Is bigger always better? That’s the question we keep coming back to when it comes to evaluating the Curaleaf Hemp CBD brand. Walk into almost any grocery store from California to Maine and you will see their products behind a locked case. They are clearly a well-run company. They’ve expanded quickly and helped push CBD into places it hasn’t been before. Which is commendable. And since they’re everywhere, they’re one of the brands we get questions about the most. Moms and aunts and uncles see CBD (sometimes for the first time) on the shelf and wonder what it is. They also wonder if it’s real. And then the inevitable questions comes up: What does CBD do? Would it work for me? Is hemp CBD legal? And, ultimately, should I buy Curaleaf?
These are great questions. So, let’s break down a few components of the company, their products, and their brand ethos. And one thing to note, we are focusing primarily on the Curaleaf Hemp line of products in this review. This product line is their hemp CBD and contains less than 0.3% THC. We’ll talk about their cannabis-focused line another time. For now, let’s focus on the products that are federally legal and sold in stores and online.
A quick Curaleaf Hemp CBD company overview
Curaleaf is a licensed medical cannabis company that owns multiple CBD brands like Curaleaf, Curaleaf Hemp, Select, and Uku. Founded by American billionaire Boris Jordan, Curaleaf began as a research center named PalliaTech. As the brand developed, it changed its name to Curaleaf in 2018.
Since 2020, it’s become the biggest cannabis company in the United States. They have dispensaries in 23 states, and their headquarters is in Wakefield, Massachusetts. They cultivate their own plants, owning 22 cultivation sites and 30 processing sites. In short: they are huge.
What products do they make?
Curaleaf has an extensive range of cannabis products. (They are the biggest cannabis company in the world, after all.) Here’s a handful of the products and product types they sell:
They offer products with a wide variety of terpenes, dosages, strains, cannabinoids, and delivery methods. This means you can find isolates, broad-spectrum CBD, and full-spectrum CBD.
What is the quality of Curaleaf Hemp CBD products?
Curaleaf’s website has a strong focus on quality. They outline their quality control protocols through every step of the process. And that covers everything from cultivation to manufacturing and packaging. An oversight team is responsible for employing quality control at each cultivation site. They undergo testing regularly to monitor potencies and prevent pesticides or other undesirable chemicals.
Do they make safe products?
The Curaleaf website has extensive information about their processing and safety regulations. And they make all their certificates of analysis available online. They post the lab results for all their products so everyone has access to them. Which is something we love to see. Some brands will make you buy their product first, before you can access their lab results. That is something we don’t love to see.
However, as Curaleaf is a licensed medicinal marijuana producer. So we know their products undergo strict state regulations and testing. A lot of CBD brands can’t say the same.
Curaleaf’s processing facility in Florida has earned a Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level II certification. Not to mention, they also received an “excellent” score. Curaleaf is the first and only company in Florida to achieve this certification.
Curaleaf was also among the first companies to receive the Cannabis Safety & Quality (CSQ) certification. Which is an independent board of cannabis safety regulations started in 2020. Its creation was based on Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Benchmarking requirements.
In 2019, the FDA issued a warning letter against Curaleaf for making misleading medical claims on their website. These claims were around language that they can “prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure serious diseases” — which is not allowed. The FDA does not test CBD products. However, since then Curaleaf has removed such content from their website. As well as anything that claimed that their products could prevent or treat conditions. They also discontinued several products mentioned in the FDA letter.
What our experts say about Curaleaf Hemp CBD
Curaleaf is one of the largest US retail dispensary brand producing premium Cannabis products. These products include vape oil, concentrates, capsules, tinctures, edibles, topicals, and flower pods. The brand offers over a hundred different types of products using 150 strains of Cannabis. All these products are tested by a third-party lab to ensure quality and consistent product delivery. It operates in 23 different states of the US with 101 local dispensaries. The company uses its own cannabis, which is produced at 22 different sites in the US. The brand has an excellent reputation among the customers. One note: they received a warning letter from the FDA for selling unapproved CBD products. They were alleged to make claims related to diagnosis, cure, and treatment of health conditions. Which is not allowed. Despite this warning, their CBD products appear to be high quality. – Dr. Neil Shah
Where do they source their CBD?
Since they are fully integrated, Curaleaf cultivates its own cannabis and hemp and state that they have cultivation sites in 23 states. However, the exact locations are not mentioned.
What is their brand ethos?
Curaleaf prides itself on not only being a cannabis business, but also a leading resource, educator, and advocate for cannabis. Curaleaf launched its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative called “Rooted in Good,” in 2020.
One of their pillars is sustainability. And they try where possible to use sustainable packaging. But they have to use some plastic because of different state regulations regarding child-proof packaging. They use glass and paper packaging and claim to use recycled plastic.
Their other pillars include social equity and diversity, equity and inclusion. All of which aim to promote these values both within the company and to the communities it serves. They wish to rectify the historical missteps of the cannabis industry. As most people know, a higher rate of people of color in prison are jailed for cannabis-related offenses. And Curaleaf tries to rectify this by fighting for criminal justice reform. They also offer mentoring and tech assistance to aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs.
What are people on the web saying about Curaleaf Hemp CBD?
Curaleaf is such a big company with so many products and dispensaries. So most reviews are written per product or dispensary. It’s difficult to find reviews about the brand overall. Most product and dispensary reviewers offer mixed review. They have about an equal amount of positive and negative experience of product and customer service.
A reviewer on cbdoil.blog liked Curaleaf’s products due to their “non-GMO, third party tests.” It also mentioned they liked that their products “contain not THC, and are full spectrum,” which is odd. Because if a product is full spectrum, it should contain a little but of THC.
The Curaleaf Hemp tincture was voted one of the best CBD oils for pain on weedmaps.com.
A reviewer on the Florida Medical Cannabis Collective’s site gave Curaleaf’s “Nano Chews” a 7/10. They like their “nano-emulsion” technology. And said they would definitely “try more Curaleaf products in the future.”
So would we recommend Curaleaf Hemp CBD to a friend?
In short: yes. We see Curaleaf as a great starter CBD for someone new to the space. They are a mainstream brand that’s been around a long time. And while they’ve had one ding from the FDA a few years ago, they seem to have cleared that up. And even then, their FDA warning was not around the quality of their product. It was about their marketing. And we saw a lot of brands get dinged for the same thing in that same time frame. So we don’t really hold that against them. Their products are tested and they make those test results public. They’ve been around a long time, which is also a testament to their quality and safety. While they maybe aren’t the most bespoke product out there, we give them our wholehearted recommendation.
Read our other CBD brand reviews:
The Greenest is a collective of doctors, pharmacists, dietitians, veterinarians, ex-and-current budtenders, medicinal mushroom and adaptogen experts — as well as CBD and hemp experts. The Greenest was launched to help those curious about the intersection of health, wellness and how we can all live better. We want to answer (in laymen’s terms) all the questions you have around living a better life.