Not all CBD manufacturers are created equal.
Let’s separate the wheat from the chaff.
There’s no shortage of CBD companies these days. While many companies are selling top-notch CBD products, there’s an even greater number of brands you should avoid.
This guide is designed to help you separate the good from the bad.
You’ll learn how to assess CBD companies, how to spot scams, avoid inauthentic products, dodge sketchy marketing techniques, and more.
Let’s start by covering the best CBD companies overall and offer a brief roundup of the best CBD brands based on the type of product you’re looking for and the country you live in.
Royal CBD is one of our favorite brands overall. They tick all the boxes we’re looking for in terms of transparency, authenticity, cost, and product range.
This brand carries many different products spanning CBD oils, capsules, gummies, topicals, vape products, and pet products. All of it is independently tested and offered at an excellent price for the level of quality you’re getting.
If you’re simply looking for a good recommendation on a top-shelf source of CBD products that won’t break the bank — go for Royal CBD. You’re not going to be disappointed.
If you’re looking for something with more of a niche product range (like CBD gum or bath bombs), you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Use the code DAILY10 for 10% off your order.
Gold Bee is a small family-owned CBD brand based out of California. What makes this company stand out is its exceptionally high terpene levels in its full-spectrum product range.
The team at Gold Bee has some sort of special sauce. Just take a look at the company’s third-party lab tests, and you’ll see the terpene content is consistently above average.
Gold Bee is able to achieve these levels through its ability to source very high-grade organic hemp in combination with small-batch supercritical CO2 extraction runs.
Overall this small brand is 10/10 in terms of quality.
Kiara Naturals is based in Europe, but the company also has a distribution center in the United States.
This company specializes in herbal formulas that take CBD to the next level.
If you’re using CBD for a specific condition or symptom, it’s better to use products that use more than just CBD. The downside is that these products are less general — meaning they’re not as all-purpose as CBD products are marketed to be.
Kiara Naturals has an excellent pain formula incorporating full-spectrum CBD with herbs like corydalis, angelica, ginger, and California poppy. They offer similar blends for sleep, as well as other niche formulas like CBG + CBD oils.
If authenticity is important to you, Neurogan is a good brand to consider. This is one of the few CBD companies that provide regular snippets into the company’s inner workings through social media.
Neurogan is a family-owned company that’s generated quite a name for itself. The key to success for this company has been its desire to provide nothing but the best for every category of products.
The gummies from this company are of special note because they’re the strongest we’ve ever experienced to date. In fact, the 90 mg CBD gummies are so strong they’re even a bit psychoactive. It feels almost like a low-grade THC high but without affecting headspace.
Their oils, pet products, capsules, topicals, and virtually every other category have consistently scored highly in our reviews.
The Brother’s Apothecary is based out of Oregon, USA. Their main point of difference is their focus on using all-natural, herb-infused products. Most of their products use a blend of hemp extracts or raw hemp flower/leaf with other herbs and nutrients for added benefit.
This is an excellent brand if you like the idea of using holistic CBD products.
The Brother’s Apothecary has an impressive lineup of products, all of which are herbalist approved.
We especially like the company’s CBD teas — which are surprisingly potent for being a steep tea product. With nice large tea bags chock full of medicinal herbs, this stuff can be steeped and re-steeped all day long.
Industrial Hemp Farms (IHF) is a specialty provider of hemp flowers. They do most of their own growing but also source from affiliated farms all over the continental US.
The company separates its flower into three main categories — bottom shelf, mid-shelf, and top-shelf. You can find the flower that matches your specific taste and budget.
The best part is that their top-shelf stuff isn’t even that much more expensive than the other tiers. It’s still super reasonable pricing, which is quite a bit different from most other hemp flower vendors that charge nearly double for their best stuff.
If you’re on a budget, IHF has you covered too. The bottom shelf selection is still excellent hemp flower — it’s just a little too airy, dry, or old to sell as premium flower. This stuff is still perfectly good to use and certainly isn’t going to break the bank.
Lazarus Naturals is one of the bigger companies on our list. They ship globally (where CBD is legal) and have some of the best prices we’ve seen yet.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you Lazarus Naturals is the best company for the price because it’s not — there are other cheap CBD companies that sell decent products too (like Hemp Bombs or CBDistillery), but there’s just something about how this company puts everything together that we like just a little bit more than these “big box” CBD brands.
If you’re on a budget and want products that aren’t necessarily the best on the market but are worth the money — Lazarus Naturals is a good option to consider.
|Total CBD:||600 – 6000 mg|
|Potency:||20 – 50 mg/mL|
|Cost per mg CBD:||$0.02 – $0.03|
|Flavors:||Natural, Chocolate Mint, French Vanilla Mocha & Yuzu|
EIR Health has a small and concise product lineup. They’re what we’d call a mom-and-pop CBD supplier. They carry a full-spectrum oil, an isolate oil — and that’s it. Similar brands include Smile CBD, NuLeaf Naturals, and Five CBD.
Now, you don’t need to have a large product lineup to make good products. If you’re looking for CBD oil, this is an excellent brand to go with.
For added benefit, this is one of the few brands that provide its website in over a dozen languages and ships throughout the US and Europe.
Nordic Oil has been around since 2018 — which makes them older than most of the CBD companies on the market.
As a result of their age, Nordic Oil has one of the largest product lineups we’ve seen yet. So large, in fact, they’ve had to split the company in two for users to be able to make sense of their cosmetic lineup.
If you live in Europe and have a particular interest in CBD-infused skincare products, Nordic Cosmetics (available on the Nordic Oil Website) is an excellent choice. You’ll find eye serums, anti-aging creams, sunscreens, night cream, hand cream, and much more.
Nordic Oil also makes some pretty decent CBD oils and pet products as well. If you want something for pain or inflammation, check out the full-spectrum oil with curcumin and piperine.
This company has a different website for each country, so make sure you’re heading to the right spot:
Endoca is another large CBD company that sits within the realm of companies like Hemp Bombs, Nature’s Script, Medterra, or CBDistillery — but we find these products are quite a bit better overall.
Endoca is the only company we’ve tried that offers the customer the selection of raw or regular CBD products.
Raw CBD hasn’t been heated at all during the production process, so it contains high concentrations of both CBD and CBDa. While this difference is subtle, it does have an impact on the effects.
The raw oils are much stronger tasting and take a little bit longer to take effect — but they’re going to be better for managing certain symptoms like anxiety or chronic pain than normal CBD oil.
This is also one of the few companies that ships to virtually every country in Europe, as well as the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Here’s a list of brands from A-Z with excellent CBD products for sale but didn’t quite make it into our top 10 list:
There are a few steps to properly vetting CBD companies to avoid wasting any money — but if you’re looking for a fast checklist — this is the one:
Let’s get a little bit more granular.
The companies listed above are the best brands we’ve tested so far overall, but if there’s a specific type of product you’re looking for, the top brands may be a bit different.
We like to see companies that specialize in certain categories rather than brands that try to go for them all. Keeping the focus on a specific segment of the market allows companies to really dominate that space by doing it better than anybody else.
Let’s go over a few of the common CBD categories and the best brands for each one.
CBD oil is the quintessential CBD product these days. Virtually every CBD company carries an oil — even if they don’t offer anything else.
This is because CBD oil is simple to use, can be made in any potency range imaginable, and has higher absorption and bioavailability than most other product categories. The reason for this is because CBD itself is fat-soluble, so it’s absorbed into the body along with the oil. Taking CBD with a swig of oil primes the body for absorbing oil-based substances.
Our top-rated CBD oil brands include:
Here’s what to look for when shopping for CBD oil:
Look for companies that carry a few different potencies but never order anything less than 10 mg/mL (300 mg per 1 oz bottle).
To find the potency of the oil, divide the total CBD content by the volume of the bottle. A standard 1 oz bottle contains around 30 mL of oil. In Europe, it’s more common to find CBD oils in bottles that hold 10 mL of oil.
The best way to assess price is by figuring out the cost per milligram of CBD. We’ve already done this for you in our reviews to make it as simple as possible, but you can figure it out yourself by simply dividing the total cost of the product by the total CBD content.
High-quality CBD oils usually go for around 10 cents per mg (give or take a few cents).
Low-quality oils to avoid are usually sold in the 3 or 4 cent range. Unless there’s a particularly good deal or you’re buying in bulk, you should stay away from oils this cheap — they’re usually too weak to be worth the money.
The carrier oil is the base oil the CBD is dissolved in. Most CBD oil brands use MCT oil, but the best products use hemp seed oil or some other premium, unprocessed vegetable oil.
One of the oldest ways of using CBD is to smoke the raw hemp flower. This method is still perfectly viable today and is an excellent way of getting the benefits of a true full-spectrum CBD.
There are a few options to consider here.
You can also order hemp cigarettes or hemp pre-rolls if you like the idea of smoking hemp flowers but don’t like rolling them yourself.
A holistic CBD blend is a product that contains more than CBD as the active ingredient. They leverage the benefits of other herbs or supplements to offer specific support for a given symptom or condition.
In most cases, holistic CBD products offer a greater level of support than products that contain pure CBD.
For example, a good holistic pain tincture may contain full-spectrum CBD, along with other painkilling herbs like California poppy, turmeric, or ginger. A good holistic sleep tincture may leverage the effects of melatonin, valerian, passionflower, or damiana on top of high-quality CBD.
Delta 8 THC is another cannabinoid made from the hemp plant. You can also extract and isomerize it from marijuana, but in order to remain legal in the United States, it has to be made from hemp.
Delta 8 THC is best described as the middle-ground between CBD and THC because it offers qualities of both. It’s relaxing like CBD but retains the same psychoactive effects as delta 9 THC — albeit quite a bit milder.
D8 is powerfully relaxing in standard doses and sedative in higher doses. Some use it as a nootropic in low doses, an anxiolytic agent and painkiller in moderate doses, and a sleeping agent in high doses.
The sky’s the limit here. If you can eat it, CBD can be added to it.
This means you may need to shop around a bit if you’re after a specific type of CBD edible.
Determining the best options in this class involves checking the quality of the CBD itself just like any other category, but it also means considering the quality of the edible itself.
There are a few companies that make perfectly good CBD products overall, but their edibles just don’t taste good. There’s really no point in using an edible if it isn’t tasty — you might as well switch to capsules or CBD oil at that point.
We’ll cover a few of the best options for the most popular categories of edibles.
Topical CBD can be broken down into three main categories:
The best CBD brands in the topical space tend to go for more than just a generalist approach — offering products that take advantage of other ingredients above and beyond just CBD. They also tend to use more CBD than low-end brands. This is because CBD needs to be used in pretty high doses to offer many benefits topically. Cheaper creams may seem enticing at first with the lower sticker price, but don’t be surprised when they don’t work.
Look for companies that sell CBD topicals for a specific purpose. They should include a few other ingredients like vitamin A, calendula, ginger, or other herbs for added benefit. They should also contain a CBD potency of at least 4 mg/mL.
The strongest CBD products are concentrates or distillates. These products are like the jet fuel of the cannabinoid space. They’re ultra-concentrated to contain either pure CBD (CBD isolate powder) or hemp resin (CBD shatters and pastes).
You can find concentrates for just about any cannabinoid these days, including CBC, CBG, CBN, delta 8 THC, delta 9 THC, THCV, and more.
Ultimately, what you’re looking for here in terms of the best brands are companies that can provide testing to verify the potency and purity of their extracts. This rules out the possibility these products contain harmful byproducts or contaminants — which are a common issue with this category.
Once you’ve been able to verify the purity of the extract, it just comes down to price. Most CBD concentrates cost within a few cents per mg no matter who you buy from, and the more you buy, the lower the cost per milligram.
CBD works the same way for all mammals — including our beloved dogs and cats.
Most standard CBD oils can be used safely with our pets — you don’t need to get a special CBD oil just for them.
With that said, you have to be extra careful about what ingredients are used in the oil. You shouldn’t give your dog or cat any oils that contain psychoactive doses of THC or contain compounds like caffeine or theobromine (from chocolate). It’s rare to find, but these products do exist.
The benefit of going with a pet-specific CBD brand is that you don’t have to worry about these added ingredients because all products should be certified safe for your animal.
Pet CBD companies also make their oils with pet-friendly flavors like fish, beef, chicken, bacon, or peanut butter. You can also find other forms of CBD products for pets, like CBD treats or horse pellets.
You can also find companies that make CBD products for horses.
The CBD companies that are available to you can change depending on where you live.
Most CBD companies operate out of the United States, but there’s a growing number of companies opening shops in parts of Scandinavia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy, where the laws are more relaxed.
The United States is the epicenter of the CBD market. Most CBD companies operate out of the US and ship internationally through the help of strategic distribution centers in Europe or other parts of the world.
Because CBD is classified as a food supplement here, it’s also easy to import CBD products into the country.
In general, if you live in the United States, you’ll be able to order CBD from pretty much every company in existence.
The only major exception we’ve seen is some of the Scandinavian companies, like Nordic Oil, which sells an entirely different product lineup for Americans (which is much smaller than their European product line). We’re not sure why this is, but it’s the same with a few other, smaller, Northern European companies we’ve tried in the past.
If you’re in Canada, you’re going to need to order from a Canadian company only. Despite how relaxed the laws are, the government keeps tight wraps on the cannabis market and regulates CBD the same way they do for marijuana.
This means only companies that are registered are able to sell products — unlike the southern neighbors where CBD remains in a wild west.
Most of the CBD products in Europe are based out of either the United Kingdom or Germany. Since Brexit, there’s been a lot of issues reported where people in the UK are having their packages seized at the border when ordering from manufacturers based out of other parts of Europe.
There seem to be far fewer issues when ordering from the United States or from companies based out of the UK already.
The CBD industry is relatively new. As a result, there are very few laws and regulations regarding quality to hold manufacturers accountable.
For similar reasons, there aren’t many barriers to entering the CBD market. As long as you have the cash to make a CBD oil, there isn’t anyone who can stop you from producing a low-quality product.
Some companies have taken this opportunity to make a quick buck by selling inactive or sometimes dangerous CBD oils to uninformed customers.
One example comes from Utah, where products labeled as CBD oil poisoned more than 50 people. They actually contained a synthetic chemical.
However, situations such as this aren’t overly common, so don’t let them scare you away from trying CBD. The World Health Organization has found that CBD may provide relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety, and seizures — with no indication of the potential for abuse.
The best thing you can do to find high-quality CBD oils is to keep yourself informed by getting to know the company you’re buying from.
Basically, we’re looking for signs of authenticity with the brand. Are they here for the sole purpose of making as much money as possible, or do they take pride in what they do?
Every CBD manufacturer is in business to make money, and that’s okay. But that shouldn’t be the only goal. A strong mission statement indicates a greater awareness of the needs of customers and the industry as a whole.
As you shop around, you’ll likely see many variations of the following mission statement:
“We hope to get CBD into the hands of as many people as we can.”
You can translate this to: “We want to make boatloads of cash.”
A strong mission statement has more depth — offering references to things such as:
Look for a company that cares about more than simply making money. If a company is trying to make a quick buck, it’s probably not going to invest the time and money to make the high-quality CBD products you’re after.
Integrity is important because if (and when) something goes wrong, you want to buy from companies that have the integrity to take the steps to fix the issue, rather than try and hide it.
There are a few different ways to extract CBD from cannabis plants. Some of these processes require the use of potentially dangerous solvents, including propane, hexane, pentane, and butane. These processes can lead to harmful ingredients being left behind in your CBD oil.
The best method to make CBD oils using current technology is supercritical CO2 extraction. CO2 extraction doesn’t need the help of any additional solvents or heat to produce the final product. As a result, your CBD oils should come out as clean and pure as possible.
Additionally, the equipment required to perform CO2 extraction is extremely expensive (more than $100,000), which demonstrates that the company is investing in its CBD extracts.
The hemp source can make or break a company’s products. Hemp is known as a bioaccumulator, which means that it does an excellent job of absorbing and storing compounds from the air and soil it’s grown in.
If the soil and air are heavily polluted or contain contaminants such as heavy metals, these chemicals will probably end up in your CBD oil.
The best hemp sources are found in the United States and the Scandinavian countries in Europe. These farmers are generally required to get certified before producing and selling their hemp crops. Look for hemp sources that are 100% organic, non-GMO, and pesticide-free.
Third-party lab tests should be non-negotiable in your search for a high-quality CBD supplier.
The CBD industry has very few regulations when it comes to manufacturing processes, hemp source, and overall product quality. This means that companies can make all sorts of claims without anyone keeping them accountable.
Third-party lab tests provide proof about the company’s products. They can tell you if the CBD content matches what the company is advertising and whether or not the product contains dangerous materials.
As you’re looking for a CBD manufacturer, you’ll see three terms being used to describe CBD products:
CBD belongs to a family of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant called cannabinoids. You’re probably familiar with another cannabinoid called THC, which is responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana.
Full-spectrum CBD oils are those that are made with the entire plant and may contain several other helpful cannabinoids. There’s evidence to support “the entourage effect,” which claims that CBD is more effective when combined with other cannabinoids.
CBD isolates are pretty much exactly what they sound like. They only contain CBD and are usually a little bit cheaper than full-spectrum products. However, the benefits pretty much stop there.
People generally regard full-spectrum products as superior to isolates due to the inclusion of other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes.
This is an important question to ask when you’re trying a new CBD manufacturer. Strong customer service policies can give you peace of mind if you know that the company is looking out for you.
If they offer satisfaction guarantees or return policies, it gives you an opportunity to test the product and find out if it’s right for you.
These companies usually encourage customers to give feedback to improve their products. Find a supplier with great satisfaction guarantees and try your CBD products worry-free.
It’s surprisingly useful to read through past customer reviews or reviews from companies that employ experienced reviewers to test and break down the details of individual companies.
Look for reviews that feel authentic. No company is perfect, so finding reviews that are all overwhelmingly positive is just as much a sign they’re fake as reviews that are overwhelmingly negative.
If you’re not seeing any information or past reviews for a given company, this could also be a sign the company is a scam.
There are a lot of scams in the CBD space to watch out for. Fortunately, they’re relatively easy to spot, but only if you know what to look for. Most of the scams in this space can be categorized into one of the following categories:
Let’s cover each one in some more detail and highlight how to spot them.
The free trial scam works by offering an incredibly low price for the first 1–3 bottles of CBD oil as a “trial.” These oils could be free, or they could just have a really low price. Either way, you’ll be asked to pay a small amount, either just the cost of shipping, or $10–$30 for the package.
The scam works by offering the first bottle for very cheap, which allows the scammers to make sure your credit card works. You’ll be entered into a subscription which will re-charge your card the full amount every month (usually around $60–$100).
The scammers claim you can cancel the subscription any time you want — however, if you try to get in touch with the company to cancel, you’ll find it’s much more difficult than advertised.
Once you’ve entered your credit card, you likely won’t be able to get out of the subscription. The only way out is to cancel your credit card and apply for a “fraud chargeback” through your credit card company. There’s about a 50% chance you’ll get your money back.
Copycat scams work by buying domains that are (almost) identical to well-known reputable brands.
These scams overlap with the other types of scams on this list. They might mimic a reputable company and offer discounted oils when you sign up for a subscription (free trial scam), or they may simply sell you fake CBD oil under a reputable brand name.
The easiest way to tell a scam company apart from the legit source is to look at the URL of the website.
If you Google the brand name, you should be able to find the legit company website. Most copycat scams rely on people clicking on social media links, which can easily be used to redirect people to the wrong page.
Here are some examples of copycat URLs we’ve identified that are mimicking a well-known reputable brand in this space:
Notice the subtle differences in the way the URL is spelled?
There are a lot of these, so make sure you double-check the link and don’t click on random ads on social media. It’s better to search for the company name in Google or use the links in reputable review websites (hello 😉).
While a multilevel marketing company isn’t necessarily a scam, they’re worth avoiding for a few reasons:
We’ve got a list of MLM CBD companies on our CBD scam page to check out if you’re curious about a particular brand.
The simplest form of scam you might run into is the fake product scam. This scam simply involves selling products as “CBD oils” that don’t contain any CBD at all. This scam is super common on places like Amazon, where vendors sell “hemp oil,” which consists of an oil expressed from the hemp seeds (which contain no CBD).
Amazon doesn’t permit CBD products but does allow for hemp oil products.
Companies will position their hemp seed oil to look like a CBD oil by using terms like “contains 1000 mg hemp extract” or “100% pure hemp extract.”
Products need to explicitly list CBD or cannabidiol on the label. The concentration should be at least 300 mg for a standard 1 oz bottle to be worth using at all.
Some scams take this a step further. You’ll buy CBD products from their website but will receive nothing in the mail. If this happens, try to reach out to the company. You will likely not hear back, but it’s important to have this documentation for the next step. Collect your receipts (if provided) and any correspondence you’ve made, and contact your credit card to request a fraud chargeback.
The CBD industry is relatively new and continually changing. Currently, there are very few laws and regulations in place to hold CBD manufacturers accountable.
There are a ton of CBD manufacturers out there, all claiming that their products are the best. Use this guide and the chart above to get a better idea of who’s telling the truth.
Before you go ahead and purchase any CBD products, take the time to perform a background check on the company. This can protect you from wasting your time and money on inactive or potentially dangerous products.
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