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Report: Lab tests of CBD oil reveals 'startling results,' including pesticides and lead


A recent investigation found that some products contained contaminants that exceeded FDA standards

Image source: WNBC-TV video screenshot

Updated Feb. 14 at 2:37 p.m. ET: This story has been updated to include a statement from CBDistillery.

Cannabidiol oil, more commonly known as CBD, has become one of the hottest trends with claims that it can cure a host of ailments. But a recent investigation by WNBC-TV uncovered what it described as "startling" results after it had a variety of CBD products tested at Evio Labs in Miami.

"It's concerning and it's alarming," Chris Martinez, owner of Evio Labs, told WNBC after he reviewed the lab's results.

The report found that some of the products contained less CBD than stated on the package while others had none at all. Some of the brands contained pesticides and another was flagged by the lab for its high lead content.

CBD is a non-intoxicating chemical compound that is extracted from marijuana and hemp plants. Over-the-counter CBD products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. However, prescription CBD products are strictly regulated by the FDA. CBD is used as a treatment for everything from anxiety to chronic pain.

What are the details?

The investigative team bought three brands of CBD oil and four brands of gummies from online and brick and mortar retailers. Five samples of each brand were purchased. The labels were removed and the products were sent off to be analyzed.

Among the oils tested was Lazarus Naturals, which was purchased by an independent seller through Groupon. Its lead content exceeded the FDA standards for safety.

"It had four times the amount of lead than is approved. If a child gets their hands on these products, it could be life-threatening," Martinez told WNBC.

Lazarus Naturals said it wasn't able to verify that the sample was one of its products because they've had problems with counterfeits being sold by unapproved sellers.

A sample from CBDistillery contained a pesticide that exceeded the state of California's acceptable standards.

The company claimed that the product in question had been tested by "an accredited third-party lab" and it had passed its standards.

Every sample of Jolly Green CBD oil that was tested had less than half of the 500 mg. of CBD the product claimed to contain.

"It's not uncommon to see these inconsistencies across the board," Martinez said.

WNBC tested gummies from Green Roads, Hemp Bombs, Gold Line and a surgery recovery site called Dani's Doll House.

Green Roads was the only gummy brand that contained the amount of CBD advertised.

Two of the gummy brands had half the amount of CBD claimed and one brand contained none at all.

What else?

Martinez warned that many consumers are being misled by claims in some over-the-counter CBD brands.

"Until there is some type of regulation that levels off the playing field, patients are being duped into buying products that aren't really going to benefit them," he told WNBC.

Some companies have started putting QR barcodes on their packaging that allows consumers to scan and review the product's test results.

Statement from CBDistillery

CBDistillery told TheBlaze that the company is committed to providing safe, high-quality products consumers.

"We want to assure you that CBDistillery is committed to providing safe, high-quality hemp-derived CBD products to consumers and has robust testing and quality control procedures in place to ensure our products meet and comply with all applicable legal and state regulatory standards and requirements," company wrote in a statement to TheBlaze.

"Our testing and quality control, which includes testing by accredited and independent third-party labs, is designed to ensure our products meet all of the safety and quality standards set forth by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. This testing includes analyzing for the presence of harmful substances, including pesticides, to guarantee our products comply with the Colorado Department of Agriculture and state regulations and are only released once they successfully pass testing.

"Through this testing, the one product in question was part of a batch of products that passed testing conducted by an accredited third-party lab in compliance with these standards and was released based on those results. It is our mission to continue providing safe and high-quality products to consumers and abide by all required standards and regulations set forth by the Colorado Department of Agriculture," CBDistillery wrote.

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