Only 51% of CBD products tested in the laboratory contained a quantity of CBD more or less close to the amount presented on the packaging. Only one product contained exactly the amount it reported. 11% did not contain CBD at all. Does it mean that the CBD market is full of scammers?  What can be done to keep it safe?

CBD Lab Testing- illustration

CBD products are today a new global trend that is searched online more than trends like Jesus, NBA or Aspirin. Although the market is already worth billions today, many expect it to continue growing. CBD is legal in America, and is also legal in 75% of European countries and is especially prevalent in Switzerland, Italy and the Czech Republic.

For those who are unfamiliar with CBD, CBD is a common component of cannabis that has no psychoactive effect as opposed to the more commonly used THC, but has well-tested health properties that have also been found in studies. It is anti-inflammatory, soothing, and is also recognized by the FDA as a basic for a cure to treat a severe type of epilepsy in children.

This new market, managed through stores or home-based online stores, is not yet sufficiently regulated and therefore allows sellers to enter the market and sell products that do not always contain the amount of CBD declared on the packaging, at best, or scammers to sell completely counterfeit CBD products or even those containing dangerous synthetic materials.

Those who are familiar with CBD, can reduce the risk while purchasing CBD products may, but the general public is unaware of this. This is why a private company from Canada has decided to conduct a thorough review of a broad sample of CBD products that are common in the market, and examine what is sold to the public.

The 47 products tested were divided into 6 categories:

  1. “Edibles” (food products – cookies, gummies, etc.)
  2. “Evaporation products” (for example using vape pens)
  3. “Water” (mineral water with CBD)
  4. “Cosmetics” (mainly creams, ointments, and skin products)
  5. “Extracts” (tinctures, extracts)
  6. “Isolates” (extracts concentrated at a very high percentage)

The good news: 51% of the products tested (24 out of 47) did contain CBD in quantities less or more as stated on the packaging. Only one product contained exactly the amount of CBD that is reported, but there were 23 more that were close enough (with a 1% -20% gap up or down).

The bad news: 23% of the products tested (11 out of 47) contain 80% less CBD than the declared quantity and 15% of the products (7 out of 47) contain much more, ie over 120% of the declared quantity. 11% of the products (5 out of 5) 47) contained no CBD at all!

In general, it was found that, on average, gummies and edibles were the closest to packaging statements. CBD infused water is the least reliable product that in most cases does not contain CBD at all. Capsules sometimes contained more CBD than stated. Vape pens and cosmetic products contained a wide range of CBD percentages, from 0% to 152% compared to the statements on the package.

The complete list (in yellow products containing up to 20% or more CBD than stated):

Why these inconsistencies occur?

Well if we put aside the fake products and challenges with nano CBD (water-soluble), the main reason is the difficulty of getting consistent concentration of compounds from the hemp plant. Farming and cultivation is a very hard work – and the cannabis plant is a very sensitive plant that can react to changes in the air and even fields that are located miles away from other crops, can be affected by a gust of wind that carries with it other pollutants or traces of chemicals. Usually growing indoors, can limit these variables, but even then, damaged soil can affect hundreds of plants. But these effects are minor compared to scammers that delude or use bad base products to start – old oils, used olive oils and even synthesized materials.  This is one of the main reasons why there is a raising need for manufacturing guidelines and regulations.

While looking into your next CBD purchase: see the latest lab results of your desired product, try contacting the vendor and see if they seem like a legit company that provides information along face and value. Know that even reliable vendors, sometimes fall slightly “short” because of a bad cultivation batch. 

Stay natural, stay healthy

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