It's a lot to ask for.
Especially in such a chaotic and exploding market!
But it is so needed right now.
Everyone and their mother has CBD for sale online.
You'll soon see it in drinks, donuts, and teething rings.
Okay...maybe not the last one but it's going to be everywhere!
A lot of it will just be fancy marketing with very inadequate CBD.
Or worse...poor quality CBD, contaminants, pesticides, and solvents!
It's not all good.
We spoke with a major wholesaler off the record who described it as such...
They supply and/or extract the raw hemp oil, and the other companies will dilute it or not process it correctly.
So...we need a guide on comparing the CBD brands and oils out there.
If you want to jump right to prices for the company that passed the screening, click here:
Or you can jump to any section here:
Otherwise, let's get to it.
Too much is at stake!
Here are some of the ground rules for our comparison.
There are literally 100's of CBD brands out there.
Most of them probably not worth their weight in...CBD.
We want to thin the herd and just focus on established brands.
In terms of what we focus on, the most important items:
Everything really boils down to these attributes in the end.
Enough yapping. Here's the comparison.
We'll discuss the individual items below.
Drum roll, please!!
Before we jump into the major comparison, many people are asking for CBD Isolate which might be better for allergies and histamines.
You can learn all about Full Spectrum versus CBD Isolate here but we want to avoid more plant material for mast cell activation.
The CBD Isolate options by price (IndigoNaturals has free shipping so pricing is equivalent):
On to the main Comparison.
Here it is...
Some brands are better but we really love a few of them.
So...what's important in the comparison?
If we had to pick the most important item in order, it would be:
Those are the key items.
Let's look at each one in detail.
This is so critical!
We have to see the levels of the various cannabinoids.
This really speaks to the whole reason we're taking CBD, to begin with.
CBD can do so much good, but only if it's really CBD.
And nothing else.
This speaks to the 2nd reason for 3rd-party testing:
These results need to be available right on the website where you are purchasing.
We will update each quarter for the best value CBD oil by each major brand.
You can always check the updated info through the Product Page here:
There's a good chance that CBD will become part of your monthly regiment.
Almost everyone that tries it does this because its effects are apparent and powerful.
In many cases, life-changing!
We need to look at costs.
Which brands that meet our other requirements are the best value?
We need to be able to afford CBD long term.
Of course, we want to compare apples and apples.
This is a function of dosage (mg) and the volume of CBD (ml).
The cost per mg used in our comparison is a great way to do this.
We want the cost per mg of CBD.
We'll break it out by:
Ask and you shall receive:
Apples and apples. CBD and CBD!
This can be important...depending on your intended use.
CBD by itself is called "Isolate".
The raw hemp is processed through multiple steps to extract just the CBD itself.
There's the little added advantage that it's legal in 50 States.
That's a bonus!
What about Full Spectrum?
There's a big push in the market for "Full Spectrum".
There's very little if any research to back these benefits and the other benefits substances are in tiny amounts compared to CBD naturally in the plant.
You can learn all about CBD isolate versus full spectrum here.
Not the usual marketing push...we'll look at the research and you may be surprised.
CBD will still be the primary constituent of the oil.
They're a great deal of press about the synergistic effects with the different cannabinoids working together.
It's known colloquially as the "entourage" effect although we still have our doubts on Turtle!
The jury's not in yet!
Why? Because there's almost no evidence to the entourage effect in research and people with allergy or histamines may not feel great on full spectrum.
New research is just starting on the benefits of the other cannabinoids, but it's early.
Let's breakdown the comparison by popular product types.
By far, the most popular way to take CBD is by tincture.
Most CBD companies in the comparison have a tincture option.
Using our criteria for comparing the various legal options, a few stand out:
All meet our requirements for:
Get more guidance on these and other CBD products here:
If you have feedback on any of the CBD oils, please forward to us by email.
We'll add it to the update!
The second most popular way to take CBD is topically (via skin).
The CBD balms are the most popular.
Think of joint pain, skin issues, back problems.
Who DOESN'T suffer at some point or another from these.
The balms are very popular for this reason.
Balms usually come in two different flavors:
The main difference with the balms is what's added to the CBD:
And much more.
PharmaExtracts has a popular one similar to tiger balm for athletes.
IndigoNaturals balm is a clean option for people with allergy or histamine issues.
The pricing is slightly higher than PharmaExtract so it comes down to a question of whether you want (or can have) the tiger balm scent which Pharma does have.
Endoca's salve is also priced well (per mg of CBD).
Learn about CBD for Skin.
Oils and balms are very popular but the vape pen still has a large audience.
It may not be adopted by the mass market that is about to be introduced to CBD.
That will still be oils and balms.
It can also help people avoid stomach difficulties if they have sensitive stomachs.
There are some questions on the overall safety of the pen itself (heated coils, effects on immune cells) but let's look at this segment for people interested in the pen.
We'll also look at a better alternative...vaporizers!
A few rules on the vape pen CBD oil or "juice".
We want to avoid the following:
Basically, we want it as clean as possible...just CBD, please!
Heat is applied to the CBD via these pens so chemical additives are problematic.
We want the cleanest available so...
Bluebird Botanicals would be our choice for both cleanliness and cost:
Let's talk about the whole "organic" question.
It's an interesting one with CBD or any cannabis product.
A product can be grown organically, following strict requirements on soil addition and plant treatment.
That's different than being CERTIFIED organic.
Europe has already moved forward towards certification.
Hemp and cannabis are both the same things.
It's just called "industrial hemp" if the THC level is less than .3%.
Since the Organic certification is a Federal one, we may have to wait a bit for that to show on Cannabis-derived products.
Ultimately, the growing process of the CBD will show in the 3rd-party testing.
Zero pesticides are our goal.
Many brands also state that their hemp crops are grown organically.
We'll have to take their word on that for now...but check the labs above!
There are two ways to look at this.
Here's are some of the top CBD companies and brands (from least expensive oil to most for 3rd party tested CBD):
Links to Stores available by clicking on Name
This is a function of size, popularity, and quality of product.
We've given the highlights of how to compare CBD from a top-level but how do we really make sure we're getting the best product.
After all, we could care less about the company.
We want the best CBD quality at the best price.
With no other bad stuff involved! (ding ding ding...3rd-Party Testing!)
You can check out the products for these companies here:
The comparison grid above is a good place to start.
There's a lot of fly-by-night companies out there in the CBD market!
They're drawn to all the hype (and your money).
Stick with the comparison above and choose wisely.
It can be a question of trial and error, unfortunately.
The CBD comparison above will at least give you a head start.
They have to earn your trust!
A recent article on California's more regulated cannabis market came up with some disturbing results.
There was a wide discrepancy in the tested products across the board.
Of 10,695 samples tested:
How about this one...
This is a highly regulated, legal cannabis market.
The CBD market is not as regulated since it's officially a food supplement.
We need to "weed" out the bad brands.
The comparison above is a good place to start.
If you have favorites, please email us here.
We'll add to the list and perhaps include in the comparison if they make the cut!
Otherwise, happy searches!