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A Beginner’s Guide to Finding the Best CBD Oil

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By John, Certified Holistic Health Coach

The CBD oil industry has exploded over the last year or so, and many people are touting the benefits: better sleep, reduced anxiety, controlled pain, and more.

Some of you have written us asking how to try CBD oil (also known as hemp oil) safely, and you are confused by the multitude of options.

In this booming market, there are too many brands that are producing inexpensive and poor quality oil. Not only is this potentially unsafe, but these brands often produce ineffective results as well. A recent study showed that 70% of CBD oils sold online are mislabeled!

Unlike something like homeopathic tablets or even essential oils, there’s good evidence that CBD oil does something, so we were motivated to look into it further. (This is not meant as a dig on essential oils–I know that many of you love EOs, and we don’t believe they are harmful. We just have not found enough solid science behind their benefits to partner with any EO distributors or to sell EOs in our store.)

This post will help you understand CBD oil–what it is, what it does (and doesn’t do), and most importantly, how to find a safe, effective brand if you’d like to give it a try.

First, let’s cover the basics.

What is CBD oil?

CBD molecules Gimme the Good Stuff

Cannabidiol oil is one of over 60 compounds found in the cannabis plant. These compounds are referred to as cannabinoids.

Does CBD oil really do anything?

It sure seems like it! The very strongest scientific evidence is for CBD’s effectiveness in treating certain childhood epilepsy syndromes. In numerous studies, CBD has been shown to reduce or even stop seizures.  (The FDA recently approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for this use.)

There is also good evidence that CBD can help anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain–although many of these studies still are only in animal models.

Anecdotally, I know people who swear by CBD for everything from acne to menstrual pain.

So the bottom line is, yes, we believe that CBD does something. But it’s critical that manufacturers have a solid understanding of how and why CBD works. Without this knowledge, their formulations may only be a guess rather than based in solid science. This can make all the difference between a very effective formulation and one that will have no effect.

Is CBD oil safe?

While CBD is found in marijuana (it’s one of hundreds of compounds therein), it will not cause you to get high. The WHO says: “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

As of now, the FDA does not regulate the safety or purity of dietary supplements like CBD. So you have to find a manufacturer you trust to feel confident that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label.

When looking for the best CBD brand it is important to ask the following five questions.

  1. Where do they source their hemp? It is important that the hemp comes from a U.S. registered hemp farm. During our search, we were shocked to see e-commerce sites that offered over 184,000 products from China to U.S. hemp distributors–this is scary! We also prefer companies that use organic and sustainable farming practices. If a company is not transparent with their sourcing, then it’s best to steer clear.
  2. How do they process their hemp? There are many ways to extract the CBD from hemp, but they are not all equally safe. Some brands use nasty solvents such as butane and ethanol. These solvents are often left in the final product, which means of course it’s not Good Stuff!
  3. Do they 3rd-party lab test their products? This is a major one. If a company is not willing to openly share their lab results, then we aren’t willing to take the gamble. The testing should be done at an independent and ISO-accredited lab. Make sure the lab’s contact information is included and the date of testing was recent.
  4. How much CBD/hemp oil is in each bottle? This is usually the biggest factor in the pricing of CBD oil. Some brands have more milligrams than others. Having a therapeutic dose is important to get the desired effect. By calculating how many milligrams are in each dose, you’ll be able to calculate how quickly you will go through your bottle and what value you are getting for your buck.
  5. What other ingredients are used? We have seen everything from added sugar, alcohol, preservatives, artificial flavoring, and other unsavory ingredients used in CBD oils. Sometimes ingredients such as other herbs or melatonin are added. It’s important to check the label for unwanted ingredients as well as allergens.

The Best CBD Oil We’ve Found

Reed’s Remedies

Our research led us to a small batch manufacturer based in California called Reed’s Remedies. After many conversations with the founder, we concluded that Reed’s Remedies provides the safest and most effective hemp oil products on the market.

  • Reed's Remedies relief from gimme the good stuff
    Reed’s Remedies Organic CBD Oil – Relief
    $68.00 or subscribe and save up to 5%
    Quick View

Melissa, the founder of Reed’s Remedies, was searching for safe and effective ways to manage/treat her own health concerns. Unable to find formulations that met all of her criteria, she took her considerable knowledge and created her own products.

Sourcing & Distillation

Reed’s Remedies sources their hemp from a licensed farm in Colorado. The farm uses both sustainable and organic farming practices. They do not use any chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizer. They also do not use any chemical solvents to extract their hemp.

In fact, Reed’s is unlike any CBD company on the market because they use a patented distillation process to collect the CBD (and other desired plant compounds). Distillation creates the purest form of concentrate possible, plus it activates all of the plant molecules, which in turn makes it a fast-acting oil.

Components & Testing

Reed’s Remedies uses an independent and ISO-accredited lab to test all of their products. They test for potency, pesticides, residual solvents, mycotoxins, and heavy metals. We haven’t seen any other company be so transparent with their results, and each finished product contains a sticker which includes a batch number and expiration date. The test results can be found here.

Each bottle of Reed’s Remedies CBD oil contains 500 milligrams of distilled hemp, which is very concentrated compared to other brands we researched. One dose (or spray) contains almost 7 milligrams of distilled hemp. This high concentration means you don’t have to take too much at a time, and the bottle gives you 75 doses (which makes Reed’s a good value).

Reed’s Remedies has formulated each product with specific terpene profiles to target and enhance results towards specific health concerns.

The subject of terpenes is quite complex, but to put it simply they are another molecule found in hemp. Terpenes each have their own therapeutic properties and control the desired outcome of the formula. Reed’s makes each formula in small batches, and they are scientifically formulated to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Aside from distilled hemp and terpenes, the only other ingredient is Reed’s oils is Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT). Here’s why: CBD and terpenes need to be delivered in an oil base that allows for optimal, healthy absorption into our systems. MCT is a saturated fatty acid derived from coconut oil and has numerous health benefits. It is easily absorbed into the body making it the ideal carrier oil for CBD.

All of the compounds in Reed’s Remedies work synergistically to create what scientists call the “entourage effect.” The interactions between the plant’s individual components magnify the therapeutic benefits so that the medicinal impact of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Reed’s Remedies come in five formulas: Sleep, Calm, Relief, Detox, Desire, and Focus. We are thrilled to now offer Reed’s Remedies in our online store.

We also love Reed’s CBD balm for pain.

  • reed's remedies soothe relief balm from gimme the good stuff
    Reed’s Remedies Soothe Relief CBD Balm
    $55.00 or subscribe and save up to 5%
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Other Brands of Safe CBD Oil

Of course, Reed’s isn’t the only brand of safe CBD oil. We’ve found a few other brands that we can call at least Okay Stuff, and will continue to add to this list as we identify the best CBD oil on the market.

Bluebird Botanicals

Bluebird Botanicals is another third-party-tested brand, but it’s made of imported hemp. Like Charlotte’s, it’s an extract, which means it has slower absorption.


Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web is one of the most well-known brands, and I know a lot of you are fans. Charlotte’s Web tests their US-grown hemp, and their formulas come in different strengths. Charlotte’s Web also makes a topical CBD as well as one for pets. One of the downsides to Charlotte’s Web is that they do not make specific formulas, and the higher concentration formulas are expensive. As an extract (rather than a distillation), Charlotte’s Web is slower to absorb, and reviews of its effectiveness are mixed. Some people complain of burning in the throat sensation with Charlotte’s CBD.


Good Goo

Good Goo makes some great safe topical CBD treatments, including a sleep balm that gets rave reviews from our customers.

  • Good Goo Goodnight Hemp Salve for Sleep from Gimme the Good Stuff 002
    Good Goo Aromatic Good-Night Hemp Salve for Sleep
    $44.95 or subscribe and save up to 5%
    Quick View

Highline Wellness

Highline Wellness is a popular brand, and we like them! They publish all of their independent testing results, and their gummy formulas are the easiest way we’ve found to take CBD.


CBD Oil Brands to Avoid

Due to a complete lack of regulation, anyone can create a CBD brand right now by buying untested extracts. This makes the list of Sneaky Stuff brands too long to list. A few brands that got into trouble lately (in some cases for spiking their formulas with synthetic cannabinoids) are as follows: Diamond CBD and Ultra CBD.

Please respond below with any questions about Reed’s or CBD in general.

Stay sane,

John Goss from Gimme the Good Stuff



69 responses to “A Beginner’s Guide to Finding the Best CBD Oil”

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  2. A lot of new users should read proper guidelines in how to use or consume CBD properly. Hopefully, a lot of readers can discover this article for extra knowledge and guidance.

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  4. We provide all kinds of electrical solutions you will need to grow and flourish. Powerhouse Express brings efficient, reliable and accessible solutions to your doorstep.

  5. Goodekind is the best organic and consciously sourced CBD and CBG I’ve found on the market. It seems similar to Reed’s but with conscious sourcing and a nonprofit component. http://www.goodekind.com

  6. On the market, there is a wide array of CBD products. Using CBD oil helps you sleep better, stay calm, and be more focused. In terms of CBD products, tinctures are second best. Gummies containing CBD are broad-spectrum CBD products. Another great CBD product is the softgel, which is designed to support joint health. 

  7. Docs hemp is an excellent product. Dr Harman also has CBD for pets. She is a Holistic Vet out of Virginia.

  8. that is great information. Thank u for sharing this information. The CBD oils that are at a bargain at the season of distribution contain low groupings of CBD and are showcased as food supplements.

  9. That is an amazing information for a beginner about CBD. I really like your blog because its very helpful for me as a beginner.

    1. Thank you Kate. Glad we could be helpful.

  10. I’m curious if you have heard of Plant People CBD?
    https://www.plantpeople.co/

  11. The World’s Best Hemp-Derived Products
    If you’ve been looking for the best hemp-derived products, look no further than Noctua Wellness Inc.! Proudly Grown and Made in The USA

  12. Thank you for sharing such useful information.

  13. Thanks for sharing useful information. keep sharing

  14. Thanks for sharing information. keep sharing

  15. Very Nice Blog..!! Thank you for sharing this information with us. It is very useful and important information for those who are doing this work for the first time.

  16. In this article you would get to know about a beginners guide to finding the best cbd oil .This article is attracting many people and I also enjoyed reading this article. I would surely recommend others too. Great blog indeed, will visit again future to read more!!I never thought will get to visit this Gembrahealth.com oh, has some nice content for everyone.

  17. I have tried Reed’s and I was not impressed. After some research, I found Rosebud CBD. They are organically grown in Oregon, third party tested, small batch, full spectrum, and no additives or “natural” flavorings of any kind. Simply the best so far. Could you please research? I’m not affiliated with them, just really like their products.

  18. Thank you for the great article. This is an AWESOME resource on CBD. Great job you guys! Do you have any CBDproducts in the SnackNation boxes? Relieving anxiety and stress in an office environment should be one of the top goals and what better way to get there than with a snack? I have a good recommendation for an organic superfood bar with no additives or preservatives.

  19. There is no doubt to use CBD oil. It is powerful and reliable product for us. I am happy to use this product. And Your article great for me. Thanks

  20. Thanks for sharing useful information.

  21. CBD GUMMIES

    egan friendly CBD gummies
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  22. Elektra CBD

    Elektra is a CBD Hybrid mixing ACDC and ERB known for its high terpene profile and unique earthy smell with hints of pine, wood, citrus and fuel. This sativa-dominant hybrid strain is famed for its fabulous forest scent.

    https://www.californiablendz.com/product/elektra-cbd/

  23. Watermelon Haze CBD

    Just like a juicy slice of watermelon on a hot, summer day, the Watermelon Haze CBD hemp flower strain lends perfect relaxation that’s restful and clear.

    https://www.californiablendz.com/product/watermelon-haze-cbd/

  24. Hawaiian Haze CBD

    This sativa-dominant hybrid strain is famed for its fabulous forest scent. The most pronounced flavor you’ll detect as you’re sniffing a bunch of Hawaiian Haze flowers is pine. When users smoke Hawaiian Haze, they often taste an intriguing mix of tropical flavors, citrus fruits, and “earthy” tones. Interestingly, some of the same terpenes found in Hawaiian Haze are also in mangoes, lemons, and pine leaves.

    https://www.californiablendz.com/product/hawaiian-haze-hemp-flower/

  25. Gellato CBD

    Gelato (also referred to as “Larry Bird”) is a tantalizing hybrid cannabis strain from Cookie Fam and Sherbinski, following in the footsteps of its parents Sunset Sherbet and Thin Mint GSC.

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  26. Sour Diesel CBD

    Our Sour Diesel hemp flower is grown indoors to nurture its dense green buds with potent, slightly skunky, diesel-like aroma. The flavor is a mix of bitter gassiness with sour citrus. The iconic Sour Diesel CBD hemp flower is a hybrid of Chemdawg 91 and Super Skunk. These premium genetics give Sour Diesel distinct flavors, aromas, and effects. The Sour Diesel hemp strain itself has been used to breed many other hemp strains.

    https://www.californiablendz.com/product/sour-diesel-cbd/

  27. Bubba Kush

    Bubba Kush is a heavy indica -dominate hybrid that considered top-shelf strain by cannabis. Bubba Kush is a classic Indica. It has a solid sedative high that leaves users to relax but still, it work. It has a high THC content which is 15% to 22%.

    https://www.californiablendz.com/product/bubba-kush-flower/

  28. Blue Dream CBD

    Blue Dream, a sativa-dominant hybrid originating in California, has achieved legendary status among West Coast strains. Novice and veteran consumers alike enjoy the level effects of Blue Dream, which ease you gently into a calm euphoria.

    https://www.californiablendz.com/product/blue-dream-cbd/

  29. Cherry Blossom OG CBD

    This strain delights with a combination of floral, berry, and fruit fragrances that stimulate the olfactories and dance with the senses as the soothing effects of the strain takes its course. Absolutely spellbinding, it’s a shame how not a lot of people have discovered the potent experience that Cherry Blossom offers.

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  30. Grand Daddy Purple CBD

    Granddaddy Purple (or GDP) is a famous indica cross of Purple Urkle and Big Bud. This California staple inherits a complex grape and berry aroma from its Purple Urkle parent, while Big Bud passes on its oversized, compact bud structure. GDP flowers bloom in shades of deep purple, a contrasting backdrop for its snow-like dusting of white crystal resin. Its potent effects are clearly detectable in both mind and body.

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  31. Thanks for sharing useful information.

  32. What trouble are you speaking of in regards to Lazarus? The only information I could find was from a new station who tested several CBD products and bought a Lazarus Naturals product through a third party seller – which ultimately seemed to be counterfeit.

    1. Please supply your source for stating that Lazarus “gets into trouble” And gets into trouble how specifically ? And you wrote “in some cases…” Is Lazarus one of those “in some cases or not ???? ” . This is not only irresponsible and untrue accusation , the way you word this is very immature… I have contacted them and they will be contacting you. In the mean time here is their response to me.. wanting to know who this company is that wrote these accusations. I am actually glad I found your erroneous report . It will save me alot of time when it comes to deciding whether I should trust your reviews for not.
      Hello Pat,

      Thank you for reaching out!

      We are not aware of these claims against our products but do back our products up with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, verified third-party lab-testing, and use our own organically grown hemp to extract our CBD. As a vertically integrated and proud Oregon-based business, we would never use synthetic cannabinoids in our products. Please send us more information on where these claims appear and we can look into this further!

      – Ryan

      Lazarus Naturals

  33. Whether you’re looking for wholesale CBD or Cbd flower for sale; Dr. Strains always provides our customers with unbeatable prices. We’re experts in the cbd industry and work with reputable cbd farmers some farms with over 100 years of cbd farming experience!

  34. How does Two Cranes compare to Reeds? Love their
    Transparency posting their testing and the reviews are amazing. Wondering if you’ve tried theirs yet.

  35. Wow! Thank you. That was super helpful and informative.
    I’m a firm believer in the power of diet and lifestyle practices to keep us healthy and even manage serious health challenges. But, sometimes we need a little extra help—and there’s nothing wrong with that. The promise that CBD oil shows to bring relief and answers fills me with so much hope, and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for my knee pain.

  36. Really interesting! After reading your blog I’ve visited a chiropractor near my town in Jacksonville. And I’ve asked those questions which were in my mind regarding that treatment and you know the doc was really impressed about the quality of information that I gather after reading a few articles. Thanks for exploring my mind!

    1. cbd flower in usa

  37. No doubt. CBD is the most effective and fast treatment for various diseases. But to find the CBD The best thing in the post is that you have discussed how to find CBD oil… Thanks for sharing I will definitely follow you up.

  38. No doubt. CBD is the most effective and fast treatment for various diseases. But to find the CBD The best thing in the post is that you have discussed how to find CBD oil… Thanks for sharing I will definitely follow you up.

  39. Very interesting and informative article pal! I found it interesting that CBD oil can help you to sleep better by relaxing your body and mind. But Over dosage can make you addictive and it will also effect health in way or other.

  40. What are your thoughts on Nexcel CBD oil line? I have family members that swear by the line. I would appreciate your opinion.

  41. Can you comment on safety while breastfeeding?

    I’ve been wanting to use cbd for my migraines rather than my prescription and otc medicine. However my research indicated that it could contain traces of thc making it unsafe for infants. Also I read that the thc remains in the infants urine for weeks. Would love your opinion.

    Thanks!!!

  42. great and useful post for buying cbd oil for new persons

  43. Hi, my name is Muhammed. Can I get you a McNugget.

  44. You should try cbd oil for that. Try WeedBorn products.

  45. I am fan of you blog, it helps me to improve my study. Thanks for presenting such nice and great informative article named “A Beginner’s Guide to Finding the Best CBD Oil”.

  46. Any thoughts on Dram?

  47. John and Maya! Hello and thank you for this article. We’ve been recently recommended the Waayb CBD Oil and I would really love to have your opinion.
    https://waayb.com/shop/

  48. How does your selected brand taste? The brand I’ve tried with all the extra components tastes so earthy i couldn’t stand it. I added a lot of a strong ginger- honey syrup i had on hand and I can now use it but I don’t like it. I need cbd for migraine pain, if that makes any difference. I’m thinking of buying a brand with some essential oils plus peppermint flavoring, tho I’ve never swallowed essential oils before.
    Thanks for your attention to my quandry.

  49. Well written and to the point. I appreciate the detail in this article!

  50. Hi,
    So glad you’re researching this! It’s overwhelming to sift through the jillions of companies trying to find the good ones. Have you looked into RE Botanicals? I just ordered from them and am hopeful that their product is good but would love to know your thoughts! Thanks 🙂

    1. Yes true botanicals! I wonder their opinion on the whole line.

  51. I can understand the concerns. We love it that our readers are savvy and demand a higher-level conversation. So let me take it a bit deeper…

    The production of hemp in the US was made illegal in 1937, primarily because it looks a lot like marijuana, even though it has essentially no THC. As a result of the ban, hemp products (CBD, and many others) remained technically illegal until just a short time ago when the restrictions were relaxed a bit. Today hemp is legal to grow but its production is limited to just a few states.

    Since the relaxation of the laws CBD has roared into the marketplace: offering new ways to treat certain maladies. Because this has happened at such a quick pace, demand outstrips domestic production. Thus hemp growers and hemp-product manufacturers from all over the world see this emerging American market as a lucrative opportunity.

    A quick search of the Asian website Alibaba shows over 184,000 overseas CBD producers. These are not being sold to individual users. They are targeted at folks who want to “private-label” and then sell to the public. There are entire websites dedicated strictly to informing folks on how to get into the CBD business. The hemp for these is all grown overseas in a wide variety of conditions, using who-knows-what pesticides/herbicides/fertilizers. The processing of the hemp into CBD is often done in ways that offer zero regulation or accountability.

    The CBD industry grew 57% just last year and will likely grow even faster this year.
    A Google search for CBD oil produces dozens of pages of manufacturers to buy from,
    so it would take massive amounts of research to investigate every one of those companies.

    We thinned the herd a bit by adding “organic” to the search but after looking at a few of those we realized that we were seeing the same language over and over. Almost every single one of them claims to be the safest and most effective CBD available. They can do this because CBD falls under the laws of “dietary supplements” rather than “medications”.

    We have been contacted by several CBD producers who would like us to carry their products. While some of them were better than others, we’ve yet to find one that is even equal to, let alone superior to Reed’s.

    Also, we went into this with no intention of becoming a dealer of any CBD products. It took months for us to decide to offer Reed’s to you, our readers. Perhaps we jumped the gun…but so far folks seem to like it.

    We are enthusiastic about Reed’s, but you can decide for yourselves if Reed’s is providing you with the benefits you’d hoped for. As far as toxins go, Reeds is the cleanest we’ve seen. Due to its potency, it is also a surprisingly good value.

    We are continuing to research CBD oils, and we’ve added some other Good Stuff brands above, as well as a few to definitely avoid. Please continue to send along the names of the brands you love!

  52. Hugely disappointed in this article. I was hoping for several options that you tested, but this just looks like you’re pushing one company because you’re clearly benefiting from the sales – you’re selling it through your site. Not cool.

  53. I would also appreciate to see what other brands were researched and to know which were good, better, best, bad and sneaky! This is always so helpful in your articles! I’m especially interested to see what you learned about hempworks! Thanks!

    1. I agree with Casey. I became skeptical as soon as you noted that you are now selling that particular CBD oil in your store…

    2. We’ve added some new brands above and will continue to review more!

      1. Nuleaf is reputable as well as Haleigh’s hope . Please do more research before posting just one.

  54. RE: Consumer Labs. I like them alot and I have found them reliable and helpful but unfortunately, while they do “extensive” testing on the products they test, they don’t do “extensive” testing on a wide enough variety of each product category, and only update testing results (with new tests) in most cases, every two years. Also, Consumer Labs by and large only does testing on products that the companies themselves pay a fee to Consumer Labs to test. (Consumer Labs then goes and purchases the products directly off the shelf – for random sampling quality standards). So, many times you won’t find the product you use tested, either because the company hasn’t contracted with Consumer Labs or Consumer Labs hasn’t done more recent testing on the product category, (yet).

  55. Hi John,

    What other brands did you look into? Appreciate the info, though this does come across as an attempt to get in on the latest craze with the heavy marketing for one “best” partner brand that you sell in your store and no mention of other good or bad options that you came across. Hopefully an update will come soon including broader research bc I do appreciate the less biased posts of this site.

    Thank you

  56. What does you guys think of Ojai Energetics CBD and Sol CBD Oil? Both are supposed to be very clean – I was using Sol for a while and now Im trying Ojai Energetics.

  57. Is there any third party testing for purity and concentration on this product? Consumerlabs.com does extensive testing and I don’t remember seeing this brand on their list. Speaking to the owner is not a sufficient for making sure there are no dangerous compounds in the product and the concentration is consistent with that which is labeled. Thanks.

    1. It’s in the paragraph called components and testing

  58. Which one would you use for pain

    1. The relief spray or balm works best.

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