Head of Technical and Development at NextGEN360, Lizi Jenkins, takes a look at the recently published BBC Article, which can be read here.
The popularity of CBD products is ever-increasing, with the estimated market value in 2019 said to be at £237 million, with an estimated half a million users within the UK (Reference: CBD Intel). Major high street retailers are jumping into the CBD market with stores such as Superdrug, Boots and Holland & Barrett emerging with a variety of product sets.
The BBC have recently published an article reviewing the CBD market and the concerning amount of CBD products that don’t contain what is stated on the label. With the market experiencing day by day growth, how do we know that what we are purchasing does what it says on the tin?
The article quotes the recent Centre for Medical Cannabis (CMC) report ‘CBD in the UK – Executive Summary,’ which took an in-depth look at CBD products. It reviewed the compound itself, the regulations, consumer profiles, the market and included a blind-test conducted on 30 advertised products. The CMC carried out analysis on 30 high street products and shockingly found that almost half (45%) had measurable levels of THC present. This makes these products technically illegal in the UK. With the restriction on THC levels currently set at 0.2%, the number of products on the market with well over the legal limit is not only causing concerns for the consumer but creating a careless reputation for the industry.
Alongside the unacceptable THC levels that some products presented, the CMC also reported that some CBD products contained very little of the advertised ingredient. Shockingly, one product tested had 0% CBD present despite being advertised as contained a high content level. With a lack of regulation and no legal requirement for these products to be tested, the question is, how can we as manufacturers ensure that products that are leaving our site are fully compliant and labelled correctly?
What can the industry do to ensure CBD compliance?
Firstly, regulations are essential. In the early days of the vaping industry, we saw an influx of ‘cowboy’ operators who produced poor-quality, cheap products with absolutely no consideration to the consumer safety or industry reputation. The introduction of the Tobacco Products Directive allowed for stricter regulations for e-liquid products and, despite unfairly categorising e-cigarettes as a tobacco product, it still implemented a high set of standards that all manufacturers and suppliers had to adhere too.
Secondly, a mandatory testing schedule would be beneficial for the industry as a whole. This would not only ensure that products are labelled with the correct CBD concentration, but that the levels of controlled substances such as THC are not present in any marketed product. The testing methodology should be verified to ensure consistency across the board, rather than the diverse results that the industry currently relies on due to the variety of analytical methods being used.
The growing popularity of CBD products is a fantastic opportunity for consumers to access a potentially life-changing product, which is currently being researched in relation to an enormous list of benefits. As the industry becomes cosmic in size, certain aspects of CBD production will need ironing out sooner rather than later, before potential problems have the chance to tarnish the positive reputation of CBD and cause damage that cannot be reversed.
What are NextGEN360 doing to ensure product clarity?
NextGEN360 focus exclusively on ensuring our products are of the highest quality and meet all regulatory and compliance standards. We have taken the following steps to protect the reputation of the industry and provide our consumers with the best possible product:
- Invested heavily in analytical equipment to carry out in-house testing on all CBD products that are manufactured on-site
- Provide Certificate of Authenticities (COAs) for all batches of CBD products we produce, including potency testing and THC levels
- Offer an external testing service for other suppliers so they can ensure their products are compliant
- Only use the highest quality raw materials from reputable suppliers
- Be at the forefront of development and industry regulations to communicate advances to our customers
Do you need product testing for your business?
We’re perfectly placed in the industry to offer independent verification for your products. We use the above methods to ensure the most thorough and accurate standards for our partner businesses and our own products.
Find out more about our Analytical Services here.
Get in touch with Lizi and team today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.