The world has gone crazy over CBD in the last couple of years. Everyone’s using it, and it’s getting some big names behind it. You might have had it recommended to you by family who swear blind that it’s helped out with some medical issues.
You might even have seen videos on YouTube or heard about it on podcasts like Joe Rogan.
But however you first heard about it, it seems like CBD is here to stay.
With CBD products now quickly appearing on the UK high street, how do you check for quality? In this buyer’s guide, we review the best CBD brands currently available on the UK market.
What is CBD?
CBD, otherwise referred to as cannabidiol, is one of over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. By grinding down the leaves and flowers, you can extract the CBD as an oil, which can then be consumed for its benefits.
Unlike cannabis, or some of the other by-products of the plant, CBD isn’t psychoactive, which means it’s also slowly being declassified as an illegal drug across the world. More people than ever are now starting to realise the benefits of CBD.
If you’re still worried, don’t be. In order to be sold legally in the UK, CBD is strictly monitored (it can only be sold as a food supplement), and has to have a THC content (the psychoactive element) of less than 0.2%.
The 7 Best CBD oil brands in the UK
Out of every CBD company we’ve seen, Blessed CBD boasts both the highest strength, and the closest or near closest to the highest level of purity that we’ve found.
The biggest advantage of this is that you’re hardly going to have to dose to feel the effects, and it’s likely to kick in and be strong. Plus, it has the advantage of being a full spectrum CBD oil with a colossal list of cannabinoids (CBG, CBC, CBDA, etc), which also includes a beneficial terpene profile.
One thing that makes a huge difference in CBD quality is the quality of the hemp plant it comes from. All of Blessed CBD’s hemp is grown using only the highest of quality farming methods . Every single batch is fully lab tested, and a certificate of analysis is readily available on their website.
Blessed CBD as a company are also pretty excellent. They are a family-run business, with a high level of transparency about how they work and what’s in everything they make.
In terms of strength, their oils come in a 10ml bottle and run from 500mg, which is a good general purpose strength, all the way up to an amazingly potent 1800mg. Pair that with the purity, and you’ve got an effective CBD oil.
If you’re looking for the best CBD oil in the UK, definitely consider Blessed CBD.
Our second favourite, for entirely different reasons to Blessed CBD, CBD Pure are a smaller and more personal company with a lot to recommend them for. However, as they are based in the USA, shipping to the UK can take up to 14 days.
Because they’re a smaller company, you don’t have quite the range of CBD oil products you might get with other companies, but each one is chosen to fill a specific purpose, and they’re all exceptional.
Like all the highest quality oils, CBD Pure’s extraction process is CO2 based, resulting in pure CBD. This approach is compounded by the organic grow methods, with zero chemical fertilizers, colourants or other contaminants used during the process.
Liquid tinctures and CBD capsules are both available, with a wide range of strengths, 100mg up to 750mg, ample for general use up to more specialised needs.
This is another USA-based brand, and shipping to the UK can take up to 10 days.
Using high quality CO2 extraction, like most of our top choices, the purity is exceptional, and it contains absolutely 0% THC, making it legal in the UK, no matter what.
If you’re not a fan of the oil, they also offer a wide range of other products such as skincare creams and edibles.
Each batch comes with lab certification, so you know exactly what you’re getting, but that’s par for the course with our top choices.
What sets Select CBD apart is the range of flavours. If you don’t get on with CBD’s distinct flavour, these tinctures have a full variety of different choices, easily masking the issue and making it a whole lot more palatable.
Based in Suffolk, this is a premium quality CBD brand with a premium quality price tag. Love Hemp make exceptional hemp CBD oils but you’ll end up paying a pretty price for them all.
Love Hemp focus on keeping their range of products strong, pure and natural. It starts with their hemp, which has all been chosen from crops that are genetically selected for the excellent range of phytochemicals contained in them, ensuring you get an oil that has as wide a spectrum as possible.
Then you take into account the lack of anything artificial used in the whole farming process, making it completely vegan, gluten free, CMO free, with no pesticides, herbicides or any other additives at all. Plus, it’s filtered with medical grade CO2, and you’re looking at a product that’s exceptionally high quality.
That makes for amazing CBD oil. But their range is surprisingly comprehensive, with edibles, CBD e-liquids for vaping and even CBD water.
Whatever you need, Love Hemp will do it, and it’s going to be high quality. You might just pay a little more for it than from other brands.
If you’re interested in your hemp being a little more home grown, Holistic Hemp could be the way forward. They’re a Scottish company who try and keep their hemp oil all natural and hand crafted.
Every plant is grown to precise standards, with no chemical pesticides or other artificialities during the process, all the way across their range of European farms.
Second, and kind of oddly, their flowers are hand picked and then given an individualised treatment. Rather than using high pressure, high-heat techniques to obtain the CBD plant extract, Holistic hemp do the opposite, which keeps the chemical profile full spectrum.
They only have one strength, 500mg, which is a shame. But there’s also a paste option that can be eaten by itself or added to damn near everything. The paste is also stronger, if you need it. But for natural CBD, especially home grown products, Holistic Hemp is excellent.
A British brand that’s new into the CBD space, but already getting known, Hempura are a company to keep an eye on.
They have a massive range of CBD products. All the way from tinctures to edibles, vapes or capsules, no matter your preferences on taking CBD, you’ll find a product for you. It’s strong too, available from 250mg to 1000mg. They also offer the choice for customers to choose between their full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oils.
Hempura keeps to a good standard, too. All of their hemp is grown in Europe, all third party certified, and pure because of the CO2 processes used. Plus, they’re registered with the Cannabis Trades Association, another stamp of legitimacy.
Finally, they’re also a great company if you’re just starting out. Their prices are as low as £19.99, which for good quality CBD oil is actually pretty crazy, and that makes this brand excellent if you’re just getting into using CBD.
Another organic choice, Endoca Raw is the brand of choice for vegans and others who have a stricter set of dietary requirements.
Fully vegan and gluten free, their oils are also incredibly pure, because like all gold standard CBD manufacturers, they use the supercritical CO2 extraction. Plus every batch, despite the more bespoke, organic nature of the company, is fully third party certified and comes with certification and an ingredient breakdown.
You can buy it in both tincture and capsules, but there’s only two strengths, which is a shame. Also, it’s got a really strong taste, which might put a couple of people off. But apart from those tiny little things, Endoca Raw is a great oil that’s fully natural and environmentally sound.
What does CBD oil actually do?
This is a wide ranging question, and one that’s hard to answer for two reasons.
First off, the science on CBD is still out. The health benefits/potential side effects are known, or at least heavily suspected, but because it’s such a recent thing, there’s very few papers we can point you to that confirm what’s basically known. However, this is likely to change as CBD becomes more and more commonplace.
Second, the sheer amount of CBD health benefits has made classifying what it’s useful for surprisingly difficult. CBD is used to treat conditions as varied as:
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Other pain disorders
The legality of CBD in the UK
Because of the CBD market’s widening popularity and greater scientific understanding, the United Kingdom government recently changed the law regarding CBD and cannabis oil products.
Until last year, CBD products were still illegal, but as of now, as long as they contain less than the legally specified limit of THC (0.2%), CBD oils and other products are completely legal to buy and sell in the United Kingdom.
How do I take my CBD?
The most common way to take CBD is as an oil tincture, which is a liquid that contains the CBD oil.
Usage is easy. Your CBD should come in a bottle with a dropper attached. Drop the required amount of oil under your tongue, and hold there for around 60 seconds to help with absorption, then swallow.
To calculate your estimate CBD dosage, take a look at the below calculation table provided by Blessed CBD.
CBD is also available;
As a capsule, which will resemble any other medicine and can be taken as such.
As an edible, where it will be part of a gummy sweet, cookie or other foodstuff which can be eaten as normal.
As an e-liquid or CBD vape oil which is smoked in an e-cigarette, or in more esoteric forms.
Depending on dosage, CBD can take anywhere from 10 minutes to around an hour for the effects to kick in. For some, it can take a few weeks before CBD effects become apparent.
How do I find a quality product?
As a new industry with wildly fluctuating legal status, buying CBD oils in the UK can be a little hit or miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
In general, you should stick with best practices. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is, and go with brands that are recognisable, searchable and have good customer reviews.
In terms of specifics, you might want to seek out the below terms in particular:
CBD concentration: Brands run the gamut from 100mg, all the way up to 1000mg and more. Brands that sell high-quality products tend to have lab results posted on their website, verifying the concentration.
THC percentage: This should also be covered by the third-party lab certificate, and has to be under 0.2% to be legal.
Full Spectrum: The wider the range of cannabinoids, the better the result you tend to get in your CBD, because of what’s called the “entourage effect”, where all of the cannabinoids work synergistically together.
Organic, or non-GMO: Organic hemp extract has far less impurities, which leads to a much better end product.
CO2 extraction: CO2 extracted CBD is much higher quality than other methods. It might be slightly more expensive, but it’s generally worth it.