Lab Results Contradict Labelling of Some Commercially Available CBD Products

Chicago, IL: Some commercially available CBD-infused products contain percentages of cannabidiol and THC that vary from what is advertised on the products’ label, according to a pair of recent news investigations.

In the first investigation, reporters affiliated with Channel 7/ABC News in Chicago selected eight randomly chosen CBD-infused products to third-party testing. The products were obtained either online or at gas stations, not in state-regulated medical cannabis dispensaries.

Of the eight products tested by investigators, two contained percentages of CBD and THC that were higher than the amount indicated on the label. Two products contained far less CBD than advertised. One product tested negative for any quantity of cannabidiol.  

In the second investigation, reporters with CBS News analyzed the contents of nine randomly selected CBD-infused oil products purchased from unregulated markets around the country. While none of the products tested positive for elevated levels of either heavy metals or THC, four of the samples contained percentages of CBD that were inconsistent with the products’ labeling.

Currently, commercially marketed CBD products are not subject to explicit federal regulations. As a result, third-party lab testing has frequently revealed inconsistencies between the percentage of CBD advertised and the amount contained in some of these products. In many cases – such as those reported here, here, here, here, and here – actual quantities of CBD in the product are far lower than advertised. In other cases, lab testing has identified the presence of psychoactive additives – such as synthetic cannabinoid agonists or dextromethorphan – in various products. Some commercially available CBD products have also been identified to contain elevated levels of heavy metals and solvents.

In May, NORML provided written testimony to the US Food and Drug Administration urging the agency to move expeditiously to provide regulatory guidelines governing CBD-infused products, including best practices for their manufacturing, standardization, and purity.

For more information, please see the NORML fact-sheet ‘FAQs About Cannabidiol.’ The full text of NORML’s written testimony to the FDA is online.