Mexico has been ahead of the CBD curve for some time. CBD products containing 1% THC or less have been legal in Mexico since 2017, when they were made available for medical use. Since then, Mexico has been taking consistent strides towards further legalizing and defining its CBD and cannabis market. In 2018, the Central American nation declared that criminalizing personal cannabis use was unlawful, thereby decriminalizing its use. Legislation is also in the process of being drafted to legalize and regulate cannabis, but it still needs to be voted on.
At present, CBD products are available in Mexico, but are subject to some strict rules. Medicines containing CBD must be authorized by COFEPRIS (The Federal Commission for the Protection Against Sanitary Risk, and may require importation permits if they come from overseas. Hemp-derived CBD products must follow the legal requirements set forth for their product type. This legislation is similar to Canada, which also has a legal cannabis and CBD market that is tightly regulated.
In this Leafreport guide, we’ll guide you on the best CBD brands available in Mexico. We’ll unpack the legislation regulating the sale of various kinds of CBD products, and give insider advice on where and how to shop for CBD.
CBD oil has been legal in Mexico since 2017. Unlike many nations which maintain a strict threshold of 0.3% THC, Mexico permits up to 1% THC in its CBD products. CBD products containing 1% THC or less can be legally purchased throughout Mexico.
What’s more, Mexico has recently further enhanced its cannabis-friendly status. In June 2012, the Mexican Supreme Court voted to legalize recreational cannabis in Mexico. At present, the legal framework surrounding the cultivation, sale, distribution and consumption of cannabis products is being finalized.
The Mexican CBD industry is regulated by COFEPRIS, or the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk. CBD products sold, exported, or imported into Mexico must meet the criteria outlined by COFEPRIS. Anecdotal reports suggest, however, that Mexicans haven’t experienced difficulty importing overseas CBD products without COFEPRIS approval. Specific CBD products, such as cosmetics or dietary supplements, must also meet the legislative requirements relevant to their product category.
Industrial hemp can be cultivated in Mexico, but it must not contain more than 1% THC. Individuals growing hemp must receive a license from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Mexico was one of the early pioneers of cultivating CBD, which means that the country has already established several of its own CBD brands. However, the number of CBD companies is still limited, so Mexican consumers seeking greater product diversity may opt to order from abroad. As the THC allowance for CBD products is generous under Mexican law, consumers can choose from a range of full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolate products.
We’ve selected our pick of the top five CBD brands available to Mexican consumers using our unique Leafreport rating system. Here’s the criteria we use to evaluate CBD brands:
The Leafreport rating system assesses each brand according to the five categories listed below. We then tally the scores across these criteria to reach a total score out of 100.
Lazarus Naturals publishes all their third-party CoA (Certificate of Analysis) potency and purity tests. Each batch undergoes multiple rounds of testing which include cannabinoid potency, terpenes, heavy metals, pesticides, microbial contaminants and residual solvents. Before processing the hemp is again tested for potency, heavy metals, and pesticides Post-extraction, the raw oil is tested for these same analytes in addition to testing for residual solvents.
Lazarus Naturals recently earned USDA Organic Certification for its hemp. 70% of its hemp crops are cultivated on the Lazarus Organic Farm in Oregon, adhering to sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices. The other 30% is sourced from trusted organic Oregon growers.
Lazarus Naturals has a diverse selection of CBD products including tinctures, topicals, capsules, RSO (their famous Rick Simpson Oil), pet products, edibles, bulk isolate, CBD-infused coconut oil, and others. All Lazarus products are gluten-free, and the vast majority are also vegan. In other words, there’s a product for all tastes and needs.
The Lazarus Naturals website is both creative and intuitive, encouraging customers to shop by category or by benefit. The website additionally offers a guide that outlines the various product categories and their intended effects.
Lazarus Naturals is one of the most competitively priced CBD brands in the industry, with an average price of 3 to 4 cents per milligram of CBD. This is significantly more affordable than other well-known, reputable CBD brands that are also certified organic. The average price per milligram across the industry as a whole is $0.12 per milligram.
Lazarus Naturals is an Oregon-based CBD brand that ships all over the globe, including Mexico. Lazarus Naturals was founded by Sequoia Lazarus-Price in 2014, who had a vision of creating a ‘farm-to-front door’ CBD company. Today, Lazarus Naturals CBD products are grown, manufactured, and packaged by one company, and the brand has become one of the most reputable in the industry. As Lazarus Naturals state on their website, their commitment to a vertically integrated model allows them to ensure that all products meet their standards of quality, potency and consistency. Lazarus Naturals products are available in two formulations: full-spectrum, and THC-free. The brand also supports a number of social justice and environmental initiatives, and offers an assistance program for individuals lacking the financial means to access CBD products. This level of social conscience certainly stands out as unique.
If there are any drawbacks associated with Lazarus Naturals, it’s that products are not accompanied by a money-back guarantee. Nonetheless, the Lazarus Naturals website states that it will settle any issues and provide refunds on a case-by-case basis. Customer reviews suggest that most buyers are very satisfied with their purchases, with little cause to complain.
Third-party lab reports for both purity and potency can easily be located on the PureKana website, with the most up-to-date results available on each product page. The PureKana website offers fascinating insights into PureKana and the brand’s mission. Jeff Yauck and Cody Alt, the founders behind PureKana, both hail from backgrounds in the health and wellness industry.
PureKana hemp is cultivated in Kentucky. While the hemp is not certified organic, it is free from GMOs, solvents, herbicides, and pesticides. The brand extracts CBD from hemp using CO2 extraction, a gold standard extraction method in the industry.
PureKana retails a wide selection of CBD products including gummies, edibles, topicals, vape pens, pet products, self-care products (like lip balm and bath bombs), transdermal patches, and more. Some of these products are also vegan-friendly, which will appeal to those following plant-based diets.
PureKana has a satisfied customer base, with almost 7,000 Trustpilot reviews and an average rating of 4.5 stars. The brand’s responsiveness is not as impressive, however. When Leafreport approached PureKana with some questions regarding their farming practices, our inquiries went unanswered.
PureKana product prices range from $0.06 per mg of CBD to $0.15. This makes PureKana very competitively priced. There are a number of ways to access discounts, such as coupon codes that are redeemable at checkout. The CBD Discount Program also offers veterans, low-income individuals and those with disabilities affordable access to PureKanaCBD.
Arizona-based PureKana ships free all over the world, including Mexico. PureKana makes it easy to access third-party lab reports on their website using their certificate of analysis search tool. The brand also offers a number of insightful resources on CBD on their website that are ideal for newbie consumers interested in learning more about the cannabinoid. One point of difference that distinguishes PureKana from competitor CBD brands is that they retail other minor cannabinoids, such as Delta-8 products, and cannabigerol (CBG)-infused products. Delta-8 is an intoxicating cannabinoid derived from CBD that is extracted from industrial hemp. CBG is a minor cannabinoid found in hemp. Mexican consumers who are curious about trying other low-THC hemp products will likely appreciate PureKana’s minor cannabinoid options. PureKana’s CBD range is available in isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum formulations, all of which are legal in Mexico.
If there’s one area that PureKana could improve on, it’s their product labeling. While browsing the website, it’s not explicitly clear whether products are created using isolate, broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD oil. Curious consumers will need to check the product’s ingredient list to figure out what formulation they’re purchasing.
Tonic CBD’s website is super transparent, with plentiful insights about their founder Brittany Carbone. Details are also given about the brand’s cultivation and production processes, and the family farm where the hemp is grown. Third-party tests are readily available and attached to each product description.
Tonic CBD’s hemp is grown at Tricolla Farms in upstate New York. The farm adheres to regenerative farming practices but it’s unclear whether the hemp grown there is certified organic. Tonic extracts its CBD using supercritical CO2 extraction, a gold standard extraction method.
Tonic products will appeal to those seeking CBD as a lifestyle and beauty product. The brand has a range of products on offer, including gourmet CBD-infused chocolate, tinctures (which are called doses), vape pens, raw flower anti-aging compounds and skincare, pet products, and hip merchandise. Some of the CBD formulations are teamed with natural superfood or botanical compounds such as ashwagandha or black seed oil.
When Leafreport reached out with a question, the brand responded with friendly and insightful customer service. Shopping on the Tonic website is easy and intuitive. The website is aesthetically engaging, with lots of helpful detail (but not too much) and it’s straightforward to find your way around.
Tonic’s prices verge towards the higher end of the CBD spectrum, falling in the range of $0.10 to $0.25 per mg of CBD. CBD costs $.12 per milligram on average across the industry. However, the brand offers a monthly subscription model called “The Steady Supply”, where consumers receive products on a monthly basis and save money. First time buyers can also receive 15% off their purchase.
Tonic CBD was founded by personal trainer and health coach Brittany Carbone. The brand is based in Berkshire, New York, and ships to select countries across the globe, including Mexico. Tonic stands out in a crowded industry thanks to its innovative product selection. The brand’s tinctures (which it calls “doses”) team CBD with adaptogenic and superfood ingredients such as organic ashwagandha, black seed oil, lemon balm and passionflower. All doses are made using CBD distillate, which is a formulation containing CBD with other minor cannabinoids (but no THC). The doses are categorized by their intended therapeutic effects, such as grounding, chilling, and flexing (to improve muscle recovery). The brand cultivates a stylish, minimalist aesthetic, and many of the products have an artisanal feel. There’s also a quiz to help those new to the world of CBD determine the best product for their needs.
If there are any areas that Tonic could improve on, it would be making its third-party test results available in one centralized hub. At present, the results are available on individual product pages, but there’s very little explanation supplied about what has been tested, and what the testing process involves (for example, whether the hemp is tested after harvest, or after the CBD has been extracted.)
The HempMeds website offers fascinating insights into the brand’s humble beginnings way back in 2009. Nowadays, HempMeds is a global distributor of CBD products, with an office located in Mexico. All HempMeds products are triple lab-tested to ensure that products meet purity and potency expectations.
HempMeds CBD products are formulated using non-GMO hemp that is naturally cultivated without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. There’s not a great deal of information supplied about the European farms where the hemp is cultivated, or whether they’re certified organic.
HempMeds offers one of the most comprehensive arrays of CBD formulations on the market. Delivery methods available include capsules, tinctures, oils, edibles, topicals, and pet products. These products can be purchased in a range of different concentrations and formulations. All of their products feature labels that clearly provide information about ingredients, dosage suggestions, and supplement facts.
Due to the sheer variety of CBD formulations, HempMeds website can be somewhat overwhelming. Products are organized by green, blue, and gold labels. It’s not immediately clear what each colored label denotes. The brand does offer a helpful online chat service, however, where it’s easy to reach out and ask questions during business hours.
HempMeds products are competitively priced. Prices vary dramatically, with options that can suit diverse budgets. Average prices range as low as $0.03 per milligram of CBD to $0.21.
HempMeds is a pioneering company in the CBD industry. The brand began formulating and distributing CBD oil in the US way back in 2012, and now has offices throughout Latin America as well as the US, making the company truly global. The hemp is cultivated in the Netherlands, adhering to natural, chemical-free farming practices. It is then sent back to the US for supercritical CO2 CBD extraction and product formulation in GMP-certified facilities. One of the distinctive points of difference about HempMeds is that the brand fastidiously adheres to a three-phase testing process. The hemp is first tested in Europe throughout the growing season and again after harvest. It is tested once more when it arrives in the United States, checking for potency and purity. After the products have been formulated, each batch is then tested a final time.
One of the drawbacks associated with HempMeds’ offering is that it is a globalized business that targets wholesale buyers and businesses looking for bulk CBD. Customers who resonate more with smaller-scale producers that handle every aspect of production may not resonate with this industrialized approach.
The Smilyn website offers lots of information about the brand’s founder, Brett Weiss, and other members of the Smilyn team, who largely hail from business and entrepreneurial backgrounds. The brand is also transparent with its third-party testing results, which are easily accessible online with certificates of analysis organized by product.
Smilyn derives its CBD from proprietary strains of hemp. Their hemp is grown using “safe and natural” organic cultivation methods, using naturally developed genetic strains of industrial hemp. However, the brand doesn’t appear to have organic certification.
Smilyn offers a diverse product range, including tinctures, gummies, softgels, roll-on sticks, salves, patches, lotions, face masks and pet products The tinctures also come in a rainbow array of flavors, such as grape and cinnamon. For those curious to try other cannabinoids derived from industrial hemp, like Delta-8, there is also a range of products starring these minor cannabinoids.
Smilyn’s website is bright, colorful, and easy to use. There are helpful resources for consumers curious about some of the more scientific and legal aspects of CBD use. Consumers with questions can reach out via the webform, phone number, email, or social media.
Smilyn’s price point ranges from $0.04 – $1 per milligram of CBD, depending on the product. There’s a loyalty rewards program along with other incentives to buy, such as a 20% discount with the first order.
Smilyn Wellness is a brand specializing in CBD and other minor cannabinoids derived from hemp. Based in Carlsbad, California, the brand grows its hemp in Colorado, and ships its products to countries around the world including Mexico. The brand takes CBD seriously, using food-grade ethanol in their extraction method, with the subsequent product subjected to a “patented technology” to ensure that all their CBD products are absolutely THC-free. Smilyn also uses nanoemulsion in some of its product formulations, a technology that enhances the bioavailability of the product so that customers experience enhanced effects with lower doses. All products are tested in house, before being subjected to independent third-party testing. One of the brand’s other notable points of difference is the range of minor cannabinoids on offer. There are Delta-8, Delta-10, THC-O, TCHP, and HHC products–including innovative options such as Delta-8 infused chocolate bars.
If there’s one major drawback associated with Smilyn, it’s that the brand’s CBD products are formulated with distillate, which is a broad-spectrum CBD oil. There are just two edible options containing both Delta-9 THC and CBD. This lack of variety may deter Mexican consumers seeking to experience the entourage effect.
While Mexico boasts some home-grown CBD companies such as CBD Life, the Mexican industry is still in its infancy. Mexican consumers who are keen to access a wider diversity of products can, however, choose from a range of brands that ship to the region. Some of the CBD companies that ship to Mexico are among the most reputable in the world.
If you’d like to learn more about any of the brands below, or are interested in accessing independent reviews of their products, take a look at the Leafreport brand search tool.
Like other nations where CBD is legal, Mexico has a rigorous framework controlling the sale of the cannabinoid. COFEPRIS, the main regulatory body that oversees the sale of CBD supplements, has only approved a handful of brands to sell within the Central American nation. Nonetheless, CBD stores in Mexico are growing in popularity, with specialized shops popping up in large metropolises such as capital Mexico City. Some of the more popular options for in-store shopping include the HempMeds Mexico store, CBD Mexico, and Thulio Coffee Shop. Other tourist hotspots such as Quintana Roo in Cancun have also seen a surge in CBD shopfronts.
Shopping for CBD in person offers a number of benefits. For starters, consumers can access some uniquely Mexican CBD products, such as Mariguanol, a beloved Mexican CBD balm. Storefronts usually also have knowledgeable staff who are familiar with the products and can make recommendations based on your needs.
That being said, shopping online also boasts advantages. Online retailers generally sell CBD products at very competitive prices, thanks to reduced overheads. Shopping online also means you have access to a wider range of products. As mentioned earlier, COFEPRIS has only approved a limited range of CBD products, so consumers looking for more specialized or niche products may have more luck finding them online. Finally, online shopping allows buyers to take their time researching and reviewing products.
Regardless of where you choose to purchase CBD, it’s vital to assess the product for purity and potency before you buy. As the CBD market is largely unregulated, independent third-party testing represents one of the most effective ways to check if a product delivers what it promises.
Third-party purity tests reveal if the product exceeds harmful levels of contaminants such as microbes, residual solvents, herbicides, or heavy metals. Third-party potency tests confirm whether the levels of cannabinoids in the product match what is stated on the label, or fall within an accepted variance level of 10%.
Most brands publish their third-party test results on their website as lab reports or certificates of analysis. Some also include a QR code to their product labels, which direct the consumer to the relevant certificate.
If you’re curious about learning how to read a certificate of analysis, take a look at our Leafreport guide.
Mexico has legalized the sale of CBD products and cultivation of hemp crops that contain up to 1% THC. While the sale of CBD within Mexico is tightly regulated, many CBD stores are springing up throughout the nation.
Mexican CBD shoppers can choose from a limited range of CBD brands and products approved by regulatory body COFEPRIS. They can also purchase overseas brands by buying online.
One thing is for certain: the country’s recent June 2021 legalization of recreational cannabis will likely mean a wider diversity of CBD and cannabis products become available in the coming years. Watch this space!