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If you feel like cannabidiol (CBD) infused products are everywhere you look these days, you’re probably right. As a federally legal compound that doesn’t cause the “high” that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does, it’s become extremely popular.
While CBD may have some therapeutic benefits, that doesn’t necessarily mean every CBD product you come across is good for you. With many retailers capitalizing on the current CBD craze — making everything from toothpicks to hand sanitizer — it’s more important than ever to evaluate CBD brands and products carefully.
Papa & Barkley is a California-based company that was founded by Adam Grossman in 2014. The idea for the company grew out of a homemade balm Grossman created to help his dad cope with back pain. The second half of the company name refers to Grossman’s pit bull, Barkley.
Read on for an unbiased review of Papa & Barkley’s reputation and products.
CBD comes with some confusing lingo. Here’s what a few common terms mean:
- Cannabinoids are compounds that are found naturally in cannabis plants. THC and CBD are just two out of hundreds of cannabinoids.
- Full-spectrum products contain all the cannabinoids found in the plant, including CBD and a very small amount of THC (less than 0.3 percent to be federally legal in the United States). They also contain other beneficial compounds, including terpenes and flavonoids.
- Broad-spectrum products contain many of the cannabinoids and other compounds found in the cannabis plant, but they don’t contain THC.
- Isolate products only contain extracted CBD.
- certified non-GMO
- positive profile on Trustpilot
- subscription plan offers savings
- not yet cGMP certified
- only offers full-spectrum CBD
- doesn’t ship outside the United States
Papa & Barkley has a solid overall reputation. A medium-sized company with several hundred employees, they’re well established compared with some smaller CBD brands. The fact that the company was founded in 2014 makes it a veteran in a relatively young retail market.
When considering reputation, it’s important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate CBD products the same way it regulates medications. The FDA doesn’t test CBD products to find out what’s in them, and it doesn’t make any guarantees that all CBD products are safe.
However, the FDA does keep tabs on the market and can penalize companies that make false claims. It does this by sending them a
Papa & Barkley is transparent about how they make their products. 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. Other products are made from a rosin they produce by pressing cannabis between two metal plates.
Neither method leaves any potentially harmful chemicals behind — as can happen when using a solvent-based extraction method.
It is also worth mentioning that the brand is certified non-GMO through Nutrasource.
All CBD companies are required to comply with the
Currently, it doesn’t look like Papa & Barkley is cGMP certified.
It’s really easy to access testing information for all Papa & Barkley products. 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.
Papa & Barkley products are tested for:
- cannabinoids, including the presence of CBD and THC
- residual solvents
- heavy metals
- mycotoxins (molds)
Some of the product COAs show that the products contain significantly more CBD than the labels say they do. Keep this in mind and review each COA before you make a purchase.
Papa & Barkley offers a limited range of edible and topical CBD products.
All of their available products contain full-spectrum CBD. Although these products contain less than 0.3 percent THC by law, they might not be for you if you want to avoid THC altogether. It’s possible for trace amounts of THC to show up on a drug test.
Ranging from $19.99 to $99.99, their products are overall comparable with others on the market. They offer free shipping on products over $74.99.
At the time of writing, Papa & Barkley’s subscription plan saves you 20 percent plus free shipping on recurring orders.
You can also purchase a bundle to save money.
Papa & Barkley has overwhelmingly positive reviews, with many customers citing fast shipping and a quality product. Their few complaints appear to be related to email marketing practices.
Unlike a number of other CBD companies, Papa & Barkley is well established on Trustpilot, where they have more than 2,000 reviews and a 4.6 out of 5 rating. They’re not rated on or accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
Papa & Barkley offers a satisfaction guarantee. If for any reason you’re not satisfied with your purchase, you can return it for a full refund within 30 days. Keep in mind that this doesn’t apply to sale items. Those are final sale.
- $ = under $40
- $$ = over $40
Releaf Body Oil
- Price: $
- CBD type: full-spectrum
- CBD potency: 400 milligrams (mg) per 60-milliliter (mL) bottle
- COA: available online
This body oil can be great for at-home massages. It’s a fairly potent formula to help penetrate sore joints and muscles.
The ingredient list also includes vitamin E, which is known to target inflammation and help with cell repair. Added essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree, and lavender may offer aromatherapy benefits.
Papa & Barkley suggests a starting dose of two or three pumps. Make sure to thoroughly massage the oil into the skin.
CBD Releaf Oil
- Price: $-$$
- CBD type: full-spectrum
- CBD potency: 450 mg per 30-mL bottle or 900 mg per 60-mL bottle
- COA: available online
What sets this oil apart is the fact that it only contains two simple ingredients: MCT oil and hemp-derived CBD. Also known as fractionated coconut oil, MCT oil is a carrier oil that’s metabolized quickly. In other words, it’s great for quick absorption of CBD.
If the taste of the natural formula puts you off — reviewers describe it as “natural” and “earthy” — try the lemongrass-ginger version. Both flavors come with a measured dropper, making it easy to dose.
Research on CBD continues (and more human studies are still needed), but so far, some of what we know about its therapeutic effects looks promising.
For example, research has pointed to CBD’s ability to help with chronic pain.
Another 2018 study on mice found that CBD lowered inflammation by blocking inflammation-causing compounds found in the body.
Topical use of CBD is popular, too. People use it for managing pain as well as treating some skin conditions. One 2019 study found that topical CBD used as an ointment notably lowered scarring and inflammatory skin disease.
It’s also worth mentioning that while some research says CBD is useful on its own, other studies point out that CBD can be even more effective when it’s combined with THC, creating what’s known as the entourage effect.
People use CBD to help relieve symptoms of a
To name a few, CBD can be used to help relieve:
When shopping for CBD, your first step is choosing between an edible and a topical product.
Edibles, including Papa & Barkley’s Hemp Releaf Drops and Releaf Capsules, are taken by mouth. As a result, you’ll feel the effects all over your body. This can promote feelings of relaxation, but keep in mind that if you take them in the day, they might leave you feeling overly tired.
Oils are more versatile than capsules. You can use them topically, add them to foods, or simply take them under your tongue. Plus, you have more control over the dose. However, some people dislike the taste.
Topicals are applied directly to the skin. They’re great for spot treatments when you don’t necessarily want to feel CBD’s effects all over your body.
Papa & Barkley offers a couple of topical options, including massage oil and balm. In this case, which product you choose is largely a matter of personal preference. You can consider the scent, ingredients, consistency, and potency when deciding.
In general, drops are taken under the tongue, or sublingually, with a dropper. You can also add them to foods or drinks. Capsules are swallowed with water.
Topical products are applied directly to the desired area of the skin and rubbed in. You should try to avoid getting them in your eyes.
If you’re wondering about dosage, it can vary according to factors like your sex and weight. With each product, Papa & Barkley provides a recommended serving size. This is a good place to start. You can gradually increase the dose until you’re satisfied with the effects.
With that said, mild side effects are still possible. The most frequently reported side effects include:
- changes in appetite
- changes in weight
Side effects are
In general, it’s always a good idea to have a conversation with your doctor before trying CBD for the first time. This is particularly important if you take medication. CBD can interact with certain medications, making them less effective.
Skip CBD if you’re pregnant or nursing.
Is Papa & Barkley a good brand?
Papa & Barkley has an overall positive reputation online. Many users point to excellent products and customer service.
Will Papa & Barkley CBD products cause a high?
CBD, from any brand, does not cause a “high.”
However, if you ingest a large dose of a potent full-spectrum product, you may be ingesting enough THC to feel intoxicated.
Are Papa & Barkley products full-spectrum?
Yes, the brand only uses full-spectrum CBD in its products at this time.
Papa & Barkley is a well-established CBD company based in California. They’re known for their small range of relatively affordable, quality edibles and topicals. They provide comprehensive certificates of analysis online and are transparent about their manufacturing processes.
Be sure to talk with your doctor before trying any CBD products.
Is CBD legal? The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC legal at the federal level. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them illegal at the federal level. Some states have legalized CBD, so be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.