Holland & Barrett is a well-known health food brand with over 1300 stores across 16 countries. In the UK, their shops can be found in most towns and they refer to themselves as ‘Europe’s largest and most trusted health and wellness retailer’.
In store or via their website you can get everything from vitamins, supplements and sports nutrition to gluten-free and vegan food items. They also offered a selection of CBD products including oils, capsules and balms. This leads to the question, is CBD oil from Holland & Barrett any good?
Is Holland & Barrett CBD Oil Any Good?
Holland & Barrett stock several affordable oils from brands such as Jacob Hooy, Love Hemp, Reakiro, Grass & Co and Pureis. However, they nearly all score poorly for effectiveness especially when compared to the best oils I have used, so I cannot recommend Holland & Barrett CBD oils.
Other issues for the discerning consumer include that they don’t publish any third-party lab results to verify CBD content and product safety. However, some customers will consider that this drawback is balanced out by Holland & Barrett’s convenient high street locations, their low prices and their regular ‘buy one, get one half price’ deals.
Yes, some of the oils on sale at Holland & Barrett are strong enough for daily use. They stock products that range from 250mg in 10ml (2.5%) up to 1500mg in 10ml (15%). Those with higher concentrations hold enough CBD for an effective daily measure but we don’t recommend purchasing oils of less than 5% (500mg in 10ml).
Some people only need 20mg of CBD per day to get the effect they want and the Food Standards Association recommends that the daily maximum for healthy adults should be 70mg. With a 5% oil each drop will contain around 2.5mg of CBD, so, you will only need to take 4 drops twice a day to achieve 20mg.
What CBD Products Are Available at Holland & Barrett?
Holland & Barrett stock CBD products from several different brands:
Jacob Hooy started out as a traditional pharmacy in Amsterdam and are now a worldwide supplier of hemp products, mostly via their association with Holland and Barrett. I’ve tried and reviewed several different items, including the 5% CBD oil, 10mg capsules, hemp tea bags and the CBD infused coconut oil.
Jacob Hooy uses pressed hemp seed as the carrier and the combination of this with the CBD extract gives their oil a grass-like flavour with a hint of bitterness. After I’d used it for a week, I noticed a reduction in my tension headaches and a slight reduction in my symptoms of anxiety. This combined with its affordable price makes it well worth a try even if it is only because it is easily accessible.
Even if these results were available to consumers, the Jacob Hooy CBD oil would still be in the bottom third of the list of oils I have reviewed. As it is, it’s score of 5.9 out of 10 places it in the bottom 4 scorers of all the oils I have reviewed.
Love Hemp produces an extensive range of CBD products but Holland & Barrett only stock their capsules and oils. I’ve tried their 4% natural CBD oil, capsules and jelly domes. I genuinely enjoyed the taste of the oil which was mild and buttery with no intense bitterness; however, if you’re not keen on even the mildest hint of hemp, you can go for one of their flavoured options (raspberry, orange or peppermint).
I didn’t notice any potent effects early on, but once I’d been using it for a few days, I was more focused and less anxious than usual. Love Hemp offer a well-made effective oil with lots of different strengths, flavours and bottle types (standard or spray) to choose from.
Examples of the third-party lab results can be obtained by visiting the Love Hemp contact page and requesting it from them directly. Whilst this is probably the best CBD oil available at Holland & Barrett, my review scored it at 7.6 out of 10 and placed it right in the middle of the pack for all CBD oils trialled to date.
When I reviewed Reakiro CBD oil in 2019, it had a high price of almost £35 and produced very little effect. Compared to similar products I’ve tried, I expected to experience an improvement in my anxiety and tension headaches, but this wasn’t the case.
The packaging resembles a sports deodorant more than a CBD oil but the bold green and yellow definitely make it eye-catching. The bottle comes with a standard dropper and has usage instructions that are phrased as ‘two-thirds of the dropper’. This is a refreshing change from being asked to count out individual drops.
The oil has a pleasant nutty taste with a hint of something floral, but that’s quickly followed by a bitter aftertaste. I received a copy of the lab results folded up inside the packaging but this may not be standard practice. Reakiro CBD oil definitely has its good points but it’s let down by a lack of potency.
This product scored a 6.1 out of 10 and places it as the 6th lowest scoring CBD oil I have reviewed to date.
Holistic Herb’s oils, sprays and capsules are only available through Holland & Barrett. Their products are designed to be more bioavailable by creating thousands of tiny microcapsules to help the oil absorb quickly through your gut wall.
While I found this product to be effective, it’s completely let down by a misleading labelling strategy. Instead of stating how much CBD is in the bottle, they just describe it as either ‘single strength’ or ‘double strength’. The description on the Holland & Barrett website reveals that single strength means equivalent to 4.2mg of regular CBD per three drops. However, later in the description they also say that the approximate dose per three drop serving is 8.1mg.
I enjoyed the slightly citrus flavour and noticed a slight improvement in my tension headaches, but I can’t recommend any product that is so misleading in its labelling.
Holistic herb CBD oil scored 6.3 out of 10. This places it one position above Reakiro as the 7th lowest scoring CBD oil on my list.
Grass & Co are a premium CBD brand that specialise in combining CBD with other powerful botanic ingredients. At Holland & Barrett you can get oils or balms in each of their three main varieties; ease, calm and rest. I’ve tried their Ease 500mg CBD oil which is made with broad-spectrum (THC-free) CBD extracted from European hemp and combined with ashwagandha, chamomile, mint and an MCT carrier oil.
I found the blend of floral and mint flavours to be interesting but not necessarily enjoyable. The effects were mild and I didn’t experience any noticeable short term improvements in my anxiety or tension headaches. Unfortunately, during my trial of this oil, the effects I experienced didn’t match up to the high price.
Grass & Co offer some unique blends not found elsewhere but compared to other oils there are several more effective options available at significantly lower prices.
I scored Grass & Co CBD oil a 6 out of 10. This placed it perfectly between Reakiro and Jacob Hooy as the 5th lowest scoring oil I have reviewed.
Pureis is a company whose products I’ve not yet tried. They’re growing in popularity in the UK thanks to being available in Holland & Barrett, Boots and even on Amazon. Their tagline is ‘Ultra Pure CBD’ and their CBD oils are labelled as fast-absorbing.
The ‘Ultra Pure’ refers to the fact that they use a lab-made synthetic CBD in their products. This is mixed into coconut oil resulting in a mild-tasting, smooth-textured oil. Pureis demonstrate a commitment to transparency but slightly overstate some relatively simple features of their product. For example, they say that they specially formulate their products to improve absorption, but provide no evidence of this other than the statement, ‘We have carefully designed our Pureis CBD formulations in order to enhance bioavailability’.
On the whole, Pureis offers well-made products that look like they’ve been designed to a high standard; however, I can’t find any evidence to back up their claims that their oils have reached an exceptional level of quality.
Overall, Holland & Barrett sell brands that make products and have very average reputations with their customers and performed poorly in personal testing.
If you choose to shop for your CBD at Holland & Barrett, I recommend you buy Love Hemp. I would avoid Jacob Hooy, Reakiro, Holistic Herb and Grass & Co. Pureis has potential but I’m going to withhold my recommendation until I’ve personally tried their products.