The cannabis plant contains more than 100 active compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most common of these active ingredients. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another type of cannabinoid, CBD is non-euphoric and non-impairing, meaning it doesn’t cause a “high.”

Researchers are continuing to investigate the potential benefits of CBD. Clinical studies are examining CBD’s potential benefits for managing pain, inflammation, neurogenerative diseases, and its ability to ward off tumors.

CBD is available in numerous concentrated forms, including:

In this article, we list our 2020 CBD recommendations for topical and oral use. We break them down by category to help you decide which brand may be best for you.

CBD concentrates for vaping

We’ve chosen to exclude CBD concentrates that are intended for vaping (wax, shatter, crumble) due to the known health risks of vaping.


Each of our CBD concentrate recommendations for 2020 has undergone extensive vetting based on criteria we think is indicative of safety, quality, and transparency.

Quality control

Each product on our list:

  • is made by a company that provides proof that their products are third-party tested by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • is made with U.S.-grown hemp
  • provides a certificate of analysis (COA) showing it contains no more than 0.3 percent THC
  • is free of pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to their COA

Brand reputation

We evaluated the brand reputation and trustworthiness by:

  • analyzing customer reviews
  • checking for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letters
  • reviewing their standing with the Better Business Bureau
  • considering:
    • whether the company makes any unsupported health claims
    • whether the company has had previous lawsuits filed against them or currently has unresolved lawsuits
    • whether the company uses deceitful marketing claims or markets themselves toward children

Manufacturing processes and ingredients

Other factors that influenced our decision include:

  • company certifications and manufacturing processes
  • product potency
  • presence of additional ingredients
  • value

CBD concentrates are made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant. Many people take CBD to help them relax without the euphoric effects associated with THC.

3 types of CBD concentrate

There are three types of CBD concentrate:

  • CBD isolate: a highly concentrated form of CBD without the other active compounds in the cannabis plant
  • Full-spectrum CBD: contains all of the active compounds in cannabis, including psychoactive THC (the amount of THC should be under 0.3 percent, which is not enough to produce a high*)
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: contains all the active compounds of the cannabis plant except for THC

*It’s worth noting that hemp with less than 0.3 percent THC, when made into a tincture, gummy, or capsule, can result in as much as 2 milligrams per mL (mg/mL) THC, which may produce a euphoric feeling in some people.

According to a 2016 study, the amount of THC in edibles can vary across single products and batches of products, making it difficult for users to know exactly how much THC they’re consuming.

The entourage effect

Some people think that taking CBD and THC together may cause an entourage effect, where the benefits of CBD are heightened. There’s limited evidence to back the entourage effect, but it can’t completely be ruled out until more research is performed.

Potential benefits of CBD

Some of the potential benefits of CBD include:

Only FDA-approved form of CBD

The only FDA-approved form of CBD is a prescription drug called Epidiolex. It’s used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy. The FDA can’t guarantee the safety or effectiveness of other CBD products. However, they do take action against companies that make claims that aren’t scientifically backed.

Important to buy from reputable brands

It’s important to buy CBD products from a reputable brand, as there’s a high potential for mislabeling since they’re not FDA regulated. Reputable brands should provide testing results from a third-party lab and clearly label the amount of CBD in each serving.

CBD is generally considered safe, but it can cause general side effects such as:

  • fatigue
  • changes in appetite
  • diarrhea
  • weight changes

Consulting a healthcare professional

When taking CBD, it’s a good idea to consult a medical professional to learn how much you should use to treat your condition.

In general, it’s a good idea to start with a small dose and slowly increase the amount you take as you learn how it affects you. It’s also a good idea to start with a conservative dose when switching brands.


CBD isn’t inexpensive, but prices can vary widely. Usually, products that contain more CBD are more expensive than products with less CBD. However, this isn’t always the case and other factors can affect the price, including:

  • hemp origin
  • third-party testing
  • additional ingredients
  • the type of CBD
  • branding and markup

In general, prices range from about $0.05 to $0.20 per mL of CBD; however, you may find some products outside of this range.

Insurance companies in the United States don’t cover CBD at this time, even with a prescription. However, a little CBD goes a long way. If you’re using a small dose, you may find that it lasts for a long time.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $30
  • $$ = $30–$60
  • $$$ = over $60


Joy Organics CBD Gummies

Each one of Joy Organics’ gummies contains 10 milligrams (mg) of CBD. The gummies come in packs of 30, and you can find them in two flavors: strawberry lemonade or green apple.

They’re broad-spectrum CBD and contain a full profile of cannabinoids without THC. They’re also gluten-free and vegan friendly.


  • comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • can access lab testing results by scanning QR code on package
  • free shipping in the United States


  • only one container size
  • only 10 mg of CBD per gummy

How to use: For general health maintenance or minor issues, 5 to 50 mg per day may be appropriate.

Price: $$

Use code “healthcbd” for 15% off.

Sagely Drift & Dream Body Oil

Drift and Dream Body Oil is quick-drying and lightweight so you can apply it right before going to bed. It also contains essential oils like lavender and geranium to help relieve stress and make you feel relaxed.

It’s vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.


  • contains a blend of essential oils
  • relatively cheap
  • lightweight and quick drying


  • only 100 mg of CBD in the bottle

How to use: Apply as needed before bed.

Price: $

Lazarus Naturals CBD Massage Oil

Lazarus Naturals CBD Massage Oil contains 50 mg of CBD per tablespoon to help with pain relief. The jojoba, almond, and coconut oil in this massage oil may also help keep your skin moisturized.

Most of the hemp used in this product comes from farms in Oregon.


  • 200 mg containers are fairly cheap
  • contains organic jojoba oil
  • non-GMO
  • lab results available for each batch


How to use: Start with a small amount of CBD and gradually increase until the desired effect is achieved.

Price: $–$$$

Sunday Scaries CBD Gummies with Vitamins D3 and B12

Along with 10 mg of CBD, each gummy also contains vitamin D and vitamin B12, which are two common nutrient deficiencies. Both vitamin D and vitamin B12 are critical for proper brain function and play a role in supporting your mental health.

These gummies come in orange, cherry, pineapple, lemon, and apple flavors.


  • includes vitamin D
  • includes vitamin B12
  • relatively cheap


  • only 10 mg of CBD per gummy
  • only 20 gummies per container

How to use: Take two to three gummies when you feel agitated or on edge.

Price: $

Use code “healthline20” for 20% off.

CBDfx Gummies with Turmeric and Spirulina

Some research suggests that CBD may help people with cancer manage symptoms of the disease and side effects of treatment. CBD shouldn’t be used as a replacement for traditional cancer treatment, but it may play a supportive role.

CBDfx gummies contain turmeric and spirulina to support your overall health. Turmeric and spirulina both have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They’re also thought to have anticancerous properties, but more research is needed to fully evaluate their potential.


  • contains spirulina
  • contains turmeric
  • GMO-free and vegan


  • only 5 mg of CBD per gummy

How to use: Take two gummies per serving or as needed.

Price: $$

Use code “Healthline” for 15% off.

Moon Mother Massage Oil

Moon Mother Massage Oil contains 100 percent organic ingredients. The hemp used to make it is USDA certified and comes from farms in Boulder, Colorado. It’s also gluten-free and cruelty-free.

This massage oil also contains jojoba oil and lavender oil to help stimulate relaxation while you apply it to your sore muscles or joints.


  • contains lavender and jojoba oil
  • 100 percent organic
  • two size options


How to use: Apply liberally to tense or sore muscles and massage well.

Price: $$–$$$

Papa and Barkley Releaf Body Oil

Papa and Barkley Releaf Body Oil contains a blend of CBD, essential oils, vitamin E, and jojoba oil. The hemp used in this product comes from farms in Colorado. It can be used to massage a sore muscle or cover your body from head to toe.


  • contains essential oils
  • all-natural ingredients


  • only comes in one size
  • may contain traces of nuts

How to use: Start with two to three pumps.

Price: $$

Papa and Barkley Releaf Drops

A small 2017 study suggests that the stress- and anxiety-reducing properties of CBD may help lower blood pressure. More research is needed to determine how CBD may lower blood pressure and benefit heart health.

Papa and Barkley Releaf Drops are made from all-natural ingredients and hemp sourced from Colorado farms. One serving is one full eyedropper, and you can use it anytime you feel stressed or anxious. It’s available in two container sizes and is vegan-friendly, soy-free, and gluten-free.

You can get it in two flavors: natural or lemongrass.


  • two size options
  • 30 mg of CBD per drop


  • may contain traces of nuts

How to use: Take one full eyedropper or as needed.

Price: $$

Plus CBD Oil Hemp Gummies

Plus CBD Oil Hemp Gummies come in two flavors: cherry mango and citrus punch. They don’t contain any artificial ingredients, and they’re non-GMO, soy-free, and gluten-free.


  • relatively cheap
  • two container size options


  • only 5 mg of CBD per gummy

How to use: Take one gummy in the morning and one in the evening, or find what works best for you.

Price: $

Use code “healthline20” for 20% off.

CBD is linked to a variety of potential health benefits, such as helping manage pain, anxiety, and inflammation.

Over-the-counter CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA, so it’s important to do your research before using one. Reputable brands will provide proof of third-party testing and clearly label the amount of CBD in each serving.

Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.