Best CBD Oil: Pain Relief & Buyer’s Guide (2020)
Buying CBD oil isn’t as simple as it was a few years ago.
Ever since the United States federal government passed the 2018 Farm Bill — which removed CBD oils from its schedule I illegal drug status — the industry has exploded. There are hundreds of CBD companies in operation in the United States alone.
The problem is that most of these CBD oils aren’t worth the money.
The industry is so new there are almost no regulations in place to ensure all CBD companies are following the rules.
As a result, there are plenty of CBD oils that promise “high-potency CBD” — yet when independently tested, they’re found to contain less than half of the CBD advertised on the bottle.
This is why it’s best to order your CBD oil from a reputable manufacturer that can provide independent lab reports with every batch. These reports are done by professional analytics companies that have no monetary affiliation with the manufacturer.
We’ve done the research for you and put together this shortlist of the best CBD oils on the market today.
Best CBD Oils in 2020 Reviewed:
|Total CBD||250 mg – 2500 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Berry, Mint, Vanilla|
|Potency (mg/mL)||8.5 – 85 mg/mL|
Royal CBD is the top of our list for two reasons. The first is that after trying dozens of CBD products, we found Royal CBD to offer the best cost to potency ratio.
The second reason is that we’re not alone in thinking this — Royal CBD has been mentioned as the top-rated CBD oils by dozens of media outlets and industry experts. Just a few examples include CFAH, SF Weekly, Weed News, and We Be High.
The founder of Royal CBD was a CBD-user himself after suffering a back injury. He stated in an interview back in 2017 that he was frustrated with the consistency of the oils he was using. Every bottle was completely different. One bottle would work, but the next one was a total dud. This eventually led him to create his own CBD oil line to provide consistent, cost-effective, and potent CBD oils for the American market.
Today, Royal CBD stays true to this founding motivation. The company’s oils remain on-par with the industry average in terms of pricing — yet deliver much higher quality overall.
Royal CBD oils come in four main potencies:
1. 250 mg CBD Oil — Low-potency
2. 500 mg CBD Oil — Medium-potency
3. 1000 mg CBD Oil — High-Potency
4. 2500 mg CBD Oil — Ultra-High-Potency
All Royal CBD oils come in the same 30 mL bottles, with four flavor options to choose from. You can get the raw, unflavored version or choose from vanilla, berry, or peppermint.
- Available in a wide range of potencies (250 – 2500 mg)
- Excellent value for the money
- Made from organically-grown hemp
- Legal in all 50 states — less than 0.3% THC
- Third-party tested for quality and purity
- Not available in store (online brand only)
|Total CBD||300 mg – 1200 mg|
|Available Flavors||Unflavored, Honey|
|Potency (mg/mL)||10 – 40 mg/mL|
Gold Bee is a much smaller company than Royal CBD but has been stirring up a lot of attention lately. The company only started producing CBD oils in 2019 but has quickly grown to become one of the most popular brands in the United States.
What makes Gold Bee so popular is its exceptionally high terpene levels.
Terpenes are an important part of a full-spectrum CBD oil for two reasons:
1. They offer therapeutic benefits of their own
2. They also work to make the effects of CBD itself even stronger
Gold Bee CBD oils are particularly high in the terpenes myrcene, humulene, bisabolol, limonene, and pinene — all of which offer a variety of benefits towards fighting anxiety, reducing pain, improving sleep, and curbing inflammation.
These CBD oils are available in three potency options:
1. 300 mg CBD Oil — Low-Potency
2. 600 mg CBD Oil — Medium-Potency
3. 1200 mg CBD Oil — High-Potency
High-grade, organic full-spectrum CBD oils have a strong “hempy” flavor. This is because the terpenes contained inside give the oil a distinct flavor.
If you don’t like the natural taste of hemp, we recommend going for the honey-flavored version of Gold Bee CBD oils. The company uses its own organic bee farms to manufacture the honey used to flavor this product.
In alignment with any top-rated CBD oil on our list, all Gold Bee products are independently tested to confirm the potency of the CBD inside. Tests are also done to prove there’s no trace of harmful contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, or mycotoxins in the bottle.
- Terpene-rich CBD oils provide stronger effects than comparable products
- Available in a variety of potency and flavor options
- Made from organically-grown hemp plants
- Independently-tested for potency and purity
- High-demand means waiting lists aren’t uncommon — check back later
|Total CBD||500 mg – 1800 mg|
|Potency (mg/mL)||50 – 180 mg/mL|
CBD Pure was one of the first CBD brands in the UK to begin sending samples from each batch to third-party labs for testing. The company also focuses on sourcing top-shelf organic hemp to make these oils. All of this effort has been raising the bar for quality in the UK market — which has an especially high prevalence of unethical companies operating in the space.
Unlike the other options on this list, CBD Pure oils come in small 10 mL bottles (rather than the standard 30 mL bottles in the US).
Don’t be mistaken; these oils contain plenty of CBD and are well worth the price.
The volume inside each bottle is about 66% smaller than most CBD oils, yet the CBD content per bottle is the same or higher. This means each drop of oil is stronger than most of the other CBD oils on the market.
You only need a few drops of this stuff to get a healthy dose of full-spectrum hemp extract.
- 500 mg CBD Oil — Medium-Potency
- 1000 mg CBD Oil — High-Potency
- 1800 mg CBD Oil — Ultra-High-Potency
- High-potency CBD oils
- One of the leading CBD brands in the UK
- Small bottle size fits snugly in the front pocket or a purse
- Only available in the UK
Advanced CBD Oil Buyer’s Guide: How to Find Top-Notch CBD Oils
1. Look for Third-Party Testing
The easiest way to spot a CBD oil scam or mediocre CBD brand is to look for third-party testing.
This type of testing has become the gold-standard for the industry. It’s the only way to know that what the company claims is accurate.
A third-party test involves the chemical analysis of a CBD oil by an independent company with no affiliation with the manufacturer. The lab will check a sample of CBD oil to determine its strength, chemical makeup, and search for contaminants. If they find anything wrong, they won’t hesitate to post it on the report.
Always look for these tests when shopping for a CBD oil. If a CBD company is truly offering a high-grade CBD oil, they should have no problem posting these reports live on the website.
2. Look Past Initial Cost & Determine the Value
It’s easy to be fooled by low-cost CBD oils. It’s possible to find CBD oil for under $20 — but these products have very low value, and you’ll end up spending a lot more than you need to in the long-run.
It’s better to look at the oils’ value by measuring how much CBD you get for every dollar you spend. This is measured in “cost per milligram of CBD.”
To find this number, take the total cost of the oil, and divide it by the CBD content.
Let’s use the 1000 mg CBD oil from Royal CBD as an example.
The total cost is $130 and the total CBD is 1000 mg. So $130 / 1000 = $0.13.
You’re essentially paying thirteen cents for every milligram of CBD in the bottle — which is very good value for the money.
Compare this to a $20 bottle of CBD oil, which usually offers just 80 mg of CBD — which costs twice as much at around twenty-five cents for every milligram.
In general, premium CBD oils will cost you around $0.20 per milligram, while lower-grade oils run closer to $0.11 per milligram.
3. Choose Oils Made from Organic Hemp
Hemp is a bioaccumulator — which means it will absorb and accumulate toxic compounds from the soil and air around it. This is good when you’re using hemp to clean contaminated soils, but bad when you plan on using the hemp as a health supplement.
The most common contaminants in hemp are heavy metals like cadmium, lead, arsenic, and mercury. All of these elements can end up in your bottle of CBD oil and wreak havoc on the immune and neurological systems.
The only way to ensure these compounds don’t end up in your oil is to buy from companies that use organic hemp plants.
In order to qualify as organic, the soil and air quality need to be tested regularly for these contaminants. Additionally, organic plants produce more trichomes — a resinous structure where most of the beneficial cannabinoids are produced in hemp.
So organic hemp oils are stronger, cleaner, and much safer overall.
4. Full-Spectrum or CBD Isolate?
When shopping for CBD oils, you’ll notice some products are listed as full-spectrum, while others are made from pure 99% CBD isolate.
So what’s the difference? Which one should you choose?
In general, full-spectrum oils are better. They contain all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other hemp-derived compounds naturally produced in the hemp plant. These compounds work together to boost the effects of CBD. All our recommendations listed above use full-spectrum extracts.
CBD isolates are also common. These oils are usually cheaper than full-spectrum products, are guaranteed THC-free, and have a smoother flavor. The downside is that they’re weaker than the same dose of a full-spectrum oil.
You can boost the effects of a CBD isolate oil by adding cannabis terpenes. Order individual “terp” extracts as well as terp blends from companies like Finest Labs.
If you’ve got an upcoming drug test, CBD isolates are the better option because they have 0% THC. For everybody else, full-spectrum products offer stronger and more versatile effects. Despite having trace amounts of THC, none of these oils will make you feel high.
CBD Oil Supplement Stacks
You can boost the effects of your CBD oil for a particular condition by taking it alongside other health supplements that have a similar effect.
For example, if your goal for using CBD oil is to reduce anxiety and promote a better night’s sleep — take CBD oil with other sleep-supportive supplements such as kava kava, L-theanine, or melatonin.
For joint pain or inflammation, consider supplements like boswellia, turmeric, or glucosamine instead.
Summary: Best CBD Oils to Buy in 2020
If you’re living in the United States, we recommend going for reputable and award-winning brands like Royal CBD or Gold Bee.
Both companies offer high-potency and low-potency options and flavored versions to help mask the hemp flavor — but if you want the strongest CBD oil possible, you should go for the incredibly high-strength 2500 mg full-spectrum CBD oil from Royal CBD.