The Original Alternative, previously known as ‘The CBD Brothers’, is a small UK company with the motto ‘Health over Wealth’. They pride themselves on being passionate advocates of the benefits of cannabis and produce a select range of quality oils. Unlike other CBD brands, with the Original Alternative, you don’t just select your oil by strength, you can also choose from Indica, Sativa or hybrid strains.
This 10ml blue edition is a 500mg CBD/CBDa, oil made from Sativa hemp strains. Different hemp varieties deliver different effects that come from the ratio of cannabinoids and terpenes.
This is an aromatic, deep brown oil that comes in a sturdy glass bottle. It has a simple white label, displaying nothing but the company logo. This approach gives the impression that it’s functional and effortlessly stylish. There is no information on the bottle, for that you need to look to the 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 started its life as a mail-order company known as ‘the CBD Brothers’. Their current success has taken them a long way from when they had to pack their products in a small single car garage. Now, they have custom facilities in Suffolk and Guernsey where they produce and ship their impressive CBD range.
The Original Alternative grows their hemp on newly licensed farms on Guernsey. They initially imported hemp from Holland, but now have greater control of their crops by growing them closer to home. Their Sativa and hybrid strains are grown outdoors in the sunlight then treated with supercritical CO2 to produce a high-quality whole plant extract. They maintain their exceptional standards by using third-party lab testing and independent bodies to provide rigorous quality checks.
Third-Party Lab Tests
The Original Alternative lab test results are easy to find on their website and you can select the certificate that relates directly to your batch. To see them, go to the product you’re interested in and select the ‘certificates’ tab. The one relating to my batch is numbered as HB-075.
The certificates themselves are informative but basic with just a cannabinoid profile and the amounts of each cannabinoid given as a percentage. Ideally, it would be useful to see the quantities in mg, also a terpene profile and contaminant screening to give me total reassurance. Those produced by Endoca are an excellent example of a more detailed analysis.
The results show detectable quantities of several cannabinoids, including cannabidivarin and cannabigerol:
- CBD = 4.394%
- CBDa = 1.180%
- CBG = 0.423%
- CBGa = ND (Not detected)
- CBDV = 0.091%
- CBN = ND
- CBC = 0.722%
- THCV = ND
- THC = 0.189%
- THCA = ND
The results show that the 500mg on the packaging refers to both CBD and CBDa. The box says ‘500mg CBD’ so this could be clearer. You actually get 439mg of CBD and 118mg of CBDa, which gives you a total of 557mg CBD and CBDa. The combined quantity of all the cannabinoids is 690mg.
Included in that is 18.9mg of THC, which falls well outside of the UK’s legal limit of 1mg per container.
Ease of Use
The oil comes in a 10ml bottle that appears well made and is topped with a leak-proof lid and a bulb-tipped dropper. It has a seal that breaks on its first use but no child-safe cap. Throughout the time I’ve been using it I’ve carried it in a pocket and had no problems with leaks or spills.
The rubber dropper bulb was quite stiff, and I struggled to apply the oil under my tongue drop by drop. In the end, I loaded it with an amount I thought looked right then delivered it under my tongue in one go. It worked, but I was left wondering exactly how much I had used.
The instructions on the box are simple yet with enough detail. They recommend holding three drops under your tongue for 2 minutes before swallowing. Then, they go on to advise that you can increase the amount if needed but you shouldn’t exceed 200mg a day.
Blue Edition Taste
It has the full, grassy hemp taste with a hint of nuttiness, but no bitter after taste. Even if you place it directly on your tongue, you will be surprised at how pleasant it is. I did experience a little sharpness in the back of my mouth, but overall I was impressed.
The impact of this oil has to be one of my favourites. The Sativa effect is mild but noticeable and I felt pleasantly relaxed yet focused and alert. Most oils I’ve tried to give a calming relaxation but this definitely felt more suited to going about your day. I now have this near my desk to take while I work and use a different oil to help with sleep in the evening.
Original Alternative Value for Money
The price of 10ml holding 500mg of CBD and CBDa is £21.60. I genuinely went back to the website to double-check this; it’s such an incredible price. The blue edition is nearly £5 cheaper than the purple, hybrid version. For me, the blue edition is my favourite, so I’m delighted with the value.
It’s significantly cheaper than any other similar strength oil I’ve found and even beats Holland and Barrett’s 5% Jacob Hooy oil which is priced at £29.99 for 10mls. With only a couple of issues to iron out regarding the THC levels and labelling, this is probably the best value oil I have used to date.
If you are looking for a little help making a decision, we have some best of lists which are all based on our personal experiences. We look at quality, cost and safety to ensure you only buy the best.