Excessive levels of THC have been found in UK CBD products

Excessive levels of THC have been found in UK CBD products
©iStock/Tinnakorn-Jorruang

In a study by PhytoVista and Centre for Medical Cannabis, it’s been reported that over half of the 30 CBD products in Europe were tested to have THC levels two times more than the accepted limit.

The tested products were those that are being sold online and in stores. 45% of the products that contained THC had about 0.4% mean content of THC – such studies highlight the importance of regulating CBD products in the UK.

Solvents found in CBD products

Apart from the excessive levels of THC found in the products, the research has also discovered that only around 38% of the tested products actually contained the actual CBD content advertised. Moreover, also 38% of the products contained less than 50% of the amount of the CBD that they claim to have. This is very disappointing especially to individuals who highly rely on the CBD content of these products.

Surprisingly, a sample of a 30ml product obtained from a shop contained 0% CBD. The said product retailed for £90 (~€100). Even one product contained higher levels of ethanol than the recommended amount which is 3.4% which in the UK, is the level of ethanol in alcoholic beverages. Moreover, seven of the products tested were even found to contain the solvent dichloromethane of around 3-13 ppm. Cyclohexane, also a solvent, was found in a product at a level of 27.9 ppm.

Still exceeding the levels recommended for food safety

Although the levels of solvent contained in these products are within the limits recommended, they still exceed the levels recommended for food safety. CMC stated that the results of the study should serve as a guide for the CBD industry in coming up with products that abide by the standards and are high-quality products that abide by the standards.

Moreover, CMC also encourages producers to make use of these findings to make necessary steps to assure that this will not happen again.

Requesting regulation and guidelines for CBD products

Such data gave a push to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) of the UK to request the government for specific guidelines with regards to tetrahydrocannabinol or THC levels in products like CBD oils.

In the letter to the Home Secretary, the RPS said that they were willing to come up and give advice with regards to specific steps they should make so that no one would break the law with regards to products containing CBD. Pharmacists also demanded guidance with regards to the legality of CBD product handling. They also called out on the out-dated laws concerning CBD.

They also add that in the UK, it is legal to sell CBD as long as they do not include any medical claims in their marketing. Furthermore, the limit of THC is only up to 0.2%.

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