That’s one of the first things we always look for when reviewing CBD companies. Do they use locally-sourced hemp? Do they outsource any of their manufacturing processes or perform them all locally? Are they committed to and do they support their local community (or communities)?
That brings us to the subject of Ananda Hemp.
This cannabidiol producer (cannabidiol is the full name for CBD) is owned by a huge Australian company that produces and sells CBD on several different continents. Its hemp is grown from seeds sourced from all over the world.
At first glance, that would seem to disqualifying – or at the very least, a huge red flag.
Dig deeper into the Ananda Hemp story, however, and you discover a surprisingly different story.
It turns out that the company is indeed focused on producing CBD sourced from local crops grown by local farmers, and that its products are almost-impeccably created in America from start to finish.
Here’s what we’ve learned about the company and what it makes.
Ananda Hemp: The Background
We immediately noticed that Ananda Hemp is owned by a company called Ecofibre, Ltd., a biotech firm that’s listed on the Australian stock exchange. It researches and breeds hemp, and through its subsidiary companies, it manufactures and sells hemp-based nutraceuticals (natural foods and supplements), textiles – and CBD. It’s a company that’s clearly devoted to industrial hemp and the products that can be produced from it.
Ecofibre has been in the hemp industry for more than twenty years, making it one of the first to have entered the sector. Among many other assets, it owns what it says is the world’s largest private cannabis seed bank, with seeds gathered from dozens of countries worldwide.
When Ecofibre enters a market, it supplies hemp seeds used to grow the plants from which cannabidiol will be extracted. But that’s apparently where the parent company’s operational involvement ends. Everything else is done through a subsidiary in the region where the hemp will be grown, and where the CBD products will be produced and sold.
Ecofibre’s subsidiary in America is Ananda Hemp, formed in 2014. It’s based in Kentucky where the climate is conducive to growing hemp outdoors, and where farming regulations are stricter than in most other states. Ananda contracts with local farmers who have worked their properties for generations and use fully-organic growing practices; they grow hemp from Ecofibre’s seeds exclusively for Ananda’s use.
The company then processes and packages its CBD products at its own Kentucky facilities, before they’re submitted for independent third-party testing. That makes Ananda Hemp one of the only true seed-to-shelf CBD brands in America, controlling the process and the quality of its products from start to finish. From there, they’re sold online or through retail partners.
There’s one other thing that caught our eye. Ecofibre has a ton of experts on its staff in Australia, where they test and breed various seeds and strains. But Ananda Hemp has its own chief science officer as well: Dr. Alex Capano, a nurse practitioner who became the first person in America to receive a Ph.D. in cannabinoid science and is now responsible for the company’s research and clinical trials involving hemp and CBD.
Ananda conducts all of the other local operations you’d expect from a responsible cannabidiol producer, including robust CBD educational programs, regular involvement in industry events and conferences, and participation in consumer fairs, expos, and seminars. But what interested us most is that it has a second arm, Ananda Professional, which works with health care and pharmacy professionals to help bring CBD more into the mainstream.
A message to Ananda Hemp and Ecofibre, Ltd.: we apologize if we jumped to a wrong conclusion when we first started learning about you. You’re clearly an operation that is committed to the popularization and production of high-quality CBD products, and we’re impressed.
Ananda Hemp: The Approach
Quite honestly, we would have been disappointed if we had found that the processes used by Ananda to manufacture its CBD offerings weren’t up to par. There was no reason to worry.
We already knew about Ananda Hemp’s use of organically-grown, non-GMO hemp, grown by local farmers. What we wanted to know what is happens from there.
Ananda uses an ethanol extraction process to remove cannabidiol from hemp plants. A lively debate on the pros and cons of various extraction methods has developed in the CBD industry over the last few years. Most producers and experts believe that a different process, supercritical CO2 extraction, is the most desirable because it’s a safe and extremely efficient way to maintain the potency of CBD while preserving all of the other components of hemp.
However, several high-end CBD producers – including Ananda Hemp – say that ethanol extraction is a better approach. They insist that the use of ethanol, a safe and all-natural solvent, does a better job at maintaining the natural balance of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes than supercritical CO2 processing.
It’s not a theoretical discussion. Optimal amounts of those other components are important for what’s called the “entourage effect,” which boosts the effectiveness of CBD. And that’s crucial for the production of full-spectrum cannabidiol.
We’re not scientists, so we’ll let the industry experts figure this one out among themselves. We just know that if ethanol extraction isn’t the best method a company can use, it’s certainly a good one and quite safe.
While we’re on the subject of the entourage effect we should note that Ananda Hemp produces two different types of products, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum. Broad-spectrum CBD contains all of the hemp’s components except the minimal amount of THC that’s legally allowed to be in cannabidiol; that lessens the entourage effect slightly but will make anyone afraid of failing a drug test feel better. (In truth, full-spectrum CBD almost never triggers a positive drug test.)
The company uses MCT coconut oil as a carrier in most of its products; MCT oil is the best choice for transporting and evenly distributing cannabidiol. All other ingredients are all-natural, no flavorings are added to the mix, and most of the products are vegan. The formulations are smart and effective, and third-party COA (certificates of analysis) are available for all CBD products.
In short, there’s nothing not to like.
Ananda Hemp CBD Oils
The company uses the same formula for all of its full-spectrum CBD oils, containing only cannabidiol, MCT oil, hempseed oil, and added terpenes which are supposed to increase the entourage effect. They’re all unflavored so they do have a raw, grassy taste, but that also means there are no flavoring agents to check for potential allergy issues.
The oil is sold in three potencies: 10mg/ml, 20mg/ml and 40mg/ml. Some producers offer higher strength options, but 40mg/ml should be high enough for most users. There’s also a broad-spectrum 20mg/ml potency oil available, made in exactly the same way except for the use of THC-free cannabidiol.
Finally, there’s one Ananda Hemp CBD oil for cats and dogs, which is a 10mg/ml full-spectrum product containing just CBD, MCT oil, and “vegetarian-certified” bacon flavoring. 10mg is a high dose for small pets, but the company provides a helpful, detailed dosage chart explaining how many drops of oil to use depending on the pet’s weight.
Ananda Hemp CBD Capsules
The ingredient list for Ananda’s CBD softgels is also a “bare-bones” one, which is a good thing since there are no problematic additives. They contain 15mg of full-spectrum cannabidiol and hempseed oil (instead of MCT oil), and the capsules are made from gelatin and vegetable glycerin. That means they’re natural, but not vegan. The company also offers an identical softgel made with broad-spectrum instead of full-spectrum CBD.
Ananda Hemp CBD Topicals
Both of Ananda Hemp’s topical products contain full-spectrum CBD which is both praiseworthy and somewhat unusual, as most producers use CBD isolate (with no entourage effect) in their topicals.
The body salve has a lot going on other than CBD. It also includes shea butter, cooling menthol (to ease aches and pains while the cannabidiol is absorbed by the skin), and a wealth of botanicals and essential oils designed to moisturize, protect and revitalize the skin. Most of the ingredients (but not all) are organically-produced, and all are natural.
Ananda’s CBD roll-on has a different formulation. It contains fewer botanicals, but it still includes cooling menthol as well as arnica, a popular homeopathic pain relief agent. There are also a few safe but non-natural ingredients used for consistency and emulsification. This product may increase sunburn risk, though.
Ananda Hemp: Related Products
Finally, a brief mention of Ananda Hemp’s two non-CBD products which are still partially derived from hemp.
Vegan Hemp Omega+ capsules are a blend of hempseed oil and plant-based Omega 3 and Omega 6 supplements. And the company’s plant-based, chocolate-flavored, vegan hempseed protein powder is formulated to promote muscle growth and recovery and provide immune system benefits.
Ananda Hemp: The Verdict
We couldn’t have been more wrong when we started our review of Ananda Hemp. Even though it’s a subsidiary of a multi-national hemp firm, its CBD products are grown in America from seed to shelf, it uses high-end production techniques throughout the process – and its corporate ownership is actually beneficial due to its careful research into, and cultivation of, premium hemp strains.
The products (with one skin-care exception) are all-natural, mostly organic and almost all are vegan. Most include full-spectrum cannabidiol for maximum benefit – and they work well.
As we’ve said several times in this review, we’re definitely impressed with Ananda Hemp and the CBD products they produce.