7 Investigates: Testing CBD Label Claim

CBD is all the rage right now, and due to a change in federal law, it’s legal to buy.

But are consumers who purchase CBD products getting their money’s worth?

Investigative Reporter Hank Philippi Ryan put them to the test.

Do CBD oils, gummies, and capsules contain the amount of CBD their labels promise? CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s a substance extracted from hemp plants.

It’s not the stuff that gets you high, but some say CBD is a natural way to treat anxiety, nausea, and inflammation.

Betsy from Rockland takes it for chronic pain from a car accident.

“I felt almost immediate relief,” Betsy told 7 News.

But are CBD users like Betsy getting what they pay for?

We randomly purchased nine CBD products in stores and online, including the CBD oil that Betsy uses.

Then we brought them all to CDX Analytics, a state certified testing lab in Salem where scientists tested the oils, gummies, and capsules to see if the amount of CBD listed on the label was accurate.

“Of the nine samples how many were labeled accurately,” Ryan asked.

“Not one,” CDX Analytics CEO Brian Strasnick said.

“Not one,” asked Hank.

“Not one,” Strasnick said.

In fact, more than half the products we tested had much less CBD than the labels claim.

The oil Betsy uses, the bottle says there are 250 milligrams inside, but the lab found it contained only 146 milligrams.

Betsy: “I’m disappointed it didn’t have more CBD in it.”

The label on one package of gummies says there are approximately 16.5 milligrams of CBD in each. The lab found they only contained about 4.3 milligrams.

One oil said each dose has 10 milligrams of CBD, but the lab found it contained only 1.7 milligrams.

Another product actually had more CBD than the label stated. The package says 25 milligrams in each gummy, the lab found it had 32 milligrams.

“What do you think about that,” Hank asked.

“I think the results are pretty alarming for the public,” Strasnick said.

We even found discrepancies inside the same bottle.

One label didn’t list how much CBD each gummy contained so we tested four individual ones.

And each had a different amount. A blue one had about three times more CBD than a red one.

The result: Consumers have no idea what they’re taking.

“It’s a roll of the dice,” Hank asked.

“It is,” said Chief Science Officer for CDX Analytics Brianna Cassidy.

“What do you think about that,” Hank asked.

“I don’t think it’s acceptable,” Cassidy said.

How can this happen? Though federal law says labels can’t be deceptive, we found there’s no “CBD police” routinely testing and making sure hemp products are accurately labeled.

“You have all these companies just opening up and selling them and there are not enough regulators to go around checking them,” Strasnick said.

“And as a result,” Hank asked.

“Consumers are not getting what they paid for,” Strasnick said.

Our tests prove buyers like Betsy cannot always rely on labels.

“I believe there should be more oversight. You should be getting what you purchase,” Betsy said.

We’ve learned the FDA is now considering more regulations for CBD and will hold hearings later this month. Massachusetts officials tell us they’re also planning more oversight.

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