There’s a lot of buzz around the health benefits of CBD and its ability to improve the quality of one’s life.
But where do you find the best CBD oils?
Should you look for “CBD products near me” or buy from an online retailer?
In this article, we compare both sources of CBD oil, highlighting their pros and cons – and pointing you to the best online CBD stores.
We’ll also give handy tips for buying CBD – whether you’re doing it locally or online – so that you can always make a well-informed decision.
Why Online CBD Stores Are Different from Local Retailers
Although the CBD market has matured over the years, it’s far from being saturated.
Everybody wants to get their fair share of the cake from the booming industry.
On the one hand, that’s good because it creates a lot of competition.
But on the other hand, the lack of regulations makes room for fly-by-night companies churning out mediocre products, some of which are downright dangerous due to contamination with pesticides and other toxins.
Local stores are the least safe option for buying CBD oil. You can go into any health supplement store, supermarket, or organic grocery, and you’ll find some products looking like CBD oil – but most of the time, these products are mislabeled.
And some of them aren’t even CBD oil in the first place – containing hemp seed oil as the base.
Online giants like Amazon aren’t the best places to look for CBD, either. That’s because many of these stores forbid CBD from being sold, and instead, creative entrepreneurs sell ‘hemp extracts,’ which are the same as ‘hemp seed oil.
So you’re basically overpaying for regular cooking oil that has no cannabinoids at all.
That’s why we recommend buying CBD online directly from the manufacturer.
Here’s why it pays off.
Traditional stores need to deal with a middleman, meaning there’s always someone involved in the transaction. To make up for this inconvenience, in-store vendors raise the prices of CBD oils so that you pay more for the same product that you could order online.
Since online stores can cut out the middleman, they offer lower baseline prices, not to mention other ways to save money on your favorite products.
Speaking of which…
The best part about buying CBD from online stores is that there’s always some form of discount.
Whether it’s a coupon code, fortune wheel, newsletter subscription, bulk pricing, or reward programs – there are plenty of discounts online stores use to give customers more for less.
Better Product Selection
Most local stores offer one or 2-3 forms of CBD, and they don’t even care to provide more potency or flavor options.
In contrast, buying CBD online allows you to swap between different stores, comparing their formulas and prices to get yourself the best value for your money.
You don’t have to leave your house to browse through hundreds of different products.
No bouncing between local retailers; no unpleasant crash tests; you know what’s available and what isn’t from the start.
When you shop for CBD locally, you rely on the store owner’s perception of what good quality is and what isn’t.
Sometimes, the owner will pick a product only because it’s profitable. This could mean blends of isolated cannabinoids instead of true full-spectrum extracts, or products made from cheap, mass-grown hemp – which could be contaminated with pesticides, heavy metals, and molds.
Reputable online vendors provide batch-specific certificates of analysis from third-party laboratories. This means that the manufacturer sends a product sample to an independent facility that analyzes its chemical content – including the potency of CBD, cannabinoid, and terpene profiles, and purity.
If the product passes the test, it receives the certificate of analysis (CoA) – which is a form of a report confirming the above parameters.
The CoAs should be available on the manufacturer’s website or sent to customers upon request (via email).
Best Online CBD Stores
It’s true that CBD oil is legal in all 50 states – and you can buy it just about anywhere.
CBD products are available in dispensaries, supermarkets, health food stores, wellness centers, and even at gas stations.
But as we said, the best place to get high-quality CBD is to buy it directly from the manufacturer.
The prices are lower, you can do thorough research on your potential supplier, and you can browse through hundreds of options in the comfort of your home.
Here are the top 3 best CBD online stores that you can trust:
1. Royal CBD
Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
Royal CBD was founded in 2018 by a group of biohackers and hemp advocates with a mission to set the bar high for new companies entering the market. Since then, the guys have grown their online store to an impressive size, becoming one of the industry leaders.
The store offers a broad selection of organic CBD products made from pesticide-free hemp grown in Colorado.
You can choose from the following formats:
- CBD oil (full-spectrum)
- CBD capsules (full-spectrum)
- CBD gummies (isolate)
- CBD honey sticks (isolate)
- CBD cream (broad-spectrum)
- CBD roll-on gel (broad spectrum)
- CBD pet oil (full-spectrum)
- CBD dog treats (full-spectrum)
All of these products are extracted with CO2 to ensure consistent potency and maximum purity without relying on high temperatures or toxic solvents.
Each product batch comes with the relevant CoA, listing its potency and purity.
Royal CBD is confident about the quality of its CBD extracts; the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you’re not satisfied with your product, you can return it for a full refund.
The Royal CBD customer service goes above and beyond to solve any problems their customers have; they respond promptly, providing informative answers to all questions.
2. Area 52
Get 15% off all Area 52 products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
Area 52 is a Nevada-based manufacturer of different cannabinoid blends, focusing on delta 8 THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN.
After succeeding with its line of delta 8 THC extracts, the company followed through with a humble selection of carefully-crafted full-spectrum CBD gummies aka the “UFO” line.
You can choose from two products:
- Full-spectrum CBD oil tincture (2400 mg, 60 mL, strawberry flavor)
- Full-spectrum CBD gummies (60 mg, 30-count, assortment of fruity flavors)
Similar to Royal CBD, Area 52 tests its products in a third-party laboratory for quality and safety. Shipping is free on all orders over $110, and if you don’t feel satisfied with your purchase, the brand offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The CBD oil is better suited for daily use, while the gummies are great night-time treats.
If only Area 52 offered more formulas for their products… So far, the company only has one version of each format.
3. Gold Bee
Gold Bee is a true maverick on the CBD scene. Prior to making a transition into CBD products, the company specialized in organic superfoods, such as raw honey from Brazillian rainforests and MCT oil. Both ingredients are present in the Gold Bee CBD line.
Gold Bee offers a wide range of different forms of CBD, such as:
- CBD oils (full-spectrum)
- CBD capsules (full-spectrum)
- CBD gummies (isolate)
- CBD honey sticks (isolate)
- CBD topicals (broad-spectrum)
- CBD pet products (full-spectrum)
You can also browse from a few Kava Kava supplements that pair exceptionally well with CBD when it comes to easing stress and boosting productivity.
Gold Bee’s transparency is second to none. Not only does the brand describe every step of its manufacturing process, but it also provides batch-specific CoAs, posting them on its website.
Best Tips for Buying CBD Oil from an Online Store
Buying CBD oil is a risky business, no matter if you shop online or looking for a nearby store. There are several culprits you should be aware of when it comes to finding the right product.
No two CBD oils are the same, so you need to examine a few important parameters before you choose one supplier over another.
Let’s shed more light on the most important aspects of buying CBD oil.
1. Don’t Buy On the Cheap
CBD is an expensive supplement, and there’s a good reason for that. Manufacturers need to process significant quantities of hemp to produce each bottle of CBD oil.
Moreover, everything needs to be checked by third-party labs, and a carrier oil needs to be added to dissolve and preserve the contents. Each stage contributes to higher prices of CBD supplements.
Some brands sell CBD oil at way lower prices than the market average. This should be the first warning sign.
You need to ask yourself: what is the company doing to be able to sell CBD at a loss?
These companies usually compromise on one or more features of CBD oil.
We’ve seen brands cutting corners on the hemp source – buying mass-produced plants from China and India instead of the local farms. This is a major concern because hemp is contaminated in these regions. Many of these contaminants can be detrimental to the user’s health – especially when consumed long-term.
Other companies ignore the importance of third-party testing, selling CBD oils that contain little to no CBD at all. Some products come with higher than accepted levels of THC, making them illegal in light of the federal law.
No matter how you try to justify those actions, cutting corners for the sheer purpose of bringing down the price of the oil is never good.
If you want an effective CBD product that’s free from harmful toxins, we highly recommend you steer away from cheap CBD oils.
2. Choose Organic Hemp
As mentioned earlier, many cheap CBD oils are made from contaminated hemp. These plants are dynamic bioaccumulators, meaning they absorb and accumulate all substances from their environment.
This includes both the good and bad ones.
The goal is to maximize the number of phytonutrients from hemp while ensuring no toxic chemicals enter the final extract. Organic hemp is the best for the job because it’s grown in clean and fertile soil, and without spraying pesticides on the plants.
3. Read 3rd-party Lab Results
Reading the third-party testing of CBD products is the only way to prove what you’re looking at is the real deal. Lab testing scans the entire cannabinoid and terpene profile of your CBD product and looks for potential contaminants like solvents, pesticides, and heavy metals.
You should never trust a company claiming it sells premium-grade CBD oil without seeing the lab reports first. If there are no third-party tests, don’t waste your time with an untrustworthy vendor and look for CBD somewhere else.
4. Check Your Vendor’s Reputation
Reputable brands are more likely to deliver the expected quality of CBD oils.
They didn’t make it to the top of the ladder just by being there and riding on the hype of a booming market – but rather thanks to their consistency in delivering the desired quality of the product and customer service.
Always buy your CBD oils from reputable companies that have a long record of returning customers. Only then can you be sure that you’re doing business with serious people.
When doing research on CBD companies, compare the reviews on their website with opinions from verified customers on third-party websites, as these two may stay in stark contrast to each other.
Is CBD Oil Legal in All 50 States?
Yes, CBD oil is legal at the federal level, meaning you can buy it in all 50 states – both locally and online.
So far, all US states have decided to follow the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill, allowing the sale of hemp-derived CBD products.
The only requirement is that these products should contain no more than 0.3% THC.
Any product with a higher THC content is considered “marijuana” and federally illegal. You can buy them only in the 17 states that have legalized the recreational use of high-THC cannabis.
Summarizing the Best Online CBD Stores
CBD oil is easily available in all 50 states, but there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about its quality and reported health benefits.
It’s easy to get misguided and fall into the trap of buying cheap CBD oils without doing proper research.
While it’s tempting to look for CBD somewhere near you, we highly recommend buying it from a trustworthy online supplier.
Online stores offer the best price deals, greater product diversity, and more opportunities for researching your manufacturer.
You can check the company’s “About Us” page, look into third-party lab reports, and reach out to other customers to get a bigger picture of your next supplier.
If you’re not sure where to start, we suggest trying one of the three stores we’ve mentioned in our guide. Royal CBD, Area 52, and Gold Bee are premium brands that make carefully crafted products from high-quality ingredients – not to mention high transparency.
Where do you prefer to buy CBD oil online? What’s the best store you’ve purchased CBD from? Drop us a comment below!