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Understanding CBD Product Label Lingo: CBD 101

If someone has suggested that you try CBD for relaxation, everyday aches, or as a mood-booster during stress, then you want to know what products will work best for you. CBD stands for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring chemical component in cannabis plants. CBD is now a popular addition to your wellness regimen, but the information can definitely be overwhelming!

Deciphering these CBD product labels is crucial for making informed choices about products. Whether you're a seasoned user or new to CBD, grasping the intricacies of CBD product labels is key to a safe and effective experience.

We're here to make things simple. Let's break down some CBD terminology so you can better understand what it all means. Then, if you decide to try out CBD products, you'll be better equipped to pick which one is right for your specific needs.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The importance of third-party lab testing and certificates of analysis.
  • How to differentiate between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate CBD.
  • Strategies for correctly interpreting the amount of CBD per serving.

With a better understanding of CBD product labels, you'll be able to choose products that best suit your needs and preferences. Let's dive into the details of what these labels really mean.

Common CBD Terminology and What Does Everything Mean?

Before going into the CBD terminology, the most important thing you need to determine is that the products you are looking into have a Certificate of Analysis (COA) and are 3rd party lab-tested. In some states, this is a requirement, but in others, there are no rules about it. Even if your state doesn’t require it, we don’t recommend purchasing a CBD product that does not have a batch number, expiration date, or COA–it's suspicious.

You'll be looking for a batch number or a URL marked somewhere on the package that will lead you to a COA. A QR code is ideal so you can scan it to immediately get the lab results. The lab tests are to make sure it is safe and not contaminated with heavy metals or other dangerous substances, like mold.

CBD Terminology 101 - Most Confusing Terms

What are terpenes?

Over 300 terpenes have been discovered in cannabis! Terpenes are natural chemical compounds in plants that produce aroma. Terpenes will affect the smell and taste, but also have a functional component; they can boost the efficacy and strength of cannabinoids like THC or CBD due to modulation of receptor sites.Terps aren’t the ONLY part of aroma and flavor, but they’re believed to be the most important.

What Is the Entourage Effect?

The entourage effect is a term to describe the synergistic way the many terpenes and cannabinoids all come together to create the best user experience. In other words, some cannabinoids on their own may not be as effective, but utilizing multiple compounds leads to increased efficacy. You will most likely achieve the "entourage effect" with products that use more than two cannabinoids, and/or have multiple terpenes.

What does “flower” mean in the CBD industry?

The flower is quite literally the flower, or more commonly referred to, as the bud of the plant. This is what most people think of when someone mentions "weed", but can be used when discussing hemp or cannabis. The flower is an unprocessed part of the plant that you can use in different ways. CBD flower is available in pre-rolled joints or in their original “bud” form to be ground up and smoked.

What is refined oil?

Refined oil is created by extraction from flower using CO2. The oil would be more concentrated than raw oil, but some of the fatty lipids and odors have been stripped out. The process is intended to highlight specific effects produced by CBD or THC. Refined oils are most commonly used in vape pens.

Types of CBD on Labels

The type of CBD listed on a product label plays a significant role in its effects and legal status. Generally, CBD products fall into three main categories: full-spectrum distillate, broad-spectrum distillate, and isolate. Understanding these distinctions is key to choosing a product that aligns with your needs and legal considerations, especially regarding THC content.

What is the difference between Distillate and Isolate?

CBD distillate is a highly concentrated oil. The oil has been extracted to keep the individual cannabinoids and terpenes; then, these individual compounds are recombined into either a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum oil. The neat thing about distillate is that it can be easily infused into many different products: edibles like gummies, candies, and even topicals.

CBD isolate, compared to distillate is pure CBD. It is "isolated" from the rest of the cannabinoids and terpenes. There will be nothing else present–no other cannabinoids or terpenes. Isolate is essentially distillate that has been extracted further, creating an extremely pure form. Isolate isn't actually an oil either; it is usually a solid with a crystalline structure. 

What about Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum?

Broad spectrum and full spectrum are the two types of distillate oil you can choose from. Both will achieve the entourage effect, but have different compounds. Let's go over some of the key differences between the two. 

Full spectrum CBD includes everything that is found in the plant. Terpenes, cannabinoids, and THC (for hemp-based CBD products, legally the THC cannot exceed 0.3%). The full spectrum will have the strongest "entourage effect." With full spectrum, you need to be mindful that there are trace amounts of THC in the plant, which can build up over time and may show up on a drug test if you're tested.

The broad-spectrum is similar to full spectrum but lacks the trace amounts of THC. You'll still achieve the entourage effect, but it will be less intense. If you want CBD with terpenes and cannabinoids like CBN and CBG, but also don't want any THC in your product, broad-spectrum CBD might be for you.

Interpreting the Amount of CBD on Product Label

Understanding the amount of CBD in a product is crucial for determining its potency and aligning it with your wellness goals. CBD labels typically indicate the total CBD content in the entire package as well as the CBD content per serving. This information is vital for dosing correctly and safely, especially for those new to using CBD products.

When reading a CBD label, it's essential to understand the difference between total CBD content and CBD per serving. This distinction is a fundamental aspect of CBD 101. 

  • The total CBD content refers to the amount of CBD in the entire product. For example, a tincture might contain 500 mg of CBD in the entire bottle. 
  • CBD per serving indicates the amount of CBD in each use or dose. This could be, say, 25 mg per dropper or capsule.

Understanding this distinction is crucial in grasping CBD terminology and ensuring you're consuming the right amount of CBD for your needs. It's the first step in becoming proficient in reading a CBD label and effectively using CBD products.

Calculating the appropriate dosage requires a clear understanding of the serving size indicated on CBD product labels. Here's a step-by-step guide to make this easier:

  1. Identify the serving size: Check the product label for the serving size, which is often listed in milliliters (ml) for oils or as a quantity for capsules or gummies.
  1. Understand your dosage requirements: Determine the amount of CBD you want to consume per serving based on your individual needs or a healthcare professional’s recommendation.
  1. Calculate the number of servings: Divide the total CBD content by the recommended dosage to understand how long the product might last for you. For instance, if a 500 mg CBD tincture bottle has 20 mg per serving, there are 25 servings in one bottle. If you take this once a day, it should last you just under a month.
  1. Adjust as needed: Depending on your response to CBD, you may need to adjust your dosage. Always start with a lower dose and increase gradually, keeping track of how it affects you.

Other Ingredients on CBD Product Label

Apart from CBD, product labels often list various other ingredients that can significantly affect your experience. Understanding these components is a vital part of CBD 101. These might include carrier oils, flavors, herbs, or other additives that enhance the product's effectiveness or taste. However, some of these ingredients might also be allergens or substances you wish to avoid.

Here are some typical additives you might encounter:

  • Carrier Oils: Oils like coconut or hemp seed oil are often used to dilute CBD and aid in its absorption. These are a key part of CBD terminology. MCT oil is often used because it is stable and not typically an allergen.
  • Flavorings: Natural or artificial flavors may be added to improve taste, especially in oral products like tinctures and gummies.
  • Colors & Dyes: Colors, whether natural or artificial, are commonly incorporated to enhance visual appeal and make the product more enticing.
  • Herbs and Essential Oils: Additional herbs or essential oils may be included for added therapeutic benefits or aroma.
  • Preservatives and Stabilizers: These are used to extend the shelf life of the product, ensuring its consistency and quality over time. Most companies use natural stabilizers but it is always good to check.

As part of your journey of learning CBD product label terminology, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with these ingredients, as they are integral components of CBD product labels. However, that’s not the end.

Understanding CBD also involves being aware of potential allergens and additives in CBD products. This knowledge is essential, particularly for users with specific dietary restrictions or allergies. Here's why it's important:

  • Some individuals may have allergies to certain carrier oils or flavorings used in CBD products. Checking the label helps in avoiding allergic reactions. Know that the “Big 9” Allergens are required to be labeled on packaging.
  • For those on special diets, such as vegan or gluten-free, verifying the ingredients ensures the product aligns with their dietary needs.
  • Some consumers prefer CBD products free from artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Reading the label thoroughly is key to making an informed choice. For example, red-40 is one of the most widely used artificial dyes, and unfortunately, a common allergen.

The Significance of the Manufacturing Date on CBD Product Label

One often overlooked aspect when reading a CBD label is the manufacturing date. This date is a crucial piece of information for anyone invested in understanding CBD and ensuring the quality of their CBD products. The manufacturing date gives you an idea of how fresh the product is, which can be important for maintaining its potency and efficacy.

This date is not just a random piece of information; it directly impacts the potency and effectiveness of the CBD product.

Being adept at reading a CBD label involves more than just understanding CBD; it includes making informed decisions based on the manufacturing date. 

Here’s how to use this information:

  • Look for the manufacturing date on the label. This is usually found near the expiration date.
  • Prefer products that have a recent manufacturing date. The closer the date is to your purchase, the fresher the product.
  • Different CBD products have varying shelf lives. Research or inquire about the typical shelf life of the product type you are considering.
  • Once purchased, ensure you store your CBD product according to the manufacturer's guidelines to maintain its potency.

Choose South Tip’s Quality CBD Products

There are tons of companies out there that make CBD products, so why should you choose South Tip?

  1. We aren't a white-labeled company. When you buy from us, you are buying OUR product, not someone else's formula with our branding. We research and develop all products for sale on our website, and manufacture everything on site in our South Florida cGMP facility.
  2. We have nothing to hide. All of our COAs and lab results are easily found on our website here.
  3. We only use the highest quality ingredients, exclude unnecessary fillers, and only use the best techniques. For example, all of our gummies are fully infused AND vegan. We would never roll, inject, or spray our gummies because this causes inconsistent dosing (therefore inconsistent results!) and a bitter taste.

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The Food and Drug Administration does not evaluate the products sold on this Website. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any medical conditions. Individual results may vary. Always consult with a medical health professional before using any product on this Website.
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