Best CBD Oil – Top 4 Picks for 2022
Have you noticed the growing health trend of CBD oil and wonder what it’s all about? Are you battling insomnia and considering CBD oil to help you sleep? What is this oil, where does it come from, is it legal, and is it safe?
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a plant-based substance that has been used for a variety of medical conditions.
The popularity of cannabis has been growing substantially over the last few years, and many claim it is a panacea for everything from anxiety to pain, and even sleep.
In this article, we’ll review the 4 highest-rated CBD oils and all the essential info you need to know.
4 Top-Rated CBD Oils For Sleep, Anxiety, Pain, and Insomnia
New Age – Two Pack
- Natural and Organic Hemp oil
- GMO free
- THC free
- Easy to use
This clinically validated hemp oil contains 1000 mg of maximum strength extract that is grown and made in the USA. This two-pack by New Age is organic, GMO-free, 100% vegan, gluten-free, and THC-free. With zero synthetic or artificial ingredients, you should feel reassured that you are getting a real product that delivers the results you need.
This extract was scientifically designed to be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, triggering a positive inflammatory and stress response. Psychologically, this oil should positively regulate mood patterns, reduce depression and anxiety, and regulate better sleep. Users may notice better joint health, increased mobility, flexibility, and less pain.
The positive effects on the neurological system should reduce age-related cognitive decline, supporting alertness, focus, and memory recall. Many people may also experience fewer headaches and migraines. Hemp oil has been used medically in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, chronic pain, and mental health issues.
For a 100% pure product that is free from all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, this hemp oil by New Age is a premium grade for repair, relief, and recovery. This company tests every batch for safety and efficacy, to ensure purity that meets and exceeds industry standards.
Hemp West – Strongest CBD Oil
- Extra strong formula
- Made in the USA
Hemp West is our pick for strongest CBD oil, as it features 5 million milligrams of premium hemp extract in a 30-milliliter bottle. This American-made product is designed to help reduce any pain in your hips and joints and soothe strained muscles. It’s also made to alleviate anxiety and stress, both of which could come between you and a restful night’s sleep.
While it’s formulated to be more potent, it should still be safe to use, as it’s made with 100-percent certified natural, organic ingredients. Additionally, this oil is both GMO and gluten-free, and it’s vegan.
Aside from promoting a better night’s sleep, Hemp West also comes with fatty acids like omegas 3, 6, 9, and vitamins C and E, which are known for their health and beauty benefits. This product also features a refreshing peppermint flavor for your convenience.
ECO finest – Best for Anxiety
- 100% Organic
- Rich in Omegas 3, 6, and 9
- FDA Approved
ECO finest offers consumers looking to curb symptoms of anxiety an excellent market option with their 5000mg CBD oil. The oil is packed in a 1-fluid ounce bottle with 30 servings available per container.
While this product is our choice for ‘Best for Anxiety’, the oil should help in other ways too. According to the manufacturer, this product can relieve stress, balance hormones, reduce inflammation and pain, improve sleep, and regenerate skin and hair. They also claim it can stimulate brain function, improve your memory and attention, and help you concentrate.
ECO finest’s oil is rich in Omegas 3, 6, and 9. These fatty acids are known to have multiple benefits which include weight loss, good heart and brain health, and more.
You should also feel safe knowing this a tested product that has been officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Nature’s Beneficials – Best Full-Spectrum
- No THC
- No peanuts
- Non-GMO and free of pesticides
- Recommended usage: once daily
Nature’s Beneficials is our top choice for full-spectrum CBD oil. This product is free of any THC, which is the ingredient in a Cannabis plant that enables the ‘high’ feeling. However, it still offers the therapeutic benefits of CBD.
Each 60-milliliter bottle contains 2,000 milligrams of hemp extract, along with a natural peppermint flavor. The company designs their product using multiple parts of the hemp plant in order to retain healthy nutrients.
Nature’s Beneficials contains no peanuts or gluten for those who may have these allergies, and the oil has been certified Kosher. In addition, this organic product contains no GMOs, pesticides and is vegan.
This item is described to have many different healing capabilities that target joint pain, inflammation, anxiety, menstrual cramps, and strained muscles. Further, Nature’s Beneficials says it can improve weight loss, hair and skin, immunity, energy, and more.
CBD Oil Buyer’s Guide
Since ancient times, the cannabis plant has been cultivated for industrial and medicinal uses, thanks to over 80 chemicals known as cannabinoids. The two main species are Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most abundant cannabinoid and is commonly known for its psychoactive properties, whereas cannabidiol (CBD) is non-psychoactive and the second most abundant.
There are different strains of the cannabis plant that produce varying levels of CBD and THC.
Marijuana plants are typically grown for recreational use and contain higher concentrations of THC than CBD. Hemp plants are used for a variety of purposes and contain higher levels of CBD that is extracted to make oil.
To be considered legal in the United States, hemp oil must contain less than 0.3% THC.
CBD oil can have many positive effects on the body, but like all other natural health products, it is important to speak with your physician before starting any new supplements.
Federal and state laws have strict mandates on CBD derived from marijuana, and this form of cannabis may not be legal in all states. For this reason, all the products included on our list are THC-free.
Understanding What It Is and Oil Forms
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a phytocannabinoid found in cannabis plants, including marijuana and hemp. Phytochemicals are biologically active compounds found in plants that help to protect them from pathogens and predators. Recent research has found that these plant-based compounds can also have positive effects on humans.
Ancient Roman and Chinese civilizations have used the cannabis plant for treating several ailments including malaria, gout, and constipation. Before the 1970s, US physicians commonly prescribed Cannabis Sativa for a variety of illnesses until the federal government classified marijuana as a Schedule I illegal substance with no medical value. California became the first state to legalize its medical use in 1996, and many other states soon followed.
There are three main forms of cannabinoids: (1) synthetic cannabinoids that form the basis of pharmaceutical cannabinoid-related products; (2) endocannabinoids that are produced by the human body; and (3) phytocannabinoids, a class of hundreds of compounds that are found in the Cannabis sativa plant, including the two most popular ones, THC and cannabidiol.
The CBD oil sold in the United States is either full-spectrum oil or crystalline isolate. Full-spectrum oil contains a variety of cannabinoids, including THC. Crystalline isolate forms contain primarily cannabidiol, so this form should not cause any psychoactive effects.
CBD oil can be used to treat many health conditions and has become a popular sleep aid because it has been shown in research to reduce anxiety, induce feelings of tranquility, and improve insomnia and other sleep disorders. This oil comes in a variety of forms, including tinctures, capsules, topical creams, sprays, and vapors.
- Tinctures: Tinctures generally contain a stronger concentration of CBD with hemp extract in a carrier oil, often hemp oil. To use, a few drops are placed under the tongue.
- Capsules: Capsule and pill forms feature extract in an easy-to-swallow format that alleviates the unpleasant taste many people dislike. The amount of cannabidiol in capsules is usually less, and absorption is slower since it has to go through the digestive system and be processed in the liver.
- Topicals: Topical creams and lotions can be applied directly to the skin, and are the preferred form for joint and muscle pain, as well as skin conditions.
- Sprays: Oral sprays are lower in concentration than other forms, and can be directly sprayed into the mouth. While sprays can be convenient, the taste may be offsetting for some.
- Vapors: Inhaled vapors are one of the fastest ways to experience effects, as the compounds are absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
How the Endocannabinoid System Works
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex biological system that is involved in a wide range of physiological and cognitive processes in the body. This system consists of protein receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids (neurotransmitters produced by the body). Two types of cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body, CB1 receptors in the brain and central nervous system and CB2 receptors in the peripheral nervous system and peripheral organs.
The ECS regulates a wide range of functions, including mood, appetite, motor activities, and sleep. Aging and various health conditions can decrease the number of endocannabinoids we produce, but restoring depleted levels with phytocannabinoids like CBD can help bring the body back into balance.
Concentration and Dosage Information
Concentration can be a little confusing when it comes to CBD oil because many products are labeled as “hemp oil” or “hemp tincture” instead of cannabidiol. Generally, the amount of cannabidiol is referred to as either CBD or “hemp seed extract” on the bottle. The amount of active ingredient is listed in milligrams (mg).
If a bottle is labeled as “hemp oil” or “Cannabis Sativa seed oil” without any mention of cannabidiol or hemp extract (listen in mg), then this is not CBD oil but is rather hemp seed oil, used as a food product and vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp seed oil contains 0% THC and only trace amounts of CBD and is generally used in cooking, beauty products, and some industrial purposes.
Cannabidiol concentration is the amount of CBD (possibly labeled as hemp seed extract) in mg in a bottle of oil (this could be hemp, MCT, or any other type of oil). Most bottles come in 15 mL or 30 mL and will contain varying amounts of cannabidiol. Some products will list the total amount in mg on the front of the bottle (1,000 mg for example) as well as the concentration of mg/mL under the nutrition facts (33 mg/mL, etc.).
While each bottle will have a recommended dose, the amount you should take depends on several factors including the type of oil, concentration, desired effects, and most importantly, your bodyweight.
Understanding CBD Oil from Hemp and THC
There are many different strains of the cannabis plant, each with varying levels of THC and CBD. Generally speaking, oil produced from marijuana (cannabis) plants may contain THC levels up to 30% (creating psychoactive effects) and CBD levels of up to 10%. Hemp-based oil must contain less than 0.3% THC to be considered legal and produces CBD levels of 20% and higher.
Hemp-based CBD oil generally falls into one of the following categories:
- Crystalline Isolate: This form contains up to 90% cannabidiol, but is harder to make because all compounds except pure, isolated CBD are removed. Isolate forms are lighter in flavor, making them suitable for cooking, and are best for those with sensitivities to other cannabinoids, such as THC, or for those who regularly undergo drug testing at their place of employment.
- Full Spectrum Oil: Full-spectrum means it contains a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. This type is often preferred because of a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect” which allows the cannabinoids to work together to become more effective. In a study done in 2005, full-spectrum CBD produced greater anti-inflammatory effects and pain reduction in mice compared to an isolated version.
Quality in the Market
Like any rising health trend, many companies are rushing CBD products to the marketplace with varying levels of quality. Unsuspecting consumers may choose the most affordable option without any understanding of marketing gimmicks, quality, or concentration. Finding a reputable product that has been sourced and extracted properly, and undergone 3rd-party testing is important to ensure purity and quality.
The way in which CBD oil is extracted from hemp plants can depict a lot about the product. Many manufacturers rely on extraction and processing techniques that involve toxic materials such as propane and butane. Safer methods use ethanol or carbon dioxide to remove unwanted materials.
While using liquid solvents (alcohol, butane, ethanol) for extraction and processing is a simple and inexpensive method, traces of impurities may remain and some solvents also remove chlorophyll which makes a greener oil with a bitter taste. Carbon dioxide extraction uses a three-chamber system under specific temperature and pressure, minimizing the risk of contaminants.
It is important to pay attention to where hemp is grown and what type of soil is used since plants could become contaminated with harmful toxins. Many manufacturers grow their crops using organic farming practices, without any herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals.
Many companies perform laboratory testing on their final product to ensure quality, consistency, and purity. These results may be mentioned on the bottle, and full reports can usually be found on their website. Third-party testing involves having an outside company perform many of these same tests to validate results and confirm accuracy.
Other factors to pay attention to include concentration, additional ingredients, and full-spectrum versus crystalline isolate form. Some companies may add sugar, artificial sweeteners, or flavoring to mask the bitter taste, so it is important to check the ingredient label to avoid any unwanted additives.
Conditions CBD Oil Brands Can Help
Cannabinoids are one of the most studied groups of compounds thanks to their many therapeutic effects in humans. Terpenes and phenolic compounds are additional bioactive components found in the cannabis plant that may work synergistically to create the entourage effect spoken of in research.
While humans have been cultivating cannabis plants for their medicinal and industrial uses for centuries, research into the endocannabinoid system has helped scientists to understand the mechanisms of why CBD elicits so many positive health effects. Cannabidiol is being used to improve symptoms from mental health disorders, insomnia, and other sleep disorders, depression, cancer, pain, and more.
Anxiety and Depression: Anxiety and depression have been linked to lower levels of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, in the brain. CBD can improve symptoms of these disorders by activating serotonin receptors in the brain, boosting mood and reducing anxiety. By minimizing anxious thoughts that often keep people awake, many also notice an improvement in sleep.
Pain: Chronic pain can be debilitating and impact all areas of life. CBD can improve pain by activation of endocannabinoid receptors in the brain, and increasing levels of adenosine in the brain that helps to reduce painful inflammation. Many studies have shown benefit for reducing pain from conditions including arthritis, MS, cancer, AIDS, and surgery.
Insomnia: Pain and anxiety often make it difficult to sleep and can lead to insomnia. By reducing pain and anxious thoughts, CBD can improve sleep in those suffering from these conditions. Cannabidiol may also extend the length of sleep at night, helping those suffering from insomnia to get more rest. Some research has also shown that using this natural supplement may improve daytime wakefulness when taken in small amounts. Instead of the stimulatory effects of caffeine, this gentle pick-me-up could improve energy in those fatigued from a poor night’s sleep.
REM Behavior Disorder: This parasomnia disorder can cause people to become physically agitated, shouting and acting out while they are still asleep. In many instances, REM behavior disorder can be associated with more serious conditions such as PTSD or Alzheimer’s disease. Research has found that CBD may hold promise as a treatment for this condition.
Cancer-Related Symptoms: According to the National Cancer Institute, cannabinoids may be beneficial in the treatment of cancer-related symptoms. Some of the potential benefits include reducing nausea and vomiting, stimulating appetite, improving pain, and inducing sleep. Some research has also found that CBD may have antitumor effects.
Schizophrenia and Other Mental Disorders: CBD oil has a pharmacological profile similar to antipsychotic drugs, and may be able to improve mental health conditions such as Schizophrenia by reducing symptoms of psychosis.
I’ve Tried Dozens of CBD Products for Sleep—These Are My Two Favorites
Have you signed up for MR Thoughtline yet? It’s Man Repeller’s new text-based service that lights up phone screens with good bits from around the internet, opportunities to chat with cool people, and digital recesses to help your mind take a break from the news in favor of a recipe, physical activity or, trust us, very useful WFH outfit ideas. Subscribe here.
I am not one of those people who finds the flaws of their significant other “charming,” so while Austin is a wonderful person, I will never forgive him for his ability to fall asleep within minutes of getting in bed. As someone who has often battled insomnia, and who pretty much always has to court sleep like an unrequited love interest, watching this happen night after night feels like the ultimate betrayal–by him (for abandoning me, of course), but also by my own body for struggling to do something that should conceivably come naturally.
I have to maintain a rigorous sleep hygiene protocol if I don’t want to stay awake into the wee hours, chewing on urgent thoughts: what I should have for dinner the next day, whether someone is mad at me, how many followup emails is too many followup emails, and oh, did I remember to order more dental floss? My protocol for falling asleep as expediently as possible involves taking a bath, cutting out screen time an hour before bed, and reading for at least 30 minutes. But sometimes life gets in the way and I can’t do all of that, or sometimes I do all of that and I still feel wide awake–hence why I keep a supply of CBD supplements in my nightstand drawer.
I first tried CBD a little over two years ago when the acronym (short for “cannabidoil”) was just starting to enter mainstream vocabulary. I found it helpful for combatting my sleep issues right off the bat, but I ultimately found it even more helpful after continuing to experiment with which specific products work best for me. I’ve sampled dozens of CBD products since then, with a wide range of results. The more I’ve tried, the pickier I’ve become, which is why I’m eager to share the two that have proven to be most effective in my experience: Gossamer Dusk, and Not Pot Vegan CBD Gummies.
I opt for one or the other depending on the situation at hand. Gossamer Dusk is what I use most frequently–whenever I sense that I’m going to have trouble falling asleep, I’ll place a dropper’s worth under my tongue for 30 seconds before brushing my teeth (the oil doesn’t taste amazing, so it’s nice to follow it with something minty fresh). The effects are gentle enough to almost be imperceptible, but I definitely notice myself falling asleep more easily after taking it, and I wake up feeling totally refreshed with zero grogginess. If you’re interested in learning more about the active ingredients in this particular CBD blend, or about what CBD is in general, Gossamer’s website has an excellent primer.
Not Pot Vegan CBD Gummies are more akin to the idiom, “bring out the big guns”–in other words, they’re what I turn to when I need a more powerful sleep induction. In addition to 10 mg of CBD, each gummy is also infused with 100 mg of L-theanine, an amino acid derived from green tea that studies have shown can help alleviate anxiety, and this combination seems to be incredibly effective when it comes to calming my mind and getting me into sleepy-time mode. I take them sparingly because I do find that I am a bit drowsier than usual when I wake up in the morning after having one, but it’s barely noticeable compared to what I’ve experienced with Ambien or NyQuil P.M.
Though neither Gossamer nor Not Pot manufacture products with THC–the psychoactive compound in marijuana that makes you feel “high”–they share a commitment to acknowledging the complicated sociopolitical dynamics of weed and pushing for criminal justice reform alongside legalization. Not Pot uses a portion of their profits to pay for someone’s bail every month, and Gossamer has dedicated free ad space in their magazine for non-profits that do work related to criminal justice reform and drug policy issues, in addition to making donations to organizations like the Women’s Prison Association. (For an informative analysis of these issues as they relate to the mainstreaming of cannabis, I highly recommend this piece by Otegha Uwagba).
After many, many years of battling sleep issues–not to mention irrational jealousy of people who don’t, I’m so grateful these CBD products exist. I’ve been especially appreciative of them over the last couple of months, as the impact of quarantine on my mental health has made things even more difficult sleep-wise. If you’re in the same boat, I’m curious what has been helpful for you. Have you tried taking CBD? If so, from what brands? Does it fill you with petty rage when you witness someone else falling asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow? Please tell me I’m not alone.
Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.