Authors: Leinwand, Kristina L. DO; Gerich, Mark E. MD; Hoffenberg, Edward J. MD; Collins, Colm B. PhD; National Institutes of Health T32 Institutional Training Grant in Pediatric Gastroenterology; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health; Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
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A natural plant extract, CBD (or cannabidiol) has made a huge stir in the health scene over the last decade. It’s not hard to find plentiful anecdotal evidence of its benefits — people are using CBD for pain relief, mood regulation, cancer prevention, even seizure reduction. But if you’re in pain, you’re probably looking for more than anecdotal evidence. We get it — and we’re here to help.

CBD works by attaching itself to specific receptors of the body’s own endocannabinoid system. The human body is known to produce cannabinoids of its own, which affect the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors are generally found in the brain, and deal with pain, mood and emotions, movement, appetite, among others. THC acts upon the CB1 receptors. Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are more commonly found throughout the immune system, affecting inflammation and thus pain. CBD is thought to act upon these receptors, by influencing the body to produce its own cannabinoids in order to rebalance itself.
CBD oil is not legal everywhere. It is banned/restricted by countries such as UAE, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia. Although CBD oil is illegal in many of the US states too, some have legalized its use for medicinal purposes. While the number would be ever-changing, as of 2016 there are 17 states in the US which have legalized the use of low THC, high CBD products for medical reasons in limited situations. These states include Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. It is advisable to consult your local health specialist before use.

Tinctures – Typically tinctures are small glass or plastic “dropper” bottles that have cannabidiol oil mixed with a preserving solution such as alcohol. Tinctures were very a very common way to ingest botanical oils prior to the industrial revolution and are experiencing a resurgence in popularity as more people are looking for natural remedies. Tinctures with droppers allow you to put a few drops in your tea, under your tongue, or to bake the oil directly into your food.
This is the second time Moon Mother Hemp Company has placed among the top five brands on our ranking. The Colorado-based company, which was founded about a year ago, sets the bar very high for quality (including USDA-certified organic hemp) without charging the moon for its products. Their tinctures taste so good, you may be sad you don’t need more.  
Success stories like Oliver’s are everywhere, but there’s not a lot of data to back up those results. That’s because CBD comes from cannabis and, like nearly all other parts of the plant, is categorized by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a Schedule 1 drug—the most restrictive classification. (Others on that list: heroin, Ecstasy, and peyote.) This classification, which cannabis advocates have tried for years to change, keeps cannabis-derived products, including CBD, from being properly studied in the U.S.
NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil tinctures are all full spectrum; it is 100% organic and never made with herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. The brand offers a full spectrum pet CBD oil tincture, as well. NuLeaf Naturals offers free shipping to all 50 states; the brand’s products are also sold in more than 1,000 retail locations across the country.
CBD derived from marijuana is a different story, and the law varies from state to state. But as long as you’re using CBD oil that contains less than 0.3 percent THC, you have nothing to be concerned about anywhere in the United States. On the other hand, if you want to take your CBD on a trip outside the country, definitely look into local laws to avoid getting into awkward situations while you’re away. 

Transparency: Fab’s website features third-party lab results for most products. They only have a lab test for one of their tinctures though (which shows results for cannabinoid potency, as well as contaminants like pesticides). Customer service pointed out that the same CBD oil is used for all their products, but since potencies do vary, we appreciate companies that show potency testing for all products.
High-potency CBD oils are most suitable for people experiencing strong, insomnia, chronic aches and pains, anxiety/depression symptoms, and other conditions that necessitate stronger effects. Our top pick for this category is the Lab Grade CBD Oil from Spruce, which comes in a 30mL bottle with a concentration of 2,400mg. Each full dropper of oil contains roughly 80mg of CBD, which can be an effective dose for those with severe discomfort or symptoms. 

High blood pressure is a globally ubiquitous issue. This study explores the connection between CBD and a reduction in blood pressure. It is particularly unique as it is noted that “there are no dedicated studies in humans to date, to our knowledge, looking at the effect of CBD on either resting cardiovascular measurement or on the responses to stress, with continuous monitoring of CV parameters.”

Customer Service: We’ve always received fast, informative responses to our queries about products and practices, but there are definitely customers out there who have not. A quick perusal of reviews shows customers who had issues with unaddressed orders. It’s hard to know exactly what the problem is in these situations, but the company’s strict return policy (seven days for unopened products only) probably doesn’t help. It should be noted that the company has a solid base of very satisfied customers as well.


Fill the dropper with the CBD oil, place the tip of the dropper under the tongue and drip in the desired amount. Let the CBD oil get adsorbed for 1-5 minutes before swallowing it. If you are having a hard time with the dosage or the number of drops when you drip it under your tongue, you can also use a spoon. Just put the desired amount of CBD oil on the spoon and try to put it under the tongue. Just lick off the remaining oil on the spoon. Due to the fine blood vessels and mucous membranes in the mouth, the CBD quickly enters the bloodstream and therefore has a good bioavailability.
Luckily, it’s possible to procure CBD oil that has no THC in it. Products made from CBD Isolate or Broad Spectrum CBD can be good options if you want to avoid THC. In fact, some of the best CBD products for pain include topical salves that can be made from isolate CBD oil. Just be sure to check out third-party lab reports to ensure you’re getting exactly what you pay for. And keep your eyes peeled for future research on CBD for pain.
Non-THC CBD oils can be highly effective, and are suitable for employees who face random or routine drug tests. Our top pick for this category is the Medterra CBD Oil Tincture, which contains 99.6% CBD and MCT oil (also known as coconut oil extract) without any traces of THC. The oil is derived from hemp plants that are free of GMOs and pesticides, as well. All third-party testing results for the oil are accessible through Medterra’s official product page.
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