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FYI You Don’t Have To Spend A Fortune To Get High-Quality Hemp CBD Oil

Certified holistic nutrition consultant

By Lindsay Boyers

Certified holistic nutrition consultant

Lindsay Boyers is a nutrition consultant specializing in elimination diets, gut health, and food sensitivities. Lindsay earned a degree in food & nutrition from Framingham State University, and she holds a Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting from the American College of Healthcare Sciences.

Image by mbg creative

September 3, 2022

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Hemp CBD has only been recently legal across the United States since December 2018, so it’s no surprise that many people are still confused about how to shop for the best hemp CBD products–let alone how to determine what counts as a “good value” in the hemp CBD world.

The good news? The continued expansion and competition seen in hemp farming and the hemp CBD market means the prices should only get cheaper with time, making hemp CBD more affordable than ever. The bad news is that this same rapid growth makes it harder to decipher what’s actually worth your money.

Similar to any other product, quality is often one of the first things to decrease with hemp CBD when a company wants to save. As a result, it’s important to still consider the quality, sourcing, and formulation of the hemp CBD product that you plan to purchase.

Below, we highlight the best cheap hemp CBD brands that hit the middle ground between quality and price–all with an average cost far below $0.10 per milligram of hemp CBD.

What is hemp-derived CBD oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main cannabinoids in the industrial hemp Cannabis sativa plant, along with trace levels of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC (i.e., less than 0.3% THC by dry weight per U.S. law). Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. However hemp CBD does support the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for maintaining the body’s homeostasis across most if not all the body’s organs and physiological functions.*

While research is still in its early stages on the full health benefits of hemp CBD and other cannabinoids, the unique plant is widely recognized for promoting feelings of calm and regulating stress response*–so you can reap the benefits of the Cannabis sativa plant without feeling “high.”

How to understand the quality of hemp CBD oil.

Similar to shopping for any other supplement, it’s important to do research into the brands you plan to support. Transparency around sourcing, production practices, and testing (i.e., for purity and potency) is the best way to ensure you’re getting a quality product that’s worth the price.

In the hemp CBD world, this includes finding brands that reveal their growing location and share farming practices (preferably organic). The product page should ideally link to a Certificate of Analysis (COA). These reports from accredited labs provide the chemical analysis of a hemp extract or oil, giving details about the potency of the product’s ingredients (e.g., confirming CBD dose and trace levels of THC), as well as confirming that contaminants, such as pesticides or heavy metals, are absent or present in negligible residual levels.

Like any other product, quality is often reflected in the price. Of course price and value should be viewed holistically. This means considering the product in its totality–its active ingredients, excipients (i.e., “other ingredients” list), and packaging materials.

Hemp CBD can cost as little as $0.02 per mg hemp CBD with options up to $0.20 per mg hemp CBD. During our research, we found the sweet spot for snagging a sustainably-packaged, organically-sourced product is between $0.05/mg hemp CBD and $0.10/mg hemp CBD.

How we picked:

Testing & transparency

When evaluating picks, we chose only brands that use third-party testing labs and make COAs readily available on their websites.

Potency

We included gentle, moderate, and strong CBD dosing options on the list for people with unique biological makeup, as well as different levels of comfort and/or experience with hemp CBD.

Reputation and reviews

Firsthand experience is important, so we highlighted brands that come highly reviewed and recommended by people who love them–including our writers, editors, and even nutrition science experts.

It’s difficult to compare price apples to apples when dealing with different strengths (and volumes), so we calculated price per milligram of CBD to level the playing field. All options on this list come in at 10 cents or less per milligram.

Our picks for the best value hemp CBD oil of 2022:

Best organic: Cornbread Hemp Distilled Organic CBD Oil

Cornbread Hemp Distilled Organic CBD Oil

VIEW ON Cornbread Hemp

Pros:

Certified USDA organicSmart packaging with marked dropper

Cons:

Most expensive option on the listTrace levels of THCNot suitable for those with tree nut allergies (coconut)

Type: Full-spectrum

Full Bottle: 750mg of CBD

Serving Strength: Moderate, 25mg CBD per serving

Servings: 30

Cost Per Serving: $0.10 per serving

You’ll only find two ingredients on the label of Cornbread Hemp’s oil: organic MCT coconut oil and organic hemp extract. The full-spectrum hemp is only sourced from organic hemp flowers–which contain most of the hemp CBD and minor cannabinoids–and distilled to remove impurities. It’s then combined with organic coconut oil for optimal availability. The final product is USDA organic certified (i.e., of the utmost quality and a hard designation to earn), just like the brand’s hemp CBD gummies.

Choose between 375mg, 750mg, or 1,500mg of hemp CBD per bottle. The first two offer 25mg of hemp CBD per serving (a moderate strength), while the last size has 50mg of hemp CBD per serving (a strong potency).

Sustainability & Packaging: Cornbread Hemp is based in Louisville, Kentucky and the brand sources of all its organic hemp from local Kentucky farmers. The product is shipped in a glass bottle with a labeled dropper that makes it easy to control the serving size of hemp CBD oil (a common issue when dealing with tinctures).

Transparency: All Cornbread Hemp products are third-party tested for pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, microbials, and potency. Batches aren’t released to the public unless they pass these tests, and all COAs can be easily viewed on the site. QR codes for lab reports are printed on each production, on the bottle, and on the box.

Best full-spectrum: Lazarus Naturals CBD Tincture

Lazarus Naturals CBD Tincture

VIEW ON Lazarus Naturals

Pros:

USDA certified organicAvailable in three flavorsSmart packaging with marked dropperKosher

Cons:

Some users don’t like the flavorsNot suitable for those with tree nut allergens (coconut)

Type: Full-spectrum

Full Bottle: 1500mg of CBD

Serving Strength: Strong, 50mg CBD per serving

Cost Per Serving: $0.03 per serving

This hemp CBD tincture from Lazarus Naturals has 50mg of hemp CBD per serving, maximizing potency for the price. Available in three flavors–classic, strawberry lemonade, and chocolate mint–the USDA certified organic pick is formulated with organic hempseed oil, organic coconut MCT oil, and organic full-spectrum hemp extract.

While a full serving is fairly potent, the marked dropper makes it easy to reduce the total amount consumed, as each marker represents 12.5mg of hemp CBD. While some reviewers aren’t huge fans of the flavors, the brand has earned a solid 4 out of 5 star ratings after nearly 600 reviews.

Sustainability & Packaging: Lazarus Naturals controls its entire processing, from growing to harvesting to packaging. The organic hemp is grown in central Oregon and then extracted and packaged in Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) facilities.

Transparency: After the hemp CBD is extracted, every single batch is third-party tested for solvents, heavy metals, pesticides, microbes, and potency. A full list of test results is available on the site.

Best for beginners: Joy Organics Organic Full Spectrum CBD Tincture

Joy Organics Organic Full Spectrum CBD Tincture

VIEW ON Joy Organics

Pros:

Gentle strength with stronger options availableExtracted from whole flowersUSDA organicFlavored options available

Cons:

Doesn’t grow its own hempFlavored options use stevia

Type: Full-spectrum

Full Bottle: 450mg of CBD

Serving Strength: 15mg CBD per serving

Servings: 30

Cost Per Serving: $0.09 per serving

If you’re new to hemp CBD, this tincture from Joy’s Organics is a good place to start. It’s made with only two ingredients, organic hemp extract and organic MCT oil, and is ideal for both daytime and nighttime use due to its low-dose formula. Similar to Cornbread Hemp, the hemp CBD extract used in Joy Organic’s oil comes from the flowers only, and is extracted without harsh solvents that can break down cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds.

Because it’s unflavored, the taste may take some getting used to for newbies. Luckily, the brand also sells flavored options too, like Tropical Sunrise and Fresh Lime, which are sweetened with organic stevia.

Sustainability & Packaging: Joy’s Organics doesn’t grow its own hemp, but the brand oversees all its formulations and sources proprietary strains of hemp from USDA certified organic farmers. All shipping is carbon neutral (and free over $50) with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.

Transparency: All Joy Organics products go through third-party testing to ensure they’re pure and have the right concentration of hemp CBD. The COAs for each product, and in-house testing data, are available on the site.

Best strong: Charlotte’s Web Maximum Strength CBD Oil

Charlotte’s Web Maximum Strength CBD Oil

VIEW ON Charlotte’s Web

Pros:

Hemp sourced from own family farmsUSDA certified organic

Cons:

No unflavored optionHas trace levels of CBD

Type: Full-spectrum

Full Bottle: 1800mg of CBD

Serving Strength: 60mg per serving

Servings: 30

Cost Per Serving: $0.07 per serving

With 60 mg of hemp CBD per serving, Charlotte’s Web Maximum Strength CBD Oil is one of the strongest hemp CBD oils that you’ll find on the market–yet at only $0.07/mg, the price is more than fair.

Unlike Charlotte Web’s Original Formula, this potent pick is made with hemp CBD C02 extraction, a nontoxic and environmentally safe process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to remove beneficial phytocannabinoids. The full-spectrum hemp extract is then combined with organic coconut oil for optimal absorption.

The maximum strength oil comes in three flavors: mint chocolate, orange blossom, and lemon twist. This means you can easily spruce up your beverage with a unique flavor or take the hemp CBD oil solo (just hold it under your tongue for 30 seconds).

Sustainability & Packaging: Charlotte’s Web sources organic hemp CBD from its own small family farms in Colorado. The U.S Hemp Authority Certified company has an FDA-registered facility where all products are manufactured and packaged.

Transparency: All of the brand’s CBD products are third-party tested for purity and potency, and verified for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). All COAs are easily accessible on the website; you just search by serial number for your specific product.

What to look for when purchasing hemp CBD.

When choosing a cheap hemp CBD oil, you still want to be extra diligent about making sure you’re getting a high-quality product. Consider the CBD type, testing, ingredients, and strength before making your final decisions–not just the cost.

Hemp CBD type

There are three main types of hemp: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Full-spectrum hemp contains all the terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids (including THC) that come from the whole plant. Registered RDN and certified holistic cannabis practitioner Emily Kyle, M.S., previously told mbg this is often considered the best option due to the possible “entourage effect.”

Broad-spectrum mimics full-spectrum hemp with all the same compounds sans THC. This type of hemp is best for anyone who is looking for a combined effect from the plant compounds, but would rather stay away from THC completely.

As the name suggests, CBD isolates contains only cannabidiol, so you don’t get any other cannabinoids or terpenes. You still reap the benefits of the hemp CBD, but you won’t get the entourage effect.

Regardless of your selection, it’s important to always talk to your healthcare provider before starting a supplement.

Testing

Third-party testing is vital to ensuring that you’re getting a pure product. Look for a company that sends each batch off for third-party testing and then makes those test results readily available on its website. You want to make sure the company is testing for contaminants–like pesticides, microbials, and heavy metals–and verifying the potency of the oil.

Ingredients

When choosing a hemp CBD oil, make sure it’s made with high-quality hemp. Ideally, the hemp will be organic and sourced from local farms, or at the very least, it should be non-GMO. The inactive ingredients are important, too.

Read the full ingredient lists to ensure there are no artificial flavors or sweeteners. You also want to make sure the hemp CBD is packaged with some type of fat, like coconut oil or MCT oil, for optimal absorption.

Strength

Strength can vary between CBD oils. Most commonly, you’ll see 10 to 50 mg of CBD per serving. If you’re new to CBD oil or you prefer a gentle dose, you might want to stick with up to 20 mg of CBD per serving. If you want a moderate dose, aim for 20 to 40 mg of CBD per serving. Anything over 40 mg of CBD per serving is considered a strong dose.

Keep in mind that stronger hemp CBD oils may seem more expensive, but you’ll be getting more active ingredients per dose. When trying to narrow it down by price, look at the price per mg of CBD, rather than the overall price for an easier comparison.

How much CBD oil should you take?

The right CBD dosage for you depends on why you’re taking it and how experienced you are with the supplement. A review of studies published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed that depending on the person, dosages ranging from 1 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight to 50 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight were effective. Generally, you want to start off at lower doses and then work your way up to find your own sweet spot.

Most importantly, you should always follow the instructions provided by the brand when starting with a new supplement, as well as always consulting your healthcare practitioner.

FAQ

Are there side effects to CBD oil?

Some people experience side effects when taking hemp CBD oil, the most common being drowsiness and sleepiness. According to the FDA, other common side effects include diarrhea, decreased appetite, irritability, and/or agitation. Hemp CBD can also interact with certain medications, so make sure you discuss any potential contraindications with your doctor before starting a new supplement.

Is hemp oil the same as hemp CBD oil?

Hemp oil is not the same as hemp CBD oil. Hemp oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, is extracted from hemp seeds and has little to no CBD. Hemp CBD oil is extracted from hemp flowers, leaves, and stalks. It’s lower in omega-3 fatty acids but higher in cannabinoids.

Does hemp cbd oil show in a drug test?

Hemp CBD itself doesn’t show up in a drug test because tests don’t screen for cannabidiol. However, full-spectrum CBD oils contain trace amounts of THC, which may trigger a positive drug test depending on the dose.

The takeaway.

When shopping for an affordable hemp CBD oil, you don’t want to buy the cheapest one you can find. Instead, you want to find a good balance of quality and price. The best cheap hemp CBD oils are made with organic and/or non-GMO hemp (locally sourced, if possible) and don’t contain any artificial ingredients. They should also be third-party tested, with COAs readily available on the site, so you can confirm you’re actually getting what you’re paying for.

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