It can be the best time and also a little sketchy when shopping for the right CBD. If you are a regular user of CBD then you probably know that consumers nowadays need to be focused on reading CBD product labels before they buy. This includes over the counter at your local gas station, shopping online, or even in a licensed cannabis shop.
CBD is a booming industry, and becoming a massively popular product, but are consumers positive about what they’re purchasing?
Do you want to become a pro at noticing those red flags, such as vague CBD sourcing labels, or little dosing information? Read on so you can become fluent in this very important language known as CBD product labels.
CBD Labeling Requirements
CBD product label requirements are going to vary from state to state. As of now, the strongest requirements on CBD labels are usually found in states with established state-licensed cannabis programs, such as California. These states demand many of the label features that we list below.
Beyond the systems established in licensed cannabis states, there are currently zero federal regulations surrounding CBD. You’ve probably noticed that many CBD companies are using labels very similar to federal dietary supplements.
The sketchy CBD labels won’t appear similar to food labels or state-licensed products. Many companies will label products as “Hemp Oil”, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it contains CBD.
CBD is not currently approved by the FDA, except for one CBD product (Epidiolex).
CBD Dosage on Product Label
What exactly is considered one dose of CBD? How many doses come in each package? Thinking cap initiated.
The CBD dosage is probably the most important thing a label can show you. This includes the amount of mg (milligrams) of CBD in the entire bottle or package, mg’s in each serving, the designated serving size, and the number of servings included.
We do have to say, even though you may find a product with a label containing all of the things listed above, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s accurate. Because CBD is poorly regulated, many companies can put whatever they want into their CBD products, and label them however they want.
Every single CBD package on the market should have the amount of milligrams of CBD in the entire package clearly stated. A milligram is 1/1000 of a gram.
Servings Per Container VS Serving Size
Beyond clearly stating the total amount of CBD in the package, each label should contain the amount of CBD per serving, and the amount of servings in each bottle or package.
- A serving size will let you know what the size of each serving is, for example: 1 gummy is a commonly used serving size.
- The CBD amount per serving is what each gummy would contain, for example: 5mg per gummy
- Servings per package would be the amount of gummies in total, for example: 50 gummies.
If you have ever been to a state-licensed cannabis facility, you’ve probably noticed that many set their single doses of CBD at 10 milligrams. Technically there isn’t a standard dose of CBD.
Your dose may be different from your neighbors. Things like your age, weight, medical condition, and the way you administer your CBD can all be factors in your dosage.
The Source of CBD Oil
Where the CBD comes from is a very important aspect, as well.
CBD in regulated adult-use markets often comes from cannabis plants bred to have strong aromas, flavors, and effects. These products will often contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, which can cause euphoria. Hemp-derived CBD, on the other hand, comes from industrial hemp, and contains no more than 0.3% of THC.
As we mention in other articles, you may find yourself coming across the words “Full Spectrum”, “Broad Spectrum” and “THC Free/CBD Isolate”.
- Full Spectrum: Includes Terpenes, Variety of Cannabinoids, and THC.
- Broad Spectrum: Includes Terpenes, Variety of Cannabinoids, NO THC.
- THC Free or CBD Isolate: Includes Pure Crystals of CBD, NO Cannabinoids, NO THC.
Unfortunately there are no federal authorities that police these terms, such as the USDA with terms like ‘Certified Organic”
Labeling Red Flag: If the label doesn’t mention CBD or is very vague about where their CBD comes from.
We recommend staying away from companies that use terms like “Hemp Extract” and “Hemp Oil”. These terms are usually ways for manufacturers to deflect claims that they are delivering actual CBD.
You can find a ton of these products on Amazon, which are basically low quality hemp oils that make claims, and contain zero CBD.
What You Should Look Out for on Labels
Label accuracy should be on point if you’re purchasing and ingesting a product. Third-party certifications can attest to the accuracy of said label.
Medical and adult-use cannabis must be tested via third party legally. Outside of each state system, there are several programs that exist for manufacturers to have their products tested.
The most popular form of third-party testing is the COA or Certificate of Analysis, which comes from a cannabis testing laboratory. Keep in mind that these tests can vary. Also watch out for old, or recycled COAs attached to the current inventory being sold.
Batch and Lot Numbers
Many of the state regulated programs demand that each label contain a batch and lot number for their products packages, and yes, this includes CBD. Batch and Lot numbers are a big sign of accountability for consumers.
If there happens to be a recall, the regulators can hold back the lot, or batch. With no lot or batch number, you would never be able to tell where or when it was made.
Depending on how you store it, and the product itself, CBD can degrade over a period of time. The easiest way to see how old a product is, is by reading the manufacturing date. If we are talking about CBD-loaded flowers, the fresher it is, the better it will be.
The CBD edibles and tinctures should be fully consumed within months. Do not hold on to these products for years.
On each label of any CBD product you should find a license number of the manufacturer. This is mandatory if the company is licensed by the state. It’s usually a series of numbers under a name. If you ever feel the need, you can use this number to look up their state license.
Other Important Label Features
Beyond pure CBD isolate, or raw CBD oil, most products containing CBD are going to have other ingredients added. In edibles for example, many gummies contain colorings, glycerin, and other flavors.
In Tinctures, you may find other oils, glycerin, or spirits. Pay very close attention to other ingredients used, and research the purity, quality, and possible allergens it may contain.
CBD is not for everyone, and if you are on medication, you should always contact your doctor before consuming CBD oil. Each label should feature a section of disclaimers and warnings. Please take the time to read if present.
QR codes are becoming wildly popular throughout grocery stores, and online retailers, now reaching the CBD world.
The square barcode that can be scanned with your phone is an excellent way to tell if you have a quality product. These barcodes usually take you to a page or download a pdf listing the lab test results. We love when products incorporate QR codes.
Avoid These CBD Ingredients
As mentioned before, avoid those products that use terms like “hemp oil” or “hemp extract”. These products may contain zero CBD.
CBD Vapes are probably the most common applications of CBD, with the most harmful ingredients. When choosing a quality CBD vape oil, be sure to avoid flavorings, thickeners, thinners, vitamins, or other essential oils.
Regulators in Colorado are planning to ban three vape pen additives that have been problematic: MCT Oil, Tocopheryl-Acetate, and PEG. The state of Washington banned Tocopheryl-Acetate in November of last year, and it’s only a matter of time before other states follow suit.
Another red flag should be labels containing “natural ingredients” on CBD vape cartridges. Natural ingredients, such as vegetable oil, should not be in your CBD vape juice.
Here at Uphempo, we believe that product labeling is one of the most important aspects of a product. We encourage you to do your research, and make sure you have the confidence in knowing which product is quality, and which isn’t.
In this article you learned about everything you should look for on a product label. Do they do third-party lab testing? Are their ingredients listed? Are the doses and serving sizes visible? Do they have a QR code?
We hope that this article on CBD product labels has given you the confidence to know exactly what to look for before making any CBD product purchase.
If you have any information to add, or have any questions about a label you’re unsure of, please leave us a comment below. Thanks for reading!