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Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Although research into its effects is ongoing, some studies suggest that it may be able to help ease symptoms of conditions like chronic pain, insomnia, and even anxiety.

If you’ve been considering grabbing a bottle of CBD oil to ease worry and stress, you may have found yourself surprised — maybe even overwhelmed — by all the choices out there, not to mention the vocabulary. What the heck is a terpene anyway?

Although nothing makes one CBD oil better than another at tamping down anxiety, when you choose a quality product you stand to gain the most benefit. We’ve done the research to help you choose a CBD oil or tincture that fits your needs, including some that contain other ingredients that may help bring about a sense of calm.

CBD terminology:

  • Terpenes are plant compounds with potentially therapeutic benefits.
  • Flavonoids are plant compounds that have antioxidant benefits.
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabinoid associated with the “high” from marijuana use. CBD doesn’t have intoxicating properties.
  • Full-spectrum CBD contains all the naturally available compounds of the cannabis plant. In hemp-derived full-spectrum CBD, the THC will be no more than 0.3 percent.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD has all the plant’s naturally occurring compounds but no THC (or only trace amounts).
  • CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD, separated from all other plant compounds.
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We chose these products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Each product in this article:

  • is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • is made with U.S.-grown hemp
  • contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
  • is below the legal limit for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA

We also considered:

  • company certifications and manufacturing processes
  • product potency
  • overall ingredients
  • indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $50
  • $$ = $50–$150
  • $$$ = over $150
Healthline

Price$$$ (offers assistance programs)
CBD typeFull-spectrum (less than 0.3 percent THC)
CBD potency6,000 milligrams (mg) per 120-milliliter (mL) bottle
Lazarus Naturals Chocolate Mint High-Potency Full-Spectrum CBD Tincture

At 50 mg per 1 mL dose, this is a high-potency product. It’s made from hemp grown on the Lazarus farm in central Oregon.

Though this is a flavored oil, reviewers describe the taste as subtle and still somewhat earthy. As an added bonus, it pairs well in a cup of joe when you want some calm along with your caffeine.

Customers also rave about the brand’s commitment to making CBD accessible with its assistance programs for veterans, people on long-term disability, and those with a low income. Batch-specific COAs can be found on the product page.

Buy Lazarus Naturals Chocolate Mint High-Potency Full-Spectrum CBD tincture online.

Price$$
CBD typeIsolate (THC-free)
CBD potency750 mg per 30-mL bottle

When you want a CBD product that goes down smooth like candy but offers peace of mind in what you’re getting, Kanibi’s Skittles flavor will do the trick. This CBD isolate offers pure CBD from organic hemp. The CBD is extracted with carbon dioxide, which is said to be a cleaner way to extract CBD than ethanol extraction.

No other plant compounds are present in this oil, giving you just CBD in an MCT carrier oil and zero artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. If you’re looking for a more potent product, the company also offers a 1,500-mg bottle. COAs can be found on the product page.

Price$
CBD typeFull-spectrum (less than 0.3 percent THC)
CBD potency1,500 mg per 30-mL bottle

If anxiety tends to keep you up at night, this oil from LiftMode might help you stop counting those sheep. It includes a robust list of terpenes, including linalool, a calming compound also found in lavender. It also contains lavender essential oil to support relaxation and chamomile and melatonin to help you sleep.

The label recommends a dose of 0.5 mL (half a dropper) for a 40 mg serving of CBD and 1 mg serving of melatonin.

Batch-specific COAs can be found here.

Price$$ (see discount programs)
CBD typeBroad-spectrum
CBD potency1,000 mg per 30-mL bottle

This multipurpose oil is made with just two ingredients: CBD and grapeseed oil. When used topically, it soothes and hydrates. Grapeseed oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can calm skin prone to breakouts during times of stress and anxiety, and CBD also has complexion-enhancing potential.

Lord Jones offers discounts to teachers, military members, and medical personnel. And if you like the product, the subscribe and save option takes reordering off your plate.

Batch-specific testing results can be found here.

Price$
CBD typeBroad-spectrum (THC-free)
CBD potency300 mg per 30-mL bottle

Reminiscent of a creamsicle, FOCL’s orange cream swirl flavor is a low-dose product with zero THC. It’s also vegan and verified non-GMO. Plus, at $40, it’s an easy brand to try if you’re a cannabis newbie.

If you’re looking for something a little more potent, they also make a version with 1,000 mg per bottle. FOCL offers subscribe and save discounts, making reordering easier on your bank account.

FOCL makes their products with U.S.-grown hemp in facilities that are compliant with the FDA’s good manufacturing processes (GMP). COAs can be found here.

Price$$$
CBD typeIsolate (THC-free)
CBD potency5,000 mg per 30-mL bottle

If you’re sensitive to other cannabinoids, you may prefer a high-potency CBD isolate and nothing else — no trace amounts of THC, no other plant compounds, and no added flavors. At $210, this product is pricey, but it’s also potent, offering 167 mg of CBD per 1-mL dropper.

CBDistillery is behind the “The CBD Movement Podcast” and aims to educate people about the science behind cannabis and its intersection with wellness. Read our in-depth review of the company here.

Buy CBDistillery CBD Oil Isolate online. Use code “healthline” for 15% off.

Price$
CBD typeFull-spectrum (less than 0.3 percent THC)
CBD potency900 mg per 30-mL bottle or 450 mg per 15-mL bottle

Sometimes you want a plain Jane kind of tincture to turn down the volume on your anxiety. Enter Papa & Barkley’s Releaf Drops. Made with just two ingredients — full-spectrum hemp and MCT oil, it comes in either natural (unflavored) or lemongrass ginger flavor.

This product is made from Colorado-grown hemp. The brand uses a whole-plant fusion process to extract CBD, avoiding harsh chemicals and solvents — one less thing on your mind. COAs can be found on the product page.

Research on CBD and its use for anxiety and depression is still ongoing. Large-scale clinical trials need to be done to determine effective doses for specific conditions. But a 2015 review of existing studies shows preclinical evidence that CBD has “considerable potential” for treating anxiety disorders like:

You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to choosing a CBD oil for anxiety. At a minimum, look for a product that has been third-party tested. Reputable CBD companies will send out their products to accredited, third-party labs to be tested. Then, they’ll make the testing results available to the public through certificates of analysis, or COAs.

Compare the COA to the product label and make sure it actually contains the amount of CBD and THC it says it does. You can also verify that it doesn’t have dangerous levels of contaminants like molds, pesticides, and heavy metals.

Once you’ve found some quality products, a selection really comes down to personal preference and your needs. If anxiety keeps you up at night, a CBD product that contains melatonin might be helpful. But if anxiety is more prevalent during your out-and-about hours, you might prefer a low-potency CBD you can take on the go, upping your dose as needed.

Reading a CBD label can feel a little tricky until you’re familiar with the terminology. Keep in mind that if you’re hoping for an entourage effect of all the phytocannabinoids and terpenes working together, you’ll want a full-spectrum product.

A broad-spectrum option will offer other cannabis plant benefits, as well, but won’t include any THC. A CBD isolate product will contain no THC and no other cannabinoids or plant compounds. So if exposure to anything but CBD is a concern, opt for an isolate.

And, of course, taste will come into play. If the smell or taste of cannabis is a turnoff, you may prefer a flavored product to mask any overt earthiness.

CBD oils and tinctures are best taken sublingually. Use the dropper to measure your desired dose, then squeeze the drops under the tongue. Hold the liquid there for about 20 seconds before swallowing.

A CBD oil label usually lists the total amount of CBD in the bottle. The serving size, which may not be clearly listed, is actually the amount of CBD per milliliter. For example, a 1 ounce (30 mL) bottle with 1,200 mg of CBD will deliver 30 servings of 40 mg per mL (usually the size of the dropper).

But that doesn’t mean you have to take a full dropper or that you have to stick to just one dropper either. If you’re new to CBD, start with a smaller dose to see how it affects you before taking more if desired.

CBD is generally reported to be safe, but side effects may occur. These may include:

  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in weight

Before trying CBD for anxiety, talk to your healthcare provider or a knowledgeable cannabis clinician, especially if you’re taking any medications. CBD may interact with certain prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and vitamins or supplements.

CBD may also cause liver toxicity or injury, a recent study shows. However, this study was conducted on mice, and researchers say you’d have to be taking extremely high doses for this to be a concern.

One more thing: Be careful when consuming CBD along with high fat meals. Fats can increase CBD blood concentrations, upping the risks for side effects, according to a recent study.

The research is still ongoing as to how CBD might be able to help ease anxiety and other mood concerns. If you’ve been considering trying CBD oil to see if it makes you feel more relaxed in times of stress or your day-to-day, we hope our list of fully vetted recommendations helps you choose a product that fits your needs.

Remember to talk to your doctor first, especially if you already take medications or supplements.

Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.