In a previous post, we provided you with a guide to purchasing CBD. This week, we’ll be following up on that post to dive deeper into an issue that has caused a lot of headaches for CBD customers – mislabeling of CBD products.
When we buy a product, most of us trust what we read on the label. We assume someone in a position of authority has tested the product and has deemed it safe.
However, CBD is different than most of the products you’ll find at your local grocery store or pharmacy. When it comes to CBD, the lack of rules and regulations makes it relatively easy for companies to get away with misrepresenting their merchandise.
How CBD works
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of hundreds of compounds found in the marijuana and hemp plants. CBD works with the receptors within our endocannabinoid system – a complex system that helps ensure our bodies maintain a healthy state of balance.
The interaction between CBD and the endocannabinoid system is why so many people have had amazing results with CBD. Whether it’s used for pain relief, managing stress and anxiety, or helping us sleep better at night, CBD has become incredibly popular as a healthy alternative to traditional medications.
However, the reality is that many of the products you can find online or at a local retailer do not match what is advertised on the packaging.
Whether it’s exaggerating the amount of CBD a product contains, or not providing the correct amount of other cannabinoids – including THC – mislabeling of CBD products has become a major issue.
What the research says
Mislabeling CBD is one of the biggest issues within the CBD industry right now. There are two types of labeling problems the CBD market is faced with right now:
- Over-labeling – When there is less CBD in the product than the label indicates.
- Under-labeling – When there is more CBD in the product than the label indicates.
One study showed that the majority of CBD products sold today are labeled incorrectly. In the study, researchers conducted Google searches on words such as “CBD” and “tincture” to find out which products would be most accessible to customers looking for CBD. The researchers ended up purchasing 84 products from 31 different CBD companies.
At the end of the study, the researchers found that 36 products were under-labeled (more CBD than on the label), 22 products were over-labeled (less CBD than on the label), and the rest were accurately labeled.
The researchers noted in their study that over-labeling was a major issue in the industry. In fact, the FDA has already sent warnings related to over-labeling to 14 CBD businesses.
While under-labeling is not as big of a concern, due to CBD being a very safe substance, the researchers did note that the major issue with over-labeling is the amount of THC in a product.
THC is intoxicating, and can cause impairment that may be dangerous in certain conditions. This is especially true if you don’t realize that you’ve taken a product containing higher-than-advertised levels of THC.
CBD Product Labeling
When shopping for CBD, it’s important that you can trust that what you read on the product label.
Unfortunately, some companies don’t provide consumers with the accurate amount of CBD found in their product, and instead simply label the amount of cannabinoids. This means that the product contains other substances in addition to CBD, and may even contain THC.
Other companies will not state the amount of CBD at all, and instead say that the product is from the “whole plant” or “full-spectrum hemp”. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it does mean that there will be other cannabinoids present in the product.
What to look out for when shopping for CBD
With the current lack of rules and regulations from the FDA, many companies are getting away with over-labeling and under-labeling their CBD products.
The FDA recently stated that CBD in food and dietary supplements is illegal, but they are not doing much to enforce it. Since 2017, the FDA has only sent 9 warning letters to companies making sweeping health claims on their CBD product labels, including products that claimed to cure diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
While shopping for CBD products can be tough in this environment, there are steps that you can take to ensure you are receiving the product that you are looking for.
For one, be sure to buy your CBD from reputable companies that are not making unfounded health claims about their products. In addition, be sure to ask for the certificate of analysis when buying CBD. This report will give you everything you need to know, including the concentration of CBD and the overall purity of the CBD product.
And, as always, before your try CBD, be sure to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider!
The CBD Certification Course
In the span of a few short years, CBD has become incredibly popular as a natural alternative for chronic health conditions, such as pain, stress and anxiety, and sleep issues.
And whether you are an industry professional, distributor, or a consumer looking to learn more about the pros and cons of CBD, our CBD Certification Course was developed to provide a detailed overview of the latest research and developments related to CBD and the endocannabinoid system.
Learn more about the CBD Course, and be sure to check out our generous group rates for teams of 3 or more!