More than half of 29 hemp tea and coffee products that underwent recent analysis in the USA showed CBD levels different from that advertised on the labeling, a study has found.
Tel Aviv, Israel-based Leafreport, a CBD reviewer, said it found products that were off by anywhere from 11.5% to 62% from the labeled CBD content. Leafreport reviewed products from a variety of brands, specifically to check the veracity of label claims about potency.
The reviewer said while some variation is expected in natural products such as hemp-derived CBD, levels should still be within a reasonable range.
Rules are needed
“Industry experts recommend that cannabis products should contain cannabinoid levels that are within 10% of the advertised amount,” Leafreport said, but few guardrails exist for CBD products in the USA as regulations are still awaited from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). That agency has periodically cracked down on mislabeled CBD products, and those that make unsubstantiated health claims, but has done little to establish rules to protect consumers and clear a pathway to market for producers and sellers.
SC Labs, Santa Cruz, California provided third-party testing services for the Leafreport study, turning out certificates of authorization (COAs) for the 29 products reviewed. That analysis found that out of 14 teas and coffees advertised as containing broad or full-spectrum hemp extract, 11 (79%) were “accurately” labeled while only three contained CBD.
Also, 14 products had CBD levels within 10% of the amount mentioned on the label, which is required for an A rating. Leafreport’s scale runs from A (“excellent”) to F (“fail”). Failing products were those that contained CBD levels that differed from the label by more than 30%.
The testing also found that brands with multiple products scored well for one product but had lower scores for others, reflecting problems with consistency.
The report suggests that CBD-based tea and coffee products are harder to formulate than oils because they include relatively small amounts of CBD. “As a result, the findings were actually better than expected,” Leafreport said.
Nonetheless, labeling inaccuracies continue to be a problem for the CBD sector, said Lital Shafir, head of product at Leafreport. “You can find CBD in almost anything, including tea and coffee, but do these products contain as much CBD as advertised, and are they accurately delivering what is promised to consumers?” Shafir said. “Having more than 50% of products contain inaccurate amounts of CBD is not great.”
How the brands ranked
Leafreport’s ranking scale showed the results below for the brands reviewed: A (Excellent): CBD levels within 10% of what was stated on the label; B (Decent): CBD levels within 20% of the label; C (Poor): CBD levels within 30% of the label; F (Fail): CBD levels that differed from the label by more than 30%.
|Steve’s Goods CBD Coffee||A|
|Strava CBD Coffee||A|
|FloChi CBD Tea||A|
|Diamond CBD Chill CBD Assorted Coffee & Tea||A|
|CBD Living CBD Matcha Tea||A|
|CBD American Shaman CBD Sparkling Tea||A|
|Allo Bean & Bud CBD Coffee||A|
|Coldfire Roasters Nano Hemp Coffee||A|
|CBD Infused Tea Blazin’ Berry Black Tea||A|
|Sun State Hemp CBD Ground Coffee||A|
|Glow Water Restore CBD Tea||A|
|Tranquility Tea Company CBD Coffee||A|
|Cadence Iced Cold Brew CBD Coffee||A|
|The Brothers Apothecary Mellow Mint Hemp CBD Tea||A|
|CBD Living CBD Instant Coffee||B|
|FloChi CBD Iced Coffee||B|
|Koi CBD Hemp Peach Iced Tea Shot||B|
|Willie’s Remedy Hemp Infused Coffee||B|
|Swiss Cannalife CBD Coffee Beans||B|
|Omni Oil CBD Infused Yerba Mate Tea||B|
|Humble Harvest Lemon CBD Tea||B|
|One Love Tea Mango Magic Honeybush CBD Tea||B|
|Buddha Teas CBD Chamomile Tea||C|
|Kickback Cali Haze CBD Infused Coffee||F|
|Bearded Man French Fork CBD Coffee Pods||F|
|Creating Better Days CBD Coffee Pods||F|
|Cue Rise CBD Shot||F|
|The Hemp Division Lift Ground Coffee||F|
|Willie’s Remedy Peppermint Pyramid Bag Herbal Supplement||F|
[See the full Leafreport study]