At Herb Reviews, we have been testing cannabidiol (CBD) since 2019; here you will find the best oils that we have personally found to be the most effective.
CBD oil is growing in popularity in the UK because it is an excellent way to supplement your lifestyle and improve your wellbeing.
As its popularity grows, so do the number of products available. With wildly varying prices, an abundance of unproven claims and new complex terms to learn, purchasing can be a confusing experience. However, buying CBD oil needn’t be a risk if you’re armed with the correct information.
If you’re not feeling like a long read and would prefer to save a little time; the number 1 CBD product we recommend is Eir Health 30. It is full-spectrum, offers good value for money and tastes pretty good too. Read the full Eir Health review here.
When you buy through links on Herb Reviews, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more here.
Table of Contents
Why Trust Herb Reviews?
With so much misleading and incorrect information on the internet, why should you trust Herb Reviews? Unlike many sites who 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 for at least two weeks.
Not only do we get to know every item inside and out, but we’ve been trialling CBD products 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.
Choosing a CBD oil – What you need to know
When you buy a 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. This will cover:
What is CBD
Why people use CBD
The legality of CBD oil in the UK
Facts and precautions
The difference between an isolate, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum extract.
The different types of carrier oil
What bioavailability means
What strength you should choose
How to take your CBD oil
What is CBD?
CBD is one of over 60 naturally occurring plant compounds, called cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant. When eaten, inhaled or applied to the skin, it interacts with several body systems via chemical receptors. These interactions improve your body’s ability to restore various organs and systems to a state of healthy balance.
Whilst there is emerging evidence to suggest that CBD can help with some of these conditions, much of it is anecdotal and not proven with 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 is 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:
Interacts with medications – CBD 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.
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; better understanding 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.
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 flavour 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 (see video below).
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 piece 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 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.
The type and quality of carrier can make a difference to the bioavailability (how much CBD reaches your bloodstream, more on this later) and overall effectiveness of your chosen CBD oil.
The most common types of carrier oil are:
Hemp seed 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.
MCT oils are very smooth and can have a buttery flavour that makes them more enjoyable.
Hemp Seed 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.
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 the 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 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 some gets 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 across 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:
Speed of Effects
Up to 35%
15 – 25 mins
4 – 6 hours
30 mins – 2 hours
6 – 8 hours
Up to 56%
2 – 3 hours
20 mins – 1 hour
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. Also, an oil has other benefits, including a wider choice of better-quality products and no specialist equipment is required to get started.
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.
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, 10% and below 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.
Mg Per Drop
Note: CBD sprays tend to be of a lower percentage than an oil where a dropper is used. Stronger oils are much thicker and, in a spray, will struggle to provide consistent amounts. Sprays will also vary from brand to brand, so check the label to find out how much CBD is in each squirt.
How Much Should You Take?
Every person is different. The right amount to take will depend entirely on you. An effective dose 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.
For 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.
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 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
How to Use CBD Oil
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 the CBD through the membrane under your tongue.
How We Test the Oils
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 trial it by taking a 20mg measure twice each day, once in the morning and once in the evening, writing down how we felt. We aim to use each oil for at least two weeks or until the bottle runs out, whichever comes first.
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’.
All the featured oils produced noticeable potent effects when we tried them. If it didn’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. When looking into one very well-known brand who charge £70 for a 1000mg (7p per mg) bottle, we found that the wholesaler charges them less than £10 per bottle. We also found exactly the same product sold by another brand for £50.
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, been lab tested to prove that this is the case and has a number of other features that make the entire experience that little better.
Our Favourite CBD Oils
Hopefully, after all the previous information, you feel much more prepared to make a choice. So, you can 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 were 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 price 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.
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.
The Best CBD Oils in the UK
Eir Health – Best Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Eir Health No.30
How good is Eir Health No.30?
Eir Health is not only one of the best full spectrum CBD oils but one of the best overall. It is a relatively recent but welcome addition to the UK CBD market. They produce a range of premium CBD oils, with the 10% (Eir HEalth 30) strength at a price point that is difficult to match.
No.30 is a potent, luxurious 10% oil with 3,000mg of CBD in 30ml. It is composed of a powerful full-spectrum extract in an MCT carrier oil, it is organically farmed and suitable for vegans. Eir Health 30 is an intensely bitter oil that is has a dark green colour because of all the phytonutrients and beneficial hemp compounds.
With each full dropper, you get an impressive 100mg of CBD. The third-party lab results are easily accessible on the Eir Health site and are some of the most comprehensive I’ve seen. The Eir Health CBD range also includes full-spectrum oils at 1%, 2% and 5%, however the cost per mg of CBD is much higher than the 10%.
With its stylish presentation, bargain price and CBD packed potency; it is no wonder that Eir Health No.30 is an oil we would recommend to anyone seeking full-spectrum cannabidiol. If you are looking for an effective premium oil that won’t break the bank, this is the one for you.
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.
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 Original Alternative is 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.
BioBloom’s CBD oils are made from hemp grown in Austria and are certified organic. This surprisingly potent oil contains 6% CBD/CBDa in a high-quality, whole-plant hemp extract packed with beneficial plant nutrients. It’s suspended in hempseed oil and you can choose a 10ml or 30ml bottle.
Although the CBD content is low compared with some of the other oils we have selected, the additional substances in the cold-pressed extract must enhance its bioavailability because we found that it produced similar effects to other much stronger products. Third-party lab results are available on the product page and they verify the concentration of CBD/CBDa and that it contains a range of cannabinoids.
The main drawback of this oil is that it’s so nutrient-rich that it has an intensely bitter flavour. If you place it under your tongue, it’s a little milder, but still found it somewhat unpleasant. However, for me, the results were worth a few seconds of discomfort.
BioBloom CBD oil is priced towards the top end of the market but reflects the quality and the work that has gone in to achieve organic certification. If you prefer, you can select from other concentrations including 4%, 8% and 10%. All of which can come in either 10ml or 30ml bottles.
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 are 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%.
Above are the best oils in each of the four main categories. Since Herb Reviews began at the beginning of 2019 we have tested and reviewed almost 50 different CBD oils. 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 some where the results were slightly better or personally preferred the flavour. So, in no particular order we have:
Hempura 5% CBD Oil
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 have made a name for themselves by using high-quality hemp and being open and honest about their methods. This is particularly evident when it comes to the 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. Also, if you prefer your CBD oil with a milder flavour, they do ‘broad-spectrum’ range which has no detectable THC and has had any additional plant substances removed.
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.
Cibdol do this oil in several other concentrations including 2.5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 30% and 40%.
This 10% oil has a much lower price than most other oils at this strength. It’s affordability combined with the quality of its potent whole plant extract make it exceptional value. Jersey Hemp makes this powerful oil with a full-spectrum of cannabinoids in a nutritious hemp seed carrier oil. If you prefer mildly flavoured oils, this one is unlikely to suit you; it has a distinctive grass-like taste which is followed by a sharply bitter aftertaste.
Based in the Channel Islands, Jersey Hemp make this range of oils with hemp imported from the US. The third-party lab results show traces of a range of cannabinoids although no THC was detected. They’re easy to find on the website and there are copies available from every batch as it’s produced. To achieve a beneficial blend of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and natural antioxidants, they use supercritical CO2 extraction and then partial decarboxylation.
Jersey Hemp full-spectrum oil also comes as 5% strength and in 20ml bottle sizes. In addition, they also have an isolate range available in the same concentrations and sizes. They’re all suitable for vegans and are free from dairy and GMO.
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 oil 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 we 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 at 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.