“Real CBD oil has to come from a licensed government producer because Health Canada’s (HC) going into these facilities several times a week checking for things like molds, mildews, and THC & CBD levels,” says Maddie Brown, a cannabis consultant & registered nurse based in Ottawa. That way, she says, if you’re buying a bottle that says it contains 500 mgs of CBD and no THC, then that’s exactly what you’re getting.
Prior to HC regulation, however, Brown says mislabeled products were the norm. Which might be close to the situation in the U.S. where the government – the FDA – isn’t performing these quality checks. For example, a 2017 study reported in JAMA found that of 84 CBD products they tested only 26 were labeled accurately; 36 had more CBD than the label said, and 22 products had less. Importantly, THC was found in 18 of the samples – 1 in 5 – which has led to failed drug screens and loss of employment.
The remedy for U.S residents, according to science news source Phys.org, is to look for a Certificate of Analysis. A COA is a test performed by an independent lab to make sure the label is accurate. The label should list both the CBD and THC content, with the latter reading zero. And if your product contains CBD and nothing else, Phys.org says you’re “extremely unlikely” to fail a drug screen for marijuana (THC).
So the idea is to make sure you get the exact CBD formulation you’re looking for. Because when you do, says Brown, who has treated some 750 people, the payoff is big:
CBD has been hugely life-changing for my patients who suffer from inflammatory pain conditions, back pain, muscle pain, joint pain. I have a lot of different athletes who are using it for concussion syndrome, for the nausea associated with concussion syndrome.