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'Patients Are Being Duped': NBC 6 Tests CBD Products

By Dan Krauth

Published Feb 5, 2019 at 6:35 PM | Updated at 12:34 PM EST on Feb 7, 2019

The NBC 6 Investigators found that after testing some CBD products, some had much less CBD than what was listed on the label.

Arliss Buergo has been using CBD for the last year. She uses it in oil form, with just a drop on her tongue once a day.

"Those anxious moments, they seem to just drift away," Buergo said. "I feel just calmer, more at ease, grounded."

She considers the extract a natural alternative to treat her anxiety.

It comes from the leaves and flowers of hemp and marijuana plants.

"I feel more mindful in the moment," she said.

She's one of a growing number of people taking a variety of CBD products.

They come in the form of oils, edible gummies, creams and even coffee.

People, like Buergo, say they're taking CBD for their reported health benefits saying it can help treat everything from inflammation to anxiety.

"I definitely see CBD as something I could use for the rest of my life," she said.

As of now, the extract has only been officially approved by the FDA to treat epilepsy.

An NBC 6 investigation found some products on the market labeled as containing CBD did not have the amount listed on the product. NBC 6 Investigator Dan Krauth reports.

(Published Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019)

Growing Business

Right now, you can find CBD products in beauty salons, gas stations and online. But you'll soon be seeing CBD products show up in a variety of other places, including larger scale retail stores.

Last year, federal lawmakers passed the 2018 farm bill which separated hemp from the legal definition of marijuana, making it legal to manufacture and buy anywhere in the United States.

In 2018, CBD was a $619 million industry nationwide. By the end of 2019, it's expected to hit $5.9 billion, according to researchers with Brightfield Group, a CBD marketing research firm.

Little Regulation

The growing industry has little to no regulation with no one watching what's going into the product.

CBD is not considered a food or dietary supplement, so there aren't strict regulations or testing requirements for the products.

The FDA can only go as far as warning companies against making any type of marketing claims regarding what the product can do for a person's health.

Product Testing

The NBC 6 Investigators purchased 35 CBD products from seven different companies. We bought five products of each brand. 

We covered the samples with white labels to prevent identification of the samples being tested at the lab. We then took the samples to Evio Labs, an accredited testing facility in Davie.

The company tests for more than 400 companies worldwide.

At the lab, the products were photographed and entered into the company's computer system. Chemists then measured and weighed the samples and tested for how much CBD was inside the products. The NBC6 Investigators then took the results and compared them to what we found on each of the company's labels we purchased.

Product Results

Of the 35 samples we tested, 20 of them had less than half of the amount of CBD advertised on the label. Some samples had no CBD at all.

"Patients are being duped," said Chris Martinez, President of Evio Labs. "They're buying products that really aren't going to benefit them."

Of the products we purchased, the biggest differences were found in gummies that were infused with CBD, one of the most popular ways to consume CBD.

The NBC6 Investigators bought five packages of Hemp Bombs CBD Gummies. Each package listed that it contained "5 Max Strength Gummies."

The package label advertises each gummy contains 15 mg of CBD. However, test results show each gummy had 2.2 mg or less.

In an email, the attorney for Global Widget (which owns Hemp Bombs) said he "cannot verify" the test results…

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Greg Stearns