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  • What is CBD?

    CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound derived from hemp and marketed as a supplement despite the U.S. FDA's position that CBD is not a dietary supplement.
  • Does CBD work?

    CBD taken orally has been shown to reduce the frequency of certain types of seizures, and preliminary evidence suggests it may also help with anxiety, schizophrenia, gastroparesis, and other conditions. However, most of these effects have involved large doses of CBD — hundreds of milligrams per day, which is more than in many marketed CBD supplements and products. CBD applied to the skin (such as CBD creams, gels, and lotions) may modestly reduce some forms of pain and might promote hair regrowth (see What It Is and What It Does).
  • What did CL's tests of CBD products find?

    ConsumerLab found an enormous range in amounts of CBD in products -- from 5.7 mg to 240.9 mg per serving. The cost to obtain an equal amount of CBD from each product ranged from just 12 cents to $2.09 per 10 mg. Compared to CL's findings in 2018 and 2020, the price of CBD continued to fall, with the lowest cost per 10 mg of CBD now half of what it was in 2020. At the same time, the strength of products continues to increase, with many gummies, for example, now providing at 25 mg or more of CBD per serving. Levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive compound) have tended to fall, with THC not detectable in most products. In those found to have it, the amount did not exceed 1 mg per serving — although even these lower levels can cause a positive drug test for cannabis for some people (see What CL Found and use the Results table to compare the amounts of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids in products).
  • Best CBD?

    Based on quality and value, ConsumerLab selected several Top Picks, including for CBD with THC and CBD without THC among oils, softgels, and gummies, a Top Pick among topical creams and salves, and a Top Pick for Pets.
  • How to choose a CBD product?

    Look for CBD products that list the amount of CBD or cannabidiol per serving, and don't confuse that with the amount per entire bottle. If a product lists only "cannabinoids" it may contain some CBD but you won't know how much. Products may still have significant amounts of CBD if they list "hemp extract" as an ingredient, but don't expect much CBD if "hemp oil" is the only ingredient. Hemp extracts are more likely to contain a range of cannabinoids in addition to CBD (although it's not clear if this provides added benefit) and this is what is meant by the terms "full-spectrum" and "entourage effect" on labels — but full-spectrum products may or may not contain THC. If you want to avoid THC, look for products with claims like "THC-free" and see which products had no detectable THC in our tests. Note that CBD does not appear to be converted to THC in the body (see ConsumerTips™).
  • How much CBD should I take and when? 

    Most of the research with CBD has involved high doses (several hundred milligrams daily). However, many CBD products on the market are lower-dose and it is not clear if this dosing is effective. Nevertheless, to greatly increase CBD absorption, take it with or shortly after a fatty meal (see ConsumerTips: Dosage.)
  • CBD safety, side effects, and drug interactions:

    Low doses seem to be well tolerated, with abdominal discomfort being the most common side effect. High-dose CBD can cause a range of side effects (particularly gastrointestinal issues, lowered blood pressure, and increased heart rate) and can affect a wide range of medications. For details, see Concerns and Cautions.

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CBD oils and hemp extracts compared in this review:

View Larger Image 8323_large_Ananda_Professional_Full_Spectrum_Hemp_Extract-CBD-2023.png

Ananda Professional Full Spectrum Hemp Extract

View Larger Image 8322_large_Bluebird_Botanicals_Classic_CBD_Oil-CBD-2023.PNG

Bluebird Botanicals Classic CBD Oil

View Larger Image 8326_large_CBDistillery_CBD_Warming_Cream-CBD-2023.PNG

CBDistillery CBD Warming Cream

View Larger Image 8330_large_CbdMD_Broad_Spectrum_Gummies-Tropical_Mix-CBD-2023.PNG

cbdMD Broad Spectrum Gummies - Tropical Mix

View Larger Image 8320_large_Garden_of_Life_Dr_Formulated_CBD_20_mg-Tart_Cherry_Flavor-CBD-2023.PNG

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated CBD 20 mg - Tart Cherry Flavor

View Larger Image 8318_large_Garden_of_Life_Dr_Formulated_CBD_30_mg-CBD-2023.PNG

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated CBD 30 mg

View Larger Image 8319_large_Garden_of_Life_Dr_Formulated_CBD_50_mg-Peppermint-CBD-2023.PNG

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated CBD 50 mg - Peppermint

View Larger Image 8328_large_Green_Roads_Relax_Bears_CBD_Gummies-5_Flavors-CBD-2023.png

Green Roads Relax Bears CBD Gummies - 5 Flavors

View Larger Image 8325_large_Lazarus_Naturals_CBD_Softgels-CBD-2023.PNG

Lazarus Naturals CBD Softgels

View Larger Image 8324_large_Medterra_Keep_Calm-Strawberry_Lemonade-CBD-2023.PNG

Medterra Keep Calm - Strawberry Lemonade

View Larger Image 8329_large_NuLeaf_Naturals_Full_Spectrum_Pet_CBD_Oil-CBD-2023.PNG

NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum Pet CBD Oil

View Larger Image 8327_large_Nuume_Orgnics_Relief_CBD_Salve-CBD-2023.PNG

Nuume Organics Relief CBD Salve

View Larger Image 8331_large_Penguin_Chicken_CBD_Oil-Pet-CBD-2023.PNG

Penguin Chicken CBD Oil - Pet

View Larger Image 8340_large_Swanson_CBD-Mint-CBD-2023.png

Swanson CBD - Mint

You must be a member to get the full test results along with's Top Picks and ConsumerTips on how to choose and use CBD. You'll get results for 14 popular CBD products, including liquids, softgels, capsules and gummies, CBD lotions, and CBD products for pets. Eleven products were selected for testing by based on reader requests and three others passed the same testing through CL's voluntary Quality Certification Program.

You'll get all of the following information about CBD liquids and pills in this comprehensive review:

  • Which CBD supplements passed or failed testing
  • Which CBD supplements and topicals offer the best quality at lowest cost and are CL's Top Picks
  • What CBD can and cannot do for your health
  • Amounts of CBD, THC and terpenes found in each product, plus, which products were found to be THC-free
  • The important difference between hemp oil and hemp extract
  • The best way to take CBD
  • The dosage of CBD for specific uses and how the amounts in products compare to those shown to work in clinical trials
  • What to look for on product labels
  • Cautions about the safety and potential side effects of CBD

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Additional Information
Tested through CL's Quality Certification Program prior to, or after initial posting of this Product Review.