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Level Select CBD Review: Is THC-Free Worth It?


level select cbd review

For all of the CBD industry’s advancements, few brands have actually answered the question, “How much of this should I take?”

Level Select CBD has set out to provide a simple answer, drastically simplifying the dosage confusion issue. 

Regardless of the reason you’re turning to CBD, the ability to try out one of three distinct potency levels and move up or down to find the perfect fit is among the most frequently repeated praises of Level Select’s CBD products by their customer base. 

Our assessment of the brand’s manufacturing practices, testing protocols, certifications and more reflected this attention to clarity and quality, but a few blatant issues across customer service, transparency, and other major criteria dropped the brand’s overall score to a 81.5.

To learn more about how they arrived at this core, here is our comprehensive review of Level Select CBD, complete with comments from our interviews with Kadenwood VP Jason Waggoner and Director of Ecommerce Bill Porter

Level Select CBD Review: Table of Contents

  1. Pros and Cons
  2. The Level Select CBD Story
  3. Level Select CBD Product Overview
  4. Our Level Select CBD Review

Level 2 CBD Oil Drop Tincture

Available in a 1200mg concentration, the Level 2 CBD Oil Drops from level select deliver a simple, but pointed formulation that lets the hemp do the work.

Our review team enjoyed the natural mint flavor, and the tincture was moderately effective in addressing everyday discomfort and stress.

Use code INSIDER3 to get a FREE product when you buy 2!

Pros/Cons

Let’s start with the pros:

  • Clear and consistent cannabinoid potency levels
  • Targeted, functional formulations (recovery, sleep, etc.)
  • Above-average certifications, testing protocols, and supply chain control
  • Prestigious medical advisory team and highly involved athlete ambassadors

And now the cons:

  • Smaller product catalog
  • Few botanical enhancers in tincture line (gummies have turmeric, ginseng, etc.).
  • Slow, unengaged customer service
  • Thin website content

The Level Select CBD Story

On the history of the brand, Waggoner explained to us that he and his team noticed early on in the CBD boom that supply chains and the products they rolled out were marred by bad actors and mass uncertainty.

“We are product innovators working in an industry where 30 million people have already used CBD,” he said, so much of their foundation was built on steering their slice of the industry away from the inconsistent products and, in the worst case scenario, plain-old snake oil. 

This is where the long-term focus on pure, high-quality, THC-free hemp extracts was born.

To address the issue of dosage confusion without making healthcare claims and/or presuming too much about the user’s motivations, Level Select came up with a simple way of indicating potency by assigning levels to products.

Most of their products are rated on a three-level scale so that any CBD user can clearly establish the potency they need to experience relief instead of browsing fifty different products that all feature different milligram-per-serving amounts. 

According to Waggoner, this approach was created in service to Level Select’s mission from day one, which is to spearhead the plant-based wellness movement. 

How Level Select Stands Out

While the majority of their competitors home in on increasingly targeted CBD product formulations to address conditions they aren’t allowed to explicitly mention (there’s a fun tightrope), Level Select prefers a more all-encompassing approach because they know the spectrum of CBD users is broadening all the time.

This is where the levels come in; regardless of the underlying issue, customers can simply find the potency that works for them and let the hemp extract do the rest. 

Another major differentiator that admittedly earned an eyebrow raise from our editorial team was the fact that Level Select’s athlete ambassadors actually participate in the meetings as part owners of the company.

Where most competing brands will have the picture of the athlete (using the product, of course), possibly a quote, and rarely anything more, Level Select’s ambassadors actually attend board meetings and offer substantive input as real users of the products and members of the company. 

It also doesn’t hurt that the Level Select Medical Advisory Team is led by the 17th Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Richard Carmona. 

Finally, Level Select CBD is fully vertically integrated, which is a rare sight indeed. 

They not only own the growing operation, but as part of the Kadenwood family, they possibly have the largest CBD manufacturer in the country, selling isolate to many other CBD brands. 

It’s this structure that has helped them to achieve a strong certification profile that many competitors can’t get, including cGMP, BRCGS, NASC, and ISO-9001. 

Level Select CBD Product Overview

Level Select offers CBD sports roll-ons, sports creams, oil drops, gummies, pet products, and even CBD tea.

Customers can also shop on the website by “solution,” e.g., recovery, sleep, energy, and wellness. 

The level system applies to the roll-ons, creams, and oil drops.

Here’s a brief overview of some of their most popular products/categories.

Level Select Drops

Level 3 (Mint): 60mL/5000mg, Ingredients: MCT Oil, CBD Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract, Natural (Mint) Flavor

Level 2 (Mint): 30mL/1200mg, Ingredients: MCT Oil, CBD Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract, Natural (Mint) Flavor

Level 1 (Mint): 30mL/600mg, Ingredients: MCT Oil, CBD Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract, Natural (Mint) Flavor

Level Zzz: 30mL/900mg, Ingredients: MCT Oil, CBD Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract, Melatonin, Natural (Vanilla) Flavor

Level 3 CBD Oil Tincture

Their most potent CBD tincture, Level 3 CBD Oil Drops from Level Select offer a competitively priced option, coming in at less than three cents a milligram.

Our team felt the difference between this tincture and the Level 2.

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Level Select Sports Cream

Level 3: 3oz/1200mg, check here for ingredients.
Level 2: 3oz/600mg, check here for ingredients.
Level 1: 3oz/300mg, check here for ingredients.

Level 3 Sports Cream

Their most popular product, the Level 3 Sports Cream from Level Select CBD is relied upon for its potent effects against discomfort.

This formulation is ideal for active people as well as anyone dealing with ongoing discomfort.

Use code INSIDER3 to get a FREE product when you buy 2!

Level Select Sports Roll-Ons

Level 3: 2.5oz/1800mg, check ingredients here
Level 2: 2.5 oz/1200mg, check ingredients here
Level 1: 2.5oz/900mg, check ingredients here

Level 2 CBD Roll-On

The Level Select CBD Roll On brings menthol and CBD together for fast-acting discomfort relief in a convenient format.

The product rolls on smoothly, and rather than simply masking the discomfort for twenty minutes with strong tingling, provided longer-lasting relief.

Use code INSIDER3 to get a FREE product when you buy 2!

Level Select Gummies (60ct, 12.5mg/gummy)

Level ZZZ Restful Sleep, check ingredients here
Focused Energy, check ingredients here
Immune Support, check ingredients here

Level ZZZ Restful Sleep Gummies

All of Level Select’s CBD gummies are enhanced with functional ingredients, but we found the Level ZZZ Restful Sleep Gummies to be particularly effective.

For some, the higher 25mg/piece concentration might mean one piece in the evening is enough, but more experienced users can take two or three for more potent results.

Use code INSIDER3 to get a FREE product when you buy 2!

Our Level Select CBD Review

Throughout our week-long review period, we used the Level 2 Cooling Mint Sports Cream, the Level 2 Sports Roll-On, and the Restful Sleep Gummies with melatonin and lemon balm.

The gummies noticeably improved our time-to-sleep metric when we took 75mg or more in the late afternoon/early evening (each gummy provides 25mg); there was much less tossing and turning before falling asleep each night.

Taking into account our experience with CBD, we anticipate most users should be able to hit this threshold at 50mg, or two gummies.

The cooling mint sports cream was especially effective at relieving various forms of discomfort affecting soft tissue, including old sports injuries and those “just because you’re not young anymore and for no other reason” aches and pains. 

The roll-on was a bit sticky, but otherwise, both topicals provided 3-4 hours of discomfort relief that made it easier to work and/or go about daily chores without shifting around or as much or taking breaks.

Both in terms of taste/smell/texture and noticeable results provided, our experience with Level Select products is consistent with what we expect from upper-echelon CBD brands.

Now that you’ve heard about our personal experience, here’s our more in-depth dive into the brand behind the products, including a critical evaluation of their manufacturing and sourcing standards, pricing structure, customer service, and more.

Quality

Max Score = 35 points
Level Select = 32.5 points

Considering the ownership of the growing operation, CO2 and food-grade ethanol extraction methods, product certifications, and clean ingredient lists , there’s very little question that Level Select CBD products meet or exceed top quality standards.

However, they have very few options in terms of CBD products enhanced by supporting botanicals and other wellness-affirming compounds.

The gummy line is now introducing vitamin C, turmeric, melatonin, lemon balm, caffeine, and ginseng into the mix, which is a definitive step in that direction, but those looking for CBD oils with these enhancers won’t find them (except for melatonin). 

Finally, we applied a deduction for no USDA organic certification, but Kadenwood’s ownership of the growing operation mitigated the loss of points. 

Transparency

Max Score = 12.5 points
Level Select = 8.63 points

Though we were able to glean a lot of key insights into Level Select’s R&D process, sourcing, processing and more from our conversation with Kadenwood VP Jason Waggoner and Director of E-commerce Bill Porter, customers perusing the Level Select (and/or Kadenwood) site for this information may find it lacking.

Third-party lab reports are provided for some product batches, but not all, and product pages run on the slimmer side as far as descriptions and other supportive content goes.

Especially because Kadenwood’s vertical integration and the sheer size/scope of their operation is so impressive, we were miffed to see very little of this info (their huge facility, advanced hemp extraction/processing equipment, etc.,) detailed in depth on either site, other than a non-clickable image explaining they are vertically integrated. 

The same goes for the “about us” page, which—while it provides at least a decent introduction to the operation along with a feature of Dr. Richard Carmona (17th Surgeon General of the US) of their Medical Advisory Team—could have been far more illuminating and impressive considering what the brand has to brag about.

The redeeming factor here is that Level Select has all the credentials and resources they need to have a very impressive and engaging online presence, but until they actually communicate their value to the public and invest a bit more into consumer education and product support, their transparency will continue to suffer. 

Website Experience

Max Score = 7.5 points
Level Select = 6.75 points

We don’t harp too much on the finer points of web design, so as long as the rated brand’s website is non-distracting, our focus is on ecommerce functionality and educational/supportive content.

Browsing and purchasing products on the Level Select CBD is very easy and intuitive; we didn’t have to backtrack or click around at all to find the product information we needed, select said products, and check out.

The site is also well-adapted to mobile devices, although we did make a small deduction because the page featuring third-party lab reports had several formatting errors.

We typically like to see a dedicated “CBD 101” section of the site that’s directly reachable from the main navigation bar (the most obvious links usually at the top of the homepage), but because the blog features a “CBD 101” category and plenty of posts to date, we only applied a small deduction here as well.

Overall, our experience navigating the Level Select site was fluid and engaging.

Brand Value

Max Score = 25 points
Level Select = 18.25 points

Given their full ownership of the supply chain, their nano CBD technology (used in topicals), and their high-level involvement in the hemp legality conversation with minority leader Mitch McConnell and others, it’s hard to deny the major impact Level Select and Kadenwood are having on the CBD industry. 

Given their powerful positioning, however, it’s harder to justify their lack of participation in medical studies and philanthropic activities, which cumulatively resulted in a sizable deduction for brand value.

Even though they’re losing the trend-hopping crowd, for people who really need relief without the confusion or the added gimmicks, the simplicity and quality of Level Select CBD quietly draws in their audience. 

Having reviewed dozens of brands, our strongest impressions are that Level Select CBD truly believes in the power of the hemp plant, and that after the hyper-targeted formulations and buzz words fade away, real plant-based wellness will still be going strong. 

Pricing 

Max Score = 10 points
Level Select = 9.25 points

Here’s a sample of the pricing structure for the most popular product types available at Level Select:

Level 2 CBD Oil: $99.99/2400mg = $0.04/mg

Level 1 Oil: $69.99/1200mg = $0.06/mg

Level 3 Cream: $89.00/1200mg = $0.07/mg

Level 2 Cream: $59.99/600mg = $0.10/mg

Gummies: $49.99/1500mg = $0.03/mg

Especially in the case of the gummies, which are priced at an unprecedented level considering the quality and added enhancers, this entire range of products is competitively priced.

We expected prices to be a bit lower than average because of the simplicity of the formulations, but offsetting for quality, this is still a very solid value for anyone looking for a pure, THC-free hemp extract and no other “noise.”

Customer Service/Shipping and Return

Max Score = 10 points
Level Select = 6.125 points

Level Select ships to virtually any address in the world, and will estimate shipping/delivery dates based on availability of your items and shipping options you choose (no shipping window estimates provided).

Full refunds of new, unopened items are allowable within a 30-day window from the time or order (not receipt), and Level Select will pay return shipping costs if they are the cause of the issue.

We would like to see at least one live customer service option, however; the Level Select site currently offers a standard question/comment form that they respond to via email.

Our Level Select CBD Review Overall Rating

All tallied, Level Select CBD earned an overall rating of 81.5/100.

Here are some key takeaways to sum up our review:

  • High-quality THC-free products, sourcing, testing, and certifications
  • Historic COAs are not available
  • Site leaves some information to be desired
  • Seamless ecommerce experience
  • Customer service could be improved
  • Pricing is ideal for the quality

The biggest takeaway is that Level Select homes in on simplifying the confusion of finding the right dose and does it well.

What’s One Thing You Want People to Know About Hemp-Derived CBD?

We use this question as a way of putting each brand’s story into the greater context of the industry as a whole and the “broad spectrum” of consumers turning to CBD.

Here’s what Jason Waggoner told us:

“We’ve seen firsthand the difference in quality of life that our hemp extracts provide; we use the product ourselves.”

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The CBD Insider Editorial Team

The mission of The CBD Insider is to provide consumers with a way to find high-quality, safe, and well-formulated CBD products. Our editorial team of passionate industry professionals achieves this mission by providing unbiased, trustworthy, and well-researched reporting about the CBD industry.

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