An introduction to CBD label reading
CBD confusion abound
With so many new cannabinol (CBD) products available in today’s rapidly growing market, it’s not surprising that misleading labels have confused so many consumers. And along with all the CBD hype these days, CBD is often confused with hemp extract — and the two terms are sometimes falsely used synonymously. Many factors go into label reading and differentiating between what they all say, and since CBD seems to be available almost everywhere, educating yourself makes all the difference when you go to choose a CBD product.
Finding products from a source you can trust
Unfortunately, that feat isn’t as easy as you may think. Due to legal gray areas regarding the use of CBD, the marketplace is still unregulated. The ingredients in your purchase should be clear, but sadly not all companies guarantee transparency into their products today.
So, who can you trust?
Many CBD companies dupe us through mislabeling and false advertising — but you can determine which companies you can trust. Right now, manufacturers aren’t required to add milligrams of CBD to labels, or to list out CBD percentages versus total hemp extract, however many brands have become more clear with their customers and have added measures of CBD milligrams to their labels. The premium brands ahead of the game are already providing this information. And after all, they’re the ones with the least to hide.
Truth in the labeling: Always look for the THC indicator
Full-spectrum products — and any other products, for that matter — should clearly indicate the presence of THC on the label, and whether or not they are in compliance with the Federal Farm Bill of 2018. If 0% – 0.0001% THC is present in the product, you should know whether it’s strictly isolate or not. Companies can imply 0% THC in their products that may actually contain 0.003% THC. This discrepancy can make a huge difference, presenting a risk for many people whose jobs, for example, are dependent on drug testing. As consumers, we want to trust labels when our jobs, our safety and wellness depend on them. Full transparency will be key for you to make an accurate risk assessment regarding the right product for you. (Read more about CBD different types of CBD extractions.)
What to look for in a label
When you buy any CBD product, the label should look like any label you’d come across at the market when you purchase something you plan to ingest or apply to your skin. Every ingredient should be listed.
- CBD may be listed as:
- Full-spectrum hemp extract
- PCR (phytocannabinoid rich)
- PCR hemp extracts
The extras: Additives for taste or scent
Also, look for added sweeteners and flavoring in the products. Sometimes companies add flavor to help mask the natural taste of a product that comes from hot chlorophyll content and ethanol extraction. Some are marketed for sleep with melatonin & chamomile or for pain with turmeric. If you don’t recognize the additives, you can always research them. Some added ingredients can make sense to enhance the taste or smell of the product, but make sure you’re comfortable with the additive.
Next, look for milligram content, typically found on the front of the CBD product
The milligram content per bottle should specify the CBD milligram guaranteed in each bottle. Some list milligrams clearly and others don’t state specific overall milligram content.
As buyers, we tend to go for the largest quantity at the lowest dollar amount. It’s easy to talk yourself into buying products according to that basic rationale, but labels can be misleading. The bottle should accurately define milligrams and ratios of the ingredients. For example, does the product contain a certain amount of hem extract and a certain amount of cannabidiol. Labels should define servings per product as well, especially because we’re all different, with unique endocannabinoid systems.
Each quality, premium product should indicate:
- A unique serial number corresponding to a lab test and batch number
- A QR code to verify each corresponding batch number