Best CBD Oil for Pain: Top 10 Brands & Buyer’s Guide
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For many people, daily aches and pains are just accepted as part of everyday life, but what if this doesn’t have to be your reality? While there are over-the-counter and prescription painkillers to help with sore joints or tired muscles, there are also all-natural options that are worth considering.
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, has become one of the most popular plant-based alternative treatment options for pain. But, starting a new supplement without knowing how it may impact you can be scary. For some, knowing that CBD is related to the cannabis plant can be pretty disconcerting.
While you may be apprehensive about using CBD for pain management, the fact is that there are hundreds of safe, effective CBD products on the market. Because there are so many products to do from, we’ve done all of the research for you so that you can focus on figuring out which high quality CBD product you want to try.
When selecting the best CBD oils for pain, here are some of the factors we considered
1. Look at what the experts and consumers have to say about a product. More often than not, you’ll get the best information about a product by looking at what CBD experts, researchers, and long-time consumers are saying. These are trusted, unbiased voices that can steer you in the right direction when choosing a CBD oil.
2. We analyzed more than 5,000 user reviews on brand websites along with social media, including Facebook, Instagram, and open forums like blogs and Reddit.
3. Reviewed our readers’ opinions, reading more than 8,000 email subscribers through a survey, which polled readers’ views on specific products.
4. Studied brand websites to confirm the veracity of important information. We looked at how transparent a brand is, along with farming practices, extraction methods, and other details.
5. Tested more than 15 products from some of the most recommended CBD oil brands. This allowed us to personally experience the efficacy, potency, safety, and value of these products.
Top 10 CBD Oils For Pain
When rating the top ten products, there are several factors that we considered to ensure that each product is effective, safe, and offered a worthwhile value.
Factors that Helped Choose the Best CBD Oil Brands
Hemp can be grown in almost any climate, which means that companies can technically source hemp from anywhere around the globe. But, a quality CBD oil will only be made with CBD sourced from plants that are grown in the U.S. or EU. These places have regulated farming practices, which means the plants are grown with high levels of quality control. These hemp plants are typically grown without pesticides and herbicides, and are GMO-free.
There are three different types of CBD extracts that can be used in an oil-based product. The first is CBD isolate, which contains pure CBD. The second type of broad spectrum CBD, which contains other compounds such as cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and other plant-based material. What broad spectrum CBD doesn’t contain is THC.
But, in the third type of extract, which is full spectrum CBD, there is a trace amount of THC. All legal CBD oil products must contain less than 0.3% by weight. So while THC is present, it won’t make you feel high or overly euphoric. It’s just enough to encourage the entourage effect, which enhances the effects that CBD has on the body.
The more potent the CBD is, the more efficient and effective it will be. Most CBD oils denote in milligrams how much CBD a dosage contains. What’s nice about CBD oil is that users can adjust the dosage as needed, just by simply taking more or less drops.
While a higher potency CBD will give you a bigger boost, low to mid potency oils offer more flexibility in adjusting dosage as needed. Low to mid potency oils are best for new users, as taking too much CBD can cause unintended side effects.
A product that’s available in many different sizes also offers another effective way to adjust the dosage as needed. You’ll find that many brands offer a variety of sizes, including 15mL, 30mL, and even 60mL options.
Flavor and aroma all play a part in the overall experience of taking CBD oil. The more enjoyable tasting a product is, the better experience you’re likely to have. It’s also much easier to take something consistently if you like the taste.
In the CBD oil world, you may have to dabble in some trial and error to figure out what you prefer. Strong flavors can cause headaches, but mildly flavored oils will still have a bitter, hempy flavor that many people simply don’t like.
The good news is that there are all sorts of flavors that brands use when making CBD oil more palatable. Whether you like fruity flavors, dessert flavors, or something in between, you’re sure to find one that you and your taste buds enjoy.
When looking at flavored CBD oils, pay close attention to how the product is flavored. Natural and organic flavorings are safer.
Ingredients are important, no matter if you’re buying a food supplement or a wellness product. The combination of ingredients used in a product influences many factors, including the quality of experience as well as the effects on the body. Ideally, you’ll want to only use CBD oils that are made with natural and organic ingredients, as they have better, safer effects on overall health. Avoid artificial chemicals as much as possible.
A brand can say and market anything they want about their product. The only way to confirm what CBD oil contains is through lab testing. Transparent brands will send their products off for testing by an independent, third party lab. These labs test for quality, safety, potency, and contents.
Being able to know exactly what a CBD oil contains invokes trust and peace of mind for consumers, especially those who are new to using CBD products.
A brand’s value is based on its customer satisfaction. The more happier customers a company has, the more reputable they are in the industry. While not everyone will be 100% satisfied with a product 100% of the time, you can often get a good idea of a company’s reputation by browning its customer reviews.
Look for products that have mostly 5-star reviews, as this means that customers were pleased with the performance, quality, and safety of the CBD oil.
There are still a lot of unknowns in regards to CBD. This is why it’s so important for companies to be open, honest, and transparent about their business practices. A brand that values transparency will welcome discussions and customer reviews.
Transparent CBD manufacturers will also provide information about farming practices, manufacturing, extraction and test results.
Customer service is the backbone of any successful, trustworthy company. Brands not only have to offer high quality products, they must also have a solid team of customer service experts who are available to answer questions and assist in any ways needed.
Shipping, Return & Refund Policies
The CBD industry is competitive, so it’s important to find a company that offers customer-focused shipping, return, and refund policies. Many brands offer rewards programs as well as discounts. This is great PR for the company and it also improves the customers’ overall experience and satisfaction.
Most people shopping for CBD oil are doing so online. This is why website experience is so important. Brands should have a website that is easy to navigate, informational, and usable on all devices and platforms.
Customers shouldn’t have to click through dozens of pages to find the information they need. A quality website should be well mapped out and offer a balance between text and imagery. The idea is to create an experience that is good enough to entice a customer to make a purchase now and again in the future.
1. Penguin CBD
Rated the #1 CBD brand by Rolling Stone, Penguin CBD sells CBD oil along with other CBD-infused products that are made with high-quality broad-spectrum CBD extract. The brand has been mentioned in other notable sources, including Merry Jane, Healthline, and Maxim.
Penguin CBD claims to be obsessed over creating high quality CBD that uses nothing but the highest quality ingredients. Their impressive lab results prove this to be absolutely true. Their dedication to providing trusted, safe, and effective products is also evident when reading customer reviews and other information on the company’s website.
All hemp plants are grown in Oregon using rich soil and safe, sensible regulations. They are also cultivated using organic practices and contain no pesticides.
So why the name Penguin CBD? Penguins waddle on and keep calm. They dive into life and live pretty simply. They find warmth among friends, work together to face challenges, and keep their cool, even under immense pressure. The owners of Penguin CBD believe that their products help people to embrace a simple, calm penguin lifestyle by restoring balance back to the mind and body.
Product & Brand Highlights
● Refined broad spectrum CBD
● Green Scientific Labs
● Infinite Chemicals Analysis
● Free 2-5 business day shipping
Return & Refund Policies
● Full refunds are available within 30 days of purchase if you are unsatisfied with the product for any reason.
● Bright and uplifting. Easy to use and navigate. Offers a ton of information, including a blog run by Penguin CBD.
2. FOCL’s CBD Drops
FOCL is a premium CBD brand based out of Los Angeles and Denver. The team at FOCL (short for Focus) is passionate about wellness and obsessed with producing plant-based products that actually work. Alongside their top-rated CBD Drops, FOCL also has premium CBD gummies and unique wellness formulas designed specifically for Focus, Sleep, Pain Relief and Immunity.
FOCL’s CBD Drops are ranked by Healthline as one of the best in the industry and get rave reviews from loyal customers for taste and quality. Beyond great taste, we were very impressed with the organic ingredients, cannabinoid profile, and extensive third party testing of FOCL’s CBD Drops. It’s obvious that FOCL doesn’t cut corners and goes above and beyond to produce the best CBD oil possible.
If pain relief is what you’re looking for, FOCL CBD Drops deliver. We recommend the 2000mg drops for best results and value. We also love their powerful Relief Cream . Check out their Relief Bundle for best value.
Product and Brand Highlights
Hemp Source: Grown in the USA using organic and sustainable practices
Extract Type: Broad spectrum CBD in 2000mg and 1000mg strengths
· True Broad Spectrum CBD (test results show a robust profile of minor cannabinoids)
· Organic MCT Oil
· Organic natural flavors
· Published on website
Shipping Policy: Free shipping for orders $65+ and for all subscriptions
Return & Refund Policy: Full refund available within 60 days of receiving order
Website Experience: Easy to navigate by intended usage with tabs for Focus, Relief, Sleep, Gummies, and Drops.
Everest is a rising star in the CBD arena and a brand we’d recommend keeping an eye on in the future. If their first forays into CBD are any indication, they’re going to be a big name in the market soon.
Everest’s full spectrum CBD oil is an easy recommendation for those looking for relief from their aches and pain. Their formula delivers a 5:1 ratio of CBD to other cannabinoids. That includes a considerable 2mg of THC with every 1mL dose.
Their extracts are derived from hemp grown within the United States. They also undergo a rigorous amount of lab testing to ensure purity and that customers receive the promised amounts of cannabinoids. The results for each new batch can be viewed on their product pages.So far Everest’s products include their signature CBD oil and CBD gummies, as well as Delta 8 oil, gummies, and vape cartridges. It’s a well-rounded lineup for any cannabis enthusiasts out there.
Product & Brand Highlights
American grown hemp
Full spectrum CBD
Organic MCT Oil (Medium Chain Triglycerides)
Full Spectrum Hemp Extract
Green Scientific Labs
Free 3-5 business day shipping
Return & Refund Policies
Full refunds are available within 30 days of purchase if you are unsatisfied with the product for any reason.
Clear, pleasingly designed, and simple to navigate. Easy to find the product pages, as well as the policy pages.
4. R+R Medicinals
R+R Medicinals is quickly becoming one of the most trusted and popular CBD brands by proving one thing – they make the CBD that works. Using supercritical CO2 extraction on their proprietary Cherry strain of USDA Certified Organic hemp, they yield an unparalleled profile of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients in their products that translate into guaranteed performance. Their 1000mg Fresh Mint Tincture is their best seller and of incredible value for a Full-Spectrum product at $46.99 – that’s under 5-cents per mg!
R+R boasts impressive levels of CBD, CBG, CBC, CBN, CBL, and more in their products so you can truly feel the entourage effect. They also publish third party certificates of analysis on their site for every batch they make. In addition to being USDA Organic Certified, they are also US Hemp Authority Certified, and they have hundreds of 5-star ratings on Google, so you can take comfort in knowing they do things with the highest standards of safety and quality in mind.
They offer an array of products ranging from cream and gummies to dog chews and soft gels – all made with their Organic hemp as the input, so you can pick exactly the product you prefer. If you’re new to CBD, R+R Medicinals is a great place to start to get high performance CBD at a price that won’t break the bank.
Product & Brand Highlights
● USDA Organic, Colorado Outdoor-Grown Hemp
● Gummies: Peach, Strawberry, Apple
● USDA Organic Hemp Extract
● Organic MCT Oil from Coconut oil (product dependent)
● Organic Natural Mint Flavoring
● Free shipping on all U.S. orders
Return & Refund Policies
● 30-Day Guarantee on all Products
● Easy to navigate, clean and professional feel. Veteran discounts, subscription discounts, and an in-house customer service team that uses a texting contact mode.
5. Leaf Remedys
Leaf Remedys CBD oils are sub zero extracted from the highest quality organically grown Colorado hemp. The advantage of this extraction method is that a high-quality hemp plant can become a full spectrum extract without any further extractions resulting in a more preserved and purer Full Spectrum oil retaining all the natural cannabinoids and terpenes. High quality full spectrum extract is a much more promising therapeutic choice than an oil extracted using other extraction methods and chemical processing which results in a full spectrum oil more known as a distillate Full Spectrum that is not as effective as a true Full Spectrum like leaf remedys full spectrum. They also offer an Broad Spectrum oil for those with THC sensitivity or are worried about the small THC content in Full Spectrum oil due to employment reasons. The THC is removed from their Broad Spectrum oils with an organic process which preserves a lot of the cannabinoids and terpenes. Leaf Remedys is a brand dedicated to the cause and proud to offer an all-American product at a very fair price. Their oils are offered at 500mg, 1000mg, and 2000mg strengths. They also offer a 1000mg CBD gel, and 50mg Full Spectrum CBD Gummies which is one of the highest on the market.
· High quality Full and broad-spectrum oils
· Free shipping Anywhere in the united states
6. BATCH CBD
BATCH is more than worthy of a top spot on our Best CBD oil for Pain list. They are one of the few vertically integrated brands in the industry, and therefore can offer highly effective products for a great price. They even boost their oils with natural anti-inflammatory terpenes for enhanced results.
All products are made in house using their signature full-spectrum CBD extract and mixed with the finest organic ingredients. Customers often review BATCH’s tinctures as some of the best CBD oils available as they are known for their attention to detail with a focus on functional products. The only goal at BATCH is to make a product that works.
Based out of Milwaukee, WI, BATCH was started by three young founders while roommates at the University of Wisconsin. With background in Chemical Engineering and Business, the trio quickly elevated BATCH to one of the most reputable CBD oil brands in the industry. They believe the secret to their success is taking pride in being “Midwest nice” and giving every customer the personal attention they deserve.
Product & Brand Highlights
● Full-Spectrum hemp extracts
Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract
Organic MCT Coconut Oil
Organic Natural Flavor Oils
Natural Terpene Blend
● Desert Valley Testing
● Free shipping on all domestic orders (3-4 business days)
Return & Refund Policies
● 30-day satisfaction guarantee. BATCH will fully refund your order if not satisfied.
● Simple and easy navigation with a beautiful aesthetic. Offers supplemental education and outlines every detail of their extraction process.
7. Colorado Botanicals
Colorado Botanicals is a CBD company with an unrivaled dedication to quality and high standards. As a result, Observer crowned the brand as the #1 CBD company to buy from in 2021. The company’s founder established the brand in 2017 after searching for CBD for a loved one with cancer and realizing how difficult it was to find a reputable product. He created Colorado Botanicals to improve scientific transparency in the industry.
The brand’s broad spectrum CBD products stand out from competitors in two distinct ways – preservation of terpenes and its proprietary extraction and purification process. When it comes to purification, most brands use high heat. This removes unwanted compounds from CBD, like waxes, chlorophyll, and fats, but it also burns off essential compounds like terpenes.
Terpenes are critical to CBD’s effectiveness. They have several health benefits, and when they’re combined with cannabinoids, those benefits (like the entourage effect) are much stronger. Colorado Botanicals uses a pharmaceutical chemical separation process, naturally retaining hemp-derived terpenes versus adding them in from other plants and diluting the CBD.
A lot of brands tout the effects of terpenes in their products, but Colorado Botanicals shows the proof. It conducts in-house lab testing with the same liquid chromatography equipment used by third-party labs and then sends every batch of its products to third-party labs for unbiased, independent testing. The brand posts that reporting on its website, showing the types of terpenes in its CBD and their quantities – an unprecedented level of transparency in the CBD industry.
Additionally, Colorado Botanicals uses organically grown hemp in its products and produces its full catalog in an ISO 9001:2015 facility that upholds the highest standards. And, the brand offers a variety of CBD oils for all needs, ranging in potency from 750mg to 3,000mg . In short, this is incredibly high-quality, responsibly made CBD for a great value.
Product & Brand Highlights
● Organically-grown Colorado Hemp
● Broad Spectrum CBD Extract
● MCT Oil (contains coconut)
● Broad-spectrum CBD extract
● Flavoring (if applicable)
● Free 3-5 day shipping over $50, $4-6 for orders under $50
● Priority and overnight options available
Returns & Refund Policy
● 60-day risk-free trial
● Prepaid shipping label provided to send products back (opened and unopened) for a full refund
Modern and user-friendly with access to a great deal of product information and third-party lab results. Intuitive, engaging, fast, and incredibly helpful in leading customers to the right product.
8. Verma Farms
Verma Farms is the gold standard of CBD. While this brand is also known for its overly delicious gummies, which are inspired by the Hawaiian islands, Verma Farms also sells award winning CBD oils. In fact, their CBD oil kit was ranked #1 by Forbes and Entrepreneur Media. With this, you can buy with confidence knowing that Verma Farms is a trusted and highlighted brand.
All Verma Farms CBD products are pure, powerful, and pesticide-free. Whether you’re looking for pain relief, better sleep, or overall rejuvenation, this company is sure to have just the product for you. The well-rounded CBD oils will boost your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can feel and be your best every day.
Verma Farms as a company is inspired by the island of Maui. According to the owners, this island felt pure and untapped, and because of that, Maui is now home to Verma Farms. The company strives to provide products that show just how pure and powerful nature really is.
The brand proudly uses organic, pesticide-free, and GMO-free cannabis plants. Verma Farms has an expansive line of CBD products, including tinctures, gummies, dried fruit, topicals, capsules, and even treats and oils for dogs.
Product & Brand Highlights
● Lemon Lime (Focus)
● CBD isolate (product dependent)
● Coconut oil (product dependent)
● Hemp oil (product dependent)
● Kosher-grade Vegetable Glycerin (product dependent)
● Free shipping on all U.S. orders
Return & Refund Policies
● Returns of unopened products are accepted within 30 days of purchase.
● Shipping costs are covered if return is due to company mistake.
● Uplifting yet soothing website. Easy to use. Use of graphics and animation creates an engaging experience.
5:1 ratio of CBD to other beneficial cannabinoids
Contains CBD + THC, CBG, CBN, CBC, CBDV, and natural terpenes
Contains 2mg THC in each
U.S. Hemp Authority™ Certified & 3rd party lab tested
Available in 750mg, 1500mg & 3000mg strengths
Citrus and Chocolate Mint
30-day Money Back Guarantee
Each and every Medterra product begins with a simple seed grown in fertile American soil. Home grown, home harvested, and made to exceed the rigorous standards of the U.S. Hemp Authority™ and the Kentucky Department of Agricultural Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, Medterra’s True Full Spectrum CBD is made using a proprietary whole plant extraction process.
Their 5:1 ratio of CBD to other beneficial cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes means that you’ll be receiving the full spectrum of benefits that the hemp plant provides.
Product & Brand Highlights
Hemp Source : American Grown
Extract Types: Full Spectrum Hemp Extract
Flavors: Citrus and Chocolate Mint
Organic Medium-Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil
Full Spectrum Hemp Extract Natural Flavors
Naturally occurring Cannabinoids: CBD, THC, CBG, CBN, CBC, CBDV, Natural Terpenes
Lab Results: Green Scientific Labs
U.S. shipping takes 2-3 business days
International shipping available
Free Shipping on subscription orders
Return & Refund Policies: 30-day money-back guarantee
10. Kiara Naturals
For those seeking a stronger solution designed specifically for Pain we highly recommend Kiara Naturals. A premium Swiss manufacturer known for its high potency and problem specific CBD remedies.
Kiara is a family-owned business that makes everything by hand, in small batches in Appenzellerland, Switzerland under strict GMP standards. Their products have been heavily adopted by Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists and Herbalists all over Europe due to their high-quality ingredients and certifications.
Their Full spectrum CBD oils ranges from 1000mg-3000mg and their Pain Tincture is formulated with full spectrum CBD and other strong plants from alternative medicine that work really well at addressing pain through multiple mechanisms.
Get 15% off using our exclusive code at checkout: discover15
Product & Brand Highlights
● Ultrasonic Full-Spectrum and pure hemp extracts
· Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract
· Organic MCT Coconut Oil
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● Free shipping on all US orders
Return & Refund Policies
● 60 day money back guarantee if it doesn’t work for you.
● Modern and really easy to use. Great educational articles and ingredients pictures and breakdowns.
Bonus: Sunday Scaries
Sunday Scaries CBD oil tincture is one of our top picks for pain management for numerous reasons. In addition to using a special broad spectrum blend of CBD oil, Sunday Scaries tincture also incorporates Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12 and coconut oil into its formulation.
Vitamin D3: According to the National Institute of Health , “recent interventional studies have shown promising effects of vitamin D supplementation on muscular pain”.
Vitamin B12: According to the National Library of Medicine , “B12 may be an additional tool to consider for pain treatment”
Coconut Oil: According to Healthline , “Human studies suggest that eating coconut oil may reduce markers of oxidative stress and inflammation.”
What’s more: Sunday Scaries has a 97% customer service rating, which is always handled in-house, by a member of their team. Plus Sunday Scaries offers an industry-best refund policy: 100% lifetime money back guarantee, so there’s no buying risk.
Still not convinced? Try Sunday Scaries cbd oil tincture , which Spy.com called the “Best Tasting CBD Oil” with Discover Magazine’s exclusive 20% off code: DSC20 .
Product & Brand Highlights
● USA grown hemp (outside Denver, CO)
Custom Formulated Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
Organic Coconut Oil
ACS Laboratory: Cannabis & Hemp Specialists
Free Shipping on Orders Over $59 & Subscriptions
Return & Refund Policies
100% Lifetime Money Back Guarantee
WillowCBD is a brand you should be aware of due to their attention to detail and high quality CBD products, including oils, gummies and creams. All of WillowCBD’s products are made using Colorado grown hemp and are totally pure and pesticide free.
By only using full-spectrum CBD their products can be used effectively for sleep, pain management, anxiety and rejuvenation. With a variety of CBD oil strengths and flavors available, WillowCBD is sure to have a variant that is right for you. Choose from 500mg, 1000mg or 2000mg strengths and natural, mint or citrus flavors. If you’re new to CBD we recommend trying out a few strengths and flavors to determine what works best for you.
Product & Brand Highlights
● Colorado grown hemp
● Full spectrum hemp oil
● 2-3 Business Day via USPS
Return & Refund Policies
● Returns of unopened products are accepted within 30 days of purchase.
Very easy to use and product pages contain a lot of information about the products, including ingredients, usage recommendations and customer reviews. WillowCBD also has an educational blog for those that are looking to learn more about hemp.
How Does CBD Help in Combating Different Kinds of Pain?
Chronic pain is a condition that impacts millions of people each year. In fact, according to a 2019 report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 20.4% of adults experienced chronic pain and 7.4 adults had chronic pain that limited life and/or work activities.
The report also found that chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain not only increased with age, but was highest among adults aged 65 and older.
With so many adults facing chronic pain, it’s no surprise that the use of over-the-counter pain medications, along with prescription pain medications, such as opioids, have increased over the last few years. In 2019, the CDC warned against the excessive prescribing of opioids in its Misapplication of the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain report.
Chronic pain can be caused by all sorts of underlying factors, including internal and external injury, infection, inflammation, and the degeneration of bones and muscles caused by daily wear and tear.
Because there are so many things that can cause pain, making it hard to pinpoint the true source, it’s only natural that people would turn to opioids for pain management. The problem is that these drugs are highly addictive and often lead to abuse and dependency.
Over the last few years, the U.S. has been plagued by an opioid epidemic. The fact is that opioids are misused, causing many to become addicted and dependent on the drugs.
Opioids are strong pain relievers. They work by making pain sensations, but they don’t solve the underlying cause of pain. This means that in order to keep pain at bay, patients must take these medications daily. Seizing use enables the pain to return.
This vicious cycle has created a major opioid crisis in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , opioid overdoses kill millions of Americans each year. Here’s what the data from 1999 to 2017 shows:
● 1999-2017: More than 700,000 overdose deaths
● 2017: 68% of drug overdose deaths were linked to opioid abuse
● Opioid-related fatalities in 2017 were six time higher than those in 1999
● Each day around 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose
Back in the 90s, opioids were nothing more than a minor addiction problem that only seemed to pop up in certain regions. However, more than 20 years later, it has turned into a serious health crisis in America.
The good news is that CBD brings some hope to such a dark situation. CBD is not only safer and more effective than opioids, it carries no dependencies and actually treats the underlying cause of pain versus masking the symptoms. This ray of hope is sure to save countless lives.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized all hemp-derivatives, making CBD and similar compounds legal at the federal level.
While many are still skeptical about the safety and efficacy of CBD oil, the use of this compound has only continued to grow. From critically ill patients to athletes, more and more people have turned to this natural alternative to safely manage their pain.
When talking about chronic pain, we aren’t just talking about sore feet from walking all day or a sore back from sleeping in a bad position. Chronic pain is debilitating and life-destroying. It can strip away one’s happiness, relationships, and hobbies.
In fact, chronic pain may be caused by or could be the symptom of a wide range of serious health conditions, including:
● Irritable bowel syndrome
● Headaches and migraines
● Neuropathic pain/nerve pain
● Lower back pain
● Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
But whatever the cause or symptom, CBD may be able to effectively manage it. The best part is that CBD has no adverse or undesirable side effects. It contains no addictive properties, and it actually helps the body to minimize stress, inflammation, and other conditions that can influence pain.
CBD doesn’t work like opioids, which makes it a safer and more dependable option for those who live with chronic pain. Here’s how these two substances are vastly different.
● CBD is NOT addictive. The World Health Organization (WHO) released a full report that analyzed CBD and found that the compound doesn’t have any addictive properties. This means that it won’t lead to dependence. People can use it for months at a time without having to worry about getting hooked.
● CBD is NOT intoxicating . Unlike THC, the cannabinoid that causes a sense of being high and even hallucinations, CBD doesn’t have any psychotropic effects. This means you won’t feel overly euphoric or out of control after taking CBD oil.
● The body does NOT develop tolerance to CBD . This means that you can take the same dosage over and over again and still get the same results. In fact, some report that they need less CBD over time in order to maintain the same effects.
● Unlike THC, CBD does NOT directly act on the nerve receptors . When ingested, CBD works by indirectly hindering certain physiological functions. This is why the compound has little to no impact on the body’s chemical balance.
Even though some CBD oils use full spectrum CBD, which does contain trace amounts of THC, the amount is small and has very little effect on the body. Remember, all legal CBD oils must contain no more than 0.3% THC by weight. This small amount of THC is just enough for users to experience the entourage effect, which just heightens the effects and experience.
There are also products that are completely THC-free. If this is something you’re interested in, choose a CBD oil that uses CBD isolate or broad spectrum CBD. This way you don’t have to worry about any potential bad side effects.
The endocannabinoid system (EDC) plays a role in pain sensation. The system, which is spread throughout most of the body, receives and translates signals from cannabinoids. These signals can either tell the body to promote or hinder certain physiological functions, including hunger, sleep, immune response, and pain.
The ECS naturally produces endocannabinoids, which helps to manage all of these sensations and many others. When ingested, CBD plays an indirect role in the system and influences these sensations.
An endocannabinoid deficiency can result in physical issues, such as sleeplessness and pain. Because certain conditions can be caused by internal or external factors, endocannabinoids work within the body to overcome these symptoms to help us adapt. But when we lack certain endocannabinoids, pain and other issues can become intolerable. In this case, CBD can provide a much needed boost of cannabinoids, but without any psychoactive effects!
How CBD Interacts With The Body
No matter if you consume or inhale CBD, it works by traveling to the side of administration, and then makes its way into the bloodstream. Once absorbed, CBD is transported to the endocannabinoid system and interacts with many cannabinoid receptors, namely CB1 and CB2. CBD also interacts with non-cannabinoid receptors, including 5-HT1A, which is a serotonin receptor.
By attaching to these receptors, CBD influences the body’s reaction in inflammation, sleeplessness, pain, and other functions.
For topical application of CBD, it’s worth noting that CBD moves through the epidermal layer to reach the inner skin, muscle, and bone cells. Topical products don’t enter the bloodstream, which can benefit those who are taking certain medications that CBD may negatively interact with.
What the Science Says: Studies on CBD & Pain
While there’s still a lot to learn about CBD, there are several clinical trials and research studies that have found that the ECS and cannabinoids may play a crucial role in difficult to treat, chronic, and acute pain management.
Here are some of the studies that are worth highlighting that show the amazing role that CBD plays in curbing pain while also minimizing its intensity.
● A 2018 animal model clinical trial , which was published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology , was able to prove that CBD is a great inhibitor of neuropathic, inflammatory, and cancer pain. In this study, pain was artificially or chemically induced in mice to stimulate the required conditions.
● A 2016 review of several randomized controlled trials, published in the Schmerz , determined that cannabinoids are a safe and well-tolerated substance for treating chronic pain. The review found that cannabinoids are effective in treating pain caused by rheumatic diseases, including back pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and others.
● A 2018 generalized study , published in Molecules , found that there is ample proof that shows that CBD will become part of future developments in pharmacological, pharmaceutical and technological sciences. The hope is that this will lead to new and better therapeutic options and administration methods for using natural and synthetically-derived cannabinoids for treating pain.
● A 2019 randomized controlled trial , titled Analgesic Effects of Pharmaceutical-Grade Cannabis in Chronic Pain Patients With Fibromyalgia, found that pharmaceutical-grade CBD, also known as medical marijuana, may be highly effective in reducing pain in the human body.
There is still a lot to learn about CBD, but thus far, dozens of studies and trials have shown that CBD oils and other CBD products may be effective in treating pain and inflammation for short and long-term relief.
In fact, CBD has become so widely used that the Mayo Clinic Proceedings has released the Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils .
How to Use CBD Oil for Pain
When extracted from the hemp plant, the end result is oil-based CBD. But, CBD oil can be infused and made available in many different forms, including tinctures, vape liquids, edible oils, capsules, powders, isolate crystals, and more. CBD oil can even be transformed and added to topical products and even delicious edibles, such as gummy candies and chocolate.
For this guide, we’ve mostly focused on CBD oils and tinctures, which are used sublingually. This administration method allows CBD to be absorbed by the glands under the tongue. So how can you best use CBD oil for pain management?
Here are some options to consider:
This method of taking CBD oil can involve using a tincture or spray that is applied under the tongue. The sublingual glands are able to absorb CBD directly into the bloodstream. After putting the oil under your tongue, you’ll need to hold it there for 6-90 seconds, and then you swallow it. Most people gulp the oil down while drinking some water. Any CBD content that remains in the swallowed liquid is absorbed by the digestive system.
Capsules and edibles are a convenient way to consume CBD oil. What’s nice about this option is that you don’t have to taste the CBD at all. Gummies and other sweet products can be infused with CBD oil for a flavorful way to manage your pain. Some people even add CBD to their daily smoothies and consume it that way.
All of these methods work by the body absorbing CBD into the bloodstream after it’s been metabolized by the digestive system. With oral administration, the bioavailability is extremely reduced, which decreases the effectiveness.
Some CBD oils that can be taken sublingually can also be vaped. While this form of CBD offers one of the highest bioavailabilities, it isn’t a safe option for everyone. Those with lung or other pulmonary issues should avoid using vaporizers.
There are all sorts of topical products, such as lotions, balms, salves, and patches that have been infused with CBD oils. These products are directly applied to the surface of the skin where there is pain or inflammation.
CBD Dosage for Pain
Now that you know the many ways you take CBD, you may be wondering what the best dosage is so that you can experience the relief you need. However, there is no one-size-fits-all dose. The effects of CBD are relative, so not everyone will have the same experience. The efficacy and efficiency of CBD used for managing pain is dependent on many factors.
Some of the variables that impact the efficiency of CBD include:
● Severity of pain
● Where the pain is felt
● Body’s ability to absorb cannabinoids
● Specific chemical balances within the EDC
When using CBD to treat severe conditions like chronic pain, it can be difficult to pinpoint the right dosage. But, with some trial and error, you will eventually find your sweet spot.
To make things even more complicated, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use or sale of CBD as a foodor drug. This makes it much harder to make dosage suggestions. So at this point, dosages are open for interpretation.
However, it is worth noting that the FDA has approved a prescription drug called Epidiolex, which contains a naturally sourced, purified form of CBD. This medication is used to treat seizures caused by rare forms of epilepsy, including Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. These conditions are typically found in young patients.
Even then, people of all age ranges, including elderly people, have experienced tons of success using CBD oil for pain management and pain relief. And while there is no set in stone therapeutic dose for CBD, most people have found relief by using doses that range from 2.85 to 50 mg/kg/day .
If you’re new to taking CBD, it’s best to practice restraint and patience. Start with a low dose and then slowly increase it until you find your sweet spot. For those who take medications or have underlying health conditions, it’s best to consult with a doctor who has experience using cannabis-derived substances as treatment.
Lastly, if you are looking to improve your health and energy you need to look at sleep as well. There are lots of way to improve your sleep . According to studies better sleep can lead to better concentration, more energy, faster metabolism and lower inflammation. All in all, good sleep will help you get the most out of the products above and set you up for long-term success on your health journey.
Looking for the best CBD you can find? Check out our awards for the best CBD Gummies , best CBD Oi l, Best CBD Oil For Dogs , and Best CBD Oil for cats .
Best guide for cbd oil
As of 2022, CBD that comes from hemp (a type of cannabis sativa plant) that produces no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight is considered legal at the federal level. State laws vary, so it’s best to confirm any rules and regulations that apply to your area with your local and state legislation.
Is CBD oil safe?
The FDA reports it’s only seen limited data regarding the safety of CBD. Anyone interested in consuming CBD in any form should first consult with their healthcare provider and be aware of potential risks associated with using CBD products, including liver injury, drug interactions and male reproductive toxicity.
Who should use CBD oil?
A growing body of research suggests CBD oil can benefit people with:
- Epilepsy syndromes
- Opioid addiction
- Neurodegenerative disorders and diseases
- Unmanageable chronic pain
- Diabetic complications
Talk to your healthcare provider to learn more about whether CBD oil could be beneficial for you.
Can CBD oil impact the results of a drug test?
Standard drug tests don’t screen for CBD because it’s not an intoxicating substance, nor is it an illegal controlled substance. However, some CBD products contain trace amounts of THC, which can affect the results of a drug test.
- Battista N, Di Tommaso M, Bari M, Maccarrone M. The endocannabinoid system: an overview. Front Behav Neurosci. 2012;6:9.
- VanDolah HJ, Bauer BA, Mauck KF. Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils. Mayo Clin Proc. 2019;94(9):1840-1851.
- Lu H-C, Mackie K. An introduction to the endogenous cannabinoid system. Biol Psychiatry. 2016;79(7):516–525.
- Cather JC, Cather JC. Cannabidiol primer for healthcare professionals. Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2020;33(3):376–379.
- FDA and Cannabis: Research and Drug Approval Process. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed 8/10/2021.
- FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed 8/10/2021.
- What is third party certification?. National Science Foundation. Accessed 8/10/2021.
- How to read a COA and why it’s so important. ACS Laboratory. Accessed 8/10/2021.
- What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed 8/10/2021.
- Can You Take CBD and Pass a Drug Test?. Consumer Reports. Accessed 8/10/2021.
Information provided on Forbes Health is for educational purposes only. Your health and wellness is unique to you, and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer individual medical advice, diagnosis or treatment plans. For personal advice, please consult with a medical professional.
Forbes Health adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers.
Alena is a professional writer, editor and manager with a lifelong passion for helping others live well. She is also a registered yoga teacher (RYT-200) and a functional medicine certified health coach. She brings more than a decade of media experience to Forbes Health, with a keen focus on building content strategy, ensuring top content quality and empowering readers to make the best health and wellness decisions for themselves.
A beginner’s guide to CBD oil
CBD oil has become wildly popular in the US and UK in recent years.
According to the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, the UK CBD market is currently worth £300m and is expected to reach £1 billion by 2025.
High street stores now sell a wide range of CBD tinctures (concentrated CBD extract suspended in a base oil) and other oral/topical products.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and is one of over 110 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids which are found in the cannabis plant.
These chemicals act on cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body as part of its endocannabinoid system, which helps balance a whole host of bodily functions like pain sensation, mood, memory and appetite.
Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids, which are the equivalent of those found in the cannabis plant. The endocannabinoid system is self regulating, but many of us need a boost – this is where CBD supplements come in.
There’s a stigma around cannabis because it contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the illegal psychoactive component that gets you high. However, isolated CBD isn’t psychoactive whatsoever, and is not considered a controlled substance in the UK.
What does CBD do?
CBD was first isolated and identified back in 1940, while THC had its discovery in the 1960s. Despite CBD’s earlier unearthing, research has mostly focussed on THC, so there’s still a lot to learn about cannabidiol.
Several clinical trials have shown CBD as an effective treatment for epilepsy – late last year, the NHS approved two CBD-containing medicines for use in treating certain types of the illness.
There’s also evidence that CBD may help ease symptoms of other medical conditions such as anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, arthritis and addiction. However, research is limited in these areas.
Under UK law, over the counter ingestible CBD products are classed as food supplements, therefore cannot make any medicinal claims. If a product claims it can cure all ills, it’s breaking the law.
This is why most CBD products are marketed as wellness supplements.
Are there any side effects?
According to Harvard Medical School, side effects of CBD can include nausea, fatigue and irritability.
It also states that ‘CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does’.
As with any supplement, speak to your doctor before taking CBD to ensure it won’t interact with any medication you’re on.
Although there are recommended maximum doses, a 2017 World Health Organisation (WHO) report states that it’s not possible to overdose on CBD. The WHO also advises that cannabidiol is not addictive in humans.
Is an oil tincture the best way to take CBD?
Oil tinctures are a popular way to take CBD.
Drops are administered under the tongue and held for around 60 seconds to allow maximum absorption.
As well as oil tintures, you can buy CBD sprays, capsules, vape cartridges, and edibles like infused gummies, chocolate and drinks.
The length of time a product takes to work varies per person. Getting to work instantly, vaping CBD is the fastest way to feel its effects, however health risks have been raised about vaping.
Edibles generally take a bit longer than tinctures to start working their magic – while oils taken sublingually can kick in after 15 minutes, anything that has to pass through the digestive tract may take from 30 minutes to two hours to get working.
I’d assumed that gummies were a gimmick, but the Pollen CBD gummies, (£35 for 30 x 10mg) have worked wonders for me.
They come in different varieties e.g. one is supposed to energise while another soothes, but I can’t personally tell the difference between them.
Each gummy tastes delicious and is infused with 10mg CBD – they’re a really convenient (albeit incredibly expensive) way of taking CBD as the dose is accurate and there’s no chance of them leaking in your bag, unlike with an oil. (However, an army of – I assume now blissed out – ants discovered my stash, so it’s worth decanting them into a jar.)
I find a gummy in the morning and evening helps with my anxiety and allows me to get on with my day.
What’s the best strength and dosage for me?
We’re all different, so there’s no one size fits all. It’s best to start at a lower dose and see what that does for you, before gradually increasing to find your optimal amount.
‘The area where there is least known about CBD is around dose, particularly for different purposes,’ explains Al Overton, Planet Organic’s UK Buying Director, who oversees CBD products the store stocks.
‘I would say typically advise with taking a 10% oil (it’s quite bewildering because you can get 5%, 10%, 15%, 40% etc) and with a lower dose and building up until you find something that works.
‘There’s no point in buying a huge expensive oil and burning through it in three days if you can get the effect you’re looking for with a lower dose.’
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The world of CBD can be confusing – I spent hours researching strength and dosage when I bought my first bottle of CBD oil.
Brands will usually tell you the amount (in mg) of CBD in the entire bottle, and the percentage. If you’re lucky, you’ll also be told how many mg is in each drop. Not all brands do this so it can be hard to compare different products.
I had no idea how strong to go so after much deliberation, I ordered a bottle of The Original Alternative 1500mg blue edition oil (£58.20 for 30ml). This equates to 5% per bottle, and 2.5mg per drop.
I started taking by four drops (10mg) every morning, but discovered I needed more.
I’m all about less is more, so I amped things up by testing out the Provacan 2400mg CBD oil (£119.99 for 10ml) which equates to a whopping 24% CBD (plus an additional 6.2% phytocannabinoid content), and 12mg per drop.
I find that one drop in the morning is enough to clear my fog of anxiety, and a drop at night sends me into a blissful slumber. However, this potent oil is definitely not one to start your CBD journey with – try it only once you’ve tested lower strength oils.
If you’ve tried various strengths of reputable CBD and find it does nothing for you, your genetics may be to blame.
A 2017 study found that some people naturally produce more endocannabinoids than your average human, so taking extra CBD may not actually affect them.
Should I buy CBD isolate or broad/full spectrum?
To add to the confusion, it’s not just about the strength of CBD in your product – it’s whether the CBD is flying solo or with other cannabinoids.
CBD isolate is the purest form of naturally occuring CBD, and broad/full spectrum oils contain a range of other cannabinoids.
Scientists first coined the term ‘the entourage effect’ in 1998, with research suggesting that cannabinoids work alongside CBD to increase its effect in the body’s endocannabinoid system.
There have been further studies both proving and disproving this theory, so the official jury is still out.
While you may need more CBD isolate to feel the desired effects, its advantage is that it won’t contain any THC whatsoever, whereas many broad spectrum products contain a trace.
When should I take CBD?
Some people find CBD relaxing while others find it stimulating, so it’s a case of trial and error.
Try taking it at different times of the day and keeping a diary of how you feel. You might also prefer taking a few smaller doses over 24 hours, rather than all in one go.
‘The therapeutic level of CBD that you take can accumulate through the day so you don’t necessarily need to take one big dose,’ explains Planet Organic’s Al.
I generally take some in the morning to help calm the anxiety I wake up with, and again in the evening to help me sleep, with a dose in the middle of the day as needed.
There is evidence to support that using CBD as part of a fitness regime can aid muscle recovery, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Metro.co.uk contributor and CBD enthusiast Miranda Larbi tested Impact for Women 1600mg CBD oil (£79.99 for 10ml), a supplement that claims its unique formulation of cannabinoids can complement your fitness regime.
‘It’s amazing; it’s really good at relaxing you. I ran a half marathon then I took it and had no DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) for the day or the next day,’ says Miranda.
‘I usually find it hard to sleep after intense exercise but it definitely feels like it helped.’
It’s worth incorporating your regular CBD oil into your exercise schedule to see if it helps, before you fork out on a sport-specific version.
Should I buy flavoured or unflavoured CBD oil?
‘I think unflavoured oils are fine for most people,’ advises Al.
‘Generally the taste of it is not the CBD itself, it’s the oil it’s suspended in. So what you’ll generally get is a taste of hemp oil.
‘The taste is not dissimilar to taking a spoonful of linseed oil as a supplement. You can get CBD oil suspended in a fractionated coconut oil which has a much more neutral flavour or you can get all sorts of flavours.’
CBD is usually suspended in either hemp, coconut or olive oil.
Miranda tested the Love Hemp lemon flavour 1200mg CBD oil spray (£59.99 for 30ml), which is suspended in organic MCT oil.
‘Despite the lemon flavour, I actually prefer oils that aren’t flavoured,’ she says.
‘However, this spray is great and perfect to carry around in my bag all day.’
I tried the Bud & Tender 1000mg CBD oil (£80 for 10ml) which is unflavoured and suspended in organic MCT oil. It’s much fresher than previous hemp oil products I’ve tried (which taste quite bitter), and at 3.3mg per drop, I find eight drops spread throughout the day lessens my anxiety.
1CBD 20% silver edition 1000mg CBD oil (£79.99 for 5ml) is unflavoured and suspended in hemp oil, yet doesn’t have the bitter taste of other hemp products I’ve used.
How do I know which brand to trust?
‘This is the question I get most often with CBD and it’s not dissimilar to taking any other supplement,’ Planet Organic buyer Al tells Metro.co.uk.
‘If you were choosing a vitamin C supplement, you can’t get it and hold it up to the light and see that it’s 500mg as claimed.
‘You need to buy from a brand or retailer that you trust. The challenge with CBD is that most of the brands are quite new so you’re not buying one from your long trusted supplement brand.’
There is a serious lack of regulations regarding CBD oil in the UK and with so many new products popping up, it’s hard to know who to trust. There’s a real chance the product you’re buying isn’t what it claims to be.
The current laws regarding CBD products in the UK state that they cannot contain more than 0.2% THC.
A trustworthy brand should be able to provide a third party lab report, though if you’re not scientifically qualified to understand it, it may seem meaningless.
There’s also the issue that some labs are better than others at picking up certain cannabinoids.
‘There aren’t that many labs in Europe that are capable of testing CBD products properly,’ Al tells Metro.co.uk.
‘However, with the products that [Planet Organic is] listing, we ask for lab test results that confirm the amount of the spectrum of the CBD components, and that it doesn’t contain THC etc.’
Michael Winniczuk, director of 1CBD agrees: ‘The lab reports are a bit of a misnomer, as it depends what lab you go to.
‘If there was one lab and everyone went to that lab, it would be an even test. The challenge you’ve got is that every lab tests for different cannabinoids (there are about 26 or 30) and most of the labs test for six. What about the others?
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‘Some CBD companies are saying there’s no trace of THC when it may just be that that lab didn’t find any because their equipment isn’t good enough.
‘For our own due diligence we use three labs which feels a bit over-egged, but we feel the need to do it.’
Last year, researchers at the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis blind-tested 30 CBD oil products readily available in the UK.
Only 11 of the products were within 10% of the advertised CBD content and 11 actually contained less than 50% of the advertised CBD.
One product – which retailed for £90 in a high street pharmacy – had 0% CBD.
Seven of the oils contained contaminants from the solvent extraction process, at a level above food safety limits (although within permitted pharmaceutical limits).
One of the products tested contained 3.8% ethanol, meaning it should legally be classed as an alcoholic drink.
Another factor to consider is where the hemp in your product was grown.
‘The US has so much more experience with growing the crop than anywhere else and the way they grow it and the way they extract it,’ 1CBD’s Michael tells Metro.co.uk.
‘They don’t use pesticides or chemicals. The hemp plant was used to clear up Chernobyl – it soaks up everything from the ground.
‘So if you’re spraying pesticides on a crop, then it’s going to soak it up and giving it to the consumers in your CBD oil, unless you extract it.’
Farmers in Italy have previously used hemp to clean up contaminated soil.
You also want to check how the CBD in your product has been extracted – CO2 extraction is considered the best method as it doesn’t leave behind harmful residue, which solvent extraction can.
However, CO2 extraction is expensive, which is why it may be shunned by smaller companies, in favour of cheaper alternatives.
There are plenty of CBD startups cropping up all over the show, but it’s worth buying from an established brand.
‘As a consumer, I wouldn’t be buying it from a market stall or a store that’s just opened in an empty unit on my high street that I’ve never seen or heard of before,’ says Al.
‘I’d choose a retailer or brand I’ve had dealings with in the past.’
While cheaper offerings on sites like Amazon may seem tempting, it’s not a good idea to buy CBD from third party sellers on there – you’ll never know if what you’re getting is legit.
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Can I travel overseas with CBD?
It’s wise to only take CBD to countries where it’s legal. Exercise caution when travelling through airports in places where CBD is illegal.
Your product may say it contains little to no THC but you could find yourself in hot water if it’s tested and found to contain the controlled substance.
Last year, a woman was arrested at Disney World, Florida for possession of CBD oil that was found to contain THC (even though it was labelled as being THC-free).
There have been several arrests at Dallas-Fort Worth airport in Texas after passengers were found to be carrying CBD products containing THC.
Research CBD regulations in destinations and connecting airports thoroughly before travel.
Until tighter regulations are put in place, it’s best to do your research before investing in a CBD product, as at best you make an expensive mistake, and at worst, you get arrested for unintentional possession of a controlled substance.