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Top 5 CBD Companies

Connor Skelly

The US CBD market has made significant progress since the Farm Bill passed in 2018 and 2020 has brought unique challenges. Despite the social and economic impact of a global pandemic, the industry continues to show signs of strength with healthy consolidation, consumer spending, and investment in strategic marketing. Because the market has seen both sizable expansion and consolidation in 2020, the top 20 brands have technically lost share but still maintain the majority piece of a now much larger pie. As of July 28, 2020 the top 20 CBD companies make up over 17% of the total US CBD market.

Types of Top CBD Companies

The industry is now being strongly influenced by the following primary groups of competitors:

  • Powerful CBD-only companies, which have been able to further develop reputations and establish brand loyalty, refine and improve marketing strategies, and grow larger and more diverse customer bases despite barriers faced under past and current regulatory systems. Examples: Charlotte’s Web, CV Sciences.
  • Cannabis companies, typically multi-state operators (MSOs), leveraging vast dispensary and retail distribution networks, supply chain infrastructure, brand recognition and capital to create or expand successful CBD lines. Examples: Curaleaf Hemp, Columbia Care.

Supplement brands with natural food store and mass retail chain connections, nutraceutical marketing experience, capital to invest, and established customer bases that are particularly prone to purchasing CBD-infused wellness products. Examples: Barlean’s, Garden of Life, Irwin Naturals, Nature’s Plus.

Disruptors: Those CBD brands little-known prior to 2019, even in CBD circles, who have made tremendous headway over the course of a few months, many being picked up by large retail chains and thrust into the spotlight. Examples: cbdMD, Medterra, Sagely Naturals.

Pharmaceutical companies: GW Pharmaceuticals brought Epidiolex onto the U.S. market at the end of 2018 and its revenues have grown dramatically since that time. Though considered separately from top CBD supplement companies for the purposes of this study, GW Pharmaceuticals carries considerable weight in the US CBD industry, and additional pharmaceutical companies and products are expected to join the market and play an even more important role in the future.

Though only just beginning to dip their toes into the U.S. market, a number of Canadian Licensed Producers (LPs) with tremendous cannabis infrastructure and connections, legitimacy and investor dollars attained via public exchanges in Canada, have expressed intentions to aggressively pursue the U.S. CBD market, namely via buy-outs and M&As. Examples: Aurora Cannabis (Reliva CBD), Canopy Growth Corporation (BioSteel, First & Free, This Works), Cronos Group (Lord Jones), Tilray (Manitoba Harvest, Pollen).

    Consumer packaged goods (CPG) behemoths such as Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Unilever have been circling the industry since prior to the legalization of industrial hemp cultivation and are eager to establish a name for themselves early. These companies are ready to join the competition as soon as a pathway has been cleared by the FDA, especially when it comes to food additives and dietary supplements. In April 2020, Molson Coors Beverage Company announced the launch of a new joint venture with Canadian cannabis company HEXO to produce non-alcoholic CBD-infused beverages in Colorado.

    Largest CBD Companies by Market Share

    The top 5 CBD companies have continued to make names for themselves as the US CBD continues to grow. (Brand shares as of February 5, 2020):

    Charlotte’s Web

    Charlotte’s Web has effectively risen to the top of the ranks by leveraging robust marketing strategies deeply rooted in brand values their customers care about like trust and high-quality products. By understanding who they are as a brand, resonating with the right consumers, and investing in large marketing campaigns, they continue to lead the pack. Charlotte’s Web has also expanded its brand portfolio with CBDMedic, CBDClinic, and HarmonyHemp to reach a wider range of consumers.

    Medterra

    Medterra is a completely CBD-focused, THC-free brand with broad mainstream consumer appeal. Their focus on ensuring quality and consistency from seed to sale has led to rapid consumer interest. Additionally, they have leaned further into the medical positioning of CBD with their Medterra Clinical brand aimed at capturing more consumers at independent pharmacies and medical practices.

    CBD American Shaman

    By leveraging a wide and growing distribution network through their franchise, wholesale and affiliate programs, they have been able to quickly climb the CBD company rankings. CBD American Shaman, a vertically-integrated operation, has a broad product line with over 70 SKUs from tinctures to edibles for both humans and pets. Specialty CBD Retailers have seen increased growth as more consumers enter the market and want high-quality product education during their in-store experience.

    CBDistillery – Balanced Health Botanicals

    CBDistillery has climbed the ranks with heavy investment in digital content such as its #CBDMOVEMENT Blog, the “CBDistillery’s Ultimate CBD User Guide!”, and The CBD Movement Podcast (launched in June 2020). Additionally, their inexpensive products and May 2020 rebrand align with a more mainstream, frequent user.

    Green Roads

    Green Roads has leveraged product diversity and quality to differentiate themselves in the market. By offering more unique, high-dose products, they can be seen as an innovator and those products better resonate with a variety of consumers. Similarly to Charlotte’s Web, they have leveraged value-based marketing to fuel robust social strategies targeting their core consumers.

    Top Online CBD Companies

    Charlotte’s Web

    By building a trusted brand with a traditional, straightforward menu, Charlotte’s Web appeals to new and hesitant consumers. As consumers begin their CBD research process online, they are likely to come across Charlotte’s Web and their education on CBD products.

    US CBD_Consumer_Graphic_online purchasing_7.29.20

    Balanced Health Botanicals (CBDistillery)

    CBDistillery has created a robust online model with athletic sponsorships and influencer marketing, alongside accessible pricing. They have gained a s trong presence online and in independent pharmacies. They are particularly effective in addressing smaller, overlooked markets with tailored local advertising.

    Their simple branding and heavy focus on search optimization has made Medterra a strong player in the online CBD space. They have been able to get in front of new entrants to the market, especially with low-price topicals.

    cbdMD

    As of February 2020, over 4,000 retail outlets carry cbdMD. Their mass adoption across various channels, along with strategic marketing and PR efforts, have no doubt helped in their online sales. cbdMD was the first CBD company allowed to advertise in Times Square in Dec 2018. The company is the official founder of National CBD Day (August 8) and National Hemp Day (February 4).

    Lazarus Naturals

    The company’s vertical integration, producing CBD from hemp grown on its farms in Oregon, allows the company to control and monitor their products, giving them an edge to sustain their high standards. It also allows the company to offer high quality products at a good value. The company has one of the most generous assistance programs, offering lifetime 60% discounts to veterans, individuals on long-term disability, and low-income households. As these segments continue to explore CBD, Lazarus Naturals is well-positioned to gain their attention.

    The top CBD companies are shifting as consumers solidify expectations for brands and products.

    Top 5 CBD suppliers and CBD manufacturers in Europe

    CBD is fairly new in the world of health and food products and supplements. It is almost a magic substance, capable of alleviating symptoms of countless illnesses, and generally improving well-being, with virtually no side effects. Considering all that, it’s no surprise that it became so popular so quickly.

    It’s been only a few years since CBD became widely accessible, and you can already find it available in many different shapes and forms. You can get CBD oil and use it as a food supplement. Or, you can consume ready-made CBD products, such as capsules, gummies, vape juice, etc…

    As always, supply quickly caught up with the demand.

    In this article, we’ll talk about companies, that recognized the demand, and responded with high-quality products.

    Qualities of a good CBD manufacturer

    CBD production is a new and fast-growing industry. And in such an environment, companies often sprout out of nowhere and disappear just as fast.

    If you’re a CBD salesman, you should put a very high priority on quality. In such a fast-growing industry, finding just some products isn’t difficult. The problem is, that the market can quickly get flooded with below-average wares, that don’t really do what they promise.

    Therefore, offering only high-quality products is a great way to stand out from your competition. But great products only come from great manufacturers.

    So how to decide, where to get your premium hemp oil from? Or, in other words, what qualities should a good and respectable CBD manufacturer have?

    • Using quality hemp. To this day, the CBD industry has been left fairly unregulated. This means that some CBD manufacturers can get away with using sub-standard ingredients. Using harmful pesticides, and various heavy metals while growing and processing cannabis is an example of low-quality raw material you should avoid. Because of that, CBD salesmen should be extra careful when choosing their CBD supplier or manufacturer. Any respectable manufacturer should be able to prove that the cannabis they use was grown and maintained according to proper standards.
    • Traceability. Good CBD manufacturers should not only exclusively use high-quality hemp, but should also know, where does it come from. Knowing the hemp’s origin and the environment in which it grows is an important step in assuring high quality.
    • Good extraction process. Quality ingredients are just the first step. In order to get high-quality CBD products, having the correct extraction process is just as important. CBD oil can be extracted from hemp in numerous different ways, but not all processes yield the same results. But more on that in the next chapter.
    • Product analysis. A constant end-product analysis is a crucial step in the CBD production process. In the CBD industry, monitoring the product’s content levels for the crucial active ingredients is vital. Otherwise, you risk selling a product, that isn’t in compliance with the labeled values. A 2017 study has shown, that end-products often have lower CBD levels than advertised, which is another indicator of how unregulated the CBD market is. Therefore, having consistent and high-quality products is a good way of getting ahead of the competition.
    • Certificate of Analysis (COA). These three words have become one of the most important phrases in the CBD industry overall. A certificate of analysis is a laboratory report, stating the content levels of different substances in a product. In the CBD industry, a COA will list cannabidiol and other active substances’ content levels. Besides the active ingredients, a COA will also list levels of harmful substances, such as heavy metals, pesticides, and molds, which should all be under the standard threshold. COA is, therefore, a very important document. It ensures that the customer knows exactly what he’s getting, and creates a certain level of transparency.
    • Proper manufacturing facility. When researching different CBD manufacturers, you should make sure they have a proper manufacturing facility. Since this industry is mostly unregulated, the CBD oil could come from pretty much anywhere. And ideally, you wouldn’t want your CBD oil to be made in someone’s back yard.

    CBD manufacturing facility

    Extraction process

    The extraction of hemp oil is based on the solubility of cannabinoids and other active substances. There are different methods of extracting the substances from cannabis, with each having its own effectiveness. The yield and the quality of the product greatly depends on the process used.

    Currently, the most effective and widely accepted extraction method is supercritical CO2 extraction. While it is more expensive than other extraction methods, it yields the best and purest results. In this case, “supercritical” means that the process is constantly maintained at just the right pressure and temperature.

    Who in Europe can supply you with top CBD products?

    Before we dive in, I thought I’d clarify something:

    Manufacturer produces the products, while a supplier is a company, that supplies retail stores with the products. In this article, we’ll only consider companies, that do both.

    I also want to mention, that Essentia Pura would also qualify for this list. We also are both a manufacturer and a supplier of CBD oil and other CBD-related products, we’re based in Europe, have a proper manufacturing facility, and strive for the highest quality. But for the sake of transparency, we decided to exclude ourselves from this list. We still invite you to check our website and, if you find us intriguing, contact us. But enough about us, let’s get back to the topic.

    According to our research, the leading CBD companies in Europe, that both manufacture and supply CBD products, are:

    But what makes these companies stand out among the rest? We’ll cover that in detail in the next chapters.

    1. Medical Hemp

    Medical hemp is a German business based in Berlin. They’re an innovative company, that specializes in CBD extraction as well as development and production of various hemp-based cannabinoids. They boast over 20 years worth of experience in the hemp industry, and a highly-qualified team with various core expertise.

    Their products are always in accordance with the highest quality standards. They guarantee their product comes only from high-quality raw material, compliant with the strictest quality requirements of the food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries. They only use cannabis from controlled organic cultivation without the use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals, that would diminish the quality of their CBD oil.

    Products

    The main focus of Medical hemp is the sale in bulk quantities. They offer three different kinds of product:

    CBD oil. It comes in a “raw”, which means that it has not been decarboxylated and is rich in CBD-A (cannabidiolic acid). It is available as 4% or 10-12% concentrate.

    CBD gold. This is their latest product, released to the market. It is unfiltered and comes in a decarboxylated form.

    CBD crystal. Also known as Pure crystalline CBD isolate, it comes at a 99% purity level, and is extracted from the highest-quality hemp. Per their client’s requirement, they can also produce the isolate in different purity levels.

    2. Deepnature Project

    Deepnature project is a company, that puts a great emphasis on sustainability and nature-friendliness. They create pure, natural products, that infuse humans with inner strength, enjoyment, and help them stay active and healthy.

    They have three main principles that they adhere to, in order to maintain high quality and innovative approach:

    Sustainability. They only use sustainable and organic processes, from the cultivation to the finished hemp products. They process the whole plant – from the stem to the leaves – assuring nothing goes to waste. Everything is thoroughly controlled, certified organic and produced in Austria.

    Quality. When developing new products, they closely cooperate with their partners in medicine and nutritional science. That way, they optimize for the highest efficiency of their active ingredients in their CBD oil. In other words, quality and innovation are two very important driving forces for them.

    Fairness. Quality ingredients are just the first step on the way to creating quality CBD oil. The people, involved in the production are what turns organic cannabis into a high-quality CBD product. Their employees and partners all follow the principles of the Deepnature project and make sure only the top products make it to the shelves.

    Sustainable cannabis pnaltation

    Products

    As we’ve already mentioned, the Deepnature project offers a selection of organic hemp products. But CBD oil isn’t all they offer – they also offer CBG products. Cannabigerol, or CBG for short, is another beneficial substance found in hemp.

    While CBD is a fairly new substance, CBG is even newer. Scientists are conducting numerous researches to learn more about it. So far, the data they’re working with is still meager, but what little knowledge they have shows great potential.

    The products they make are meant for end-costumers, meaning they don’t sell semi-finished products, like raw CBD oil. They are sold under a different brand – Medihemp. All of their hemp products are available on their online store, allowing you to choose amongst:

    • Full-spectrum CBD capsule
    • Full-spectrum CBD oil
    • Premium extract CBD oil (Pure CBD oil)
    • Full-spectrum CBG extract (available in 5% CBG content only)

    Their CBD oils and CBD capsules come with different CBD content levels: 2.5%, 5%, 10% and 18%.

    3. Max Hemp

    To some, this may be just another company in the CBD industry, but the story of its inception makes it stand out among the others. The story begins in 2009 with the birth of a boy named Max. He was born with an extra chromosome (the Down syndrome), but was developing normally regardless. But then, at 7 months old, his medical state suddenly took a turn for the worse. He was diagnosed with epilepsy and started getting seizures multiple times a day. The doctors tried everything they knew, but any success they had was only temporary.

    In the summer of 2014, his health deteriorated even further. The seizures became so bad, that he was put in an ICU. Again, doctors tried everything, but unfortunately without success. It was then that his parents first heard about hemp’s healing properties. At the time, this field wasn’t nearly as developed as it is today, and cannabis was still illegal in most countries. But for the parents, this was the last option to save their sun, so they tried the treatment. Two weeks after the first infusion, Mas’s health began to improve. His seizures virtually disappeared, and he could finally start living a better life.

    Max was the first person to be treated with cannabis extract. His recovery was the spark, that led to the legalization of hemp-related products in Poland, and the inception of this company. They offer much more than just products, they’re determined to help others, so that such cases would never need to happen again. They work closely with doctors and have several consultants – one of which is Max’s mother Dorota.

    Products

    They specialize in products for end-customers, and have a variety of oils available:

    • Full-spectrum CBD oil
    • Full-spectrum CBG oil

    All products come in a variety of sizes and active ingredient percentages. For more details, check their online store.

    You can also order a concentration and metabolism test, or subscribe to their quarterly magazine Medicinal cannabis in theory and practice – though I believe that’s only available in Polish.

    4. Formula Swiss

    Formula Swiss is a family-owned company, based in a small town named Zug, and one of the leading CBD manufacturers in Switzerland. They strive for the highest quality and use only organic, Swiss-grown cannabis. They use the supercritical CO2 extraction process, which is the cutting-edge in the CBD industry.

    High quality is their first priority, and they do put a lot of effort into achieving it. They constantly monitor their products for harmful substances, such as pesticides, heavy metals molds, etc… They also monitor each line of their CBD oils separately, to ensure proper levels of the active substances. Their optimised processes and attention to detail, in combination with the best raw materials, allow them to produce the highest quality CBD oil.

    Products

    Formula Swiss produces more than just CBD oil. Their various offer of CBD products includes:

    • CBD oil drops in olive oil
    • CBD oil drops in MCT oil (available in different flavours)
    • CBD oil drops in hemp seed oil
    • CBD oil drops for pets
    • CBD creams and balms
    • CBD vape oils (available in different flavours)

    For more details and information, check their website.

    5. HemPoland

    HemPoland is, as the name suggests, a Polish company, that deals with hemp. Unlike other companies listed here, they not only process the cannabis, but also grow it. They’re the first private company in Poland to receive proper licenses for growing and processing Cannabis sativa. It is the strain of cannabis most commonly used for manufacturing products, such as hemp oils.

    Their main focus is on making high-quality CBD products, and the first step of that process is high-quality raw materials. And since they’re capable of completing the whole process, from seed to CBD oil, growing quality cannabis is in their field too. All their cannabis is grown in a sustainable way, without pesticides and other harmful substances. When it comes to the extraction process, they’re just as meticulous as with the growing. They use the high-grade CO2 extraction process, backed with the knowledge of a Ph.D. scientist, that carefully monitors the process.

    Products

    HemPoland offers a wide variety of products, from raw materials and semi-finished products for wholesale, to finished products, meant for end-customers. Their wholesale offer:

    • Cannabis seeds
    • Non-processed straw
    • Processed seed products

    And for the end-customers, they offer CannabiGold, their flagship product. CannabiGold is full-spectrum CBD oil, available in various packings and CBD content levels. The product is also available in form of capsules.

    Work with CBD manufacturers, that prioritize quality

    Quality is a word, that keeps appearing in this article, and it does for a good reason. Prioritizing quality is a best-practice guideline, that applies for most industries, but this applies even more for the CBD industry. If you take a closer look at the companies we talked about, you’ll find that all follow this guideline.

    To summarize: whether you’re a CBD manufacturer, supplier, reseller, or retailer, or even a customer, you should avoid low-quality products. While such products still may work, using them would be a gamble, and one should never gamble when it comes to health and well-being.

    What makes a CBD supplier & manufacturer? What qualities should they have & what makes them stand out from the crowd? Find out in this article.