How to Choose CBD Oil

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical extracted from hemp and marijuana that can possibly reduce stress, anxiety, pain, and the chance of seizures without giving you a high.[1] While CBD is still being tested and is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you can still buy CBD oil legally in many locations. When you’re choosing a product, research the company and the product to make sure they’re legitimate. CBD oil is available in multiple forms depending on how you want to use it, so pick the one that works for your needs. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before you use CBD oil to make sure it doesn’t interact with other medications or conditions.

Method1 Researching the Product 1 Talk to your doctor before using CBD oil. Since CBD oil is still being tested, tell your doctor what you plan on taking it for and ask them if it will work for you. If you suffer from seizures caused by Lennox-Grant syndrome or Dragnet syndrome, your doctor may prescribe a CBD oil capsule. Otherwise, if you want to take CBD oil for pain or anxiety, your doctor may be able to give you recommendations on what to choose.[2]

  • Side effects of CBD oil may include dry mouth, drowsiness, fatigue, reduced appetite, or diarrhea.

  • CBD oil may cause negative interactions with blood thinners.

2 Start with a lower concentration before trying a higher potency. While CBD oil is meant to help your body relax and ease stress, too much at once can make your symptoms feel worse.[3] Look for CBD oil products that have 250 mg concentrations so you can see how it affects your body. As you get more comfortable using CBD oil, experiment with low doses at higher potencies, such as 500 mg or 1,000 mg, to see what they feel like.[4]

  • The concentration will be clearly listed on the packaging so you can identify the oil’s potency.

  • Every person will have a different level of tolerance for CBD. While you may be fine with a few drops of 500 mg oil, another person may require multiple drops or a higher concentration to feel the same effects.

  • Some studies have found that some CBD oil products have a lower concentration than what’s listed on the packaging.

3 Look for a CBD oil that’s had third-party lab testing done. Third-party labs check the concentration and purity of the CBD oil to make sure there aren’t any toxic chemicals or harmful additives included. Check the label or package of the oil for testing information so you know if it's safe to use. If you don’t see any testing information or confirmation on the package, the oil may have contaminants that could give you adverse long-term effects.[5]

  • If the oil has been tested, the results will usually be posted on the product or company website so you can look at them.



4 Check the label to see if it lists the ingredients in the oil. If the company that made the CBD oil is reputable, they will usually list the ingredients and additives they use in their product. Read the label on the back of the CBD oil product that you’re interested in and look for an ingredient list and a break down of their percentages. If you don’t see any ingredients listed, the product may be low-quality and you should avoid it if you’re able to.[6]

  • Try searching for the product online to see if the ingredients are listed on its website.

  • CBD oils should also have a nutritional label somewhere on the box or package. If you don’t see any information, then search for a different CBD oil.

5 Get CBD oil that uses CO2 extraction to reduce the risk of foreign chemicals. Some companies will use toxic solvents to extract CBD from hemp or marijuana, so it will have additional contaminants included. CO2 extraction uses carbon dioxide to remove higher percentages of CBD from the plant without exposing it to additional chemicals. Check the product label or website to find out how the company extracts the CBD so you know if it’s safe to use.[7]

  • Don’t buy CBD oil if you don’t know how it was extracted to reduce the risk of any long-term effects or contaminants.

6 Choose an “isolate” oil to avoid small amounts of THC. CBD oil either comes in “full-spectrum” or “isolate” varieties. “Isolate” oils only use pure CBD extract as an ingredient in their product. Oil labeled “full-spectrum” uses other compounds from the plant, which may include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical in marijuana th

at gets you high. Check the package label or website to see what type of CBD it’s using, and opt

for a pure oil if you don’t want to risk exposure to THC.[8]

  • “Isolate” oils are also flavorless so you can easily mix them with other things, while “full-spectrum” will have a hemp flavor.

Warning: If your CBD has a THC level above 0.3%, you can get arrested for possession of marijuana if it’s illegal in your area.[9]


Method2 Picking a Delivery Method

1 Select a CBD oil capsule for the easiest way to use CBD oil. CBD capsules usually come in 5 mg or 10 mg dosages and dissolve once you swallow them. Take the capsule with a large sip of water and wait 30 minutes to 2 hours for the oil to start taking effect. The relaxed feeling from the CBD will last for up to 6 hours after taking the capsule.[10]

  • You can buy CBD capsules online or from some pharmacies.

  • A 30-count package of 10 mg capsules usually costs around $30 USD.

  • Don’t take additional pills if you don’t immediately feel the effects from the first one. Too many pills could make you feel adverse effects.


2 Use a topical CBD oil if you only want to apply it to specific areas. CBD oil can be mixed with other lotions and creams so you're able to rub it directly into your skin when you need it. Pick a topical oil in a scent you like and rub a pea-sized amount on the area where you want pain relief. The oil will take effect in about 15–20 minutes to soothe the affected area and it will last for 2–3 hours.[11]

  • The price of the topical oil depends on the concentration and the amount of product. Lower concentrations may cost around $10 USD while higher ones will be around $90 USD.

  • You can use topical CBD oil 1–3 times per day.

3 Pick a tincture if you want to mix the CBD oil with other drinks. You can buy tinctures that are flavorless or have an added flavor to make it taste better. Add a 10–15 mL dose of the tincture directly to another drink and stir it so it’s mixed well. Drink it as you normally would and wait for about 1–2 hours to feel the effects of the CBD oil, which should last for about 4–6 hours total.[12]

  • You can buy tinctures from some pharmacies or online.

  • A bottle of CBD tincture with a 500 mg concentration usually costs about $30 USD and has 30 servings.

  • Avoid taking doses larger than what’s recommended at first so you can learn how it affects your body.

  • Some states and areas restrict adding CBD oil to food and drinks, so be sure to check with your local laws and regulations to find out what’s legal.[13]

Variation: You can also take the tincture without mixing it. Put 10–15 mL of the CBD oil under your tongue and hold it there for up to 90 seconds before swallowing it.


4 Try a vaporizer oil if you want it to take effect quickly. You can get a disposable CBD vaporizer or a cartridge that attaches to a vape battery you already have. Get a flavor you enjoy, turn it on, and slowly inhale the vapor. Exhale after a few seconds and wait for about 2–3 minutes for the CBD oil’s effects. The feeling from the CBD will last for about 1–2 hours.[14]

  • A CBD cartridge or vaporizer will usually cost around $30–60 USD.

  • Vaporizers may irritate your throat when you use them.

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