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.
At the top of our ranking is Portland-based Lazarus Naturals, which has honed a reputation for high-quality, affordable CBD. Their consciously crafted CBD is sourced from organic, Oregon-grown hemp which the company controls from seed to sale. With low prices, a robust assistance program, free shipping, and a 30-day, no questions asked return policy, you really can’t go wrong with Lazarus Naturals.

To make matters more confusing, nine states (including California, Washington, and Colorado) let residents buy cannabis-based products with or without THC. Nearly two dozen other “medical marijuana states” allow the sale of cannabis, including capsules, tinctures, and other items containing CBD or THC, at licensed dispensaries to people whose doctors have certified that they have an approved condition (the list varies by state but includes chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, autism, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis). Sixteen more states legalized CBD for certain diseases.


The effects of CBD on receptors in the immune system may help reduce overall inflammation in the body. In turn, CBD oil may offer benefits for acne management. A human study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigationfound that the oil prevented activity in sebaceous glands. These glands are responsible for producing sebum, a natural oily substance that hydrates the skin. Too much sebum, however, can lead to acne.
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.
CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing, and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would, for all intents and purposes, make CBD difficult to prohibit.
In fact, not only will CBD not make you high, it has been proven to counteract the psychoactivity of THC. This property makes CBD highly useful as a medical treatment for a wide range of conditions. In terms of the CBD products you can buy, the amount of THC present varies from none at all in a pure CBD Isolate to a minimal amount (less than 0.3%) in a Full-Spectrum CBD product.

And now, onto the thorny issue of legality. The simple answer to the question is yes — if it is extracted from hemp. The 2014 Farm Bill established guidelines for growing hemp in the U.S. legally. This so-called “industrial hemp” refers to both hemp and hemp products which come from cannabis plants with less than 0.3 percent THC and are grown by a state-licensed farmer.
Historically, hemp could legally be grown and cultivated for academic research purposes only. However, the legality of hemp growth has changed in the past year. In April 2018, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky introduced the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, a piece of legislation that proposed legalizing all hemp products at the federal level. The act was incorporated in the 2018 United States Farm Bill, which passed in both the House and Senate in December 2018. Per the farm bill, industrial hemp will be descheduled as a federally controlled substance.
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.

As mentioned above, CBDPure is a natural oil extracted through cold pressing and CO2 procedures from Cannabis sativa. Specialists have identified over 80 compounds known as cannabinoids. Their research so far showed that CBD is the predominant cannabinoid, accounting for over 40% of the cannabinoids concentration. It is also the most beneficial for human health, at least from the cannabinoids studied so far.


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.
There’s still a lot of unknown territory, but early evidence for CBD’s efficacy is more than enough to justify further large-scale clinical studies — some of which are already in the works. These studies also point to the variety of effective ways to take CBD. This is an important point to keep in mind if you find yourself shopping for CBD products and wondering if the best CBD for pain is a topical, a tincture, or a vape product.
Unlike THC, CBD will not make you high. That said, this doesn’t mean CBD is not at all psychoactive, as many assert, says Jahan Marcu, PhD, director of experimental pharmacology and behavior at the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health in New York City: “CBD does change cognition. It affects mood, which is why people take it for anxiety. And some find that it makes them more alert.”
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.
Third-Party Testing: Once a CBD oil is manufactured, CBD oil companies will often submit their products for third-party tests, which are conducted by non-company personnel to ensure the product is safe for public consumption and meets quality standards.CBD oils should always be accompanied with information about third-party tests; best practice is to avoid oils that do not supply these details.

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.
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

Our Best Value pick is CBDistillery, which offers a full spectrum CBD oil containing naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes, along with fatty acid Omega 3, B complex vitamins, and 20 essential amino acids. The oil is derived from non-GMO, U.S.-grown hemp. It also contains trace amounts of fractionated coconut oil for subtle flavoring. All product information and third-party testing results are found on the official CBDistillery product page.
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Some studies have investigated the role of CBD in preventing cancer cell growth, but research is still in its early stages. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) says that CBD may help alleviate cancer symptoms and cancer treatment side effects. However, the NCI doesn’t fully endorse any form of cannabis as a cancer treatment. The action of CBD that’s promising for cancer treatment is its ability to moderate inflammation and change how cell reproduce. CBD has the effect of reducing the ability of some types of tumor cells to reproduce.


Of course, there is a different side to the story also. It is true that the studies concluded so far have their limitations, and there is no saying what effects supplementation with CBD for more than 6 months could have. However, they suggest cannabidiol has the potential for treating some mental disorders, like anxiety and depression, seizure disorders like epilepsy, insomnia, and chronic pain.


Apply CBD oil topically if you have localized pain. Look online for CBD topical skin creams if you live where it’s legal. The container will likely only display the total amount of CBD that’s in the product, so there’s no need to measure out a specific dosage. Simply use your finger to scoop up enough of the product to cover the area of skin you want to treat and rub it in really well.[4]
Dry Mouth: As is the case with many other hemp- and marijuana-based products, CBD oil often leads to a condition known as dry mouth (or cottonmouth). This is likely due to cannabinoids altering receptors in the lower jaw that trigger salivation. In most cases, mild discomfort and stronger-than-average thirst are the only issues associated with dry mouth.
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