Spruce Natural Labs is a North Carolina-based company specializing in CBD products made from American-sourced hemp plants. Founded in 2018, Spruce is relatively new to the CBD game.
But even though Spruce is a CBD industry newcomer, they’re already making waves. In fact, Spruce has quickly differentiated itself with its simple but high-quality CBD oils and topicals.
Founded by Tony Spencer, Spruce is a family-run business. The company’s headquarters are located in Raleigh, North Carolina. However, there’s not much info out there about the company’s founder or employees. Despite this, Spruce makes its mission clear—provide lab-grade, hemp-based CBD products that really work.
Spencer was inspired to start Spruce when he realized most CBD companies out there were failing their customers. “We have a lot of customers in pain who have wasted money on CBD products in the past that didn’t work for them,” says Spruce on its website.
That’s because most CBD products on the market are cheaply made and don’t contain enough CBD to truly relieve symptoms like chronic pain. Spruce stands out by offering high-quality, high-potency CBD oil and topicals.
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When Spruce was founded, the company hoped to make a name for itself among the sea of brands offering ineffective, low dose CBD. They’ve hit the mark with their simple selection of high-potency, lab-grade CBD oils and topicals.
Spruce makes its lab-grade CBD oil here in the U.S. It comes in two strengths: regular potency (25 mg of CBD per serving) and max potency (80 mg of CBD per serving). Spruce CBD oil contains organic hemp seed oil and full-spectrum CBD oil.
Spruce infuses its regular potency CBD oil with an all-natural peppermint flavor. However, to achieve maximum potency in a 3-ounce bottle, Spruce doesn’t include any flavoring in its max potency CBD oil.
Price per mg of CBD:
- 25 mg/ml (regular potency): $0.12/mg
- 80 mg/ml (max potency): $0.11/mg
Spruce offers two CBD topicals: a CBD cream and a CBD salve. The cream is a moisturizing lotion that packs 300 mg of CBD in each 2-ounce jar. Spruce’s CBD salve is an all-natural, non-petroleum-based topical that offers a higher potency dose of CBD.
Price per mg of CBD:
- 300 mg CBD per 2 ounces of topical CBD cream: $0.13/mg
- 1,000 mg CBD per 0.87 ounces of CBD salve: $0.09/mg
- 2,000 mg CBD per 1.7 ounces of CBD salve: $0.08/mg
The Bottom Line
Spruce may be new to the CBD scene, but this company offers a basic set of CBD products that are formulated to deliver quality and potency. Spruce’s product line up is limited, but they have some of the highest potency CBD oils and topicals available. On top of that, their products are quality controlled with some of the most rigorous testing methods that you’ll see in the industry.
With such high-potency, we think Spruce CBD oils could help people looking for relief from chronic pain. And if you’ve been disappointed by lower potency CBD formulations from other companies, Spruce is definitely worth a try. We also think Spruce CBD cream and salve would be good options for people with pain from arthritis.
The only downside we’ve found is that items are often out of stock on Spruce’s website. While inconvenient, we think this is likely a reflection of Spruce’s devotion to small-batch quality.
- High-potency CBD oil and CBD salve
- Reasonably priced, especially for the quality and potency
- Extensive independent lab testing for quality control
- Items sometimes out of stock
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Materials and Sourcing
Hemp Grown in the United States
Spruce makes all of its products from hemp grown in the United States. However, many companies still use hemp sourced from China, Romania, and India. That’s because prior to the passage of the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills, growing industrial hemp in the United States was still illegal.
Luckily, hemp is now legal in the U.S. But as recently as 2018, China was still the largest importer of raw hemp. Unfortunately, with foreign farms, it can be much harder to control for quality.
Additionally, hemp is a bioaccumulator or phytoremediator. This means hemp is good at absorbing chemicals from its environment. So it really matters where your hemp is grown.
These days, any CBD brand worth its salt is now using hemp sourced from the United States. According to Spruce, they took their time to find safe and reliable hemp farmers near their North Carolina headquarters. The company works closely with two family-owned, sustainable farms located in North Carolina and Kentucky that produce organic, pesticide-free hemp.
Many CBD companies tout using CO2 extraction as the cleanest way to create CBD-rich hemp oil from the stalks and stems of the hemp plant. And while this method has its advantages, alcohol extraction is emerging as a clean and more efficient alternative to CO2 extraction. According to Spruce, alcohol extraction is the most efficient method they’ve found for extracting CBD and terpenes from the hemp plant.
Flavor and Appearance
Spruce infuses its regular potency CBD oil with an all-natural peppermint flavor. We enjoyed the refreshing mint taste paired with Spruce’s CBD-rich hemp extract.
Spruce’s max potency CBD oil is unflavored. We didn’t mind the taste of the plain CBD oil although it’s definitely not as pleasant as the peppermint flavor. However, it’s a small price to pay for such a high potency formulation in a 3-ounce bottle.
Spruce CBD topical cream is moisturizing with a nice neutral scent. It can feel a bit greasy though if you don’t make sure to thoroughly rub it into your skin. We preferred the texture of Spruce CBD salve. Spruce makes its CBD salve with beeswax and shea butter so it feels less greasy while still being moisturizing.
Spruce uses an independent U.S. lab to test the quality of every batch of their product. You can find up to date lab test results in the FAQ section of their homepage. You can also email Spruce to get a copy of their most recent test results.
Taking a look at recent lab test results for a sample of Spruce CBD oil, you can see that the company does a very thorough job of quality testing. Spruce uses ProVerde Labs, a Maine-based cannabis testing lab. The detailed test results include:
- Cannabinoid profiling
- Heavy metal analysis
- Microbiological and pathogenic bacteria contaminants
- Mycotoxin testing
- Pesticide analysis
- Terpene profiling
- Volatile organic compounds (also known as residual solvent) analysis
This is a pretty exhaustive list of quality control tests. Let’s do a quick breakdown to understand why each of these tests is important for a high-quality CBD product.
Cannabinoid and Terpene Profiling
Cannabinoid and terpene profiling is important for two main reasons. One, it shows you that the product actually contains the amount of CBD that the company claims. And two, it shows you that the product is truly a full-spectrum extract with a wide variety of naturally-occurring terpenes and cannabinoids aside from CBD.
Heavy Metal Analysis
As we mentioned previously (see ‘Materials and Sourcing Review’), hemp is really good at absorbing chemicals, compounds, and elements from its surrounding environment. That means hemp grown in polluted soil can soak up harmful heavy metals that end up in the mature hemp plant and final CBD product. Heavy metal analysis protects consumers against this type of contamination.
Microbiological and Pathogenic Bacteria Contaminants
Just like any other crop, hemp can potentially attract bacteria and other microorganism contamination such as Salmonella. That’s why Spruce uses microbiological and pathogenic bacteria testing to make sure your CBD is free from contamination.
Crop and other food items are susceptible to mold. While nobody wants mold in their food or supplements, most people don’t realize that mold contamination can create toxic byproducts called mycotoxins. Mycotoxin testing is important to keep your CBD safe.
Farmers that use sustainable and organic farming practices don’t typically use pesticides when growing their hemp crop. That’s because chemical pesticides can be harmful to the environment and human health. Pesticide analysis ensures there are no residual pesticides present in the final product.
Residual Solvent Analysis
This test looks for the presence of toxic chemical solvents. Since Spruce uses an alcohol extraction method, this test is important to make sure that none of the alcohol gets left behind in the final product.
Shipping and Ordering
Spruce ships to all 50 states. The company offers free shipping for most of its products. Standard shipping rates apply for items that don’t qualify for free shipping.
Expedited shipping options are also available. Spruce uses USPS and UPS shipping services.
If you place your order before 9:30 AM Eastern Time on a business day, your order will ship the same day. If not, your order will ship out on the next business day.
Spruce also has international shipping available. For international shipping, you have two choices: FedEx International and USPS International.
However, some countries might charge additional import fees, duties, and taxes. Check with your country’s customs department or agency to confirm what fees may apply. Delays in international delivery can also occur if your package is randomly selected by customs for inspection.
Any unopened products can be returned for a full refund including standard shipping charges. Additionally, for your first purchase, you can return an empty or partially used container for a full refund if you’re not completely satisfied with the product.
Items must be returned within 30 days of purchase. Expedited shipping charges, as well as return shipping charges, are not refundable.
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