FDA Testing of CBD Products

Below is a table of data provided by the FDA on testing they performed of various CBD products, mostly CBD Oil products.

The FDA took it upon itself in 2015 and 2016 (as it pursued possible violations of FDA regulations) to test 38 products for the amount of CBD (cannabidiol) the product contained vs how much cannabidiol they actually contained when tested.

The FDA was concerned that some of these products were not accurate about, or falsely claiming, the amount of CBD in their products. It seems the concerns of the FDA were warranted as you will see below.

The FDA also was concerned over any product making claims about treating or curing disease, which resulted in the warning letters. It is a fine line to walk when writing copy about the possible benefits of a CBD or CBD Oil product (or any supplement) because the FDA cannot allow anything not classified as a “drug” to make these type of claims. (Prescription drugs are allowed to do so if proven.)

As the FDA states in their warning letters:
“The claims on your websites establish that your products are drugs under section 201(g)(1)(B) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)(B)] because they are intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.”

Anyway, testing did occur by the FDA through independent labs and they published this along with their list of warning letters. The tables below accurately represent all the data given by the FDA. [you can check out the actual tables on the FDA website here]

Look through the data and you will discover that most of the products tested, 34 of 38, actually contained very little cannabidiol at all – and possibly not what they claimed. It is difficult to determine what the claims were for some products, but it is clear that the overall percentage of CBD was low.

Check these out in the first table. We do not know if these products formulations were ever modified to match their claims or improved to a higher cannabidiol % content.

But, there were four products that did have much higher levels of CBD and matched their claims of cannabidiol content. Check out these products in the second table below  – we will discuss each of these below as well.

The products that actually contained higher levels of CBD and that matched their cannabidiol content claims (or nearly so) are in the table above.

What is noteworthy is that 3 of these actually seem to contain THC levels above the legal limit of 0.3% that is allowed for CBD products.

Conclusion

Recommendations of the FDA were to always verify the amount of CBD a product contains by asking for or consulting a certificate of analysis for any product you are considering buying.

A certificate of analysis is a document from an independent lab that certifies the ingredients and contents of a product for a particular substance – in this case CBD.

Most of the credible products provide COFAs, or certificates of analysis, which you can look for when purchasing. The certificate should make direct mention of the specific product tested, parameters of the test, and the testing results.

Always check and verify what you are buying.