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Cannabidiol Caveat Emptor

The popularity of cannabidiol – and the prices people are willing to pay for it – is attracting shoddy and shonky operators putting people’s health and lives at risk.

A recent Associated Press (AP) investigation revealed 10 out of 30 vaping products it commissioned testing on that were marketed as containing CBD contained synthetic marijuana, which can be quite dangerous, and others had no cannabidiol content at all.

The focus of the investigation was on brands authorities or users have flagged as suspect and AP acknowledges the results are not necessarily representative of all CBD products.

However, it is troubling; particularly on the back of a spate of illnesses – and deaths – connected to vaping products with THC oil thought to have been adulterated with a substance not safe for vaping.

Whether it’s vaping products, edibles or any other product claiming to contain CBD, consumers need to be very wary; not just for the sake of their hip-pocket, but also their health.

Pointing the finger squarely at products manufactured in other countries isn’t useful either – as there are domestic backyard operators (and companies) that are thinking dollars over customer health; or just lacking the knowledge required to produce such items.

Unfortunately, the situation is providing fodder for those against cannabidiol availability generally (even though CBD itself isn’t the problem) and bolsters the case for heavy regulation. Regulation isn’t a bad thing in itself, but there is also a risk of over-the-top controls that prevent CBD getting to those who may be able to benefit the most from it. In countries such as Australia, regulations are very strict – and situations such as is occurring in the USA will give the Australian Government all the reasons it needs to maintain its approach.

It’s going to be quite a balancing act to ensure U.S. consumer health is protected while also ensuring appropriate levels of access.

The situation will put more pressure on the FDA to come up with cannabidiol related regulations – and soon. It’s also under pressure from another front to get cracking for different reasons via Senator Mitch McConnell as we mentioned yesterday.

Steven Gothrinet
Steven Gothrinet has been part of the Hemp Gazette in-house reporting team since 2015. Steven's broad interest in cannabis was initially fueled by the realisation of industrial hemp's versatility across multiple sectors. You can contact Steve here.

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