By Brandelle Palmer GWL Founder/Owner
Like many of you, I love to check out Groupon. It can be a great way to score a deal and try a new restaurant or fun activity. But is it a great place to buy CBD? That was the question we wanted to answer. We were so interested that we made a video of our findings. Complete with poorly trained (is there any other kind?) cats moseying in and out of the frame. You’d rather read about it? You’re a person after my own heart. So let’s dive in!
Intro to CBD
If you’re new to CBD, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. I’m impressed that you’re still reading, so let’s talk that through. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 compounds found in both hemp and marijuana plants. CBD and THC (the compound that is psychotropic) occur in higher percentages than many of the other compounds(cannabinoids), so we know the most about them. However, we’re learning more about those minor cannabinoids every day. For now though, CBD is a pretty big deal. The global market is expected to exceed $2.1 billion dollars this year. That’s a lot of people finding benefits.
Why Is CBD Popular?
CBD is a neutralizer, working within the cell structure in our bodies to maintain homeostasis. Basically, it’s trying to keep everything on an even keel. That can mean multiple benefits. Anxiety, inflammation and nausea have traditionally been the “big 3” but there are many other benefits being found as well.
Why Are There So Many CBD Product Choices?
While CBD is just one compound, it can be packaged as an “isolate”, meaning CBD is the only active ingredient in that end product. If not an isolate it could be “full spectrum” or “whole plant,” meaning that everything in that plant, in the ground, ends up in the bottle. There’s even an “in between” version or “broad spectrum” to indicate that most of the plant ends up in that bottle – less the THC. We like isolates for mood and full spectrum for pain.
There are also a boatload of strength options and package types – everything from gummies to softgels to liquids. We always say that the best CBD for you is the one you will take every day, so it is important to have those options.
What Kind Of CBD Product Should I Buy?
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to CBD. Some people find a low serving of a full spectrum liquid to be their best fit. Others prefer a higher milligram option and take an isolated CBD capsule. It can take some time to find that best fit, but when we do, the benefits can be so worth it.
- It’s absolutely critical to buy from a reputable source. Be careful with startups. While they may have best intentions, they may not have worked out all the kinks in their process and you likely aren’t interested in being a guinea pig.
- Make sure that there are lab results available. Labs report things differently, and the documents are not always easy to understand, but the fact that the company has them and is willing to share them with you is a great sign. These lab results can also be listed as a COA or certificate of analysis.
- Confirm that there is customer service available. Even if you don’t actually need it, you want to have the option to connect with a real live person about the products that you are putting in and on your body. We get multiple calls weekly from frustrated customers who can’t get ahold of the company that they bought their products from – none of us want to be in that position.
Now that we’ve gone through our brief overview, let’s talk about Groupon. Are they that reputable company to buy CBD from?
Groupon CBD Product Findings
Let’s be clear, Groupon is not a manufacturer of goods. They are not directly responsible for what is or isn’t in those bottles at the end of the day. They’re a platform through which to get them. Like with most things in life, there were pros and cons. We’re positive, optimistic people here. Let’s start with the pros.
- We purchased 6 products for a total cost of $151.52. That’s not a bad value at all
- Products consisted of:
- 1 package of gummies
- 1 tincture (previous incantation of one of our favorite brands – more on that later)
- 1 package of honey sticks
- 2 Topicals – 1 massage oil & 1 cream
- 1 capsule
- Ship Time
- Shipping was free and while products did ship separately, reasonably quick. We received our 6 items in 4 different packages. The first arrived 5 days after order and the last were about a week and a half later.
- Everything was packed safely – no products were damaged
Once we had everything in house, we packed them up and sent them off to a local lab to have them tested. Those tests included testing for pesticides, heavy metals and molds as well as cannabinoid profiling. That cannabinoid profile ensures that all the compounds you want in the bottle are present and those that we don’t want are not found. In short, does the product label align with what’s actually in that bottle?
The good news is that there were no pesticides, heavy metals or molds found in anything that we tested. Hemp is a porous product – if it’s grown in bad soil, you’ll have a tainted end product. We were glad to find that there was no evidence of that in any of these products.
The cannabinoid profiling was not so clear cut – making it our “Con” list. Let’s take them one by one.
We are steering clear of brand names for the most part, as we don’t want to slander any companies – our focus is on creating an educated consumer.
- CBD Gummies from Groupon ❔
- The short story on the gummies is that they couldn’t be tested. The lab’s initial evaluation found they wouldn’t melt properly and they risked equipment damage with the test process. According to the lab, gummies tend to be inconsistent when they can be tested. The CBD is not always consistently distributed, so one gummy may test high and the next tests low.
- CBD Tincture from Groupon ❌
- This tincture was especially interesting for us – and the one product that we will mention by name. We carry the Social CBD line and it’s one of our favorites. Social used to be Select CBD. The company split and branding changed about 18 months ago. We bought “Select” from Groupon. So, is this product a copycat or just old? Hard to say! Based on the lab results, we would guess it’s the latter.
- The cannabinoid testing was a fail, but not an extreme one. The label states. 1000mg and there is a 10% tolerance on lab testing, so it should land between 900mg – 1100mg per bottle. This one came in at 852 mg per bottle.
- CBD Massage Oil from Groupon ✅
- The massage oil was the pass on our list. The label stated 250mg per bottle and it came in at 247.2mg, which is great!
- CBD Honey Sticks from Groupon ❌
- The honey sticks did not test well. The label claimed 10mg per stick and they came in at an average of 2.65mg per stick, with 3 sticks tested. Yikes. Now, there are potential viscosity inconsistencies just like with those gummies, but these results should be pretty concerning.
- CBD Cream from Groupon ❌
- The cream that we tested had the lowest CBD content found in the group. It came in at 16.2mg in the jar, with a labeled quantity of 250mg. This would be a real disappointment to a consumer that was expecting relief!
- CBD Capsules from Groupon ❌
- The capsules were a bit more difficult to analyze. We were not able to get information from the manufacturer on the exact capsule weight, so we had to make an assumption that they are the standard #1 capsule size at that .68 ml volume.
- The label claim on these was 278mg in the bottle – which works out to be 9.26mg per capsule. It’s also stated to be a broad spectrum product, which means 0 THC.
- Actual cannabinoid content was found to be 13.5mg of CBD + 10.2mg of CBDA per capsule, for a total of 23.7mg per capsule or 711 mg per bottle. Holy cow!
- The high CBDA content indicates raw plant matter that’s not been heated or filtered. If it’s not heated or filtered, the THC is not removed. THC was absolutely detected @ .48mg per gram.
- THC can help the cannabinoids work more effectively when we are dealing with pain, but the consumer has to know that it’s there or risk failing a drug test. In our opinion, this is the most dangerously mislabeled item that we tested.
Should You Buy CBD Products From Groupon?
We definitely bought a mixed bag in our Groupon experiment. While one product was right on track and a couple more likely wouldn’t hurt you, we found that they were not accurately labeled. CBD can be a wonderful addition to your day, but please make sure that you are putting quality products from reputable sources in your body – this is not an area where you want to just focus on the “deal.” Save your Groupon shopping for trying that new restaurant for date night.
At Green Wellness Life, hemp-based CBD products are all that we sell, so it’s what we know best. We’ve taken the time to carefully vet the brands available on our site and third-party lab results are available for every product. From CBD tinctures to CBD capsules, and CBD edibles, we can help you find the right CBD product to meet your needs. We are not doctors and cannot diagnose or treat any medical conditions. However, we can use our experiences, the experiences of our customers, and the latest medical research to help you make an informed decision.