Most companies, though, do not have access to USDA organic certification, so we inquired into growing practices, such as whether farmers spray their crops with pesticides, fungicides, or chemical fertilizers. It is important that no companies using non-organic hemp made it onto our ranking. We continued to rate each product based on the type of CBD used: isolate, full-spectrum, or broad-spectrum. We know there’s a lot of debate around which form is actually best , but we gave points to CBD oils that contain a range of cannabinoids. While there are certainly good reasons for choosing an isolate, there is evidence that CBD works better in combination with other cannabinoids (this is called the “entourage effect”).
We gave a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oil higher points than an isolate-based tincture. (Just as a refresher, full-spectrum tinctures include the full range of cannabinoids, including THC. Broad-spectrum CBD oil should include a range of cannabinoids, but minus the THC, which is generally what people using isolates are trying to avoid .) Flavor. And then there’s flavor, which is subjective, of course, so we didn’t give too much weight to this category. But because there are companies working hard to make their tinctures palatable, we gave higher points to companies with tinctures that didn’t make us cringe. Even with the recent clarification of CBD’s legal status, the government still doesn’t regulate the quality or consistency of CBD products, so it’s vital that companies are forthright with their sourcing and manufacturing processes. For this category, we put a lot of weight on how companies deal with third-party lab testing.
First, we rated them on how easy it is to find those lab test results (COAs), with the highest marks going to companies that go to the trouble of displaying them (and keeping them updated) on their websites. We also gave higher points to companies whose COAs give more information than the absolute minimum. All lab tests should determine cannabinoid potencies, but we really appreciated companies that also let us see testing results for contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents. For this ranking update, we also looked at whether companies provide third-party lab tests for their products post-formulation or if they just test the source isolate or CBD extract going into their products. Nobody can test every single bottle of product, but samples of each product can be tested for cannabinoid potency. More and more companies are taking this extra step, and we wanted to make sure they got top marks for their efforts. We also gave points to companies that make it really easy to find information on extraction, sourcing, and manufacturing practices. While quality is super important, most of us have to pay attention to the price of the product as well. So to calculate the product value, we weighed its price against its quality score. For consistency, we used the price per milligram of CBD of the company’s highest potency tincture. Again, quality is important, but we’ve all had a lousy shopping experience that totally eroded the value of the product. For this portion of our research, we spent a lot of time perusing websites. We went through the entire shopping experience, from searching the website for products right through to the checkout process to catch glitches and snags. We looked for key information, good product pages, and well-organized FAQ pages. We tracked how fast or slow the website is and made note of broken links or conflicting information. Customer service can truly make or break a company . With so much competition in the CBD industry, it’s imperative that companies provide top-notch service. We took note of the number of ways to get in touch with a company, and then we sent out customer service emails asking questions about their products or processes. Top marks went to companies that responded quickly and gave helpful, informative answers (and didn’t dodge our questions). We also looked into shipping costs and return policies. These vary a lot, and it’s important to know if a company’s 30-day return policy will cover the bottle of tincture you just opened. Our updated ranking includes seven new companies: RE: Botanicals, Joy Organics, Mission Farms CBD, SabaiDee, Hoboken Hemp Co., Tikun Hemp, and Seabedee. Other companies have lowered (or raised) prices, updated their websites, added free shipping, or changed their third-party testing practices, so there was a significant amount of movement up and down the ranking. Each company’s CBD oil has a different cannabinoid profile (you should be able to see the cannabinoid profile in the COAs) so in a sense, we’re comparing apples to oranges (or maybe Honeycrisp apples to Granny Smiths). In the world of CBD, there’s no way to avoid some experimentation. If a company’s tincture just doesn’t do it for you, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re doing something wrong.
It may just mean that another company’s cannabinoid profile works better for you. The best product for you may not be the one on the top of our list. We feel confident, though, that all the companies on this ranking are creating high-quality CBD products. So if you have questions about a company’s products or processes, don’t hesitate to get in touch with customer service representatives. They are there for you (or should be), and if you feel like you’re getting the run-around, look elsewhere. We hope this ranking makes your shopping experience a bit easier, and that you find a CBD product that makes your endocannabinoid system happy! In short, Cannabidiol — or CBD — is a cannabis compound that has many therapeutic benefits . Usually extracted from the leaves and flowers of hemp plants — though marijuana can also be a source — CBD oil is then incorporated into an array of marketable products. These products vary from the most common, like sublingual oils and topical lotions, to the less common (think CBD lattes).
There’s a lot of ongoing research in response to the question of how CBD works. What we do know is that as a cannabinoid, CBD interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system.