Is CBD Vegan?

by | Apr 20, 2020

Affiliate Disclosure

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. When you click them and buy something, I may earn a small commission. They won’t ever cost you more money, and I’ll never try to push junk you don’t need to make a quick buck.

CBD is in the mainstream, and there’s no turning back. Because it became so popular so fast, it’s hard to navigate the world of CBD without getting turned around at least a couple of times. For vegans looking to reap the multitude of benefits CBD has to offer, the situation can be especially tricky, when you start thinking about both animal ingredients and animal testing. Fear not! There are plenty of excellent vegan CBD products. Like anything else, you need to be aware of the common pitfalls.

Wait, What Wouldn’t Be Vegan?

Ah, this unfortunately uncommon question. Hidden and unexpected animal ingredients are an uncomfortable reality in so many places, and CBD’s no different. Because there are so many uses of CBD and such a wide range of products, you’re bound to run into some that contain something animal derived. There are two major areas you need to look out for: personal care and edibles.

More often than not, the edibles you’re going to find are gummies or chocolate, and both have issues for vegans. Gummies, of any variety, are commonly made with gelatin. Gelatin comes from animal bones and cartilage, which is obviously not vegan. CBD gummies are actually much more commonly made with vegan alternatives, but it’s something you’re definitely going to need to look out for.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that chocolate is commonly made with milk. At the same time, chocolate makers usually add sugar to their recipes. Again, these are both not vegan. So, vegan chocolate bars, both with and without CBD, are fairly hard to come by. There are options, though. There’s plenty of CBD dark chocolate bars that don’t contain milk, and there are some that use either organic cane sugar or sugar from a different source, like coconuts, that is vegan friendly.

Any vegan knows that cosmetics and personal care products are a minefield that needs to be navigated carefully to avoid animal products. The same is true in the CBD world. You should look out for animal ingredients in any CBD cremes, salves, balms, ointments, or anything that you apply to your skin. Like with standard non-CBD products, the most common ingredients to look out for are gelatin and collagen. Even better, double check that the company verifies that their products are, in fact, vegan friendly.

Shampoos, conditioners, and other products like that follow the same general rule. Keep a lookout for sneaky animal ingredients, and always check the company’s own info, when it’s available.

CBDFX vegan hemp gummies

Do They Test CBD On Animals?

First, who’s “they?” No, I’m not talking about some conspiracy theory. If you’re talking about research institutions trying to understand the benefits of CBD, unfortunately many of them do. If you’re talking about the companies producing CBD products, the answer is the same as for anything else; some do, and some don’t.

You probably won’t find too many companies testing CBD flower or oil on animals. Those are usually just pure products that contain only one or two ingredients. They simply are what they are.

Again, the problem pops up with personal care products, like shampoo and cremes. These are no different than their CBD-less counterparts, though. Use the same resources you would to check if the company is cruelty free, like

Cheef Botanicals oil tincture
© Cheef Botanicals

Are CBD Oils and Tinctures Vegan?

Usually, yes. There may be some odd situations where are added ingredients that aren’t vegan friendly, but most of them contain one or two ingredients. All CBD oils contain oil from either the hemp plant or marijuana. If you’re in a state where marijuana is still illegal, it’ll be hemp. Either way, the effect is the same. Some companies choose to mix their CBD oil with either coconut or olive oils. The high fat content in those oils aids the body in absorbing the CBD faster. All if this, of course, is vegan.

Sometimes, a company will create their own flavors with additional ingredients. This is where you could run into problems. It all depends on the company and the favor, but even here, many options are still vegan.

What About Vapes?

Like with personal care products, there’s nothing that separates CBD vapes from any other vape juice, when it comes to being vegan. If you aren’t familiar, the vast majority of vape juices are vegan friendly, but there are a couple of catches.

First, there are two commonly used main components in vapes: propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. Vegetable glycerin is plant-based and always vegan. Propylene glycol is an artificial compound, so it doesn’t contain animal products, but some methods of producing it may involve the use of animal derived ingredients. The safe bet for vegans is to always choose vapes based on vegetable glycerin.

Vape flavors are usually vegan friendly too, but some may have been tested on animals. Again, the uncertainty here means it’s up to you to judge. The safe bet is to always choose unflavored vapes.

Hempfield Botanicals muscle recovery
© Hempfield Botanicals

What Are The Best Vegan Options?

There are tons of great vegan options for CBD, too many for me to list here. There are a few proven brands, but by all means, take a look around, and see what’s out there. You’ll definitely find way more than you expected, and the CBD landscape is always evolving.


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I'm Nick, a professional writer specializing in all things eco-friendly, green, and sustainable. Here, I share my tips and personal experience for reducing your personal footprint.

Affiliate Disclosure

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. When you click them and buy something, I may earn a small commission. They won’t ever cost you more money, and I’ll never try to push junk you don’t need to make a quick buck.

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