The Importance of Informed Shopping

While CBD has the potential to help lots of people lead healthier lives, the market has rapidly expanded without any formal regulation. 

A 2017 study reported that 70% of the CBD products the researchers tested were mislabeled. 

It can be hard for customers to know what they’re getting with mislabeled products and without industry standards. 

Hempsley wants to empower you with all the information and tools you need to find the most trustworthy, highest quality CBD on the market. Our shopping guide will show you how to pick out a well-made product and avoid buying snake oil. 

Hands of daughter, mother, grandmother holding various kinds of CBD products

Knowing Your Own Needs

Informed shopping begins with knowing your own needs. There are lots of ways to use CBD, and they each have their own benefits. 

If you’re looking for immediate relief from joint pain, a topical might be right for you. If you’re looking for long-term health support, a capsule or tincture may be a better option.

Our Forms of CBD article can help you decide which method is best for you.

And if you’re looking for personalized recommendations for CBD products and wellness routines, our Self-Care Quiz is a great place to start.  

How to read a CBD product label: What to know & what to look for

1. The first thing to identify when CBD shopping is whether the product is CBD oil or hemp seed oil.  

CBD oil may be labeled several ways, which can get confusing. 

Look for the terms cannabinoid rich oil, CBD hemp oil, cannabidiol, or simply CBD oil if you’re searching for a product to help with sleep, pain, anxiety, or stress. Extracted from the whole hemp plant, these products will be high in the beneficial compound CBD.

Hemp seed oil, on the other hand, is a cold-pressed extract from hemp seeds, similar to sunflower seed oil or jojoba oil. While hemp seed oil products won’t contain CBD and have its therapeutic properties, hemp seed oil is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, making it a great choice for a nutritional supplement. Learn more about the nutrients in cannabis and hemp here. 

2. The next thing you’ll want to identify on a CBD label is whether the product is an isolate, full spectrum, or broad spectrum product. 

CBD Isolate

CBD is isolated from the rest of the hemp plant, creating products that are 99-100% pure CBD, with no other cannabinoids or terpenes present. 

Full Spectrum

This minimally refined “whole plant” product contains other beneficial compounds alongside CBD, and may include trace amounts of THC.

Broad spectrum

A middle ground between CBD isolate and full spectrum, broad spectrum contains other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes, but all THC has been removed.

A line of CBD droppers to display the spectrum of color for isolate versus full spectrum CBD products

Click here to learn more about the differences between isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum CBD 

3. Then you’ll want to look for the amount of CBD in a product.

Usually listed in milligrams, the amount of CBD on a product label tells you how much CBD is in the entire package, bottle, etc, not how much is in a single dose.

If the label lists the “total cannabinoids,” CBD will likely only be a fraction of that amount. You can reach out to the company directly to find out how much CBD is in the product.

4. Finally: Questions to Ask when Shopping for CBD

After figuring out what products you’re interested in and learning how to read a label, it’s still a good idea to ask these questions to any retailer you’re interested in buying from. Some companies may have this information posted in their shop or on their website. Others may not know or be willing to share this info. That could be a red flag that those businesses are not reputable.

Where and how was the hemp grown?

Hemp has been grown for industrial purposes around the world for many years. The hemp plant has the power of phytoremediation, which means that it can clean the soil it’s planted in by absorbing any toxins or waste. Hemp is truly an incredible plant!

However, hemp that was grown for industrial purposes should never be ingested or applied to the body. 

By asking where and how the hemp in your CBD products was grown, you can ensure you’re only consuming medicinal grade hemp that was grown without pesticides and fertilizers.  

How was the CBD extracted?

There are many ways to extract CBD, including long term cold pressing, CO2 extraction, heptane (butane, methane, etc) based extractions, and several others. 

Each method poses its own benefits and drawbacks, so you’ll want to have baseline knowledge of each extraction method, so you can make the right choice based on your health needs and budget.

Click here to learn more about CBD extraction methods. 

What other ingredients are in the product?

Just like any other product you consume or put on your body, it’s a good idea to check the ingredients label. This may list any other additives to the product. 

If you’re shopping for a CBD or cannabis vaporizer, you’ll want to watch out for these red flag ingredients that have been linked to vaping illness. 

Can I see your lab reports?

Lab reports will show the cannabinoids profile of the product (how much CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids are present), as well as the levels of any unwanted microbials, pesticides, heavy metals, or residual solvents. If a business is not willing to share their lab reports or the reports seem suspicious, look for another option.

Your health and safety are far too important to be compromised by CBD businesses looking to get rich off bad products.

For every handful of companies that aren’t trust-worthy, there’s a stand-out business who cares deeply about creating safe, high quality CBD products for your benefit. 

Hempsley is committed to protecting your safety as you shop for cannabis and CBD products. Learn more about how we took the highest lab report standards from every legal state and compiled them into our own Hempsley® Certified Seal.

After reading this article, do you feel ready to shop for safe CBD? Could you confidently read a product label? Let us know!

Did you learn something new? Please remember to share it with someone you care about!
  1. Bonn-Miller, M. O. (2017, November 7). Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online. Retrieved from

This article was written by Kira Gresoski and published on September 20, 2019. Copyright ©2019 Hempsley, All Rights Reserved

Tags: cannabis CBD