Consumer interest in CBD products is on a rapid rise, as many turn to relatively new hemp products with little-to-no THC (a psychotropic compound found in cannabis) seeking to address everything from skin care issues to anxiety, medical ailments and even pet health.
Despite growing demand, the CBD industry operates with limited regulation and a lack of meaningful standards and oversight. In fact, a study released by Portland-based LegitScript shows significant gaps in product claims and the presence of dangerous substances in some products. The study highlights problematic business processes, including website noncompliance and troubling financial practices.
Key findings include:
- Potency gaps: More than half of products tested contained significantly less CBD than stated in packaging.
- Dangerous ingredients: One of 30 products tested had 18.5 times the allowable amount of lead in it, while one product contained 5.6 times the permissible amount of ethylene oxide – a known carcinogen.
- Business practices: 98% of online CBD merchants were out of compliance in terms of types of products sold, jurisdictions shipped, and marketing claims made.
“There are many legitimate CBD providers in the market, but they are overshadowed by troublesome players with suspect products and business practices. At a certain point, rampant noncompliance can lead to a devastating loss of consumer trust,” John Horton, LegitScript’s President and CEO, told Benzinga. “For the CBD market to grow and thrive, the issues uncovered in this study must be addressed. Certification and monitoring will go a long way to help the industry gain the legitimacy it seeks.”