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Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of two main active compounds found in the cannabis plant. Unlike delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the other active ingredient in cannabis, it’s federally legal and won’t make you feel “high.”

Products that contain CBD — including skin care products such as soaps, moisturizers, and makeup — are hugely popular at the moment. Though research into their benefits is minimal, a 2019 clinical trial suggests that CBD ointment could help with inflammation.

Unfortunately, not all CBD products are created equally. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate skin care products that contain CBD the same way they regulate drugs, so it’s harder to know exactly what you’re buying. It’s important to spend some time looking into the brand before you buy.

Founded in California in 2017 by Claudia Mata, a former fashion editor, and her husband, Zander Gladish, Vertly is one brand that specializes in CBD skin care. This article explores Vertly’s brand reputation, quality, transparency, and product line.

CBD glossary

You’ll see the following terms used in this article:

  • Hemp: A variety of the cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3 percent THC by weight.
  • Cannabinoids: A group of chemical compounds unique to cannabis plants. THC and CBD are two of hundreds of cannabinoids.
  • Terpenes: Scented compounds that occur naturally in cannabis and other plants.
  • Full-spectrum products: CBD products that contain all compounds naturally found in cannabis. Hemp-derived full-spectrum products may contain up to 0.3 percent THC.

Vertly is a young company that’s still establishing their reputation. However, what we know about them so far seems to be good.

While some CBD brands have received FDA warning letters for misleading marketing practices, Vertly has not. They also don’t have any pending lawsuits related to their products like other CBD brands do.

Vertly is mostly transparent about their manufacturing process and ingredients.

Hemp and extraction method

Vertly uses organic, Colorado-grown hemp and a supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction process. This type of extraction uses CO2 to get CBD out of the hemp plant. Since it doesn’t use chemicals, it doesn’t leave behind any potentially harmful residue. However, it can also result in a smaller amount of terpenes in the final product.

Manufacturing processes

Vertly’s small-batch products are made in a laboratory in San Rafael, California.

All CBD manufacturers must follow the FDA’s current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs). However, some brands go the extra step to get third-party certified to show that they’re indeed compliant. Currently, Vertly doesn’t appear to have this certification.

Ingredients and testing

You can find a complete list of ingredients via a tab on each product page.

The company also provides certificates of analysis (COAs) to show that their products have been tested by CW Analytical, an ISO 17025-compliant cannabis testing facility.

However, there are several issues with the COAs.

  • Not comprehensive. Available test reports, which reflect the final products, only include information about the product’s potency and cannabinoid profile. Contaminant testing (pesticides, residual solvents, and heavy metals) for the hemp extract used to make each product is only available upon request. Vertly could improve transparency by making this information more accessible.
  • Potency mismatch. Some of the potency COAs show that the products contain more CBD than they say they do. Keep this in mind if you’re looking for a low potency product.
  • Undisclosed potencies. Some products, like the Cooling Recovery Spray and Soothing Floral Face Mist, don’t say how much CBD they contain.

Vertly’s small product line reflects their emphasis on artisanal and handmade manufacturing processes. They offer only a few topicals, ranging from lip balm to bath salts.

All of Vertly’s products contain full-spectrum hemp extract, which might be a drawback for those trying to avoid THC altogether. However, since they’re topicals, the chance of THC showing up on a drug test is slim.

Vertly’s products are relatively affordable compared with other CBD skin care brands and range in price from $20 to $100.

Vertly has mostly positive reviews from customers on both their website and those of third-party sellers like Credo and Nordstrom.

However, they tend to have fewer reviews than other CBD skin care companies. In addition, the company isn’t listed on the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot.

They don’t allow returns, but you can exchange an unopened item for store credit. If a product arrives damaged, Vertly will send a replacement.

If you’re going to purchase a Vertly product, we recommend sticking with one that clearly states how much CBD it contains. We also recommend choosing a product with a COA that shows it contains about as much CBD as is advertised.

Right now, there’s only one Vertly product that meets this criteria.

Relief Lotion

  • Price: $48–$86
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 500 mg per 3-oz. tube
  • COA: available on product page

This all-over restorative lotion comes in a squeeze tube for easy application. Vertly says this lotion is best used when you’re in need of self-care and relief, and Healthline editor Melissa Lee agrees.

After testing this lotion for several days, she noted, “My pain level stayed the same, so the CBD didn’t do much in terms of inflammation or soothing, but I really like the way the formula itself felt on the skin.”

According to Lee, the lotion sits on top of your skin rather than absorbing immediately, but it isn’t greasy. She also comments that it has a refreshing peppermint and lavender scent that isn’t overwhelming.

Vertly’s topical products are designed to be applied directly to your skin. Don’t try to ingest them. Follow the instructions on the package label.

Bear in mind that the sprays and mists don’t need to be rubbed in after applying, unlike the lotion or serum.

Vertly doesn’t provide dosage recommendations, which can make it hard to know how much to use. Topical products can be particularly difficult to dose.

Start with a small amount, especially if the product is one you haven’t tried before or if you’re new to CBD. Once you see how you feel, you can work your way up to more if needed.

According to research from 2017, CBD is generally considered safe. However, some users might experience side effects. These are generally mild and can include:

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

It’s important to talk with a doctor before trying CBD, especially if you’re currently on any medication. CBD can interfere with some medications.

Don’t take CBD if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Is Vertly a good brand?

Vertly customers mostly seem satisfied with the products. However, there are some discrepancies between the advertised CBD potencies and the lab-determined potencies. Some products don’t disclose how much CBD they contain. Be sure to review the COA before you make a purchase.

How much CBD lotion should you use?

Start with about as much as you would use with a non-CBD lotion. You can always use more if you don’t achieve your desired effects.

Can CBD make you high?

CBD itself doesn’t cause a “high.” However, some CBD products also contain THC, which can cause a high if you ingest enough of it.

Still, it’s unlikely that using topical CBD products — even if they’re full-spectrum — will make you feel “high.”

Vertly is a CBD skin care company that was established in 2017. They offer a modest line of small-batch products made in Northern California. While they could improve some aspects of transparency, they have a generally positive reputation among their current customers. They offer COAs online that show each product’s potency and cannabinoid profile.

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 federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. 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.