Proper labeling for cbd oil

CBD Labeling Requirements

What you should & shouldn’t include on your CBD product labels

Labeling CBD products can be an incredibly confusing process with the lack of specific regulations surrounding the product’s booming popularity. Unfortunately, the lack of strict CBD label requirements is leading to mislabeled CBD products, violations and a trend of lawsuits being filed against companies dues to mislabeled CBD packaging or misleading marketing. Whether it’s the amount of THC contained in products or false claims about products’ “benefits”, some manufacturers are pushing the envelope on their CBD product labels.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently reported to Congress on rampant mislabeling in the CBD industry. According to law firm Akin Gump, the FDA sent a report to Congress in July on the excessive mislabeling of CBD products. The report outlines the testing of 200 hemp products being sold online.

Akin Gump states that “Of the products tested thus far that indicated a specific amount of CBD, almost 55 percent contained a CBD level that differed from the labeling by more than 20 percent. Just under half of the products tested contained THC or a related compound. Hemp products must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC to avoid potentially facing scrutiny for containing marijuana, which remains an illegal substance under federal law.”

The testing has currently been put on hold due to the coronavirus, however, the FDA plans a more comprehensive study in the near future.

FDA Sends Out Warnings

One example of the warnings the FDA is sending to CBD manufacturers is a letter sent to The Dragon Tree Apothecary. The warning letter stated the CBD company is in violation for using false claims on their product labels and website.

“Based on the inspection and a review of your product labels and your websites, we have identified serious violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) and applicable regulations,” the FDA said in the letter.

It goes on to say, “…the claims on your company’s product labels and websites establish that your products are drugs under section 201(g)(1) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)] because they are intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease and/or intended to affect the structure or function of the body.”

The letter contains a laundry list of violations the company has committed in its product labeling and website claims by calling their products dietary supplements or stating they are intended for use as a drug, such as “relief of cold and flu symptoms” and “anxiety relief.”

The FDA has also sent out numerous warning letters to CBD companies trying to take advantage of the COVID 19 pandemic. Cbdgaze.com received a letter a for violations stating the company had “claims on your website representing or implying that the products can mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people.” The website has since been taken down.

What you need to know

Since the FDA doesn’t currently allow the sale of CBD ingestible products, it’s important to note the labeling requirements on a state-by-state basis. Some states permit the sale of CBD in foods and dietary supplements but require specific label information and warning requirements. To help you understand where your product fits, the FDA has put together a list of the 26 most common questions about cannabis products and their regulations.

We’ve put together some important things every CBD seller should include on their CBD product labels. We’ve also included some common mistakes you should avoid.

At a minimum, you should follow the FDA regulations for cosmetic product labeling for your CBD-infused products below. If you’re selling in a state that allows edible CBD products, then make sure to check state regulations for CBD label requirements.

  • Do not make any false or misleading claims of treating or preventing disease. The FDA has already sent warning letters to companies selling CBD products that have made these false claims.
  • Properly display your label information (See 6 items below) and make sure it’s legible.
  • Do not violate the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970.

CBD Labeling Guidelines

Basic requirements you should include on your CBD product labels:

1. Product identity

This is what your CBD product is or does. It must be included on the Product Display Panel (PDP) of your product. This is not the brand or trade name but it must be easy to locate and see. It doesn’t have to be on the inner container of a product, but putting it in both places is often helpful to consumers.

2. Net quantity of contents

You must state the amount of the actual product without any of the packaging or container, as well as the amount of active CBD per serving. This must be measured by volume for liquids or by weight for solids. The net contents must appear within the bottom 30% of the PDP of the outer container and on an informational panel on an inner container.

3. Name and place of business

Customers must have a way to contact the manufacturer or distributor. The name and address are required on an informational panel on both the outer and inner packaging of your CBD product. Including a phone number is also a good idea or a QR code where consumers can get more information.

4. Ingredient declaration

All CBD products require a full declaration of all ingredients. They must be listed on an informational panel on the outer packaging. It isn’t a requirement on inner containers if on the outer packaging. If no outer packaging, it must be on the product container itself.

5. Warning or caution statements

It’s a good idea to include the standard warnings for children and pregnant women as well as any complications for people taking other medications. It’s also a good idea to include a warning that users could fail a drug test if consuming hemp products as well.

6. Disclosure of material facts

These are any facts that a reasonable person would deem to be important, significant, or essential when buying your CBD product. For instance, if your CBD oil is only good for nighttime use, then that should be disclosed.

Other things that you should consider including for consumers:

  • Whether your product is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or isolate
  • Expiration date
  • Manufacturing date
  • Batch codes

Please note: The suggestions above are just guidelines. You should consult all federal, state, and local regulations that pertain to your CBD product before completing your labels.

What CBD labels are right for you?

Avery offers a huge catalog of CBD labels that are easy to create and order online. You can simply personalize a free CBD label template and order professionally printed CBD labels by the roll or by the sheet. Or you can order blank CBD labels by the sheet that you can print from a laser or inkjet printer.

Find the right material for your CBD including waterproof and CBD oil-resistant films, metallics, glossy, clear, and many more. Avery also offers thermal transfer roll labels available in white, chrome, and metallic film.

You can easily create and order your CBD labels, CBD tincture labels, and CBD bottle labels to your exact specifications, all online. We can print your barcodes or QR codes or custom compliance labels for your specific state. Just customize with your compliance needs and order.

If you have any questions or need help choosing the right labels, please call our California-based Customer Care Center at (800) 942-8379. Or let us know in the comments below and we’ll respond within 24-48 hours.

Author: Melanie Neff

Melanie has an extensive writing background built on an impressive journalism foundation. As a journalist for USA Today and The Los Angeles Times for almost 20 years, she covered everything from the Los Angeles riots, fires and floods to LA Lakers and Clippers games and movie premieres. She followed her newspaper career with a long tenure covering commercial real estate financing and development. Melanie has currently been writing about small business marketing and labeling needs for the past 10 years. She thrives on reading, researching and expanding her knowledge of everything going on in today’s business world and looks to provide the most valuable information she can to her readers. View all posts by Melanie Neff

18 thoughts on “CBD Labeling Requirements”

How would I label a muscle rub with cbd and essential oils in it? Does calling it a muscle rub, make it a drug and not a cosmetic?

Ashlee,
It depends on how you describe your muscle rub. If you say that a product ingredient can heal or cure, it becomes an unapproved drug.Check out this example for a company that did it wrong. Avery recommends you contact an attorney or the FDA before you print or order your labels to make sure you’re doing it correctly. I hope this helps.

We are thinking of offering a honey product with 100mg of hemp (isolate) with NO THC per serving.
Can our ingredient panel simply state “US Grade A Honey, Hemp Isolate”? These are the only 2 ingredients for our honey product.

Glenn,
You should be fine with that as long as you list everything in your CBD product, but I am not a lawyer, and I’m strictly going off the FDA guidelines. And with all the confusion going on with CBD and cannabis labels right now, I would suggest that you contact the FDA to make sure you are doing everything correctly. Questions concerning the labeling of food products may be directed to the Food Labeling and Standards Staff (HFS-820), Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20740-3835, Telephone: (240) 402-2371. Hope this helps.

What if some one is selling products without any labels just a their company name? How can you report that

Layla,
Thank you for the question. You can report products that are mislabeled to the FDA. You can call the FDA Consumer Complaint line for your state listed here. Or you can report it online at the FDA Safety Reporting Portal. I hope this helps. Let us know what you find out. Thanks for reading.

Interesting post. Would like more information on ointments containg full spectrum hemp oil

its fascinating post and You included all the necessary information for us to make a better decision and presented the information in a one-page table that was really easy to read. Your work made it really easy to make a perfect decision. Great job!

I’d like to get more info about design and printing labels for 1oz tincture bottles.
Thanks

Clayton,
Thanks for that suggestion. We will add that to our upcoming content ideas. If you need some help right now, please feel free to call our customer care center. We’re open and doing business and they’d be happy to help you design and print your bottle labels. Call them at (800) 942-8379.

How does nearly every CBD product have a Dietary Supplement Fact label on it if the FDA says it isn’t a dietary supplement?

It’s because of all the confusion over regulations we believe. There are a lot of mislabeled products on the market. And each state also has different laws. It’s always our recommendation to check with your local, state and FDA regulations before labeling any product.

Avery – I’d like to use your labeling graphic for an upcoming legal education course on CBD labeling and marketing. Would Avery grant a license to use the graphic for that narrow purpose?

Olivia,
Thank you so much for reaching out. Due to the confusing and constantly changing CBD label regulations, Avery would prefer if you just share the link to the post or the post itself and not only the graphic. It’s a topic we’re keeping close eyes on, and if the guidelines change we will update the article and graphics as well.
Again, thank you for reaching out. Good luck with your course!

What are the label requirements for hemp flower verses a tincture?

Since tinctures are ingestible you’ll need to follow the FDA guidelines for dietary supplements. The more information you put on your labels, the better off you and your customers are.

#4 states that “Disclosure of material facts: They must be listed on an informational panel on the outer packaging but isn’t a requirement on inner containers.”

Can you clarify what that means exactly?

Let’s take for example the common CBD oil/tincture…

Does this mean you NEED to place your CBD vial inside some sort of box or envelope? Whereas the box/envelope would contain this required information?

Does this mean you CAN put this required information on the vial itself? (that is if it fits and is legible; e.g. 6pt font size)

Thank you for your question. To clarify, if your product has outer packaging, it must be on the outer packaging. So if you don’t have outer packaging it can be on the vial itself. Consumers need to be able to read the ingredients without opening the packaging.
I’ve clarified it in the article. Hope this helps.

How to label your CBD product correctly

Follow these do’s and don’ts to stay out of the federal regulator spotlight—and be considered for exhibiting at Natural Products Expo.

Editor’s note: This article is current as of June 2019.

The new world of hemp CBD-containing products is presenting excitement—and much confusion. During this time of uncertainty, New Hope Network wants to see brands labeling their hemp products appropriately in order to strengthen the industry unity.

The following recommendations are what our standards department requires to exhibit these hemp CBD-containing products at Natural Products Expo West and East. We strive to get this burgeoning industry aligned with these standards to move forward with a cohesive approach.

Determine the correct label

To determine if your product needs a food or supplement label, you need to consider the directions for use as well as the intended use of the product. If your product is a capsule, soft gel or oral spray, it needs a supplement label. For oil drops, if the suggested serving size is a number of drops, the product is also a supplement.

Even some food and beverage formats should be labeled as supplements—especially those where the suggested serving size is below the FDA’s RACC (recommended amount customarily consumed). Bottom line: it’s all about the intended use, which can be established by container size, number of servings in the container, serving size, marketing claims made about the items and the dosage of specialty ingredients. In fact, more often than not, a hemp CBD product will need a supplement label.

When going the supplement label route, follow the FDA labeling regulations for dietary supplements.

Don’t mess up the front

The most important part of labeling—and the most often done incorrectly—is the front of the package. The display panel must include some vital pieces of information:

  • The net weight (volume of the container for liquids), or
  • The count (number of capsules or tablets contained in the bottle)

This requirement differs from products sold in marijuana dispensaries. Therefore, if you’re selling your product only in-state, it’s appropriate to go by that state’s labeling laws. Otherwise, you’ll need to follow the federal rules.

Another required piece of information that must appear on the front display panel of the label is the statement of identity. This could be “hemp extract supplement,” “herbal supplement,” “dietary supplement,” or something similar.

You may want to call out the amount of a nutrient, such as 15 mg CBD per serving, on the front of the package. This is allowed, but the amount must match the facts panel information on the back of the label.

Identify the parts

If you’ve identified dietary supplement on the front, the back of the package requires a Supplement Facts panel. For herbal products (not foods) you’ll need to identity the part(s) of the plant used—the parts of the hemp plant in this case. This should be indicated as the total amount of hemp extract or oil (in milligrams) per serving. Otherwise, the product will appear to be an isolate if you are only declaring the amount of CBD per serving in the facts panel. For clarity, you have the option here to separate out the cannabidiol (and/or other cannabinoids) and list the amount(s) per serving.

If your product is a food or beverage, you’ll need to use a Nutrition Facts panel on the back. These are slightly different from the Supplements Facts panel, so you should refer to the FDA Food Labeling Guide. The front of the package, however, has relatively the same requirements as a supplement.

Don’t spotlight the CBD

We know “CBD” is sexy, but we suggest you position your product as a hemp or full-spectrum cannabinoid product—not just a CBD product. If you are truly selling a wholistic, full-spectrum hemp plant product, why not call it that?

A more comprehensive focus on hemp and the entourage effect of a full spectrum of cannabinoids will clearly identify and distinguish CBD-containing products from isolated CBD drug products—and keeping health benefits claims to what is acceptable for foods and dietary supplements may reduce the risk of falling into FDA’s enforcing radar.

Furthermore, CBD isolate products (except for topicals) are prohibited at Natural Products Expo.

Follow instructions

If you want to label correctly, follow the FDA’s Labeling Guidance documents for Dietary Supplements and for Foods, when applicable. Refer to these resources for all the labeling requirements.

You may also refer to New Hope Network Standards for our policy on exhibiting and advertising hemp CBD-containing products. And remember, all the other marketing claims you make about your product must also comply with these standards.

Hemp Products Connect directory : Explore and compare responsible hemp and CBD brands and products backed by New Hope Network Standards.

How to Create Appealing and Compliant CBD Labels

The CBD industry has exploded over the last decade. On a saturated market, cannabis-derived products now crowd the shelves. And the online shops. From oils, tinctures, dietary supplements, to foods and cosmetics – it’s a real craze.

Whether you’re already in the business, or you’re getting started now – proper CBD labeling is essential.

I’m not talking only about a well-designed product that catches the eye. CBD foods, drugs, and cosmetics must follow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.

In this post, I summed up a few important things that will help you create outstanding and compliant CBD labels.

You’ll learn about:

  • • FDA’s requirements for CBD labels
  • • Extra mandatory info to be displayed on labels
  • • Quick checklist for your CBD oil labels
  • • Tips to design your catchy CBD labels
  • • CBD oil labels inspiration

Let’s dive right in.

1. FDA’s Requirements for CBD Labels

You might be wondering why I start this article talking about FDA and regulations. And you’ll see that I’ll keep mentioning it for a while below.

Well because products containing CBD and THC are marketed as dietary supplements and/or conventional foods.

So we focus on what comes first – compliance.

CBD is legal but not yet federally regulated. FDA’s still running investigations on CBD. To date, it only approved one pharmaceutical product on the market. A pure form of CBD oil that treats severe epilepsy called Epidiolex.

What does that mean for your business?

It means that without clear regulations, the marketing and sales of CBD products are hazy. As a result, states have adopted their own approaches and regulations instead.

Some made it legal. Some only partly. And some completely banned the production and sale of such products.

Unfortunately, this situation has also led to inconsistent and misleading CBD labeling. All at the expense of consumers. Shady companies led deceptive marketing. So false claims about products’ benefits ended in lawsuits.

And that’s something you most definitely want to avoid.

That being said…

No matter what kind of products or where you’re selling them, you need to stay up to date and in line with the FDA’s guidelines for CBD supplements and foods.

You’ve put effort, time, and money into your business. Nothing’s worth the risk of damaging your brand’s reputation. Plus, compliant CBD labels save you from reprinting thousands of them. Not to mention the extra cost. So starting with the right foot is a warranty for success.

Now, let’s have a look at the FDA’s five most important pieces of information that must appear on your CBD labels.

You should make sure that all the following information is clearly visible.

I. FRONT DISPLAY PANEL

Product identity

This part describes what your CBD product is or does. For example, “CBD oil” or “hemp extract softgels”. It can also specify the benefit, like “pain relief” or “sleeping aid”.

Net quantity of content

This is the amount of product without the packaging or container. It also states the amount of active CBD per serving. For solids, it’s measured by weight. For liquids, it’s measured by volume. This info usually goes at the bottom on the front panel.

II. INFORMATION LABEL PANELS

Nutrition information

If your product is a food or beverage, you’ll state the Nutrition Facts. If the product is a supplement, you’ll have Supplement Facts.

List of ingredients

You should list all ingredients and excipients in order of weight.

Name and address of manufacturer, packer or distributor

Show your name, address, and phone number. They must appear both on the packaging and on the label. This is a sign of transparency. Buyers might want extra information about your product. And they should be able to contact you and find out more anytime.

These are the FDA’s basic requirements that you should display on your labels. They are mandatory and give the basic details about you and your product.

Nobody wants to mess around with laws and regulations. And I think that’s something we can both agree on. So I wanted to make sure we have this clear first.

But we’re not done with the info part yet. There’s more.

Another important thing to keep in mind – use your custom marijuana labels and CBD packaging to let customers know that you’re reliable and trustworthy.

If you’re wondering how you can do that:

By adding some more essential details on your CBD labels.

I’ll explain below…

2. Be Transparent With Your CBD Label

If you want to prove that you’re reliable and trustworthy, make your CBD labels as accurate as possible. And more importantly, be transparent and honest. This is the quickest way to earn customers’ trust AND loyalty.

As you know, people buy and use CBD products as a treatment for various disorders. From epilepsy to ADHD, insomnia, and other sicknesses. And this only is a valid reason to show on your CBD packaging boxes that customers can rely on you.

How exactly do you do that?

By making sure that your products are exactly what you tell them they are on the label. And give them all the details to check anytime.

Here’s what you should add:

  • Producer’s name

Your brand and logo should appear on the front panel. Make it look clear and professional. People like to know who they are buying from. Besides, loyal customers can easily recognize your products.

  • Manufacturing date

CBD quality degrades over time so people want to know how old the product is or when it expires. It also may be one of the things they check first. Tinctures and edibles must be consumed within months, for instance. Make sure to include this information on your labels for edibles. The longest shelf life of a CBD product does not go over two years.

  • Batch and lot number

This informs customers about when or where the product was made. Also, in case of a recall, it can track down an entire batch or lot to withdraw it from the market.

  • License number

Distinguish yourself from non-licensed makers. Make it easy for them to find you and trust your products. People have become aware of misleading marketing. So they check what they buy.

  • Third party lab testing

If you want to go even further for credibility and transparency, invest in third-party lab testing. This reassures customers that the information on the product label is accurate. Even better, it makes your products reputable.

  • Scannable barcode or QR code

It’s optional but still remains the best way to guarantee product quality. Customers can get all the information they want in one action. They scan the QR code with their smartphones and have instant access to all the details of your product.

  • Other ingredients

Except raw CBD oil or CBD isolate, most CBD products have extra ingredients. Include these ingredients on your custom CBD oil boxes and labels if your product contains carrier oils, spirits, colors, or flavors. Also, mention potential allergens.

  • Warning or caution statements

Include here standard warnings for children and pregnant women. Also, people who take other medications may fail a drug test if consuming hemp products. It’s best if you mention it.