The Netherlands has a reputation for being one of the most cannabis-friendly nations in Europe. Cannabis for personal use has been decriminalized in the region since 1972, and the country is even somewhat of a cannabis destination, thanks to its renowned cannabis coffee shops. Dutch people have embraced CBD and there’s an abundance of high-quality product options available both over-the-counter, and online. Fascinatingly, the government’s stance towards CBD is somewhat more ambiguous.
CBD products are widely available over the counter containing up to and including 0.05% THC. However, CBD is legally classified as a derivative of hemp, which is categorized as a List II soft drug under the country’s Opium Law. Despite this classification, however, CBD is tolerated and more or less treated as a legal product. Government legislation suggests that List II substances, such as hemp and cannabis, are not subject to prosecution when used in small quantities for personal use.
In this Leafreport guide, we’ll reveal our list of the top five CBD brands available in the Netherlands. We’ll also clarify some of the complexities of Dutch law regarding the sale and consumption of CBD, so you’re aware of what’s permissible and what’s not. Let’s jump in!
As a derivative of hemp, CBD falls under the country’s drug legislation, which is known as the Opium Act. Hemp is categorized as a List II substance (a soft drug). List II substances are viewed more permissively by Dutch authorities than List I (hard drug) substances, and the controlled sale of small amounts for personal use is tolerated, but not explicitly legal. Those who sell and purchase soft drugs are not prosecuted, provided they comply with certain conditions.
CBD products can be easily purchased throughout the Netherlands over the counter. The country allows CBD products derived from industrial hemp–on the condition that they contain 0.05% THC or less. Products cannot bear medical or therapeutic claims. Dutch authorities also recommend that the buyer should be advised to avoid consuming more than 160mg of CBD per day. CBD vape cartridges for use in vape pens are also banned.
Individuals who are interested in growing industrial hemp can cultivate strains containing less than 0.2% THC, but it cannot be processed to extract CBD.
Interestingly, the Netherlands is also tolerant when it comes to CBD-infused edibles and beverages, which is unique as many countries in Europe follow a more prohibitive stance. While many European countries have adopted the EU Novel Food Regulation that bans the sale of CBD in food, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority have not enforced any such rules to date. This means Dutch consumers are free to order CBD-infused chocolate, supplements, and edibles if they so desire, so long as they contain no more than 0.05% THC.
Dutch CBD users have access to some of the most reputable retailers of CBD products in the world. We’ve collated a list of all the CBD brands that ship to, or are sold in the Netherlands, and used the Leafreport rating system to evaluate them.
Here are the details on our scoring categories, and our choice of the five best CBD brands in the Netherlands.
Our rating system calculates scores according to the five criteria listed below. We add up the scores across these five categories to arrive at a total score out of 100.
Here are the five categories that we assess:
The brand is owned by employees and headed by Sequoia Price-Lazarus, who shares his story and vision for Lazarus Naturals on the brand’s website. Lazarus Naturals has an excellent reputation–in addition to creating reputable CBD products, they are also focused on a number of initiatives that give back to the community.
All products are made with CBD derived from USDA-certified organic hemp, grown in Oregon, which is then extracted using a cryogenic ethanol extraction process.
The brand offers a staggeringly wide range of tinctures, topicals, edibles (including chocolate bars), softgels and capsules, pet products and concentrates.
Lazarus Naturals offers extremely helpful, specific advice on dosage and how to use its products. There are specific warnings supplied for certain products–for example, the yuzu-flavored range of tinctures may not be suitable for people who need to avoid grapefruit for medical reasons.
Lazarus Naturals is cheaper than all other well-known, reputable brands. Their products average from 3 and 4 cents per mg of CBD–which is significantly cheaper than the industry average of approximately 7 cents per mg.
Lazarus Naturals consistently ranks among the highest reviews among CBD brands, and for good reason–when it comes to transparency and hemp quality, the brand holds itself to very high standards. Lazarus Naturals has achieved USDA certified organic status, B corp status, and subjects each and every one of its products to third-party purity and potency testing. The brand has a unique farm-to-door approach, that means they control every aspect of the production process–from growing organic hemp for CBD, to the harvest, to cryogenic ethanol extraction, to product formulation, and finally, to packaging. The Portland-based brand ships to diverse places around the globe, including the Netherlands. Oregon has a unique climate well-suited to growing industrial hemp.
If you had to find one drawback associated with Lazarus Naturals, it would be that there’s almost too much choice in the product range (which for some customers, isn’t necessarily a bad thing)! Among the CBD tinctures, for example, there’s a diversity of options with respect to standard or high-potency formulations, sizes, flavors, and full-spectrum or THC-free options on offer. For a newbie to CBD, the sheer choice could be a little overwhelming.
HempMeds is a subsidiary of Medical Marijuana, Inc. On the HempMeds About page you’ll find information of their humble beginnings and subsequent expansion to become a truly global CBD retailer. All HempMeds products are triple lab-tested to ensure purity, and give customers peace of mind.
HempMeds CBD products are produced from non-GMO hemp that is naturally cultivated without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers.
The brand offers capsules, tinctures, oils, edibles, topicals, and pet products. All of their products feature labels that clearly provide information about ingredients, dosage suggestions, and supplement facts.
The website is overwhelming to navigate, with products organized by green, blue, and gold labels. It’s not immediately clear what each colored label denotes. Products are also further categorized by performance, presentation, and type, which is helpful: you have the choice of browsing products that are THC-free for example, and checking if they’re in your preferred format.
When it comes to pricing, HempMeds is competitive. The brand offers a diverse selection of products, so pricing subsequently ranges from $0.08 – $1 per milligram of CBD. Topical products fall at the pricier end of the spectrum.
HempMeds has long been a pioneering force in the CBD space. The Californian arm of the company was established in 2012, but the brand has since gone global and now has an office in Brazil and Mexico. The brand is known for its transparent cultivation and production process. CBD is derived from non-GMO, organic hemp that is largely grown on farms in the Netherlands. Following harvest, the CBD is extracted using a supercritical CO2 extraction technique that’s free of chemical solvents. CO2 extraction is also recognized as one of the gold standards for the extraction of CBD from hemp. Triple third-party testing ensures the CBD oil is extremely pure. The brand’s Californian based formulators, who have received GMP certification, then create the HempMeds products.
One of the drawbacks associated with HempMeds’ offering is that it’s a globalized company that operates at scale–hemp is grown in the Netherlands, CBD oil is extracted in another location, then the resulting CBD oil is imported back into the US where it undergoes testing and formulation. Customers who prefer smaller-scale producers that handle every aspect of production may not resonate with this industrialized approach.
There’s limited information provided about the founders behind Root Wellness, but detail provided about the vision of environmentally-attuned wellness they aim to deliver with their products.
There’s an implicit indication that the brand derives CBD solely from organic hemp, but it’s difficult to confirm if this is the case. Additionally, there’s no clear information on how the CBD is extracted
Root Wellness offers a handful of products (seven, at last count) in tincture, topical, edible and capsule format. Their gummies are all 100% vegan, which is great news for those who adhere to a plant-based diet.
Without a dedicated brand webpage, it’s challenging to assess customer experience. Nonetheless, customer reviews suggest that there’s a high level of customer satisfaction associated with the brand’s products, and many returning buyers.
Root Wellness has slightly cheaper prices than comparable brands. Their products are priced at $0.05 – $0.2 per milligram of CBD.
Root Wellness is a wellbeing-focused CBD brand based in the US that ships worldwide. The brand is focused on creating CBD products that are good for people and help the planet– they contribute to reforestation efforts with every sale. Their tinctures are available in different concentrations and flavors, such as strawberry-kiwi. Flavored CBD oil options often appeal to those who find the grassy, earthy taste of hemp difficult to stomach. Many Root Wellness products are broad-spectrum, which allows consumers to enjoy the synergistic effects of different terpenes and cannabinoids, free from THC content. Their products are also clean and free of unnecessary additives–their capsules, for example, contain only MCT oil and CBD extract.
Bizarrely, the brand doesn’t appear to have its own website but sells via CBD sales platforms, which makes sourcing information about their process, or reaching out to customer service experts somewhat challenging. From the material that can be gleaned from third-party sales platforms, it’s difficult to formulate an understanding of the brand’s origins, farming practices, founders and ethos.
Tonic CBD offers plentiful information about their founder, mission statement, and cultivation and production processes. There’s details supplied about the farms where they grow their hemp, and the laboratories where extraction is carried out.
The brand derives its CBD from hemp grown at Tricolla Farms. The farms follow regenerative farming practises, but the brand does not state whether the hemp grown there is organic. CBD is then extracted from hemp using supercritical CO2 extraction (a clean and safe extraction process).
Tonic has a range of products on offer including edibles, tinctures, vape products, topicals and skincare products, pet products, and merchandise. They do not currently offer CBD isolate products.
When we reached out with a query, we found that Tonic CBD offered friendly, comprehensive customer service. Our questions were answered in detail, and the online shopping experience was easy. The website is aesthetically engaging and it’s straightforward to find your way around.
Tonic CBD offers a monthly subscription model, where you receive products on a monthly basis and save money. In general, their prices are slightly higher than similar brands, falling in the range of $0.10 to $0.25 per mg of CBD.
Based in Berkshire, New York, Tonic CBD was founded by personal trainer and health coach Brittany Carbone. Some of the brand’s CBD tincture blends contain adaptogenic ingredients, such as ashwagandha root, which is purported to further help how the body and mind manage stress. Tonic CBD uses CBD derived from hemp grown at Carbone’s family farm in New York. In 2019, the Tonic team expanded to include six women and the brand became Brittany’s full-time career. Some of the defining features of Tonic CBD are its stylish, minimalist aesthetic, and the brand’s partnership with different non-profit organizations that receive a portion of all sales. There’s also an online quiz to help you find the perfect product for your needs. If you’re looking for CBD products with a difference, Tonic offers artisanal CBD-infused chocolate, and t-shirts with the Tricolla Farm branding.
While Tonic CBD subjects all its products to third-party testing for potency, not all products appear to be tested for purity. Purity testing assesses products for contaminants, microbes, and heavy metals. With respect to potency, one of the products we ordered had a CBD variance level of 9% deviation from what was stated on the label. While this is below the 10% level that is acceptable, it’s definitely tending toward the upper limit.
All Mint Wellness products are third-party tested for potency, and most products are tested for purity. The brand has Good Pharmaceutical Practices (GPP) certification, and is Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliant.
There are no synthetic ingredients used in the brand’s CBD products. The Colorado hemp from which their CBD is derived is solvent and pesticide free–but is not certified organic.
Mint Wellness has a range of CBD products including tinctures, gel caps, topicals, gummies, bath bombs, and face masks.
The brand’s website is easy to navigate, with a clear FAQ section. However, they do not have a money-back satisfaction guarantee, opting instead to exchange products only if they are defective or incorrect. Their policy is that “all sales are final.”
Mint Wellness products have an average price point of $.06, which is lower than average when compared to other similar brands in the market.
Mint Wellness touts itself as offering pharmaceutical-grade CBD. The brand is based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and ships to diverse regions around the world, including the Netherlands. Mint Wellness is a legal, authorized grower of premium Colorado hemp. All of their CBD products are broad-spectrum, and free from THC. The brand uses CO2 extraction to source their CBD: an extraction process that is known to be both safe and effective. If you’re looking for more specialized CBD skincare and topical products, Mint has a diverse range on offer, including bath bombs, face masks, body butter, skin care creme and muscle rubs.
Third-party potency and purity test results are not easy to find on the brand’s website. The certificates of analysis are also incomplete, offering test results for some products, but not all.
A staggering variety of brands currently ship to the Netherlands: more than 80 in total. These brands include reputable CBD retailers from all over the world, offering Dutch customers a wide range of CBD products to choose from.
You can also find comprehensive Leafreport reviews for many of these brands using our brand search tool.
You can purchase CBD in many local shops located in major cities such as Amsterdam, including health food stores, wellbeing-focused stores, specialized CBD shops, and even beauty stores (if you’re shopping for CBD skincare or topical products).
Shopping for CBD in the Netherlands can be a fun experience. Stores generally carry a diversity of products, with knowledgeable staff who can offer excellent service. If you’re new to the world of CBD, in-store shopping can be helpful as you can ask for recommendations or advice. Some of the best-known CBD stores in the Netherlands include Canna Health Amsterdam, When Nature Calls, and Tatanka.
However, online shopping also represents a useful option if you prefer to shop for CBD from the privacy and ease of your own home. Online shopping also allows the buyer to shop at their own pace, taking time to research and compare brands and price points. As an added bonus, products are often cheaper as online platforms don’t have overheads.
Whether you’re purchasing CBD products in store or online, it’s also vital to know how to evaluate the quality and safety of products. Check the label so you know whether you’re buying broad-spectrum, full-spectrum or isolate. Confirm that the product has been third-party tested for both potency and purity. The certificates of analysis will divulge these results and inform you whether the product contains the CBD potency that is stated on the label, and if the formulation is free from harmful contaminants. It’s also vital to check the brand’s extraction method. Look for brands that use ethanol or supercritical CO2 extraction, as both represent safe, clean methods of extraction.
Lastly, check out Leafreport’s brand search tool, where you’ll find extensive independent reviews about diverse CBD brands that can help guide you in making a choice.
The Netherlands has a reputation as a cannabis-friendly nation. Its laws surrounding CBD, however, occupy in a gray zone. Although CBD can be easily purchased in the Netherlands, it’s not strictly legal. That being said, if you follow the conditions laid out for soft drug use and avoid CBD products that violate Dutch law, you’ll be unlikely to experience any problems.