Ask anyone in the industry, and they are likely to all say the same thing about Papa & Barkley CBD. You’re likely to hear some variation of “great brand,” “they do it the right way” or “a little pricey, but worth it.” In short: They are insanely well-respected. But what makes them so respected? And is their stellar reputation worth it? Let’s break down all the key components of Papa & Barkley as a company as well as their CBD. And at the end of the day, would we recommend it to a friend?
A quick Papa & Barkley company overview
Founded in 2014 by Adam Grossman, Papa & Barkley is a leading cannabis topicals company based in California that offers a range of THC and CBD products. The idea for the California-based company grew out of a homemade balm Grossman created in a Crock-Pot. He created it to help his dad cope with back pain. The second half of the company name refers to Grossman’s pitbull, Barkley. Who doesn’t love a company that bases its name on their dad and their dog? All together now: Awwwwww.
They are a medium-sized company with several hundred employees and are well established compared with some smaller CBD brands. Publications such as Forbes, Newsweek, NPR, Bustle and Mashable have all featured P&B.
Like us, Papa & Barkley strives to educate its customers on CBD through its guides and blog.
What products do they make?
Papa & Barkley offers both THC and CBD products. Note: Only their CBD products with 0.3% or less THC are federally legal under the terms of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Their THC range includes:
- Beauty products
They offer full-spectrum CBD products under four categories:
P&B Releaf Repair CBD Cream
Papa & Barkley CBD Releaf Balm
Papa & Barkley’s Releaf Body Oil
- Drops and Oils
Papa & Barkley Releaf Drops
- Capsules and Edibles
Papa & Barkley Releaf Body Lotion
You can shop for their products through these categories. But if you are confused about what to get for your specific problem, Papa & Barkley also offers a Need filter. This allows you to select what you require, which includes categories like Sleep, Discomfort, Stress, Muscle Soreness, and so on.
Product prices range from $30 to $80. The company offers a subscription service for a 10% discount. And you get to choose how often you want the product delivered.
What our experts say about Papa & Barkley CBD:
“In reviewing CBD companies I generally feel like the deeper you dig, the more unpleasant or suspicious things tend to turn up. That being said, I don’t think there is a CBD company I know more about than P&B. It’s been 5 years since I first heard about Papa & Barkley, and they’ve been competition and/or colleague the entire time. And at the risk of sounding like an ad, not once have I been let down or disappointed by them. I’ve continued to learn more about cannabinoids and our endocannabinoid system through Papa and Barkley.
If there is one company I can always safely recommend for friends, family or the most vulnerable patients, it is Papa and Barkley. In almost every category, they set the golden standard. Whole flower, solventless extraction, organic American hemp, an emphasis on education, I could go on. They’re not the cheapest, or most affordable product on the market. And that would be one of the biggest drawbacks when first trying them. This is one of the instances where you get what you pay for. So, needless to say, Papa and Barkley has my fullest of recommendations for their CBD products.” – Willy Christie
“Papa & Barkley is a medium-sized CBD brand with an excellent reputation. The brand has never received a warning letter from the FDA and appears to comply with all its regulations and not misrepresent its CBD products. The brand is fairly transparent about its products and offers elaborated details about their hemp farms and CBD production process. The FDA requires CBD brands to have a CGMP certification to follow standard safety manufacturing, packing, and processing procedures. Currently, however, the brand does not seem to have a CGMP certification. The company offers an up-to-date certificate of analysis for each of its products. Cannasafe conducts its tests for heavy metals, mycotoxins, pesticides, and cannabinoids, including CBD and THC.” – Dr. Neil Shah
What is the quality of Papa & Barkley products? Are they good?
Are Papa & Barkley CBD products good? In short: Yes, they are. They get all their CBD from sun-grown plants — which sticks with the brand’s natural vibe. They also tend to keep their ingredient list to a minimum – which something we always like to see. And most of their ingredients are things that are found in nature. You won’t find a super long list of chemicals in Papa & Barkley products. Big thumbs up there.
Additionally, Papa & Barkley has won a number of awards. In 2019, the clean cannabis brand won five Emerald Cup awards. The Emerald Cup is an annual California sun-grown cannabis event that brings together cannabis experts, educators, and enthusiasts. They compete, celebrate, and experience the best of the best in the cannabis industry. P&B swept the Ice Water Hash category, receiving 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for their Papa’s Select. And took home 5th place for their Living Tincture in the tincture category as well as the Solventless Rosin Category. That same year they also received an award for Excellence in Technology, Infused Products and Extractions at the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) Awards.
When considering reputation, it’s important to note how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) looks at CBD. They don’t regulate CBD products the same way they regulate medications. The FDA doesn’t test CBD products to find out what’s in them. And they don’t make any guarantees that all CBD products are safe.
However, they do keep tabs on the market and can penalize companies that make false claims. They do this by sending them a warning letter. Unlike some other CBD brands, Papa & Barkley hasn’t received any warning letters to date.
Do they make safe products?
It’s really easy to access testing information for all Papa & Barkley products, which is great news for potential customers. Each product page features a link to an up-to-date certificate of analysis (COA) outlining tests conducted by CannaSafe, an ISO 17025-certified, third-party laboratory.
Their products are tested for:
- cannabinoids, including the presence of CBD and THC
- residual solvents
- heavy metals
- mycotoxins (molds)
Their reports show that their products contain exactly what they say it contains. And that these products don’t include harmful contaminants.
Where do they source their CBD?
The company prides itself on creating products using all-natural and clean CBD. And all their products are made with hemp flowers sourced from sustainable, organic USA farms.
Their hemp comes from farms in California, Oregon, and Vermont. They provide a detailed, step-by-step description of their process on their website.
One thing that sets them apart from other brands is the way they infuse and extract their CBD. Some of their products are made by infusing hemp directly into MCT oil sourced from coconut oil. The produce other products by pressing cannabis rosin between two metal plates.
Neither method leaves any potentially harmful chemicals behind. Which can happen when using a solvent-based extraction method like carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction.
A note about “organic”
Papa & Barkley says they only work with “US farmers who follow organic and regenerative farming practices.” And we think that’s great. But their products are not technically USDA certified organic. And if you’ve ever talked to a farmer’s market farmer, you can understand why. The red tape and cost of becoming certified organic is sometimes too much for small farms. So they follow the same protocols (and sometimes much more) but don’t have the certificate. This does involve a little trust on your side, which is why we bring this up.
What is their brand ethos?
Papa & Barkley has positioned itself as a “caretaker” brand. This keeps with its origin story of its founder’s efforts to concoct a CBD product to relieve his father’s debilitating back pain.
Their products are relatively affordable. And everything from their branding to their ingredients to even the soil they use speaks to clean comfort.
They are a great company to try out if you are new to the world of CBD topicals. They’re also good if you and want to know exactly what’s in your products and how to use them to get the most out of it.
What are people on the web saying about Papa & Barkley CBD?
As always, we cannot vouch for the accuracy or authority of any online review. But we do think it’s helpful to take a few snippets from around the web to see the general tone or themes we find.
Many online reviewers find Papa & Barkley’s success to lie in their product’s ability to soothe pain.
Many reviewers on Trustpilot vouch for this. One reviewer who does not have cartilage in their big toe joints claims that Papa & Barkley’s Relief Balm is a “total life saver” as it relieves the pain in their toes.
Another reviewer on Weedmaps asserts that they have been “been buying and using topicals and theirs is one of the BEST”. Not only does it help treat their chronic pain but also assists in “getting a better night’s rest.”
On the same site, a reviewer of Papa & Barkley’s 30:1 Relief Tincture says that the product is “the most bang for your buck $ per mg CBD, compared to other tinctures that are easily 50-100% more expensive”. They gave it five stars calling it the “most effective and affordable tincture I’ve ever come across”.
The Not So Good
A common theme with Reddit’s reviewers is that they like the product, but don’t like the price. One comment on their 30:1 tincture was “expensive as fork” (yes that typo is on purpose to get around swearing. While another said “Expensive, but my wife swears by the 30:1.”
Another reviewer on TrustPilot was not satisfied with the size of the product. They claimed they paid $15 for what should have been a free sample. The claimed they also had difficulty contacting them through email or phone.
This was not the only reviewer to take issue with Papa & Barkley’s customer service. Another review claimed that on their search for a particular product, they got “random marketing emails” that were not helpful. And that when they finally found the product it “had a different price than was advertised.”
A note about their pricing
While Papa & Barkley isn’t the cheapest CBD on the market, we don’t agree with the comments we’ve seen online complaining about price. Their price per CBD milligram is in line with a lot of other CBD brands out there (usually ranging from 7-15 mgs of CBD per dollar.) And given everything they do to provide a high-quality product, we don’t have any issue with their pricing.
Our final thoughts – Is Papa & Barkley worth the money?
Papa & Barkley is a well-established and reputable company. Their range of products may be smaller than their competitors. But this ensures that what they do release to the public is of high quality. They are synonymous with transparency and being a clean brand.
While customer service seems to be a small issue, they largely provide sound help to customers through their educational guides and blog.
Most importantly, we know what we are getting with Papa & Barkley. They provide comprehensive certificates of analysis online and are transparent about their manufacturing processes. We give them our full 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.