CBD Products Often List Wrong Potency

FDA testing reveals many CBD products don’t match their advertised level of potency.

July 10, 2020

WASHINGTON—This year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tested 147 CBD products in an effort to figure out what’s being offered in this growing category, Politico reports. The findings, reported to Congress, concluded that of the 102 products listing a specific amount of CBD, more than half were inaccurate by more than 20%.

Of those wrongly labeled products, 38 contained more than 120% of the CBD level reported, while 18 products had less than 80% of the potency indicated. Also, close to half of the products had THC, the main cannabinoid responsible for the plant’s psychoactive attributes. The highest THC level found was 3.1 mg per serving.

Currently, the agency classifies CBD food, drink and dietary supplements as illegal, but the FDA has limited its enforcement to sending out warning letters to manufacturers touting unsubstantiated medical claims. Last year, Congress asked the FDA to sample “the current CBD marketplace to determine the extent to which products are mislabeled or adulterated.” These findings are the results of that directive.

The agency will conduct further tests of CBD products being marketed to consumers. “Product sampling and testing will be conducted by a third party and FDA expects this long-term study to be initiated in 2020,” according to the report.

Sales of cannabis-infused products, such as edibles, sodas and topicals, are projected to make up 17% of U.S. spending on legal cannabis in 2020, according to the latest report from New Frontier Data.

Read about sourcing safe and legitimate CBD products in “A Trusted Partnership” in the April issue of NACS Magazine and in the June 24 and June 25 editions of NACS Daily.