Written by Ricardo Oliveira for Lift.
With the recent legalization of cannabis products for either medical or recreational use in several U.S. States, there has been a steep increase in the number of related products being sold: namely, those derived from hemp strains enriched with cannabidiol (CBD). Since 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a couple of warning letters to more than a dozen companies producing or re-selling CBD related products, stating gross inconsistencies between label claims and actual cannabinoid levels (see 2015and 2016 warning letters).
Now the agency has turned to online retailers. In a report published last month [rv1] in the Journal of Regulatory Science, investigators from the FDA alerted for large inconsistencies in the level of CBD in the majority of 20 products purchased from legal online stores. The report can be freely consulted here.
The authors employed two methods to evaluate the chemical content of the products. Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) was used to detect trace levels of cannabinoids as well as other undeclared substances that might constitute a health hazard. These include narcotics, steroids, analgesics, and antibiotics. The second method, Liquid chromatography–high resolution mass spectrometry (LC–HRMS), allowed for the exact quantification of cannabinoid content.