States who have legalized medical and recreational marijuana have seen an explosion in the number of people desperate to enter the industry. Cannabis is lucrative and everyone wants a piece of the pie. The same is true for CBD. After industrial hemp was legalized on a national level with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, people have been scrambling to enter the loosely regulated industry.
Many people see the opportunity to make money off of CBD yet fail to consider how to responsibly enter the market. This is where consumers suffer.
Groceries stores and gas stations are now stocked with CBD lotions, lip balms, vape pens, capsules, etc. The access to such a wide variety of products is exciting for people who have been eager to try CBD, but the public needs to be aware of scammers who have entered the market just to make money. Access does not equal quality.
Because regulation surrounding CBD is so loose, fly-by-night companies are getting away selling products with unverified dosages. In the next couple of years, the FDA will come out with regulations surrounding the manufacturing and selling of CBD products and these companies will be shut down. But for now, it is the wild west and consumers need to know how to protect themselves.
So the question is, how do you tell the difference? How do you differentiate the real products from scams?
Basically, when an industry is not regulated by the FDA, it is on the company itself to utilize third-party testing in order to prove they are delivering on their promise. It is always smart to be wary of companies who do in house testing as these results can never be fully trusted. Third-party testers do not have skin in the game and you can trust their results are accurate. Subsequently, it is on the consumer to only buy from reputable companies who can and choose to utilize third-party testing.
In 2019, Leafly, a website dedicated to providing information on legally sourced cannabis products, conducted an experiment to test an array of CBD products and determine the accuracy of their advertised dosages. They bought 47 CBD products bought from a variety of sources such as online retailers, gas stations, national drug stores etc. They sent each product in to be tested and they found that:
51% of the products delivered the advertised dosage of CBD (within 20% of the labeled dosage)
28% of the products delivered less than 80% of the dosage advertised on the label
15% of products delivered more than 120% of the dosage advertised on the label
11% of products delivered no CBD whatsoever
Obviously, their sample size was not large enough to draw any conclusions on a national level, but it shows that consumers cannot trust that unregulated products will contain what the label claims. It’s a sad truth. We simply cannot trust every company to be honest and ethical.
Another concern consumers have when exploring CBD products is the level of THC present. Legal CBD products should contain no more than 0.3% THC. Anything over this can cause a user to feel the psychoactive effects of THC and can even cause them to fail a drug test. This can lead to a huge problem in an individual’s professional life so it is imperative people know that the product they are using will not put them at risk.
At Columbus Naturals, we seek to offer our consumers complete transparency by verifying every purchase made with third-party lab verification. We work with PSI labs in Ann Arbor, Michigan and our lab result for our most recent retail batch can be found here.
Soon enough, the FDA will implement regulation on the CBD industry and dishonest companies will be exposed for what they are. However, until this occurs, consumers must be vigilant and take precautions to protect themselves from scammers. When it comes to unregulated industries such as CBD, the only way to do this is to only buy third party lab-verified products so you can be sure you are getting what you pay for.