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Phytocannabinoid Supplement Product Labeling Tips

Last updated: December-30,2021

Phytocannabinoid Labeling Tips: How to Protect Your Brand in 2019

The enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill has created a huge buzz in the supplement industry. Removing industrial hemp from the controlled substances list and legalizing it has opened the doors for hemp-derived cannabinoid (Hemp-CBD) opportunities.

Beyond this excitement, there is a lot of confusion with reference to the information provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the compliance regarding Hemp-CBD products including dietary supplements, foods and cosmetics.

A report released by the Brightfield Group, a CBD market research firm based in Chicago, IL suggests that the FDA’s final decision regarding hemp-CBD products is at least 18-24 months away. Meanwhile, CBD companies are advised to prudently manage the uncertainties and vagueness regarding the legality of Hemp-CBD while marketing their products. Keeping this in mind, besides the stringent guidelines laid by the FDA, businesses need to be extremely careful while designing their CBD product labels.

CBD Product Labeling Requirements

It is easy to miss some of the important aspects of creating a compliant hemp-CBD product label. 

CBD Supplement Label Design - Infographic

Failure to recognize these guidelines could potentially land you in hot water with the FDA and could have a catastrophic impact on your business. Here are some handy tips for you to keep in mind when creating the label for your CBD product.

Where Should the CBD Labeling Be Placed?

The required labeling should be primarily placed on the outer layer of the packaging. The outer labeling requirements are divided into two types depending on the part of the package its being placed on:

  • Principle display panel – Typically at the front or top of the package, displayed prominently to the retail consumers.
  • Information Panel – The panel immediate to the right of the principle display panel. This is where the Supplement Facts will appear.

CBD Product Supplement Facts

If you are selling a full-spectrum, holistic hemp plant product, position it as a full-spectrum or hemp cannabinoid product rather than calling it just as a CBD product, no matter how tempting it is to do so! Besides providing a more comprehensive focus on hemp and the entourage effect of full spectrum cannabinoids, this strategy will benefit you in the following ways:

  • Identify and distinguish your product from an isolated CBD product.
  • Keep your health benefits claims within the acceptable limits and reduce the risk of FDA’s enforcement radar.

Your dietary supplement label should include the following components in the correct format, failing which the product will be considered misbranded and subject to an FDA enforcement action:

  • An Identity Statement – Such as ‘botanical supplement’ or ‘dietary supplement’.
  • Statement Mentioning Net Quantity of Contents – An accurate statement of the quantity of the contents in the numerical count, measure or weight.
  • Ingredients - A list of product’s ingredients in accordance with the descending order of their weights in the product.
  • A Responsibility Statement – The name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer and distributor.
  • Nutrition/Supplement Facts – Detailed ‘‘Nutrition Facts” and “Supplement Facts” should be displayed in a prescribed format.

CBD Serving Size

Claims made regarding the amount of CBD serving on the front of a package should match the Supplement Facts panel.

As Twinlab's Senior Director of Formulation, I covered this topic in more detail in one of my recent video podcasts, which you can watch by clicking below:

Should the Package Have Directions on How to Use CBD?

As mentioned earlier, the primary panel must be displayed at the front or top of the package and should be clearly visible to the consumers. For the product with multiple layers of packaging, it is mandated to include basic labeling on the inner container that holds the hemp product.

In case of a small package, where the required information cannot be integrated on the outer layer, you can use peel-back labels to mention some of the required information. However, websites, QR codes, etc., that separate the information from the product are not acceptable types of supplement labeling.

What Should and Should Not be Added as Claims on a CBD Supplement Label?

Refrain from making claims that your hemp-CBD supplement diagnoses, prevents, cures or treats serious diseases including cancer. It is because any product containing a health claim is deemed as a drug by the FDA and is required to go through the FDA drug approval process before it is marketed in the US. Staying away from the health claims can help you abide by the law while making and marketing hemp CBD products.

Some Do's and Don'ts of CBD Product Labeling

Do's of CBD Product Labeling:

  • Display information legibly and clearly
  • Use English with at least 6 point fonts
  • Check if all the required labeling is displayed on the outer layer of packaging
  • Determine the Correct Label Intended product usage and direction for use dictate whether your product needs a supplement label or a food label. If your product is an oral spray, a soft gel or a capsule, it requires a supplement label. In case of oil drops with suggested serving size in the number of drops, the product is still a supplement.
  • Follow Instructions Mandated by the FDA – Strictly follow the FDA’s Labeling Guidance documents for Foods and Dietary Supplements. The line between nutritional supplements and the food is the key to determining what type of general FDA labeling laws apply. Capsules, gels and sprays are normally considered as supplements (with Supplement Facts needed), while drinks and foods are generally considered to be foods (with Nutrition Facts needed).

Don'ts of CBD Product Labeling:

  • False or Misleading Information – Do not include anything unproven or untrue or anything that leads consumers to have an inaccurate impression. Never use the word “organic” on the label unless you have documentation to verify that the product does indeed qualify as organic per USDA regulations.
  • Refrain from Making Health Claims Never claim to cure a medical condition or attribute a health benefit to a CBD product (structure/function claims may be acceptable).
  • Cannot be Attractive to Children – Your label should not contain images or cartoons that are used to advertise to children. Do not imitate candy labeling or use the word candy, candies or its variants anywhere on the label.

How NutraScience Labs Helps Brand Owners

CBD product labeling needs meticulous design and even a small oversight can jeopardize your business and reputation. This is where expertise can be of immense help.

NutraScience Labs with its 120+ years of experience has helped over 1,200 brands turn their ideas into a reality. We provide world-class contract manufacturing, packaging and labeling and order fulfillment - everything under one roof. For more information call us on 855-492-7388 or send us your request for a free price quote.

June 17th, 2019

About the Author:

Gene Bruno

Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG) - Mr. Bruno possesses over 43 years of dietary supplement industry experience. With a Master's degree in nutrition and a second Master's degree in herbal medicine, he has a proven track record of formulating innovative, evidence-based dietary supplements. Mr. Bruno currently serves as both the Senior Director of Product Innovation at Twinlab Corporation and Professor of Nutraceutical Science at Huntington University of Health Sciences.