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Dr Marie Sartain
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Study shows widespread mislabeling of CBD OTC products

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine tested more than 100 topical cannabidiol (CBD) products available online and at stores, finding that the labels of many of these OTC products inaccurately listed their CBD content.

The study, published in JAMA Network Open, also found that some CBD products made therapeutic claims not approved by FDA.

Researchers purchased 105 CBD topical products in the form of creams, lotions, and patches online and at brick-and-mortar sites in Baltimore in July and August 2020.

Only 89 (85%) of the 105 tested products listed their total amount of CBD in milligrams. Of these 89 products, 16 (18%) contained less CBD than stated on the label, 52 (58%) contained more than stated, and only 21 (24%) were correctly labeled.

In-store products overall contained 21% more CBD than stated on the label, while the online products contained 10% more than stated. Ryan Vandrey, PhD, the study’s senior author and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said “The variability in the chemical content and labeling found in our study highlights the need for better regulatory oversight of CBD products to ensure consumer safety.”

The researchers also tested the products for their Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content and found that THC was detected in 37 (35%) of the 105 products. These products were all within the legal limit of 0.3%, but 4 (11%) were labeled as “THC free,” 14 (38%) stated they contained less than 0.3% THC, and 19 (51%) did not cite THC on the label.

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