Welcome to our Five CBD review!
After a secret-shopping campaign, a conversation with Five founder JP Larsen, and plenty of product sampling, we’ve arrived at an overall rating for Five CBD.
Our overall rating for Five CBD is 89.1/100.
Speaking of, we use a 27-point ranking system to evaluate every brand we review across the following six key criteria: quality, transparency, website experience, customer service, value, and brand value.
For a complete breakdown of how we score each item, check out this guide.
Before we get to the actual scoring, here’s one of our favorite products.
Daily Buzz CBD Gummies
These gummies were among the most effective gummies we’ve ever sampled, exerting significantly more noticeable effects than the vast majority of competing brands.
The 50mg concentration and synergistic boost of the generous cannabinoid/terpene content propels these gummies into a category of their own.
They’re easy to take, easy to bring with you, and perfect for people who want to cover up the bitter hemp taste without taking in a ton of artificial ingredients.
How Five CBD Got Started
According to founder JP, Five CBD was launched in late 2020 as an opportunity to bring top-quality CBD products directly to consumers.
Thanks to his already successful track record at Medterra—Five’s parent company—JP and company were able to lean on their experience, resources, and well-established presence in the CBD space to get this new brand off the ground in the middle of a pandemic.
When asked to summarize Five’s mission, the founder told us, “We’re focused on the highest quality product at the best price to the consumer.”
What Makes Five CBD Unique?
The greatest differentiator between Five and everyone else cramming into the CBD industry at the moment is what they call their “fully powered full-spectrum” formulation.
“A lot of the products on the market are diluted with (CBD) isolate to make them cheaper,” said JP in reference to full-spectrum CBD, which is Five’s sole focus.
As their way of one-upping the status quo, Five has vowed to maintain a 5:1 ratio of CBD to minor hemp compounds (terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) in all formulations.
Soon, they’re going to establish a 5:1 ratio of CBD to minor cannabinoids as well.
By sticking to this unconventionally high ratio of minor compounds to CBD, Five is leveraging the entourage effect (strength-boosting action of multiple hemp compounds working together) for greater absorption speed and potency.
They aren’t shy about the THC content, either.
Unlike other brands who only cordon off the bottom half-inch of the product page footer for tiny THC content warnings (or 0.0% THC claims, which are problematic in the case of full-spectrum products), Five THC doesn’t make you dig for this information.
Best of all, their lean, direct-to-consumer model allows Five to keep prices low while competing against the biggest names in CBD for highest product quality.
Our Five CBD Review
From product packaging to CBD research ventures, the following categories are designed to provide the most comprehensive brand review possible.
Each category is weighted based on the number and importance of sub-criteria within it, contributing to a total score out of 100.
Let’s start with the all-important issue of quality.
Max score = 35
Five CBD = 30.75
More than the hemp extract itself, we take into account packaging, sourcing, product variety, and several other factors when grading brands based on quality.
Five’s gummies, capsules, and oils are packaged in durable matte white bottles.
All of the packaging was completely intact after shipping, but there’s no product description on the bottle, resulting in a small deduction.
We found no products that contained artificial ingredients, and only the gummies have added sugar.
All hemp is reliably sourced from Oregon farms, and the high ratio of hemp compounds to CBD earns full marks for hemp quality and sourcing.
We would like to see more use-specific formulations (i.e., “rest,” “relax,” and “active,” etc.) in the future, as Five currently has melatonin-infused CBD gummies for sleep and no other use-specific formulations.
Testing and Certification
All Five products are tested by an ISO-accredited third-party lab (Green Scientific), and the Certificates of Analysis (COAs) are thorough, providing detailed readouts on:
- Cannabinoid content
- Residual solvents
- Heavy metals
Considering Five’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and ISO 9001 certification, which is earned for consistent product quality, we award Five full points for testing and certification.
Finally, Five uses CO2 to extract CBD from the hemp plant.
This is considered the gold standard for its safety and efficiency, since CO2 can be consistently removed from the extract with negligible amounts of residual solvent—full points here.
Max score = 12.5
Five CBD = 9.375
The more included a customer feels in the inner workings of a brand, the more comfortable they are investing (or not investing) in the product.
As such, we reward brands for openly sharing information beyond the customary taglines and product descriptions.
Here’s how we break it down.
Customers can access Certificates of Analysis for all Five products on their website.
Product pages are well supplied with beginner-friendly information, nutrition/ingredient info, etc., yet at the same time attractive and easy to navigate.
The “About Us” section furnishes a solid introduction to the Five hemp extract and the brand’s quality standards, but it doesn’t feature any staff bios.
Supply Chain Transparency
As mentioned, Five uses a direct-to-consumer model.
They source their hemp from Oregon farms and ship the products straight to customers.
We were able to find most of this information fairly easily on the Five site.
Max points = 7.5
Five CBD = 7
Pandemic or no pandemic, brick-and-mortar or online only, it’s never been more important for brands to provide a seamless online experience.
We reward points for mobile responsiveness, educational resources, and the overall ecommerce experience (browsing products, checking out, etc.)
Product Navigation and Purchasing
Browsing and the checkout process were clean and intuitive; we found no bugs or design flaws.
The site also earns full points for mobile responsiveness, which refers to how well-adapted it is for smartphone users (formatting, page load speed, etc.)
Newbies to full-spectrum CBD or anyone looking to learn more about how CBD affects the body in general can peruse the full-spectrum CBD breakdown on Five’s site.
This introduction covers the endocannabinoid system, the entourage effect, and more.
Max points = 10
Five CBD = 9.5
Truly competitive brands approach customer service as a frontline issue, not an afterthought.
Prompt and accommodating customer service is especially important in an environment as fraught with misinformation as the CBD space.
This is why we reward brands for putting in the effort to meet their customers where they are with strong support services and flexible policies.
Contact Options and Responsiveness
Five offers the three customer support channels we look for: phone, messenger, and email.
The messenger response time was extremely short, the phone service/email response time was above average, and we reached a real human each time.
Shipping and Return Policies
We awarded full marks for the shipping and return policy, which is in line with most of the leading brands across CBD and other industries: 30-day return policy with receipt, Five will send the shipping label and instructions.
Max score = 10
Five CBD = 8.69
Because CBD products can come in so many concentrations and varieties (which means broad fluctuations in price), we make sure to weigh price against ingredient quality so that both ends of the price spectrum can have equal opportunity to score well (or poorly).
Pricing and Ingredient Quality
The cheapest CBD oil you can find from a well-established brand costs just $0.02/mg, a stubborn threshold that Five gets surprisingly close to with their 6000mg CBD Oil Tincture, which costs $0.029/mg.
Considering how powerful their full-spectrum hemp extract is, Five more than made up for falling short of the $0.02/mg mark—there’s a prime example of the quality-vs-price mechanism in action.
Not to be outdone twice, Five actually took the crown for cheapest CBD gummies (also included in article linked above) at $0.04/mg with their Daily Buzz gummies.
This is one of the few gummies packing 50mg of CBD per piece in addition to a bountiful cast of supporting cannabinoids and other hemp compounds.
Max score = 25
Five CBD = 23.5
One way to easily conceptualize a company’s brand value is with the following question: What would happen to company x’s industry and local/global community if they were suddenly removed from existence?
Brand value is the impact that a company makes on its surroundings, whether or not that is related to the industry the company is in.
More specifically, we define this somewhat elusive idea as the level of community and industry involvement, regulatory and legislative involvement, product innovation and knowledge, and more.
Product Innovation and Institutional Knowledge
Five is really good at what they do—raising the bar for well-balanced, full-spectrum CBD products.
However, this is more of a quality standard than a true innovation, and because their formulations, delivery methods, etc. are otherwise consistent with the majority of leading CBD brands, we’ve applied a medium-sized deduction in the area of product innovation.
They earned full marks for industry knowledge, considering how influential Medterra has been in the CBD industry.
Community, Research, and Legislative Involvement
We decided to give Five credit for Medterra’s efforts in these areas, mainly because of the large overlap in leadership between the two brands (and because Five is so young).
That said, Five and/or Medterra have been actively involved in pro-CBD legislation efforts as board members of the US Hemp Round Table.
They’ve also supported/are supporting several studies, including animal trials testing CBD for osteoarthritis and others.
Finally, Five and Medterra have joined forces with the Susan G. Komen and Realm of Caring foundations, and they offer military and veteran discounts.
Our Five CBD Overall Rating
All tallied, Five CBD earns an overall rating of 89.06/100.
We were most impressed with the combination of high-quality, potent hemp extracts and competitive pricing.
This adds credence to the words of founder JP, who told us,“We’re not doing crazy sponsorships, we don’t have corporate offices. We’re just bringing high-quality products straight to the consumer.”
Here’s a summary of our key takeaways for anyone considering Five CBD:
- Strong, well-balanced full-spectrum extract rich in CBD and supporting compounds
- Competitively priced products across the board
- Knowledgeable and experienced team
- Practical, attractive website
- Full-spectrum only, not recommended for the THC-weary
All things considered, Five CBD is a great choice for anyone serious about getting the most out of a full-spectrum product at a very reasonable price.
Five, What’s Something You Wish More People Knew About Hemp-Derived CBD?
It’s our custom to ask this question as a way of bringing actionable insights from key players in the CBD industry directly to customers.
Here’s what JP told us:
“Everyone needs a quick rundown on what CBD actually is, how it affects your body, and the difference between isolate/broad-spectrum/full-spectrum.”
In the small window of time since their inception, Five has already managed to get out of Medterra’s shadow by doing two things very well:
- Setting a higher standard for full-spectrum CBD formulations.
- Saving customers money on top-tier CBD products with their lean business model.
Where they fall behind in variety of extracts, they gain ground in full-spectrum CBD potency and quality.
Their products are clean, effective, and affordable, and the Five leadership team knows what they’re doing.
We recommend Five to anyone comfortable with hard-hitting full-spectrum CBD products, THC and all.