CBD products composition – how does it really look like?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a hemp plant compound, which several health benefits. However, the CBD industry has grown rapidly in recent years. This led to presence of products with different quality and purity levels. CBD products composition remain largely unregulated. As a result, many products are mislabelled, either by mistake or on purpose, to deceive consumers into thinking they are getting a high-quality product when in reality they are not.
Regulations and analysis on CBD products composition
Few regulations are available regarding labeling, batch-to-batch variability or long-term product stability. As cannabidiol is now widely available to the public in many forms, from hemp oils to over-the-counter (OTC) foods and beverages. For this reason, a group of scientists decided to analyze commercial products for cannabinoid content against label claims and stability according to United States Pharmacopeia (USP) standards.
The American Pharmacopoeia sets standards for drugs, dietary supplements and food ingredients, and yes, it published standards related to CBD in 2016. The USP Cannabis Panel of Experts also recently released additional recommendations. Analytical products came from local retail stores in Wisconsin, for example health food stores and grocery stores. No products were from online shops.
Research from 2022 confirmed that there were previous warnings by the FDA over the past few years. Despite that, a significant number of available CBD preparations in the US are mislabelled. In some cases, products labelled as containing CBD, had no active ingredient. This was especially true for aquatic products. This mislabelling can lead to consumers paying more for a product that is not as potent as they expected, or even taking a product that contains less CBD than they need to achieve the desired effect. Inconsistent labelling and batch-to-batch variability make dosing unpredictable. All this in the developed and more mature US market.
There are conclusions to carefully control the activities of manufacturing companies related to certification, analysis and labeling. Due to the growing market for all cannabis products, regulations related to all cannabinoid products are expected and necessary. The European Commission has started to regulate CBD as a novel food, which we wrote about here.