cbdMD Review: How Good Is Their CBD Quality?
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To truly appreciate what cbdMD has accomplished since it was founded in 2015, we need to understand how the CBD landscape has changed since the company’s early days. Though cannabidiol (CBD) is now one of the most popular items in wellness, companies had plenty of tough obstacles to overcome when it was first introduced.
When cbdMD first put its products on the market, the US Drug Enforcement Agency still considered CBD a Schedule One controlled substance. Even legislators in states where marijuana had become legal turned a wary eye to hemp-derived CBD. As a result, finding processors, transporters, and even banks that were willing to participate in the industry seemed impossible.
In addition to the legal barriers CBD companies faced, the products themselves were heavily misunderstood and stigmatized. Many consumers thought CBD was just another way to get high, and they dismissed the possibility of any actual benefits from using it. The Food and Drug Administration prohibits companies from making physical or mental health claims about the efficacy of CBD, so cbdMD couldn’t even educate the public without major restrictions.
The fact that cbdMD managed to become the first publicly-traded CBD company on the NYSE in 2017—before the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized the cultivation of hemp and extraction of its derivatives was made Federally legal—was a major leap forward for creating a sense of legitimacy in the industry. This achievement speaks volumes for the quality and care behind the company, and its commitment to setting standards for the industry in the early days.
CBD has come a long way since cbdMD was originally founded, however, and expectations for what a company should offer its customers have changed over the last couple of years. Consumers are becoming educated about what makes a formula good, and what to look for in a company’s efforts at transparency. While cbdMD does deliver in both honest labeling and the sharing of lab results, it is missing an important quality marker that didn’t used to matter as much when the market was brand new.
CbdMD boasts a proprietary broad spectrum formula that is robust and potent, but the lab results do not support the claim. The products have the right amount of CBD in them, and they are pure and free of THC, pesticides, and other impurities. However, the actual formula has a disappointing cannabinoid profile that is more like a CBD isolate-plus.
A truly robust broad spectrum formula is difficult to achieve, and cbdMD will likely continue to refine its offering as it continues to center its product line around the THC-free combination of terpenes and cannabinoids. With the 60-day satisfaction guarantee, affordable prices, and excellent customer service, it is still worth giving the company’s products a try.
- A pioneer in legitimizing the industry
- Affordable prices
- Lightning fast free shipping on orders over $79.95
- Excellent 60-day satisfaction guarantee
- Wide selection of products to cover every need
- Disappointing cannabinoid profile for a broad spectrum formula
- Website transparency could use some improvement
cbdMD is a classic example of a publicly-owned CBD company. It was co-founded by digital marketing specialist Caryn Dunayer and Scott Coffman . Coffman is also the founder of another company that has had to work in order to get its products in the mainstream: Blu Ecigs.
It is unclear who exactly is involved in the development of cbdMD’s products; but the company takes credit for the proprietary extraction process it uses to create its broad spectrum formula. It touts the name “Superior Broad Spectrum,” but this seems somewhat misleading considering the lackluster nature of its cannabinoid profile.
We hope that the company’s next phase of rebranding involves improving its formula, however, cbdMD’s products are still high-quality enough to get the attention of professional athletes who use CBD to speed up their recovery, reduce pain, and improve inflammation. Former wide receiver Nate Burleson, track and field star Lolo Jones, pro-golfer Bubba Watson, and MMA fighter Daniel Cormier all endorse cbdMD, in addition to body builders, pro surfers, and skateboarders.
cbdMD has also won several awards over the years. The 2020 Product of the Year Awards recognized cbdMD’s CBD PM capsules as the top sleep aid, and the company’s CBD Freeze Roller won best topical . The company’s CBD gummies were also at the top of CBDUsers.com’s list of best gummies , and Pet Business Magazine recently named cbdMD’s Calming Pet Chews one of the best CBD products for pets .
Points of Interest
cbdMD continues to participate in the growth of the industry as a member of the US Hemp Roundtable, the Natural Products Association, and the Hemp Industries Association . These organizations are set up to take an active role in creating state and federal hemp and CBD legislation, developing sustainable agricultural strategies, and educating consumers.
Despite the fact that no one on the board of directors actually has a background in medicine, cbdMD maintains a pharmaceutical feel to its brand. Its products are cleanly labeled, and the website juxtaposes images of hemp fields next to beakers of CBD oil and people in lab coats. While cbdMD does not seem unfriendly, it definitely puts off a more sterile vibe than most CBD companies.
The company has managed to land CBD a solid foot in the door to the mainstream market as a legitimate supplement, by building a brand geared toward people who want taking CBD to feel like taking their One A Day® multivitamin.
It is not clear where cbdMD sources its hemp. However, the company does mention that it searched three continents and 14 countries before settling on the United States for its agricultural hub. It notes the quality of the soil provides the right nutrients, and the climate is nearly perfect for growing hemp all year long.
While cbdMD does not appear to have its own farms growing hemp, it does state that it is heavily involved in the process from before the seeds even go into the ground, to the time the final product is bottled and put on the shelf. It selects non-GMO seeds in strains that are just right to keep CBD levels high and THC levels low (making it easier to remove all the THC in the extraction process); and as noted above, it has developed its own extraction method, sparing no expense on the most technologically advanced equipment.
Testing and Extraction
Besides boasting about the fact that cbdMD uses some of the most expensive and advanced manufacturing equipment in the industry, the company does not reveal much about its extraction process. It uses both ethanol and CO2 extraction to preserve as much of hemp’s natural properties as possible, and cbdMD tests for quality every step of the way.
Testing the soil in which the hemp is planted is the first step of cbdMD’s process, ensuring it is free of heavy metals and contaminants. Additionally, every state requires that farms test their hemp either just before or just after harvest, to ensure it is free of pesticide residue and mycotoxins, and to confirm that it has a THC level at or below the Federal limit (0.3 percent or less).
CbdMD’s manufacturing facilities are Good Manufacturing Practices certified, and it sends the extracted CBD off to independent labs for a final test to confirm that the products are pure and potent.
ISO certified SC Labs performs testing on cbdMD’s products, and its lab results can be easily downloaded and printed right from the product page. It goes a long way toward transparency, that cbdMD posts the actual lab results on its website, and we appreciate that these need little explanation to understand. SC Labs clearly delineates the amount of CBD in each product, and it also details pesticides and solvents tests as well.
cbdMD: Product Line-Up
cbdMD makes products in almost every format; but the topicals and pet products seem to be a focus for the company, with more variety than in any other category. The CBD in the company’s tinctures and capsules is suspended in MCT oil, and the standard capsules are vegan. CbdMD also makes vegan gummies.
Everything is made with the company’s broad spectrum formula, and some items contain additional ingredients to target specific problems. For example, cbdMD’s PM products contain a blend of valerian, chamomile, other botanicals, and melatonin, in order to promote a good night’s sleep.
- CBD Oil Tinctures: cbdMD’s tinctures are available in both 30mL and 60mL bottles. The 30mL bottle concentrations start as low as 300mg of CBD per bottle for those who need lighter doses or are just getting started; and they go all the way up to 7500mg of CBD per bottle. Everything from the 300mg bottle to the 3000mg bottle is available in natural, berry, citrus, and mint flavors. The 5000mg and 7500mg bottles are only available in natural and berry flavors. There are fewer choices for the 60mL bottles, which only come in 1000mg and 1500mg concentrations (equivalent dosing to a 30mL bottle with 500mg and 750mg of CBD respectively).
- CBD Sleep Tincture: This tincture formulated to aid sleep contains 500mg of CBD and 5mg of melatonin. It also contains CbdMD’s proprietary blend, which includes valerian, lemon balm, hops, passionflower, and chamomile extracts.
- CBD Freeze Roller: This award-winning topical contains menthol and tea tree oil for added cooling relief. You can select between a three-ounce roller or a four-ounce squeeze tube. They both contain your choice of 300mg, 750mg, 1500mg, or 3000mg of CBD, so the squeeze tube will be just a little more diluted in concentration than the roller.
- Recover Cream: Meant to address inflammation, this CBD cream also contains histamine dihydrochloride (an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent). Choose between concentrations ranging from 300mg to 3000mg, in a squeeze tube, tub, or pump.
- CBD Oil Softgel and Standard Capsules: CbdMD’s softgels are designed to be easy to swallow, but they are not vegan. CbdMD does, however, carry a vegan standard capsule that is a little larger than the softgels, for those who find swallowing animal products harder than swallowing pills. For both, you can choose between 30 and 60-count bottles ranging from 15mg to 50mg of CBD per capsule.
- CBD PM Softgels: These softgels contain 16.5mg of CBD each, along with melatonin and the same proprietary blend of valerian, lemon balm, hops, passionflower, and chamomile extracts found in the PM CBD oil tincture.
- CbdMD CBD Gummies: CbdMD’s CBD gummies come in bottles of 30, with 300mg, 750mg, and 1500mg concentrations. They are vegan, and each bottle combines tropical, strawberry, orange, and raspberry flavors. You can also choose gummies in the 750mg concentration that are fortified with 10mg of vitamin C.
CBD for Pets
- Soft Chews for Dogs and Cats: CbdMD makes soft chews for both dogs and cats with a variety of concentrations in containers of 30. For dogs, chews are chicken and bacon-flavored, and they come in 150mg, 300mg, and 600mg concentrations. For cats, the chews are salmon-flavored, and they come in 150mg or 300mg concentrations. You can also choose chews that contain additional ingredients for kidney support.
- Calming Chews for Dogs: These chews are formulated for your nervous pup, and they contain chamomile, passion flower, ginger root, and L-tryptophan in addition to your choice of 150mg, 300mg, or 600mg of CBD in containers of 30 pieces.
Lab Results & CBD Quality
We sent cbdMD’s 300mg broad spectrum tincture off to an independent lab for testing, and we were pleased to find that our sample actually contained just a little more CBD than labeled.
The broad spectrum cannabinoid profile was a bit disappointing, however, and you can see CBDStudy’s review of cbdMD for a more in-depth analysis and full lab results.
Our cbdMD Shopping Experience
The cbdMD website is incredibly organized, and products—along with details like ingredients and lab results—are simple to find. The company’s most popular products are featured right on the homepage, and you can even find bundles of items that are frequently purchased together.
The company does well at helping customers understand its products; and there is a “Frequently Asked Questions” section on each category page, as well as each product page. However, there is not much specific information about the company itself or its practices. This diminishes the sense of transparency, and it makes visitors to the site feel removed from its practices.
CbdMD’s neutral branding means that it has the potential for appealing to a wider audience. With the informational blog, along with all the educational content on each page, cbdMD has managed to create a brand ready-made for the mainstream—and you can also find the company’s products in retail locations across the country.
Shipping and Returns
cbdMD offers free FedEx two to three-day shipping on all orders over $79.95. For any orders under that amount, there is a flat fee of $4.95. The company ships to all 50 US states, US territories, PO boxes, and military bases. Shipments to US territories, PO boxes, and military bases are sent through FedEx Smart Post, and they will take between two and five days once processed. All orders made before 2PM Eastern Time are put into the mail on the same day the order was placed.
The return policy for cbdMD is one of the best on the market, giving customers a full 60 days to decide whether or not they are happy with their products. If you are not 100% satisfied, for any reason at all, you can return your items for a full refund.
Final Thoughts on cbdMD
When you look at how the CBD market has grown over the last five years, it is clear that cbdMD has played an integral role. The company became the first publicly-traded CBD company on the NYSE in 2017, and it has been setting the standards for the entire industry since the beginning. Its branding is ready-made for a mainstream customer base; and the focus on testing and quality have helped the public to understand that CBD has legitimate wellness benefits.
The company boasts its “Superior Broad Spectrum” formula with a robust profile of cannabinoids, but lab results do not support the claim. Not only do our lab results from the CBD oil we sampled indicate a formula that is more of a CBD isolate-plus, but the company’s own lab results on all of its products show the same issue. Despite the flat broad spectrum cannabinoid profile, cbdMD makes award-winning CBD products that are popular among athletes, social media influencers, and anyone looking for effective, affordable CBD as part of their wellness routine.
Since you can try cbdMD’s products virtually risk-free for 60 days, there is no reason not to consider the company’s CBD Freeze Roll for your sore muscles, its PM tincture or capsules for better sleep, or its pet products for your four-legged friends.
If you are still undecided, or you would like to see a more detailed analysis of the company’s lab results and products, click the link to check out CBDStudy’s review of cbdMD.
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