FDA Tests CBD Products to Determine If They Are Mislabeled and Adulterated

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On July 8, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a report titled “Sampling Study of the Current Cannabidiol Marketplace to Determine the Extent that Products Are Mislabeled or Adulterated” to the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees. The report noted that in 2019, the FDA tested several CBD products to determine whether they 1) contained CBD; 2) contained the amount of CBD listed on their labeling; 3) contained toxins and heavy metals; and 4) contained undisclosed amounts of THC.  Of the tinctures, capsules, edibles, beverages, and pet products tested for cannabinoids, only 33 percent contained CBD within 20 percent of the amount indicated on the label. Of the 10 tested products that did not indicate the amount of CBD included, only six contained CBD, and the remaining four did not. In addition, 48 percent of the products contained undisclosed THC. The FDA also tested cosmetic products. Of the cosmetics products that claimed to have CBD, 29 percent also contained THC, even though the products did not indicate the presence of THC. Additionally, of the 14 cosmetic products that indicated a specific amount of CBD on their label, eight products contained less than 80 percent of the CBD amount indicated, four products contained within 20 percent of the CBD amount indicated, and two products contained greater than 120 percent of the CBD amount indicated.

In 2020, the FDA tested an additional 147 products marketed as containing CBD. Of those, 138 products (94 percent) contained CBD. Of the 102 products that indicated a specific amount of CBD, 18 products (18 percent) contained less than 80% of the amount of CBD indicated, 46 products (45 percent) contained CBD within 20 percent of the amount indicated, and 38 products (37 percent) contained more than 120 percent of the amount of CBD indicated. When tested for THC, 72 (49 percent) of the 147 products were positive for undisclosed THC.  The FDA intends to conduct additional testing in a long-term study. Read the report here.

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