A study released on Wednesday shows that a majority of CBD sleep products are mislabeled, with 60% showing incorrect levels of active ingredients on their packaging. The study released by CBD resource Leafreport on Wednesday shows that more than half of the CBD products marketed as sleep aids contained levels of ingredients such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN) and melatonin that varied from the labeled strength by over 10%.
Research has shown that compounds in cannabis including CBD and CBN can support healthy sleep, leading to a proliferation of sleep aids that contain the cannabinoids, often mixed with other supplements including melatonin. But Leafreport’s study shows that fewer than half of the products tested were labeled with accurate levels of active ingredients.
Leafreport is a science-based, peer-reviewed website providing consumers with information about CBD. The company’s mission is to introduce transparency into the CBD industry through its patient-focused, educational content and medical reviews by a team of physicians, chemists, nutritionists, pharmacists, and naturopaths.
3 Things To Look For When Choosing CBD
Gal Shapira, product manager at Leafreport, says that there are three main factors consumers should consider when they are selecting CBD products.
“The most important thing to do is to make sure the brand utilizes a third-party testing lab and that their certificates of analysis (CoA) are linked on the product labeling or at least apparent on their website,” Shapira writes in an email. “These tests ensure the product contains no harmful contaminants and that dosage is correct.”
“The second thing to pay attention to is whether a product is defined as isolate, broad spectrum or full spectrum,” Shapira continues. “These classifications are very important in determining the presence of other cannabinoids like THC. The third main factor consumers should pay attention to is additional vitamin and supplement additives alongside the active CBD ingredient and if they are listed on the CoAs.”
To complete the study, Leafreport purchased 52 CBD sleep products including gummies, tinctures, and capsules. The products were then sent to Infinite Chemical Analysis, an accredited cannabis testing laboratory in California, where levels of CBD, CBN and melatonin were measured and recorded for comparison to certificates of analysis provided by the product manufacturers.
“While some variation is expected for CBD products, it should still be within reasonable levels. Industry experts recommend that cannabis products should have cannabinoid levels that are within 10% of the label, meaning accurate CBD products should contain anywhere from 90% to 110% of the advertised cannabinoid content,” Leafreport explains in the study. “Although melatonin is not a cannabinoid, we also used the 10% benchmark to be consistent.”
Half Of Tested Products Had Inaccurate CBD Levels
Just under half of the products contained inaccurate levels of CBN, while more than half reported inaccurate levels of CBD. Two out of three products that contain melatonin had levels not consistent with the labeling. Products containing two of the tested ingredients were less accurate than those containing one or all three, with only 29% matching the label. Out of nine products containing all three tested ingredients, five (55.6%) matched the label but only one did so for every ingredient.
Capsules performed the best out of any product category, with 50% matching the label, followed by 40% of gummies, and 30% of tinctures. Out of 32 products advertised to contain broad or full-spectrum CBD, 25% were mislabeled.
“Frankly, the results of this research are shocking and continue to illustrate the need for a more transparent CBD industry,” Shapira said in a statement about the study from Leafreport. “Consumers need to know when they buy CBD products there are certain quality standards being met. Leafreport exists to help these same consumers make better-informed decisions about what they put into their bodies, and we see this report as a critical service to help consumers ensure they buy products that actually work.”
Leafreport’s study of CBD sleep products is available online.