CBD products fail another test—with an important caveat for retailers
Study shows only two out of 24 hemp CBD companies contained what was listed on their labels.
“These are mostly no-name brands purchased by DEA agents from gas stations and convenience stores in Mississippi.” – Blake Ebersole
Todd Runestad | Jul 06, 2020 source: https://www.newhope.com/print/121514
A new published study that deigned to check in on the quality status of hemp CBD finished product brands found that out of 24 products tested, a paltry two passed label claim—meaning they contained what was listed on their labels.
One product—a vape liquid—contained a buzz-worthy 45% THC. That’s the cannabinoid that gets you high. By law, hemp CBD products are mandated to contain no more than 0.3% THC. CBD itself has no euphoric effects.
“From this small, but diverse, sampling of hemp-derived merchandise,” said researchers, “it appears that most product label claims do not accurately reflect actual CBD content and are fraudulent in that regard.”
It certainly demonstrates the hemp CBD business remains in its infancy, with quite a bit of maturing to do.
It’s notable that 14 products tested were vape liquids, five were ingestible oils, two were honey sticks, two were beverage shots and one was a topical cream.
“It would be more interesting if more oral products were included,” said Douglas Kalman, Ph.D., vice president of scientific affairs at contract research organization Nutrasource.
And only one tested company, Colorado-based Functional Remedies, was a recognizable brand—it passed.
“These are mostly no-name brands,” said Blake Ebersole, founder and president of NaturPro Scientific, a consultancy helping companies with product development, quality compliance and manufacturing of supplements. “The products were actually purchased from convenience stores and ‘CBD shops’ as opposed to health-food stores.”
The results, published in Journal of Dietary Supplements, said the researchers obtained all the products tested in the state of Mississippi.
Fifteen of the products tested were “well below the stated claim for CBD,” according to the study, while two exceeded claims in excess of 50% and five products made no claims.
So while the test results are hardly a feather in the cap of hemp CBD brands, the jury will have to remain out on the responsible tier of product providers—all of whom take steps to vouchsafe product quality from qualifying farmers or other intermediate vendors, requesting certificates of analysis—and not just taking the results at face value but then testing those results—employing Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), providing supplement-legal language on products and even listing test results available either on their websites or accessible via QR codes on product packaging.
The best-case scenario from this published study, then, is that smart retailers conduct all appropriate due diligence with brands—including spending less than a hundred bucks to take a bottle from a brand that wants to get on your store shelf and testing it independently at an analytic lab to make sure that there are no discrepancies between the label and the product itself.
The benefits of providing quality hemp CBD products is repeat customers as far as the eye can see.
International standards and regenerative farming are at the leading edge of sustainability when discussing the sourcing of herbs and botanicals. But at essence, promoting sustainability begins with evaluating and understanding what is needed most to sustain and improve supply.
Ebersole can see the writing on the wall. “I expect the media will report that these levels reported in baby food are toxic—and sow more distrust in baby food. Meanwhile, industry looks bad, but it’s not entirely our fault without some clarity on what limits we should be setting,” he said.
Understanding Amazon’s new requirements for supplement testing can be hard, but we can help. We are aware of the rapidly changing, uncertain requirements of Amazon
The supply chain for hemp ingredients like CBD is crowded, with the whole spectrum of quality available. At the top are legitimate, transparent sources exerting extreme care, control and expertise. At the bottom, a glut of traders and speculators who are blind to product provenance and production.
If you market or sell your own label of supplement or food product that is manufactured by a third party, such as a contract manufacturer or copacker, then you are responsible for its manufacture and labeling—even if you never physically touch the product.