It's High Time To Clean Up The CBD Industry
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Last week, the FDA released a report to Congress on their findings after randomly testing a broad range of CBD brands and products on the market. The findings were shocking: More than half the CBD products tested were inaccurately labeled, in many cases containing significantly more or less CBD than indicated on the packaging. Alarmingly, nearly half of the CBD products tested were found to contain the psychoactive compound found in recreational and medical cannabis—THC.
These findings confirm what many of us in the CBD business already know. While the physical and mental wellness benefits of CBD are very real, the lack of a clear regulatory framework for producing and marketing CBD has resulted in a plague of substandard or dangerously mislabeled products.
As the popularity and demand for CBD products soars, it’s high time that the FDA step in to not only research CBD, but regulate it in order to parse out bad actors. Regulation, at long last, will protect the reputation of a burgeoning and scientifically promising wellness industry.
According to the report, the FDA tested 147 different CBD oil products and found that of the 102 products that listed the amount of CBD on their label:
18 products contained less than 80 percent of the amount of CBD indicated.
46 products contained within 20 percent of the amount of CBD indicated.
38 products contained more than 120 percent of the amount of CBD indicated.
72 products—49 percent of the sampling—contained more than the allowed amount of THC.
As a business owner and investor in this industry, it’s my hope that these findings prompt consumers to demand better from us. People who turn to CBD to enhance their own wellness—or the health of their children or pets—deserve to know exactly what, and how much, they’re consuming.
At B GREAT, we have laid out stringent guidelines for the creation of our products. Triple-testing every batch of our products at a credible, dependable, and independently-operated lab is important. We test our product three times—in its raw state, while a batch is being formulated, and after a batch has been created. These steps are done to ensure that our product ingredients are on target and accurate. Another trust-building practice is, we publish every Certificate of Analysis on our website to make these lab reports accessible to consumers.
There are honorable CBD companies. However, operating by the “honor code” presents risks for not just the consumer, but the business owner as well. Even with exacting self-imposed protocols and standards in place, getting the dosage exact every time is not easy given the variety of outside factors that can influence testing. Send the same product to three different labs, and you will get three different results back.
The FDA has an obligation to consumers to put standards in place for CBD companies to follow, specifically when it comes to an acceptable standard of deviation for cannabinoid levels. This will ensure consumers get quality products with accurate dosing and also allow well-intentioned CBD companies to demonstrate that they meet those standards within a prescribed range of tolerance.
Every serious company in this space should be prepared to publish their Certificates of Analysis to confirm that testing was done and that the results are within a reasonable margin of the ingredients listed. Consumers must be able to trace products down to the batch and specific hemp lot from which they were created. And they must be able to confirm the quality, quantity, and source of the ingredients they are using.
For too long the CBD industry has felt like the Wild West, where anyone could put together CBD products, slap on a label, and sell those products to consumers without concerning themselves with the quality of ingredients, standards, testing, and data. This latest FDA report confirms our worst fears, which is that this practice is not only happening but is happening the majority of the time. If left unchecked, this lack of standardization will continue to undermine legitimate CBD companies who invest a great deal of time and money into proper product testing and, more importantly, pose harm to consumers who lack the tools and information necessary to discern a reputable CBD brand from a problematic one.