A lot of CBD companies proselytize – at least in their marketing materials – about the many health and wellness benefits of cannabidiol (the full name for CBD).
They may do it on their website, they may do it at local health expos, they may do it in speeches at industry conferences.
The one thing most have in common, though, is their product lines don’t always reflect their stated beliefs. Some produce low-potency or cheaply-manufactured CBD oil which won’t provide much of a beneficial effect, some add non-natural or unnecessary ingredients to their formulations, and some simply opt for high-profit margins instead of high quality.
Spruce CBD, on the other hand, backs up its words with the way it does business.
The company produces premium products – with high price tags to match – and doesn’t cut corners or apologize for their approach. Spruce has a very small product line, focusing solely on the CBD products it says will actually help its customers.
And it’s extremely careful to maintain its reputation and integrity while proselytizing on behalf of the benefits of high-quality cannabidiol.
If you’re ready to spend big bucks on CBD products that may work a lot better for you than the cheap stuff you’ve purchased on Amazon or at your local CBD store, read on.
Spruce CBD: The Background
This company has only been around for a few years, as it was formed around the same time that the sale of hemp-based products was legalized in America.
It’s a family-owned firm led by a man named Tony Spencer, and the family’s beliefs were crystallized well before the founding of Spruce CBD. They are convinced that “modern medicine is broken,” a sentiment certain to resonate with the millions of people who have turned to homeopathic and natural medicine. Spencer says the reason for starting Spruce CBD was the belief that most existing producers were “failing” their customers.
The goal of the company is to offer CBD products that actually help those who turn to cannabidiol for pain relief or therapeutic benefits. Even though there’s a large market for lower-strength CBD oil, edibles, or similar products, Spruce has resisted the temptation to expand its product lines to boost sales. It sticks with its original plan of offering only high-potency cannabidiol designed for the administration methods it believes will provide maximum benefits.
A statement Spencer made during a recent interview (one of the only ones we’ve found) spelled out the company’s approach to its product line:
“…money makes people different. That’s all I want to say about the other companies selling weak concentrations at high prices. Even previously-solid CBD companies have expanded their product lines to increase profit, but …it’s confusing customers. Novelty ingestion methods like gummies and patches aren’t as effective as a sublingual drop. That stuff is simply bogus and it gives CBD a bad name.”
There’s a similar sentiment expressed on Spruce CBD’s website, defending the company’s high prices:
“We have a lot of customers who have wasted money on CBD products in the past that didn’t work for them…(we’ve) found that most people who didn’t get relief either used a cheap product that didn’t contain enough high-quality CBD and/or they used a fun but ineffective edible like gummies….cheaper, lower-dose CBD doesn’t seem to offer much relief which is why we don’t even bother selling (low potency) CBD oil. We don’t want to be known as another brand that didn’t work. We want to be known for providing real relief quickly.”
There’s not a lot of publicly-available information on Spruce, although in that interview we referred to, Spencer also said that dedication to quality was only one of his company’s hallmarks. He said that innovation was another key to the company’s CBD production; one example was his claim that that Spruce CBD had discovered – and now relies on – a 120-year old strain of hemp which provides the greatest possible relief for patients.
We had to dig for some of this information since much of it isn’t available on the company’s website or PR releases. For that reason, we can’t give Spruce an A+ on transparency.
However, everything else in the company’s background argues for the conclusion that this is an honest producer fully focused on creating and selling high-quality cannabidiol, which actually provides the medical and health benefits that people believe they’ll be getting when they purchase CBD.
Spruce CBD: The Approach
We’ve mentioned the “mystery” hemp strain from which Spruce CBD sources its cannabidiol. The rest of the company’s production approach isn’t a secret, though. (And we don’t mean to denigrate the hemp strain claim; it’s just something that can’t be proven either way, at least from the information the company makes public.)
The hemp is grown organically on two farms, one in Kentucky and one in North Carolina, which have established exclusive relationships with Spruce CBD. There’s constant communication between the company and the farms, to ensure that all of its quality standards are met.
Another example of the innovation Spencer mentioned in his interview is Spruce’s unusual approach to cannabidiol extraction, which can’t be explained without a little background information.
Most in the industry consider the supercritical CO2 extraction method to be the gold standard, but some high-end producers swear by extraction with ethanol and claim it’s even better. They say ethanol is better at preserving the natural balance of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids which are extracted along with CBD and are responsible for the “entourage effect” that boosts the effectiveness of full-spectrum cannabidiol. That debate has yet to be resolved, but both are high-quality extraction methods.
Spruce CBD takes ethanol extraction a step further, using what it calls “moonshine” extraction. Instead of ethanol, the company uses a different type of alcohol: legal moonshine, a distilled spirit which it believes produces a cleaner product. This method is completely safe and creates high-quality cannabidiol.
All of Spruce’s products contain full-spectrum CBD, which provides the complete entourage effect and contains only a minuscule amount of psychoactive THC (less than 0.3%). That’s enough to help increase CBD’s effectiveness but nowhere near enough to get you high. Full-spectrum is a better therapeutic choice than broad-spectrum (no THC) or CBD isolate (only CBD with no other components).
The company uses MCT coconut oil (the best choice) or hempseed oil (also a good choice) as carrier oils in its products. The only added ingredients are natural flavoring (for one version of CBD oil) or those used for consistency and preservation in topicals. We should note that several ingredients in Spruce’s topical CBD cream are not natural and can cause skin irritation. Other than that, their products are all-natural, and most of the ingredients are organic.
Frankly, Spruce CBD’s claims to be an “all-natural” company – when they use several synthetic ingredients in their topical cream – does bother us a little, as does the positioning of their products as “lab grade” without any published justification for that claim.
With those two exceptions, however, the approach and processes the company uses to create its CBD products are pretty close to perfect – and we applaud the commitment to high-potency, high-quality cannabidiol, which is most effective for the majority of patients.
Spruce CBD Oils
The company isn’t kidding when it says it limits its product lines. There are only two varieties of Spruce CBD oil, and they’re identical except for potency and flavor.
The first variety contains 25mg/ml of full-spectrum cannabidiol, a good dose for most people but certainly much stronger than almost any other company’s “lowest strength” oil. It uses hemp seed oil as a carrier and contains natural peppermint flavoring – and nothing else. The second variety is billed as “max potency,” containing nothing but a whopping 80mg/ml of full-spectrum CBD and hemp seed carrier oil. You’ll find a few stronger CBD oils on the market, but not many of them.
Spruce also offers dog and cat versions of their full-spectrum CBD oil, which uses MCT coconut oil (said to be easier on pet’s stomachs) instead of hempseed oil. This unflavored oil is quite strong for small and medium-sized pets, with 25mg/ml of cannabidiol. Be very careful and only use a few drops according to the package directions. For some reason, the pet CBD oil isn’t linked to the company’s main site; you have to search for it separately.
Spruce CBD Topicals
There are three topical products in Spruce’s lineup.
The full-spectrum topical cream is the one we’ve previously mentioned, with a few non-natural ingredients, but it does contain a good amount of full-spectrum CBD as well as natural plant-derived scents. Spruce CBD salve is stronger, and it’s all-natural and organic with only shea butter, MCT oil, olive oil, and beeswax added to the full-spectrum cannabidiol. The salve has a more oily consistency than the CBD cream and a neutral scent.
Finally, Spruce sells an all-natural, organic Deep Chill CBD lotion which contains even more full-spectrum cannabidiol per dose than the salve. Menthol, camphor, and arnica are mixed in to provide immediate cooling relief and additional pain relief while the CBD is working its way into the skin. There’s also eucalyptus oil, rosemary, and aloe vera for additional medicinal and skincare benefits. It’s definitely the company’s best topical CBD product.
Spruce CBD: The Verdict
Spruce CBD products are quite expensive and maybe a bit much if you’re just dipping your toe into the water with CBD. Their potencies are high, making them a great choice for those suffering from serious or chronic pain, but perhaps too strong for people just looking to take the edge off so they can fall asleep.
That being said, this is a serious cannabidiol that can help a lot of patients. We’re not crazy about the company’s lack of complete transparency. But we definitely admire Spruce CBD’s goal of creating powerful and effective CBD as a medical alternative – and their small but effective product line does that quite well.