The Vitamin Shoppe in my area is currently offering two brands of CBD products. The two brands are Garden of Life CBD and Irwin Naturals CBD. While there are loads of great products in Vitamin Shoppes we are not happy with their choice of CBD brands. To get detailed reasons for our issues with both the ‘Garden of Life CBD’ products and the ‘Irwin Naturals CBD’ products please go to the appropriate pages on this website to read our review of each brand.
Vitamin Shoppe CBD
Regarding the Irwin Naturals CBD product we feel there are too many additional ingredients in every one of their CBD products. Now, this might be fine for some consumers but others, like ourselves, strongly prefer a CBD product that contains just CBD without the additional ingredients. In the Irwin Naturals CBD product line, every one of their products has ‘flaxseed’ as the first listed ingredient. Some folks think flaxseed is an excellent healthy food item, but others think the opposite. There is evidence that flaxseed may mimic estrogen in the body. Some think this is a good thing and others do not. Some experts recommend that certain people avoid flaxseed because it could be a risk for women who are at higher risk of certain hormone dependent cancers. The bottom line is that we don’t know the answer but apparently neither does the experts. So, we feel when in doubt…punt. Read more about flaxseed on the Garden of Life review page on this website. There are other issues to consider such as the fact the Garden of Life company does not indicate on its’ website (as of May 2019)… whether or not their CBD ingredients get tested for purity by an independent lab…or what type of extraction method is used to extract the CBD from the plant…or from which country the plant (presumably hemp) comes from….etc. This information is expected and is on the websites for most well-known companies that offer CBD. All of the top selling CBD companies offer this information but not Irwin Naturals.
Regarding Garden of Life CBD, they too do not offer a CBD product free of additional ingredients. Be sure to read our review of Garden of Life CBD on this website. Their CBD product is loaded with additional ingredients. Now this may be fine for some consumers, but others want unadulterated CBD without all the extra ingredients. They offer 14 different formulations with CBD and a bunch of other ingredients.
The bottom line is both of these brands may well be excellent products, but in the case of one of the brands all the relevant information is not disclosed on the company website. Again, for consumers looking for a plain unadulterated CBD product neither of these brands fit the bill. So, we are happy to see The Vitamin Shoppe offering CBD but would like to see them offer some CBD products without the added ingredients. For now, The Vitamin Shoppe CBD product offerings… as of this date (May 16, 2019)… is too limited. One of the issues that consumers will probably find is that all the large national chains is that they will likely offer a very limited choice of CBD products. We will see if this changes as more large retail chains jump into this market.
Amazon specifically states that they PROHIBIT the following:
So, if you see a product that looks like it may be CBD, read the product label and the Amazon ad very closely. Be sure to read carefully.
These Amazon pages can be wordy with lots of content and most people do not read every word on a page.
Often, there is a disclosure buried somewhere on the page that the product has no CBD and other times the disclosure in plain site in a long wordy ad title stating
“Hemp Oil for Pain & Anxiety Relief – 500mg Full Spectrum Organic Hemp Drops – Pure Hemp Extract – Natural Hemp Oils for Better Sleep, Mood & Stress – Zero THC CBD Cannabidiol – Mint Flavor”
See actual examples below:
(We added Red to the important part of the ad title)
The label clearly states there is NO CBD, NO CANNABIOL, and NO THC.
It’s right there in plain site but easy to overlook in this long, wordy ad title.
There is no indication on any of the hemp oil or hemp extract oil product labels or ingredients labels that the product contains any CBD!
SEE THE MANY EXAMPLES AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST
Most all of the products masquerading on Amazon as CBD products contain some kind of hemp extract and/or just hemp seed oil. Often these products indicate that the product contains ‘hemp extract’ or that the product is a ‘full spectrum’ product.
But, there are over 100 possible extracts that could be extracted from hemp and the extract the label is referring to could be any of the 100+ so there is no logical reason to assume the extract is CBD.
And the term ‘Full Spectrum’ is completely misleading. Full Spectrum is a meaningless term that could mean anything. There are no rules mandating how the term ‘Full Spectrum’ is to be used. The term ‘full spectrum’ is strictly being used by to mislead people and trick them into buying worthless crap. The idea is to trick consumers into thinking they are buying authentic CBD at a low price. But, the fact is that consumers who buy these products are buying grossly overpriced hemp oil or hemp seed oil, which should not sell for more than $5 or $6.
Amazon sellers are selling hemp seed oil and bogus CBD products for $30, $40, $50 per bottle and higher when these products are mostly (not all) just cheap seed oil products most suitable for frying of possibly on salads. But they certainly do not have any therapeutic value.
And worse yet, many of these Amazon ads state that these imposter products will help various medical conditions.
Some of these product pages on Amazon usually indicate alleged benefits such as the following. This taken from an actual Amazon product page ad.
This is outright nonsense.
A cruel hoax perpetrated on consumers, many of whom are looking for relief from real problems.
The claims are bogus, unsubstantiated and a load of crap.
CBD shoppers on Amazon shoppers must read the Amazon advertisements carefully.
When they do they will easily see the scam.
It will be clear that these products are NOT authentic.
The ‘hemp oil’ and hemp extract oil’ products offered on Amazon are not the real thing.
These sellers are attempting to cash in on the popularity of CBD as they fleece unsuspecting consumers.
Most of these Hemp Oil or hemp Extract Oil products for sale on Amazon are just hemp SEED oil.
Hemp seeds at best contain minimal, insignificant amounts of CBD.
It is bad enough that unscrupulous Amazon Sellers are promoting this overpriced garbage on Amazon.
Worse yet is that Amazon allows it!
Green Gorilla now markets their CBD oil products under the brand name ‘Hemp & Olive Whole Plant Hemp Extract. Their flagship product is organic and contains only cannabidiol hemp oil and extra virgin olive oil. They also offer flavored versions with either mint flavorings or lemon flavoring. We could not find the ingredients label for the flavored products on their website so we do not know what the additional ingredient are in those versions. They make whole plant sprays (these products have additional ingredients which can be viewed on their website, as well as pet care products and topicals. The company is launching a new topical on July 7 2018 that will be a percent natural USDA Certified Organic botanical CBD balm under its Hemp & Olive brand. The balm is being marketed for the relief of sore and achy muscles and joints by massaging the balm into the skin. Each 1.75 oz. jar of the CBD balm contains 300 mg of active cannabidiol and retails for $49.99.
Green Gorilla started in 2013 by founder Sir Steven Saxton. Their products are sold at over 1,000 retailers in the United States and online.
The Green Gorilla CBD products look like excellent products. We really like the fact that their primary CBD oil product is available with no unnecessary ingredients. So, the products look good but like so many products in the CBD oil space they are pricey.
The Green Gorilla Return/Refund Policy is inadequate. Their website (on June 28 2018) states the following…
“Green Gorilla offers a full return on unopened/sealed product if the request is submitted within 14 business days of receiving the product. Please note, we are unable to accept returns on product that has been opened or used and the customer is responsible for return shipping costs.
Customers will be emailed within two (2) business days that their return request has been received; once the return has been received back to our facility and we confirm the condition, we will issue a refund for the unopened product. On orders of $100 or less, a full cash refund is issued. Orders over $100 will be refunded via 100% store credit if delivery to the recipient has been verified.”
Charlotte’s Web CBD from CW Hemp at present remains king of the hill in the CBD Oil arena in terms of brand recognition. And, no doubt their sales are substantial. After all, this is the company that received enormous free publicity by virtue of the fact that CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta profiled the parent company of Charlotte’s Web CBD, CW Hemp, to a national audience in Gupta’s special on marijuana and CBD some years ago. In fact, this program more than anything else may have created the current enormous market for cannabidiol or CBD.
But, just because CW Hemp is the best known CBD company and makes excellent products does not mean that other CBD companies offer products of equal quality…and sometimes of better value.
Charlotte’s Web CBD, like Green Gorilla, offer high quality products The Charlotte’s Web primary CBD ‘oil’ products include ‘Hemp Extract Oil’, ‘Hemp Extract Oil Plus’ and ‘Hemp Extract Oil Advanced’. The difference is mostly in the potency of the three products. All three of these CBD ‘oil’ products come in either a ‘Mint Chocolate’ flavor or olive oil. We like the olive oil because that ‘flavor’ contains just the hemp extract in an olive oil base and nothing else, while the ‘Mint Chocolate’ flavor uses coconut oil as the carrier oil (a good choice in our view) but also contains ‘sunflower oil’ (a ‘seed’ oil) in the mint chocolate flavoring.
The CW Hemp return/refund policy is limited to a short 30 days, but the CW Hemp website indicates that bottles can be opened and customers can return the unused portion for a refund unlike Green Gorilla which will only accept returns on unopened bottles and only within a short time frame of 14 days.
So, both CW Hemp (Charlotte’s Web CBD) and Green Gorilla offer seemingly excellent products but both companies are pricey and both have inadequate return-for-refund policies.
Both these companies offer good products, but neither is our first choice.
There are many good features about Bluebird Botanicals but some issues that may scare some people away from their products. Looking at Charlotte’s Web CBD from CW Hemp there are some issues with this company also.
So lets first take a look at some of the primary positives from each company and then go into some greater detail on the issues that are a concern.
THE POSITIVES: Bluebird Botanicals
Bluebird Botanicals has a good reputation. Their extraction methods are clean and provide a full spectrum extract containing over 80 different cannabinoids including CBC, CBG, CBG-A, CBC-A, CBN and, of course, CBD.
Bluebird Botanicals states on their website that they test for potency and purity and although their hemp is not officially organic, it is grown without pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides. Hemp, and its’ cousin cannabis, thrives easily on its’ own…like a weed!
Bluebird Botanicals makes excellent products but is NOT our first choice in terms of value.
THE POSITIVES: Charlotte’s Web CBD from CW Hemp
They have trademarked the name ‘The World’s Most Trusted Hemp Extract’ and they are certainly the most well known. This is the company that was interviewed for the Dr Sanjay Gupta CNN special discussing some of the potential medicinal benefits of marijuana and CBD. That program aired a few years back and more than anything else, created a new major industry for CBD products. CW Hemp makes excellent products and deserves all the accolades the company gets.
So, Charlotte’s Web CBD (from CW Hemp) makes excellent products but, like Bluebird Botanicals, Charlotte’s Web CBD is NOT our first choice in terms of value.
THE NEGATIVES: Bluebird Botanicals and Charlotte’s Web CBD
Regarding the Bluebird Botanicals CBD ‘Oils’ and specifically discussing the ‘Bluebird Botanicals Hemp Classic CBD Oil’ and their other CBD oils, the ‘Classic 6X’, ‘Complete 6X’, and ‘Signature 6X’ …Many people, this writer included, seeks to avoid ‘seed oils.’ The Bluebird Botanicals CBD Oil products are offered in hemp seed oil.
Now some people believe hemp seed oil is nutritious and safe. However, some folks disagree and there is a lot written about the potential risks of seed oils in general. Most of the discussion surrounding the risks of oils, is referring to vegetable oils which are mostly seed oils. Products like corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, etc. are mostly seed oils. A great read on this subject is in the Nina Teicholz highly acclaimed best seller from a few years ago titles ‘The Big Fat Surprise.’ Read chapter 9 about seed oils and so-called ‘vegetable’ oils and it just may change the way you eat. Teicholz is highly respected and the accolades for this book come from highly credible experts. Anyway, the bottom line is we wish Bluebird would use olive oil or coconut oil instead of hemp ‘seed’ oil. But that opinion is, of course, just a strong personal preference for some of us that many readers may choose to ignore.
Another area of concern with Bluebird Botanicals is the price. We think it is too expensive. They offer 25% to 40% off to US Veterans, disabled people and low-income people. They also offer 50% off at the wholesale level. This suggests there is a possibly a very large profit built into these products and we wish they would just lower the prices across the board. Also, in the case of Bluebird Botanicals we view the return policy as inadequate. Their current return policy (as of June 27 2018 on their website) indicates that returns are offered but… “Only purchases up to $110.00 qualify for a refund. We do not take returns based on taste.” Their current website disclosure does NOT indicate if they will accept returns on opened bottles. The refund policy extends to only 30 days from the date of purchase.
Regarding Charlotte’s Web CBD, like Bluebird Botanicals, they offer top-notch products. The main CBD ‘oil’ products include their ‘Hemp Extract Oil’, ‘Hemp Extract Oil Plus’ and ‘Hemp Extract Oil Advanced’. The difference is mostly in the potency of the three products. All three of these CBD ‘oil’ products come in either a ‘Mint Chocolate’ flavor or olive oil. Our vote is for the olive oil because that ‘flavor’ contains just the hemp extract in an olive oil base and nothing else, while the ‘Mint Chocolate’ flavor uses coconut oil as the carrier oil (a good choice in our view) but also contains ‘sunflower oil’ (a ‘seed’ oil) in the mint chocolate flavoring. The return/refund policy is also limited to a short 30 days just like the Bluebird return for refund policy, but the CW Hemp website indicates the bottles can be opened and customers can return the unused portion for a refund. Like Bluebird, the CW Hemp products are expensive.
So, the bottom line is these are good products from good companies but they are not our first choice.
Both of these excellent products come with a no questions asked 90-Day Money Back Guarantee. This customer satisfaction guarantee is best than that which any other CBD company offers. Most other companies have very restrictive or non-existent return policies and usually the other companies will not provide a refund if the bottle is opened. CBDPure has the best return/refund policy by far, so consumers can buy with total confidence.
All CBDPure products are organic, pure and potent.
All CBDPure products are verified pure and free of any toxic substances by an independent testing lab.
The hemp oil that you see in supermarkets and on Amazon is not is CBD oil. The proper term is hemp ‘seed’ oil and hemp seeds have no CBD or negligible CBD. But, there is substantial confusion caused by the misbranding of hemp oil and hemp seed oil as CBD oil. Some of that is intentional like on Amazon where there are some hemp seed oils selling for authentic, pure CBD oil prices.
For starters, at this point in time Amazon does NOT allow CBD to be sold on that website. And, for that matter Whole Foods stores do not allow the sale of CBD. Amazon seller rules specifically prohibit the sale of CBD products. But there are a number of very expensive hemp oil products for sale there, which may or may not contain CBD. But some of this confusion is probably intentional as some companies offering authentic CBD products attempt to skirt Amazon’s rules. On the flip side there could be expensive hemp seed oils being offered on Amazon that have little or no CBD. Consumers who buy hemp oil products without a clear indication and verification that the product contains CBD are spending money on a giant leap of faith and possibly getting ripped off. Without full disclosure on the product’s labeling it is difficult to determine whether or not the product contains CBD, so consumers must very carefully read ingredients labels before buying any product in addition to looking for evidence of authenticity such as an independent labs’ verification of ingredients including cannabidiol, or CBD.
Another potential source of confusion and trickery is that some products label themselves as ‘hemp extract’ without any indication that the product contains any CBD. While CBD oil is a compound that is extracted from hemp, there are many, many other possible substances that could be extracted from hemp. Again, unless there are crystal clear statements and evidence indicating that the extracted substance in the ‘hemp extract’ product is CBD, consumers would be well advised to do some research before buying in order to better ensure they are getting the real deal. In 2014 The Hemp Industry Association and stated that … “CBD is not a product or component of hemp seeds, and labeling to that effect is misleading and motivated by the desire to take advantage of the legal gray area of CBD under federal law.” The bottom line is that consumers should not be confused into thinking that hemp oil, hemp seed oil or hemp extract is necessarily CBD oil.
Later this month, a small group of about six Veterans affiliated with Warfighter Hemp, are planning to meet with the members of the Cannabis Caucus as well as members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in the Nations Capitol. Our intent is to present the case for the Veterans Administration to study the potential benefits of CBD Oil derived not from Marijuana, but instead derived from Industrial Hemp that is grown in compliance with the 2014 Farm Bill.
Although from the same species, Marijuana and Hemp are two different plants. Marijuana is typically rich in THC, the cannabinoid known for getting a person high. Industrial Hemp, on the other hand, has virtually no THC and instead is rich in CBD, the compound generally associated with the medicinal benefits of Cannabis. CBD, most definitely, does not get one high, is non-addictive and is tolerance resistant.
Last month, Secretary David Shulkin, head of the Veterans Administration and member of President Trump’s cabinet, answered a letter sent by Congressman Tim Walz, ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, requesting that the VA study the potential benefits of Medical Marijuana. Shulkin denied the request using the circular, Catch-22 argument that the VA’s hands were tied because Marijuana is not federally legal and therefore, no University Research Department can study it.
While that may be the case with Marijuana, we hope to convince these members of Congress that this explanation does not hold up regarding CBD derived from Industrial Hemp. We also plan to ask them to go back to Secretary Shulkin and ask him to reconsider doing a VA study, not on Marijuana or products derived from Marijuana, but on what we feel is a game changing product of CBD derived from Federally compliant Industrial Hemp. We believe we have a compelling argument as to why Secretary Shulkin’s response should not be the end of the story.
Speaking as a Marine Corps combat Veteran I can attest as first-hand witnesses to the VA’s over-prescription of opiate-based medications and the devastating effects that this has had on our veteran population. The VA is the largest dispenser of opioids in the country. This over-reliance on opioids has played a heavy hand in generating another unfortunate statistic, the unacceptable suicide rate in the Veteran community which Government data demonstrates that twenty Veterans a day are dying by their own hand. Arguably, the VA is doing a better job of killing us than the Taliban ever did.
CBD derived from Federally legal Industrial Hemp presents a common sense to the problems many Veterans face due to the over prescription of these toxic medications and enough is enough. It is time for our nations lawmakers to and do something about a problem that not only affects our nations heroes but that is killing more Americans every year than were lost during the entire Vietnam War. We are going to Capitol Hill with the hope that Congressman Walz and the others will listen. Don’t we at least deserve that?
Mr. Danyluk is a retired Marine Corps, LtCol and currently serves as a Veterans consultant to Warfighter Hemp, www.warfighterhemp.com
Somehow when people name all the great music and artists from the 1960’s and 1970’s they too often fail to include Steve Miller on that list. But he is one of my favorites and here is one of his great tunes…
For those of us who have been digging Asbury Park even before the renaissance that has been taking place over the last decade or so, there are a few things many of us hope to see accomplished. I’m talking about refurbishing of the ‘Casino’ on the south side of the boardwalk and, of course, Convention Hall, the Paramount Theatre and the Grand Arcade that connects them. These landmark buildings concert venues have hosted performances by Led Zeppelin, The Beach Boys, Bruce Springsteen, The Doors, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, and the Rolling Stones and many more over the decades. Check out this video.