Evaluation: Labels of Hemp-Derived CBD Merchandise Typically Present Inaccurate Data

Lexington, Ky: Commercially available CBD products are often labeled in ways that misrepresent the true percentage of cannabinoids available in them, according to data published in the Journal of Cannabis Research.

Researchers affiliated with the University of Kentucky College of Medicine lab-tested 80 commercially available hemp-derived CBD products. Products were acquired either online on at brick and mortar retail stores.

Consistent with dozens of other analyses, authors reported that a significant percentage of the products tested (46 percent) contained CBD concentrations that were significantly different than the concentration listed on the label.

Authors reported: “These data suggest that additional regulation is required to ensure label accuracy as nearly half of the products in this study were not properly labeled (ie, not within a ± 10 percent margin of error). Consumers and practitioners should remain cautious of unregulated and often-mislabeled CBD products due to the risks of taking too much CBD (eg, drug-drug interactions, liver enzyme elevations, increased side effects) and the consequences of taking too little (eg, no clinical benefits due to underdosing).”

They concluded: “The findings reported here emphasize the continued need for clear and consistent regulation from federal and state agencies to ensure label accuracy of CBD products and subsequent enforcement. These results also indicate the need for continued development of good manufacturing practices and testing standards. As consumers are taking CBD products for an ever-increasing range of conditions, independent of medical guidance, the accuracy of content labeling is important for the safety of the consumer.”

More than three years following the passage of federal legislation legalizing hemp production, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to promulgate rules regulating the marketing and sale of commercial products containing hemp-derived CBD or other cannabinoids. Survey data compiled by the National Consumers League previously determined that more than eight in ten US voters desire greater federal regulatory oversight over the labeling and marketing of commercially available CBD products.

Full text of the study, “Label accuracy of unregulated cannabidiol (CBD) products: Measured concentration vs. label claim,” appears in the Journal of Cannabis Research.

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