CBD Food Labeling: A Must-Know Guide for the Food Manufacturer
With the influx of cbd products hitting the market at a rapid rate coupled with all of the varying information surrounding what cannabinoids(CBD) and thc really are, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all interested, but confused. From the manufacturer who needs more guidance on CBD food labeling guidelines from the FDA to the consumer who wants to know what’s legal, we’re all groping around in the gray area of this mysterious compound.
In this article we will cover everything from the differences between cbd and thc to what the manufacturer needs to know in order to provide accurate food labeling for their CBD products.
CBD vs. THC
Cannabidiol (CBD) and THC are both cannabinoid compounds that have health benefits but no nutritive value. Both CBD and THC appeal to the human endocannabinoid system (yes, we have that) which was discovered in the 1990’s. According to a report published by UCLA, cannabis-like molecules exist within the human body and their sole purpose is to maintain homeostasis and balance within the body. So the use of cbd products and THC appeals to the body on a molecular level, resulting in many health benefits which can treat disease and disorders such as:
- inflammation-based disease
- psychosis and other mood disorders
- digestive diseases
However, the differentiating factor between CBD and THC is that the THC cannabinoid, found in both the hemp and marijuana plants, that has the psychoactive component that produces the “high” feeling. Though these compounds exist both in the hemp and marijuana plants, the quantities of these compounds are not the same.
The hemp plant is a close relative of the marijuana plant. It is rich in cannabidiol (CBD) but only contains about .3% THC. On the other hand, the marijuana plant contains far more THC. The benefits of THC are equally extraordinary for their ability to treat conditions such as:
- appetite loss
- muscle spasm
A person with a prescription for medical marijuana that is CBD-dominant is most likely receiving their CBD from hemp. THC dominant would be likely derived from the marijuana plant specifically.
Legal Use of CBD & THC in the United States
Laws regarding the use of these cannabinoids, both recreational and medicinal, vary by state. Which means the sale of cbd products do too. Because a law has not been passed on the federal level, it is of the utmost importance that both food manufacturers and consumers alike verify their state’s laws concerning the use of cbd and products containing thc as well. You can see the current list of of CBD-Legal States here.
Labeling Requirements for CBD Products
Currently, the FDA has yet to release an industry guideline or official rules regarding CBD food labeling. However, because food products containing these cannabinoids have nutrient value, the use of a nutrition facts panel is required. Products containing hemp leaves, hemp seeds or other derivatives of the hemp plant should include their nutritive value. For example,
100g of industrial hemp seed contains:
That being said, if your food products contain the seeds, oil, or leaves of the hemp plant, those nutrition facts must be accounted for. If your cbd and thc cannabinoid compounds are infused within a gummy or other consumable food product, those nutritive values must also be reflected for proper product labeling.
The FDA’s position is currently cautious as they continue to delve deeply into research in order to publish appropriate labeling requirements and health claims regarding CBD products. Until the official rules are established, they encourage that your product is compliant with state laws as well as current food labeling requirements that have been previously released.
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