The Original Alternative, previously known as ‘The CBD Brothers’, claims to be the oldest provider of cannabis extracts in the country. Instead of just offering a choice of CBD oil strengths, with them you can choose from oils made from different hemp strains.
This 10ml purple edition is a 320mg CBD oil made from hemp strains that are a hybrid of Indica and Sativa genetics. The genetic balance is 70% Indica, and 30% Sativa; each of these genetic classifications provides different effects that come from their unique ratio of cannabinoids and terpenes. Indica strains are known to provide an allover relaxing sensation, Sativa is usually more energetic and useful to increase focus during the day.
This luxuriously thick oil comes in a brown glass bottle with a simple white label, displaying nothing but the company logo. There is no information on the bottle, for that you need to look to the brown cardboard box it comes in. There, you will find everything you need to know, from the best amount to take to how they extract the CBD.
Who are The Original Alternative?
The Original Alternative grew from humble beginnings. Once a small family company they started using their knowledge of cannabis to create lotions and potions for their friends and neighbours. Now, they have their own custom facilities in Suffolk and Guernsey. There they produce an incredible range of products including a whole plant extract paste, bottles and syringes to allow you to make your own products at home.
Initially sourcing their hemp from Holland and further afield in Europe, The Original Alternative now have a license to grow it at their farms on Guernsey. They are also one of very few CBD companies with physical shop locations where you can go in and talk to their staff in person.
They have a refreshingly honest approach to their products and freely admit that the nature of the materials and methods used means that no two batches are alike. However, they maintain exceptional standards and use third-party lab testing and independent bodies to verify the quality of their products. To help you find your way around their editions and products, they have provided a useful page of FAQs on their site and are happy to direct you to external professionals should you need further advice.
Third-Party Lab Tests
Third-party lab tests provided by The Original Alternative are easy to find in their online shop. They are simply presented and give you a clear profile of the cannabinoids contained in the extract.
I prefer certificates with additional information like terpene profiles and contaminant screening, like those by Endoca, but these do present the essential information in an easy to digest manner. At first glance, the numbers found in the analysis are confusing, but along the bottom they are translated into percentages of weight. This makes it much more straightforward to verify the amounts on the label.
Certificates are available for each batch of the oils and I found it easy to identify the one that matched my product. The analysis shows detectable quantities of several cannabinoids, including cannabidivarin and cannabigerol:
- CBD = 3.232%
- CBDa = 0.331%
- CBG = 0.150%
- CBGa = ND (Not detected)
- CBDV = 0.091%
- CBN = ND
- CBC = 0.993%
- THCV = ND
- THC = 0.066%
- THCA = ND
The results verify the 320mg of CBD mentioned on the label and even shows that the contents may be slightly higher. Unfortunately, 0.066% THC works out as 6.6mg which is more than the UK’s legal limit of 1mg per container. The total cannabinoids come to 4.863%.
Ease of Use
The 10ml bottle is sturdy and straightforward. It has a single-use seal which you break when you first use it but no child-safe cap. During the two weeks, I used this oil I had no problems with leaks even though it is one of the thickest oils I’ve tried.
Because of the texture of the oil, I found it hard to place the correct number of drops under my tongue. The dropper’s rubber bulb felt quite stiff, and the oil is so sticky I struggled to fill the dropper correctly. Sometimes I managed to deliver each drop, on other occasions it all rushed out, and once none came out at all.
The instructions on the box are simple and recommend holding three drops under your tongue for 2 minutes before swallowing. This is the ideal low measure to start with if you’ve never taken CBD before and they go on to advise that you can increase the amount if needed, but don’t exceed 200mg a day.
Original Alternative CBD Taste
This full-spectrum oil is made with whole-plant hemp extract and diluted with hemp seed oil. It has a delightfully smooth texture and bitter, grassy flavour. It’s not unpleasant, but it is definitely ‘hempy’.
When you hold it under your tongue, the taste isn’t too bad, so if you don’t like the flavour of hemp, I would encourage you to persevere and slowly increase the time you can hold a drop or two in your mouth.
Purple Edition Potency/Effectiveness
This purple edition oil is up there with the most potent CBD oils I’ve tried. The relaxation effect was almost immediate. I can honestly say I was disappointed when I finished the bottle. For me, it effectively reduced headaches, muscle fatigue and anxiety. I also found that a slightly larger measure in the evening gave me some of the best sleep I’d ever had.
Value for Money
The price of 10mls holding 320mg of CBD is £26.40. The value of this one blew me away. It’s a good deal cheaper than other similar strength oils from Cibdol and Bud & Tender and easily matches them for quality.
At a bargain price, you get a full range of cannabinoids in thick, aromatic oil. The combination of terpenes, cannabinoids and fatty-acid rich hemp seed oil make this something special. The care taken to produce quality plants extracted with supercritical CO2 means that this oil is extra potent and a cut above the rest.