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The Cannabis Catch-Up: Is Your CBD the Real Deal?


Published May 24, 2019 at 3:01 p.m.

So many CBD choices... - LUKE EASTMAN
  • Luke Eastman
  • So many CBD choices...
Much has been written about cannabidiol. Is it a miracle cure for all ailments? Snake oil? Something in-between?

That’s all well and good. But there’s a more important question that should be asked first when evaluating a CBD product: Is there any CBD in it at all?

The folks over at NBC Boston decided to find out.

“We bought 10 products at random from stores around the Boston area, from oils and tinctures to CBD-infused lollipops and gummy bears,” reports Ally Donnelly. “We went to high-end boutiques and smoke shops; corner stores and gas stations.”

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill taste test. The station sent the stuff for testing at MCR Labs in Framingham, Mass., which returned some interesting results. Three products had the same amount of CBD as advertised, according to the lab. But one container of sour gummies, which claimed to contain 10 milligrams of CBD in each gummy, varied from 11 in one to 42 in another. That’s quite a range.

Here’s my personal favorite:

Gummy worms with the marking "Super Chill Products" cost us $10 a bag and advertised 100 milligrams in each worm, but the lab said they don’t have any CBD at all. We wanted a response from the company, but couldn’t find contact information on the package or online. The owner of the store where we bought them did not respond to multiple messages.
This isn't an issue in Massachusetts alone. Seven Days reported in 2017 that Phytoscience Institute, a lab in Waterbury, did its own testing of CBD products from local and out-of-state companies. From that story:

Of the nine Vermont products tested, only one was accurately labeled. Five had less CBD than promised, and three offered no information at all. The results indicate that producers in Vermont's relatively new CBD industry are still working out the kinks — and that testing is needed.  

Reminder, folks: Whether it’s a product with CBD in it, a protein shake or a newspaper, buy it from a source you trust!

Here are some other stories we followed this week:

May 18: There were more than double the number of vendors at this year’s Vermont Cannabis & Hemp convention compared to last year. And some of those attending weren’t thrilled by the state’s stalled bill to tax and regulate cannabis. [Emily Corwin, Vermont Public Radio]

May 20: New York City Councilor Jumaane Williams writes in an op-ed that he’s never smoked weed, despite spending much of his life “fitting the stereotype: a young black Caribbean man from Brooklyn with locs on his head and hip-hop in his ears.” Instead, he sold pot while in high school and now wants to decriminalize it, among other social justice measures surrounding cannabis. [Jumaane Williams, New York Daily News]

May 22: With weed legalization comes a “where-to-smoke?” dilemma for some. That includes hotel guests. Most states have banned smoking in public and even cannabis-smoking lounges. Is that beginning to change? [Bruce Kennedy, Leafly]

May 23: Maine has released its proposed recreational cannabis rules. About 100 people turned out to a Thursday meeting in Portland to weigh in on everything from prices to a proposal that a weed business applicant must have lived in Maine for at least four years. [Penelope Overton, Portland Press Herald]

May 23: Massachusetts regulators have OK'd the first sale of a cannabis company to another. The approval was delayed because of concerns that big weed companies are trying to find ownership loopholes to avoid state-imposed caps on certain licenses. [Shira Schoenberg, MassLive]

May 22: Check out some pics from last weekend's Vermont Cannabis & Hemp Convention. [Heady Vermont]

May 23: A new study found that couples who use weed experience a spike in “intimacy events” during a two-hour window after consuming cannabis. And no, it’s not all sex. [Hannah Sparks, New York Post]

May 23: Retired NFL player Chris Long says he smoked his “fair share” of weed during his 11-year playing career, and he thinks the league’s testing policy is “arbitrary” and “kind of silly.” [Matt Bonesteel, the Washington Post]

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