A Spotlight On CBD Oil

If you aren’t yet familiar with CBD oil, you can expect to be hearing more about this plant-derived natural remedy in the coming months and years. According to Forbes, “The Hemp Business Journal estimated that the CBD market will grow to a $2.1 billion market in consumer sales by 2020.”

CBD products are being touted as safe, natural, and affordable. They are marketed as remedies for physical ailments, stress, mental illnesses, and insomnia. CBD is also being used as a health supplement for overall wellness.

What is CBD though, and how do you use it? Is this plant-derived compound really as wonderful as the headlines are claiming it to be? We were curious too, so we did some further investigating.

Whether you’re curious about the hype or looking to begin your own journey with CBD, here’s what you need to know about its origin, effects, and safe usage.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is found alongside more than eighty active cannabinoids (chemical compounds) in the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD is also found in industrial hemp. With roots traced back to 2700 B.C., CBD has been used for medicinal purposes and as a natural remedy for centuries because of how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a recently discovered modulatory system in the body that helps keep the body in balance during stress.

Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the other primary and most known cannabinoid in cannabis—using CBD will not alter your mind or cause a psychoactive reaction. In other words, using CBD won’t get you high.

The Benefits of CBD

While the research about the health benefits of CBD oil is still in its infancy, studies are finding CBD oil may help with the treatment and prevention of numerous illnesses, including Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and epilepsy. Earlier this summer, the Food and Drug Administration even approved Epidiolex, a prescription medication made from purified CBD oil, as a treatment for two types of rare and severe epilepsy.

Further studies and evidence also suggest CBD may be an effective and natural treatment for schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression. Use of the cannabinoid has shown to increase anandamide and neurotransmitter serotonin, thus leading researchers to believe CBD oil can reduce stress, as well as work as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. We love this firsthand account of a woman who tried CBD oil as a way to treat her anxiety; check it out.

How to Use CBD

CBD is extracted in oil or powder form and then added to lotions, capsules, gummies, sprays, foods, and even bath bombs. You can add it to your coffee or morning smoothies. The natural oil can be applied topically or ingested. It can also be inhaled by way of vaping or taken sublingually (placed under the tongue). There are numerous products and brands to choose from on the market as CBD continues to gain popularity as a natural remedy. Trying it is simple, straightforward, and accessible in many different forms.

What to Ask Before Buying CBD

Buying and using CBD oil in the USA is legal because it doesn’t contain THC. When sold outside states where medical and recreational marijuana is legal though, the purity of CBD is not regulated (check out this excellent article from healthyish for further reading). That’s why it’s essential to do your research and ask questions when they’re not already answered on a brand’s website.

Similar to researching ethical clothing and natural skincare products, it’s important to ask about the origin and purity of CBD. Where did this CBD oil come from? (Ideally, you want it to be local.) Is it organic? What third-party testing happens to ensure the CBD is pure, safe, and free from contaminants? As always, transparency is key. If a brand is not willing to share information, be cautious. There are plenty of safe CBD oil retailers wanting to educate and engage with their customers. Check out a few our favorite safe brands below to help get you started.

Safe CBD Oil Brands

1. Sagely Naturals

Features | Sourced from organic, locally-grown, non-GMO hemp; blends are free from parabens, synthetic fragrances, artificial colors or dyes, and sulfates
Price | $20–$50

Founded by two sisters in Santa Monica, California, Sagely Naturals was created for people wanting a natural and safe remedy to alleviate everyday aches and pains. Working with Ph.D. chemists and using only natural, organic, and non-GMO premium hemp, this safe and affordable brand offers CBD oil creams, capsules, roll-ons, and sprays for tranquility, relief, and recovery.

Shop Sagely Naturals

2. Mana Artisan Botanics

Features | Artisan; small batch; chemical and pesticide-free; organic ingredients
Price | $35–$240

Hawaii’s first wellness-driven hemp company, Mana Artisan Botanics CBD oil is locally sourced from conscientious farmers; each product is then handcrafted in small batches on the Big Island. A safe and transparent CBD company offering oils, honey, infusions, and topical salves, Mana Artisan Botanics believes in creating products that care for people, as well as the environment. Additionally, the company freely shares lab testing results with customers for ultimate transparency.

Shop Mana Artisan Botanics

3. Herb Essntls

Features | Organic ingredients; formulated in California; free of parabens; cruelty-free
Price | $12–$65

We love the creative ways Herb Essntls is using Cannabis Sativa seed oil to engineer high-performing skincare products, as well as scented candles and perfumes. A company founded and based in New York, with formulation and packaging happening in Los Angeles, Herb Essntls is safe to use and free from THC. We love their modern minimalist approach to skincare basics—try their lip balm for a hydrating and natural moisturizer.

Shop Herb Essntls


Kayti Christian, a staff writer for The Good Trade, is a storyteller, creator, activist, and avid traveler hailing from Colorado, now living in London. With 30+ stamps in her passport, she is passionate about responsible tourism and is always looking for new ways to be a more conscious traveler. She is currently pursuing her MA in Creative Nonfiction Writing at City, University of London.