Consumer Safety Concerns For Hemp-derived Delta-9 THC
We’ve always believed that THC and other intoxicating cannabinoids do not belong in the CBD industry. Kazmira has supported the recently passed Colorado Bill SB22-205, which addresses these issues with intoxicating compounds in hemp products. Consumers are being deceived when purchasing CBD products, while not knowing about potential intoxication and other safety concerns.
In previous articles, we’ve touched on hemp-derived delta-9 THC and how hemp-based companies are selling it to consumers by exploiting the ambiguity of the 2018 Farm Bill. Kazmira denounces this manipulation unequivocally and believes consumer safety is at risk with these companies selling intoxicating compounds under the guise of the hemp name.
Lab Study Reveals Potency & Testing Concerns
According to a lab study commissioned by CBD Oracle, 53 of the most popular hemp-derived delta-9 THC products were purchased and tested for both potency and impurities. The lab analysis revealed that although most of the products fall within the 0.3% limits set by the Farm Bill, over half didn’t match up with their advertised dosages.
Colorado currently limits edible retail marijuana products to have 10 mg THC per serving. Some of the dosages found in the study were much higher, almost 4X the Colorado maximum allowable serving size. 34% of the products tested exceeded this 10 mg THC per serving limit, meaning the sample “average” for hemp-derived delta-9 products would be illegal under most adult use marijuana laws.
Certificates of Analysis (COA’s) are of utmost importance to the consumer, so they’re able to see firsthand the potency and safety testing for each product purchased. The Oracle lab report goes on to state that although 85% of these products tested included COA’s, however, the majority of these COA’s, 75%, weren’t tested for pesticides, metals, and other impurities. When including the eight products that didn’t supply any form of COA’s, that number reaches to about 89% of these hemp-derived delta-9 THC products not testing for impurities.
When including the eight products that didn’t supply any form of COA’s, that number reaches to about 89% of these hemp-derived delta-9 THC products not testing for impurities.
This would not be allowed under the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), because they require hemp-infused products to have full panel testing. Aside from potency testing, manufacturers must also test for pesticides, metals, and other impurities.
Not only were manufacturers not providing safety testing on these products, fewer than half of them didn’t include a batch number. Batch IDs are highly important for quality assurance and safety, because if any problems arise, manufacturers should be able to trace back to a specific batch and facilitate suppliers and customers to dispose of these potentially dangerous products.
We’ve previously written about the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids and how it can be cheaper to chemically produce THC, rather than extracting it from either hemp or marijuana. CBD Oracle’s lab study analyzed the chemical makeup of these hemp-derived delta-9 THC products and found that only 9 products or 17% used natural hemp-derived THC. 19% used THC from marijuana to manipulate their levels, while 34 products, equating to 64%, chemically converted CBD to THC to meet these high levels. Chemically converting CBD to THC is risky and may allow for finished products to include other residual chemicals leftover after the conversion. The dangers with this are endless and as the lab study previously noted, COA’s covering impurity testing are not being carried out, leading to safety concerns for the consumer.
CBD Companies Selling Hemp-derived Delta-9
A few Colorado-based CBD companies are currently leveraging the Delta-9 THC loophole by offering a CBD product with added hemp-derived delta-9 THC. Although this new gummy product has more CBD than THC in it, it still constitutes 5 mg THC per serving. Keep in mind, the maximum allowable amount of THC for retail marijuana products is 10 mg THC per serving. We’ve posted an article recently that mentions how the UK government found that 2 mg delta-9 THC can be enough to produce psychoactive effects, so the 5 mg of THC in these gummies are more than enough to intoxicate the user.
In response to questions about shipping in the US, one company explains, “According to the 2018 Farm Bill, Full Spectrum CBD products may contain up to 0.3% Delta-9 THC (by dry weight). The 5mg of hemp-derived Delta-9 … falls well within the parameters established for hemp-derived products.” This is an open false advertisement for the ability to ship THC products to states where recreational marijuana has not yet been legalized.
Another CBD company sells hemp-derived delta-9 THC gummies (their “most popular product”) and labels them as Farm Bill compliant. They go on further to explain, “… that according to the Farm Bill, a 6 gram gummy can contain up to 18 mg of hemp-derived Delta 9 THC. We formulated our Delta 9 gummies with only 10 mg of Delta 9 THC, which means the amount of THC we see in our gummies is well below the legal amount.” They also state on their website that their products can be shipped to most states.
The examples above demonstrate how CBD companies are using the ambiguity of the Farm Bill, as well as the heavy weight of edible products, to justify selling “hemp products” with levels of THC similar to that of retail marijuana products. Sanctions are in place for marijuana businesses to ensure their quality and safety. These companies are avoiding these sanctions while selling the same products, putting consumer safety at risk.
CBD or Marijuana?
Legitimate CBD manufacturers cannot compete against intoxicating hemp products that are being produced and sold in brick and mortar and through e-commerce, without having to go through retail marijuana business sanctions. These CBD companies selling delta-9 THC are also avoiding paying taxes put in place for retail marijuana. It is unreasonable that they can continue to advertise their products containing THC while avoiding the tax requirements for similar products derived from marijuana.
The CBD Oracle study says: “It’s important to remember that the possible defense that it’s ‘just hemp’, doesn’t really apply here. The hemp products in question can have more THC than edibles in adult-only dispensaries. Legally, it’s hemp, but practically it’s marijuana”. The next Farm Bill needs to specify and clarify that these hemp-derived intoxicating cannabinoids don’t belong in CBD products.
Delta-9 THC Does Not Belong in CBD
Now, more than ever, is the time for the FDA to step in and finally regulate cannabinoids. The Colorado bill SB22-205 was created to set THC limits to serving size and container, so that this loophole manipulation could be addressed. If the FDA isn’t going to do their part, then it’s up to states to differentiate between CBD products and hemp-derived intoxicating cannabinoids. An article recently published by MJBizDaily says that according to Vicente Sederberg firm, “at least 16 state legislatures considered proposals to control the sale of hemp extracts in 2022”. Shawn Hauser from Vicente Sederberg law firm goes as far to mention that even states are running into problems when trying to get ahead of these industry innovations by setting broad limits on “intoxicating” or “synthetic” products, because there are no definitions for either of those terms in federal law. Ultimately, without clarification or any sanctions put on hemp-derived delta-9 THC, consumer safety will remain the number one risk to the unregulated CBD industry.
Kazmira’s Dedication to Consumer Safety
As a manufacturer of cannabinoid ingredients, it was clear to us from day one to produce natural ingredients derived from the hemp plant, without the need for intoxicating compounds. We held to this core belief by producing CBD products with non-detect levels of THC. Since then, we have built on this platform to include cGMP process controls that produce consistent and validated product profiles. All of our cannabinoid extracts and finished products have precise formulations, traceable ingredients with batch numbers, and third-party lab certified COA’s that test for not only potency but impurities as well.