With the CBD industry being the fastest-growing industry in the U.S., nearly everyone walking this great green earth wants in on it, especially celebrities looking to capitalize on the hype. The mass influx of celebrity interest in CBD really isn’t a surprise. It’s profitable and falls in line with the current health and wellness trend, which are two things celebrities can’t get enough of right now.
Is celebrity interest in CBD a good thing? Are celebrity CBD brands superior to regular ones? Which celebrities are producing decent CBD products?
Fame and status doesn’t make celebrity-owned CBD brands better or worse than regular brands — all CBD brands require commitment and dedication to safety, ethics, transparency, and their customers.
We assessed 13 celebrity-owned CBD brands — only one specified the extraction method it uses and two specified an exact hemp source location, which shows a clear lack of transparency.
By comparison, our highest-rated regular CBD companies included all important info on their website and marketing literature, indicating better transparency.
Advantages of celebrities endorsing CBD products include increased brand awareness and better brand positioning, but is this enough for them to be successful?
Are celebrity CBD brands better than regular CBD brands?
No. Celebrity CBD brands are no better or worse than regular CBD brands. Why? Because a celebrity’s fame and position in the public eye doesn’t replace decent ethics, safety, transparency, a connection with customers, and good old-fashioned hard work. Without these five cornerstones, a CBD brand will likely fail, especially in an industry so unregulated and heavily scrutinized.
Tommy Chong is a veteran advocate in the cannabis community. His cannabis rights activism spans decades. It’s, therefore, no surprise he launched his own cannabis and CBD brands. How do they fare? Well, the products are pretty damn great. There’s a nice selection of cannabis and CBD products to choose from. Beginners and seasoned users can enjoy CBD oils, gummies, softgels, and topicals, as well as high-THC cannabis flower. The company is certified cGMP, vegan, and non-GMO, which is a huge plus in our eyes. What concerns us is the lack of hemp source and extraction method information, two things a brand should not leave out. This makes us question the company’s transparency and willingness to be open about how the products are produced.
Willie Nelson is another long-standing cannabis advocate who has championed the use and legalization of marijuana for over 40 years. His CBD company, Willie’s Remedy, doesn’t feel like an extension of his fight for cannabis acceptance. It feels more like a culmination and the end result of his hard work in the cannabis community. Are the products any good? Yes. We believe they are. The CBD teas and coffees are especially noteworthy. However, the major downside is we have no idea which extraction method is used nor do we know where exactly the hemp comes from within the US.
Mike Tyson’s Dwiink CBD beverages brand is not impressive. At all. It offers very little transparency. We have no idea where the company’s hemp is sourced or which extraction method is used. Worse, there are no third-party COAs to be found, which makes us question the quality. The $0.50 per mg of CBD price is clearly disproportionate to what you’re getting.
Nick & Nate Diaz’s Game Up Nutrition is quite possibly the most impressive celebrity CBD brand out there right now. The UFC brothers clearly know what they’re doing. They’re very transparent and open about their company practices. The product range is impressive and reasonably priced at $0.13 per mg of CBD (average). Each product is created using high quality hemp sourced from Colorado and Oregon, two US states known for growing and cultivating high quality hemp.
Products offered: CBD oils, flower, edibles, topicals, pet CBD
Hemp source: USA (Colorado & Oregon)
Extraction method: CO2
Avg. price (mg/CBD): $0.13 per mg of CBD
Lab tested? Yes
Certificates: FDA Registered, cGMP Certified, ISO 9001, ISO 22716
Looking for a middle-of-the-road CBD brand? Look no further. Kristen Bell’s Happy Dance is as plain and average as you can get, which is pretty ironic considering the packaging features every bright color under the rainbow. The brand caters to the already saturated CBD skincare and beauty market with a small range of topicals including CBD body butter, bath bombs, and something known as “Coconut Melt”. The ingredients aren’t unique or exciting. Just your typical CBD topicals wrapped up in clever marketing. While the average price tag of $0.17 per mg of CBD isn’t quite as insulting as Kourtney Kardashian’s rip off product, it’s still pretty outrageous considering we know nothing about the extraction method used or where the hemp specifically comes from in the US.
Mendi is the brainchild of Megan Rapinoe, one of women’s soccer’s biggest and most successful stars. Does this success translate to her new CBD company venture? Yes and no. Well, mostly no, to be honest. Mendi suffers from the same problem so many other celebrity CBD companies do: lack of transparency. Nowhere on the brand’s website does it say where the hemp comes from, which extraction method is used, or if the company is certified by any hemp and CBD organizations. All is not lost, however. On the surface, Mendi’s products are pretty good and reasonably priced. The oils are particularly noteworthy.
Travis Barker’s Barker Wellness CBD brand is a strange one. Barker claims to have researched CBD for well over two years but clearly didn’t study the “CBD Company Transparency 101” rulebook, which is unfortunate because the products are amazing on paper. They’re vegan, supposedly cruelty-free, and include some pretty awesome ingredients at a decent price point of $0.10 per mg of CBD. What we’re primarily concerned about is the lack of hemp source and extraction method information, which are two very important things to include on a website.
22red is a very simple CBD brand with only two product offerings in its arsenal: CBD oils and CBD vapes. The price point of $0.03 per mg of CBD is suited to budget shoppers looking for an entry level product to begin their journey into the world of CBD. We particularly like the CBD oil, which includes an MCT carrier and three flavors (watermelon, mint, and unflavored). Unfortunately, the company doesn’t specify exactly which location in the US it sources its hemp from nor does it state the extraction method used.
RVD CBD is similar to Kristen Bell’s Happy Dance Brand. It’s pretty run-of-mill stuff with nothing particularly that exciting going on. There’s a good range of CBD products on offer but the brand doesn’t sell anything eye-catching, which is good if you’re looking for a simple, no-frills CBD experience at an average price of $0.05 per mg of CBD.
Ex-NFL footballer Terrell Davis and his Defy CBD brand show promise. The products are decent, the product selection is small but varied, and third-party lab tests are publicly available on the website. However, there is a slight lack of transparency when it comes to the extraction method, which seems to be a common issue among celebrity CBD companies.
Ricky Williams’ Real Wellness Herbal brand is the anomaly in our list. The website doesn’t look like your typical CBD site; more like your grandma’s favorite flower store. The labeling is strange. No mention of CBD, even though CBD is included in the formula. Instead, what you’ll read is “1000 mg of hemp”, which makes you wonder whether the products are hempseed. There’s also no mention of which extraction method the company uses. We’re not 100% sure of this brand.
Where do we start with Kourtney Kardashian’s CBD topical offering? Well, we’re not going to slate it just because she’s a Kardashian. The one product offered here isn’t actually that bad, albeit a little on the expensive side. The ingredients list is decent, the 30 mL bottle size is impressive, and the packaging looks pretty cool. So, what lets it down? The amount of CBD you actually get in the bottle, the overall price per mg of CBD, and there being no info on the extraction method used.
Last but not least, HartLuck, a CBD brand created by Motocross star Cary Hart. The brand is one of the better ones on our list. There’s a great selection of CBD products on offer. The CBD inhaler product is definitely one to check out. We’re super happy to see an exact hemp source location listed on the site too. What let’s the brand down is there isn’t a mention of the extraction method used.
Celebrity owned CBD brands are often heralded as high-quality, credible, and on par with regular CBD brands. How true is this? Well, it’s partly true. Why? Because while celebrity CBD brands typically provide some excellent products backed by third-party testing, they often forget the fundamentals, especially when it comes to transparency.
The curious case of missing information
A distinct lack of crucial company and product information is common among the celebrity CBD brands we assessed above.
Only one brand specified which extraction method it uses, while the other 12 brands failed to provide this info.
Only two brands specified an exact hemp source location. Seven brands stated their hemp comes from hemp farms located in the US. The remaining three didn’t reveal any hemp source information.
To us, not having this information publicly available is concerning. If you take a look at our highest-rated CBD brands, which include Mary’s Nutritionals, Medterra, Plain Jain, and Nuleaf Naturals, none of them fail to provide a hemp source and extraction method.
The majority of celebrity CBD brands lab test their products
Thankfully, 12 of the 13 celebrity CBD brands we assessed test their CBD products and publish the Certificates of Analysis (COAs) for public viewing. We’re super happy to see this. The only brand failing to provide publicly-available COAs is Mike Tyson’s Dwiink brand. We’ve reached out to the Dwiink customer service team for further comment on this situation.
Why do celebrities want to be part of the CBD industry?
One of the main reasons why celebrities want to be part of the CBD industry is financial reward. The CBD industry is the fastest-growing industry in the US, predicted to grow by 21.2% in the next seven years, generating a revenue of $13.4 billion by 2028.
There’s certainly enough of the CBD pie to go around now and in the future, so it’s really no surprise celebrities are putting their chips down and hedging their bets on the CBD industry.
Just take a look at Mike Tyson. The man saw an opportunity in both the cannabis and CBD industries and took it. His Tyson Ranch cannabis resort generates a whopping $500,000 per month, while his CBD brand Dwiink seeks to be a main player in the CBD beverage category, which is expected to reach a market size of $2.8 billion by 2025.
The advantages and disadvantages of celebrities endorsing CBD companies
There are several advantages and disadvantages of celebrities owning or endorsing CBD brands in the US and across the world.
Builds brand awareness
Brand awareness in the CBD industry is measured by the number of people who recognize a particular CBD brand or company. Because CBD brands are continually trying to compete and stay ahead of the pack in an ever-growing market, having a celebrity endorse or outright own a brand builds brand recognition at a faster pace.
Turns struggle into success
Not all CBD brands are success stories. There are many out there struggling to find a foothold in the ever-growing CBD market where competition to become top dog is fierce. In order for companies to stand out and overcome advertising struggles, enlisting the help of celebrities to endorse their products is a worthwhile venture.
Attracts new but apprehensive customers
Despite the CBD industry’s mainstream success, there are still many potential customers out there who are apprehensive or totally against consuming something derived from cannabis. This is obviously understandable. CBD products often get lumped in the same category as high-THC marijuana products.
From a CBD brand perspective, changing apprehensive minds is certainly no easy feat and requires clever and convincing advertising. The use of celebrities is an amazing tool here, especially if a popular film star, musician, or TV personality gets on-board. Why? Because everyone knows celebrities and their influence is sometimes enough to convince even the most anti-cannabis customers to give CBD a try.
Can be an expensive investment
The downside to hiring a celebrity to endorse a brand is the price. Celebrity endorsements and advertising can cost brands thousands or millions of dollars. Not all CBD brands can afford these high prices.
Mistakes, scandals, and controversies
Celebrities walk a very thin line between public acceptance and public crucifixion. One wrong move can potentially ruin their careers. When CBD brands hire celebrities with good public images for their advertising campaigns, the rewards are pretty great. New customers, good brand positioning, and improved brand awareness.
However, if the celebrity gets hit with a widely-publicized scandal or controversy, CBD brands risk being dragged down with them.
CBD companies want to be remembered for their high quality products, not just the celebrities who endorse them. Unfortunately, celebrity influence in advertising is a powerful thing and CBD brands risk being overshadowed by the celebrities they use, particularly if they’re A-listers. One way to avoid this is to not make the celebrity the focal point in all advertising campaigns. Use them sparingly or not at all.
How to choose the right celebrity CBD brand for you
Choosing the right celebrity CBD brand is no different from choosing a regular CBD brand. You should always approach them with a hint of caution and inquisitiveness and never take them at face value, no matter how professional their websites are.
In order for you to know what to look out for, here are five fundamental things you need to know before purchasing CBD products from celebrity or regular CBD brands.
Before you spend your hard-earned money on a CBD brand, you should make sure it’s reputable, credible, and not a shoddy scam business selling poor products.
Recent research shows CBD products are commonly mislabeled. Out of 84 CBD products tested, only 31% were accurately labeled. A shocking 21% had THC levels above the legal 0.3% limit. Some even had 5-6% THC, which is enough to produce an intoxicating high.
Therefore, it’s worth spending some time doing some research of your own. Reddit is a fantastic resource, especially subreddits such as r/CBD, r/weed, and r/trees.
The r/CBD subreddit has its own company and product review sections. Each company or product is properly vetted and analyzed by moderators, providing you with trustworthy info and guidance.
All credible CBD brands test their products via accredited, independent laboratories specializing in cannabis testing and analysis. Shady CBD brands don’t. At all.
So, how do you find out if a CBD brand third-party tests its products? Check for Certificates of Analysis (COAs).
COAs are official documents issued after a laboratory has finished testing and analyzing a CBD product. COAs not only show the quantity of cannabinoids and terpenes found in the product but also if any harmful contaminants are present in the extract.
CBD brands commonly publish COAs on their website for full transparency. If a CBD brand hasn’t published COAs, send them an email and request them. Credible brands are always happy to oblige.
Where CBD brands source their hemp is important. Some hemp locations are way better than others.
If a brand is located in the US, domestically-grown hemp is preferred, particularly from states such as Colorado, Oregon, and Kentucky. Each of these states has long-standing hemp pilot programs, strict regulatory oversight, and excellent growing conditions.
What about imported hemp from international locations? We don’t always recommend purchasing from brands that use imported hemp. Here’s why.
Imported hemp might adhere to looser regulatory guidelines, meaning heavy metals, pesticides, and mycotoxins could be present in higher quantities than US hemp. There’s also little-to-no quality control from seed to sale.
Extraction method refers to how the valuable cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds are extracted from hemp plants to make your CBD products.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction is often the preferred extraction method among CBD brands, simply because it’s clean, solventless, sustainable, and retains a large quantity of plant compounds.
However, CO2 extraction isn’t the only preferred extraction method. Cold-press extraction is also a superior choice for CBD brands.
By placing the whole hemp plant through a highly-pressurized machine press at relatively cool temperatures, CBD producers are able to extract a huge quantity of valuable plant compounds, providing you with a potent, whole-plant extract.
Since the CBD industry is still largely unregulated, companies completing accredited certification programs from independent, third-party organizations is vital. Completion of these programs shows a commitment to safe, high-quality, and accurately labeled hemp-derived CBD products ready for human consumption.
Common certification programs include:
The U.S. Hemp Authority Certification Program
USDA Certified Organic
Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP)
LegitScript CBD Certification
The celebrity name is helpful but not essential
Many people believe celebrities owning a brand or company means they’re somehow better and more prestigious than regular brands. While this might be true for some industries, it certainly isn’t for the CBD industry. A great CBD brand is built on commitment and dedication to improving the lives of its customers through safety, transparency, and honesty, not fame, status, and influence.
This isn’t to say celebrity CBD companies are bad. Not in the slightest. Nate & Nick Diaz’s Game Up Nutrition is a fine example of a celebrity CBD brand done right. What we’re saying is don’t put celebrity CBD brands on a pedestal. They’re not perfect.