top 10 cbd Oils in Canada
best of 2021

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Despite cannabis legalization, CBD oil can be hard to find in the Great White North. Here’s a detailed look at how and where to buy CBD oil in Canada.

Although Canada legalized cannabis in 2018, high-quality CBD oil is not necessarily easy to access. Many people are searching online for answers on where to buy CBD oil in Canada, from chronic pain to mental health. Regardless of your reasoning, the potential health benefits of CBD are enough of a reason to continue your search.

Only licensed cannabis companies are allowed to cultivate, extract, and sell CBD products in the country. However, there are also many unlicensed CBD vendors.

To help you make an informed choice, we’ve reviewed the ten best licensed and unlicensed CBD oil brands in Canada. We also put together a guide to everything you need to know about buying CBD oil in Canada.

Buying CBD In-Store

You can find CBD oil in both licensed and unlicensed cannabis shops throughout Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and other Canadian cities.

Licensed shops offer cannabis products made by government-licensed producers, which include CBD oils and other CBD-rich products.

Licensed companies have to go through an application process with the government and adhere to regulations for lab testing, packaging, labeling, and more. Depending on the province, you have to be at least 18, 19, or 21 years old to purchase CBD products from licensed vendors.

There are two types of licensed retail cannabis stores: public (operated by the provincial government) and private. For example, the province of British Columbia has an official BC cannabis store.

As you’ve probably guessed, unlicensed stores operate outside the government’s cannabis scheme and are not exactly legal. Despite this, many continue to operate without much trouble or simply reopen after being raided by police.

Buying CBD Online

Similar to the US, it’s also possible to buy CBD oil in Canada online. Again, there are both licensed and unlicensed options.

Each Canadian province has an online version of its government-operated cannabis store, which may be the only online vendor allowed to deliver products in the province.

However, some provinces also allow private licensed stores to sell and deliver cannabis products online.

There are also dozens of unlicensed CBD brands and cannabis dispensaries that sell CBD online in Canada. Much like their physical counterparts, these unlicensed businesses have mostly been left alone by the government despite their illicit nature.

Top Online CBD Companies in Canada

If you’re curious about where to buy CBD oil in Canada online, you’ll have to consider two options: licensed and unlicensed.

Licensed Producers

Licensed producers are companies that have received a federal license from Health Canada to produce, process, or sell cannabis. Each of these licenses is separate; large companies tend to have all three, while others might only have one or two.

Licensed cannabis products are required to be comprehensively tested by a third-party lab for both potency and contaminants. However, they’re tougher to access because each provincial store has its own product lineup and can only ship within that province.

Another downside of licensed providers is that their CBD product lineup is somewhat limited. For example, they may not have CBD gummies or CBD cream.

Unlicensed Companies

Surprisingly, unlicensed CBD oils tend to cost more than licensed ones. You also have to be careful and look for brands that provide third-party lab test results, since these are not required for unlicensed producers.

However, unlicensed vendors do have one advantage: they typically ship throughout the whole country.

Buying CBD Overseas

Many Canadians are tempted to buy CBD oil from other countries because of the limited variety of CBD oil products and the difficulty of accessing them.

This isn’t strictly legal because Canada treats CBD products the same way as cannabis, which means you can’t ship them into or out of the country. As a result, few American and international brands ship to the Great White North.

Having said that, some Canadians do successfully order CBD oil from overseas and receive it. But there is always a risk of having your parcel confiscated at the border.

Here are some non-Canadian CBD vendors to consider.

United States

Most American CBD brands don’t ship to Canada to avoid potential legal issues and customers upset over having their products confiscated.

However, there are some options:

  • Colorado’s R+R Medicinals, which offers USDA organic full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oils.
  • Ananda Hemp, which also has full-spectrum and broad-spectrum tinctures for sale.
  • Ganja, a vendor that sells CBD oil and other hemp-derived products from a long list of American brands.

 

Europe

European brands are more likely to ship to Canada. Some notable options include:

  • Denmark’s Endoca, one of the oldest and most reputable brands in the world, which offers high-strength, full-spectrum and THC-free oils.
  • Provacan, a leading British CBD company offering full-spectrum CBD oil
  • Switzerland’s Kiara Naturals, which has both full-spectrum and isolate CBD tinctures
  • CBDLife UK, another popular British brand with full and broad-spectrum tinctures

 

What Should You Look for When Buying CBD Products

Your approach to buying CBD oil in Canada will depend on whether the source is licensed or not.

Buying Licensed CBD Oil

When buying licensed products, you don’t need to worry about product quality.

Licensed CBD oil products are highly regulated which means they have to be sourced from properly grown Canadian cannabis plants, tested for both potency and contaminants, and meet other safety and quality guidelines.

Instead, you should focus on the following factors to choose the right CBD oil for yourself:

  • CBD Type – There are three types of CBD: full-spectrum (contains all of hemp’s cannabinoids, terpenes, and potentially other compounds), broad-spectrum (same as full-spectrum but with zero THC), and CBD isolate (pure CBD). If you’re looking for the greatest effects, you should opt for full-spectrum CBD oil in order to experience the entourage effect, while the other versions are better if you need to avoid THC.
  • Potency – The strength of CBD oil is measured in milligrams (mg) per milliliter (ml). Ideally, you want to match your preferred CBD dosage to the right potency. For example, people who require higher doses would prefer oils with high potency (50 mg/ml or higher).

 

Buying Unlicensed CBD Oil

Unlicensed Canadian CBD products are not regulated. There are many subpar vendors and you need to do additional research to make sure the CBD oil you’re buying is of high quality. In addition to the two factors we discussed above, you should also consider the following before you consume CBD:

  • Third-Party Testing – Third-party tests are done by an independent lab to see if a CBD product contains as much CBD and other cannabinoids as advertised and is free of contaminants. Reputable CBD brands pay for third-party testing because it’s the best way to verify the safety and efficacy of CBD products.
  • Company Reputation & Transparency – Look for trustworthy vendors by reading customer reviews. You should also check the company’s website for information on where it’s located, where or how the hemp is grown or processed, and any other details that show that the company has nothing to hide.
  • Hemp Source – CBD comes from hemp plants, so you want to choose brands that have a good source. Ideally, the hemp should be grown organically by Canadian farmers.
  • Formula – Some CBD products have additional ingredients or use special formulations. For example, if you’re taking CBD for sleep you might want to consider looking for a product with added sleep supplements, such as valerian or melatonin. The formula is an important factor in how you’ll experience the effects of CBD.

 

You should also consider the price for both licensed and unlicensed CBD products. You can compare products by looking at their price per milligram (mg) of CBD but keep in mind that some products, such as full-spectrum oils, should cost more than ones made with isolate.

A Brief Legal History of CBD in Canada

Marijuana became illegal in Canada in 1923 but it wasn’t until 1938 that the cultivation of hemp was also prohibited under the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act.

In 1998, exactly 60 years later, Canada again allowed the production of hemp for industrial uses, such as hemp seed oil and fiber production.

Having said that, CBD oil and other wellness products containing CBD didn’t become legal until 2018, when the country legalized the recreational use of cannabis.

Under these regulations, CBD products are treated the same way as THC-rich cannabis which means that companies have to go through a complex and expensive licensing process to be able to legally sell CBD.


Gleb Oleinik

Gleb Oleinik is a freelance CBD & cannabis writer from Vancouver, Canada. He’s read thousands of studies about cannabinoids and other beneficial natural compounds, helping him translate complex science into plain language. He’s also written third-party lab test reports of CBD products and knows the industry inside and out. When he’s not writing, Gleb likes to spend his time in the gym and out in nature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, CBD oil is legal in Canada. However, only licensed producers are allowed to make and sell it.