CBD oil, with all of its therapeutic promises, is flooding the market.
With many possible benefits attributed to this cannabinoid – some supported by new research – manufacturers are not wasting any time in touting their CBD product as the best. But with an overwhelming number of CBD oil products hitting the shelves, where should a would-be buyer start?
In an attempt to give consumers a reliable assessment of CBD products on the market, the Oregon-based review website Rave Reviews, which launched in the summer of 2017, recently tackled the intimidating task of ranking the 20 best CBD oils in the country.
“We wanted to do this ranking because there are more and more CBD companies springing up all the time,” Managing Editor Hillary M. Miller told Marijuana.com. “Not all of these companies are selling the same caliber of product, so we felt that it would be really valuable to do a thorough investigation of the companies that are out there and see which ones are living up to their promise of selling top-quality CBD oils.”
Rave Reviews ranked 20 U.S. brands based on presentation (the user experience from the website to the packaging), reliability (based on customer service), quality (based on ingredients), and value (cost).
According to Rave Reviews, “To get these results, we went through the entire process, from browsing the website, to buying from the online store, to opening and actually trying out the CBD. We also posed as a ‘secret shopper’ to test out each company’s customer service, to see whether they could answer quickly and with the necessary information.”
Results and Tips for Shopping for CBD Products
“It seems like there are new brands popping up every day, so we definitely found that we had to narrow it down before narrowing it down, so to speak,” Miller said. “In order to build a list of products we wanted to test, we used a variety of methods: talking to friends and colleagues who were already experienced with CBD and could point us toward good brands and steer us away from duds, reading other review sites to get an understanding of the general consensus on leading brands, and combing through forums and chat groups to see what customers were saying online about different brands.”
The process took several months from start to finish, Miller said. Two reviewers worked together on the preliminary research through the writing stage. Along with a third CBD expert, they sampled about 30 brands. The same three-person team tested the website experience and customer service processes for each of the companies, said Miller.
For consumers looking to do their own research on CBD brands, Miller offers a couple of tips.
The first one: “Look for lab results posted on the brand’s website,” Miller said. “Those results should be from independent third-party labs, and they should be tied to specific batch numbers.”
The second bit of advice is to engage with the customer service team by chat, phone or email, and see what kind of guidance and information you receive.
“Oftentimes, the expertise of customer service agents reflects the expertise of the owners, so you can find out a lot about a brand by talking to their support team,” she said.
California Cannabis Manufacturers Association President Kenny Morrison said consumers should be cautious when it comes to CBD tinctures.
“I can only speak to the quality of CBD products sold within California’s regulated cannabis market, which are thoroughly vetted and tested in order to be available to consumers,” he said. “Generally speaking, CBD-only tinctures available nationwide do not have a good reputation for quality and accuracy with regards to their stated potency and other label claims.”