. Be sure to avoid any known allergies and investigate the pros and cons of any additional ingredients.
I cannot personally vouch for most of the brands on Amazon currently vs. most of the merchants on our page here, but I include Amazon as a resource for the folks that are comfortable shopping via that platform. You can also find my beginners guide, The Cannabis Oil Companion on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle. *We have been having some issues with our Amazon widget not displaying below intermittently in certain browsers, trying to troubleshoot this behavior, we apologize if this is not rendering for you. There is also a text link to Amazon's hemp oil section listed below.
Watch Out For: Hemp grown in the European Union (EU) and China. Even in countries with agricultural regulations, the list of approved pesticides is far from safe. Thus you are really relying on the specific company’s ethical standards when it comes to hemp cultivation. The reason this is such a big deal with hemp when compared to other plants, is that hemp is a dynamic accumulator plant. Dynamic accumulator is a term used to describe plants that gather minerals – both good and bad – from the surrounding soil and store them in its tissues. So if you’re growing a hemp plant with petroleum-based pesticides in soil that contains heavy metals…you’re inevitably going to have a hemp plant containing both toxic pesticides and heavy metals. This is why many people have poor experiences when first trying CBD – you buy your vegetables organically, why not your hemp? The presence of these toxins is not regulated by any agency and they will end up in your CBD oil if you don’t purchase from the correct company. We like Ambary Gardens because they ensure that all of their CBD products are produced from organically and sustainably grown hemp without the use of pesticides.
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What’s more, CBD vape oils require additional equipment. In order to transform the oil into vapor, you’ll need an e-pen or vaporizer. This means an extra investment on top of the vape oil itself. I therefore recommend that, if you’re a first-time user, you try a more accessible and affordable CBD product type to make sure it’s the right supplement for you, before graduating to vape oil.
So, now we’ve covered the difference between marijuana and hemp products, along with the brief discussion on CBD vs THC. We’ve covered how to decide how much to buy. And, we’ve covered how to determine which product type is best for you. (If you’d like to read more very helpful information, please view our Frequently Asked Questions by clicking the button further down the page.) Below are a few key points about Highland Pharms to wrap up our discussion:
“Barely in its infancy, the CBD medical market is still largely unregulated; quality control is meager at best, and consumers are largely unaware what to look for when shopping …,” explains Carlos Frias of the Texas Wellness Center. Frias, who has been with the cannabis industry for more than 15 years, has seen, firsthand, the shadiness that exists in the CBD market.
All this talk about THC lands us nicely in the whole “Full Spectrum vs. Pure Isolate” debate. Once you begin shopping for CBD products, you’ll notice a lot of jargon that gets thrown around without much explanation. Now that we’ve introduced THC into the conversation, we can talk about the difference between, and relative benefits of, Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate (and the lesser-known contender: Broad Spectrum).
This is a hugely beneficial effect of CBD. Free radicals are the culprits when it comes to oxidative damage and inflammation. But CBD’s antioxidant properties can help to combat the negative effects of everyday exposure to elements that increase the production of free radicals. These elements include pervasive, but hugely unsurprising, things like: