Truth in Labeling: What You Should Know About Regulations for CBD Products
We recently upgraded our tincture formulas and product labels, making them more precise as we improve the overall quality. With our recent upgrade comes the reason behind it, which was the need to be more honest about the contents in our products. We believe in always being as transparent as possible, so we wanted our products to be labeled more accurately in a stronger effort to uphold that belief.
The big truth behind the CBD industry is that it is heavily under-regulated. While the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 legalized industrial hemp and hemp-derived products, that doesn’t necessarily mean all CBD or hemp-derived products sold are legal as a result.
Today, we want to take a closer look at the truth behind product labeling for CBD. We aim to put the knowledge in your hands, so that you can decide for yourself which CBD brand you’d prefer. In an effort to prove that we’re the best instead of simply saying it, let’s dive into our full guide on the product mislabeling in the industry and what to look out for.
5 Things to Look for on CBD Products
Batch or lot number
For accuracy and consistency of a CBD product, the formulas should be batch-tested through an independent, third-party lab. Every CBD product label should have a batch number, date code, or even QR code to use to access the lab results for your product’s specific batch.
Isolate, Broad Spectrum, or Full Spectrum?
What type of CBD formula are you considering? CBD isolates contain as close to 100% pure CBD as possible, generally above 99% and lacking any THC, minor cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, or other beneficial hemp compounds. Broad-spectrum products do contains all the hemp compounds, flavonoids, terpenes, and additional cannabinoids, but they still lack the THC. Full-spectrum products, however, contain the entire spectrum of hemp compounds from the hemp strain used in that formula. A legal full-spectrum CBD product contains 0.3% THC or less, meeting standards within the 2018 Farm Bill’s regulations on the subject.
Suggested Use or Directions
A product label should include directions for how to actually use the product. Without a suggested use section, the instructions could vary too wildly depending on the type of CBD product you’re looking at.
Supplement Fact Panel
The Supplement Fact panel is vital for any reputable CBD brand, detailing the ingredients contained in the product and including how much hemp extract and CBD is in each serving. These details are some of the most important to have for a CBD product, though they’re all vital for a reputable, genuine brand to offer.
Active CBD per Serving
Finally, the amount of CBD in each serving and in each container should be on the front of the product label. Some CBD companies try to get away with putting the hemp extract content level and pass it off as the CBD content level when the CBD level is much lower.
This is the biggest reason we changed our tincture formula and product labels – we wanted to retain the honesty and transparency we’re so proud to offer with our brand. Now, our CBD tinctures include the amount of active CBD per container, visibly on the front. We’ve also perfected the formula by increasing how many terpenes we use, offering new flavors, and more.
Other Things to Consider
It’s not just the product label of a CBD brand that helps you determine the quality of that brand. On the contrary, they should have a professional website where they display all the other valuable information you could need.
Where are there lab results?
The batch or lot number we mentioned earlier, for example, should be on a page found on the website, where you can view the results and then view other details about the brand.
Can you reach them easily?
The support options available generally helps build confidence that a brand is there, prompt, and available to genuinely assist you with any issues or concerns you may have. Support email addresses, a phone number and business hours, and support chat options are all a huge plus for a CBD brand.
Where do they source their hemp?
Does the hemp they extracted their CBD from have a different country of origin than the United States? Where was the product manufactured? To truly feel confident about a product and know you’re sticking with the right CBD brand, they should offer their process in detail without you having to ask.
Transparency is one of our biggest goals here at Papa Bear Botanicals. We strive to offer only the best CBD products, which is why we source from the USA for every step of our process. The United States currently has one of the best regulations for CBD across the world, offering more accurate content levels for products than China or Russia-grown hemp might.
Beware of claims a brand makes
Buzz words and medical claims are often seen across the industry. Even wording like “all-natural,” “organic,” and “pure” can be misleading without the brand being able to back it up.
Some brands claim their products contain a certain strength of “hemp extract” when the ingredients are only hempseed oil. Hempseed oil contains virtually no cannabinoids, CBD or otherwise, making it virtually ineffective besides its base beneficial properties. Hempseed oil-based products are typically high in good fatty acids and antioxidants, but they lack the CBD content a consumer is likely expecting when they see the strength of the formula on the front of the product label.
This misdirection and incorrect labeling of various hemp products is what makes it so difficult to navigate throughout the CBD industry. Medical claims are another thing to stray away from. While CBD possesses a variety of beneficial properties, a brand stating that it can “treat” or even “cure” any condition aside from what the FDA has approved is simply unfounded.
And while we do have gathering evidence that CBD provides positive benefits, we lack the studies and clinical trials performed on a large enough group of human models. We look forward to a future where we have more answers and more CBD brands will start to open up and be honest about what’s contained in their product and what it can do for you.
Does the FDA regulate CBD products?
The FDA has only approved of one CBD product thus far, used to treat very specific and rare forms of epilepsy. However, the FDA does provide some level of regulation of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, per their website. How CBD products are marketed and labeled, as well as their intended use, all play a huge role in what the FDA deems lawful under the 2018 Farm Bill.
According to their 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.” Presently, the FDA is gathering information and accepting feedback from the public for consideration of CBD products.
What can the FDA do to improve regulation in the CBD industry?
Some CBD companies go above and beyond when it comes to the standards they put forth for their brand. Unfortunately, not all CBD products are created equal, and some brands like to cut corners. Adding more elements to product labels is a start, such as country or origin.
Until the FDA can crack down on CBD and make any conclusions for hemp-derived CBD products to begin with, buyers should be careful and wary when purchasing CBD. While there are reputable and trustworthy online sources, one must always double-check the lab results, ingredients, and other vital variables to ensure you’re getting an authentic product.
The CBD industry can be difficult to maneuver through if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Fortunately, we’ve provided the tools you need to filter the good CBD brands from the bad. Using the knowledge that you gained today, we’re proud to go above and beyond the standards of the industry to bring you a truly high-quality CBD product.