Beginner’s guide to CBD: Dosage, benefits and more


CBD products do not contain THC in significant quantities. CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are legal in all 50 states and many other parts of the world as of 2021.

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What you need to know about CBD

In recent years cannabidiol has gone from a fringe product rarely discussed to something that people from all walks of life are trying. Still, many people remain confused about what CBD is, what it can help with and whether it’s legal or readily available. 

Luckily, it’s simple to understand with the correct information. Once you know more about CBD, the benefits of CBD, types of CBD and CBD dosage, it will be much easier to decide if it’s right for you and what products to use. 

What is CBD?

CBD is a phytocannabinoid found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It’s the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis and many advertise it as having a range of benefits. Unlike its perhaps better-known relative, tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD isn’t psychoactive, so it doesn’t affect people how smoking or consuming marijuana would. Although CBD is the name of just the cannabinoid, people also use the term to refer to CBD-containing products, like CBD oil or CBD capsules.

Is CBD oil the same as hemp oil? 

Nutiva Organic Cold-Pressed Unrefined Hemp Oil

Although CBD oil is technically a type of oil made from the hemp plant, the terms “CBD oil” and “hemp oil” usually don’t mean the same thing. Usually, an oil labeled as hemp oil is hemp seed oil. This uses the hemp plant’s seeds, which don’t contain cannabinoids, while CBD oil uses the cannabinoid-containing flowers and leaves. However, it can be confusing because a handful of manufacturers call their CBD oil “hemp oil,” so always double-check what you’re buying before making your purchase.

What are the benefits of CBD?

Although there hasn’t been a tremendous amount of research into the health benefits of CBD, what research exists looks promising. One study into the effects of CBD on people with anxiety disorders found that CBD could be a useful treatment option for people with a range of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and PTSD. 

Some people also use CBD products to treat pain, especially pain associated with inflammation, such as arthritis. While not much research exists to support this, several studies and reviews confirm CBD and other cannabinoids have potent anti-inflammatory properties. 

Other reasons people take CBD oil include relaxation, reducing stress, aiding sleep and its general antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Types of CBD products

CBD oil

CBD Oil for Pets

CBD oil is one of the most popular CBD products. It’s easy to adjust your dose and it comes in a range of strengths. Oil from the flowers of the hemp plant containing CBD and usually other cannabinoids are mixed with a carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil. You can even buy CBD oil for pets. For more information, check out the complete guide to CBD oil at BestReviews.

CBD capsules

CBD capsules contain a fixed dosage of CBD, so they’re ideal for anyone worried about getting their dosage wrong or who doesn’t like the taste of CBD oil. CBD capsules can contain gelatin, so beware if you don’t eat meat or avoid certain animal products for religious reasons. 

CBD gummies

Like capsules, CBD gummies are great for people who either don’t like the taste of CBD oil or don’t want to deal with the issue of getting the dosage right, although it isn’t all that difficult. They have the bonus of coming in fruity flavors. Again, they can contain gelatin, although you can certainly find some vegetarian and vegan-friendly options.

Topical CBD products

CBD Face Masks

Topical CBD products include options such as balms and creams. They deal with localized complaints, such as joint pain and muscle aches. You can also find CBD skin care products, such as CBD face masks, but it is debatable whether they have any benefits over similar products that don’t contain CBD. 

CBD dosage and strength

CBD oil and other CBD products come in a range of strengths, listed in mg. The listed strength is generally for the whole container. For example, a 30 ml bottle of 1,500 mg CBD oil will contain 1,500 MG of CBD in the entire bottle or 50 MG in each 1 ml dropper. There’s no single recommended dosage for CBD, so you may need to experiment. Start with a relatively small dosage, such as 20 to 40 mg per day, and gradually increase it as necessary. Studies have found that even doses of up to 1,500 mg per day are safe and well-tolerated, so you’re unlikely to take too much, but it’s always critical to be aware of how much you’re consuming.  

Other cannabinoids in CBD products

The majority of CBD products contain other cannabinoids, in addition to CBD, although you can find some options where just the CBD is extracted. Learning more about the options available will help you pick the right product for you. 

CBD isolate

CBD isolate is refined CBD oil that has all the other cannabinoids and terpenes removed. It might seem like pure CBD oil would be more effective if CBD is the main beneficial compound, but research suggests that all the compounds in cannabis combined give the best results. This is known as the entourage effect. 

Full-spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD contains all the natural cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant, including up to 0.3% THC. This THC may bring some medicinal benefits but isn’t anywhere near enough to have a psychoactive effect. Full-spectrum CBD products let you benefit from the entourage effect. 

Broad-spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD products are similar to broad-spectrum but contain zero or trace amounts of THC. You’re still likely to benefit from much of the entourage effect, but it’s a good choice if you’re reluctant to consume even small amounts of THC. 

Best CBD products

Cornbread Hemp Whole Flower USDA Organic CBD Oil

Cornbread Hemp Whole Flower USDA Organic CBD Oil

This is a full-spectrum CBD oil made from the whole flower and no other parts of the plant. It comes in three strengths, including 375 mg, 750 mg and 1,500 mg.

Sold by Cornbread CBD 

Cornbread Hemp Full Spectrum CBD Gummies

Cornbread Hemp Full Spectrum CBD Gummies

These berry flavor gummies are great for anyone who wants a tastier way to consume CBD. They’re full-spectrum and contain 10 mg of CBD a piece, plus they are free from gelatin and high-fructose corn syrup.

Sold by Cornbread CBD

Cornbread Hemp USDA Organic CBD Balm

Cornbread Hemp USDA Organic CBD Balm

This balm contains whole flower CBD extract, plus arnica and peppermint to help soothe aching muscles and joints.

Sold by Cornbread CBD

Plant People Drops+ Relief

Plant People Drops+ Relief

This CBD oil is high in CBG and has added turmeric, so it’s perfect for dampening inflammatory responses and offering pain relief.

Sold by Plant People

Plant People Stay Sharp Capsules

Plant People Stay Sharp Capsules

These vegetable capsules contain 15 mg of CBD a piece, along with a range of medicinal herbs. They’re designed for mental acuity and concentration.

Sold by Plant People

Plant People Relief+ Cooling Body Cream

Plant People Relief+ Cooling Body Cream

A CBD body cream that offers fast-acting relief from a range of aches and pains. It has a cooling sensation that’s great for injuries and inflammation.

Sold by Plant People


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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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