Cannabis journalist, Ruby Deevoy, has tried and tested her fair share of CBD oils, here she shares her top five.
Figuring out which CBD oil to spend your hard earned cash on is almost enough of a minefield to put you off the whole thing entirely.
Let’s face it, CBD products aren’t cheap – and, sadly, there are more oils out there that aren’t worth it than are. However, if you find a high quality CBD oil that is all it claims to be (and more, given that CBD brands aren’t actually allowed to claim all that much!) it can be life-changing, and in fact it is for a hefty proportion of the people who make up the £480 million European CBD market.
But how do you know which oils are great, and which oils are purely a product of jumping on a global band-wagon?
What is CBD oil?
CBD (or Cannabidiol) is one of over 140 cannabinoids – molecules found in the cannabis plant.
CBD oil is a product created by extracting CBD (and, in full and broad spectrum CBD oils, a variety of other cannabinoids) and suspending in a carrier oil, to be taken under the tongue for a wide array of needs.
Cannabinoids have a remarkable interaction with many receptors in the body, including serotonin (which affects mood, digestion, sexual function and lots more), vanilloid (which work on pain transmission) and perhaps the most famously, by activating and supporting the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is made up of receptors and endocannabinoids – neurotransmitters synthesised and released on demand to keep the body in balance. It acts as ‘homeostatic regulator’, meaning it keeps almost every single day-to-day bodily function working properly.
Should the ECS fail in any way, practically every ailment you can think of could happen as a result. Fortunately, CBD oil helps to support the ECS, even helping to boost endocannabinoid production, for a positive all-over-body and brain affect.
There are things to look out for: has the oil been derived from organically grown cannabis? Is the oil isolate (the CBD molecule on it’s own, usually suspended in a carrier oil), broad spectrum (a selection of cannabinoids and terpenes, without THC) or full spectrum (whole plant, with THC included) – moreover, if labelled as full or broad spectrum, do the third party lab reports (which should be available on product web pages) really show a good range of cannabinoids present in worthy levels? Many CBD oils labelled as full spectrum often aren’t, on closer inspection.
These are key points, but even when hitting all the marks on paper, there is a comparably small range of CBD oils that seem to stand out from the ever-growing crowd.
Perhaps this comes down to using plants from a better cared-for cannabis grow; or real attention to detail, infusing terpenes and isolates to make something really unique. More often than not, a great CBD oil comes hand in hand with a brand that not only boasts but demonstrates in-depth understanding of the cannabis plant and all it’s moving parts, as well as a respect for the fact that what they’re selling might literally change somebody’s life.
In most cases, that’s what their customer is hoping for. So, finding the exceptional CBD oils takes time and testing – something most people can’t afford to do, but I have done for you.
With so many CBD oils now available, I’m far from having tried them all. But I have tested well over 100 on an array of case studies with ailments including fibromyalgia, PTSD and insomnia, to anxiety, fatigue and depression. And the oils on this list are the ones that have impressed above all others.
My top 5 CBD oils
Amma Life 10% Boost
This superior oil offers a formidable blend of CBD, CBDa, CBC, CBG and a range of all-important terpenes (which so many CBD oils neglect to include, but offer a plethora of therapeutic benefits in their own right). Having tested on a number of people with different needs, the earthy-tasting Amma Life Boost oil seems to excel when it comes to pain (emotional and physical) and PTSD.
A pricey one, no doubt, but amazing for getting sleep patterns back on track. And you certainly get your money’s worth with every drop, thanks to the hefty 2,400mg dose. The proprietary terpene blend, created specifically to aid with sleep, unusually high levels of CBDV (Cannabidivarin) and delicate mint flavour delivers night after night.
Herts Hemp CBG oil
The Herts Hemp CBD oil is great, but the CBG oil? Outstanding – particularly for pain. This is a true broad spectrum oil, with the most abundant cannabinoid being CBG, which unlike the CBD molecule activates the ECS receptors directly and is considerably better for reducing pain. Multiple testers suffering from back pain, EDS, migraines and even muscle aches developed due to long Covid, noticed their pain was considerably reduced within 20 minutes of taking a few drops.
Ardoa Amber M-Drops
Unlike most CBD brands, who derive cannabinoids from a single plant and take it as it comes, Ardoa formulates its oils with a mix of isolates, broad spectrum oils and terpenes for a range of products developed to target specific concerns. The result is something quite special, with their Indigo-66 drops being a dream for sleep, their Amber-42 proving efficacious for tackling menopausal symptoms, and Cerulean 53 as a potent all-rounder. This brand is a perfect example of what a deep understanding of and dedication to the wonders of the cannabis plant gets you.
From £36.99, mindfulextracts.co.uk
Sometimes you find a CBD oil which has such a profound impact that it can completely change someone’s life. This might just be one of them. I tested the 20 percent oil on a patient with dementia and various physical ailments, all of which came on after having multiple ischemic strokes. Just 10 minutes after taking half a pipette (a high dose) he went from barely being able to walk and talk to getting himself out of bed, walking across the room (with the help of a zimmer frame) and having a conversation. It was amazing to see.
Once you’ve chosen a CBD oil to try, it’s equally important to take it properly. It’s vital to be consistent, taking your preferred dose two or three times a day, every day – ideally right after eating or brushing your teeth, to aid absorption.
And give it time. Your body probably has some rebalancing to do, so give the cannabinoids a chance to do their thing by sticking with it for at least a month.
For more tips on how to get the most out of your CBD oil, take a look at our article ‘What’s the best way to take CBD?’.
Ruby Deevoy is a CBD columnist for Top Sante, her journalism has appeared in The Independent, The Mirror, Breathe, Stylist and The Daily Mail among others. Follow her on Twitter @RDeevoy
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