Whenever we see ‘LOWEST CBD PRICE IN THE UK’ we just curl up in a ball and want to disappear. Not again. Access CBD has just launched, and have branded themselves as having the lowest-priced CBD oil in the UK which is 80% off the standard retail price.
When you have been writing about CBD for as long as we have, we worry that this is no longer positive for the consumer. Our worry is that the quality of the CBD industry is once again being lowered and the ignorance (sorry- CBD is complicated) of the average CBD consumer is being abused. This is why our interest was peaked when spotting a news article featuring Access CBD. So let’s begin:
Before even thinking about buying Access CBD, you should check out our list of the Best CBD Oil Products from the UK (<— this is our list of the best we have tried) … or keep reading the review. We have also reviewed Provacan, Holland and Barrett / Jacob Hooy, Healthspan and CBD Brothers.
In Summary – (our opinion)
It’s cheap – very cheap. Maybe even too cheap.
In absolute fairness, these prices are very affordable but we have very serious doubts about the actual ‘quality’ of the product as it is claimed – according to the published lab report (can be seen below), it contains only CBD and non-detectable levels of other cannabinoids. This looks like an Isolate CBD Oil but the company claim that this oil is ‘technically not’ down to its production and as it contains another plant compound (like terpenes)… but only CBD is allowable in the product. In marketing materials, the AccessCBD products are compared to Holland & Barrett (Jacob Hooy), Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy (maybe Celtic Wind), Superdrug and others. If this oil is produced with only CBD then it is our opinion that they are comparable to many other options out there.
While many claim the benefits of CBD only oils, we cannot hide from the fact that it has previously not been considered an edible substance by the Food Standards Agency or the Cannabis Trades Association (CTA members, cannot sell Isolate CBD Oils). CBD only oils are well known in the industry as being the lowest rung in quality and effectiveness but may fall under up-coming regulation as they are not classed as a food.
While the prices are rock bottom and well below the average price of a CBD oil, we are strong believers that you get what you pay for, so if you’re expecting a CBD oil that works then we maybe suggest holding off and paying a little bit extra for nutritious whole-plant & full-spectrum oils (or a broad-spectrum at the very least). Maybe even another canabidiol product!
In their own words: ‘We primarily want a high potency CBD product but it’s also essential to have small amounts of other cannabinoids‘ – canabidol.com/lab-reports/
Who is Access CBD?
Access CBD seems to be the newest addition of the Canabidiol family (which is part of British Cannabis) which are one of the largest manufacturers of CBD products in the UK. They produce everything from oils to CBD capsules, cosmetics, teas, vape oils and what looks like a health tonic/ multivitamins Their CEO Tom Whettem was (until recently- June 2020) a Director of the Cannabis Trades Association- we are unsure what happened but according to their newsletter, the departure was followed by a number of other high-level step-downs.
The Cannabis Trade Association are one of the body’s fighting to ensure the Cannabis industry in the UK is of high quality and that the consumer is protected. This means that there must be a certain standard of product that is used and members are somewhat regulated in regards to their conduct. We know for a fact that the CTA do not allow their members to use isolate CBD products (which these oils seem to be).
This newest addition is seemingly looking to ‘revolutionise the CBD industry’ from the ground up to make CBD more accessible to the ‘every-person’ and therefore providing CBD at a MASSIVE discount. As people who read, and write about cannabis products a lot, this smells a little off colour and we have some real concerns.
Access CBD Oil Review (Our Thoughts)
At first impressions, the AccessCBD oils do not seem too dissimilar to those sold by four-five CBD, or an alternative source. They are sold in a 30ml spray bottle and are available in a Berry, Citrus or a natural flavour. They currently offer 5 different strengths: 300mgs / 1% (£5.99), 600mg / 2% (£9.99), 1200mgs / 4% (£16.99), 2400mgs / 8% (£29.99) and 4800mg / 16% (£49.99).
These prices are genuinely insane – we have only seen prices this low at a wholesale level for some low-quality CBD oils. There is certainly a race to the bottom on price, but it is clear that the unbeatable prices are to put the cat amongst the pigeons. Could this be too good to be true though?
One of our contributors shared a story about their experience with a supplier back in 2017 when they tried to produce their own brand. They were sold on a CBD supplier who made all the right noises; at the time CBD was majorly expensive and overpriced- this supplier came to them as an evangelist for ‘very high-quality CBD’ which was ‘purposely low in price’ to ‘shake up the industry’- sound familiar?
Well, here is the point; when these oils arrived they smelled like varnish, had a nasty chemical bitterness (alcohol extracted) and gave everybody who tried them a sleepy-headache. They were selling 500mgs for £4.99 wholesale which at the time was apparently very close to cost price. We are certainly not suggesting that AccessCBD are selling the same dangerous CBD oils but we know the industry well.
From what we have found, the Canabidol CBD oils according to the AccessCBD website are extracted their cannabinoids using alcohol extraction which is a cheaper extraction method compared to CO2 extraction. Alcohol/ solvent extraction is a much more cost-effective extraction method for producers, but it produces a lower quality product for the consumer. Often residue from the process is left over which gives the finished product a nasty bitterness and arguably isn’t particularly healthy to consume. Access claim their method is superior to CO2 extraction- with any amount of research into the extraction methods you’ll see that every source suggests otherwise. Quite simply, we politely disagree.
Isolate CBD Oil?
Looking at the price of the oils it suggests that these oils may be produced using Isolate CBD but after being emailed by Access CBD they say that this is not the case and that it is ‘technically not’ an isolated CBD formula. We found this lab report on the website which is from May 2020. As you can see, only CBD is detectable in the product which makes this CBD only product and is likely to be considered as poor quality by a whole load of cannabis-authorities across the UK and Europe. As seen in this post about AccessCBD.
Isolate CBD oils are a very cheaply produced oil that is the lowest rung of CBD oils- they only contain CBD which is refined down to a winterized powder- it is very, very cheap to produce. Although the Food Standards Agency & the Cannabis Trades Association do not consider isolate CBD oil as an ingestible substance. While the FSA has been lobbied by Pharmaceutical companies who wish to ringfence the whole plant market, the CTA stand strong in their conviction not to lower the standards of CBD products consumed by non-medical customers.
From trying a number of oils isolated oils during the years, we can tell you that they had zero impact compared to a whole plant oil with other cannabinoids and plant matter. Natural CBD oil should contain a wide range of cannabinoids to be truly effective – trust us, don’t waste your money.
What is the Motive?
Could this be an attempt to flood the market with an under-priced CBD product? Yes, some CBD oils are way over-sold but the average price of some of the most popular companies makes perfect sense. It isn’t an easy industry to get into and if you purchase a product that is of real quality, it can be an expensive purchase. Unlike Vape oils, real CBD oils are hard and somewhat expensive to produce.
Now that we know that these oils are isolated then we suspect that they are flooding the market at pretty much cost price. After all, if you sell 10 million units of oil with a £1 mark-up then that is still a fantastic amount of money. And a multi-million-pound heavy-weight of the industry can afford to get the word out. Great news for them – bad news for the guys doing things right and paying the price.
We like to have hope that these products are fantastic products at a fantastic price; but we just can’t believe that these products will be the ‘same’ quality as claimed by the company.