Education Aug 06, 2020

Comparing the Top CBD Brands on the Market

by Taylor Hogan

The popularity of CBD has risen over the years as more research has been published about its many benefits. Yet, CBD products are popping up everywhere, and it is important to recognize that not all CBD is created equal!

There are several great brands out there that provide quality products. These products may look and feel the same in many ways. When it comes down to comparing apples to apples in the CBD products, there are several external factors, in addition to just the raw ingredient, that can be examined to determine the right CBD match for you.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a CBD brand. You may be surprised at some of the items that separate the bad from the good from the great CBD brands!

What to look for when comparing CBD brands

1. Concentration

Concentration in CBD products refers to the amount of cannabinoids in a CBD product. The concentration of extractions from the hemp plant affects the potency of CBD. Innovation in production has allowed for the concentration of cannabinoids in products to rise. Some CBD isolate products have a potency as high as 99% CBD. When customers use a CBD concentrate, they can consume a high amount of cannabinoids in a short amount of time. This invention was created to provide maximum relief for patients.

When determining which concentration is best for you, a good place to start is to think about how caffeine in coffee affects you. . We find this comparison a helpful example when working with new customers. Do you drink one cup of coffee a day? Or do you drink three cups? In theory, those who drink more will feel more awake. Yet that is not always the case because every person’s body is different. You may drink one cup of coffee and feel awake all day long, whereas another person can drink one cup, but feel tired after an hour.

The concentration of CBD works in a similar way. It really depends on how your body processes the CBD. At Populum, we recommend starting with 8mg of CBD per day, regardless of concentration. If you order a 250mg tincture, you would take 1 full dropper to get 8mg of CBD. Or if you order a 1,000mg tincture, you would take a ¼ dropper to ingest the same 8mg of CBD.

Once you understand how CBD works in your body, you can scale up the dosage or scale down based on desired effect.

Most CBD brands offer multiple concentrations so that consumers can find a product that is best suited for their needs. . Smaller concentrations should be made available for those starting with CBD, as well as those who may not need as high of potency in their product. Brands should also offer high concentrations for their customers who need strong and potent CBD. Stronger concentrations also allow for you to fine-tune your dosage as needed.

Populum’s full-spectrum hemp CBD oil tinctures come in three different concentrations:

  • 250mg: The lower dose allows for those new to CBD to tackle trying CBD with a “low and slow” approach, trying a small amount then adding more as needed.
  • 500mg: This middle concentration can be dosed up and down easily by adjusting the amount in the measurement dropper.
  • 1000mg: Great for customers who are looking for something more. While this concentration isn’t ideal for those new to CBD, it is ideal for experienced CBD users.
  • 2000mg: Populum's strongest concentration for experienced and advanced CBD users. The best choice for those looking for a higher concentration than the 1000mg tincture.
A variety of Populum CBD tincture concentrations

2. Does the product contain other rare cannabinoids?

The hemp plant is a complex plant. Cannabidiol or CBD is just one compound found in the hemp plant. It is one most prevalent of the active ingredients of the hemp plant. Besides CBD, the hemp plant has so much more to offer including other rare cannabinoids.

A rare cannabinoid is any cannabinoid that is expressed in a single hemp or cannabis plant less than 10% of the overall mass of that plant. Rare cannabinoids can generally be found in concentrations of between 0.01% to 10%. One example of a rare cannabinoid is cannabigerol (CBG). Another rare cannabinoid is cannabinol (CBN). Each rare cannabinoid has beneficial effects on the body that work in synergy with the blend of CBD, terpenes to produce an “entourage effect”.

If a product is a true “full-spectrum” hemp CBD, it should contain detectable concentrations of these rare cannabinoids. The reason it is important to check for high concentrations of rare cannabinoids is two-fold.

  1. Many full-spectrum brands are diluting their full-spectrum extracts to increase concentration. This means that they are able to still sell their product as a full-spectrum, but in fact are adding in CBD isolates (which are known to be less effective than full-spectrum) to increase CBD concentration.
  2. A selling point of full-spectrum products is the “entourage effect.” This means the sum of the hemp plant parts work together to provide a more effective product. This phenomenon is a result of all the cannabinoid content in full-spectrum hemp extract makes its effects more pronounced than pure CBD on its own.

3. What does the brand offer in terms of perks or rewards?

Brand perks are discounts, programs, and loyalty programs that brands offer to their customers. Taking CBD is meant to be a part of a daily wellness routine. Consistency leads to the best results when it comes to CBD, which is why many CBD tinctures are packaged and measured out for a 30 day supply. Some brands offer deep discounts for monthly subscriptions. Others offer special discount programs for military members or rescue pet owners.

4. Does the brand offer a refund policy?

Consumer demand for online supplements has skyrocketed in recent years, and has been exasperated because of COVID-19. This means that consumers can no longer hold a product or sample a product in a store before purchasing. Thus, the CBD industry is currently dominated by online brands. If an online ecommerce brand is reputable, they will likely offer some sort of trial period.

For example, Populum’s 30 day risk-free trial is available to every first-time buyer. The trial period begins on the day you receive your package in the mail, and you are eligible for the next 30 days. If you are unsatisfied with our product for any reason within those 30 days, the return will be honored with a full refund.

5. Does the brand offer a third-party lab report?

Although it seems like CBD has been making headlines for some time now, the industry is still new. The FDA is still working out how to regulate an industry that has rapidly blossomed. There have been numerous cases of brands selling inaccurate or fake CBD. Unfortunately, the newness of the industry makes it so that it is not required by law to prove what is in a CBD product.

Since the industry is unregulated, it is up to the companies who sell CBD to hold themselves accountable. How can a company do this? Right now, third-party lab results separate reputable brands from untrustworthy brands. Companies like Populum send their product batches to get tested and provide results to their customers in each shipment. This ensures that consumers are receiving quality products they can trust.

A woman examining her Populum certified third party lab results for her CBD tincture

6. Is the brand charitable and ethical?

Choosing a brand that gives back to their communities and donates to charitable causes means the consumers dollar is spent well. The market has shifted in favor of a more conscious spender. Each dollar spent is alike to a vote for a company that the consumer believes in, and a company whose values align with the consumer. It is important to support brands that value giving back and paying it forward.

Look for companies who offer discount and support programs to groups such as veterans or rescue pet owners. Populum’s veteran’s assistant program was created to recognize and give back to active military and veterans and give them the opportunity to explore all the healing benefits of CBD. Another example of a program Populum CBD offers is their rescue pet program. This program offers a discount to owners of rescue pets in an effort to raise awareness.

Does the company you're shopping for get involved in their community? Look for press releases, blog posts or social media announcements about their charitable endeavors Take a look at what they are doing and what kind of values align with your own.

Populum recognizes the importance of giving back to their local community. This summer, Populum made a donation to their local firefighters who were working hard during the dry season. During the ongoing global pandemic, Populum donated free Cold Therapy Hemp Rub products to healthcare workers on the front lines.

7. Does the brand have an in-house customer service team?

Reputable brands care about their customer’s experience, from start to finish. Brands should be able to provide educational resources to customers who are first researching CBD. Look for brands with education blog posts, or even groups on facebook that allow for open-ended questions and discussion about CBD.

ChatBots have become more popular in the world of customer service, however they are limited in answers and often end up connecting customers with real representatives in the end. Consider what you look for in customer service when choosing a brand.

The Populum team prides themselves on their superior customer service. Our team is trained to answer customer questions on everything related to CBD. Our customer service is also handled completely internally. Each member of our customer service team has another role in the company.

“I love getting to know people,” said Ivy Oakes, Director of Populum’s Customer Service. “Getting to know our customers is what makes my day. Hearing from our subscribers month after month is my favorite part of my job at Populum.”

Comparing The Top CBD Brands

Taking into account all these factors, here is how some of the top brands in the industry stack up.

A comparison chart of the top CBD brands in the industry

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