Extraction: The method by which CBD oil is processed from hemp plants can be very telling. Some manufacturers extract and process the oil using toxic materials like propane or butane; in most cases, these oils are cheaply priced. Safer extraction and processing agents include ethanol, which cleans the hemp plant of unwanted toxins; and supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, which strips harmful materials from the plant by changing the carbon dioxide’s temperature and pressure settings.
Under federal law, cannabis (from which both CBD and marijuana are derived) is illegal everywhere, although the laws against it aren’t generally enforced in states that have legalized marijuana. Some manufacturers claim that CBD culled from legally imported industrial hemp, which has little to no THC, is fine to ship across the U.S., but many experts disagree, noting that because hemp comes from the same species as marijuana, cannabis sativa, all CBD falls under the DEA’s Schedule 1 designation. “This creative interpretation of the law runs afoul of reality,” says the Brookings Institution, a Washington, DC, think tank.
Although CBD oils aren’t regulated by the FDA, purchasing products stateside from one of the nine states where recreational and medical cannabis use is legal will likely result in a higher-quality product than buying one made with hemp-derived CBD oil imported from abroad, says Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, a nonprofit that promotes medical research into CBD.
Dr. Cohen has found that chronic conditions including autoimmune diseases and pain syndromes can be helped with a 6-mg under-the-tongue tincture (the fastest delivery system) or a 25-mg capsule taken twice a day. Dosages for topical products like lotions are especially hard to determine—there’s no clarity on how much CBD gets into the system through the skin.
We’ve linked to the best, most reputable source for each one of these products (most frequently the manufacturer’s site). While you may want to shop around (and we encourage it!), we recommend that you buy from one of our preferred sites. That way you’ll know that you’re getting an authentic product at a reasonable price, from a company that actually stands behind their product.
Chronic Pain: The body’s ECS plays a role in alleviating and managing pain, so CBD oil can work as a supplement for individuals with medical conditions that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis. CBD oil also increases levels of adenosine in the brain; adenosine is a neurotransmitter that aids cardiovascular function and eases painful inflammation.
The science behind CBD is in the relatively early stages. As a cannabinoid, we know that CBD interacts with receptors in your endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is integrated throughout your body — and this widespread, whole-body interaction creates a broad range of effects. Hence, the long list of possible benefits.   We may still be in the early stages of discovery, but there’s plenty of scientific studies and anecdotal evidence that CBD provides relief for an array of ailments. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of some potential benefits of CBD oil:

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a phyto-cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. However, it does not cause the same psychoactive effects as other naturally occurring cannabinoids (such as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC). CBD induces feelings of sleepiness and tranquility, making it suitable for insomnia and other sleep disorders; CBD can be used to alleviate symptoms of epilepsy, diabetes, and anxiety disorders, as well. Legality is an issue for some; all 50 states have laws governing the sale, possession, and use of CBD, and they vary significantly (see the table below for a full analysis).

Customer Service: It’s difficult to find contact information on Calm by Wellness’s website, and their email address is listed incorrectly in two places (we tried sending them an email but it was not delivered). We were, however, able to get a response through Facebook, and the company does offer free shipping and a generous 30-day return policy on all orders.


CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.
That leaves those touting CBD’s effectiveness pointing primarily to research in mice and petri dishes. There, CBD (sometimes combined with small amounts of THC) has shown promise for helping pain, neurological conditions like anxiety and PTSD, and the immune system—and therefore potentially arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and more.
This is why Amanda Oliver, 31, a career consultant in Charleston, SC, pops a CBD gummy bear each night before bed. “I used to lie there tossing and turning as my mind raced from work projects to whether I had set the home alarm,” Oliver says. One piece of candy with 15 milligrams (mg) of CBD is enough to shut off her brain and facilitate sleep. She also swears by the CBD oil she takes at the height of her period, which she says quells her debilitating cramps.
Separation in hemp oil products is completely natural and to be expected. Some bottles are impossible to see into (which is good — dark bottles help block light for optimal shelf life), but if you can, take note of how the oil tends to settle onto the bottom. Once you start shaking, it quickly blends. I can’t stress how important this step is. If you don’t shake it, you’ll likely end up consuming straight grapeseed and coconut oil. It’s not the tastiest experience, and won’t be very beneficial for you either.
Fab CBD offers full refunds for all products returned within 30 days of the original purchase. Inexpensive shipping rates are also available; most customers receive their delivery within seven or fewer business days. Customers can contact Fab CBD by phone or email if they have questions or concerns about their delivery. Those who join the brand’s online community qualify for product discounts, as well.
A major theme when reviewing the research on the best CBD for pain is the need for more large-scale clinical trials on CBD in isolation from other cannabinoids like THC. That’s not to say that THC is bad. It’s developed a stigma because it makes you high, which makes people think of hippies and the sixties and maybe your perennially stoned neighbor who clearly doesn’t have his stuff together. But THC also comes with a pretty respectable list of benefits. These range from antiemetic (anti-nausea) and anti-inflammatory effects to appetite stimulation.

The review evaluated how targeting the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) could impact colitis. The ECS is a biological system within mammals that is made up of three components: cannabinoid receptors (the things that receive chemical signals outside the cell), endocannabinoids (small molecules that activate cannabinoid receptors), and metabolic enzymes that break down endocannabinoids after they are used.
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.
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