The reason so many people are interested in cannabis products that don’t make them high, proponents say, is that CBD helps with everything from pain and nausea to rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, Crohn’s disease, and dementia. CBD is anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antibacterial, immunosuppressive, and more, says Joseph Cohen, DO, a cannabis doctor in Boulder, CO.
The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.
Luckily, it’s possible to procure CBD oil that has no THC in it. Products made from CBD Isolate or Broad Spectrum CBD can be good options if you want to avoid THC. In fact, some of the best CBD products for pain include topical salves that can be made from isolate CBD oil. Just be sure to check out third-party lab reports to ensure you’re getting exactly what you pay for. And keep your eyes peeled for future research on CBD for pain.
Of course, though, they offer less potent oils than that, with a product lineup that ranges from 300 mg CBD per bottle to 4,000 mg. Naturally the 4,000 mg option is the most expensive (this is the one that provides the “bomb” 60 mg dose), as it currently sells for $299. For long-term pain and anxiety relief, though, it may be well worth it if it is effective for you and helps replace your regular meds.

Studies have demonstrated that CBD has a low affinity for the CB1 receptors, but even at low concentrations, CBD decreases G-protein activity (3). CB1 receptors are expressed on many glutamatergic synapses that have been implicated in seizure threshold modulation. CBD may act at CB1 receptors to inhibit glutamate release (4). Studies have shown changes in the expression of CB1 receptors during epileptogenesis and after recurrent seizures (5). CB1 receptor expression is upregulated at GABAergic synapses and shown to be downregulated at glutamatergic synapses in epilepsy, contributing to lowering seizure thresholds.


Most human studies of CBD have been done on people who have seizures, and the FDA recently approved the first CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, for rare forms of epilepsy. Clinical trials for other conditions are promising, but tiny. In one Brazilian study published in 2011 of people with generalized social anxiety disorder, for example, taking a 600-mg dose of CBD (higher than a typical dose from a tincture) lessened discomfort more than a placebo, but only a dozen people were given the pill.

Transparency: Fab’s website features third-party lab results for most products. They only have a lab test for one of their tinctures though (which shows results for cannabinoid potency, as well as contaminants like pesticides). Customer service pointed out that the same CBD oil is used for all their products, but since potencies do vary, we appreciate companies that show potency testing for all products.


Pharmacology published a study in 2016 looking at medical marijuana for migraines, specifically in relation to its effects on serotonin, with very positive results. You’ll notice that neither study looked at CBD in isolation from other cannabinoids (which is an issue with a lot of research on CBD and pain). Truthfully, the research on CBD alone just isn’t sufficient to make any pronouncements about its effects on headache pain.
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. 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. A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other (unknown) elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.

CBD is well tolerated in humans with doses up to 600 mg not resulting in psychotic symptoms (15). In the few small placebo-controlled studies performed, no significant CNS effects were noted. Oral CBD undergoes extensive first-pass metabolism via CYP3A4, with a bioavailability of 6%. Following single doses in humans, the half-life of CBD when taken orally is about 1 to 2 days.1 In vitro studies have shown that CBD is a potent inhibitor of multiple CYP isozymes, including CYP 2C and CYP3A (16, 17). Whether these in vitro observations are relevant at plasma concentrations likely to be seen in patients is unclear. In addition, given its metabolism via CYP3A4, clinical trials of CBD in patients receiving enzyme-inducing AEDs, such as carbamazepine or phenytoin, will require detailed pharmacokinetic studies.


Researchers at the Department of Pharmacognosy, The School of Pharmacy, University of London, UK, basis the study conducted on mice found that CBD oil has analgesic properties and may relieve chronic pain of all kinds . It can disrupt the activity of pain receptors in the body and instead cause a release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine – “feel good” compounds that can ease discomfort and pain, even if the pharmaceutical painkillers have no effect. 

Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may be prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t affect other medications you are taking.
In your internet travels, you may also come across products called “terpsolates.” The manufacturers of these products infuse CBD Isolate with terpenes (but not cannabinoids like THC). These terpenes may enhance the effectiveness of CBD — or maybe they just make it smell good. This may be a good place to point out that not all CBD products are created equal. The industry is still largely unregulated, and the quality and quantity of CBD in a given product will vary wildly. Third-party testing definitely helps to monitor companies’ claims, but it’s still up to you as the consumer to do your homework on the best CBD products.
There are likely very complex relationships also occurring between various Cannabinoids in Cannabis that may lead to certain medical efficacy. That is important to remember when considering the consumption of products that contain Cannabinoids. There is an attractiveness to isolating a specific chemical, researching it, patenting synthetic derivatives, and marketing specific drugs. That said, the relationships are complex, will likely take years to understand, and many patients I’ve met appear to find the most medical benefit from a diverse group of Cannabinoids whose interactions are not particularly well understand, but the results are hard to argue with.
The studies on CBD for headache pain are still in their infancy, but with promising results so far. A 2017 study published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Journal worked with 26 people who were experiencing rebound headaches. The pain management results were better for the cannabis-nabilone formula over either ibuprofen or nabilone alone. (As a nerdy side note, the article is a great read if you’re interested in the history of cannabis as a pain reliever.)
But because all these products are illegal according to the federal government, cannabis advocates are cautious. “By and large, the federal government is looking the other way,” says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the Washington, DC–based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), but until federal laws are changed, “this administration or a future one could crack down on people who produce, manufacture, or use CBD, and the law would be on its side.”
Our bodies are thought to produce endocannabinoids by the billions every day. “We always thought the ‘runner’s high’ was due to the release of dopamine and endorphins. But now we know the euphoria is also from an endocannabinoid called anandamide,” its name derived from the Sanskrit word for bliss, says Joseph Maroon, MD, clinical professor and vice chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. We produce these natural chemicals all day, but they fade quickly because enzymes pop up to destroy them. That’s where CBD comes in: By blocking these enzymes, CBD allows the beneficial compounds to linger.
In addition to all the benefits we’ve already discussed, CBD has been proven to have antioxidant and neuroprotective effects. This means that it helps repair the damage from oxidative stress, which is believed to be a primary cause of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS — even heart disorders and some forms of cancer. This is a hugely beneficial effect of CBD.
Transparency: Fab’s website features third-party lab results for most products. They only have a lab test for one of their tinctures though (which shows results for cannabinoid potency, as well as contaminants like pesticides). Customer service pointed out that the same CBD oil is used for all their products, but since potencies do vary, we appreciate companies that show potency testing for all products.
Like we said, once you start using CBD oil more frequently and are able to gauge how much you need to find relief or therapy, then you can jump up to the more high-potency products as needed. For reference, doses will typically range anywhere from 5 mg to 100+ mg in a single day. And for epilepsy patients, they may take anywhere between 300 mg to an entire gram (1,000 mg) per dose — or more!
Cannabidiol is the major nonpsychoactive component of Cannabis sativa. Over the centuries, a number of medicinal preparations derived from C. sativa have been employed for a variety of disorders, including gout, rheumatism, malaria, pain, and fever. These preparations were widely employed as analgesics by Western medical practitioners in the 19th century (1). More recently, there is clinical evidence suggesting efficacy in HIV-associated neuropathic pain, as well as spasms associated with multiple sclerosis (1).
Another field in which CBD is creating a buzz is in the area of mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Both conditions have been treated with a variety of medications, courtesy of Big Pharma, that have had varying levels of success. Again, the long list of side effects can be off-putting to someone who just wants to get through the day without the sweaty tension of anxiety or the gray haze of depression.
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A study published by David Cheng, Postdoctoral Scientist, Neuroscience Research, University of New South Wales, NSW, Australia, says that CBD has a potential as a preventive measure against symptoms of Alzheimer’s. This presents yet another exciting development for medical researchers, given the persistent challenges to finding effective solutions for this condition.
CBD is well tolerated in humans with doses up to 600 mg not resulting in psychotic symptoms (15). In the few small placebo-controlled studies performed, no significant CNS effects were noted. Oral CBD undergoes extensive first-pass metabolism via CYP3A4, with a bioavailability of 6%. Following single doses in humans, the half-life of CBD when taken orally is about 1 to 2 days.1 In vitro studies have shown that CBD is a potent inhibitor of multiple CYP isozymes, including CYP 2C and CYP3A (16, 17). Whether these in vitro observations are relevant at plasma concentrations likely to be seen in patients is unclear. In addition, given its metabolism via CYP3A4, clinical trials of CBD in patients receiving enzyme-inducing AEDs, such as carbamazepine or phenytoin, will require detailed pharmacokinetic studies.
Scott Shannon, MD, assistant clinical professor at the University of Colorado, recently sifted through patient charts from his four-doctor practice to document CBD’s effects on anxiety. His study, as yet unpublished, found “a fairly rapid decrease in anxiety scores that appears to persist for months,” he says. But he says he can’t discount a placebo effect, especially since “there’s a lot of hype right now.”

While it is still classed illegal on a Federal level, individual U.S. states have adopted a more lenient policy towards this plant and some states now allow it for recreational use. The easing up of state laws has also allowed researchers to explore this miraculous plant and only recently has it been found to be an effective treatment for a variety of medical problems due to its CBD oil benefits. From cancer, anorexia, pain and inflammation management it seems like medical marijuana is placing a strong footing within the medical industry.
Tinctures – Typically tinctures are small glass or plastic “dropper” bottles that have cannabidiol oil mixed with a preserving solution such as alcohol. Tinctures were very a very common way to ingest botanical oils prior to the industrial revolution and are experiencing a resurgence in popularity as more people are looking for natural remedies. Tinctures with droppers allow you to put a few drops in your tea, under your tongue, or to bake the oil directly into your food.
Customer Service: We’ve always received fast, informative responses to our queries about products and practices, but there are definitely customers out there who have not. A quick perusal of reviews shows customers who had issues with unaddressed orders. It’s hard to know exactly what the problem is in these situations, but the company’s strict return policy (seven days for unopened products only) probably doesn’t help. It should be noted that the company has a solid base of very satisfied customers as well.
Oils: CBD oils are the most potent and unprocessed form of cannabidiol. CBD oil is removed directly from the flowers, stalks and seeds of the hemp plant during the extraction process. The most effective CBD oils are full spectrum, which means that they include all compounds found naturally in the plant, including the cannabinoids (with trace amounts of THC), terpenes and essential oils. You can find CBD oils in a bottle with a dropper. This allows you to ingest the oil by using it by mouth.
Bacon had said that I might need to try two full droppers worth of the oil to really feel its benefits. I knew that I had an incredibly busy and stressful day ahead of me—I needed to fit in a five mile run before work, had lots to do at the office, was scheduled for a busy event in the middle of the day, and had a 2-hour meditation class later that night which would require a lot of mental clarity. Tentatively, I squirted two droppers of CBD oil into my bulletproof coffee and sipped away.
Apply CBD oil topically if you have localized pain. Look online for CBD topical skin creams if you live where it’s legal. The container will likely only display the total amount of CBD that’s in the product, so there’s no need to measure out a specific dosage. Simply use your finger to scoop up enough of the product to cover the area of skin you want to treat and rub it in really well.[4]
17. Deiana S, Watanabe A, Yamasaki Y, Amada N, Arthur M, Fleming S, Woodcock H, Dorward P, Pigliacampo B, Close S, Platt B, Riedel G. Plasma and brain pharmacokinetic profile of cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarine (CBDV), 9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabigerol (CBG) in rats and mice following oral and intraperitoneal administration and CBD action on obsessive–compulsive behavior. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2012;219:859–873. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
However, like we just mentioned CBD oil for pain management that has been sourced from industrial hemp grown under the farm bill is in fact legal to buy and sell. The best CBD oil brands that we cover here on this site, claim to extract their concentrates from U.S.-based industrial hemp supplies, which if true, are 100% legal since they contain negligible amounts of THC.
Hemp Bombs is based in Tampa, Florida, and in addition to focusing on the purity and therapeutic effectiveness of their products, are dedicated to establishing themselves as a top brand in the industry with a specific target audience. One of our personal favorite products of theirs is the flavored CBD vape liquids, which are some of the best-tasting CBD vape juices we’ve ever had.
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