A woman from Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada is suing BC Cannabis Stores for what she calls a “mislabeled cannabis product.” The woman, Kimberly Webster, a student at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia claims that she purchased a product labelled as Hexo CBD Oral Spray. The spray was supposed to be high in CBD (the non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis) and low in THC (the cannabis compound that causes a high). Instead, Webster claims that the spray was high in THC and low in CBD.
The Anxiety-Inducing Effects of Mislabeling
Webster said that her and a classmate bought the spray in order to study it for an academic assignment on labeling of recreational cannabis products. After consuming the spray, Webster said her and a friend, “couldn’t stop laughing for anything. Everyone thought we were crazy. I started feeling anxious and, at one point, I was scared of a couch, which is strange.”
While the symptoms described may seem frivolous to some, Webster said that the incident in question occurred during midterms and that her grades suffered as a result. It was only until BC Cannabis Stores sent out an email on November 20th, 2018 informing consumers of the labeling mishap that Webster came to the realization that she may have been the victim of product mislabeling. Webster said, “I knew there was something off, but I didn’t really know cannabis, so I just went with it. But after I got the email, everything started to make a whole lot more sense.”
For those with little to no experience with high THC products, an unexpectedly high dose can cause anxiety, nausea, and severe paranoia. The lawsuit filed on Webster’s behalf states that, “The defendants failed to warn the plaintiff of the dangers of this product, and it was mislabeled at the time of purchase.”
An Example of a Larger Issue
The Webster case is an example of the wide spread issue of mislabeling of cannabis products and specifically CBD products in Canada and predominately in the United States. Since CBD products are not regulated by the FDA in America, there are few standards for product manufacturers to adhere to when labeling their cannabis-based products. While neither Hexo (the producer of the mislabeled product Webster consumed) or BC Cannabis Stores have responded to Webster’s suit, the notoriety gained by Webster’s claims will likely push producers and sellers to work to be more cautious when labeling and selling cannabis products to the public.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.