The Not-So Official Ranking Of The Best And Worst Celebrity CBD Brands

by Rudy Sanchez on 10/01/2020 | 6 Minute Read

By now, everyone has heard of CBD. 

Unless, of course, you were in a coma for the last few years, in which case, maybe you can put some CBD on that?

The cannabinoid is a compound found in cannabis, including hemp and marijuana, which are both botanically identical. The legality of CBD gets determined by the amount of another compound, the psychoactive THC, with hemp containing less than 0.3% of the mind-altering substance. This distinction allows for the legal cultivation of hemp so it can get sold across the US.

With hemp legal, the CBD supplement space has flourished. Unlike food, nutritional supplements get regulated with a soft touch. This lack of oversight makes it easy to market CBD, unlike recreational marijuana, which is strictly regulated. Claims about the efficacy of CBD for a particular ailment or condition don’t need confirmation with scientific proof to get used in advertising and on the packaging. This, of course, makes a celebrity endorsement easy to use in promoting a CBD supplement product or brand.

I mean, who cares about lab testing, clinical trials, and sourcing when a beloved sports star or lifestyle personality is raving about how great a CBD brand is? It’s our trust and love for obnoxiously famous people, combined with the ease in launching and marketing a nutritional supplement line that has created a surplus of celebrity-backed CBD brands. Not all are bad, and some operate better than others, of course, while a few seem more like a half-baked affair.

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The Chronic

CBD’s purported effectiveness as a non-narcotic analgesic makes it attractive to a myriad of athletes looking for recovery alternatives that don’t have the side effects of traditional medications and treatments. Little surprise so many athletes have parlayed their career in sports into CBD supplements, tailoring their brands for fellow athletes on all levels.

Mendi is one such brand, founded by a group including American soccer star Megan Rapinoe and WNBA legend Sue Bird. The brand’s lineup includes topicals and edibles, avoiding vapes and CBD flowers, things most athletes looking to perform at their peak would probably avoid. Visually, Mendi is minimal, with the only flourish being a custom wordmark, and the focus is on recovery.

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Hall-of-Famer running back Terrell Davis is another athlete entering the CBD space with a range of products positioned as sports supplements. Defy makes no bones about who the line of CBD products are for, with a visual identity that asks, “do you even lift, bro?” Sure, it looks like a Gatorade knock-off, but it does it well, and isn't that the point?

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It’s no secret country legend Willie Nelson is a fan of cannabis, and as far as anyone knows, he and Chip Carter are the only people to ever spark one up on the roof of the White House. So, of course, the musician would have a line of CBD products, and Willie’s Remedy is folksy and simple with pitch-perfect on-brand execution and a typography-heavy packaging line.

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Another performing artist associated with cannabis is Julian Marley, the progeny of reggae star Bob Marley. Marley's line of JuJu Royal CBD products includes topicals, edibles, and drops, all featuring a simple but effective visual style that features purple and gold. Very irie indeed.

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The Mids

Boxer “Iron” Mike Tyson was known as a destructive force in and out of the ring but has since reinvented himself, being less hostile and more reflective of his past mistakes. Tyson is also a budding cannapreneur, investing in both recreational cannabis and CBD, including a line of infused RTD beverages called Dwiink, the name modeled after the prizefighter’s distinct NYC accent.

It would take a brave or extremely foolish person to tell the former heavyweight champ (who is preparing to fight again, at 54) that his “Dwiink” bottles are meh, so let’s just call them mids.

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The Kardashian empire is mostly built upon a bedrock of hocking beauty and skincare goods, so it would be more shocking if there wasn’t a Kardashian with at least one CBD product. Hora x Poosh Hyaluronic Halo + CBD is a collaboration between skincare brand Hora and Kourtney Kardashian’s Poosh brand. The packaging is standard fare for the market segment, with clean and clinical graphics, and the outer box features pleated sides for a luxe finish. It’s not terrible packaging, but maybe Kourtney should get Kim on the line.

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Snoop Dogg bestie and lifestyle OG Martha Stewart is also getting into the CBD game, working with cannabis conglomerate Canopy Growth to distribute her branded line of edible infused gummies, drops, and softgels, with flavors crafted under Stewart’s guidance. The branding features illustrations of all the other ingredients except cannabis on the labels, and looks safe enough for your aunt, who keeps hearing about this CBD stuff from Oprah.

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The Schwag

Football can be one of the most punishing sports to play, and there are many stories of long-retired athletes continuing to suffer from the effects of career-related injuries. Gridiron great Ricky Williams discovered cannabis to be a restorative botanical, and despite having his pro career derailed by his use of the kind herb, he remained devoted to it and other alternatives to traditional medicine, including going to Ayurveda school.

It’s little surprise then that the CBD brand Williams cofounded, Real Wellness, has a crunchy, yoga studio vibe with soothing color palettes and detailed ingredient illustrations. The packaging is also reminiscent of those essential oils your cousin on Facebook keeps spamming everyone about.

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Extreme sports like freestyle motocross can generate a fair bit of damage to the body, not just the regular wear-and-tear common with, but also crash and fall injuries that can range from bruising to life-threatening. Retired motocross rider Carey Hart is another athlete that decided to create a CBD line tailored specifically for athletic recovery.

Of course, visually, Hart Luck proudly sports its "extreme" core, the logo making no mistake who's behind this CBD line of products. Curiously, the somewhat objectionably bro-ish logo uses spade symbols instead of hearts, placed on either side of the intertwined H and L. If anything, it could have been a little more extreme.

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Another sport that is brutal on the body is prizefighting, and MMA fighters Nick and Nate Diaz, in addition to their dominance in the octagon, are cannabis advocates (plus, Nick's cannabis consumption for ended up his professional career). Game Up is a brand of CBD supplements that appears to target the MMA market and is founded by the Diaz brothers, but the branding is confusing, as is the range, which includes pet products. The name and visual identity seem to imply it is for videogamers and not martial artists.

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Actor Denise Richards, most recently of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame, swears by CBD, but her brand CBDMe Beauty sorely lacks the sophistication and grace of the Hollywood glitterati. The wordmark is a poor choice of clashing typography, and the white labels look out of place with the metallic packaging.

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Talk show host Montel Willams was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the 90s, and has been an advocate of cannabis since finding it effective in abating the symptoms of his chronic and debilitating illness. Unfortunately, that passion doesn't translate to the packaging for his namesake brand of CBD supplements, which gets dominated by a stark black-and-white portrait of Williams and does little to communicate little confidence in the brand, relying solely on the equity of Montel's persona.

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