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New research shows the majority of CBD products don't measure up

An update to a 3News Investigation into the wild west of CBD products. When it comes to CBD, what you pay for isn’t always what you get.

CLEVELAND — An update now to a 3News Investigation into the wild west of CBD products.

Proponents hail the marijuana-based products as a miracle drug for ailments such as pain or anxiety.

But as investigator Rachel Polansky found, when it comes to CBD, what you pay for isn’t always what you get.

With just a few drops under his tongue, Zachary Smith finds that CBD oil works for him.

“You just notice the absence of the anxiety,” said Zachary Smith, Cleveland Heights. “ As long as it continues to work for me, I'll continue to use it.”

Smith did his homework before buying but he knows research isn't always enough.

CBD is a billion dollar industry thanks to all its therapeutic promises, from providing relief for aches and pains to treating depression and anxiety.

It comes in many forms, from oils to gummies.

What it lacks is approval by the FDA, something that bothers this Cleveland doctor.

“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 Christina Delos Reyes, MD, University Hospitals.

3News CBD Testing

Last fall, 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.

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

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.

Digital Citizens Alliance CBD Testing

On Thursday, we got results from a larger, national study.

The Digital Citizens Alliance, a consumer-oriented watchdog group, looked at 59 products, across seven states.

“Very often these products don't have the level of CBD they claim to have on the label,” said Tom Galvin, Digital Citizens Alliance.

Their results?

34 of the 59 had products had either 20 percent more or less CBD than the label claimed.

Nearly 65% of the products they tested had less CBD than the label claimed.

Nearly 33% had more CBD than the label claimed.

And only 2% had the exact amount of CBD the label claimed.

See the breakdown below:

Credit: Digital Citizens Alliance

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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