A recent independent study by reputable Leafreport.com has determined that there is evidently more CBD contained in Cannabidiol (CBD) products than the product label actually indicates.
Subsequently, Leafreport, which is a peer-reviewed educational forum on CBD, proceeded to test 37 various types of CBD products. Significantly, the findings showed that most of the CBD tested products contained CBD levels falling within the 10% range of what the manufacturers list on the products label.
The study by Leafreport was carried out by the Canalysis Laboratories, a premier high-volume cannabis testing lab that's powered by Agilent Technologies and offers up certificates of analysis, upon checking the ingredients in edibles, useable flowers, topicals and concentrates/extracts cannabis products. The Canalysis lab is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Under the Microscope Lens
The above study discovered that 27 of the 37 CBD products which were tested had a CBD quantity matching the 90-110% amount that is generally advertised by manufacturers. The matching CBD products represented 73% of all the tested samples. Steve Hoffman, who is an expert of the natural industry science, mades an interesting observation:
“It seems like this survey is telling us that the CBD industry is now coming of age. This is the clear message when we realize that 73% of the products are returning a test result that vindicates the 10% potency claim coming from the manufacturer. Happily, this indicates the consumer is receiving a good return on investment for his money.”
Significantly, Mr Hoffman is also the managing director and founder of Compass Natural, an industry insider.
Regardless, Kat Merryfield, who is the founder of Kat Naturals, a CBD brand, advices for more caution. She says that we must be cautious because there is little consistency in the work of the testing laboratories. As she notes,
“This factor makes the correct labeling procedure a challenging exercise. The situation is even worse when the laboratories return conflicting results for the same product sample. To deal with the tendency for consumers that keep denouncing a manufacturer for perceived lower substance levels, a majority of the companies tend to take the customer for a ride by dumping an extra quantity of CBD in the product. To them, this is the best way to mitigate the backlash that would result from a test deemed to be more on the lower included amount of CBD inside the products. Interestingly, a majority of the customers won’t mind to paying less and but are actually getting more. They are definitely concerned about paying more and getting fewer returns.”
According to Noah Gans, who is the Lesfreport.com’s Head of Product, these findings mean that the CBD industry is showing greater transparency, thus leading to higher-quality and products with correct labels.
Notably, at least 13% of the products were classified as failing the test since they contained 30% of CBD quantities that are listed on the product labels. This means that these products were at least 30% lower or had 30% more than amounts listed on the CBD product labels.
These findings, however, represent promising evidence of reasonable progress in the CBD industry, notwithstanding the test-result deviations. Significantly, the respected US Food and Drug Administration confessed that, in the past, its testing also determined that many products fail to meet the claimed CBD-levels.
The Angel You Know
The same report indicates that products made by respected companies tend to return the best results. On the other hand, products from smaller companies tend to deliver poorer results. Mr Gans adds,
“Significantly, our findings now confirm that it is more advisable to buy these products from renowned and internationally respected CBD companies instead of buying them from lesser-known, nondescript companies.”
One of the most surprising findings, as featured in this report, showed that a majority of CBD products, representing 84% of the lot, generally contain a higher amount of CBD rather than a lower amount. 31 of the 37 tested brands, for instance, showed a higher content of CBD beyond the amount attached on the label. Of course, this suggests that the customers are receiving good value for their money. Indeed, it is even possible that these customers are getting more value than they pay for. Bill Gurley who works as the Principal Scientist at the University of Mississippi’s Center for Natural Products Research says,
“It does not necessarily mean that you have more THC when you receive more CBD. Nevertheless, this could, possibly, be true. Everything depends on quality control issues as well as the essential product quality.”
Further, Kate Merryfield, who was quoted earlier, notes that it will take some time for most laboratories to develop a more consistent and accurate process.
“I believe that, since this is the case, it is advisable for a company to ensure a higher dilution ratio on their products; this should, ideally, be in the 10% range. Once a test indicates that the CBD levels are higher or lower by anything in excess of 10%, this means there is a possibility of an inexperienced or sloppy formulator.”
“In retrospect when I started out, I found it more difficult to decide on the right calculations to adopt. I was in a dilemma over whether to go with CBD alone, total CBD (including both CBDa and CBD) or total cannabinoid. Regardless, as we gained experience, I learned that our customers are more interested to know the CBD level. Thus, I realized that all other cannabinoids in question should merely feature as a bonus. Obviously, this includes CBD.”
Further, the test determined that many of the product samples had significant quantities of what are known as “minor cannabinoids.” As Gurley states,
“When we have Low THC content coming with Full Spectrum Extracts, this gives us better measurable levels of CBG, CBD, CBN and similar minor phytocannabinoids.”
“At this point, we have to ask ourselves: To what degree do these minor phytocannabinoids enhance efficacy?”
He adds that, as long as these minor cannabinoids have not been shown to contribute to either toxicity or efficacy, it is unlikely that their quantity will ever feature as a requirement for labels. A recent article published in the LeafReport says that,
“many of the CBD products in the market, especially the full-spectrum products, evidently come with significant levels of minor cannabinoids. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the customer is usually uninformed about the unfavorable levels of the varying classes of these cannabinoids. Thus far, there is no evidence to suggest that either the non-THC or non-CBD cannabinoids should be classified as unsafe. It is only that we cannot say precisely how the substances function as distinct chemical components OR how they function within the more familiar yet obscure entourage effect.”
New Findings Summary
- 73% of the products scored an “A” rating. This means the CBD levels were found to match the 10% amount that occurs on the label.
- 11% scored a “B” rating. This matches 20% range of the label indication.
- 3% got a “C” rating. This matches 30% of the label indication.
- 13% was rated at “F”. This shows that the tested sample missed the mark by 30% more or less than the label claims.