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Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the cannabis plant that, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), doesn’t produce the intoxicated feeling you might associate with cannabis use. Its mild effects and promising health benefits, like pain relief, make it a popular product.
With so many CBD products on the market, it can be challenging to weed out the good from the bad. Below, we take a closer look at Koi CBD’s reputation, transparency, and product range.
Koi Natural is a CBD and cannabis company that makes various CBD and THC products using U.S.-grown hemp. The company started in 2015 and is a member of various CBD organizations, including the Hemp Industries Association and the California Hemp Council. Koi Natural is also part of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable Board of Directors.
Koi CBD, which is based in Norwalk, California, debuted in 2015. Unfortunately, the company has been involved in a few legal issues since then.
Most recently, in 2019, Koi CBD was sued in a class-action lawsuit alleging fraud. Why? The lawsuit alleges that customers weren’t made aware that Koi CBD products were illegal in the United States based on the way they were labeled and advertised as dietary supplements. The case was dismissed in 2020.
Another lawsuit from 2019 involved a customer who alleged she was let go from her job after failing a drug test after using a Koi CBD product. The plaintiff is currently in the process of dismissing the case.
FDA warning letters
While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t guarantee the safety or quality of over-the-counter CBD products, it does regulate the market by sending out warning letters to companies that don’t follow FDA rules.
Koi CBD received one of these letters in
Koi CBD claims that their CBD products are manufactured in a facility that’s certified compliant with the
Koi uses the carbon dioxide (CO2) method to extract their CBD. The process uses no solvents, leaving behind no chemicals in the final result. That said, CO2 extraction can leave behind fewer terpenes, which may decrease CBD’s therapeutic effects and potential.
However, some of the COAs don’t show the limit of quantification (LOQ) or limit of detection (LOD) for THC. It’s difficult to verify the amount of THC in your product without being able to see the LOQ and LOD the lab is using.
That said, the COAs differ in terms of what information they contain. Ones from Niva Labs have LODs and LOQs, while the COAs from Green Scientifics Labs don’t show LOQ or LOD.
All products listed below have up-to-date COAs that show the LOQ and LOD for THC. We’ve chosen to exclude many of their skin care products from the list due to outdated COAs. If you do try Koi CBD, we only recommend trying those with COAs that are less than a year old, and ensure they are transparent about LOQ and LOD.
Also, potency info on product labels and COAs doesn’t always match — the discrepancy varies from product to product. Some have more CBD than is listed on the product label. So it’s important to trust the brands you shop with, ensuring they show a track record of updated and transparent third-party testing with accredited labs.
For this reason, you may choose not to shop with Koi, but if you do, we only recommend the products on this list.
Sourcing and ingredients
The company claims that their hemp comes from the United States, but there’s no information about locations or specific farms and vendors. You can, however, find full ingredient lists on product packaging and in product page descriptions.
Koi CBD offers a huge variety of products, including CBD:
- balms and pain relief gels
- pet products
- skin care products
- bath and body products
The products contain broad-spectrum CBD, which contains almost every compound found in the cannabis plant, except for THC.
Pricing for Koi’s CBD products is on par with other CBD companies. Pricing varies depending on the potency of the product you choose.
The company offers a rewards program and a discount program for military, first responders, medical professionals, and low income households. You can also save money by subscribing to recurring deliveries.
Koi CBD also sells vape products and CBD flowers meant to be smoked. However, we don’t recommend or promote vaping or smoking CBD products because of associated
Reviews on the website are generally positive, with no products having less than 4 stars. We couldn’t find any reviews, positive or negative, on third-party websites like Trustpilot.
Koi CBD offers free shipping on orders over $35 and delivers items in discreet packaging.
Customers who want to return a product are asked to call or email the company within 30 days of receiving a damaged product. Koi also offers returns and exchanges for people who aren’t happy with their purchase. You can find a detailed rundown of the return policy here.
While some of Koi’s claims are difficult to verify, you might still be interested in trying their available products. Below, we list the products that have clear, updated COAs:
Koi Naturals Hemp Extract CBD Oil
- Price: $$–$$$
- CBD type: broad-spectrum
- CBD potency: 250 mg, 500 mg, 1,000 mg, or 2,000 mg per 30-mL bottle
- COA: available on product page
This CBD oil comes with a dropper for easy application. The blend of cannabinoids and terpenes found in broad-spectrum CBD produce the entourage effect, which research shows may heighten the effects of CBD.
This particular oil is only available unflavored, meaning it may have a slightly earthy taste. Some people like the flavor of natural hemp, but some may prefer a flavored product.
Koi Naturals Hemp Extract CBD Balm
- Price: $–$$
- CBD type: broad-spectrum
- CBD potency: 500 mg or 1,000 mg
- COA: available on product page
Koi CBD suggests applying the balm by massaging it into the skin.
Koi Naturals Hemp Extract CBD Lotion
- Price: $
- CBD type: isolate
- CBD potency: 200 mg per 125-mL bottle
- COA: available online
Koi’s CBD lotion comes in three scent options: citrus burst, lavender, and pink grapefruit.
You can apply daily, just as you would lotion. It contains other moisturizing ingredients such as organic aloe, organic coconut oil, jojoba seed oil, and more.
It’s worth noting that the potency isn’t the strongest, so if you’re looking to use topicals for pain relief, you might need to experiment with something stronger.
If you want to give a Koi CBD product a whirl but don’t know which to try, you’ll need to decide on its intended use.
If you’re interested in trying a CBD product to help with localized pain, opt for a topical. If full-body pain or anxiety is bothering you, try CBD oil instead.
If you want to try ingesting CBD but don’t love the taste of natural oil, give flavored products a go. Koi CBD oils are available in multiple flavors, including strawberry and orange.
You’ll also need to decide on product potency. Thankfully, most Koi CBD products are available in multiple strengths. If you’re new to CBD, opt for the lowest potency to start.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. You might hate one flavor and love another. Similarly, you might prefer one method of taking CBD over another.
The Koi products selected here were vetted using a strict set of criteria to ensure quality, safety, and transparency.
Our team evaluates brand reputation, ingredients, and potential efficacy. We look at the potency of each product to ensure safety, the company’s manufacturing process, and customer reviews.
If there is a history of lawsuits or FDA warning letters, we always include that information for transparency.
Every product in the list above:
- is made with hemp grown in the United States
- contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, per the COA
- passes tests for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, per the COA
- was third-party tested by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
Most CBD products come with handy packaging suggestions and directions for how to use them. However, if you’re new to CBD and ingesting it, expect a bit of trial and error to find the right dose for you.
You’re better off starting with the smallest amount and working your way up than taking a potent dose right off the bat. Pay attention to how you feel and increase the quantity if you don’t notice any effects. Do it little by little, and be patient. If you need more guidance on CBD dosage, check out our dosing guide.
Dosing is a bit more challenging with topical products. Using the same amount as you would any other topical skin care product should be fine. If you don’t notice any improvement after a little while, use more.
- changes in weight
- changes in appetite
It’s also important to talk with a doctor before taking CBD, especially if you’re taking any medications. CBD can interact with certain medications, including those with a grapefruit warning. A doctor, assuming they’re knowledgeable about CBD, can also help you with dosage and product selection.
Be careful with topicals, too. Do a patch test on your skin before applying to a larger area by applying a small amount and waiting 24 hours before using more. If you have a reaction to the CBD product, stop using it.
Koi CBD has a wide range of CBD products but a less than stellar reputation. While they’ve made some changes to their labeling and marketing materials, we’re wary about transparency issues.
With so many reputable CBD companies in the mix, it’s hard to recommend Koi CBD over other CBD retailers.
That said, if you do decide to try Koi CBD, opt for a product with a comprehensive COA, like the natural oil or the balm.