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Studies on cannabidiol (CBD) are still emerging. While researchers don’t completely understand the effects of this cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, what’s known so far is promising. CBD may help with anxiety and insomnia — and one of CBD’s key advantages is that it doesn’t produce the “high” you might associate with cannabis.

Companies have figured out there’s a lot of opportunity in the CBD space, which means there are a ton of CBD offerings on the market. The downside? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate CBD products in the same way it does pharmaceutical drugs, making it challenging to sort through the myriad products.

We’re here to help with an in-depth review of CBD brands and their products. Below, we take a closer look at Straight Hemp, a company that sells several CBD products.

Straight Hemp is a Colorado-based CBD company founded in 2016. The small company prides itself on operating in a way that upholds activism, compassion, and innovation. They mention that they donate to nonprofit and activism organizations.

As of yet, neither Straight Hemp — nor its parent company Natural Dynamics — hasn’t received a warning letter from the FDA. A company can get one of these letters if it peddles false claims or has poor business practices. It’s a good sign that Straight Hemp hasn’t received one. There also don’t seem to be any recent or pending lawsuits involving the company.

Neither Straight Hemp nor Natural Dynamics has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile.

CBD companies can talk the talk, but it means nothing if there’s no way to find real information about the ingredients they use and how they process and source their hemp.

Sourcing

Straight Hemp claims to source their hemp from organic farms in Colorado. However, there’s no information about farm specifics, so it’s impossible to determine whether the farm is USDA certified organic or not.

Extraction method

The brand claims to use a proprietary extraction method they call subcritical CO2 extraction. The slower process uses lower temperatures and low pressure to extract CBD from hemp plants. They say that the process results in a higher level of preserved cannabinoids and terpenes, which maximizes the entourage effect.

GMP certification

Straight Hemp isn’t certified compliant with the FDA’s current good manufacturing practices (cGMP), but they say that they follow the practices laid out.

Being cGMP certified isn’t a must. As the FDA notes, many companies already implement rigorous quality control systems, and cGMPs are minimum requirements.

Testing

You can find batch-specific lab test results for Straight Hemp products here. The certificates of analysis (COAs) found at this link are provided by a third-party, ISO 17025-compliant lab. The COAs include test results for:

  • potency
  • cannabinoid and terpene profile
  • residual solvents
  • heavy metals
  • pesticides
  • microbials

Testing is comprehensive, but some of the COAs show that the product’s potency is off by over 10 percent, compared with what’s on the labels.

Straight Hemp sells several types of CBD products, including:

  • CBD soft gels
  • CBD balm
  • CBD oil

They also sell vape products. However, we don’t recommend vaping because of the associated health risks.

The brand’s pricing is on par with that of other CBD companies. They also provide a lifelong discount to military personnel, veterans, educators, first responders, low-income households, and people with disabilities.

All of their CBD products contain full-spectrum CBD, a type of CBD that contains all the compounds from the cannabis plant, including a tiny amount (less than 0.3 percent) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Customer reviews on the Straight Hemp site are mostly positive. If someone reports having an issue with the product (e.g., it arrived damaged), the company seems quick to respond and rectify the situation.

The brand has a straightforward return and refund policy on their website. Unless it’s expressly stated that a product isn’t returnable, you can return a product within 30 days if you’re not happy with it. Return shipping fees are the responsibility of the customer.

Straight Hemp CBD Oil

  • CBD type: Full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 33 mg per mL
  • COA: Available on product page

Price: $–$$$

This full-spectrum oil contains CBD and a small amount of THC. It’s also high in terpenes such as beta-myrcene, alpha-bisabolol, and alpha-pinene.

It’s made with organic ingredients and has a hempseed oil base. You can purchase a few different bottle sizes, from 4 milliliters (mL) up to 120 mL, but the potency remains the same.

Straight Hemp CBD Balm

  • CBD type: Full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: Available in 88 mg, 500 mg, and 1,000 mg potencies
  • COA: Available on product page

Price: $–$$

This topical CBD product is blended with arnica and magnesium to provide pain relief. It also contains 15 essential oils, such as peppermint, lavender, and pine oil.

While it’s not entirely organic, it does contain organic ingredients, including coconut oil, hempseed oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, rosemary, eucalyptus, basil, and lemongrass.

Straight Hemp has a small product list, so it should be easy to choose which product you want to try. You’ll just need to decide whether you want a topical product or one taken by mouth.

Topicals are more helpful for area-specific aches and pains, while orally ingested CBD is a better choice for whole-body issues like anxiety and insomnia.

The way you use CBD depends on the type of product. An oil, like the Straight Hemp CBD Oil, is taken using a dropper: Use the dropper to place the oil under your tongue and then wait a few seconds before swallowing.

Topical products, like balms, are applied directly to the skin where you’re feeling pain. If you have arthritis in your fingers, for instance, you could try rubbing some CBD balm in that area for relief.

Dosage is heavily dependent on the individual, and it can take some trial and error to find the right one for you. What works for a friend might be too much or too little for you.

If you’re new to CBD, start with the smallest amount and slowly increase it until you find a dose that’s effective for you. If you need more help with dosing, read our CBD dosing guide here.

Studies suggest that CBD is pretty safe and that most people won’t encounter any unpleasant side effects. Still, it’s possible. Some people may experience:

  • fatigue
  • changes in weight
  • changes in appetite
  • diarrhea

It’s important to let your doctor know if you want to try CBD, as it can interact with some medications.

There’s also evidence that suggests that taking CBD with a high fat meal can increase your risk of having side effects.

Additionally, it’s important to patch test topical products to check for signs of an allergic reaction, such as redness, irritation, or swelling. Stop using the CBD product if you notice any of these signs.

Straight Hemp seems to be a reputable, reliable brand. While it’s challenging to track down third-party impressions of their products, the reviews on their website are consistently positive.

The company also provides batch-specific, third-party certified, comprehensive COAs that are easily viewable on the Straight Hemp website. Be sure to review COAs before making a purchase, since some products may be more or less potent than advertised.

Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.


Steph Coelho is a freelance writer with chronic migraine who has a particular interest in health and wellness. When she’s not click-clacking away on her keyboard, she’s probably nose-deep in a good book.