2019 was a great year for the cannabis industry, especially when it comes to CBD. We have high hopes that 2020 is going to be even better.
We've started to see some progress towards guidelines about how the hemp plant is manufactured, processed, tested, and sold, but we still have a long ways to go before they are implemented and recognized.
We get it. With hundreds of new brands that have launched, it can be confusing when you're looking for where to buy CBD oil online, and what CBD products and brands come out on top.
We've took to the net, vetted the different companies, and narrowed down the best CBD brands of 2020 for you.
If you're familiar with last years list of the best CBD brands, then you'll have an idea of the sort of things to be on the lookout for when you're making a purchase from any company. If not, stick around to the end of the list for an in depth FAQ on CBD.
Hundreds of new CBD products and companies have emerged in the past year, but they haven't all made the cut.
Every company on our list has been thoroughly vetted for quality, 3rd party testing, customer service, and overall consumer feedback and reviews.
Without further ado, the best CBD brands of 2020!
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Pure Canna Organics
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Absolute Nature CBD
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CBD Education And Buyers Guide
How do we choose the companies on the list?
A lot goes into the selections that we have made. The things we take into consideration are quality, transparency, customer service, and user feedback and reviews.
The other major thing that we look at is thorough 3rd party testing. This is important to have, as the CBD industry is currently unregulated.
This means that there are really no rules when it comes to the manufacturing and labeling of CBD products. The only way to know what is in your CBD is by reading the COA, or Certificate Of Analysis.
This report shows you the total cannabinoid content, including THC, any toxins, pesticides, or heavy metals present, and also the terpene profile and content.
Reading the COA should be your first stop with any company that you choose, and all of our picks for the top CBD brands have this.
So what are the best CBD brands?
With all of the new companies that have emerged, there's obviously some confusion and even frustration when trying to pick a product. Being that there are so many out there, you may be wondering what will be the best choice for you.
There isn't really just one "best" CBD oil brand. There are lots of companies that adhere to high standards when it comes to the products they are manufacturing, and these are the ones you want to choose from.
Because we all have different medical concerns that we are using CBD for, the right choice isn't going to be the same for everyone.
You may need to try out several brands or methods of ingesting CBD before landing on something that works best for YOU personally.
What does Full Spectrum mean?
Full spectrum means that all possible parts of the plant are present in the final product, including terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. This also includes traces of THC(legally 0.3% in the US).
Broad spectrum CBD products undergo a process to remove the THC, but leave the majority of the other terpenes and cannabinoids.
CBD isolate CBD Isolate is a 99.9% pure crystalline compound containing only CBD, nothing more. It is an extremely versatile compound that can be used in many different applications. You can use CBD Isolate to DIY at home and create CBD tinctures, gummies, and topical products.
Certain parts of the plant work to boost others, and are more effective when used together. This is known as the Entourage Effect.
For the best results in most cases, full spectrum is the way to go to get the full benefits of the Entourage Effect. This is, however, not the answer for everyone for legal reasons.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
Cannabinoids work by attaching themselves to receptors located in the Endocannabinoid System. This system runs all throughout our brains and bodies, and is thought to regulate other major systems.
The two cannabinoids that have been studied the most are CBD and THC. The receptors that they bind with are called CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors are concentrated within the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors can mainly be found in the organs and cells within the immune system.
The Endocannabinoid System is thought to impact the following areas of the body:
- Immune Function
- Motor Control
CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties that have a ton of potential benefits for humans, and even some animals as well that possess an Endocannabinoid System.
What is the Entourage Effect?
Full Spectrum CBD products provide the most benefits, and this is due to what is called the Entourage Effect.
All of the compounds within hemp work together as a whole rather than as separate parts. Some parts work to boost the effects of others, while some lessen them.
For example, Limonene and CBD. Limonene is a common terpene that helps to alleviate anxiety, much like CBD. Using the two together will provide greater results than using either one separately.
CBD also helps to counter the psychoactive effects of THC, while certain terpenes serve to increase the "high".
When you start to remove different compounds, like the THC in Broad Spectrum CBD, the effects are lessened.
The many different components of cannabis all contribute to the Entourage Effect, and play a big part in how well your CBD will work, or how effective it will be.
Will CBD oil make me fail a drug test?
While the amounts of THC in Full Spectrum CBD oil are very low, there is still a risk of testing positive on a drug test.
THC builds up in your system over time, in your fat stores. Even though you may not test positive right away, you could at any point down the line.
Broad Spectrum and Isolate both have ND(non-detectable) levels of THC in them. It's much less common, but testing positive using both of these have been reported.
If you are drug tested by your employer, your safest bet is CBD Isolate, but proceed with caution.
How do I take CBD oil?
CBD comes in many different forms, not just the oil itself. Here is a breakdown of some of the ways you can take it.
Sublingual CBD oils or tinctures - This form of CBD generally comes in a bottle with a dropper attached to the lid. You place the CBD drops under your tongue and hold them there for approximately 1 minute, more if you can manage it. The CBD gets absorbed into the blood vessels and sublingual glands under the tongue.
Oral CBD Sprays - These work in the same way as the sublingual oils, but instead of a dropper it is a spray nozzle. You would spray the CBD under the tongue and let it absorb there.
CBD Capsules - These contain a set amount of CBD and are meant to be swallowed.
CBD Gummies - Gummies also contain a set amount of CBD and are meant to be chewed up and swallowed. Gummies can also be cut if you want to split up the dose.
CBD Vape Products - These are meant to be inhaled. You can buy either disposable vape pens that already contain a set amount of CBD, or vape juice that you can fill a tank with. CBD cartridges are also an option. These are typically considered disposable, but are able to be refilled several times before disposal.
CBD Flower or Bud - This is the raw flower that comes from the hemp plant, and has not been processed into CBD oil or other products. You can either smoke the CBD flower or use it in a dry herb vaporizer. Smoking or vaping CBD is considered one of the best methods of ingesting CBD, and has the highest bioavailability rate.
Transdermal CBD Patches - These contain a set amount of CBD and are placed on the skin. CBD patches have ingredients in them that allow the CBD to penetrate the skin barrier and be absorbed into the body, while other topicals do not generally cross this barrier.
CBD Topicals, Creams, Balms, Salves - These are to be used externally only on the skin.
CBD Waters or Foods, Candy, Chocolate - All of these forms of CBD are to be swallowed.
CBD Suppositories - These are meant to be used anally or vaginally only.
How much CBD should I take?
This will be different for everyone. Some people need only a little, while other may need more to feel the same effects.
The best way to approach CBD is by starting at a low dose and gradually increasing to find what works best for you.
Are CBD oil and hemp seed oil the same thing?
Hemp seed oil and CBD oil both have incredible benefits for your health, but they are two separate things - even if they do come from the same plant.
Hemp seed oil comes only from the seeds of the hemp plant. They are cold pressed and have a ton of nutritional value, but they contain no CBD at all.
This is the only part of the hemp plant that doesn't contain CBD.
CBD oil comes from every other part of hemp - stalks, stems, leaves, and flowers.
Keep this in mind when you're looking at different CBD oils online and always check the ingredients list carefully. Many people have been duped into buying straight hemp seed oil.
Will CBD oil get me high?
CBD by itself is not psychoactive. The compound in cannabis that is responsible for the "high" or "stoned" feeling is tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC.
Full spectrum CBD contains THC, but not enough to produce this effect.
Can I buy CBD oil on Amazon?
Amazon has a strict no CBD selling policy. Yet when you search CBD on Amazon, thousands of results turn up. Why is this? Sellers are misleading consumers into thinking that hemp seed oil is actually CBD oil.
Sites like Amazon, Groupon, and Ebay are not recommended to purchase CBD oil from.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are the essential oils in plants that give them their unique scent and flavor profile.
They don't just smell and taste good though, terpenes also have a wide range of health benefits.
Alpha-Pinene for example, is a bronchodilator and has anti-inflammatory properties, which can be used to ease asthma symptoms.
Beta-Caryophyllene is another terpene that can provide pain relief, and can strengthen the effects of some other pain killers like morphine.
Some terpenes tend to make you feel more alert, or focused, while others have sedative qualities that can help you relax and wind down.
Terpenes aren't just found in cannabis either. Other plants, and even some insects, produce terpenes. These help protect them from potential predators.
Does the carrier oil matter?
While you can use pretty much any carrier oil you want for CBD, some are more effective than others.
The fat content in carrier oils plays a huge part in how bio-available your product is. CBD binds to fat, and the higher the fat content in this area, the better.
The bio-availability rate is the rate at which your body utilizes and absorbs the CBD you are ingesting.
Popular carrier oils in the industry are MCT and hemp seed oil, and less common are grape seed, avocado, or sunflower seed oil.
Are CBD oils and tinctures the same thing?
The two terms are generally used to describe the sublingual drops that you place under your tongue, though there are some differences.
What is the difference between hemp and CBD?
First off, hemp is a plant. CBD is a cannabinoid found within hemp.
CBD is obtained by extracting the compound from the hemp plant in various ways. The extract then undergoes various levels of processing depending on the final product desired.
Hemp is one of two plants that are classified as cannabis, the other is marijuana. Though both can be called cannabis, they are very different.
Unlike marijuana, hemp is extremely low in THC(tetrahydrocannabinol). This is the compound that produces a high in users.
Hemp has been used for thousands of years in many countries across the globe. It is a versatile, fast growing plant that has many different uses, both medicinal and non-medicinal.
Once the CBD has been extracted from hemp, it can be processed and added to a carrier oil to make CBD oil, processed further to obtain CBD Isolate, or employed in other ways to make many other CBD products.
How is CBD extracted from hemp?
These are a few of the most common methods to extract CBD from the hemp plant.
Subcritical CO2 Extraction - a process using carbon dioxide, high pressure, and low temperatures to break down and extract the material from the hemp plant using a series of pressurized container. This method takes more time, but retains the majority of useful substances within the plant.
Supercritical CO2 Extraction - This involves high heat and high pressure along with the carbon dioxide. While using this method allows for larger molecule extraction, meaning the lipids, waxes, and chlorophyll are able to be extracted, the higher heat can damage the terpenes and other cannabinoids within, rendering them largely useless.
Ethanol/Solvent Based Extraction - This method is less expensive and considered superior by many for the high quality extract that is obtained. Decarboxylated hemp is soaked in ethanol for a certain amount of time. Once finished, the material is then filtered out and the ethanol is allowed to evaporate.
Each method has its own pros and cons, and has an impact on the final product.
CO2 is popular, but more expensive, and is somewhat selective in terms of the cannabinoids and terpenes it can extract without damaging them.
Ethanol extraction doesn't cost as much, but very efficiently extracts chlorophyll, which can leave an unsavory bitter, grassy taste. Further processing to remove the chlorophyll is possible, but may result in a less potent product.