Trying to find the best CBD oil in the UK can sometimes feel like trying to find a needle in a stack of other needles. There are hundreds of options, most of which appear nearly identical (despite the huge differences in price). Especially if you’re new to the world of CBD, it’s a challenge to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.
But you’ve come to the right place, because today we’re going to run through everything you need to know when shopping for CBD oil. And the best part? You won’t need a PhD in biochemistry to make sense of it all.
In just a second, we’re going to cover the five key criteria you should consider when comparing CBD oils. Before we do that, though, here’s a quick overview of CBD itself:
CBD is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant—an umbrella term that can refer to both marijuana and hemp. All the CBD oil you’ll find on store shelves comes from the latter, which is legal to grow in the UK. As a result, CBD is legal in the UK as well.
And since hemp contains extremely low levels of THC—a different compound that’s responsible for cannabis’ euphoric effects—CBD won’t get you high, no matter how you use (or how much you use).
Why do people use CBD in the first place? There are a lot of reasons, as detailed in a 2018 report on CBD from the World Health Organisation (WHO), but the only one currently approved by the government is treating certain rare forms of epilepsy. Having said that, scientific studies are currently investigating CBD’s potential for treating pain, insomnia, anxiety, and a range of other issues.
In the UK alone, around 6 million adults used CBD in 2019, a number that represents a massive increase from the year before. The UK’s thirst for CBD is only expected to grow going forward, according to reports from multiple research firms, as word-of-mouth reports about its benefits continue to circulate (and scientific research emerges to bolster these testimonials).
5 Key Things to Look For in a CBD Oil
Britons’ interest in CBD has sparked a mad dash amongst companies to meet the surge of demand, which has come with mixed results. As detailed in an investigation from Wired, there’s been an explosion of available products—but the lack of regulation and standardised testing practices has led more than a few observers to compare the UK CBD industry to the Wild West.
Things are starting to change, though, as unscrupulous actors get weeded out of the market and regular people learn how to choose their CBD oils with a more careful eye.
We could spend all day discussing the finer points of cannabis chemistry and obscure CBD terminology, but to choose a good CBD oil, all you need to consider are the five points below:
- Independent lab testing: Since the UK government itself doesn’t test CBD products, reputable brands will send their CBD oils to a third-party laboratory to ensure purity and potency. Ideally, you’ll be able to find the lab reports for these tests quickly and easily on the company’s website.
- THC content: No CBD oil contains enough THC to get you high, but some oils (known as ‘full spectrum CBD’) do have trace amounts. Scientists believe this can induce ‘the entourage effect,’ in which small quantities of THC accentuate the benefits of all the other compounds found in hemp. If you prefer to avoid THC, you can opt for broad spectrum oils (which are THC-free, though they contain all other hemp compounds) or CBD isolate (which have nothing but CBD).
- CBD concentration: It’s important to pay attention not only to the total amount of CBD (ex. 1,000 mg) in a product, but also the overall size of the product. For example, that amount of CBD will go a lot further in a 30 ml product than a 300 ml one.
- Carrier oils: CBD molecules are quite large, relatively speaking, and so they need to be dissolved before your body can absorb them properly. Since CBD is fat-soluble, carrier oils that are higher in healthy fat—like MCT oil—are more effective than options like olive or hemp seed oil.
- Flavouring: This has more to do with your personal preferences than anything else, but some people find the taste of CBD to be a bit ‘earthy’ for daily use. Choosing a CBD oil made with natural flavours like orange or mint can make dosing much more pleasant.
Price is also a major consideration for most people who are shopping for CBD oil. Nobody wants to be ripped off by an extravagantly priced product, obviously. However, you should also be skeptical of prices that seem too good to be true: if you’re paying less than £10 for your CBD oil, you’re probably not paying for CBD at all.
Now that we’ve covered all the basics, it’s time for the main event.
5 of the Best CBD Oils in the UK 2020
Narrowing down UK’s top CBD oils is a Herculean task—and a somewhat subjective one, as well—but that’s what we came here to do. So without further ado, let’s run through the challengers:
fourfivecbd – 1000 mg CBD Oil
What to know: Rugby stars George Kruis and Dominic Day founded fourfivecbd in 2018. Since then, they’ve carved out a niche in the UK’s CBD landscape by creating products designed specifically for athletes and people with active lifestyles.
Their 1000 mg CBD Oil has quickly become one of the brand’s top selling products, and it’s easy to see the appeal. Packing 1,000 mg of full spectrum CBD into a 30 ml bottle (with a handy spray applicator), it’s a solid all-purpose oil for both beginners and advanced users. It’s also certified by a third-party lab to be free of contaminants—and full of CBD—with the lab results available right on the product page.
This CBD oil comes in two flavours, orange and natural, and is made with all natural ingredients—no GMOs or artificial preservatives here. It’s also vegan and vegetarian friendly, which is a nice perk if you’re into that.
Biobloom – 4% Raw Organic 400 mg CBD/CBDa Oil
What to know: For those who’ve never tried CBD oil before, Biobloom offers an easy introduction with its 4% Raw Organic CBD Oil. The total CBD content is a bit lower than others on the UK market, to be fair. But if you’ve curious to see how CBD affects you, the dosing mantra ‘start low and go slow’ is a good one to remember.
Biobloom subjects all its products to third-party lab testing, and the results are available directly on the webpage, which is a nice touch. One downside, though, is that this product uses hemp seed oil as a carrier.
Synerva – 4000 mg CBD Oil
What to know: This is one of the more powerful CBD oils available on the market today, with a whopping 4,000 mg of CBD crammed in a 10 ml vial. The price tag might be a bit hefty, but so is the dose—it’s rare to find such a powerful oil. However, there are a few catches.
For one, while Synerva says that lab reports are available, they’re not visible on the website (though presumably you could get one if you emailed the company). And there seems to be a bit of mixed messaging with regards to the type of CBD oil this product contains: the brand says it’s both ‘zero THC’ and ‘full spectrum,’ which raises some eyebrows.
Medterra – CBD Oil Tincture 500 mg
What to know: This well-reviewed product has won a lot of fans thanks to its certified non-GMO ingredients and easy-to-read lab reports. It’s a little light on CBD, as the price tag indicates, with only 500 mg of CBD isolate in each 30 ml vial.
On the other hand, it uses a high quality carrier oil (MCT coconut oil, in case you’re curious). The brand is also certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority, which inspects hemp farms to ensure the growing conditions are safe and responsible.
fourfivecbd – 0% THC CBD Oil
What to know: The second entry from fourfivecbd on this list, the brand’s 0% THC CBD Oil is a CBD isolate product like the one above. This one is a little heartier when it comes to the CBD, though, with 1,000 mg in the same 30 ml size.
This fourfivecbd product has a couple of common characteristics with its full spectrum counterpart. It comes with a handy lab report, for one. It’s also packaged in a spray bottle instead of the standard vial-with-dropper used by other brands.
One more thing worth mentioning: like all of fourfivecbd’s CBD oils, this one uses an MCT oil as a carrier. If you’re in the market for a CBD isolate product, this one is tough to beat.
So Which CBD Oil Should You Buy?
Choosing a CBD oil is like choosing a pair of shoes—the ‘right one’ for you will depend on a wide range of factors. All other things being equal, a CBD oil’s price, flavour, and THC content are probably the most important things to consider when weighing your options.
Having said that, if you’re looking for a solid all-purpose option, then fourfivecbd’s 1000 mg CBD Oil is the place to start. Not only does the brand do things right (as indicated by the easily accessible lab tests, customer-friendly return policy, and large number of positive reviews), but this particular product satisfies all the criteria above.
Whilst fourfivecbd’s 1000 mg CBD Oil isn’t the cheapest item on this list, cheaper isn’t necessarily better when it comes to CBD oil. The reason CBD tends to be somewhat expensive is because of the work that goes into growing, harvesting, and processing the hemp used to make it—and if the price is too low, it’s a sign that the brand might be skipping steps.
Ideally, you should look for a product that falls in the ‘Goldilocks Zone’—not high enough to break the bank, but not so low that the brand would need to indulge in shady practices to make a profit. Sixty pounds is right in the middle of the ideal price range for CBD oil, so fourfivecbd checks out on that front.
The flavour options are nice as well. If you love the taste of hemp, you’re in luck! And if you prefer an alternative that doesn’t rely on artificial sweeteners or preservatives, the orange flavouring will be appreciated by your tastebuds.
When it comes to THC, fourfivecbd have done their homework as well (as you can see from the lab reports).
Although fourfivecbd do offer oils made with CBD isolate, their full spectrum 1000 mg CBD Oil offers the best of both worlds for those who want to 1) harness the power of the entourage effect 2) avoid any unwelcome surprises.
Mislabelled CBD products are unfortunately common at the moment—hence the many warnings about ‘CBD scams’—but this particular oil comes with all the documentation you need to use it with peace of mind.
If you do decide to give this oil (or any of the others on our list) a try, it’s a good idea to speak with a medical professional beforehand. As mentioned before, CBD is widely recognised as safe by doctors and scientists, but it’s always better to err on the side of caution when taking a new supplement.
Finally, remember to be patient. A good CBD oil can be invaluable in supporting a healthy lifestyle, but it’s not an instant miracle cure (no matter what the hyperbolic Facebook ads might say). Pay attention to how your body feels each time you take a dose, and give yourself a few days before adjusting it up or down.
CBD oil won’t magically dissolve all your worries, but when used correctly it can make a noticeable difference in your quality of life. Be smart, stay safe, and enjoy the ride.