Here’s the good news: Most of our tested products actually delivered CBD. The bad news: Most products didn’t deliver the exact dosage promised. Some came close. Many were in the ballpark. A few straight-up cheated their customers.
To find out who’s actually delivering the CBD promised on the label, we purchased 47 products from a variety of sources.
A 20% label variance is a fair benchmark for CBD in 2019. But that’s not saying much.
A fair benchmark
CBD is no longer federally illegal, but it still exists in a murky legal space. Some brands are playing it safe by promising “hemp extract,” not CBD. Yet their labels use the same dosage metric as CBD (mg, or milligrams). That confuses consumers into believing they’re getting CBD when they may not be.
As we sorted through the data, a number of trends stood out.
Today, more than half the products we tested delivered their labeled dose. It’s worth noting that “delivered” is a term of art. Almost no brand can produce absolutely perfect CBD dosage in every batch.
CBD companies are thriving. But so are scammers and fraudsters. So we put 47 products to the test.
Over the past several years, FDA has issued several warning letters to firms that market unapproved new drugs that allegedly contain cannabidiol (CBD). As part of these actions, FDA has tested the chemical content of cannabinoid compounds in some of the products, and many were found to not contain the levels of CBD they claimed to contain. It is important to note that these products are not approved by FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease. Consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products.
It's worth noting that there can be some side effects from taking CBD pills, but most of them are very mild. For example, they may make you drowsy or lethargic. Junella Chin, DO, an osteopathic physician and a medical cannabis expert for cannabisMD, told Health that roughly 5% of people feel something after taking CBD. "Usually they're the same people who have side effects from Advil or Tylenol," she said. However, these side effects can usually be avoided through proper dosing.
One drawback to ingestible pills is that they don't always work as fast as a CBD tincture. This is thanks to the digestive system, which allows for a slower absorption of CBD into the bloodstream as it breaks down the CBD pill over time.
Regular dosing may allow you to empower your endocannabinoid system, or take advantage of the "entourage effect" with a full-spectrum CBD oil capsule. This is also why it's very important to research CBD brands. When buying a tablet for its potential health benefits, you want to avoid any harmful pesticides or solvents. A CBD supplement is meant to support wellness.
Best for Beginners: Plus CBD Softgels
All Prima products are made without harmful or harsh ingredients. That means no ingredients known to be carcinogens, reproductive toxins, neurotoxins, developmental toxins, endocrine disruptors, or that cause organ toxicity is ever introduced into the supply chain.
First, let's discuss the main difference between using CBD pills versus using a CBD oil tincture. Just as CBD oil is non-psychotropic, CBD capsules also won't get you "high" because they are derived from industrial hemp plants. As such, both products contain little to no THC (depending on what product you are using).
Cornbread Hemp’s CBD oil capsules are regularly tested to be 100% free of pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, and microbials. These full spectrum extracts also are a true “whole plant” product, meaning they contain a full range of cannabinoids, including a legal amount of THC.
With all of the above factors in mind, here are the top CBD capsules based on customer reviews, price, and source of the hemp. Each product has also been reviewed by a third-party laboratory for label accuracy and potential contaminants, including heavy metals, residual solvents, and pesticides.