Sativa Group PLC (AQSE:SATI) subsidiary PhytoVista Laboratories has discovered instances of poor practice among producers of cannabidiol (CBD) products for the retail market.
The UK lab conducted a blind test of 30 major retail CBD oil brands for The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis.
CBD products contain little to no CBD
The test found 38% of the products had less than 50% of the advertised CBD content. One product was completely free of CBD.
About 45% of the products contained measurable amounts of psychoactive cannabis compounds tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinol (CBN). On average these products had 0.04% of THC and 0.01% of CBN.
Sativa said this means almost half of the products are “technically illegal”.
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In November last year the UK legalised medicinal cannabis, which usually contains CBD and low levels of THC. However, only specialist doctors can prescribe the drug for certain ailments and only if other treatments have not worked.
THC produces the high people feel when smoking or ingesting marijuana while CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it can be sold in the UK without a licence so long as claims are not made about any medical benefits.
Sativa said its test of the CBD products available at stores was “most revealing in terms of quality and instances of poor practice”.
It said the biggest issues related to accuracy of labelling, the presence of controlled substances and some contaminants.
One product had 3.8% ethanol while dichoromethane was detectable in seven products and cyclohexane was found in one product.
“These percentages of solvents and heavy metals are still below the permitted daily dose levels in pharmaceutical products, although above food limit safety levels,” Sativa said.
Sativa ensures checks on own CBD products
The company said its CBD retail and wholesale business, George Botanicals, ensures that all of its products are tested by Phytovista.
The group added that its new CBD wellness store, Goodbody Wellness, which opens in Bath on Saturday, offers the same guarantee.
“Sativa identified early on that in established overseas markets for CBD, and in particular Canada, product testing and validation was an early stage bottleneck within the industry,” it said.
“PhytoVista is well established in the UK and has already conducted over 1500 independent tests."