Holland And Barrett CBD Oil Review

Big-name retailer Holland & Barrett is kind of like the McDonalds of wellness supplements, and now they’ve jumped on the CBD oil train.

Their shops dominate the UK high streets and there really no other retailers able to compete with them in their market.

CBD has meant big business for the company, having started to sell CBD oil back in January 2018 (the first high street shop to do so).

Holland & Barrett currently stock 23 different CBD oils and oral sprays from 5 different brands (they do also stock CBD gummies, lozenges and capsule variants).

For the CBD-curious, Holland & Barrett probably seems like the best place to start.

So, let’s dig into this theory a little. 

Holland and Barrett stock several different CBD brands at the time of writing, but in this article we are going to focus on the three main players: Jacob Hooy, Love Hemp and Holistic Herb. 

Jacob Hooy CBD+ Oil: Best For Absolute Beginners

This Dutch brand is one of the first to land on H&B shelves and has quite the heritage.

Founded in Amsterdam in 1743, Jacob Hooy started life as a stall for herbs and spices, and continues to sell these products today.

The company has since branched into the wider wellness market, and has reached new levels of fame having become Holland & Barrett’s first and most widely advertised CBD brand.

However, being the first rarely means being the best — let’s delve into whether Jacob Hooy lives up to Holland and Barrett’s early promotion.

Is Jacob Hooy Any Good?

Another constructive criticism of Jacob Hooy’s products… it’s quite hard to tell exactly what’s inside the bottle.

According to the description on pack and website, the product is ‘CBD+’ Oil. But what’s the ‘+’ stand for? We are not told. Although we assume it refers to other cannabinoids, which is probably a good thing, we’re still curious to know what exactly they are. 

Another constructive criticism of Jacob Hooy’s products… it’s quite hard to tell exactly what’s inside the bottle.

Jacob Hooy 5% CBD Oil
Jacob Hooy 5% CBD Oil available from Holland & Barrett

And this isn’t the only point at which Jacob Hooy is a tad vague.

It says that the product contains ‘hemp oil’.

Given that CBD oil and hemp seed oil are not the same thing, we again find ourselves having to decipher the information. We’re 99% confident that when Holland & Barrett say “hemp oil,” they do in fact mean CBD oil. If not, there wouldn’t be any CBD in the product!

To be honest though, we’d rather if the brand didn’t leave us doing the legwork. 

But the good news is… we do know that it’s made using hemp seed oil. This is a plus.

Hemp seed oil contains linoleic acid, as well as a number of proteins, amino acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Translation: it’s full of healthy vitamins and minerals that should satisfy the wellness junkies out there. Jacob Hooy is also totally legal (it contains less than 0.05% THC). 


For the organic enthusiasts, you’ll be happy to know that the flavour is neutral, meaning that it’s free of additives.

Those who prefer to mask the natural taste of CBD oil might be less pleased (although you could try adding the drops to more appetizing foods). There have been many reports that users don’t like how the oil tastes, but given taste is rarely the reason for using CBD, this shouldn’t phase many consumers.

The bottle also comes with a dropper to make it easier to measure out your preferred dosage. 


Another upside, Jacob Hooy shouldn’t break the bank (well, in comparison to many of the pricier CBD oils on the market). Jacob Hooy is currently sold in either 2.75% (10ml is £19.99 & 30ml is £39.99) or 5% strength (10ml is £29.99 & 30ml is £59.99).

This is ideal for CBD-newbies (who should start with a small dosage and then gradually increase the strength). 

All of these oils are said to be ‘full-spectrum’, which would mean that they contain a total set of cannabinoids from the extraction process. Not only is Jacob Hooy good value for money (there are around 600 drops in a 30ml bottle), but its strength options are a good place to start. 


For seasoned CBD-users, these 2.75% and 5% strength options are likely not going to be strong enough.

So, what’s the takeaway from our beginner’s guide to Jacob Hooy?

For absolute CBD beginners, it’s a good option, for everyone else, look elsewhere. 

Love Hemp: Best for Quality  

Love Hemp is a London-based brand, born and bred.

It has amassed quite the fanbase who praise Love Hemp as the city’s most reliable source of high-quality raw cannabinoid extract.

Brand loyalists tell us this is because Love Hemp takes a no-BS approach to its cultivation methods (read: no genetic modification, no growth hormones, no chemical fertilizers).

Love Hemp tells us that this is because it uses medical-grade CO2 as part of its extraction process. 

Love Hemp wins big when it comes to meeting the demand for high-quality organic CBD oils. Buzzword alert: it’s vegan.

Love Hemp CBD Oil Range
Love Hemp CBD Oil Range

The CBD comes from a hemp extraction company based in Colorado. This CBD Hemp Extract is ‘broad-spectrum’, so it’s full of lovely cannabinoids. It’s also certified 100% free of THC (so it’s non-psychoactive aka. not gonna get you high).

Love Hemp tests its products for the quality and purity of its ingredients, both in-house and in independent third-party labs.

In other words, people trust them. 

The Holland & Barrett Downside…

The downside is Holland & Barrett currently only stocks one Love Hemp oil — the 400mg CBD oil in 30ml bottles. This is much weaker than even the 2.75% Jacob Hooy oil at 0.075%!

Love Hemp does sell oils of much higher concentrations (up to 40%!), they are just not available at Holland and Barrett.

We recommend visiting a store that has a wider variety of Love Hemp products so that you can experience the full collection and pick out a product that is right for you.

We recommend visiting a store which has a wider variety of Love Hemp products.

Holistic Herb CBD Oil: Best to Avoid

Holistic Herb channels that whole modern, minimalist vibe. Its green, blue & white aesthetic is clean and calm (think Goop-chic). But how far do we buy the marketing?  

For starters, the brand misses a trick when it comes to clarity. Despite the simple pack designs, we’re really not too sure what we are being sold. And we’re the experts! 

What’s The Confusion?

The confusion starts when you look at the strength offerings (Single 4.2mg or Double 8.1mg, in either 15ml, 30ml or 60ml bottles). Holland and Barrett currently stock these offerings in both CBD Oil and oral sprays form, but this doesn’t quite add up.

It’s not clear whether these quantities refer to the strength per drop or the strength of the entire product, but we have to assume it’s per ml as otherwise the cost of these oils would be astronomical!

False Claims?

What we do know is that Holistic Herb claim that its CBD has ‘vastly superior bioavailability’. To put this in everyday-speak, this would mean that more of the product is absorbed into the bloodstream (and is, therefore, more effective).

How much more bioavailable is it, we hear you ask? Fifteen times more, to be exact, (in comparison to “regular” CBD) according to claims made on Holistic Herb’s website.

As you may have guessed, skeptical doesn’t even begin to explain our stance on these claims – Holistic Herb states that over 98% of the active (what does that even mean?) CBD is fully (fully!) absorbed into the bloodstream. To say this seems unlikely would be a massive understatement.

And guess what? Yep, the brand doesn’t tell even us how this is all possible. Well, apart from that the CBD has been micro-emulsified – sure sounds ambiguous to us.

In fairness, it makes sense why they wouldn’t reveal the ins-and-outs of this incredible process – why would you reveal a secret that could potentially be worth billions of dollars to not just the CBD industry but to big pharma too? I’m sure they’d love to be able to achieve nearly 100% absorption for their drugs!

Our Conclusion? Holistic Herb would do well to apply a bit of that minimal design to its entire brand narrative. Oh, and stop lying to its customers.

To really hammer home how ridiculous this claim is, 98% bioavailability would only be 2% less effective than injecting CBD directly into the bloodstream intravenously, which obviously we wouldn’t recommend.

Our Conclusion? Holistic Herb would do well to apply a bit of that minimal design to its entire brand narrative. Oh, and stop lying to its customers.

So What’s The Verdict On Holland and Barrett’s CBD Oil?

In all honesty, the feeling we have regarding Holland and Barrett’s CBD is a mixture of feeling underwhelmed and disappointed all at once, and with Holistic Hemp products, downright lied to in actual fact.

Why has the company chosen to promote these CBD brands when there are so many better choices out there? Just to be clear, in the case of Love Hemp its product range is very good, however, the single oil they stock is just too low in CBD concentration to be worth your hard earned cash.

Put simply, go elsewhere for your CBD and leave Holland and Barrett to what they do best, which certainly isn’t CBD products.

What Should I Buy Instead?

Although Holland and Barrett do have some passable CBD products, there are so many better CBD oils available to buy in the UK. Just head over to our CBD tinctures page to discover some of our favourites.

In the meantime, here are three of our CBD Tincture recommendations.

Broad Spectrum CBD Oil

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EQL Well Balanced CBD Oil 500mg


CBD Type: Broad Spectrum
CBD Content: 250, 500, 1000, 2500, 5000
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Isolate CBD Oil

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Access CBD Oil - Berry, Citrus and Natural Flavour

Access CBD Oil

CBD Type: Isolate
CBD Content: 600, 1200, 2400, 4800
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Full Spectrum CBD Oil

Great value
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CBD Life Raw Hemp Extract Oil CBD + CBDa

CBDLife UK Hemp Extract Oil CBD + CBDA (Raw & Refined)

CBD Type: Broad Spectrum, Full Spectrum
CBD Content: 500, 1000, 2000
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Costas Hadjipateras

Costas Hadjipateras

Costas has always been passionate about the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Since discovering the positive effects CBD had on his mental health, he has focussed his research on cannabinoid medicine and the UK's CBD industry. He took the decision to launch CBD Scanner so as to provide greater transparency to consumers.

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