Mislabeled CBD Products
Rising Concern About Inaccurate Potency Claims on CBD Product Labels
A research article published by Bonn-Miller (2017) in the Journals of the American Medical Association presented concerning results on the labeling accuracy of CBD products purchased in the United States. The study analyzed 84 different CBD oils, tinctures, and vape liquids purchased online from 25 different companies. They collected data on cannabinoid profile and potency and compared this to what was advertised on the label. They found that 42.85% of the products had more CBD than indicated on the label, 26.19% had less CBD than indicated, and 30.95% were accurately labeled. This means almost 70% of the products were labeled inaccurately. They found THC in 18 of the 84 products at varying levels up to 6.43 mg/ml. The study also showed that vape liquid was the most inaccurately labeled.
Regulation Of CBD Products Sold In The US
These findings have raised a lot of concerns among consumers regarding the reliability of CBD products and what they contain. The reality of the current CBD industry is that there is no regulation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulators on these products. The lack of oversight and routine quality checks has resulted in many companies selling mislabeled products without anyone knowing. The FDA has however conducted lab tests and sent out warning letters to some CBD companies who made unsubstantiated claims about their products being effective for treating tumors for example, or were mislabeled. These letters and test results from 2015-2019 are published on their website.
Some states have put laws into place to mandate accurate testing and labeling. For example, the government in Indiana passed a law in July of 2018 requiring all CBD products sold in the state to get a third-party lab test and Certificate of Analysis (COA) for their products. They must also include a QR code on the packaging which links to information on the specific COA and batch number for that specific product. This gives consumers instant access to accurate information on products before they purchase them including potency and tests for harmful chemicals such as pesticides.
A study from the Netherlands published in 2017 analyzed 46 CBD and THC extracts, 29 were home-made and the other 17 were purchased online. 21 of these samples had potency labeling, and were found to be highly inaccurate, with 7 of them having no CBD or THC.
Local Miami NBC Investigators took their own look into this issue with a process similar to that of the Bonn-Miller study. In early February 2019, they published a story entitled “‘Patients Are Being Duped’: NBC 6 Tests CBD Products” in which they tested 35 different products from 6 brands purchased online and in stores. They found that 20 of these products had less than half the amount of CBD on the label, some having none at all. They reported gummies to be the most inaccurate product. For example, one brand marked their gummies to be 15mg of CBD each, but they were found to only have 2.2mg.
Fox 11 Los Angeles did a similar study in partnership with Dr. Oz. They sent 13 CBD products purchased in stores to a third-party lab for analysis. They found that only one of these products had an accurate label. Two more products were close to being accurate, one had more CBD than labeled, four had significantly less CBD than labeled and five of the products had no CBD detected at all. They also found potentially harmful levels of ethanol in a few of the products as well as one being contaminated with E. coli bacteria.
Make Sure To Buy Products You Can Trust
The results of these studies and lack of regulation should be concerning to those purchasing CBD products. This is why it is extremely important to know what you are buying, and who made it. Make sure the manufacturer is trusted and has an authentic, up to date Certificate of Analysis. Check that the batch number matches the COA and that the potency matches what is on the label before you make a purchase.