The popularity of medical marijuana has been steadily rising the past few years. So it’s not surprising that more people are recognizing the healing effects of cannabis. From treating symptoms of devastating illnesses like cancer to relieving everyday aches and pains, the versatility cannabis provides is part of what makes it so appealing. However this appeal has led to a significant amount of CBD products online being mislabeled by merchants.
About CBD Compound
One of the many versatile compounds in cannabis is CBD, or cannabidiol. CBD is the main non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis. CBD products have anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat a variety of ailments. Cannabidiol does not induce the ‘high’ that THC, the psychoactive counterpart to CBD, does.This is why CBD is considered a suitable form of medication for children and those patients who don’t want to feel the psychoactive effects of cannabis. For many, the only convenient place to purchase cannabidiol is online. According to a study published by The JAMA Network, those who purchase CBD products online may not be getting what they pay for.
Why Are there So Many Mislabeled CBD Products Online
The JAMA study shockingly reveals that nearly 70% of all CBD products online are mislabeled. The products in question have lower or higher amounts of CBD than advertised and some were even found to contain THC.
The study reviewed 84 products from 31 different companies that are advertising a certain CBD content. JAMA found that 42% of the products listed in online stores had higher levels of CBD than advertised. 26% of the products were over-labeled, meaning they had lower levels of CBD than the product label designated. Products with lower levels of CBD than advertised can be especially dangerous for patients who need high dosages to treat their specific ailment. 18 of the 84 reviewed products contained THC and a select few even had levels of THC that “may be sufficient to produce intoxication or impairment, especially among children.”
CBD products come in many different forms, as different ailments require different methods of administration. JAMA made sure they accounted for the various CBD products on the market. CBD vaporizer liquids were mislabeled nearly 90% of the time while CBD oils were mislabeled 55% of the time.
The tendency to mislabel cannabis products is not limited to online CBD products. The JAMA Network conducted another study in 2015 on the contents of edible THC products. That study found that 83% of edibles were mislabeled. 23% had lower levels of THC than advertised and a whopping 60% of edibles had higher levels of THC.
The Need For Medical Marijuana Product Oversight
The lead author of the CBD study, Marcel Bonn-Miller, PhD, cautions that while the mislabeling of CBD edibles is a concern, most consumers of edibles are using the products for recreational purposes. He is more concerned with guaranteeing that medical patients who rely on precise dosages receive the exact amount of medicine they need. Bonn-Miller says, “Rright now, if you buy a Hershey bar, you know it has been checked over; it’s crazy to have less oversight and information about a product being widely used for medicinal purposes, especially in very ill children, than a Hershey bar.”
Oversight is critical in confirming that cannabis products are true to their labels. The federal illegality of cannabis prohibits organizations like the FDA from examining CBD products for label accuracy. So until oversight and evaluation of cannabis products are a standard, patients and doctors should be aware of the potential consequences related to purchasing cannabis products online.