How to Read a CBD Label
How to buy CBD oil in a safe, knowledgeable way by how it’s labeled (or not) and what to look for on the label, including CBD dosage, ingredients, source, amount and type (isolate, broad spectrum, full spectrum).
We get a lot of questions about CBD products and also comments about experiences. There are many CBD providers out there ranging from flat-out fakes to premium real-deal. We’d like to point out a few things to make you shopping savvy when you’re out to buy CBD oil. The first thing to look for is the label. If it doesn’t have a label with the following key components, you should be skeptical.
Ingredients. What exactly are you buying?
- All ingredients should be listed, again, just the way you would see them listed in other products you buy, food or otherwise.
- Understand if you are buying full spectrum, broad spectrum or isolate CBD. Learn more about these in our post “What is Hemp Oil Extract”.
- Also, we’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating the different between hemp seed oil and hemp (CBD) oil. Hemp seed oil does NOT contain CBD. As the name suggests, the oil is extracted from the seed of the hemp plant. It’s great for skin and hair but it doesn’t have the therapeutic benefits of CBD. Note: Amazon does not permit the sale of CBD on its platform and what you’re buying is (most likely) hemp seed oil.
- Evaluate the other ingredients in the product for purity, quality and any allergens.
Dosage. Important so you know how much you're buying and the price you are paying. The serving size elements are more important for ingestible products.
- The bottle should include the total milligrams of CBD (e.g. 750 mg). This is critical for all product types.
- The bottle should tell you the serving size (e.g., one softgel).
- The amount of CBD per serving (e.g. 25 mg per softgel).
- The number of servings per package (e.g. 30 softgels per bottle)
- Often, the label will resemble food packaging labels.
- Note there is no standard dose of CBD, but it is recommended that you start low for ingested products and work your way up if needed. Ingestible products will often have a serving size ranging from 10mg - 25mg.
CBD Oil Source. Where is the CBD from?
- Is it US grown?
- Was it grown organically?
- Is it non-gmo?
- You may see the term “phytocannabinoid rich” which means that the hemp genetics naturally contain a high amount of CBD- this is a good thing.
Batch and lot number. The bottle should include the batch and lot number so the product can be traced back to when and where it was made should an issue arise. This is a good practice for accountability.
Expiration date: CBD degrades over time depending on how the product and how it is stored. Use it by the expiration date.
3rd party lab results: Look for the certificate of analysis (COA) from a third party cannabis testing lab. Also, be sure the third party is a reputable lab and that the COAs aren’t recycled from old batches. Mama’s Farmacy uses Botanacor to test all of our products, all results can be found here.
Company contact information: address, website should be easily found on the label.
The regulations from the FDA around CBD product labels are still in progress, so there will be more to come. In the meantime, be curious, ask questions and look for these key components to make sure you’re buying quality CBD or premium CBD.