You may have noticed gas stations in your area selling CBD oil, gummies, drinks, and other CBD products. This raises the question — are the CBD products sold at gas stations any good?
Short answer: no. Although gas station CBD can work, it’s usually of low quality. It often contains less CBD than advertised on the label and has a higher chance of having illegal THC levels and contaminants.
Read on for a detailed explanation of why you should avoid gas station CBD.
Table of Contents
Is Gas Station CBD Safe?
The main problem with gas station CBD products is that you don’t know where it’s sourced from and what it contains. First, there’s a high likelihood that it carries far less CBD than it should.
Second, there’s a higher risk of gas station CBD products having high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): the cannabinoid responsible for the cannabis high.
CBD products should contain 0.3% or less THC but poorly made ones (or those sourced from regular cannabis instead of hemp) can have enough THC to make you high.
Gas station CBD is also more likely to contain pesticides and other contaminants like mold or bacteria.
The bottom line is that gas station CBD products have a high chance of being unsafe and containing less CBD than advertised. You have no way of knowing for sure.
In comparison, reputable CBD companies sell their products online or at major retail stores. There are several reasons for this. Most importantly, when you buy products on a company’s website, you can check the third-party test results.
Performed by an independent laboratory, third-party tests check the levels of CBD and other cannabinoids in the product, helping you verify that you’re buying a safe and effective product with as much CBD as advertised on the label.
Since the CBD industry is poorly regulated, these tests are the only surefire way to protect yourself from low-quality products. That’s why you should only buy from brands that post their third-party lab test reports.
Besides, when you buy CBD online, you can also check other crucial information like the hemp source — where and how the hemp plants used to make the CBD product were cultivated.
You can also read customer reviews of the company and contact the brand directly if you have any issues with their products.
Gas Station CBD Typically Contains CBD Isolate
Another issue with gas station CBD products is that they’re usually made with CBD isolate, which is pure CBD. This type of CBD extract is easier to formulate but has weaker effects than full-spectrum (whole-plant) CBD.
Full-spectrum hemp extracts carry all of the phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds found in hemp.
As such, they benefit from the cannabis “entourage effect” — the fact that all of these compounds work in synergy to produce greater effects than CBD or any other phytocannabinoid on its own (1).
Research suggests that whole-plant CBD extracts have greater benefits — requiring smaller doses and having fewer side effects — than products made with pure CBD isolate (2).
CBD Gummies & Drinks From Gas Stations
Yet another problem with gas station CBD is the types of products you’re likely to encounter.
While CBD oil is the most popular and effective form of CBD, gas stations often sell more convenient options like edibles (gummies, chocolate, etc.) and drinks.
CBD gummies and drinks from gas stations are more likely to have inaccurate CBD levels than other types of products because they’re harder to formulate.
Their pleasant taste can also help shady companies cover up the fact that the product contains little to no CBD. The same can be said for gas station CBD vape pens and other vape products.
Gas Station CBD Reviewed and Tested
The poor quality of gas station CBD products was highlighted by a 2020 experiment done by the CBD Awareness Project.
The team bought 15 different CBD products and had them tested by a third-party lab to find out how much CBD they contained. Five of these products came from gas stations.
They found that on average, CBD products purchased at a gas station contained only 40% of what they claimed. Worse yet, all three of the gas station CBD drinks they tested didn’t contain any CBD at all!
That means even if a gas station CBD product is cheap, you could very likely be paying for one that contains very little or no CBD.
In comparison, CBD products that Awareness Project’s team bought at CBD shops contained 83% of what was claimed, while those bought at grocery stores actually contained more CBD than advertised, with an average of 136%.
The Best Gas Station CBD Brands
We hope you’ve got a pretty good idea of why you should avoid buying CBD products at a gas station. Having said that, there is one case where it can be ok:
You might get lucky and find products from reputable, high-quality CBD companies.
Here are the best CBD brands sold at some gas stations:
- CBDistillery: established in Colorado in 2016, this is one of the leading CBD brands in the country with excellent product quality and a transparent manufacturing process.
- NuLeaf Naturals: Another highly respected, experienced brand out of Colorado, known for offering some of the best full-spectrum CBD oil in the United States.
- CBDfx: California’s CBDfx is one of the biggest and most popular CBD brands out there, so you can trust their products.
Your chances of finding these brands are highest at gas stations in Colorado, the unofficial capital of the U.S. hemp/CBD industry.
You might also run into these and other reputable brands at gas stations in California, Florida, New York, and other large states.
Major gas station chains like Speedway and Circle K are also more likely to carry CBD products because they made a deal in 2020 to carry CBD drinks.
If you absolutely must, Google the CBD brand you saw at the gas station and see if it has a reputable-looking website with viewable third-party test reports. But we still recommend buying CBD oil online.
Gas Station CBD Brands to Avoid
If you search online, you can find many negative reviews of CBD oils, gummies, vape e-liquids, cartridges, drinks, and other products bought at gas stations.
The reviews will often highlight how the products didn’t do anything, suggesting that they have little to no CBD.
In particular, there are two well-known gas station CBD brands that you should avoid.
One is the popular, Florida-based Hemp Bombs, which carries its products both online and at gas stations. There are multiple negative reviews of people who purchased Hemp Bombs’ products at gas stations and didn’t feel any effects.
Hemp Bombs was also one of the companies hit with a class-action lawsuit in 2019 for selling products that do not contain as much CBD as advertised.
The accusations noted that Hemp Bombs “makes numerous false and misleading claims” about the CBD potency of its products, which were proven by independent third-party testing.
Another notorious CBD brand sold at gas stations is Diamond CBD. This company made the news in 2018 for selling vape oil containing fentanyl, an illegal opioid drug.
In addition, a 2019 study of its vape products that found some of them contain synthetic cannabinoids and dextromethorphan, an ingredient in cough syrup (3).
Like Hemp Bombs, Diamond CBD was also hit with a class-action lawsuit in 2019 for selling products containing less CBD than claimed. It also seems to have consistent problems with products that contain far less CBD than advertised.
Aside from these two companies, there are dozens of smaller, lesser-known CBD brands you’ll find at your local gas station.
As a general rule of thumb, if you’ve never heard of the brand and the product looks fishy (plain packaging, cheap look, little information about CBD content), it’s likely to be of low quality.
Say No to Gas Station CBD
Generally speaking, you should never buy CBD products — whether it’s oil, gummies, vape juice, cartridges, or something else — from a gas station. Although gas station CBD can work, its quality is typically low.
There’s a high chance you’ll get a product with less CBD than stated on the label, or in the worst case, it won’t have any CBD at all or contain contaminants.
While this may change in the future when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) releases proper regulations for CBD products, making it more difficult for shady businesses to operate, for the time being, you should avoid gas station CBD.
Considering that CBD is not the cheapest product out there and has serious potential to benefit your health, it’s of the utmost importance that you take the time to find a reputable brand.
The safest way to buy CBD products is online, from trusted, transparent companies with positive reviews and publicly available third-party lab reports. We’ve compiled a list of the best CBD oils from such companies.
Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex science into plain language. Gleb has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD industry inside and out. When not writing, he likes to kickbox, travel, and tell everyone how awesome intermittent fasting is.