Analysis: Commercially Marketed CBD Products Often Tainted with THC

Karlsruhe, Germany: An estimated one-quarter of CBD products commercially available in Germany contain elevated levels of THC, according to an analysis published in the journal F1000 Research.

A team of German researchers assessed 67 commercially available hemp/CBD retail products. All of the products tested were marketed as either extracts or supplements.

Researchers determined that 17 of the products analyzed tested positive for high levels of THC. “Claims of ‘THC-free’ used by most manufacturers … have to be treated as fraudulent or deceptive … information,” they concluded.

Separate analyses of commercially available CBD products in the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere have yielded similar results.

Investigators also assessed whether or not THC could potentially degrade into THC under acidic conditions. Consistent with the findings of other recent studies, authors reported. “[N]o conversion of CBD to THC was observed in any of the samples.”

They concluded, “In light of the discussion about the … potential causative factors for side effects of CBD products, the described effects can be explained most probably by the presence of native THC as contaminant in the products rather than by direct action of CBD or its chemical transformation.”

Full text of the study, “Are side-effects of cannabidiol (CBD) products caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contamination,” appears in F1000 Research. Additional information is available from the NORML fact-sheet.