With CBD beverages increasing in popularity, it was inevitable that a watchdog group would do an in-depth study of ingredients. LeafReport, an independent Israel-based review company, has done just that. And they’ve uncovered some disturbing news. Over half of the CBD drink products analyzed contained less cannabidiol than the brand advertised.
According to the site, the company tested 22 popular CBD beverages through Canalysis Laboratories. In addition to improperly advertised cannabinoid content, the most surprising finding was that there was no correlation between a brand’s reputation and the test results. Meaning, even leading brands you might expect to score well did no better or worse than little-known brands.
Key findings included:
- Two beverages that claimed to have potencies between 5mg and 25mg of CBD contained no cannabinoids whatsoever.
- Over half of the CBD drinks that were tested contained less CBD than what was advertised on the label.
- Over 60% of the products tested contained levels at least 40% higher or lower than advertised.
- Over 80% of the products tested contained CBD levels at least 10% lower or higher than what was advertised.
Overall, only four beverages actually had CBD levels within 10% of what was advertised on the labels.
Because of how they are manufactured, it is notoriously hard to make beverages with consistent and accurate cannabinoid content. LeafReports head of the project, Lital Shafir, explains that “This is in line with our expectations because CBD beverages are difficult to formulate and contain relatively small amounts of CBD, which means that variations of even a few milligrams can have a big effect.”
While a few extra milligrams is probably alright, ingesting a more considerable amount of CBD than expected can be problematic. One of the big reasons would be that the increase in cannabinoid content could trigger a false positive on a drug test, causing potential issues for users who thought they were only ingesting a few milligrams of CBD.
Of course, CBD beverages aren’t cheap, either. These are unique specialty drinks that cost a premium. If you’re expecting sparkling water containing 10mg of CBD and you discover there are no detectable levels at all, you are likely to feel ripped off, and rightly so.
LeafReport’s study underscores what many standardization advocates have pointed out: Third-party testing is vital in this unregulated industry. The whole report, including a list of inaccurately labeled products, can be found on LeafReport’s website.