How Accurate Are CBD Labels
Published 07 Oct 2020

Anybody can buy CBD oil online, but recently, a company went and tested 22 different cannabidiol-, or CBD-, infused beverages. They took samples from 20 of the most popular brands. According to LeafReport, results found at least 54 percent of these products making misleading claims about how much CBD they have. Turns out, they do not have as much CBD as companies want you to believe. “Point being, it takes more work to produce accurate, high quality CBD beverages than CBD oils,” it said in the report. “And, as we can see from these results, most companies are not putting in that extra work.” This is not the first time that independent lab-tested CBD oil products prove inaccurate. This seems to be a recurring theme.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration conducted a testing study into CBD products some time back. It found the same problem. Out of 31 products that it tested, only 21 even listed their CBD quantity per serving on their packaging. Of those, many were lies. “Of these 21 products,” the report stated, “seven contained CBD within 20 percent of the amount indicated.” That is not all. It gets worse.

The report continued, “Of the 10 products that did not indicate the amount of CBD included in the product, six contained CBD and four did not.” Companies are branding products as CBD-infused, even if they have no CBD in them whatsoever. This has enormous implications for medical users, who require certain levels of CBD to find effective relief. One buys a tincture for pain, for example, so it can work.

What is the Problem?

The term “CBD” is very broad. Under its umbrella are many products, all unregulated. The industry is calling an entire spectrum of products CBD oil, but it is only one cannabinoid extracted from hemp plants. This is a primary reason for the problem. There is another: A huge difference between “flower extraction” and “whole plant” exists. This is important.

When companies extract the entire plant, it dilutes the quantity of actual CBD. It creates essentially a filler, which tastes exceptionally bad too. Further, some companies label the milligram content of hemp extract, as opposed to just the CBD content. You would think, for example, that a label stating 200 milligrams would refer to CBD. In fact, it refers to hemp extract. Tests will never find that much CBD.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, one particular study found at least 70 percent of online CBD extracts mislabeled. Hemp is legal federally, but remains largely unregulated. Many issues are attributable to the patchwork of regulations governing hemp on a state-by-state basis, since the federal government remains inactive on the issue.

This regulatory delay at federal level and resulting confusion leads to non-uniformity in the industry. It is occurring internationally too. Though non-regulations are concerning, there is an even deeper issue at play: Folks are ditching pharmaceuticals. They are researching, buying, and searching for healthier alternatives. CBD is a gateway to other plant-based medicines, including psilocybin. Accuracy is crucial.

Advice for Consumers

Experts believe that industry self-governance could resolve mislabeling problems. However, with unethical folks and newcomers continuing to enter the growing market, this might prove impossible. Without government oversight, third parties should attempt to gain traction as a seal of efficacy, ethics, and approval. Some exist, certainly, but they appear incapable of leading the industry in this direction.

The easy solution might be to find verifiable reviews, by unpaid third parties. The more difficult solution might require intense study of documents to gather information, such as analyzing the results of lab-tested CBD oil products. Consumers should understand, by researching themselves, who has incentive to lie and mislead, and who has incentive to stay honest. Check websites, reviews, and licensures.

Buy CBD Oil Online

Fortunately, it is possible to buy lab-tested CBD oil products that actually have accurate labeling. Trusted and reputable companies exist aplenty, if you know how and where to find them. Before you buy CBD oil online or some tincture for pain, do your homework. Only use licensed companies. Unlicensed companies are not compliant with labeling requirements. They are not accountable for their lies.


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