Best UK CBD Oils

Best CBD Oils in The UK

CBD oil is an excellent way to supplement your lifestyle and improve your well-being. As its popularity grows, so does the number of products available. With wildly varying prices, purchasing the right oil for you can be a confusing experience. However, buying CBD oil needn’t be a risk if you’re armed with the correct information.

At Herb Reviews, we have been testing cannabidiol (CBD) since 2019; here you will find the best UK CBD oils based on our personal reviews. Each product on this list has been used for two weeks and you can find a full review elsewhere on the site.

If you’d prefer to save a little time; the number 1 CBD product we recommend is BioBloom CBD oil. It is full-spectrum and offers great value for money. Read the full BioBloom review here.

When you buy through links on Herb Reviews, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more here.

Why Trust Herb Reviews?

With so much misleading and incorrect information on the internet, why should you trust Herb Reviews? Unlike many sites that only post sponsored content paid for by brands, we’ve actually tried every oil we recommend. We’ve held all of these products in our hands and used them daily for at least two weeks.

Not only do we get to know every item inside and out, but we’ve been trialling CBD oils since 2019. That’s a lot of hours, a lot of drops and lots of experience.

This experience helps us to find the best oils and cut through the ‘marketing speak’ that isn’t as honest as it should be.

How We Test CBD Oil

Approved Stamp

To ensure that we give every product the same review treatment, we always follow a set process. When it arrives, we familiarise ourselves with the information on the packaging and the website, before recording our first impressions.

Next, we tested it by taking a 20mg serving twice each day, once in the morning and once in the evening, and writing down how we felt. If you want to better understand how we review a CBD product, the full write-up can be found here.

The best CBD oils presented here all perform highly in the following areas:

Third-party Lab Results

All these selected oils have third-party lab results that are easy to access, detailed and simple to understand. The certificates match the claims and specifications made on the packaging. For example, if it’s labelled as ‘THC-free’ the analysis showed 0% THC or ‘none detected’.

Potency/ Effectiveness

All the featured oils produced noticeable potent effects when we tried them. If it doesn’t work for us, it probably won’t work for you either, so we won’t recommend it.

Value for Money

They all offer the best value when compared to similarly performing products. Most come in at no more than 6p per mg of CBD (£30 for a 500mg bottle).

In our experience, there are few oils that can justify charging more than £30 per 500mg. CBD extracts are not expensive to purchase from wholesalers and many of the products available in the UK come from large white-label producers.

Where we’ve included a higher-priced oil, it’s because the lab results, ease of use and potency make it worth the extra money. This is the case with the Bud and Tender CBD oil which has had the THC removed and been lab tested to prove that this is the case to a much more strict standard than any other broad-spectrum oil we have reviewed.

Our Favourite CBD Oils

To help you quickly find an oil that matches your needs, we’ve highlighted the best in five categories.

We’ve also included some other notable products, they are oils we rated highly, but they didn’t quite make it to the top of their type when we reviewed them.

The categories are:

Full-spectrum – This is our overall top choice because we’ve found that full-spectrum oils have the most beneficial ingredients and are the most potent when we reviewed them.

THC-free – Ideal if you’re concerned about THC intake, or are required to be drug tested at work.

Budget – If you want to keep your costs down or are new to CBD, a budget oil might be a good place to start. It won’t break the bank and there is little compromise on quality. We’ve balanced low prices with powerful effects to provide you with an option that’s incredible value for money.

Certified organic – Oils with an official organic certification have been rigorously tested and inspected by an approved organic authority. This gives an extra guarantee of quality and demonstrates that they’ve been produced without the use of artificial fertilisers and chemicals. (Currently, our choice for certified organic also happens to be the best full-spectrum oil)

Isolate – Containing only CBD and no other cannabinoids, isolate oils are free from THC, have a milder taste and are usually more affordable. They don’t provide the same range of benefits as those with additional cannabinoids but offer a useful alternative if on a tight budget.

Best UK CBD Oils

BioBloom – Best Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

BioBloom Logo
How good is BioBloom CBD oil?
BioBloom is not only the best full-spectrum CBD oil, but it’s also the best certified organic oil and is our choice for the best overall. A veteran of the UK CBD market, BioBloom CBD oils are made from hemp grown in Austria and are certified organic.

This surprisingly potent oil contains between 4-10% CBD/CBDa in an exceptional, whole-plant hemp extract packed with beneficial plant nutrients. The high quality of this extract means that it still contains an incredible combination of other valuable cannabinoids (CBD, CBDa, CBG, CBDV and CBC), terpenes and flavonoids. All these useful substances are suspended in a hempseed carrier oil.

The additional substances in the cold-pressed extract enhance its bioavailability making it more than a match for several of the stronger products we tested. Third-party lab results are available on the product page and they verify the concentration of CBD/CBDa and confirm that it contains a range of different cannabinoids.

The only drawback is that BioBloom’s oil is so nutrient-rich that it has an intensely bitter flavour. If you place it under your tongue, it’s a little milder, but I still found it somewhat unpleasant. However, the potent effects are well worth a few seconds of discomfort.

BioBloom CBD oil isn’t the cheapest oil you can get but the slightly higher price reflects the quality and the work that has gone in to achieve organic certification. Whilst the 4% oil is still good, we recommend starting with a strength of between 6-10%. All of which can come in either 10ml or 30ml bottles, the 30ml bottle offering even better value. If you are looking for an effective premium oil that won’t break the bank, this is the one for you.

Further Reading: BioBloom CBD Oil Review

Certified organic
Made with a nutrient-rich whole-plant extract
Surprisingly potent
Contains a full-spectrum of cannabinoids
Suitable for vegans
Made with award-winning hemp
Bitter taste
The oil is so thick; if it gets into the thread of the bottle cap it stops the seal from working correctly.
Buy BioBloom CBD oil at for the Ageless

Body and Mind Botanicals – Best Budget Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

Body and Mind Botanicals Logo
Body and Mind Botanicals
How good is Body and Mind CBD oil?
This cold-pressed 5% CBD oil from Body and Mind Botanicals has been certified organic by the UK Soil Association and displays the EU Organic Leaf logo. The pressing process extracts a full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and plant nutrients without the need for solvent extraction. The hemp extract is suspended in hemp seed oil, so you also get lots of beneficial fatty acids. It contains 500mg or 1000mg of cannabinoids, made up of both CBDa and CBD.

The presence of so many cannabinoids and plant substances makes this a thick, potent oil with an intensely bitter flavour. It’s sharp, hempy and genuinely unpleasant. However, despite the taste, I’m genuinely glad I took it because I experienced a noticeable sense of relaxation, fewer tension headaches, deeper sleep and reduced anxiety.

You can access an example lab certificate via a link on the product page. The lab results are completed by JHG Analytical Services and include profiles of the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. This is an excellent level of detail and demonstrates just how many helpful substances are packed into this oil. The results show that the number of cannabinoids falls just below the advertised 500mg and includes 456mg of CBD with 33mg of CBDa.

Further Reading: Body and Mind Botanicals CBD Oil Review

It’s made with cold-pressed hemp to preserve a broad range of cannabinoids
terpenes and flavonoids.
It’s certified as organic by the UK Soil Association.
The lab results detected a range of cannabinoids
including 456mg CBD and 33mg CBDa.
It made me feel relaxed
reduced my anxiety
improved my sleep quality and helped with my tension headaches.
The lab results are easily accessible via the product page.
It has a deeply unpleasant flavour with a sharply bitter aftertaste.
It could be made clearer that this oil doesn’t contain 500mg CBD but 500mg cannabinoids.
Buy Body and Mind Botanicals CBD Oil

Bud & Tender – Best THC-Free CBD Oil

Bud & Tender Logo
Bud & Tender
How good is Bud & Tender CBD oil?
By far the best THC free CBD oil we have tried and the only one to receive a score of 9 out of 10 in my full review. Bud & Tender have created a broad-spectrum CBD oil with lots of style and backed up with plenty of substance. It’s packed with cannabinoids and terpenes, but it’s been carefully filtered to remove impurities and plant particles. The result is a sparklingly clear oil with a floral, nutty flavour.

If you’re not keen on the thick, bitter taste of some oils, then this is the best-tasting natural-flavoured oil you can get. It still tastes of hemp, but it’s much lighter with no bitterness. This is a potent, effective oil with an easy-to-use dropper that features a measuring scale to make it simple to measure each serving. Bud and Tender provide copies of their detailed third-party lab results on the product page. They include a cannabinoid profile, terpene profile and contaminant screening.

The 10ml bottle is secured with a child-safe lid and holds 1000mg of CBD. The recommended serving is 0.25ml and contains 25mg of CBD; at this rate, one bottle should last forty days. This oil is suitable for vegans and incorporates an organic MCT carrier oil. If you prefer, it also comes in 5%, 20% and 40% versions.

Further Reading: Bud and Tender Review

Entourage effect from cannabinoids and terpenes
Detailed lab reports
Verified as broad-spectrum
Pleasant light grassy flavour
Child-safe leakproof bottle
Potent and effective
Easy to use measure on the dropper
It doesn’t contain the range of additional plant substances found in some unfiltered oils.
It’s a premium oil with a price tag that reflects this.
10% Bud & Tender coupon: herbreviews10

Access CBD – Best Budget Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil

Access CBD Logo
Access CBD Oil
How Good is Access CBD Oil?
Created specifically to be the most affordable CBD oil in the UK, Access CBD is a budget brand from Canabidol. The oil comes in a 30ml bottle and contains 1200mg of CBD suspended in MCT coconut oil. It’s made with a broad-spectrum (THC-free) hemp extract. Terpenes have been added to give it a natural herbal taste. You also get a spray cap which makes it easy to deliver the oil under your tongue without having to fiddle about with a dropper.

I went for the natural version, but if you prefer, you can also choose from berry or citrus flavours. It has a mild pine-like taste with no hint of any hempy bitterness or unpleasant aftertaste. When I used about 35mg per day, I experienced reduced anxiety, increased focus, and occasionally a sensation of calm. Unfortunately, it didn’t give me any relief from my regular tension headaches but I normally only feel this benefit from full-spectrum products.

The lab results for each batch can be accessed via links on the product page or by scanning the QR code on the bottle. The certificates show a profile of cannabinoids and verify that they do contain the 1200mg stated on the label. From the design on the results page, it looks like the analysis may have been conducted by Access CBD and Canabidol’s parent company British Cannabis.

Further Reading: Access CBD Oil Review

It has a mild pine-like flavour.
The bottle comes with a spray cap to make it easy to take it under your tongue.
The lab results for each batch can be found by QR code.
It reduced my anxiety and increased my focus.
The lab results are pretty basic.
I didn’t experience any improvement in my tension headaches.
There are few cannabinoids in this bottle meaning that it is not as effective as other broad or full spectrum oils.
Buy Access CBD Oil

Medterra – Best Isolate CBD Oil

Medterra CBD Cream Review
Medterra CBD Oil
How good is Medterra CBD oil?
Medterra aims to make CBD more accessible by using isolate to make high-quality premium products. The result is an affordable, mild-flavoured oil with no detectable THC, other cannabinoids or plant substances. This 11% oil comes in a 30ml bottle and contains 3000mg of CBD suspended in an MCT carrier.

We don’t often recommend products made with isolate, but when they’re made to this standard, they can be a useful alternative to more expensive full and broad-spectrum options. An example third-party lab certificate is available from the product page and shows the amount of CBD and the absence of other substances.

The flavour is buttery with a hint of coconut and no bitterness; this makes it ideal if you’re not keen on the stronger-tasting CBD oils. Medterra is so confident that you’ll like it that it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you want something cheaper or less potent, you can choose from the other oils that come in strengths of 3.3% and 1.6%.

Further Reading: Medterra CBD Oil Review

An example of third-party lab results is available
The bottle is easy to seal securely
1ml measure is marked on the pipette
The taste is pleasant and buttery
Medterra is registered with the US Hemp Authority
Incredibly low price for 3000mg of CBD
It's made with CBD isolate and contains no other cannabinoids
The lab reports aren’t specific to the batch
Buy Medterra CBD Oil

Eir Health No.9 Awake – Best CBD Oil for Alertness and Focus

Eir Health Logo
Eir Health No.9 Awake
How good is Eir Health No.9?
Eir Health offers an exceptional range of premium CBD oils at surprisingly affordable prices. No.9 Awake is a welcome new addition to their collection. It’s a CBD oil that’s been combined with extra substances to support focus and wakefulness during the day.

The 30ml bottle is packed with 900mg CBD in a broad-spectrum extract, a blend of terpenes, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, natural pineapple flavour and an organic MCT carrier oil. These well-thought-out extras enhance its effects and make it something truly special.

As well as having a delicious pineapple flavour, No.9 is incredibly easy to use and has a child-safe cap and a scaled dropper. When I used it for two weeks, I experienced enhanced focus and improved mental alertness.

In addition, Eir Health commissioned some of the most detailed lab results I’ve seen so far. They successfully verify the CBD content alongside 6 other cannabinoids and confirm that it’s free from THC, heavy metals and pesticides.

I noticed an almost immediate improvement in focus and mental alertness.
There are lab results available for each batch of oil.
The lab results cover cannabinoids
terpenes and contaminants.
The lab analysis detected 7 cannabinoids.
The pineapple flavour is tasty and enjoyable.
I didn’t notice a broad range of other effects in addition to the improved alertness.
15% Eir Health Coupon: HERBREVIEWS

Best of The Rest

Above are the best oils in each of the main categories. Since Herb Reviews began at the beginning of 2019 we have tested and reviewed over 50 different CBD brands. Those you will find below are all notable products. They are still high quality but don’t quite make as being best in class. It doesn’t mean that they are bad products, just that there are others where the results were slightly better or I personally preferred the flavour.  So, in no particular order, we have:

Hempura CBD Oil

Hempura Logo
How good Is Hempura CBD oil?
Hempura’s 5% CBD oil is an effective, full-spectrum product with a nutty flavour and sharply bitter aftertaste. It’s made from organically grown European hemp that’s imported and then carefully extracted to preserve a full range of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and plant nutrients. The resulting extract is suspended in a hemp seed carrier oil which provides additional fatty acids.

Hempura has made a name for itself by using high-quality hemp and being open and honest about its methods. This is particularly evident when it comes to third-party lab results. Each product has a white label with a batch number that matches the certificate that relates to that product. This means that you can be certain that you’re viewing the details that refer to your product.

There are three strengths available: 2.5%, 5% and 10%, all-in 10ml bottles. If you prefer your CBD oil with a milder flavour, they do offer a ‘broad-spectrum’ range which has no detectable THC and has had any additional plant substances removed.

Further Reading: Hempura CBD Oil Review

Made with organically grown hemp
Contains a full-spectrum
whole-plant extract
Hemp seed carrier oil
The third-party lab results are available for each batch
The hemp is imported from European farms
There is a bitter aftertaste that feels sharp in the throat.
5% Hempura Coupon: HERBREVIEWS5

CBD Brothers Blue Edition

The Original Alternative Logo
CBD Brothers Blue Edition
How good is the Blue Edition?
The CBD Brothers Blue Edition (aka The Original Alternative) is one of the cheapest CBD oils available in the UK and is effective too. It contains 500mg of CBD/CBDa and is made from a full-spectrum Sativa hemp extract in a hemp seed carrier oil.

Each bottle holds 10ml of dark brown oil with a surprisingly mild flavour. It’s fresh and grassy with a hint of nuttiness, but there’s no bitter aftertaste. The bottle and label are basic, but the effort has clearly gone into producing the oil, which is surprisingly potent. In each bottle, you get between 190 and 200 hundred drops, each containing 2.5mg of CBD/CBDa.

The CBD Brothers are the longest-trading UK CBD company and they’re determined to stick to their motto of ‘Health over Wealth’. They have a wide range of oils in different concentrations and editions based on hemp strains. You can choose from strengths between 1.5% and 6% with a choice of Sativa, Indica or hybrid strains.

Further Reading: Full Reviews of CBD Brothers Blue Edition Review

This oil has a relatively low concentration but is surprisingly potent.
You can choose from Sativa
Indica or hybrid oils.
You can try it first by buying a small sample bottle
Made with full-spectrum extract
Bulb tipped dropper
Low price
Great value
The bottle doesn’t have a child-safe lid
The dropper can be hard to use accurately
Buy at CBD Brothers

Cibdol CBD Oil

Cibdol Logo
How good is Cibdol 5% CBD oil?
This is a sparklingly clear 5% oil from Cibdol. It’s available in a 10ml bottle and contains a full spectrum hemp extract suspended in an olive oil carrier. It’s an excellent choice if you want something with a milder flavour without compromising on cannabinoid content.

Cibdol is a Swiss brand that aims to produce potent, pure oils. They’ve successfully achieved this by using supercritical CO2 to extract the cannabinoids and then filtering out any remaining plant matter. The result is a golden transparent oil with a smooth, mildly grassy flavour.

The third-party lab tests can be accessed via the Cibdol website and show an impressive cannabinoid profile. This isn’t the most potent oil on here, but we found it to have a positive effect during the day and it was calming in the evening. While the bottle doesn’t have a child-safe cap, it does secure well, making it useful for journeys or carrying in a bag.

Further Reading: Cibdol CBD Oil Review

Made with a broad-spectrum extract
The cannabinoids are extracted with supercritical CO2
The oil is filtered to achieve it’s clear appearance and mild flavour
The bulb tipped dropper works particularly well
No child-safe lid
The filtering improves the flavour but is likely to remove some beneficial plant substances
Buy Cibdol 5% CBD oil

Endoca CBD Oil

Endoca Logo
Endoca CBD Oil
How good is Endoca CBD oil?
Endoca are a global CBD company with an impressive range of exceptional hemp products. This 15% oil contains 1,500mg of CBD in 10ml of hemp seed oil. Supercritical CO2 was used to extract the hemp and create a product packed with cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes and nutrients. For a broader range of benefits, it also contains vitamin E and vitamin D.

This is one of the most concentrated oils on this list and the intense flavour reflects that; it’s fruity and bitter with a powerfully sharp aftertaste. It’s an incredibly potent oil and I found it calmed and focused me. Endoca provides a detailed database of third-party lab reports so you can see a detailed breakdown of the analysis conducted on the batch your product came from.

The main downside here is that you have to pay a premium to get this kind of quality. However, if it’s within your budget, it’s well worth it. If you’re looking for a less potent oil, you can opt for the 3% oil. They also do a raw hemp range which has slightly less CBD and higher levels of CBDa.

Further Reading: Endoca CBD Oil Review

There are detailed lab results for every batch
Made with full-spectrum hemp extract
Rich in terpenes
flavonoids and plant substances
It’s made with organic hemp oil
It’s suitable for vegans
The price may be beyond some budgets
It has a strong aftertaste
Buy Endoca CBD Oil

Choosing a CBD oil – What you need to know

What is CBD?

When you buy CBD oil for the first time it can be overwhelming. The language used is usually quite technical and all the products are slightly different. Here we will explain what these terms mean and give an overview of what you need to know to make an informed choice.

Why Do People Use CBD?

There are numerous reasons why people use CBD. Most of them are health-based and include:

  • Improved sleep
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Giving up smoking
  • Pain management
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Managing depression
  • Exercise recovery
  • Reducing blood pressure

Whilst there is emerging evidence to suggest that CBD can help with some of these conditions, much of it is anecdotal and not proven by peer-reviewed studies. Don’t buy CBD expecting a miracle cure-all. It isn’t, and the studies carried out often use much higher servings of CBD than are available in the food supplements sold here in the UK.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

Yes, CBD oil is legal in the UK, but there are some rules and regulations in place to ensure that it is safe and to prevent rogue retailers from making unproven claims. There are four criteria a CBD oil must meet to be sold legally:

  1. The container must have less than 1mg of THC, THCV, CBN or other controlled substances.
  2. It must not be sold as a medicine or with inferred medical benefits. To do so requires MHRA licensing.
  3. The controlled substances (THC, CBN etc.) must be packaged in such a way that they cannot easily be separated from the main product.
  4. The brand must apply for and receive Novel Foods Authorisation from the FSA.

Note: There is no law determining what the strongest CBD oil that can be sold is. If you would prefer a strong option, these are the strongest CBD oils available in the UK.

CBD Facts & Precautions

Non-intoxicating – Unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating and won’t leave you feeling high.

Side effects – Whilst CBD is considered safe (WHO), some people experience mild side effects. These can include nausea, fatigue, irritability, dry mouth, reduced appetite, diarrhoea and drowsiness.

Interacts with medicationsCBD can interact with some medications causing unwanted effects. If you are taking any medication, you should consult with your pharmacist or doctor before trying CBD. If your medication has a grapefruit warning, then you must consult a medical professional first.

Not addictive – According to the World Health Organization; “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential”.

CBD won’t show on a drug test – However, if you chose an oil containing too much THC, the levels can build up over time causing a failed test. If you’re expecting to be drug tested, we recommend choosing a THC-free option.

Extract TypesFull Spectrum CBD vs CBD Isolate Chart

There are 3 main types of extracts used to make CBD oil; isolate, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum. Each one has its own pros and cons; a better understanding of these will help you find a product that provides value for money and is best suited to your needs. You will sometimes see other names used by retailers, these will also be covered below.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil

A full-spectrum extract is one that contains all the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. CBD will be the most abundant, but you can also expect to find traces of THC, CBN, THCV, CBG and more.

Full-spectrum CBD oil can sometimes be referred to as “whole-plant”. A whole-plant extract is one that contains all the naturally occurring cannabinoids as well as any plant lipids and nutrients. Not all full-spectrum oils are ‘whole plant’, some brands prefer to filter their products to remove these plant nutrients leaving only the cannabinoids and terpenes.

Filtering out these lipids removes some of the bitter earthy flavours that the best CBD oils will usually have. Personally, we find whole plant and full-spectrum oils to be the most effective and this is why we recommend them above all others.

The most effective CBD oils are whole-plant or full-spectrum A range of cannabinoids, including THC is needed, to achieve what is known as the entourage effect.
They can taste bitter and earthy They are more expensive than isolates

Broad Spectrum CBD Oil

A broad-spectrum CBD oil refers to one that has had the THC removed. The process most commonly used is chromatography, which is both complex and expensive and even then, some traces may remain.

These expensive processes mean a good quality broad-spectrum costs more than a full-spectrum oil. This price increases again if there are good lab reports to show how thorough the removal process was.

Lab reports for broad-spectrum products will test THC to ensure it comes in below a level of quantification (LOQ). The LOQ is the smallest amount of the substance that can be detected by their equipment. Products with no detectable THC  are then sold as “THC-free”.

Note: We have also seen broad-spectrum referred to as narrow spectrum, usually when only a few cannabinoids can be detected on lab tests. One brand that offers a “narrow-spectrum” oil is Dragonfly CBD.

Gives peace of mind if you are drug tested at work. Suitable for those who are sensitive to the effects of THC.

Good quality broad-spectrum oil is expensive Doesn’t contain THC that contributes to the entourage effect Not all broad-spectrum oils are truly “THC-free”.

CBD Isolate Oil

CBD isolate is exactly what it says it is. The CBD has been separated from all the other cannabinoids, plant nutrients and terpenes to create a product that is almost pure. Usually testing at around 99% purity, isolate comes in the form of a powder or crystals that can be added to a carrier to create a CBD oil.

Isolate is by far the cheapest form of CBD as most people find it to be the least effective. As it is so cheap, it is often used to produce lower-quality products or increase profit margins.

Flavourless and odourless Cheaper than other types of CBD Perfect for those who are sensitive to the effects of THC.

Doesn’t contain the other cannabinoids and terpenes that contribute to the entourage effect. Often found in lower-quality products.

The Different Carrier Oils

There are a few common carrier oils that are used to deliver CBD. You may have already seen that CBD oils contain anywhere from 2.5% to 50% cannabidiol. This CBD extract is fat-soluble, so it’s mixed with a fat-based carrier oil to help it reach your bloodstream.

In 2019, the University of Minnesota published a study that demonstrated that the presence of fat significantly increased the absorption of CBD

The type and quality of carrier can make a difference to the bioavailability (how much CBD reaches your bloodstream, more on this later) and the overall effectiveness of your chosen CBD oil.

The most common types of carrier oil are:

  • MCT oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Olive oil

MCT OilMCT Carrier Oil

Medium-chain glyceride (MCT) oil is a form of fat that is easily digested. Normally extracted from coconuts, we consider this the best carrier oil as the easy ingestion of MCT allows the most CBD to reach your bloodstream.

Our personal testing backs this up; we take 40mg of CBD per day when reviewing a CBD oil and those using MCT oils are nearly always the most effective. Oils using MCT as a carrier often have a slightly buttery taste.

Hemp Seed OilHemp Seed Carrier Oil

Hemp oil has been extracted from pressed hemp seeds. It is a highly nutritious oil that is rich in omega-6 fatty acids. The benefits of taking hemp seed oil include reducing skin inflammation and the risk of heart disease.

However, when using CBD drops, you consume such a small amount of hemp seed oil that these benefits are insignificant. Oils using hemp seed as a carrier tend to have a slightly nutty taste. It’s not noticeable in all CBD oils, but in the mild ones, you can detect the pleasant hemp seed flavour.

Olive Oil

This is the least common of the three and is used because olive oil is linked to a number of health benefits. However, like with hemp seed oil, you will not consume enough to see any benefits.

The olive oil carrier is often highly filtered and doesn’t add any noticeable taste to the oil.


Bioavailability of CBD products chart
Image courtesy of Mile High Labs

Bioavailability refers to how much of the active ingredient makes it to your bloodstream to be utilised. It’s not unreasonable to assume that taking a serving of 40mg would see 100% of the CBD make it. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

Depending on how you take your CBD oil, this number is actually much lower. This is because CBD is broken down or destroyed along the way. The only way to get 100% bioavailability is to inject it directly into a blood vessel (DO NOT INJECT CBD!).

There are two main methods of ingestion; taking it sublingually (under the tongue) or swallowing it. Taking CBD under the tongue is the most effective of the two because it’s absorbed via the thin membranes in your mouth into your blood.

Choosing the correct application method can save you a lot of money in the long run. Choose the wrong one and most of the CBD will go to waste.

The different methods of CBD have varying rates of bioavailability, looking at numerous studies it is generally accepted that:

Method Percentage Speed of Effects Effect Duration
Sublingual Application Up to 35% 15 – 25 mins 4 – 6 hours
Swallowed/ Eaten 4-20% 30 mins – 2 hours 6 – 8 hours
Inhaled/ Vaporised Up to 56% 10 mins 2 – 3 hours
Rectally 8-50% 20 mins – 1 hour Unknown

It is clear that the most efficient method is vaping your CBD (if this is of interest, these are our selections for the best CBD e-liquids) but taking an oil under the tongue comes close.

Improving Bioavailability

Some manufacturers formulate their oils specifically to enhance bioavailability. A common way to do this is to use an MCT carrier oil. MCTs are smaller than most fats and allow CBD molecules to pass quickly from the digestive system into the blood. This is likely to speed up digestion and increase the amount that reaches your cells.

Another method that some brands advertise as providing enhanced bioavailability is to make it water-soluble. To do this, manufacturers treat the CBD molecules in various ways to allow them to dissolve in water. This means they can pass quickly into your blood and may avoid digestion. However, so far, there is minimal evidence to indicate these products produce better results than oils. Also, our personal testing of water-soluble products has seen no noticeable improvements in effectiveness when compared to traditional CBD oils.

What Strength CBD Oil?

When first starting with CBD oil, building up slowly from a small amount is the key to finding the appropriate serving size. Start with a lower strength, between 5-10% ideally, then steadily build up until you know how many mg of CBD per day works for you.

Once you know this number, you can buy a higher strength, which is normally significantly cheaper per mg.  We do not recommend starting with a stronger oil because some people find it effective in small amounts (as little as 10mg per day) and the stronger oils can contain up to 25mg of CBD per drop.

Starting with the strongest oils could see you taking more than you need and spending too much.

The below table shows roughly how much CBD is contained in each drop of oil. This can differ slightly from one brand to another as the droppers come in different sizes. Double-check the product information when you buy to get the exact number.

Strength Mg Per Drop
2.5% 1.25mg
5% 2.5mg
10% 5mg
15% 7.5mg
20% 10mg
30% 15mg
40% 20mg
50% 25mg

How Much Should You Take?

Every person is different. The right amount to take will depend entirely on you. An effective serving for one person does not necessarily suit another. Bodyweight, metabolism and body composition can all be factors dictating how you react.

It is a good idea to start with a low, regular dose. Let your body get used to taking this small amount, then slowly increase it until you find what works.

The first few days begin with 5-10mg in the morning and another 5-10mg in the evening. Record how you felt each day and compare it to how you were pre-CBD. If after 3 or 4 days there’s no change, up it a little and follow the same process for a few more days.

Don’t take too much too soon, be patient when you start out. Why?

  • CBD is biphasic – This means that it can cause different effects in different amounts. Alcohol is the perfect example of this in that a drink or two can make you feel happy, but in higher amounts, it is a depressant. If you take too much too soon, you may not get the desired effect and give up before you’ve even begun.
  • CBD takes time to make changes in your body systems and it may take a few days, or longer before you notice any improvements.

FSA Rules on CBDFood Standards Agency LogoLogo

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has set out recommendations regarding the maximum amount of CBD an adult should consume alongside some warnings. They are as follows:

  • No more than 70mg of CBD should be consumed each day (28 drops of 5% CBD oil).
  • Do not use CBD if pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Do not consume CBD if you are taking any medications.

How Novel Foods Changed CBD

In the last two years, UK CBD regulations have put pressure on UK CBD brands resulting in significant changes in the products they bring to market:

The first and most publicised change was the European Commission’s ruling on novel foods. In 2019, they ruled that there was no proof that CBD had a significant history of consumption before May 1997. As a result, Novel Food Regulations classify CBD oils as a ‘novel food’ that must be evaluated and authorised prior to being advertised for sale.

In the wake of the Novel Foods ruling, some CBD brands presented their products to the Food Standards Agency for evaluation and authorisation, while others made fundamental changes to their products to bypass the regulations. For example, some brands opted to make cold-pressed oils, a traditional extraction method that doesn’t require modern solvents. Brands that offer cold-pressed CBD oils believe that they are exempt from the novel food ruling and that their products don’t need to be authorised.

The second change involves the interpretation of UK drug licensing guidance that states no container of CBD oil should contain more than 1mg of a controlled substance. While it might initially seem quite a precise rule, some brands were unclear as to whether it refers to each controlled cannabinoid individually or to all controlled cannabinoids in total. As a result, many brands have opted to introduce new THC-free products to completely remove any chance of them being taken off the shelves for their controlled cannabinoid content. This means more isolate and broad-spectrum (THC-free) oils are on retailers’ shelves than ever before.

How Long Will a Bottle Last?

This will be slightly different depending on how much CBD you consume each day. The below chart will give you a rough estimate based on purchasing a 5% oil. So, a 10ml bottle will contain 500mg of CBD and a 30ml bottle will contain 1500mg of CBD.

The table also lists cost per month (CPM) and this is based on a 500mg bottle of oil costing £30 which is 6p per mg and the upper end of what we believe to be a fair price. Buying a stronger oil will lower these costs if you find you need to take a higher serving size each day.

Amount per day 10ml Bottle (500mg CBD) 30ml Bottle (1500mg CBD) Cost Per Month
10mg 50 days 150 days £18
20mg 25 days 75 days £36
30mg 17 days 50 days £54
40mg 12.5 days 37.5 days £72
50mg 10 days 30 days £90
60mg 8 days 25 days £108
70mg 7 days 21.5 days £126

How to Use CBD OilCBD Oil Under The Tongue

CBD oil is an incredibly versatile product. The simplest and most efficient method is to lift your tongue, squeeze as many drops of oil as you require into the bottom of your mouth and hold them there for about 90 seconds.

Do not swallow it straight away; as we saw earlier in the bioavailability section, eating your CBD is the least efficient delivery method. You are looking to absorb CBD through the membrane under your tongue.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.