So You Wanna Talk About the Best CBD Brands? Our 7 Picks and Why

10 months ago 910

Lazarus Naturals tops our list of the best CBD brands, but they’re just one of seven companies that have our attention.

There are countless CBD brands out there — and a new one seems to pop up on my Instagram feed every few weeks.

We’re all kinda spoiled for choice. And although it’s great that it’s easier to access CBD than ever before, choosing a decent brand can be overwhelming, especially when we consider how many dodgy products are out there.

To make it a little easier to choose a quality product, we’ve put together this guide to the best CBD brands. We’ve sifted through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Reputation, transparency, lab testing — we’ve considered all this and more and feel comfortable saying these CBD brands create quality products.

Let’s take a look!

To decide which brands made the cut, we used the following criteria:

  • Third-party testing: Quality brands will always have their products tested by an independent ISO 17025-compliant lab — plus their lab reports (also called certificates of analysis or COAs) should be available on their websites. COAs verify the contents of the products are what they say they are.
  • Transparency: These CBD brands are forthcoming about where their hemp is grown, how their CBD is extracted, and how their products are made.
  • Reputation: We check industry news, customer reviews, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s warning letter database to ensure they have a decent track record.
  • No dangerous contaminants: Their products contain no pesticides, molds, or heavy metals, according to the COAs.

We’ve also dug a little deeper into these brands, considering factors like:

  • certifications and production processes
  • commitment to social and environmental justice
  • overall pricing and value for money
  • quality of added ingredients
  • variety in the product range
  • extras like rewards programs, assistance programs, and money-back guarantees

We’ve divided these brands up based on their strengths, highlighting characteristics that make each one stand out.

Overpriced CBD brands? In this economy?

Given that CBD can be quite pricy, we’ve created a key to help you determine which brands could fit into your budget.

While each brand sells multiple products that vary in price, this pricing guide reflects the average price across the brand’s products. For easy comparison, we’ve excluded the prices of bundles and nonCBD products (such as merchandise) when calculating the average price.

  • $ = under $40
  • $$ = $40–$90
  • $$$ = over $90

Bear in mind that our pricing key does not reflect value. Some brands may be more expenny, but deliver value in line with their pricing. You can expect to pay more for more potent CBD products. Factors like added ingredients can also make a product more expensive.

Although some of these brands are a little pricier than others, we’ve only included brands that offer decent value for money.

Best CBD brand overall

Lazarus Naturals

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: isolate, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum
  • Organic: yes
  • COAs: available online

When it comes to CBD brands, Lazarus Naturals is the full package. Who could resist a socially conscious company that makes affordable CBD products from USDA-certified organic hemp?

Firstly, let’s talk product quality. Their products are certified as organic by the USDA and manufactured according to the FDA’s current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs). Reviews on their website, social media, and third-party sites are mostly positive, with many customers praising the effectiveness of their products.

There’s a wide range of products on their site, including isolate, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum CBD products.

A certified B-corp, Lazarus Naturals has committed to donating $100,000 every year to social justice causes. The company recently implemented a $20 minimum wage for all hourly employees, well above the statutory minimum wage. As if that’s not enough, their generous assistance program offers an impressive 60% off to veterans, people on long-term disability, and people in low income households.

You’d think this would make Lazarus Natural’s products unaffordable, but they remain one of the most well-priced CBD brands out there. Their website actually shows you how much you’re paying per milligram of CBD on each product. And compared to their competitors, they almost always come out on top.

With more green flags than we can count, Lazarus Naturals is our pick for the best CBD brand.

Best mission-oriented CBD brand

Charlotte’s Web

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: isolate, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum
  • Organic: yes
  • COAs: available online

We love a brand with heart, and Charlotte’s Web has that in buckets. A certified B-corp, Charlotte’s Web started when seven brothers — known as the Stanley Brothers — created a high CBD, low THC strain of hemp for a young girl named Charlotte Figi. Charlotte had Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of intractable epilepsy. When given CBD oil extracted from the Stanley Brothers’ hemp, Charlotte’s health significantly improved.

When Charlotte passed in 2020, the company announced that it was donating $1M worth of products in her honor. It has also donated to numerous social and environmental projects, including the Women’s Bean Project and the Adaptive Training Foundation.

They maintain high standards when it comes to farming their hemp, using organic and sustainable practices on all their farms. To round it off, Charlotte’s Web offers generous discounts for military personnel, nurses, teachers, students, and first responders.

Its wide range of vegan-friendly products tends to receive extremely positive feedback from reviewers. Although most Charlotte’s Web products are full-spectrum, it’s recently added broad-spectrum, THC-free products to the mix.

Best full-spectrum CBD brand

Cornbread Hemp

For those who prefer full-spectrum CBD, Cornbread Hemp is an excellent choice. A Kentucky-based, family-owned brand, the name is a nod to the “Cornbread Mafia,” a group of Kentucky farmers who were arrested in the 80s for creating the largest cannabis operation in the United States.

Cornbread Hemp doesn’t just nod to history: the brand has been making it. This hemp is the first in Kentucky to be certified as organic by the USDA. What’s more is that the company has a “flower-only” policy, which means their CBD products are created only using extracts from the hemp flower — no leaves, stems, or stalks — in order to create a better product.

Reviews on third-party websites are overwhelmingly positive, with many customers praising the wide variety of products.

Although some Cornbread Hemp products are a little more expensive per milligram than competitors, it does have a rewards program and offers discounts to military personnel and veterans, first responders, students, teachers, medical workers, and disadvantaged groups (which includes disabled people and those who are unemployed or low-income).

Best broad-spectrum CBD brand

Joy Organics

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum and full-spectrum
  • Organic: yes
  • COAs: available online

While full-spectrum CBD products contain so little THC they can’t make you high, many people prefer THC-free products. As such, they opt for broad-spectrum CBD products, which contain some traces of other cannabinoids and terpenes, but zero THC.

If you’re looking for broad-spectrum CBD products, check out Joy Organics. Joy Organics has a diverse product line, including tinctures, softgels, salves, and bath bombs, all of which come in a variety of potencies.

Most of its products are certified as organic by the USDA. While these products are already fairly affordable, Joy Organics has added bonuses like subscribe-and-save, reward, and discount programs.

The company also offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, which really sets them apart — most CBD brands offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if they offer one at all.

Best CBD brand for product variety

CBDistillery

  • Price: $$$
  • CBD type: isolate, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum
  • Organic: no
  • COAs: available online

CBDistillery has one of the widest ranges of CBD products. Not only do they offer a number of CBD application types, but they also have products at a number of different price points. Whether you’re shopping for isolate, broad-spectrum CBD, or full-spectrum products, you’ll find an option here.

Most of their products are certified by the US Hemp Authority. They also offer a 60-day money-back guarantee, a rewards program, a subscribe-and-save program, and a discount program for military personnel, veterans, and first responders.

The majority of online reviews rave about CBDistillery’s products. Their Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture is a clear favorite, with their website listing over 1,900 reviews and a 5-star average.

CBDistillery isn’t certified as organic by the USDA. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that their products aren’t made from organically grown hemp: the process of certification can be time-consuming and costly, so not many CBD brands are certified.

Best CBD brand for gummies

cbdMD

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum and full-spectrum
  • Organic: no
  • COAs: available online

Gummies provide an easy way to get a uniform amount of CBD per serving. And, let’s be honest, they’re way more fun and tastier than dropping tinctures into your mouth.

But many CBD companies fail to hit the mark when it comes to providing good gummies. Some companies only offer gummies in one potency, and many don’t have vegan options.

cbdMD’s broad-spectrum and full-spectrum gummies come in a variety of potencies, covering all your bases whether you want a mild dose or a potent punch. Also, unlike most CBD gummies, these gummies are vegan. Additionally, these edibles receive a lot of positive reviews on the cbdMD website and independent sites.

As an added bonus, cbdMD offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, a decent subscribe-and-save program, and a wide variety of other products.

Best vegan CBD brand

Aspen Green

Few CBD companies offer vegan-only products. Although CBD itself is plant-based, animal derivatives are often used to make gummies, soft gels, and topicals, among other products.

If you’re a vegan looking for plant-based CBD products, try Aspen Green. All its products are vegan and made from USDA-certified organic hemp grown in Colorado.

Aspen Green also has a super generous discount program, offering 35–60% off to:

  • active duty military personnel, veterans, and their dependents
  • first responders (police, firefighters, and EMTs)
  • doctors, nurses, and medical personnel
  • teachers
  • students (including university students)
  • disadvantaged groups (disabled, low income, or unemployed)

Additionally, Aspen Green has a rewards and subscribe-and-save program.

One drawback is that Aspen Green only offers full-spectrum products. With that said, reviewers rave about the company’s range of products, which extends from topicals and pet products to gummies and oils.

There are many, many CBD brands out there. And unfortunately, a lot of them are pretty unsavory. Some sell CBD products that are much weaker or stronger than they’re labeled, and others claim they sell CBD products when their products contain zero CBD whatsoever.

To avoid giving those cheeky scoundrels your hard-earned money, you can learn to look out for some CBD green flags and red flags.

Green flags:

  • Third-party testing: Quality brands will have their products tested by an independent ISO 17025-compliant lab for potency, purity, and safety. These lab reports — also called Certificates of Analysis (COAs) — should be readily available to consumers, either on their website or by request.
  • Source of hemp: Good hemp is the foundation of good CBD products. Brands should tell you where they get their hemp. U.S.-grown hemp tends to be high quality thanks to strict farming regulations within the states.
  • Brand reputation and reviews: Positive reviews, especially on social media and independent websites, can point to a quality product. If there are negative reviews, quality brands often respond politely and with a solution.
  • Transparency: Trustworthy brands should be transparent about their farming practices, extraction methods, and manufacturing processes.
  • Certifications: Good CBD brands often are certified by independent regulatory bodies. It can take a lot of money and time for a brand to be certified as organic, so this isn’t a deal-breaker — but it’s reassuring to have that stamp of approval.

Now, let’s look at some red flags:

  • no COAs or lab reports available to the public
  • unsubstantiated health claims on the website or packaging
  • receiving an FDA warning letter
  • origin of their hemp not specified
  • no transparency about their manufacturing processes
  • no physical address or contact information
  • numerous negative reviews (or no reviews)

Dodgy CBD products are a waste of time and money. Rather do a little research and make sure you’re giving your body quality stuff. (Psst, if you have no time to research quality CBD brands, our product guides cut the work out for you.)

CBD is the coconut oil of the 2020s: it has more applications than we can count. And although CBD certainly isn’t a silver bullet or a cure-all, the available scientific research already suggests it has a number of health benefits. Exciting!

The potential benefits of CBD include:

With that said, it’s important to remember that all of the above benefits must be studied further. The only CBD-based medication approved by the FDA is Epidiolex, a prescription medication for reducing seizures in rare seizure conditions. This doesn’t mean that CBD doesn’t have other benefits, but it does mean we need more research.

For the most part, CBD is pretty safe, according to research. However, there are a few potential side effects.

The side effects of CBD can include:

  • diarrhea
  • weight changes
  • changes in appetite
  • fatigue

Also, keep in mind that we don’t yet know how CBD interacts with medications. However, it may interact with meds that come with a grapefruit warning. If you have the opportunity to chat CBD with a doctor, it’s recommended that you do so.

It’s also best to avoid CBD if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, as we don’t yet know if it’s 100% safe.

Not sure how much CBD to use? Check out our article about CBD dosage.

What type of CBD is most effective?

This question is a little debatable, but most experts agree that full-spectrum CBD is more effective.

This is because of something called the entourage effect, which is the idea that CBD is more potent in the company of the other chemicals found in hemp plants. These chemicals could be cannabinoids — like THC and CBG — as well as flavonoids and terpenes, which give hemp strains their unique fragrances.

Bear in mind that full-spectrum CBD does contain THC, the compound that’s responsible for making people feel high. Legally, CBD products can only contain tiny amounts of THC (less than 0.3%).

As such, CBD shouldn’t make you high — but if you’re avoiding intoxicating substances, or if you may be drug tested, it may be better to opt for broad-spectrum CBD.

How do I choose high quality CBD?

Look for products that:

  • are third-party tested by an independent lab
  • receive positive reviews
  • contain quality ingredients, CBD aside
  • are created by reputable companies

Also, consider:

  • the potency you’ll need
  • which application type you’d prefer (lotions, oils, gummies)
  • whether you’d prefer full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate CBD
  • your budget

You can take a look at our product roundups for some honest reviews.

What is the biggest CBD brand in the United States?

According to Brightfield Group, a market research company, Charlotte’s Web is the largest CBD company by market share in the United States. Charlotte’s Web is our pick for the best mission-oriented CBD brand.

Can I buy CBD on Amazon?

Technically? Maybe. Would we advise it? Nope.

Amazon allows vendors to sell hemp products but not CBD products. Although CBD is derived from hemp, not all hemp products contain CBD. For example, hemp seed oil — while it has a lot of benefits — doesn’t inherently contain CBD.

There are some vendors who try to fly under Amazon’s radar and sell CBD under the guise of “hemp oil,” but this is a dishonest business practice. Best steer clear of that!

There are dozens, if not hundreds of CBD brands in the United States alone. These brands are a cut above the rest, offering well-reviewed products that meet our standards for quality and transparency.

Whether you’re opting for tinctures, gummies, or topicals, the products from these CBD brands can be a useful addition to your wellness toolkit.

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