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09 November 2017, 10:51 | Melissa Porter
Enlarge This dark oil is the pure concentrated form of cannabis extracted in numerous different ways. Getty | Nur
Selling these oils without oversight, there is no way to know what is actually in the bottle. Discrepancies between federal and state cannabis laws have resulted in inadequate regulation and oversight, leading to inaccurate labeling of some products.
The new study was published today (Nov. 7) in the journal JAMA.
There is growing consumer demand for cannabidiol (CBD), a constituent of the cannabis plant, due to its purported medicinal benefits for myriad health conditions.
Now that 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, the online presence of extracts containing CBD has grown significantly because CBD has shown great potential for treating a variety of conditions, including pain, anxiety, and epilepsy. Early research also suggests that the compound might help with insomnia, multiple sclerosis, and some symptoms of Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Buyer beware. almost 75 percent of CBD marijuana extracts sold online are mislabeled, with numerous products containing little to none of the active ingredient, according to a study helmed by a University of Pennsylvania researcher. He hopes this and future studies will call attention to the impact of inconsistent cannabis product labelling. The study, co-authored by Jahan Marcu, Ph.D, American's for Safe Access' (ASA) Chief Science Officer and Director of Patient Focused Certification (PFC), analyzed 84 CBD products available online from 31 companies.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools.
The researchers found that the observed CBD concentration varied from 0.1 to 655.27 mg/mL (median, 9.45 mg/mL); the median labeled concentration was 15 mg/mL. The study team found that 43 percent of the product samples had more CBD than claimed on the label while 26 percent of the products contained less CBD. Offered by ASA, PFC is what patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, companies, and regulators can depend on to identify reliable, high-quality medical cannabis products and services.
In addition, the study found that 21 percent of the products contained THC that wasn't listed on the label, at concentrations of up to 6.4 mg/mL. "The biggest implication is that many of these patients may not be getting the proper dosage; they're either not getting enough for it to be effective or they're getting too much".
Additional studies should monitor the cannabidiol marketplace for changes in labeling accuracy over time, and compare internet products with those sold in dispensaries, the researchers said.
"These findings highlight the need for manufacturing and testing standards, and oversight of medicinal cannabis products", the authors write.
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