Legislation and Policy

FDA’s CBD Accuracy Report

Written by Paul James

Since cannabidiol (CBD) was federally legalized back in 2018, there’s been a major push for more regulations under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Being as CBD has remained largely unregulated, there’s been a number of untrustworthy brands hitting that market and providing customers with low-quality CBD products.

Due to the public’s concern, the FDA has recently addressed issues pertaining to consumer health.

The agency did so through a report that analyzed various products containing CBD to determine whether or not it’s labeling was accurate. This report was submitted to the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations and the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations.

147 product samples were tested, each of which claimed to have CBD in them. It should be noted that the FDA purposefully chose products that they didn’t consider to be reliable. This was determined based on a number of factors, including whether or not the company made unrealistic health claims or produced and sold products across state lines.

Out of 78 products, it was found that 88% did contain cannabinoids. However, a majority of these products contain a list of other cannabinoids – including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – even though there was no mention of these compounds on the label.

In 2019, the FDA did another round of tests with 41 unique products. 14 of these products had a specific amount of CBD mentioned on the label. However, 8 of these 14 products contain “less than 80% of the CBD amount indicated.”

Throughout this test, the FDA noted a few other mislabeling issues. For example, 2 products contained more CBD than the amount labeled. Only 4 of the original 41 products contain a CBD amount within the 20% range.

A third assessment was then run concerning whether or not products had any contaminants within them, such as heavy metals or pesticides. Luckily, through this test, it was discovered there were no dangerous concentrations within these products.

However, it was discovered that the CBD and THC content continued to be regularly mislabeled. Out of the 31 products tested, only 21 mentioned the CBD concentration. Within these, only 7 had passed with a CBD concentration within 20% of what was on the label. Not to mention, out of the 10 products that had no indication of CBD amount, 4 had no CBD at all.

So, what can we make of this analysis?

While we never had clear statistics such as those mentioned above, it was always certain that the CBD industry is filled with disreputable CBD brands. The fact that the FDA is just now beginning to see the full picture might just be the wake-up call the agency needed.

The FDA has future plans to continue their research – more particularly, into other types of products. We can only hope that, with this research, they’ll finally begin regulating this industry to ensure safety and support to both users and those running reputable CBD businesses.


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Paul James

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