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Monday, Dec 5, 2022
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.


Inadequate testing for CBD contaminants raises industry concerns: Leafreport

Many distributors are choosing not to test their products for microbes, pesticides and heavy metals

Are rare cannabinoids CBG and CBN the next to-go sleep aids?
Photo via Pexels

A new analytics report has shown that as the popularity of CBD products continues to rise, many companies are coming under more scrutiny for negligence related to their purity testing practices.

That’s according to data collected by Israel-based analytics firm Leafreport published on Wednesday that found 20 per cent of cannabis brands are not conducting any purity testing on their products, and only 7 per cent of them are testing their entire selection of merchandise for contamination.

Leafreport said in a statement that CBD purity testing for three main contaminants — microbes, pesticides, or heavy metals — is still conducted at very low rates across the board, which is a source of concern considering harmful contaminants that can exist within hemp crops.

Similarly, Leafreport emphasized that the efficacy of a CBD product is solely dependent on the potency and purity levels, and that almost half of the products that supposedly contain broad or full-spectrum CBD are labeled with false information. Generally, the CBD content of cannabis products tends to differ from what is listed on the label by about 25 per cent.

The report examined approximately 4400 products from 188 brands that produce CBD-infused goods to be able to accurately evaluate the level of transparency and honest marketing present within the industry. Brands tested include NuLeaf Naturals, Green Roads CBD, High Falls Hemp among others.

Other key findings from the report are:

  • 28 per cent of distributors chose not to conduct any testing for pesticides while 26 per cent neglected to determine if there were heavy metals present in their products
  • 24 per cent did not bother to test for microbes like bacteria.
  • 42 per cent of brands are engaged in potency testing for their products that exhibit a 90-100 per cent rate of accuracy, and disseminate their third-party lab findings to the public.
  • 88 per cent of companies who tested their products for potency discovered that at least one of them had a higher rate of variance than 10 per cent.

Read more: Global CBD gummies market projected to reach US$12B by 2028

Read more: CBD market to reach US$56.2B by 2028: GMI report

In a report made in 2020 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the United States House Committee on Appropriations, it was shown that many CBD products on the market were advertising inaccurate levels of purity and contained undisclosed levels of THC.

The lack of testing for many brands has caused some seeking the health benefits of CBD to become unexpectedly and undesirably stoned, leading to paranoia among other symptoms.

According to Guy Rocourt, CEO of established cannabis wellness brand Papa & Barkley, potency testing also plays a significant role in the safe and beneficial use of CBD.

“Without accurate potency tests, producers cannot accurately produce quality products, and consumers cannot accurately gauge the efficacy levels they need to meet their particular needs,” Rocourt said in a statement. “This is especially important in the CBD space, where consumers need to use products consistently overtime to get the most out of this plant-based medicine.”

Rocourt is not the only industry professional with strong feelings on the subject.

“Potency lets you know the strength of the product in question,” explains Laura Fuentes, co-founder of Green Roads CBD. “CBD consumers deserve to get what they pay for! Without potency testing, you can’t be sure the label on a given package is accurate.”

A new and immensely popular industry emerging from the legalization of cannabis will inherently encounter a series of issues as it evolves, but on a positive note – the number of distributors who have neglected to do any testing on their products has dropped by 5 per cent since last year according to Leafreport data, a decline that cannabis enthusiasts surely hope will continue into the future. 


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