CBD is all the rage right now, and it’s easy to see why. Recent studies have illustrated that this cannabis constituent has impressive health benefits. Among other things, CBD can help reduce symptoms associated with anxiety, chronic pain, chronic inflammation, and epilepsy. Moreover, it is a generally safe compound that causes minimal side effects, if any.
Given that, people from all walks of life are jumping onto the CBD bandwagon. That means the industry is expanding; it also means that more and more companies are starting to sell CBD products. For consumers new to CBD, this can create difficulties.
Despite improved FDA regulation, the CBD industry has a ways to go in terms of consistency. There are indeed plenty of reputable companies that make high-quality products. Crescent Canna, for instance, has a good reputation thanks to its commitment to high-quality standards and transparency, including full-panel third-party testing.
But there are also some CBD brands created by folks who are simply out to make a quick buck. As a consumer, it can be hard at times to know what’s what. And, unfortunately, how CBD products are labeled doesn’t necessarily help matters.
So we’ve put together this post to answer some common questions and concerns about CBD labels. After reading, you’ll be better positioned to make informed decisions on how to read labels and find out if they’re accurate.
How are CBD Products Regulated?
The first thing to know is that there are requirements to labels that CBD companies must adhere to. Some of these are enforced by the FDA—meaning they apply to all CBD companies in the United States—and there are serious financial consequences for violating them.
In November 2019, the FDA sent warning letters to 15 companies for “illegally marketing” CBD. Several companies have since met with class-action lawsuits for allegedly including false or misleading claims on product labels.
Perhaps the best way to ensure you’re getting a high-quality CBD product is to first understand what the labeling requirements are. After that, you can check to see whether the brand in question is complying with them. If the answer is no, you’ll know not to buy that company’s products.
CBD Requirements for Labels
Below is a list of information that you should look for in CBD labels while shopping.
- Product identity. This is simply a description of what the product is and what it is intended to do. And while this may seem like a no-brainer, always double-check to confirm that what you’re buying actually contains CBD. A lot of people are misled by by-products that contain only hemp seeds or hemp seed oil.
- List of ingredients. This is a key requirement for all CBD products. Read the ingredients carefully, especially if you have allergies. It’s normal for a CBD product to include an oil ingredient like MCT or vegetable glycerin. Some may also include natural or artificial flavors. This information should be easy to find on both the outer packaging and the container itself.
- Net contents. In other words, the amount of CBD per serving. Liquid products are measured by volume, solid products by weight. Again, this information should be printed on both the outer and inner containers.
- Cautionary information about how to safely use the product, as well as warnings related to children, pregnancy, and potential drug interactions.
A good CBD product will include all of the above.
Testing and CBD Label Accuracy
How a CBD company tests its products says a lot about its quality. In fact, it will tell you pretty much all you need to know about them. Trustworthy brands have their products tested by independent, third-party laboratories. Furthermore, they are more than happy to share the lab results with you.
Sometimes this information—known as a Certificate of Analysis (COA)—is made available via the product’s QR code, which can be scanned using a smartphone. Otherwise, you may have to visit the company’s website. Can’t find it there? Feel free to email the company asking to see the COA. If they refuse or seem reluctant, they might have something to hide.
Once you access the COA, use it to confirm that the company labeled its product accurately. Pay particular attention to the levels of CBD and THC. Everything should match up; if it does, you’re dealing with a trustworthy brand and you can purchase their CBD products with confidence. In the case of a discrepancy, ask the company to explain it.
You can also use the COA to check for the presence of pesticides and other harmful substances that companies aren’t eager to reveal to customers.