CBD buyer beware: Regulations may be needed in hemp oil industry

Posted at 6:44 AM, Nov 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 23:46:51-05

What was once impossible for families to obtain for their sick children, the supplement cannabidiol, or CBD, is now available in seemingly every store in Wisconsin.

One user told us it seems to have supernatural abilities. She used it to get off heavy narcotics, and on the dance floor.

“I’m ballroom dancing now too,” said Melissa Smith. “Which I never thought possible. And it’s all because I’ve been using this stuff. And with narcotics that would never have happened.”

But others found some products weren’t what they claimed to be.

“We’ve tried a couple different companies and I didn't like the product,” said CBD user Tori Moerchen. “It didn't do what they promised.”

The I-Team purchased a number of products from across the area, and some were spot on with their labels. But others we tested missed the mark, coming in both higher and lower levels than labeled.

Some also had detectable levels of THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes you high. Wisconsin law allows for 0.3 percent THC in hemp, the plant the CBD is extracted from.

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“It’s very hard to tell if the product that you bought is going to be higher in THC or not at this point without more regulation,” said UWM Associate Professor Krista Lisdahl.

Lisdahl studies the neuroscience of addiction and drug effects. She was concerned about the level of THC, as its marketed to kids.

Rachael Cartwright, the owner of Landwright’s Botanical Healing Center in Oak Creek says Wisconsin should regulate CBD sales, so people know what’s actually in the products they buy.

She has a license from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to make things like hard candies, but there is no license required to make CBD.

State Sen. Chris Larson believes the federal government will step in within the next decade to regulate the products. At the state level, a bill would give DATCP the power to license CBD producers.

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“I don’t think we need to go to the full go back to saying you need to have a prescription, but just making sure that there’s licenses and making sure that there’s people professionally following through and making sure that the CBD that they say is in the product is there,” Larson said.

The I-Team took a dozen products to a local lab to test for CBD and THC potency levels.

Below are the results from our test:

Products marked with an asterisk are produced by the company interviewed as part of this report.

CBD Therapeutics of Wisconsin Strawberry hard candy*

Posted amount of CBD: 12.5 mg per candy

Detectable amount of CBD: 13.4 mg per candy

Detectable THC: none

CBD Therapeutics of Wisconsin CBD Hemp Oil*

Posted amount of CBD: 500 mg

Detectable amount of CBD: 437.217 mg

Detectable amount of THC: none

Holistic Hound Hemp and Mushroom Bites dog treats

Posted amount of CBD: 3mg per treat

Detectable amount of CBD: 1.94mg per treat

Detectable amount of THC: none

Statement: Holistic Hound has been manufacturing and selling CBD supplements for dogs and cats since 2016. We pride ourselves on transparency, honesty and integrity in all aspects of our business – the creation of the product, relationships with our vendors and customers, and providing third party test results on each batch of our products. As a member of the NASC, we abide by their stringent quality control processes and testing standards. When we were contacted about a batch of our 3 mg chicken bites manufactured in Oct. 2018 testing out at 1.9 mg per bite vs. the 3 mg claimed, we were responsive and immediately provided a copy of our Steep Hill test results of that same batch reflecting the 3 mg per bite claimed on our packaging. Steep Hill is a top international accredited lab specializing in cannabis/hemp testing since 2008.

Outpost Natural Foods Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie with CBD Oil

Posted amount of CBD: 25mg

Detectable amount of CBD: 11.41mg

Detectable amount of THC: none

Statement: The CBD Oil Mint Chocolate Chip cookie sold at Outpost is made scratch from a recipe that yields a raw cookie containing approximately 10 – 12 mg of CBD oil. The baking process alters the level of CBD oil. That is why we clearly state on the cookie label, “Made with 10-12 mg of CBD oil. Actual levels of CBD oil will be lower after baking.”

Wisconsin Hemp Specific CBD Oil

Posted amount of CBD: 500mg

Detectable amount of CBD: 606.3mg

Detectable amount of THC: 0.08%

Statement: Seeing as in the results came back as expected, I don't have much to say about our products results. The label reads less than 0.3% because this is the legal limit of THC in all CBD products, and so all of our products have less than 0.3%. The fact that the product has more than the advertised 500 mg of CBD is also good and expected. In fact, we have recently updated our labels to read "500+ mg CBD". This is intentional to ensure customers are receiving the minimum CBD amount that they are paying for.

We pride ourselves on our diligent, procedural quality control. Everything that leaves our facility is tested both internally and externally by a 3rd party. We would invite you to come see our facility if you would like to see our process first hand.

Sprig CBD-Infused Sparkling Melon Soda

Posted amount of CBD: 20mg

Detectable amount of CBD: 1.79mg

Detectable amount of THC: none

Statement: “Sprig is committed to product quality and stringent control standards. The company is working with multiple labs to help refine the process to ensure that each can of Sprig is as advertised,” said Michael Lewis, CEO and Co-founder. “To that end, we’re happy to share these test reports from our most recent production. In order to be transparent with our customers and distributors, we have posted the certificates of analysis on our website”

The attached Certificates of Analysis were conducted in a lab in San Diego, CA on July 9th and specifically focused on the total cannabinoids per unit. The results exceed the 20mg advertised on the can.

Sprig Citrus Original - 22.4mg of CBD

Sprig Citrus zero sugar - 22.8mg of CBD

Sprig Melon zero sugar - 22.9mg of CBD

Sprig Lemon Tea zero sugar - 25.64mg of CBD

Native Liposomal CBD Spray

Posted amount of CBD: 300mg

Detectable amount of CBD: 292.56mg

Detectable amount of THC: none

Statement: We work very hard to ensure that our products contain what they claim to. We were the first company registered for CBD production in the state of Oklahoma and we work very closely with the state to ensure our products quality.

As a standard operating procedure we use 102% of the required CBD for each production run. We then send a random sample from each production run for complete testing. If the tested sample returns more than a 5% variance we retest with additional samples to confirm the first testing. If that sample falls below the 5% variance we scrap the run. If they are within that variance the product goes into distribution.

In addition, we use testing facilities that are ISO/IEC 17025:2017 certified. We are not claiming that the lab used was incorrect but that their testing methods may vary from those that we use, giving slightly different numbers. A variance in tests of 2.48% is very possible if they use different methods or equipment. It is also possible that the product you acquired was off by 2.48% but we would need to see the batch it originated from to say much beyond that.

Almost all of the samples that fall below the stated mg on the label are due to mixing issues at the time of production. As the product becomes more viscous this issue is exacerbated but we extend mixing times in an attempt to account for this. In some cases that doesn’t solve the issue entirely.

Canna Brew Drinks Premium Columbian Cold Brew Coffee With 25mg Beyond Full Spectrum Hemp Extract

Posted amount of hemp extract: 25mg

Detectable amount of CBD: 11.41mg

Detectable amount of THC: none

Statement: If you take a closer look at our label, we do not actually mention CBD anywhere. CannaBrew Drinks focuses on ALL of the phytonutrients in hemp, not just the CBD, which is why we label the mg of hemp extract, not Cannabidiol content.

The hemp extract we use has a 50% content of all cannabinoids, which would put 11.4mg right in line with what we are labeling since there should be roughly 1.1mg of other minor cannabinoids included such as CBG, CBC, and CBN.

Plus CBD Oil Hemp Drops

Posted amount of CBD: 3mg per serving (about 240mg total)

Detectable amount of CBD: 222.588mg

Detectable amount of THC: 0.02%

Statement: Declined to comment

Hemp Bombs CBD Oil Watermelon Flavor

Posted amount of CBD: 300mg

Detectable amount of CBD: 258.03mg

Detectable amount of THC: none

Statement: None provided.

Green Roads Blueberry OG Terpenes

Posted amount of CBD: 300mg

Detectable amount of CBD: 343.98mg

Detectable amount of THC: none

Statement: None provided

Green Lotus Lemon Hemp Sublingual Tincture

Posted amount of CBD: 125mg

Detectable amount CBD: 172.935mg

Detectable amount of THC: 0.06%

Statement: None provided