CBD is a new-ish wellness trend that has been floating around the internet for a couple of years now. I’m not usually one to hop onto hype trains early, so by the time I actually got interested in trying CBD, the sheer number of brands and options available was wild and overwhelming.
Enter my love for Beauty Science, as I mentioned in my CBD intro post. Nothing like being your own experimental guinea pig, right? So I picked a few CBD brands that I kept seeing on Instagram, Facebook, and Groupon (because of course we all love a good deal), and I tested them all for a few weeks to see if they were effective.
The good news is that I found one amazing brand, and one that’s a decent runner-up. The bad news is that the other CBD brands were total duds for me. As with all of my reviews, my opinions aren’t Gospel Truth, but they’re as unbiased as I can make them!
The good news is that I found one amazing brand, and one that’s a decent runner-up. The bad news is that the other CBD brands were total duds for me.
Let’s dive in.
The Duds: Just CBD and Happy Hemp
These were my Groupon grabs, and I was totally disappointed by both brands. In fact, Just CBD was the first brand I ever tried, and I actually thought that CBD didn’t work for me based on my experience with their products.
I tried Just CBD’s gummies in three different styles and got wildly inconsistent results from each despite taking the same dosage across all three. Even when I tripled my dose (in the name of science and hopefully feeling SOME effects), the best results I got felt like I had taken half a Benadryl and gotten a little sleepy.
Happy Hemp was my second Groupon try, because I’m a glutton for punishment apparently (and I’m a sucker for peach ring gummies). Sadly, their peach rings were about as effective as JustCBD’s. Which is to say, basically not at all. They were tasty though, so there’s that?
In summary: They’re both affordable, but I have nothing else good to say about them. Pass!
The Runner-up: Lazarus Naturals
I was pretty soured on the idea of CBD until Tracy of Fanserviced-b blogging fame mentioned her success with Lazarus Naturals in her Instagram stories. Tracy has never, ever steered me wrong, so I decided to try again with a brand that someone I trust actually likes.
Lazarus Naturals isn’t the cheapest CBD option, but they’re nowhere near the most expensive, either. (Expensive doesn’t always equal better, but I definitely have had much more positive experiences with the brands that are a bit pricier.)
They offer full-spectrum (with traces of THC) and broad-spectrum (zero THC) products, and they also have both standard and high-potency options. The high-potency options just give you a stronger dose per milliliter, so you can take less tincture and get the same results.
This time, I went the tincture route, and I also grabbed a CBD lotion out of curiosity.
Chocolate Mint CBD Tincture
Since I thought that maybe I needed a higher dose to achieve good results, I went with the high-potency chocolate mint tincture.
I was gambling a little with the flavor (I knew it would either be amazing or awful), but I got lucky and it was actually pretty delicious. It definitely tastes like chocolate mint, even if there is a slightly oily hemp aftertaste.
In terms of efficacy, I definitely did feel a bit more relaxed whenever I took a dose of this tincture, and the effects lasted about four hours. I was still slightly disappointed because I was hoping for a more pronounced difference, but I was happy that I was getting consistent results this time, even if they weren’t as good as I hoped.
For me, this is where Lazarus Naturals totally shines. Their topical CBD is why I gave them the runner-up spot in this roundup.
I bought a small bottle of their unscented CBD lotion with the expectation that it probably wouldn’t do much, but it was an inexpensive experiment.
Except I was totally wrong, and this lotion actually turned me into a huge fan of topical CBD! I’ve mentioned previously that I have chronic pain and swelling in one of my ankles, and the pain sometimes radiates up to my knee. I can rub a dime-sized amount of lotion into my knee and ankle, and within five minutes, the pain is significantly better.
The best part is that because I only need a tiny amount each time, even the smallest tube has lasted months! I plan to grab the balm next to compare the two, but I highly recommend Lazarus Naturals’ topicals.
The Runaway Winner: Blush Wellness
You guys. I swear I’m not sponsored by Blush Wellness. They don’t even know me. But I have not been able to shut up about how much I love their CBD.
Much like my Groupon impulse buys, Blush got me with a crazy good Instagram offer that let me try their gummies and tincture for just the shipping costs. I figured I had nothing at all to lose, so why not?
I’m SO glad I did because I’m on my second bottle of tincture and my third (maybe fourth?) bag of gummies. I. Am. Obsessed.
They offer subscription packages that autoship, or you can just make one-off orders from their shop. I like that I don’t have to commit to a subscription, even though I probably should at this point.
Blush Wellness Gummies
I’ve tried their Balance gummies and their Serenity gummies, and I love them both. They’re broad-spectrum, which means no THC, but they’re still amazingly effective.
The Balance gummies are lemon and orange fruit slices that deliver 25mg of CBD each. That’s the most potent gummy I’ve found so far, and they have zero hemp taste at all. They’re dangerously delicious (I have to stop myself from eating too many!).
The Serenity gummies are for nighttime. They have 3mg of melatonin in addition to the 25mg of CBD. They’re strawberry and grapefruit flavored, but I wish they were the same citrus flavors as the Balance gummies because I don’t like the taste nearly as much. I take one an hour before bed most nights, and my sleep tracking app always shows that I get a much better night’s sleep when I do.
Both gummies give me a nice, relaxed feeling. With the Balance gummies, I feel happier and less tense overall. The added melatonin in the Serenity gummies is just enough to make me feel warm and sleepy without the “knocked out by medication” hangover of NyQuil or Benadryl. In short, they’re everything I hoped for when I started my CBD experiments.
Blush Wellness Tincture
I’ve realized that tinctures aren’t my favorite way to CBD (I’m Team Gummies), but I am super impressed by the Blush tincture. One dose packs 33mg of CBD, and it is by far the most delicious liquid CBD I’ve ever tasted.
I’m stuck on the orange creamsicle flavor, but I’d bet the lemon ginger one is just as good. This tincture doesn’t feel oily at all, and it tastes exactly like an orange creamsicle. Do you guys remember those Creme Saver hard candies that LifeSaver made back in the day? (These guys? My mom was in love with them.) This tincture is precisely that same candy flavor, and it somehow doesn’t have a single bit of hemp taste.
Just like with the gummies, I usually start to feel a difference within an hour, and the effects last for several hours. I’m much more relaxed, and my mood is definitely better. If I have a mild headache, it helps to ease that, too.
(Bonus tip: I like to combine a dropper of the tincture with a Serenity gummy for some seriously good sleep.)
Bringing It Back
So, to summarize, whether you choose the tincture or gummies, Blush Wellness gives me significant, consistently positive results every single time. Their CBD helps me feel less anxious, less physically tense, and less pained. The Serenity gummies measurably improve my sleep. 11/10 highly recommend!
I haven’t tried the Blush Wellness topical products, but they’re on my list. Until then, I absolutely recommend Lazarus Naturals’ CBD lotion. It’s lightweight, moisturizing, and extremely effective for pain relief.
For now, Blush is my holy grail CBD brand. However, I’m certainly willing to try other brands to compare. If you have a favorite, drop a link in the comments and tell me why you love it!