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Business Health Policy

Concerns Raised Over U.K. CBD Products Following New ‘High Street’ Tests

u.k. cbd
Written by Peter McCusker

Tests of 30 major brands on sale in the U.K. found that around 40% had lower levels of CBD than they claimed to have.

The new report; ‘CBD in The U.K.’ by the London-Based Centre For Medicinal Cannabis (CMC), also says one High Street pharmacy product had zero cannabinoid contenting and was retailing at £90 (U.S. $110) for 300ml.

The tests, undertaken by U.K. laboratory PhytoVista, found that one product had 3.8% ethanol and would qualify as an alcoholic beverage (over 3.4%).

The tests for levels of CBD found that 11 out of 29 (38%) of the products were within 10% of the advertised CBD content, and 11 out of 29 products actually had less than 50% of the advertised CBD content.

‘Consumers Being Let Down’

Dr Andrew Yates, CMC Pharmacy Lead, said ‘U.K. consumers are being let down’.

“Despite its importance and therapeutic potential, and the scale of the British consumer’s appetite for cannabidiol, this report shows that we are some distance from the type of CBD sector that we need. 

“The UK’s legislation is ambiguous, out-dated and fragmented, quality is not defined, product composition is not guaranteed, and poor marketing practices are all too common.”

The report also highlighted the rapid growth of the CBD sector in the U.K which it estimates will be worth almost £1 billion a year by 2025, equivalent in size to the current entire U.K. herbal supplement market.

Six Million People Used CBD

It found the U.K. CBD market is between three to six times larger than previous estimates. The CMC research estimates that 1.3 million consumers are spending over £300 million a year on CBD products

It also found that around six million adults have used CBD in the UK, that 11% of the population had consumed a CBD product in the last year.

It found that usage rates for women at 13% were higher than for men at 9%, while usage rates were higher amongst the under 55s, ranging from 15% of 25-34 year olds, to 7% of 55-64 year olds and 8% of those aged 65 and over.

Report is ‘Mischievous and Misleading’

However, U.K. cannabis industry veteran Peter Reynolds, founder of CLEAR and CannaPro, which represents some 70 businesses operating in the CBD sector, remains sceptical of the findings.

He told CBD Testers: “This report is utterly misleading and should be viewed as a major misinformation exercise.

“All of our members are serious businesses engaged in delivering fully compliant and fully-regulated products. This is no more than a mischievous effort to discredit the industry.”

Businesses wishing to be certified by CannaPro will be reviewed for their products, trading standards, marketing and conduct, and, once certified, are entitled to display the CannaPro badge as a mark of quality, ethics and reliability. Membership is free.

CLICK HERE to see the Cannabis Trades Association’s official response on this matter.

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About the author

Peter McCusker

Peter McCusker is an experienced news and business editor, who believes it’s time to fully embrace the multiple, proven, medical benefits of the cannabis plant.