Our CBD Brand Review Criteria

We are in the middle of a CBD / hemp product explosion. With the passage of the Farm Bills of 2014 and more recently, 2018, the industry will explode in growth. We are seeing new CBD products enter the market every day.

Sadly, with this growth, we are also seeing a tremendous amount of internet marketing based solely on capturing CBD sales and not factually informing the consumer.

Affiliate sites are everywhere, with all the listed products rating 9+ or 4 to 5 stars and conveniently providing an affiliate links to make the reviewer money.

Our approach will be different. We believe it’s important to review as many products, good or bad, as possible to inform the consumer. We also want to ensure that our review criteria are objective and fair.

We do participate in affiliate marketing for products that we believe are the best in the industry, but we do not accept every brand or manufacturer based on an affiliate marketing strategy.

Our CBD Brand Review Criteria


Efficacy is simply how well the CBD product works. Now this can be subjective. Some consumers may succumb to the placebo effect. Others may have a false understanding of how CBD products affect the body or expect the product to give them a “high”. We gather efficacy opinions from experience users who have a strong understanding of CBD usage and the endocannabinoid system.

  • Personal Experience of the reviewer
  • Trusted Hemp Essential User Experience


The flavor rating is based on how palatable the CBD product is relative to what’s achievable by the particular product in the industry. It is also an evaluation of the brands efforts to provide a variety of flavors for consumer choice. In the case of CBD flower, this will include strains.

Manufacturing, Marketing and Packaging

We evaluate according the following criteria-


We expect the product to utilize best know industry standards for safe processing and standards. We will also highlight anything that exceeds these standards. ISO certification, for example

FDA Compliance

CBD manufacturers are prohibited from making any claims about the ability of the product to diagnose, treat cure or prevent any disease. This criterion may change as the FDA is working on delivering new guidelines for CBD regulation.


This is an evaluation of the quality and appeal of the product packaging and shipping package.


This is non-subjective quantification of the cost of the product per milligram (in the case of CBD) or gram (in the case of hemp flower).

Quality Control

We at Hemp Essential believe lab testing is, well, essential in qualifying the legitimacy of your product and communicating the quality your CBD product to your consumers. We will NEVER recommend a commercial CBD product to our visitor without some sort of lab testing quantifying the cannabinoid profile. We may occasionally recommend hemp flower products supplied by farms that have not been profiled based on user opinion and strain origination.

Lab Testing

The bare minimum in our opinion is cannabinoid profile testing that is easily available for consumers. This may by testing performed by the manufacturer.

3rd party Lab testing

We are strong believer in 3rd party lab testing to provide consumers independent verification of the CBD profile.

Testing Method

Gas Chromatography or High Pressure Liquid Chromatography

Cannabinoid Profile

This is minimum testing expectation for consumer information. It provides information on CBD potency and quantifies THC content.


Additional testing to ensure no solvents is present in the product.

Terpene Profile

These are compounds that naturally exist in cannabis and are important to fostering the entourage effect of cannabis therapy. Many manufactures test and quantify the terpene profile for their product.


This is a test for harmful biological material in the product. May also be called Mycotoxin testing.

Heavy Metals

This test profiles the presence of harmful heavy metals in the product.

Sample Brand Review






Manufacturing, Marketing and Packaging




Quality Control



  • Decent Efficacy
  • Nice coconut flavor
  • Well Packaged


  • Inhouse Lab Testing Only
  • Limited flavor choices
  • Higher than average price per milligram.
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