My overall review of Kats Botanicals is average. The good news is that all of the ingredients used in their full spectrum CBD oil are plant based, and they use cruelty free methods to test their products, rendering the final CBD products suitable for vegans. Yes, even the gummies. They believe that CBD products should improve both body and planet; so they source all of their CBD from hemp grown using sustainable and ethical non-GMO farming practices on organic farms in the mountains, and using organic coconut MCT during formulation.
They carry a wide range of CBD potencies from 10 mg to 2500 mg, but have few options in the product lines with different potencies. Their prices range from $29.99 up to $169.99, which equals an affordable $.03 price per mg of CBD for their isolate and $.08 for their salve. At the highest $.12 per mg of CBD for their tinctures, Kats Botanicals is a solid, competitively priced brand when looking at comparable brands in the market.
As far as their formulation and extraction, they provide extensive details about the manufacturing processes that result in their final phytocannabinoid rich, organic, full spectrum CBD oil products. Their customer service team is responsive and communicates quickly through email and the online live chat feature.
The not so good news is that their CBD product catalog is sparse, containing only tinctures, gummies, one topical, and one isolate— when it is in stock. Absent are the popular CBD softgels, which are a consumer staple, and a Vape selection. They also do not carry any Pet or skincare CBD products, leaving customers with only a few delivery methods to choose from on a cluttered website.
More problematic for consumers is the lack of transparency concerning each product’s third party quality control lab results, or COA. Customers must send a written request to the company via email before they receive the “independent” third party reports for each ordered product, but these attachments are sent from the company’s in house customer support team via the company’s owner. In today’s CBD market, this behavior is not only inconvenient, but also increases the chance of receiving confusing or inaccurate information about the exact contents of the products.
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Established in 2016, Kats Botanicals offers full spectrum CBD and was founded by owner Justin Kats to provide quality natural solutions. Their core mission at Kats Botanicals is to bring consumers the purest, safest products in the market at the best possible prices, according to their website.
Based in New Jersey, the Kats Botanicals family is composed of farmers, doctors and chemists, web developers, marketers, and writers, all of whom they credit with the success of their brand. Their products are grown with care and hand harvested following 100% organic, sustainable farming practices. Their full spectrum CBD hemp extract contains no more than the 0.3% legal amount of THC, which means that customers can experience the full benefits of pure, organic CBD.
Their full spectrum CBD is the result of Kats Botanicals using the whole hemp plant versus isolate. Their phytocannabinoid rich CBD is made up of many cannabinoids that naturally occur in the hemp plant, along with other plant compounds such as terpenes, chlorophyll, flavonoids, and fatty acids. Their CBD isolate, on the other hand, is simply the pure CBD, isolated from all other cannabinoids.
Every Kats Botanicals product is refined and processed legally under federal laws and restrictions, adhering to the production and distribution guidelines that allow multistate CBD sales. They use a state certified third party testing lab, and their products carry a 30 day full refund guarantee.
If you have any questions, complaints, or need guidance, their customer support team is available via email, phone, online live chat, and social media with all pertinent details clearly outlined on their Contact page. Customers can quickly find answers to FAQs online as well. They have links to comprehensive information on the brand and products offered.
Prominently displayed as a banner on every page on the Kats Botanicals website is the customer support phone number and email address, along with a Chat and Order Basket widget. They also provide a physical location address for their company, in addition to providing The CBD Bible.
According to the company, at the center of the Kats Botanicals business model, is “integrity and full transparency” concerning the contents of their CBD oil. Unfortunately for consumers, the third party lab testing results that would validate that claim are omitted from the site. In fact, the lab reports for all of their products are unavailable to consumers without an emailed written request to customer support.
The purpose of quality control and third party CBD oil lab test results is that they are quickly available to consumers. Kats Botanicals lab results are actually available for viewing and download only after receiving a reply email with lab results attached. The problem with this behind the scenes practice is that the consumer receives that lab report from the company’s own internal customer support team after being forwarded to them by the owner. This allows for the possibility of mismatched or vague lab reports, and deprives consumers of the sense of trust necessary from a CBD company in today’s market.
Currently, with little regulation of the market, CBD vendors need to ensure their customers know they are consuming a reliable product free from harmful additives. Kats Botanicals tests for CBD potency, overall cannabinoid content, and terpene profile, heavy metals, microbes, pathogens such as E.coli, and any residual solvents leftover from the extraction procedure and distillation process. Each of these categories is important for determining the potency, efficacy and safety of CBD products.
However, the lack of firsthand access to these tests is not transparent behavior. With a practice in place that restricts objective, open consumer access to the results, Kats Botanicals does not achieve concrete quality assurance and transparency to their consumers, allowing room for doubt that their product batch has indeed been rigorously, independently tested.
Their third party lab, Botanacor, utilizes cGMP, displays an ISO 17025 Accreditation seal, and delivers Colorado state certified results; however, consumers are unable to view their product’s corresponding COA without a formal request. This back and forth method undermines consumer trust because it does not provide complete transparency to the level of currently acceptable CBD industry standards.
The average variance in third party testing for CBD content was 11.4% which is slightly above the acceptable 10% range. The highest variance was on the 500 mg Vanilla flavor tincture at just over 4% at 521.8 mg of CBD per 30ml bottle and the lowest variance was found in the 500 mg CBD salve, at well under the allowed limit. THC was listed as nondetectable for most products, with the highest level being less than half of the legal 0.3% concentration limit.
They are a legal, authorized grower of premium hemp that contains pure, high quality hemp oil grown in the nutrient rich soils of Colorado. Kats Botanicals sources top quality hemp from farms in Colorado, United States, and they use an organic phytocannabinoid rich (PCR) hemp to ensure their CBD products are effective. They use an ethanol extraction process for all of their products, witnessed by the presence of ethyl alcohol on labels and reports.
Concerning lab testing and analysis, I couldn’t easily check the batch number against the third party lab reports matching each product’s individual QR code, because only one of my four products had a QR code. When I finally was able to cross reference my purchased products with the linked third party lab reports, all of my products were found to be within the legal 0.3% THC limit, as clearly labeled on the products.
Matching the CBD concentration listed on the product labels to the corresponding lab test results was not difficult once the reports were emailed to me. When assessing the results, all products wildly tested between a 1.02% to 21.8% variance in CBD from the stated value, ranging from well below the acceptable 10% to above the 10% allowed variance.
The highest variance of 21.8% was on the 500 mg CBD Vanilla tincture. The lowest variance was 1.02% on the 500 mg CBD salve. All THC was below the 0.3% limit, at .016% THC being the highest amount detected in my order.
Customers of Kats Botanicals must rely on checking each product’s description online, along with the corresponding product labels received. In today’s market, consumers need immediate peace of mind, and look for obvious links to a company’s lab test results from an independent third party lab.
Unfortunately, with their current policy of revealing lab results only through email exchange, checking accuracy on the Kats Botanicals lab reports was not easy, and three reports had to be requested in writing before I could compare the results with my purchased products.
Founded in 2016, Kats Botanicals has a solid reputation for using 100% natural, vegan ingredients to produce non-GMO, organic CBD products. According to their website, Kats Botanicals products are crafted using hemp that is sustainably farmed in nutrient rich soil and extracted using a safe ethanol process. Their products are formulated using organic MCT oil and without using chemicals, fillers, artificial flavors or ingredients.
Kats Botanicals has experienced rapid growth in the past year throughout the U.S. and Canada, opening a new fulfillment center in Hackensack, NJ. in October 2019. This new center was created to allow the company to process and ship orders faster. They have now more than doubled in size, with ten full time staff currently working across their sales, product fulfillment, and customer support teams.
They have built a solid reputation for having a competitive price range of PCR (phytocannabinoid rich) and organic full spectrum CBD products, using all natural and 100% vegan ingredients. However, even with their new 6,000 square foot in house facility, processing times vary greatly depending on the payment method used by consumers.
Kats Botanicals works with organic farmers in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado who grow their hemp at 8,000 ft, which the company claims to be the first hemp flower to be grown at such a high altitude. The farmers operate under strict guidelines and truck in nutrient rich soil and fertilizer for their fields. They use natural farming methods, like their specialized drip irrigation method, to supply nutrient rich food to the hemp plants in order to boost yield. The high altitude minimizes the need for pesticides and fungicides, according to the company, so they use no weed herbicides or pesticides whatsoever. Lab reports reflect this, with no contaminants detected.
Prior to planting hemp, their farmers grow alfalfa in those same fields, and the company reports that the high altitude of their farms produces hemp with a wider cannabinoid range for a higher quality full spectrum CBD product. Kats Botanicals uses a whole plant extraction process that allows them to remove and process the maximum amount of CBD, using the whole hemp plant and all parts in the extraction process so that the resulting oil offers a diverse profile of cannabinoids, terpenes, and CBD, including less than 0.3% THC.
All of their CBD products except the isolate contain full spectrum oil, extracted using an ethanol process which does not produce the identical cleaning effects as CO2 extraction. However, they do not use any residual solvents during their hemp extraction process.
Kats Botanicals products are formulated using coconut derived MCT, or medium chain triglycerides, oil for easy digestion. Their products are also blended with naturally occurring tocopherols and ethyl alcohol. MCT oil is the ideal carrier oil CBD because the fatty acids allow the body to absorb the CBD faster and more effectively for maximum bioavailability, and theirs is sourced from organic coconut oil.
They publish their entire extraction and formulation process in detail and it is available for review on their website. Kats Botanicals claims to test every batch of hemp they produce with a state certified third party lab to ensure purity, quality, and consistency. These third party lab tests are an important quality and safety control measure, as it ensures that what is on the label in terms of CBD and THC content matches what is in the contents of each final product. Third party testing also detects the presence of any contaminants that may be harmful to a person’s health, such as E.coli, pesticides, residual solvents, or other microorganisms and mycotoxins.
While time consuming to obtain, I used the company’s email provided QR lab report attachments from Botanacor to verify three main products by calculating the deviation of the values found in the lab report, or COA, and the values listed on the product label.
The lab results for the CBD gummies (10mg CBD/serving) was obtained by scanning the QR code once on the label once on the gummies landing page of the main Kats Botanicals website. This process was not clearly explained and again, customer support had to help.
I found that this product had 10.2 mg of CBD per serving (1 gummy), which is nominally more CBD total than what is listed. This means there is a 2% variance, lower than the acceptable 10%. There was .0% THC. This product passed testing for microbes and all other contaminants.
The other 2 batch numbers had to be located for me, and the corresponding lab results were emailed via customer support. Although the lab results I was sent did not exactly match the batch numbers on my products, they were lab results for 500 mg Vanilla tincture and that was a match to my potency. The lab report I received for the sample batch of their 500 mg tincture had a CBD variance of slightly over 20% and was well below the legal limit of THC, measuring a nominal amount.
The 500 mg Blueberry tincture results did match my batch number and came back with a 3.7% variance in CBD content and .016% variance in THC content. The 500 mg CBD salve had only a 9.8% variance. Both products were under the 10% variance allowed and all products tested at or under the legal .3% THC limit, as advertised on labels.
They offer a high quality line of full spectrum CBD tinctures, gummies, and one topical salve, but absent from their product catalog is any type of CBD softgel offering. Added to the fact that Kats Botanicals does not carry any vape or pet products, and the consumer is left with a limited product selection from which to choose. Kats Botanicals does carry one CBD isolate product; however, they have trouble keeping it in stock.
The vegan, organic tinctures offered by Kats Botanicals contain only four clean, pure ingredients, including organic coconut MCT oil. While they deliver a smooth, flavorful taste with their Blueberry and Vanilla tinctures, their Natural CBD tincture can have a distinct herbal, grassy taste that can be challenging for new consumers. All three of their tincture varieties ensure maximum bioavailability through ethanol extraction, as seen in the miniscule presence of ethyl alcohol on the corresponding lab reports and as clearly outlined on their website.
One exception is their CBD isolate product, which is extracted using a CO2 extraction process rather than ethanol, to ensure that the most pure form of the CBD cannabinoid can be gleaned using the most clean extraction method recognized in the industry. The lab tests I viewed support the 99%+ CBD claim, boasting a highly potent 98.6% total CBD concentration in this Kats Botanicals CBD isolate product choice, with 0.0% THC.
Notably, their CBD extract is sourced from certified organic, non-GMO hemp plants. This distinction is of special importance to consumers because hemp is a bioaccumulator, easily absorbing and retaining any and all elements from its soil, water, and air environments— even trace amounts of heavy metals or pesticides. The lab reports confirmed that no contaminants were detected in any of the product samples.
Kats Botanicals 500 mg to 2500 mg CBD tinctures are offered in both natural and vanilla and blueberry flavors and feature a minimal amount of pure, plant based ingredients in each 30ml bottle. At $.07 to $.12 per mg of CBD, they compare evenly with other moderately priced brands on the market. No age range is specified for their tinctures, but they prominently display a full FDA disclosure and recommend use by adults.
The lab reports for the tinctures showed the most variance of CBD and THC content with a low 3.7% variance in the amount of CBD and a 1.6% THC variance in the 500 mg Blueberry flavor, resulting in both being under the 10% allowance. However, there was a 21.8% variance in CBD contained in the 500 mg Vanilla flavor, which is above the acceptable variance limit.
All the ingredients are plant based and derived from sustainable sources. In addition, their manufacturing and testing processes are also cruelty free, making their CBD vegan.
They use a whole plant ethanol extraction process and suggest consuming this product sublingually, recommending that users keep the drops underneath the tongue for 60 seconds before swallowing in order to allow the body’s veins and capillaries to absorb the cannabinoids and terpenes more effectively. This suggested usage will also deliver the CBD compounds into the body’s bloodstream and endocannabinoid system faster, according to the company.
The tincture instructs consumers to start with 1 ml of tincture and wait for 30 to 45 minutes to gauge the effect, but there are no measuring marks on the dropper.
Their flavored and natural tinctures are approved for baking, with a careful note to not heat the product above 356°F to avoid damaging the delicate botanical compounds in the tincture and losing the potency. Their Natural tincture is mild enough to enjoy on its own, but it also carries the suggestion by the company of adding it to a beverage, or to a range of recipes, such as salad dressings and pesto.
This is a pure 99%+ CBD isolate, or CBD crystal powder made from whole plant hemp oil, according to the company. Unlike their other products, the isolate uses a CO2 extraction method and processed in a highly controlled environment using proprietary methods to achieve the best bioavailability.
It contains a non detectable or 0.0% THC, as the label states, and is free of pesticides, additives. This perfect tests at 0.0% for all other cannabinoids except CBD, which came back at 98.6% pure per the third party lab report. This product directs users to start with a low initial dose of this potent, concentrated product, but no age range is discussed.
It is easy to measure and dose out to add as an ingredient to food or drinks, such as coffee or smoothies. At only $29.99 for 1000 mg and $.03 per mg of CBD, this Kats Botanicals isolate is below average pricing in the market and a good deal for customers.
For targeted topical CBD benefits, this salve is 100% organic and non-GMO, as well as free from pesticides, herbicides, and any chemicals. This unscented salve is a soothing and hydrating CBD salve, according to the company, with a balanced combination of whole plant, high potency hemp oil, beeswax, butters, and essential oils. It has the texture of a balm with no residue.
If it is your first time using CBD salve, the company recommends that consumers ease slowly into finding relief with their 500 mg formula. To achieve faster relief, the company suggests using their 1000 mg high potency formulation. It is approved for use by all ages, according to the website.
Suggested use by the company is to apply the salve topically to soothe aches, pains, or as a daily moisturizer on rough, dry skin, but I am not making health claims. It can be used as often as needed and gives areas of the body on which to use salve safely. This product is for external use only.
Starting at a $59.99 price point for the lower potency, a consumer pays $.11 per mg of CBD, which compares equally with similar, competitive to moderately priced brands. The 500 mg CBD salve showed a 9.8% variance between the label and the lab report, which is barely under the 10% variance allowed. This product tested under the legal 0.3% THC limit advertised on the labels at nearly immeasurable .002% variance.
Kats Botanicals new Passion fruit and Berry CBD gummies have infused CBD in them, not just coating their surface, which does make a difference in terms of bioavailability and absorption. These are a convenient way to get a dose of CBD to boost well being, according to the company.
The company suggests consumers use 1 to 2 gummies per day or night. Each individual piece has 10 mg of CBD infused into it with 30 gummies in each 300 mg product container. They have recently added a scannable QR code on their new gummies product label for direct consumer access to the third party lab reports, which is the first QR code found on the four products in my order.
On the company’s website, these gummies are recommended for responsible, adult use and not for children. The CBD gummies come in an opaque white bottle with a freshness pack that customers are directed to leave inside until the product has been used in its entirety. It also comes with a double childproof seal, one clear plastic seal outside the bottle’s neck to break before opening, and another seal under the lid to peel off in order to access the product contents for use.
Made in a GMP compliant factory, these vegan fruit flavored gummies use an ethanol extraction process, and the all natural ingredients are clearly listed on the label, such as Organic Berry Extract as natural flavoring and Vegetable glycerin.
At $29.99 for 300 mg of CBD, consumers pay $.07 per mg. This is not only an affordable price point, but is also comparable and slightly lower than other moderately priced brands, who don’t offer the same GMP compliant, certified organic, 100% plant product certification that consumers can find with all Kats Botanicals products.
They do not currently offer CBD samples or bundle packs, but you’ll receive a code good for 15% off your first order by opting in to receive their company email delivered to your inbox. Fair warning though: I have received at least one email every day from this company, so they will market to your email inbox.
They do run sales often, with the most recent being their Flash 25% off sale. Their Military discount is 15% off every order, and they also offer a unique Disability discount of 15% off as well. Both of these require submission of proof to receive the savings.
The ordering process was not easy and the website is a bit cluttered. Kats Botanicals sells other products in addition to CBD, so you’ll find a dense and comprehensive look at their entire product line —even if you don’t want to. It is somewhat user friendly once you find that page you are looking for. However, almost every page repeats the same statements with different wording, meaning that you must read and sift through all of the details on the page to get key pieces of information, like the suggested uses and other ingredients. As required by law, a full FDA disclaimer appears at the bottom of each product page.
While the company’s recent move to the new in house fulfillment center offers faster shipping, processing time varies depending on which payment method you use. Credit Card orders ship the same or next business day from the time the order is placed. Once an ACH, or automated check, order is processed by the consumer’s bank, it takes an additional 5 business days to clear. This time frame occurs before Kats Botanicals will ship your order out, adding processing time.
I ordered several products: full spectrum CBD Vanilla and Blueberry tinctures, CBD Berry gummies, and a topical CBD salve. My order was processed in about 5 days before being shipped via Priority Mail. They emailed me a shipping confirmation with a tracking number, and I received my order in a discreet, nondescript white package fairly quickly within 4 business days.
The products were securely packaged and contained individually bubble wrapped glass items. The gummies had a separate, interior bubble envelope that also contained 2 small cold packs used to prevent stickiness in the product.
If you have a question, complaint or request for their customer service team, you can talk to a live person. I did not have to wait on hold when I called them to inquire about discounts. Notably, however, I did have to immediately contact customer support by email concerning third party lab results for several products in my order. The company team replied within 3 hours of my request with the following email:
I repeated this process for three items in total, and much time was spent watching my email before I could try my purchased products. This method of disclosing third party lab results only upon written request for each product is not only extremely time consuming and inconvenient for the buyer, but it is also evidence of the lack of overall transparency at Kats Botanicals.
They reportedly value all feedback, both positive and negative, and claim to tangibly use feedback to improve their product catalog. So far, that customer feedback has not translated into a wider product variety, as they still offer no vape, pet or softgel CBD products.
As mentioned, I ordered several products, and here is my review of each.
For wellness and general relief, the company’s label suggests dropping your desired amount sublingually before swallowing normally, starting with a 1 ml dose of tincture and waiting for at least 30 minutes before taking another dose of this product. However, the dropper is missing any measurement notations, so you have no idea the exact dose you are consuming and the health claims are per the company only. They offer tinctures in potencies ranging from 500 to 2500 mg for a 30 ml size.
There are four simple, organic ingredients: coconut MCT oil, full spectrum hemp extract, sunflower oil, natural flavoring with natural tocopherols, and ethyl alcohol. MCT oil is used as the carrier oil for their CBD for easier digestion. This 500 mg Vanilla tincture is extracted using an ethanol method and has a musky aroma. It tastes somewhat like vanilla, but not quite. There is still a slight herbal aftertaste to this light amber colored tincture.
Plus, with Kats Botanicals, the consumer gets GMP compliant, certified organic and 100% vegan full spectrum CBD products. According to the lab reports, the Vanilla CBD variance was above the allowed 10% deviation, with a variance of 10.9% CBD over the stated 500 mg potency, or 521.8 mg of CBD.
Their Blueberry flavored CBD oil offers a broad range of cannabinoids, in addition to naturally occurring terpenes, which heighten the effect of CBD on your body according to the company. It is medium brown in color, darker than the Vanilla, and is clear in appearance with an extremely thin viscosity. It is extracted using an ethanol extraction process, which is not as clean as CO2 extraction, but is the preferred method for tinctures due to the ability of the ethyl alcohol to allow for maximum absorption in the body.
With this product, you get their organic, vegan full spectrum CBD oil combined with the natural taste of blueberry. There is a slight hint of berry sweetness in the taste and it has a distinct fruity aroma. It is packed with concentrated botanicals, as noted by the company, such as natural tocopherol flavors and vegetable glycerin. Kats Botanicals tinctures are suitable for use in cooking, beverages, and baking. Again, there are no visible marks on the dropper, so determining a measured, precise dose is difficult.
The minimal list of natural ingredients on these ethanol extracted edibles includes corn syrup, sugar. water, pectin, citric acid, natural organic berry fruit flavor (organic ethyl alcohol, water and natural flavor), full spectrum CBD oil, natural blue color (vegetable glycerin, natural plant extractives), and malic acid. They are completely vegan, using only plant ingredients and no additives. They are also non-GMO like all of the products at Kats Botanicals.
These gummies are infused with full spectrum CBD oil, and there are no harsh chemicals or irritants. The third party lab results showed 10.2 mg of CBD for a serving size of one 10 mg CBD gummy, which is only a 2% variance from the label. No THC was detected. This product, like all the others, includes the transparent FDA disclosure concerning use.
They are squishy, softer in texture than a traditional gummy product, and coated in sprinkled sugar that sticks to your hands. The color was a light mint green and they did taste like sweet, fresh berries, but these CBD gummies are almost too sweet with the extra sugar on top equaling 2 g of added sugar per serving size of 1 gummy, according to the label. There are 30 servings in each product bottle of 300 mg.
Unlike the other products included in this review, however, these did have a prominent QR code that is typically tied directly to the third party lab results, but it took me to the main company website when I scanned it. Another email to customer support was again necessary to find out where exactly to scan in the QR code to find the results. Overall, this is not an efficient method for consumers.
The highly concentrated CBD formula in this product is a golden yellow color and has such a thick, dense viscosity that it appears to be an opaque solid. It has a beeswax texture upon touch but has a very soft consistency, like a hair paste.
It applies smoothly, absorbing quickly into the skin, but a great deal of this product is required for proper use on a body part. There is no need to wash off residue after application of this topical salve, as it feels moisturizing rather than greasy.
The company suggests this product for use on sore muscles and body areas that ache. At a price point of $.10 to $.11 per 2 fluid ounces, or 60 ml of salve, their topical product is comparable to other moderately priced brands. However, due to its soft texture, consumers will use quite a large amount at one time for total skin coverage. I required at least 1 heaping Tbsp. of the salve to completely cover just my left forearm.
According to the third party lab results, the CBD variance was only 2% on the 500 mg salve, with 510 mg of CBD in this product. The variance was a nominal .02% for THC, almost identical to the label claim of under 0.3% THC and well under the 10% allowed variance for legal CBD products.
Extracted with ethanol, and its simple ingredients include full spectrum CBD hemp extract, white and yellow beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil infused with arnica and calendula, and blended with the Young Living brand of lavender, eucalyptus, and Radiata essential oils.