So how can you tell what you are buying?

To some extent, as long as there is no requirement to list the actual “mg of CBD” contained in a product, like the Food & Drug Administration does for calories, for fat, for sodium, for sugars, for supplements, for cosmetic ingredients, there will always be an open question as to exactly how much CBD a product actually contains, if any at all.

Until then, it’s just a guessing game that provides room for the snake oil salesmen to ply their smoke-and-mirror trade. And it’s Caveat Emptor for the consumer. Or more accurately, in this current CBD market, it’s “Caveat Maxima Emptor!”

As was pointed out in the last post, Hemp Seeds contain no CBD. Zero. Nada. None.

So if it says “Hemp Oil”, it is CBD free. If it had any, they would say so. Suppliers dare not say it has CBD if it doesn’t, because that is against the law. Subject to seizure, fines and other penalties.

So they skirt the boundaries as closely as they dare. They’ll say it has ‘hemp’ and if you mistakenly believe that means CBD, that is not their fault.

You can tell by looking at the ingredients. If it has hemp oil, they legally must list it. In order of it’s relative concentration (down to 1% or less, then the FDA lets you list it in any order you want) which is why you find the smallest ingredients last. If they don’t list it as hemp oil, that’s a crime. If they list it as something else, that’s a crime. That’s why they are very careful to make sure their ingredient list is correct. They can’t , and won’t, play any games here.

So, the ingredient list is the first place to look. If the ingredient list has “hemp extract”, . . . great. That means there is at least some CBD. And if they use hemp oil as well, it must list both hemp seed oil and hemp extract. Two separate ingredients.

They don’t have to list how much. Concentrations are not required to be listed, just listed in the order of concentration; highest to lowest. (until you get to that 1% or less, as mentioned). But for marketing purposes, the mg of CBD, or hemp extract, or full spectrum extract etc. are typically highlighted on the front of the label as a kind of an attention grabbing banner.

Graphically trying to shout, “Let’s see you top THIS !”

So, yes, 1000 mg is more than 500 mg is more than 100 mg. IF you’re talking about the same thing. We all know Canned corn niblets are not the same as Corn mash is not the same as Corn starch is not the same as high fructose corn syrup. But they all come from corn.

Hemp Extract, Full Spectrum Extract, and CBD Isolate all come from Hemp. But, they too, are not the same. Hemp Extract has less CBD than Full Spectrum Hemp Extract. Usually (though there is some slight overlap). Because Full Spectrum typically removes more of the oils, chlorophyll, and waxes, etc. extracted along with the CBD.

Full Spectrum in turn, has less CBD than Hemp Isolate, (which is virtually pure CBD), typically 98-99% pure, but can be as low as 96%. In the past, Isolate used to be 94 – 99 %, but as the processes improved and competition increased, its purity has increased as well, to its present level.

So, what does this mean ; just that Hemp Extract, generally, has less CBD than Full Spectrum Extract. And Full Spectrum Hemp Extract has less CBD than CBD Isolate.

Figure 5. Table of Hemp Extract Characteristics

So when they say “- X -“ mg, it’s important to know if it is Extract, Full Spectrum, or Isolate.

Unless of course, they actually say  “- X -“mg CBD” because that means just what it says. So you’re good to go. But as I said, many states and retailers don’t allow that.

Go figure.

Next up : Labels are for Reading