product mislabeling

Product Mislabeling in the Cannabis Industry: Impact and How to Avoid It

by | May 9, 2024

product mislabeling

Written by Daniel Gana

Daniel Gana is a versatile cannabis scientist, researcher, and content creator. He is deeply passionate about psychedelics education, cannabis science, technology, and cultivation. Leveraging his expertise in the field, he strives to educate users on various aspects of cannabis, including policies, usage, and scientific breakthroughs. Through his freelance work, Daniel disseminates valuable information to consumers, aiming to empower them with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions. His contributions have been recognized through features in numerous publications, reflecting his dedication to advancing understanding and awareness in the cannabis community.

Introduction to Product Mislabeling in the CBD Industry

Recent research published in Food Control says 41% of CBD products are wrongly labeled. This is a major concern that needs urgent attention if the CBD industry is really focused on improving the health and safety of users. Product mislabeling of CBD has been a longstanding issue within the cannabis industry, persisting over an extended period of time. This problem is as old as the CBD industry.

Causes of Product Mislabeling

The problem of product mislabeling arises from various factors, including inconsistent regulatory standards, insufficient oversight, and the complexity of cannabinoid formulations. Manufacturers may inaccurately label their products due to inadequate testing protocols, leading to discrepancies between the stated and actual cannabinoid content. Moreover, the lack of standardized labeling requirements and varying interpretations of labeling regulations make this issue worse.

Consumer Impact and Safety Risks

As a result, consumers face challenges in accurately assessing the quality and potency of CBD products, compromising their ability to make informed purchasing decisions. 

Product mislabeling is one of the biggest scams in the cannabis industry, undermining consumer trust and safety. It is one of the major reasons people have reported not experiencing positive results after using CBD products. Mislabeled products come with inaccurate potency claims, hidden contaminants, and false health assertions with an aim to deceive consumers who risk unintended intoxication, adverse health effects, and legal non-compliance.

Research Findings on Mislabeling

The present study under review examined the prevalence of cannabis products in Europe and their compliance with legal regulations. Using an HPLC-UV method, researchers quantified THC, THCA, CBD, and CBDA in various consumer products. Results revealed that all products met THC/THCA limits, but discrepancies existed in CBD content declarations. While 33% matched labeled CBD content, 26% exceeded it, and 41% contained less. Some products claiming “full spectrum C. sativa extracts” lacked additional cannabinoids. 

This is a significant factor contributing to the ineffectiveness of CBD products. It’s crucial to understand that the efficacy of CBD products relies heavily on proper dosing and formulation. Users can only achieve optimal results when they accurately dose and select products tailored to their needs. This is why research led by the University of Beth concluded that CBD products are a waste of money and potentially harmful to health. 

Another study carried out on U.S.-based hemp products in 2022 revealed that nearly 60% of CBD products sold in the United States are mislabeled. In addition to this, the products were heavily contaminated with lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and other heavy metals, which makes CBD edibles unsafe. Thus jeopardizing the health of the over 54 million Americans who use CBD products, as reported by Nesas Hemp. While product mislabeling in the cannabis industry isn’t a new hurdle, it demands earnest attention to foster the industry’s growth and cater to patients’ diverse needs effectively.

Regulatory Measures and Consumer Guidelines

Tackling this challenge necessitates stringent market regulation. Government and regulatory bodies must amplify their efforts to ensure product safety by mandating third-party tests from FDA-approved laboratories. Each product should bear a verifiable lab-tested seal and a unique batch number, guiding consumers to access the results of these tests. Such measures enhance transparency and accountability and instill confidence among consumers, facilitating informed decision-making and fostering the sustainable advancement of the cannabis industry.

It is also pertinent to note that in the midst of all this chaos, genuine hemp brands and products are emerging to serve as a standard to identifying quality hemp products. These brands are redefining the quality and safety standards. They prioritize quality over the quantity of hemp products released in the market. By prioritizing transparency and integrity and conducting rigorous third-party laboratory testing from approved labs that will not fake lab reports. 

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