CBD Product Labeling: What You Need to Know

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What’s going on?

CBD products and regulations surrounding them are becoming a hot button issue. As the popularity of CBD products continues to skyrocket, many manufacturers are left scrambling to label their products accurately and legally. According to the FDA’s website, “Even if a CBD product meets the definition of ‘hemp’ under the 2018 Farm Bill, it still must comply with all other applicable laws, including the FD&C Act.” Despite their ubiquitous presence on store shelves, the FDA does not allow CBD-infused food and drinks. The regulatory organization is yet to publish specific guidelines and regulations for hemp-derived CBD products.

A grey area exists for many CBD sellers as they navigate unclear regulations regarding what goes on a label and how they can express the benefits of their CBD-infused products. Many retailers have gone ahead and simply said what they want, and may have to back-track once regulations are more clearly defined. Others are taking the cautious route and abiding by the regulations. There are ways, however, to navigate CBD labeling and buy products safely and confidently.

Wait, what is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, comes from the hemp plant. The hemp plant belongs to the family of cannabis. Unlike marijuana, the hemp plant contains a low amount of THC. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive component to cannabis. In other words, THC causes the “high” feeling. CBD products should contain less than .3% THC, thus causing no high effect and no cognitive impact. Hemp is legal since the 2018 Farm Bill stated that hemp can be grown and sold across the United States. Since 2018, CBD has really taken off with UFC champ Nate Diaz, Motocross star Carey Hart launching their own CBD companies. Additionally, celebs like the Kardashians show CBD products on their social media pages.

Many people flock to CBD products because of the benefits they receive from them. These benefits can include reduced anxiety and stress, pain relief, digestive relief, and help to battle sleep issues like insomnia. CBD products come in a variety of shapes and forms. CBD can be inhaled through a vape pen, chewed in gummies, or applied with a gel or paste. CBD products abound- from coffee and tea to bath bombs and face masks– there is no end to CBD-infused items on the market today.

How is CBD different from other forms of cannabis?

One major key to the problem of CBD labeling is misinformation. Many people hear about CBD in the news or on social media but cannot separate the idea of CBD from cannabis. In the 1960s, cannabis developed a reputation as a counter-culture substance, that only hippies use. Though the fact is that cannabis is healing and providing relief to people for thousands of years. Classical-period Greeks and Romans were even using cannabis in baths. Funnily enough, CBD bath bombs are a top-rated product nearly 2,000 years later.

If CBD disassociates from cannabis, its healing properties can be more easily understood. CBD helps people with a large variety of issues, and what kind of CBD a person uses and for what is highly individualized. When it comes to labeling, however, CBD sellers are prohibited by claiming any benefits without scientific research to back it up. Although hordes of people can attest to CBD helping them quit smoking, or testimonials abound about CBD and its positive relationship with Alzheimer’s, manufacturers are limited in what they can list on the label. This is extremely limiting, and only perpetuates the confusion and misinformation about CBD products.

How can I read the label?

First, notice the amount of THC in the product. In the United States, CBD products must contain less than .3% THC. In the U.K., that number is 2%. No matter how much THC the product contains, the label will tell you how much is in the product. Next, you can read about the added compounds present in the product. Compounds like phytocannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, help with the absorption of CBD in the body.

Additionally, note the dosage instructions for clear guidelines about how much CBD to take. If you are taking it for medical reasons, you may want to consult with your doctor to determine the right amount. Lastly, you will find storage instructions on the bottle. Follow these carefully to ensure your product remains effective and safe.

Many companies also provide a lab report on their products. A lab report will list what is present in the product, including THC levels. Some cases of inaccurate labeling and dangerous (and illegal) products serve as a catalyst for many CBD companies to provide a lab report for their products. A CBD lab report will tell you about the potency of the product, terpenes, and any metal or pesticide screenings. For the cautious or uneducated CBD user, a lab report is a great solution to help you understand what is in the product you are buying. So if you are buying from a company with a report, read through it to feel more confident and comfortable with your choice.

Where should I buy CBD products?

You should be sure to buy CBD products from sellers with good reviews and testimonials. This is the fastest way to know the product is working for other CBD enthusiasts. Depending on where you live, you should be able to buy CBD products in a variety of places. CBD is becoming so popular that CBD-infused items are present in Kroger grocery stores, Sephora, CVS, and even Urban Outfitters. Of course, you can purchase CBD products online through the seller’s website. Be sure to read product reviews to understand best what you need.

Forecast for better regulations

With the CBD industry expected to grow exponentially, many assume regulations are arriving soon. The drive for regulations does not only come from the consumers but also investors looking to get into the CBD game. No matter what will happen, it is the job of the consumer to do his or her research and determine what products are the safest for their needs.

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