CBD Products Are Testing Positive for High Levels of THC in North Carolina
CBD is sold in health stores, supermarkets, and gas stations, but without FDA oversight, hemp products often mislead consumers about what’s actually in them.
Published on July 25, 2019

If it isn’t clear yet, the CBD hype wave isn’t going away anytime soon. Whether in the form of tinctures, hemp-infused water, or edibles, cannabidiol is everywhere. For manufacturers and retailers, those three little letters might as well be dollar signs. But without any industry oversight in the burgeoning market, some companies cashing in America’s non-psychoactive cannabis fad are deceiving customers, and adding potentially illegal amounts of THC to the products.  

According to a new investigative report from North Carolina NBC affiliate WCNC, a number of CBD products sold in local stores have inconsistent amounts of CBD, as well as concentrations of THC that are not mentioned on the label at all.

Inspired by an unfortunate incident in which a local man was stopped by airport security for having an over-the-counter CBD tincture that tested above the legal limit for THC, NBC Charlotte’s news team purchased five separate CBD products from local and online retailers and sent them away for third party testing. When the lab results returned, the team was shocked, with multiple products testing above hemp’s legal 0.3 percent THC threshold

“I was told the product I had had no THC in it," Phil Hutcheson, the airport traveller who had to pay a fine for his illicit CBD oil, told NBC Charlotte. “Somebody could tell you this has no THC and only CBD, but you really don’t know." 

When the news team tested the CBD products, every bottle had at least trace amounts of THC, with the most accurately labeled tincture containing only 0.027 milligrams of THC. Another CBD product, however, was found to have around 30.5 milligrams of THC in it — a concentration more at home in licensed dispensaries.

As America’s CBD love affair continues, a number of similar investigations have uncovered inconsistencies in product labels, with most research focusing on varying concentrations of cannabidiol itself. But with the products tested by NBC Charlotte, consumers could easily fail drug tests or experience unwanted side effects without being any the wiser. 

The FDA is currently working on establishing concrete regulations for the cannabidiol industry, but in the meantime it is up to consumers to do research on products and check third party lab tests when available.

“Look over the lab reports, and make sure that what the label is saying is in the product is actually in your product," Amanda Messina, owner of Your CBD Store of Charlotte, told NBC.

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Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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