Researchers in Kentucky are warning consumers about CBD after analysis that showed nearly half of 80 products analyzed contained amounts of the compound inconsistent with levels indicated on labeling.
A total of 37 products had inaccurate labels, with 25 containing 90% or less CBD, and 12 containing 110% or more than the amounts indicated on packaging, according to a report from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.
Brands not named
Forty-four of the samples analyzed were obtained from national online retailers while the remaining 36 came from retail outlets in central Kentucky. Manufacturers and brand names were not identified in the research.
The research team suggested that the growing number of consumers who are taking CBD for pain, anxiety, insomnia, and a range of other conditions, be wary when purchasing the products, noting that over-dosing can cause side effects and unknown interactions with other drugs, while under-dosing can mean expected therapeutic benefits may be lacking.
Research is scant
The report observed that despite scant empirical evidence, “consumers are learning about CBD and often determining their own treatment plans from anecdotal evidence acquired from internet research, family members, or friends.”
“As consumers are taking CBD products without medical guidance, it is imperative that, at a minimum, product labels convey clear and accurate information on CBD content to best allow the consumer to be accurately informed about the doses that they are taking,” the researchers said.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has yet to set rules for CBD, saying more research is needed on efficacy and the compound’s effects on the human body. That means CBD products remain in a legal gray area as states await federal guidelines around which to shape local regulations.
“The lack of regulatory oversight in this industry has resulted in the marketing and sale of CBD products with questionable ingredients and quality,” the Kentucky researchers said. “The findings reported here emphasize the continued need for clear and consistent regulation from federal and state agencies to ensure label accuracy of CBD products and subsequent enforcement.”
The FDA has periodically cracked down on producers of CBD products intended for human consumption over labeling and health claims. The agency also issued warnings to four companies that make CBD products for animals last month, citing safety concerns and ordering them to halt marketing.
The Kentucky researchers said the results of their study also indicate the need for continued development of good manufacturing practices and testing standards for the CBD sector.