Hemp-derived CBD is classed as a supplement by the FDA and is not held to the same scrutiny as legal marijuana products.
Many hemp-derived CBD products would face a hard time being allowed on the market if they were held to the same standard as legal marijuana products. According to a new market report performed by LeafReport, 27% of CBD products that they tested had a variance in the potency of their ingredients that wouldn’t pass the standards for legal marijuana industries.
CBD products, like tinctures, oils, topicals and ingestibles are classed as supplements. As such, the FDA does not regulate CBD companies like they do those that are in the business of selling legal marijuana products.
This means that consumers have to take the manufacturer’s word for it. But, as these findings show, consumers often aren’t receiving exactly what they’re paying for — and, in some cases, the variance in CBD amounts is very significant.
Out of the 37 different CBD products that were tested by researchers at the testing lab Canalysis Laboratories, four products had margins of errors between 10% and 20%, one product had a 20% to 30% variance, while four missed the CBD content that they advertised by 30%. The maximum cannabinoid variance allowed in the marijuana industry is 10%, and 27 out of the 37 products that were tested fell within this margin.
This means that, in some cases, consumers may be buying less CBD than they bargained for. On the flipside, they might be buying more CBD than advertising, because the variance goes both ways.
For LeafReport analysts, these results were actually encouraging.
“Actually, when we conducted the study, we expected to see worse results. We thought we would see a lot of products that have a larger variance than 10 percent, which is the acceptable variance,” Noa Gans, a researcher for LeafReport, told Westworld. “Most of the products really had the acceptable variance, except for ten. So for us, we find that the market has matured, and that brands really do take care to be conscious of the CBD in their products.”
All of the CBD products analyzed by the study were manufactured by brands that were viewed as industry leaders. Less established brands might have an even larger variance, which is why LeafReport advises consumers to vet CBD products from new brands before making a purchase.
In order to be on the safe side, consumers should look for CBD products that have a certificate of analysis and batch report” to see lab testing results and product sourcing information.