The Goldilocks Theory of CBD Products: Some have too little CBD. Some have too much. Some are just right

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Okay, this is a bit lame but it makes the point: What do you call CBD-infused water? Water.

That’s one takeaway from a report published this week by Leafly that asked the question, Do CBD products actually contain CBD? To find out, they bought 47 CBD products from a variety of sources and found that half didn’t deliver the dosage promised. Here’s the breakdown:

  •     51% of products (24 of 47) delivered the promised CBD within 20% of the labeled dosage.
  •     23% of products (11 of 47) delivered some CBD, but less than 80% of the dosage.
  •     15% of products (7 of 47) delivered more than 120% of the promised CBD.
  •     11% of products (5 of 47) delivered no CBD whatsoever.

It’s actually a bit worse than this. Notice they use a 20% label variance as the standard. In other words, if you bought a 300 mg product and only got 241 (it’s within 20% of 300), it would still count as one of the 51% of products that “delivered the promised CBD.”

Leafly concedes that’s a pretty lax standard but they offer some hope: Product testing since 2015, they say, has moved in the direction of accurate labeling, and in 2020 the FDA will step in and regulate CBD products.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the Financial Post, Leafly offered tips on how to spot good products:

  • Use established companies who specialize in these products. Think of it this way: if you buy a sandwich at a hardware store, chances are it isn’t great.
  • Ask for third-party, independent lab testing. Look for a QR code on the product, which you can scan to see the lab results.
  • Packaging matters: if the packaging looks bad, usually the product is too.
  • Price Matters: Products that are too cheap are more likely to fail on their CBD promises.
  • Organic sourcing helps.

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