How to Read CBD Product Labels

By Joy Smith
Published: February 25, 2019 | Last updated: May 25, 2021 11:25:29
Key Takeaways

When it comes to learning about the CBD products you are considering or are taking, the product label can often be misleading and confusing for consumers.

The CBD industry is set for massive growth in the coming decade. Medical research has proven the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), ranging from neuroprotective to analgesic properties. Moreover, CBD is one of the 100 cannabinoids identified in the hemp plant. It has a wide range of health benefits and is devoid of psychoactive effects.


Consequently, CBD is being widely manufactured, promoted, and used in the form of oil, tinctures, vape oil, and soothing salves to manage a myriad of health issues. The rise in popularity of this cannabinoid has encouraged manufacturers to introduce other innovative forms of cannabidiol products, namely CBD gummies and sprays. Each of these products has labels offering information that can help people select the right product for their healthcare needs. However, most CBD consumers often find it tough to decode this perplexing and potentially misleading information.

Read on to learn some valuable tips on deciphering the information shared on CBD product labels, enabling you to make an informed decision for your well-being.


First Things First: Know How Much CBD You Need

In the US, CBD is federally approved for use as a nutritional supplement. However, CBD oil doesn’t have a recommended dose, overdose level, or an official serving size. Therefore, it can be quite confusing to choose a CBD product based merely on the manufacturer’s recommendations on the label.

Furthermore, the one-size-fits-all rule doesn’t apply to CBD dosing. So, the rule of thumb is to start low and gradually increase the dose until you experience the desired result.

When determining the right dose of CBD, consider factors like the concentration of CBD in the product, your body weight, and the severity of the illness into consideration.


Each CBD product has a different amount of cannabidiol per dose. Use the CBD dosage calculator below to determine the right dose for you.

CBD Dosage Calculator for Chronic Pain

CBD dosage calculator chart


Let’s say a person weighing 180 pounds is suffering from severe pain and is looking for a suitable dose of CBD per day. He comes across a CBD oil brand offering the following information on the label:

Serving size: 10 drops

Amount of CBD per serving: 25 mg

In other words, 10 drops = 25 mg cannabidiol or 2.5 mg CBD per drop.

Referring to the Dosage Calculator chart shared above, the starting dose for this individual should be 18 mg. The number of drops to be administered per day can be calculated: 18 mg divided by 2.5 mg = 7.2 or seven drops of the product (for a decimal higher than five, consider rounding it up to the next number).

Pay Attention to Contents on Label

Whether you are buying CBD oil, tincture, or salve, make sure to go through the following information on the product label before purchasing it:

Serving Size

The serving size or servings per unit gives a rough estimate of how long the product will last. For instance, 15 servings mean the product will last you for 15 days at a once-daily dosage.

CBD Content

As seen earlier, CBD content is important for determining the appropriate dose. CBD product labels offer information not only on the amount of cannabidiol present per serving but also whether the product contains THC.

The desired level of THC in CBD oil should not exceed 0.3 percent. The product label may not carry information about the presence of THC if its concentration is below 0.3 percent.

Whole Plant or Isolate

Check the product label to determine whether the manufacturer is using the whole plant (also referred to as full spectrum) or CBD isolates in their product.

Though CBD isolates are becoming popular, it is wise to go for a full-spectrum CBD product that contains not only cannabidiol, but constituents like terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids that offer a superior therapeutic effect in comparison to CBD alone.

Other Constituents

Cannabidiol is just one of the many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Hence, it is normal for a CBD product label to carry information on other cannabinoids (not including THC) and terpenes. In fact, research shows cannabinoids and terpenes work together synergistically to elicit the therapeutic effects.

Furthermore, since cannabidiol has a nutty flavor that may not be appreciated by all, the products are infused with flavors and natural sweeteners to improve taste and aroma.

Storage Instructions

Manufacturers often recommend how to best preserve the CBD product in order to prevent it from going rancid over a period of time. Also, check the label for the expiration date, and purchase a product that exhibits optimal therapeutic effect when used.

Research the CBD Manufacturer

All CBD product labels carry the name of the manufacturer. This gives you an opportunity to research the company and determine whether it has a good reputation in the industry.

When browsing the company website, it is wise to investigate its testing standards, third-party lab test results, and the organization’s endeavor to offer premium-quality products.

Furthermore, read about the strains of CBD and the extraction process used by the company in manufacturing the product.

A few companies are able to sell their CBD products at a relatively low cost as they use cheap and toxic petroleum-based solvents like propane, hexane, pentane, and butane that can be harmful to the human body.

Several other manufacturers use pharmaceutical-grade ethanol to extract CBD and get rid of the hemp plant residue. This process is proven to yield the highest level of cannabinoids and the products are safe for consumption.

The supercritical CO2 extraction process is another method of ensuring high-quality CBD products.

Researching the manufacturer’s website should help you find the relevant information for selecting the most effective CBD product.

The burgeoning cannabidiol industry offers a wide range of CBD products to customers, making it tough to choose a product that will best suit their needs. The information on the CBD product label is supposed to help buyers decide on what they need. However, more often than not, this information becomes a source of confusion, thereby preventing customers from experiencing the therapeutic benefits of CBD. The valuable tips shared in this post will help you decipher the information shared on CBD product labels, allowing you to purchase a product that meets your health goals.


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