You can buy cocktails and bath bombs infused with CBD, but many people still don’t even know what it is or what it does. Should you be buying it? What are the best CBD oils in the United Kingdom? In this 2020 updated buyer’s guide, we take a look at the most trusted and reliable CBD brands in the UK market.
It wasn’t that long ago that CBD first burst onto the scene as a supposed natural miracle drug. In what seems like no time at all, it’s taken over the natural health and wellness culture – and thousands of consumers in the UK swear by its benefits.
If you’re curious about CBD and looking to try it, you’ll find yourself confronted with all sorts of confusing information. There are different strains and dosages on the labels, with little information to help you choose. There are different types of CBD products, each with a different purpose. The legality of CBD in the UK seems to shift frequently too.
To make matters more difficult, each individual experiences the effects of CBD differently, so a product that your friend swears by may not have any noticeable effect on you. That means that, in order to determine if CBD really does help you and sort out which products you should buy, some degree of trial and error is necessary.
Let’s take a look at the top products available in the UK’s CBD market.
The 7 best CBD oils in the UK reviewed (2020)
1. Blessed CBD – #1 CBD Oil UK
Blessed CBD gets our recommendation for the best UK CBD oil brand. They use all organic hemp (non GMO), and supercritical CO2 extraction guarantees that the CBD oil is as clean and intact as possible.
They also only produce full spectrum CBD oils, which allows you to experience the entourage effect (the combination of the various cannabinoids, such as CBD – CBDA – CBG, working together in synergy). If you’re looking to purchase a quality CBD oil, full spectrum should be at the top of your list.
Lab results are readily available to certify the purity and quality of their products, which come in 500mg, 1000mg, and 1800mg concentrations. The 1000mg is the most popular, but we recommend the 1800, since it gives you a little more flexibility in dosing. Lab reports are also provided with every order so you can verify the amount of CBD in the bottle.
Their oils, which come in 10ml bottles, are unflavored, so they’re going to taste like hemp. It’s not a particularly bad flavor though, so we don’t think it’s going to be a problem. As an alternative, you can also choose from their CBD creams and balms.
Blessed CBD has also been voted the best CBD oil in the UK by publications such as Mirror, HerbMighty, Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo, Birmingham Mail, LA Weekly, Readers Digest, Glasgow Live, Improb, Observer and Discover Magazine – and you can read hundreds of their 5 star customer reviews here.
A 10% coupon code is also available via their website.
2. Select CBD
This is a well-known brand in the USA, where it’s been synonymous with quality for some time. They use only CO2 extraction to guarantee quality, and they’re the only oil on this list that comes in different flavors.
The only downside? Delivery from the USA to the UK can take up to 3 weeks.
Select CBD adds herbal essential oils to their CBD oil both to improve the smell and taste and to add the benefits of those herbs. For instance, lavender is known to relieve stress, and their lavender CBD oil is remarkably soothing. The lab results are printed on each box, so you don’t have to go tracking them down on a website.
3. Bud and Tender
A small, up-and-coming British company, Bud and Tender use a unique mix of CO2 and ethanol extraction processes, followed by a filtering process that results in a wonderfully refined oil with a distinctively smooth taste and added flavonoids.
The potency of the oil is just as impressive as the taste, and the third-party lab results are reassuring. It’s a little concerning that they also use ethanol extraction, but there are much worse solvents out there and we can’t argue with the results.
4. The Original Alternative
This is one of the oldest CBD brands in the UK, and they have developed a reputation for quality. Impressively, they don’t advertise much so that reputation has come mainly through customer experience.
Their hemp is organically grown all across Europe, and they only use CO2 extraction. This ensures the highest quality CBD products and hemp extracts. You’ll find these oils unusually thick and dark, with a strong taste. All of that points to a high potency, which is this oils best selling point, aside from its very affordable price.
They also offer a range of products, such as CBD vape oils, CBD e-liquid, CBD capsules, gummies and oil spray.
Provocan has a shockingly strong, bitter taste. We’ll admit, it takes some getting used to. The reason for the strong taste is the potency of the oil, so we think it’s worth putting up with. This is a seriously strong CBD oil.
Provacan was created by CiiTech with the help of the best cannabinoid researchers in Israel and the UK, and their detailed lab reports provide an assurance of incredible quality. It’s very expensive, but very good.
However, customer support is non-existent/slow. Many customers have reported waiting weeks for a response, which is a shame, as their products seem to be somewhat effective.
6. Love Hemp
This premium oil has an earthy taste with little to no bitterness. All of their CBD is CO2 extracted for purity and quality. It’s organic, as well. The lab results show purity and high concentrations of terpenes and other beneficial compounds from the hemp plant.
If you’d rather not use a tincture, this brand also makes a very wide range of CBD edibles, which might be very good for beginners. All of their products are vegan friendly and contain enhanced terpene profiles.
7. Hempura CBD
Hempura is a value brand that doesn’t cut any corners in terms of quality. Like much more expensive brands, they use only CO2 extraction on their hemp plants to get the CBD out (using Cannabis Sativa L strains).
While their oils aren’t as potent as some others, they’re remarkably affordable and they are still a high-quality CBD product. They are also proud members of the Cannabis Trades Association (CTA) in the UK.
Hempura’s range of hemp CBD oil products can also be found in high street stores such as Boots.
What is CBD?
CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol. CBD is a chemical compound naturally produced by cannabis plants such as hemp and marijuana. It’s part of a family of compounds called cannabinoids, along with its more well-known cousin THC.
Unlike THC, CBD can’t get you high. In order to be legally sold in the UK, CBD products must be made from hemp with a THC content of .2% or less, which is not enough to affect you.
There’s a difference between CBD oil and hemp oil, too. Hemp oil is made from the seeds, while CBD oil is made from the leaves, flowers, and stalk. Hemp oil does have numerous health benefits as a food and/or beauty product, but it doesn’t contain any CBD.
What are the benefits of CBD?
Before we discuss the potential benefits of CBD oil, we should note that none of these claims are backed up by medical research. That’s not necessarily because they’re untrue, but rather because CBD is so new that there hasn’t been much research done. It’s entirely possible that, in a few years, science will confirm many of these benefits.
CBD is reportedly beneficial to those suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and insomnia.
While it’s benefits are not backed up yet by science, CBD is safe to use.
Is CBD legal in the United Kingdom?
CBD is legal in the UK as long as it’s made from hemp that has a THC content of less than .2%, and as long as the total THC in the finished product is less than 1mg. Additionally, CBD products can only be sold as a food supplement.
Products with less than 0.2% THC are non psychoactive.
How do you use CBD products?
You can take CBD as a tincture, a capsule, an edible, or by vaping it.
Edibles are candies, chocolates, or baked goods that contain CBD. These are popular with beginners since they’re easy to consume, but the dosage is fixed and it can take a long time for the CBD to kick in.
Vaping is the fastest way to feel the effects of CBD. Just like vaping or smoking a nicotine product, the CBD is delivered directly to your bloodstream this way. The downside is that it also leaves the bloodstream quickly. It also isn’t clear if there are long-term risks from vaping like there are with smoking, so this may not be the safest way to take your CBD.
Tinctures are the most popular CBD product. They consist of the CBD plant extract suspended in a carrier oil, usually coconut oil or olive oil. You can easily customize the dose by changing the number of drops you consume which allows you to increase or decrease your dosage as needed.
Capsules are tinctures in gel caps that you swallow whole. If you can’t stand the taste of CBD oil, capsules can be a good option. They take a long time to kick in, but that also means the effects will last a long time. The dosage is fixed, which is a slight drawback.
How do you calculate your CBD dosage?
CBD works by interacting with our endocannabinoid system, which itself is part of the nervous system. Since everyone’s endocannabinoid system is slightly different, CBD will affect everyone differently. A dosage that’s overpowering for one person may not be noticeable at all for someone else. Start small and work your way up to larger doses if you need to.
5mg per day is the generally accepted minimum dose, and it’s recommended that you don’t exceed 75mg per day. You can’t overdose on CBD but taking too much of it at once can cause some mildly unpleasant side effects.
It’s always best to buy the most potent CBD oil you can find. This gives you the most flexibility in dosage, and a more potent oil means you won’t have to use as much, and your bottle will last a lot longer.
How do you determine CBD quality?
As with any popular product, there are a lot of knockoffs and fake products out there. Here’s how to tell them apart from the good stuff.
Organic. Good CBD oil is always organic. Hemp grown with pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizer leads to all of those things showing up in your CBD oil. If it isn’t organic, don’t buy it.
CBD Concentration. Good CBD brands always send their products out to be tested by third-party labs. These test results should be easily accessible and should show the concentration of CBD as well as any contaminants. If you can’t find lab results for a product, they’re hiding something.
THC Content. Legal CBD products have less than .2% THC. If it has more than that, it’s illegal which, in turn, means you can’t know for sure what’s actually in the bottle.
CO2 Extraction Only. The CO2 extraction method is the safest and cleanest way to get the CBD oil out of the hemp. Ethanol comes in second, and is usually ok. Cheap brands use harsh and dangerous chemical solvents. Avoid these.
Full Spectrum. If an oil is labeled full spectrum, that means that it includes all of the terpenes and cannabinoids from the hemp plant. This is good, because they enhance the effect of the CBD. Broad-spectrum CBD oils contain all the cannabinoids, but without the THC.
Brand Reputation. As with anything else, don’t buy from a brand that has a bad reputation or receives a lot of negative reviews. Do your research before you buy.
CBD oil UK: final thoughts
CBD’s benefits have yet to be confirmed by science, but millions of people all over the world swear by it, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t at least try it. Tinctures are the best way to go, since they last the longest and give you the dosing flexibility that beginners need.
Blessed CBD was far and away our favorite. The product itself is fantastic, with a good flavor and nice potency, but it’s the transparency and commitment to quality by the company itself that really sold us. By focussing on creating only high-quality products, Blessed CBD has quickly amassed a loyal fanbase in their UK for their effective CBD tinctures and droppers.