CBD, first legalized in America as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill, has become a hot new commodity which is growing rapidly in this country: Some estimates guess that the substance will generate an astonishing $20 billion by 2024.
However, as with any boom industry comes the potential for bad actors to rip off consumers – or even endanger their health or livelihood. In terms of CBD, this comes from the potential for a company to mislabel their product.
Fortunately, many products have independent, third-party lab testing. These labels ensure that a neutral party has checked the labeling of a CBD package for accuracy and confirmed that what the company says is in the CBD IS actually in the product. If a product has a third-party verification, it will always been prominently displayed, as a company will intentionally get its product reviewed in order to build trust with the consumer.
This is necessary for two reasons. First and foremost: In the United States, the Food & Drug Administration has failed, as of yet, to create meaningful regulations and tests of CBD products. Aside from warning some companies to stop making claims which are not backed by science, the FDA has been largely absent from this field.
While some states are enacting consumer-oriented regulations, these rules have not been implemented nationwide. As a result, the field has largely become self regulated, with many sellers choosing to have their products independently tested.
Second, and just as importantly: Too many CBD vendors are not accurately labeling their products. In 2017, Penn State conducted a study which examined the contents of 84 different CBD products. When compared to what they claimed to contain, 42 products were “under labeled,” meaning that they had higher concentrations of CBD than indicated. Another 26 products were over labeled, and only 30% of the products tested actually had within 10% of what they claimed to possess.
This presents a major problem and health risk for consumers for multiple reasons. Some forms of CBD (although not all) contain THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the chemical in cannabis which is associated with marijuana intoxication. Getting “high” off of CBD at legal concentrations is difficult, if not impossible. However, if a drug has higher concentrations of CBD than it claims to have, that is a possibility. For individuals who work in fields which require complete sobriety (such as driving or manufacturing), this presents a major safety risk.
An additional danger comes from the possibility of a random drug test. Depending on how often someone has consumed CBD, if they have also consumed marijuana, the sensitivity of the drug test or the method used, using CBD which under-labels its THC content can result in a positive drug test. This can have devastating financial or legal impacts, particularly if the drug test is done in the course of a job.
Further dangers come from the mislabeling of products in terms of a potential allergic reaction to other chemicals. Many individuals have allergies to certain substances or chemicals which require that they pay extreme attention to labeling. A detailed lab report which shows what chemicals and ingredients are in a substance is vitally necessary to these individuals in order to avoid such an allergic reaction.
For all of these reasons, reading a lab report is absolutely necessary to any individual who consumes CBD. Doing so will confirm that the manufacturer of the CBD is a reputable seller who has the best interests of their consumers at heart – and not just growing their bottom line.