Blind Tests Raise Fears Over CBD Oil Products


Are we buying what we think we are?

Whilst we’re great advocates of CBD oil, we also believe that we should report on all aspects of this fascinating industry so today, we cover an article in The Times that has raised fears that CBD oil products on sale do not contain what they say they do. The report claimed that buyers were being misled by companies over the amount of CBD that was actually in products.

The paper has seen laboratory test results showing that over half of the most popular CBD oils sold at high-street chemists, in health shops and online don’t contain the CBD levels stated on the label. The Phytovista laboratory in Frome, Somerset conducted tests on 30 CBD oil products with the main findings being:

  • 16 contained less CBD than advertised

  • 8 contained less than half the stated amount

  • Of these, 5 had less than 20% of the stated amount

  • 8 products had significantly more CBD than the stated amount

  • 1 product contained no CBD at all

  • Half the products contained traces of THC including two who promoted themselves as THC-free

  • Two out of seven which claimed to be THC-free did contain traces of THC

The trade body that organised the test, the new Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, said that one of the main problems with the market is that rules governing CBD are not specific to the drug and are drawn from a mismatch of generic regulations governing food, cosmetics and medicines.

Jon Liebling, from the centre called for politicians and policymakers to ‘approach the question of how to regulate CBD proportionately in the knowledge that the UK already has millions of regular consumers, not a few tens of thousands. There also needs to be better self-regulation, self-regulation with a focus on quality along with simple and accurate product information.”

Whilst the report inaccurately claims that any THC content is illegal when in the UK, legal CBD oil products can contain no more than 0.2% of THC, it does mirror similar reports in the States.

The Times hasn’t released the list of products that failed the test presumably for legal reasons, but the test findings are disappointing not only for consumers, and I include myself in that bracket, who are parting with their hard earned cash to buy products that may not be what they claim to be, but for those within the industry who are working hard to product ethical, quality products and now face being tainted by the fact that others clearly aren’t.

The CBD market has seen stunning growth in a few short years with research by the Medicinal Cannabis Centre estimating that 6 million people have taken CBD over the past year alone. However, if the market is going to retain consumer trust and rise above the claims that it is selling nothing more than ‘snake oil’ self or if necessary, forced regulation needs to happen sooner rather than later.

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