In 2018, the legalization of industrial hemp and derivative CBD at the federal level in the United States opened the door for hundreds of new companies selling CBD products across the Country.
CBD sodas, lip balms, gummies, vape pens, and capsules can now be found everywhere in supermarkets, gas stations, and dispensaries across the United States.
The CBD industry is very new, it is flat, unlike other industries where there are well-known companies like Apple, Coke, and Gillette, so most people don’t know which brand to trust.
This side of the consumer does not know how to choose, and the other side of the unscrupulous businessmen take advantage of the opportunity to come in to make a quick buck.
In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tested 18 CBD products, none of which contained CBD. in 2016, the FDA tested 22 CBD products and found that 77% of CBD contained little or no CBD at all, and finally, only four products came close to label content.
Does this mess continue to exist and to what extent after CBD becomes legal at the federal level in 2018? In response, the U.S. industrial hemp industry media, Leafly in collaboration with Confidence Analytics, a Washington state-licensed hemp lab, and the founding partners of the Leafly Certified Labs Program, tested the actual content of 47 CBD products, and we might as well go over the test results together.
A total of 47 CBD products were tested and the actual results were
51% of the products (24 out of 47) had actual CBD content within 20% of the label promise content.
23% of the products (11 out of 47) have less than 80% of the actual CBD content promised on the label.
15% of the products (7 out of 47) actually contained more than 120% of the promised labeled CBD content.
11% of the products (5 out of 47) did not contain CBD.
[In the U.S., it is reasonable to keep the actual CBD content at 20% above and below the labeled content]
So which of the 47 products are more reliable?
Tinctures and chewing gum are the most reliable CBD products
The seven tinctures tested by Leafly met at least 85% of the label content. For chewing gum, five of the six brands tested met at least 84 percent of the label’s promised content.
CBD water was the least reliable
Three of the four CBD water brands tested had no CBD at all, and a fourth contained only 70 percent of the promised dose. According to leafly’s testing, most “CBD water” should be more accurately labeled as “water”
CBD capsules generally contain more CBD than promised
All four of the CBD capsule products tested contained more than 100% of the labeled content. Three of the four met or exceeded 140% of the labeled content. That’s generous, but not necessarily good. Patients using CBD for medical conditions need a reliable dose, not more CBD.
CBD Vape pens have the most variability
The ten vape products tested ranged from no CBD at all to 95% of the promised content. Two vape brands actually contained only 10% of the label promise. 6 of the 10 reached 80% of the label promise.
The next question
How can consumers buy reliable CBD products?
leafly also gives some guidelines for buying CBD for US-based consumers.
I. Buy online or at a trusted store
Some of the worst-performing products tested by Leafly were purchased at stores that sell products other than health and wellness products. Products purchased directly from the manufacturer’s website or online from a state pharmacy are capable of meeting the CBD content promised on the label.
2. Choose products that have been certified by third-party testing
Any brand can claim that their products have been tested. Only brands associated with third-party test results can provide actual proof of potency and purity. A “third party” is an independent laboratory that conducts the tests.
Some of the best products have QR codes printed on their package scans so that consumers can see the third-party test results.
3. Find an experienced company
According to a survey by leafly, the best-performing CBD products tend to be produced by companies with legitimate experience. Look for brands based in early legalization states such as Colorado, California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada or Massachusetts. Work with the best growers with the best CBD extraction technology.
4. Trust your eyes: packaging is important
Look at the package design. Does it look like a product you’d find in a drugstore, or more like a box of sugary kids’ cereal? A product packaged like a drug or a vitamin is more likely to deliver the CBD promised on the label. avoid rainbow colors, industrial hemp leaves.
5. Some forms are better than others
Bottled CBD water is the least reliable CBD product because CBD is insoluble in water. Chewing gum and other foods are the most reliable forms that actually deliver the promised CBD content. CBD oils and tinctures rank second in terms of reliability, followed by vape products.
6. You get what you pay for
Producing high-quality CBD products is difficult and expensive. If you buy the cheapest CBD you can find, you may not be enjoying the benefits of CBD at all.
In response to the explosive popularity of CBD and alarmed by reports of adulterated products, the FDA is also developing CBD rules.