So, you are looking at several different CBD products that may help you with sleep, pain, or other health issues. But which one should you get? How do you know what the label is telling you? Reading and understanding CBD product labels can be misleading, if you are new to the CBD market. Let’s examine some labels to help you better understand what information these labels are providing.

How Much CBD Is In The Product?

When you look at a liquid product of CBD, you will see the number of milligrams of CBD provided on the front label. When most people look at a label, they assume that the amount noted on the front of the label is the amount of CBD in each recommended dose. American Green describes the amount of CBD in terms of milligrams. How much is a milligram (mg)? For a visual perspective, pour a few crystals of table salt onto the table. Selectively isolate about two grains of salt off to the side. These two crystals represent the amount of material in about 1 mg. American Green uses the convention of milliliters (mL) to describe the volume of product in the bottle. Again, for a visual representation, a teaspoon contains about 5 mL of liquid. Some products use the fluid ounce (oz.) system to describe volume in the container. Fortunately, one fluid ounce is essentially equivalent to 30 mL which makes for easy math conversion and comparison. The typical measurement scale for a dose of CBD is given in milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL). Let’s assume a label states 300 mg CBD with a volume of 30 mL. So, do we get 300 mg for every milliliter taken. The answer to that question is, unfortunately no. The 300 mg listed on the label is the total amount of CBD found in the bottle. Therefore, the value of 300 mg has to be divided by 30 mL to obtain the amount of CBD in 1 mL of product, i.e., 10 mg/mL. A label stating 2000 mg in 1 oz (approx. 30 mL) is equal to 66.7 mg/mL and a label stating 1,500 mg in 2 oz (approx. 60 mL) is equal to 25 mg/mL. Remember, it is important to understand that the milligrams of CBD on the front label is the TOTAL amount of CBD contained in a liquid bottle. Let’s look at the labeling for one of the American Green liquid products, Water Soluble CBD Daily Drops. On the front you will find what type of CBD product it is, the amount of CBD it contains and the volume of the product. On the back side of the container, you will find more information regarding ingredients found in the product and in some cases, a more accurate description of the recommended dosing regimen. Labeling for this version of an American Green product is shown below.

200mg Water Soluble CBD ingredients and dosage chart example

The labeling above is for a 200 mg CBD water soluble daily drops product in a volume of 30 mL. Doing the math, 200 mg is divided by 30 mL which equates to 6.67 mg/mL. This value corresponds to that which is stated on the back of the label for a 1 mL dose. Also found on the back label is other information such as what excipients are contained in the product.An excipient is any material in the formulation other than CBD itself. For example, the excipients in the product are purified water, cornstarch, and MCT (medium chain triglyceride). Yes, even purified water can be considered an excipient. American Green offers a large number of CBD products. Therefore, they employ a large variety of excipients in their formulations depending on whether it is intended for human or animal use. Different excipients are selected for each product to support the format being offered, i.e., capsules, water soluble drops, oil drops, mints, balms, or vape solutions. Excipients may also be selected to support the shelf-life stability of the product, such as alpha-tocopherol, an antioxidant. The amount of each excipient found in the product is generally not described with regards to a specific amount, but rather to its presence. Excipients are generally listed in the order of greatest amount to least amount found in the product. As in the case above, MCT would be the excipient in least amount for the formulation.

Other non-liquid forms of CBD such as capsules, gummies, mints, etc. may give the actual amount of CBD provided in a dosage unit on the front label. For example, the front label for mints describes the amount of CBD in each mint. The label for a capsule product indicates the amount of CBD in each capsule. In the case of a balm product, the amount of CBD on the front label is, like the liquid products, the total amount of CBD in the container. The volume, in this case, is generally listed in the measurement scale of ounces of product. Since it is a topical application, the product is not administration on a mg/mL basis. Therefore, you will not find a dosing regimen such as mg/mL. It is very difficult to measure exactly the amount of a topical applied to the skin. In this case you generally apply the necessary amount to obtain the relief you desire.

Understanding CBD Labeling (CBD A-Z Video Series)

Understanding CBD Labeling YouTube Video

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, we have given you a better understanding on how to read CBD labeling. Actually, these rules apply to almost all labeling for products and foods, e.g., sausage, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. Understanding labels will make you a better consumer advocate for your own health. If you are new to CBD, you should always start with a smaller dose first to see how you respond. If you find the relief you need, then congratulations are in order. However, if you are not quite satisfied, you can try a higher dose until you obtain the relief you are searching for. Fortunately, CBD is not addictive and has essentially no negative side effects to your overall health. Therefore, increasing the dose should not be of a concern. And if you have certain allergies, be sure to read the ingredient list carefully. Having this knowledge will allow you to be a more informed consumer and allow you to select a safe and effective CBD product.

Article FAQ

How Do I Determine How Much CBD Is In a Product?

For Liquids, the typical measurement scale for a dose of CBD is given in milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL). For Solids (topicals, concentrates, etc.), the typical measurement scale for a dose of CBD is given in milligrams per gram (mg/gm).

What Are Milliliters?

A Milliliter or (mL) is a unit of measuring volume (liquids). *(1mL = 1/1000th of a liter, 1000mL = 1 liter)

What Are Milligrams?

A Milligram or (mg) is a unit of measuring mass (solids). *(1mg = 1/1000th of a gram, 1000mg = 1 gram)

What Are Excipients?

An excipient is any material in the formulation other than CBD itself.
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Understanding CBD Labeling