PlusCBD Review: Pros & Cons (Dec. 2022)

By | last updated December 1, 2022

Evidence Based 3

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California’s PlusCBD is one of the most reputable CBD brands you’ll find. It sells full-spectrum and pure CBD oils, gummies, softgels, and topicals. I tested its reserve CBD oil, sleep gummies, and softgels, but the effects weren’t that impressive. 

Bottom line: Although PlusCBD is one of the most trustworthy CBD companies, its products aren’t that effective. 

Pros

  • One of the oldest American CBD brands
  • US Hemp Authority-certified
  • FDA GRAS self-affirmed
  • Easy-to-access third-party test reports

Cons

  • Low or non-existing minor cannabinoids in full-spectrum products
  • Some products are too low in potency

Overall Rating: 3.8/5

Products 3.5/5

PlusCBD has a solid lineup with many options but the products I tested weren’t that impressive, likely due to low minor cannabinoid levels.

Price & Value 3/5

PlusCBD’s prices are neither expensive nor cheap and you’re getting average value.

Hemp Quality 4/5

PlusCBD uses organic European hemp but it would be nice to get more details.

Third-Party Testing 3.5/5

The testing is extensive and the reports are easy to find and read. But the results themselves are poor; most full-spectrum products only contain CBD or are low in minor cannabinoids.

Customer Service & Reputation 5/5

Its products aside, PlusCBD is among the most reputable brands in the CBD space. It’s been around since 2012, sells products at mainstream retailers, and has impressive certifications.

PlusCBD Overview

PlusCBD was established in 2012, making it one of the pioneering brands of the American CBD industry. The company is headquartered in San Diego, California.

It holds the distinction of being the first CBD brand to achieve the FDA’s self-affirmed Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status, which is given to products that pass rigorous study to ensure they’re safe to consume. 

PlusCBD’s parent company CV Sciences is also certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority, a third-party program meant to highlight adherence to strict hemp industry standards and practices.

CBD Terminology

  • Terpenes: aromatic plant compounds with a wide variety of beneficial properties (1).
  • Minor cannabinoids: CBN, CBG, CBC, and other beneficial cannabinoids found in smaller amounts in hemp. They may work in synergy with CBD.
  • Entourage effect: the theory that all of the compounds in cannabis, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, work best when taken together than alone (1).
  • Hemp: non-intoxicating cannabis variety with high CBD and low THC levels (less than 0.3%).
  • Full-spectrum: whole-plant hemp extract containing multiple cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. This form of CBD may be about 4 times more potent than pure CBD (2).
  • Broad-spectrum: whole-plant hemp extract similar to full-spectrum CBD, but with THC removed (may contain trace amounts).
  • CBD isolate: pure CBD with all other hemp compounds removed.

PlusCBD Product Lineup

PlusCBD sells full-spectrum and isolate CBD oils, capsules, gummies, and topicals in a variety of strengths and flavors. You can also find its products in many brick-and-mortar stores like Publix, GNC, and supplement shops.

PlusCBD products I received and tested for my honest review.

For this review, I tried out the reserve collection CBD oil, sleep gummies, and 15 mg softgels.

CBD Oils

CBD Oil

Reserve Collection CBD Oil

pluscbd reserve cbd oil

4/5

CBD/THC Potency27.5-58 mg/ml
Volume30-54 ml 
Total CBD/THC825-3150 mg
Cost per mg$0.06-0.07
TypeFull-spectrum
Flavors2
Third-Party TestView report

These tinctures contain 2.5 mg of THC per serving in addition to the CBD and come in 3 strengths and two flavors: dark chocolate mint and lemon ginger. However, the third-party tests only show CBD and THC in this tincture. A proper full-spectrum extract should contain multiple minor cannabinoids. 

My experience: I tried out the 50 mg CBD/2.5 mg THC lemon ginger tincture, taking the recommended 5 pumps. I liked the sweet lemon taste and the easy spray pump application vs. the standard dropper. I started to feel subtle relaxation within 30 minutes. 

Regular CBD Oil

Pluscbd oil

3.5/5

CBD Potency8-27 mg/ml
Volume30-55 ml 
Total CBD250-1500 mg
Cost per mg CBD$0.05–0.06
TypeFull-spectrum?
Flavors2
Third-Party TestView report

PlusCBD’s standard full-spectrum CBD oil comes in two flavors (unflavored, peppermint) and several strengths and sizes. 

But there is a major problem: the internal tests only show CBD in these tinctures. Full-spectrum products should also contain THC and minor cannabinoids. On top of that, the strength is quite low: the highest potency is only 27 mg/ml.

Pet CBD Oil

pluscbd pet oil

3.5/5

CBD Potency8-9 mg/ml
Volume30-55 ml 
Total CBD250-500 mg
Cost per mg CBD$0.05–0.06
TypeFull-spectrum?
Flavors4
Third-Party TestView report

PlusCBD’s pet CBD oil comes in two strengths and four flavors: unflavored, beef, chicken, and peanut butter. Unfortunately, both strengths are quite low and only suitable for cats and smaller dogs. Also, the third-party tests only detected CBD.

CBD Gummies

CBD Sleep Gummies

pluscbd sleep gummies

4/5

CBD Potency10 mg
Gummy Count30-60
Total CBD300-600 mg
Cost per mg CBD$0.09-0.12
TypeIsolate
Third-Party TestView report

The raspberry-flavored sleep gummies combine 10 mg CBD with 3 mg melatonin and the sleep herbs magnolia and lemon balm. I like the formula but the CBD strength should be higher to match the high amount of melatonin — 20+ mg. 

My experience: These tasted good but had a bit of a weird flavor. My friend and I both tried one gummy and didn’t notice much of a difference. I tried 3 gummies the next night and noticed that I slept a deeper than usual.

CBD Calm Gummies

pluscbd calm gummies

4/5

CBD Potency10 mg
Gummy Count30-60
Total CBD300-600 mg
Cost per mg$0.09-0.12
TypeIsolate
Third-Party TestView report

These gummies are flavored with strawberry lemonade and combine 10 mg CBD with calming ingredients l-theanine and 5-htp. Again, I’d like to see higher strengths added.

Standard CBD Gummies

pluscbd gummies

3.5/5

CBD Potency10 mg
Gummy Count30-60
Total CBD300-600 mg
Cost per mg CBD$0.08-0.11
TypeFull-spectrum?
Flavors2
Third-Party TestView report

These simple CBD gummies come in two flavors: cherry mango and citrus punch. 

But even though PlusCBD claims they’re made with full-spectrum hemp extract, the third-party tests only show pure CBD and no other cannabinoids.

Reserve Collection CBD Gummies

pluscbd reserve gummies

4/5

CBD/THC Potency27.5 mg
Gummy Count30
Total CBD/THC825 mg
Cost per mg$0.07
TypeFull-spectrum?
Third-Party TestView report

Like the Reserve oils, these gummies contain 2.5 mg of THC per serving. But they have the same problem: the third-party tests only found CBD and THC and no other cannabinoids, which is a poor result for a full-spectrum product.

CBD Softgels

CBD Softgels

pluscbd softgels

4.5/5

CBD Potency10-50 mg
Softgel Count30-60
Total CBD750-1500 mg
Cost per mg CBD$0.06-0.09
TypeFull-spectrum
Third-Party TestView report

These vegan CBD softgels come in 10, 15, and 50 mg strengths. But the levels of minor cannabinoids are pretty low for a full-spectrum product — the tests I checked found only 1.5-4%.

My experience: I took seven 15 mg softgels after eating dinner. I started feeling subtle relaxing and calming effects about 70 minutes later and they lasted for several hours. 

CBD Relief Softgels

pluscbd cbda relief softgels

4.5/5

CBD/CBDA Potency30 mg
Softgel Count60
Total CBD/CBDA1800 mg
Cost per mg$0.03
TypeFull-spectrum
Third-Party TestView report

These unique vegan softgels combine CBD with its precursor cannabidiolic acid (CBDa), which has similar but also distinct benefits. They also contain Levagen, a patented form of PEA, a cannabinoid-like anti-inflammatory compound made by our bodies.

PlusCBD recommends these softgels for dealing with inflammation. In my opinion, this is its best product.

Reserve Collection CBD Softgels

pluscbd reserve capsules

4/5

CBD/THC Potency13.75 mg
Softgel Count60
Total CBD/THC825 mg
Cost per mg$0.07
TypeFull-spectrum?
Third-Party TestView report

The capsule version of the Reserve Collection, each vegan softgel contains 12.5 mg CBD and 1.25 mg of THC. But like the other Reserve products, they have low levels of minor cannabinoids.

CBD Topicals

CBD Pain Relief Cream

pluscbd pain cream

4.5/5

CBD Potency4.5-27 mg/ml
Volume1-4 oz (28-113 g)
Total CBD500-1000 mg
Cost per mg CBD$0.04-0.07
TypeIsolate
Formulas4
Third-Party TestView report

This pure CBD cream is infused with menthol and camphor for cooling and warming relief of pains and aches. It comes in four varieties with slightly different amounts of the three active ingredients:

  • Muscle cream for backaches, neckaches, and strains
  • Penetrating cream for deeper, targeted relief in specific areas
  • Arthritis cream for relief in the joints, hands, and feet 
  • Sports recovery stick for strains, bruises, and muscle cramps

CBD Balm

pluscbd balm

4/5

CBD Potency4-5 mg/g
Volume0.4-1.3 oz (12-37 g)
Total CBD45-150 mg
Cost per mg CBD$0.15-0.33
TypeFull-spectrum
Formulas2
Third-Party TestView report

PlusCBD’s balm is available in regular size, travel size, and as a stick. But all three have a relatively low CBD strength and the price is above-average. 

CBD Roll-On

pluscbd roll-on

3.5/5

CBD Potency6-16 mg/g
Volume32 g
Total CBD200-500 mg
Cost per mg$0.11-0.14
TypeFull-spectrum?
Third-Party TestView report

This roll-on contains menthol and camphor for cooling and warming relief as well as several herbs with skin benefits, like poria cocos, and cinnamon. 

But again, the third-party tests only show CBD; full-spectrum products are supposed to also have small amounts of THC and minor cannabinoids. 

Price & Value

The easiest way to compare the value of CBD products is to divide the total cost by the amount of CBD. For example, if you have a 1500 mg CBD oil that costs $100, its price per milligram (mg) of CBD would be 100/1500 = 7 cents.

You also have to consider that the prices vary by product type. Here’s what the prices look like for PlusCBD:

  • CBD oil: 5 to 7 cents per mg of CBD
  • Capsules: 3 to 9 cents per mg
  • Gummies: 7 to 12 cents per mg
  • Topicals: 4 to 14 cents per mg (excluding the travel-size balm)
  • Pet oil: 5 to 6 cents per mg

That’s about average or slightly cheaper than average. You can also get 25% off by subscribing to monthly deliveries. Overall, the value is fairly average, especially since most products seem to lack minor cannabinoids. 

Hemp Source and Production Process

PlusCBD is unique among American CBD companies for using hemp grown in Europe. That’s not surprising since the company was founded in 2012, back when hemp was still difficult to find in the US. The hemp undergoes CO2 extraction to produce a raw full-spectrum hemp extract. 

This extract arrives in the United States and goes through in-house testing to verify its potency. Next, the raw extract is tested by third-party labs for potency and contaminants. After that, it’s cleared to be used in PlusCBD products. 

Third-Party Testing

PlusCBD’s products are sent for third-party testing to two labs: Las Vegas’ DB Labs, which tests for potency, heavy metals, and bacteria, and San Francisco’s Anresco Laboratories, which tests for pesticides and residual solvents. 

PlusCBD compiles the test results into its own document and posts every batch on its certificate of analysis (CoA) page. CoA is the scientific term for a third-party test report.

Third-Party Test Results

I always look at third-party lab test results to confirm that CBD companies sell safe, accurate, and effective products. Specifically, I check for:

  • The levels of CBD, which should be within 10% of the label (3)
  • The levels of minor cannabinoids like CBG and CBC
  • The levels of THC
  • Whether the CBD type (full, broad-spectrum, or isolate) is accurate
  • Whether there are any contaminants

I checked the latest CoAs for all PlusCBD products and also looked at older tests to make sure the results were consistent. Although I found that the CBD content was mostly accurate (within 10%), the major issue is that most of the full-spectrum products lack minor cannabinoids. In fact, many tests only show CBD, which is a disappointing result.

Proper full-spectrum CBD products should contain around 10% minor cannabinoids like THC, CBG, CBC, CBN, and CBDV. To show you some examples, I added screenshots of two CoAs above:

  1. The 1500 mg peppermint CBD oil test shows 1648.5 mg of CBD, which is 10% higher (a good result). However, the tests didn’t find any other cannabinoids.
  2. The 15 mg CBD softgels test shows 15.6 mg of CBD, another accurate result. This test did detect THC and other minor cannabinoids but their amounts were low (3.8%).

Aside from that, PlusCBD does a good job with its testing — the test reports are comprehensive, easy to access and read, and up-to-date. 

Shipping & Returns

PlusCBD ships throughout the United States, with free shipping on orders above $45. You can return products for a full refund (minus shipping charges) within 30 days of receiving them. 

Customer Service & Reputation

I can’t doubt the reputation of PlusCBD — it’s been around since 2012, which is a very long time in the CBD industry. On top of that, it holds GRAS and Hemp Authority certifications further proving its high standards.

And the fact that its products are sold in stores like Publix and GNC highlights the company’s trustworthiness. PlusCBD also holds over 4000 reviews with a 4.5/5 average rating on Trustpilot, an independent review website. 

The Verdict: Reputable Brand With Disappointing Products

PlusCBD is one of the most reputable brands on the market, as highlighted by its long history, extensive internal and third-party testing, and meaningful third-party certifications. 

Having said that, the products themselves didn’t produce the strongest effects. The major problem is that they contain low levels of minor cannabinoids, with many full-spectrum products only showing CBD on third-party tests. That makes them closer in effectiveness to pure CBD isolate than a proper whole-plant extract. 

PlusCBD needs to work on the quality of its full-spectrum formulas before I can recommend it. I’d also like to see the company increase the strength of some products (like the sleep gummies and CBD oils).

Overall Rating: 3.8/5

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