You can find it in gummies, oils, lotions, even teas. 

CBD is all the rage right now—marketed to relieve many common health issues. But it’s not a regulated industry so 3News investigator Rachel Polansky wanted to find out if what’s on the label is actually what’s inside the product. 

“I found that it works very well for me,” said Zachary Smith, of Cleveland Heights. 

Zachary Smith has been using CBD for the last nine months. He uses it in oil form—with just a drop on his tongue each day. 

“I just notice the absence of the anxiety,” said Smith. 

Smith considers the marijuana extract a natural alternative, to treat his anxiety. He is one of a growing number of people who use CBD to help with everything from aches and pains, to depression and anxiety. 

“As long as it continues to work for me, I’ll continue to use it,” said Smith. 

But over-the-counter CBD is not FDA approved, which means there is very little regulation. So how does Smith know he’s getting a quality product? 

Truth is—he doesn’t. But there is a way to find out.

CBD Testing

3News went online and in person to CBD stores, smoke shops, vitamin stores, and gas stations.

We bought three oils, two gummies and one lotion. Then we teamed up with Kaycha Labs, an accredited cannabis testing facility in Florida. 

CBD testing

We covered the products with yellow labels so Kaycha didn’t know which companies products they were testing and than the chemists got to work to tell us how much CBD was inside each product. 

“Why is it a problem if what it says on that label is not inside the product?” Polansky asked the chemist. 

“Then possibly you won’t get the relief that you’re looking for,” said Anika Graham, senior chemist at Kaycha Labs. 

So how did the products measure up?

  • Diamond CBD gummy bears that we bought online claimed to have 75 milligrams of CBD. Kaycha Labs said the package only had 37 milligrams of CBD.
  • Hemp Bombs CBD gummy bears that we bought at 7-Eleven claimed to have 75 milligrams of CBD. Kaycha Labs said the package only had 26 milligrams of CBD.
  • Koi oil from Lux Vapours in Parma claimed to have 250 milligrams of CBD. Kaycha Labs said it had 260 milligrams of CBD.
  • Sunmed oil from Your CBD Store in Lakewood claimed to have 250 milligrams of CBD. Kaycha Labs said it had 248 milligrams of CBD.
  • Lazarus Naturals pet oil that we bought online claimed to have 225 milligrams of CBD. Kaycha Labs said it had 247 milligrams of CBD. It also had 9 milligrams of THC.
  • Physicians Grade Luxe Lotion that we bought at GNC claimed to have 100 milligrams of CBD. Kaycha Labs said the lotion had 102 milligrams of CBD.

“It’s absolutely a big issue for me,” said Christina Delos Reyes, MD, Department of Psychology at University Hospitals. She was not surprised by our findings. 

“When something is touted as the cure all for everything, than I get naturally suspicious,” she added. 

That doesn’t mean she doesn’t believe in CBD’s medicinal benefits. She’d just like to see more research as to what it can and can’t do. 

“Be cautious, look at what the package says and if it says not FDA approved to treat anything, that should make you think twice,” said Dr. Delos Reyes. 

Before you buy

Before you buy a CBD-infused product, ask the salesperson to see third-party lab results and if they can’t provide them, go somewhere else. 

Also, look for brands that have a QR code on their products. Grab your phone, scan the QR code, and you should be able to see the lab results for that specific batch before you buy it.

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