When grocery shopping, you probably look at a food label before purchasing a new product. Or, if you are on a diet or have dietary restrictions, reading the ingredients and seeing the number of calories the food contains are important.
Looking at the label can help you verify a food company’s claims. For example, if it claims to be “fat-free” or “dairy-free,” you can read the label to see if that is true. Often, products listed as sugar-free will contain sugar alternatives, which means these products are not genuinely sugar-free.
Unlike the food industry, the CBD industry is not regulated by the FDA. Instead, it is largely self-monitored by manufacturers. Therefore, customers need to do their own research to ensure the CBD product they are getting contains what it says it does.
Like food labels, it can be challenging to know what you are looking for in a CBD oil label if you haven’t seen one before. What information should you look at? What does it all mean? What happens if you don’t check the label? Let’s find the answers to all these questions.
Why You Need to Read CBD Oil Labels
Many different online retailers claim to sell CBD oil and products. But not all of them will give you a quality product or even a CBD product that even contains CBD.
Before you buy candy CBD oil found on a random website, you’ll need to do research. Doing so will:
- Ensure the product you are buying contains CBD.
- Give you peace of mind about the quality of the product.
- Confirm the product does not contain any allergens.
Because CBD isn’t a regulated industry, shady companies may try to fool unsuspecting customers with a product that won’t work and isn’t as promised. It’s up to you to do the research and product yourself.
What to Look for in a Label
Before you click “Purchase,” look at the label and the product website. You’ll want to:
- Ensure the product contains CBD. Before you buy that cotton candy CBD oil you’re excited to try, look to make sure it contains CBD (cannabidiol). The label should have a mention of cannabidiol or hemp extract. If it only lists hemp seeds or hemp seed oil, this is not CBD, and you should look for another product.
- Look at the claims printed on the packaging or listed on the website. CBD products with bold claims to cure diseases are likely not good quality, as the FDA does not allow this. If a product seems too good to be true in the benefits it offers, it probably is.
- Check out the ingredients list. This is especially important if you are purchasing a flavored CBD oil like strawberry CBD or vanilla CBD as these will often contain additives not found in unflavored pure CBD oil. Reading the ingredients will help ensure the product does not contain any ingredients you are allergic to. If you eat a certain diet, this will also ensure no products contained don’t fit into that diet. For example, if using CBD oil and keto diet, you’ll want to make sure all ingredients fit into your keto lifestyle.
- Look for a COA or third-party lab results. A certificate of analysis (COA) contains the results of testing done by a third party and can help ensure you get what you think you are when purchasing CBD products. These can often be found on retailer’s websites. But, some products may also contain a QR code you can scan to pull up results. (Learn more about how to read a COA in the next section).
- Read online reviews of the product and company. Those who purchased the product before you are likely to share their experiences — good or bad. Reading reviews can give you an idea of the type of service the company offers, the quality of the products, and even the shipping methods they use.
Reading a COA
Now that you’ve found the COA, what exactly are you looking at on that sheet?
First, you will want to look at the amounts of CBD and THC the report found the product to contain. Legally, CBD in the U.S. should contain .03 percent of THC or less. Compare these numbers with what is listed on the bottle. Do your CBD gummies keto contain as much CBD as the label claims?
Next, look at the levels of other things like pesticides. Third-party testing will make sure these levels, if they exist, fall within acceptable levels.
A Note on Dosing
When purchasing CBD oil and other products, you will need to know how much CBD is within not just the bottle but each serving. And labels can make this a little tricky as they often state the amount in the entire product, not per serving.
If you buy CBD oil listed as 250 ml, that’s what is in the entire bottle. You’ll need to divide that by the number of servings to find your dosage amount.
Knowing your dosage when doing things like adding CBD oil to keto coffee is important. That way, you don’t add too much and have unexpected effects.
Reading the label of CBD products is a crucial step in ensuring you don’t get cheated. The label itself will tell you what is in the product, ensuring you are getting CBD (and not just hemp seed oil) and that you are not allergic to any sweeteners or flavors added to the oil.
Just as important as reading the label is comparing it to the certificate of analysis, or COA, which an independent third party provides. These results can often be found on the manufacturer’s website.
You’ll want to make sure the amount of CBD and THC listed on the COA matches the label and packaging.
By doing your research, you can ensure you don’t get cheated on your CBD purchase and end up with a product you enjoy and of the highest quality.